Visiting the New Mormon Temple

Visiting the New Mormon Temple July 16, 2015

James in front of Mormon temple

Yesterday I went on a tour of the new Latter-Day Saints temple in Carmel, Indiana. It was my first ever visit to a Mormon temple, and it was quite fascinating. The architecture and artwork are all customized for the local context, and so it is not a coincidence that the top of the temple will remind you of the war memorials in downtown Indianapolis.

While talking to the colleague who invited me to the tour, I learned that a “ministry” from Utah took out a 12-page advertisement against the LDS church. It has been reported on in the Indianapolis Star as well as several blogs.

As a professor of religion, I can appreciate the function of LDS teachings and rituals, even if I don’t subscribe to them myself. Indeed, their introductory video and commentary during the tour highlighted those very things. It is easy to dismiss “sealing” (marriage for eternity) as unbiblical. But in an era when fidelity to one’s spouse is held up less frequently as an ideal, this teaching – whether true or false – ought to be something that a religious conservative might appreciate.

And that’s the irony in the plan of Tri-Grace Ministries to hire protesters to be disruptive in front of the new temple. In doing so, they are showing that they are more concerned about ideas and doctrines than about practices. And I’m sure that they would agree, and think that is something to be proud of. And yet even if one thinks that Mormons are “pagans,” then it isn’t hard to glance at the New Testament and ask how Jesus interacted with such people.

He healed their children and servants, and never once, to my knowledge, greeted them with placards protesting their false beliefs.

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  • histrogeek

    Well, not placards. Still I suppose if you take a traditionalist view of the debates between Jesus and the Pharisees, you could say that he condemned people for false beliefs.

    • bytebear

      I guess it depends on who you consider to be the Pharasees in this case.

    • Cody Quirk

      Mormon beliefs are in line with the bible, and they are Christian, period.

      http://fairmormon.org

      • Nick G

        Does the Bible name any of God’s wives? Or any of his kids other than Jesus?

        • SoundOn

          Are you saying that God has more than one wife? Are you also saying that the human family does not all belong to the family of God?

          • Nick G

            Do you always answer a question with a question, or is it just when you’re embarrassed to give a straight answer?

          • SoundOn

            You realize that Jesus Christ also often answered a question with a question when talking with his critics, the scribes and Pharisees, on several occasions and it was quite effective. Perhaps that is why I choose to follow his example.

          • Nick G

            Well of course we only got one side of the story in the gospels – maybe the Pharisees actually had all the best lines. But here, everyone can see who’s evading questions because the answers would be embarrassing.

          • SoundOn

            Had you asked questions appropriate to my religion I would answer them. And you are making a good choice by not answering my questions in return because it’s obvious you don’t understand my religion or the scriptures and that is embarrassing indeed.

        • Cody Quirk

          Deuteronomy 14:1, Psalms 82:6, Acts 17:28-29, etc.

        • ed2276

          GOD’S WIFE
          The Bible does not name God’s wife/wives, but some believe she is alluded to in the Bible, as in the references to “Wisdom”, “Asherah” and the “Queen of Heaven”. With the irreverence, derision, profanity, and blasphemy that is visited on the name of God, why would he want to subject His wife’s name to such abuse?

          GOD’S “KIDS”
          Job 38:4-7
          4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

          5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

          6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

          7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

          Note: When God laid the foundations of the Earth (that is, before there was a man or woman on it) the “sons of God shouted for joy” on seeing its foundations laid. Who are sons, if not “kids”?

          Hebrews 12:9
          Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

          Here the writer in Hebrews states that our earthly fathers father our flesh, while our Heavenly Father is the Father of spirits. Thus, our earthly fathers are not the fathers of our spirits, yet it is the spirit which gives lives to our bodies. As James states:

          “For as the body without the spirit is dead…” James 2:26

          Note, James does not state that the spirit without the body is dead; it is the body that relies on the spirit for life.

          This agrees with the creation of Adam account where God first formed Adam’s body of the earth and then “breathed” the “breath of life” into the earthy body.

          “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

          The Hebrew word for the “breath” which gave life to Adam’s body is neshamah, which can mean: Divine inspiration; intelligence; spirit.

          The agrees with the Greek “pneuma” used for “spirit” in James; that is, the human spirit which gives life to the human body.

          So, we have sons of God in existence at the time the foundations of the Earth were laid. Adam is declared to be the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul). And Adam didn’t become a living soul on earth until his spirit was put into his earthly body. Therefore, at the time the foundation of the earth was laid, before there was a man on it, there existed “sons of God”, who did not have earthly bodies, but must have been spirits. And as God is declared to be the Father of spirits, and spirits give life to the body, it logically follows that the spirits of the pre-earthly sons of God were living, intelligent beings. If they were not, how could the spirit give life to and animate the body of flesh?

          Jesus is called the son of God, and He existed prior to the foundation of the earth (in fact, He laid the Earth’s foundations); and yet Jesus Himself, when speaking with Job, declares that “sons” of God (beings other than Jesus) shouted for joy at the time that He (Jesus) laid those foundations. If these beings existed at the time the Earth was founded and Adam was the first man to have a earthly body, then these “sons” didn’t have earthly bodies; that is, they were spirits. A Father has children, and God is the Father of spirits; it follows that these “sons of God”, who shouted for joy on witnessing Jesus lay the foundations of the Earth, were spirit children of the Father.

          Therefore, the Bible does support the view that God has “kids” other than Jesus.

      • histrogeek

        To be clear, I have problems with several particulars of LDS belief, but I certainly consider them to be Christian in the absolute essentials.
        Also I don’t take the traditionalist view of Jesus and the Pharisees. Those passages are more likely in line with rabbinic debate, which was just developing at that time.

      • Jimmy Hoffa

        Cody, how can Mormon beliefs be Christian? Christians don’t believe that upon death, they can aspire to ownership of their own planet as well as possession of a multitude of women, nubile beautiful women, with whom they can have all the sex they desire. That is not Christian Cody. However in principle, if not in actual detail, it is a very Muslim like belief, wouldn’t you agree?

    • Eric

      Jesus condemned people?

  • Stormy

    What are your facts to back up this statement you made: “the irony in the plan of Tri-Grace Ministries to hire protesters to be disruptive in front of the new temple.”

    I know the people personally who make up Tri-grace ministries. No one, I mean NO one is hired to be a “protester”. Everyone who is there is because they believe that people have the right to know the deep doctrines of Mormonism.

    • JB

      You’re right, people do have the right to know the deep doctrines of Mormonism. If you want to know what another faith believes, don’t you think it’s better to find out from a member of that faith than to believe somebody who probably hasn’t done anything more than read a bunch of anti literature. Mormons put what they believe out there and then let people pray and decide for themselves.

      • Stormy

        My family roots come from the foundations of Mormonism (I grew up in utah). My extended family are faithful temple worthy mormons. In all of my research and attending classes taught by the LDS church, they have never taught me the things I found out in research. They gave me the milk doctrine. I started asking questions. I was asked not to ask questions in class or my questions would never be answered.

        So yes, in theory you would go to them for their doctrines. Yet, they often don’t come right out and tell you the true deep doctrines. One quote from one of their Presidents Lorenzo Snow’s blew me away when I found out about it: “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be”. I was never taught this when searching for myself the doctrines of Mormonism, since my parents left the church before I was born. I wanted to know the faith of my family and if it was different from the Christian doctrine I was taught growing up.

        Here is a link to questions asked to their church ensign back in the 80s. Finding things like this showed me so much about mormonism at its foundation. But I was told in classes I didn’t have enough faith or that I asked too many questions. That God would work it out after I died. I thought like you I would find out the truth of their beliefs if I went to them myself. How I was wrong. I had to do research to learn the truth. The Bible tells us to test all things and that’s what I do. God’s word is my compass and the light into my path.

        Link (it further down in the article):
        https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng

        • Interesting. Conservative Evangelical Christians react in much the same way to people who ask too many questions.

          I was first made aware of the doctrine you mention in the episode “War of the Gods” in the original Battlestar Galactica, although I only learned that it was an expression of Glen Larson’s LDS faith later.

        • Cody Quirk

          Stormy, maybe you should’ve checked out THIS website for those questions-

          http://fairmormon.org/

          Then again, your “testimony” sounds a little too fabricated to believe.

          • Stormy

            You can think what you want. I was raised born in Utah, raised in Utah and my testimony is one of redemption. You can say that it sounds a little bit too fabricated to believe. It doesn’t change the fact that it is what happened in my life. You can believe what you want. I also like getting my information from official Mormon websites like LDS.org.

          • Cody Quirk

            Sounds like you basically found a poor excuse to not be a Mormon and dressed it up, since if you were truly knowledgeable on the faith, then you wouldn’t be that stupid to fall for the anti arguments against the church.

            BTW, I grew up strict evangelical, and yet I converted and became even more of a dedicated LDS member when researching the claims against the church.

          • Stormy

            You have the spirit of contention. Not once have I attacked your rights to believe what you want. I first responded in defense of people I love and to say what was said about hiring protesters was false. I responded to a man’s question. Yet, who on here is being attacked for believing what I believe? That my testimony “a little to fabricated to believe” that I “found a poor excuse not to be Mormon” or “then you’re simply a bigot with no credibility”. I have had to face things like that my whole life and worse things have been spoken to me growing up in Utah and not being Mormon. I am going to signing off of this conversation because it is one of contention. Which I did not bring the spirit of contention to the table of conversation. I shared my experience of living in Utah and in response to another person. If we were face to face would you say the things you’re saying? Would you be so bold in you words if you knew that I was a woman? Yes, and a woman who has high values and faith in her LORD. He is the one I seek. Not approval of men like you. May I decrease and He increase in my life.

          • Cody Quirk

            Or basically I can see through your ruse and it would be pointless indeed to try to convince me that the church is wrong. And if you truly are a Christian, then you would mind Matthew 7:1-5 and also not try to behave like what Jesus talked about in Matthew 23.

          • FredWAnson

            So is this a standard form of argumentation for you Cody, attacking the person rather than addressing their arguments and evidence?

            I see nothing in Stormy’s posts to merit this.

          • Cody Quirk

            Because Stormy isn’t at all presenting evidence or behaving in a manner that warrants civil conversation, however she can answer for herself.

          • FredWAnson

            Nonsense Cody. You’re acting like a bully and need to stop. I see nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in Stormy’s posts that can justify the abuse that you’re heaping on her. Your accusations are clearly baseless and without merit.

            Candidly, you’re embarrassing yourself in public.

          • Cody Quirk

            Antis come on forums like these and behave like bullies. I am a anti-bully, or simply a bully that bullies the bullies back. Too bad the counter-info I posted can’t be refuted by anyone on here and instead they only cry foul or attack me. But either way, I am not stopping- the bigots still need to taste more of their medicine here.

          • FredWAnson

            Well this IS interesting. Cody, all bullies dehumanize and objectivize their victims by labeling and stereotyping them so they can feel guilt free and justified in abusing them. You’re demonstrating this principle for us vividly.

            Again, the only bully that I’m seeing here is you. The only person that I see running around this discussion board (and the other sites that are discussing the Tri-Grace insert) and attacking others is you. The only person I see behaving in a bigoted, bullying manner is you.

            Never the less, carry on . . . it seems to be what you do.

          • FredWAnson

            Sidenote: Mormon author and blogger Jana Riess did an interesting article on this a few years ago. I found it interesting and enlightening. Perhaps others will too: http://janariess.religionnews.com/2013/06/28/mormon-bullies-online/

          • Stormy

            Thank you, FredWAnson for sharing this link. I really liked the end where she says, don’t say anything online that you would say to them at church. Even though I don’t agree with Mormonism I do respect their freedom to believe what they want to believe. I hope that what I’ve said here is showing that. I want to know what each individual believes. Because everyone differs in some way. I’ll share when asked what I believe. Thank you, for sharing this.

          • Cody Quirk

            Hypocrite, if you can’t refute the counter evidence against the slander that Tri-Grace Ministries throws at the LDS faith, then there’s no point debating me if you won’t try to actually address the url links and evidence I presented here point by point.

            Now you know how Mormons feel when they have to deal with such groups and individuals scream vulgarities at them and desecrating temple garments at open houses and general conferences; it’s not fun to be bullied, is it?
            Maybe you antis should leave the LDS church alone, and then you won’t have to deal with me, eh?

          • Stormy

            I also want to say I’m sorry for the actions of Christians who approach the Mormon people with hate and anger. I understand living in Utah and being the minority there. The hate and anger I’ve faced is great. But I’m not going to lump sum all Mormons based off of those who were ruthless to me growing up. If you yourself have faced hate and anger: I’m truly sorry that the Biblical Christians you have had interactions have treated you like that.

          • Cody Quirk

            Yes, I concede that some Utah Mormons have not behaved properly to non-Mormons there, and the Church used to have a clannish, more sectarian mindset back in the older days. Yet it has also been the other way around in Utah too, and with what I constantly read in the comment blogs of the Salt Lake Tribune, and their occasional articles, there’s no question that there has always existed an anti-Mormon subculture among areas of the non-Mormon community in the Salt Lake area. For one, look up the old Utah American Party that existed in the early 20th century.

            Those people that have behaved in that matter are not at all Christian in their demeanor, as many on here are the same way. Yet that local Lutheran pastor and many other various ministers in the local area are certainly Christian and are behaving in that exact way when they reject vile bigotry and slander against fellow Christians that some on here love to peddle, and I respect such humble religious leadership for that.
            Being Libertarian, I don’t care how one personally feels about the LDS faith and the majority of my own friends are not members, plus I’ve been friends with several ex-Mormons that leave the faith alone and don’t try to degrade my beliefs.
            However, having experienced slander and attacks on my beliefs online, and even within my own non-member family over the years- even if it doesn’t look or quack like a duck; if it has feathers, webbed feet, and swims like one, then it is one, and I will call it out.

          • FredWAnson

            OK, so Stormy gets labeled and “Anti” and then gets bullied and abused. And now I have been labeled both a “Hypocrite” and an “Anti” and then bullied and abused.

            Thank you again for demonstrating and proving my point about bullies labeling people first so they can be dehumanized and objectified and bullied and abused with “justification” so nicely Cody. You have provided us with a wonderful case study to consider.

            And I rest my case.

          • Cody Quirk

            Yeah, the typical anti-Mormon blogger & street preacher says the same things and uses the same tactics when a persistent Latter Day Saint calls them out and rips apart their arguments. So when are you going to refute the counter-rebuttals I’ve posted about the arguments made against the church? Or you don’t have any I take it?

          • Stormy

            I forgive you for the rude things you said about me without knowing me. I know you didn’t apologize. I forgive you.

          • Cody Quirk

            Actually you and the others owe me and other Mormons you have harassed and degraded online and in public a apology. But because you are not at all Christian in demeanor, I don’t expect anything like from people like you.

          • Stormy

            FredWAnson: Thank you, for your words. I have done nothing but answer the questions that have been posed to me, after my first comment stating that I know the people who make up Tri-Grace and that they are not paying protesters. Yet, I am the one who is being attacked by another person participating in stating their opinions and beliefs. I have never stated anything hurtful towards him. I am still not bashing him. I’ve just stated I’ve felt attacked by him. I am continuing on in discussions with others because they are not attacking. We are having open dialogue, I will end the conversations if they ever get to an argumentative name calling. Because NO one walks away with that with a good view of what the other one believes. Thank you, again.

          • Cody Quirk

            Hey, I never questioned you about whether the TGM protesters were paid or not- yet you try to claim to be a authentic ex-Mormon and yet your knowledge of the LDS faith is so poor that it’s very open to question.

            IMO, if you get involved with something you’re passionate about or firmly believe in, then you better first do your research on it so you would be able to defend it if necessary. I sure did when I converted to the LDS faith, as you can tell.

          • Stormy

            This is the last time I will respond to you. Never once did I claim to be an ex-Mormon, you assumed without asking. I shared how I came (heritage) from the foundations of Mormonism and that my extended family are Mormons. Did I in there say I was a Mormon?, No I did not. My parent’s left Mormonism and they had good reasons. That is their story to share and I’m not going to open them up for you to attack.

            I was raised in a home where they taught me to ask questions and not to just believe what they believed. They wanted me to make my faith my own and not live a faith based off of theirs. I wanted to know how my extended families beliefs differed from the way I was raised. Because I was raised to think for myself, that is what I did. I sought out the teachings of the LDS church. I went through the young women’s program and even got the medallion. I took classes when I went away to college and I studied a WHOLE lot on my own. When I compared all that I had learned to God’s word the Bible. Mormonism and it’s doctrine did not stand up to the test, the Bible.

            Yes, the Bible is trustworthy. We have hundreds of manuscripts speaking of this truth. Have you ever heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls (they are just some of the many)? Well “Among them are over 200 scrolls of Old Testament writings, such as the famous Isaiah scroll, found in excellent condition even though it is 1,000 years older than any previous manuscript of the book. These documents have provided an abundance of evidence that has helped to confirm the text of the Old Testament is astoundingly accurate.” you can read more about it at (it isn’t an “anti-mormon” website, so that can’t be your excuse to go look at this website): http://www.compellingtruth.org/Dead-Sea-Scrolls.html

            Where are the hundreds of manuscripts in support of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine of Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price? The argument for the need of a restored gospel only hinges on if the Bible were untrustworthy. Which is not the case. If in fact the Bible is trustworthy and it hasn’t been changed (God preserved His church) then there were no “lost” plain and precious truths. Therefore, no need for added books to bring back that which is lost.

            I am passionate about what I believe and I will defend it. However, I refuse to engage in this attacking that you are doing. I am not calling you names or saying your testimony lacks. Why, because I can’t disprove something that took place in someone else’s life and heart. Just like you can’t knock down or destroy mine. You can try all you want and slander me. But nothing is going to convince me that the way you are going about defending your faith is right (by attacking, slandering, and posting many links to an non-official LDS site as your source). I would have been up for an open dialogue with you. However, by your tactics I wish to not engage in contentious debate. When I myself didn’t bring the spirit of contentiousness (Yes, I know of 3 Nephi 11:29).

            Here is something that one of your apostles said during the October 2014 General Conference (guess what in Utah it is on pretty much every where you go, so you get to hear it if you want to or not). But I find it interesting this is what Elder Dallin H. Oaks states during his talk (I went and found it on LDS.org):

            ” On the subject of public discourse, we should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence. In doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion. We encourage all of us to practice the Savior’s Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).” For the record: I never said that you didn’t have the freedom to exercise your right to practice your religion. I am not offended that you have your beliefs. But I am offended by how you are reacting and treating me.

            Here is the link to his talk (you can even watch it): After the title it says: “As followers of Christ we should live peacefully with others who do not share our values or accept the teachings upon which they are based.” Does that mean because I chose not to follow Mormonism, even though I am surrounded by it daily, that I should be hated, slandered, and having rude comments made towards me? I am not an “Anti-Mormon” like you would have everyone believe. I have stated before on this thread that I love the Mormon people. I don’t agree with the doctrines of the church. So I guess if not agreeing with the doctrines makes me one, then I guess I am. Not based off of hate or ill will towards the people of the church. But because I don’t believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church or in the doctrines that it holds. Here is the link to Elder Oaks talk:
            https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/loving-others-and-living-with-differences?lang=eng

            I am not going to debate you. And this is truly the last post I am going to be making in regards to conversing with you. You are looking at any way to tear me down to make you look “better”. So I am not going to engage you in conversation. I only asked the questions I asked above so you can think about them. I don’t want you to answer, because I know your answer will resemble all the rest and I don’t need that in my life.

            Please, don’t ask me or make any more comments in regards to me. If I am like you say: “my knowledge of the LDS faith is so poor that it’s very open to question” then you should have no problem leaving me alone. I am not a threat if my knowledge is so “limited”. I am asking you nicely and respectfully do not slander me any further.

          • Cody Quirk

            I’m still going to respond back to you, even if you don’t.

            The bible isn’t perfect. For one, here’s a list of various grammatical errors and contradictions from an atheist perspective- http://www.freethoughtdebater.org/2011/12/30/bible-errors-and-contradictions/
            The FAIR perspective- http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_the_Bible/Textual_criticism
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_the_Bible/Inerrancy
            Here are also two things that go against the idea of ‘closed canon’- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon#Old_Testament & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon#New_Testament -so what’s the deal with the Apocrypha and the various Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches accepting different parts of it?
            Oh and there’s also this- http://www.religionnewsblog.com/11134/beasts-real-mark-devalued-to-616
            And despite the Dead Sea Scrolls and other biblical documents, they still contain imperfect grammar and different interpretations and usage of verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc. So you’re quite wrong.
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_the_Bible/Completeness

            BTW, the original Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price manuscripts are quite documented and currently with the church archives; you should do your homework more thoroughly before you start attacking a Christian denomination.
            On the Book of Mormon- http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Archaeology

            Don’t lecture me with your interpretations of scripture and church talks, since we also have Jesus’s manner of speaking in Matthew 21:12-13, in chapter 23, plus there’s Proverbs 12:17, 27:23, 2 Timothy 4:2-3, D&C 42:91, etc. Even if I don’t always sound or behave in a Christ-like manner, the ends still justify the means, especially in fighting fire with fire.
            Unless the LDS church makes it a official standard or rule to speak and/or act humbly, otherwise my membership and/or temple recommend is on the line, then I refuse to follow the advice of a few Church authorities that I do not agree with all of the time. And yet with the doctrine and philosophy of free agency, there is plenty of leeway for LDS apologists to take whatever approach they choose, and I certainly choose to hit hard and criticize harshly if necessary.

            So if you cannot handle taking flack for coming on here to claim and try to convince that a Christian denomination isn’t Christian, then maybe you should take your ‘witnessing’ elsewhere, and fortunately it looks like you have.

        • SoundOn

          Regarding Lorenzo Snow’s quote perhaps you could clarify what you reject about that statement. If you are a Trinitarian Christian don’t you believe that God was once a man like us? Do you deny that Jesus is God, or do you just deny His mortal ministry and resurrection? Please clarify what about Lorenzo Snow’s statement blew you away.

          • Gary

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

            Not exactly typical Christian orthodoxy. 132 of course includes plural marriage, as an added bonus. Fairmormon has more twists and turns, to justify inerrancy of D&C, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s wives, etc, that it makes the Chicago Statement pale in comparison. Thanks. I rather enjoyed it. I particularly liked the endowment ceremony oath of secrecy weasel words to justify the change from the 70’s, when I participated in it. Priceless.

          • Cody Quirk

            Genesis 1:26, 3:22, Exodus 21:10, Deuteronomy 21:15-17, Psalms 82:6, John 14:2, etc. are example verses from the Bible that make such views not so unorthodox after all, and FAIR quite correct on the mark.

            Speaking of the Chicago statement- http://en.fairmormon.org/Question:_Does_the_Bible_itself_claim_to_be_inerrant%3F

            Plus- http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_temples/Endowment/Changes

            Yeah, when it comes to following a interpretation on the matter of the Trinity that came hundreds of years after the events in the New Testament, and with the help of Constantine the Great & the hierarchy of the Roman Empire, “orthodox christianity” doesn’t seem so ‘orthodox’ after all.

          • Gary

            First, I’m not exactly a Trinity advocate. No way would I try to justify it. But also connecting Trinity to explain Snow’s couplet doesn’t make sense either.

            Second, It is understandable that they bash the Chicago Statement on Fairmormon. Considering one of the Mormon Articles of Faith, that they drum into every 8 year old, “8 We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the book of Mormon to be the word of God.”, and the fact that they have their own Joseph Smith translation, they at least follow their own logic in a way that makes sense.

            However, Fairmormon is a ridiculous site, that is doing the same thing that the Chicago Statement is trying to do with fundamentalist Christianity. Mormons can believe what they want, obviously. But I hope they don’t use that site as a source for their information.

            Regarding the change in secrecy oaths in the endowment, I hardly think that “I cross my heart and hope to die”, can justify a formal ceremony, in all solemn piety, that includes:
            Raise your right hand, place your thumb at your throat, elbow raised, and make a slashing motion across you throat,
            Same, except simulate pulling your tongue out by it’s roots. And of course, “repeat after me…”
            If the ceremony was “I cross my heart and hope to die”, no problem.
            The ceremony as presented, made me think these people are crazy fanatics. I also thought it was a nice trick to require repeating the exact wording of a long speech to cross the veil into the Celestial Kingdom. Requires many repeat visits to the Temple. And since you get grilled by the Bishop to get your a Temple recommend to go there, and it includes an audit of your church tithing and fast, building fund, missionary fund, etc contributions, it pretty much guarantees a flow of money into the church. But maybe it’s just me, that finds the procedure more like a scam than a religious ritual.

            Believe what you want, but I wouldn’t use the Fairmormon site as a source of information. As SoundOn has said, use the LDS.org site. At least it doesn’t make illogical arguments, like a Chicago Statement version for the LDS.

          • Gary

            I guess it was Stormy that mentioned the LDS.org site. Sorry about that.

          • SoundOn

            It is true that we believe the Bible to be the word of God only as far as translate correctly. The bible has been translated and retranslated many times and in the process minor changes have been made. Human nature is to take in information, run it through their own filters, biases and beliefs, and send it out in a changed form. All of Christianity owes the Catholics big-time, for preserving the Bible as well as they did through so many centuries. But even so, our earliest sources of scriptures are copies of the original, made hundreds of years after the original. Today there are currently over 40 versions of the Bible available. Mormons consider the King James version to be the version translated most correctly and it is included in our standard works as inspired scripture. We have access to guidance and confirmation of the Holy Ghost to help us understand and interpret what the Bible has to tell us. We also have the Book of Mormon to stand as a second witness to the bible. Yes, Joseph Smith made a few notes too, but as you can see we quote the King James Version so it’s not true to claim that we don’t believe it to be inspired scripture.

          • Gary

            You sound like a reasonable Mormon. Cody, on the otherhand, seems to be the mormon equivalent of a Fundamentalist Christian. I would be interested in your opinion of the website he continues to reference, http://www.fairmormon.org.

          • SoundOn

            I don’t much care for the manner in which Cody carries himself. Fairmormon is a website where Mormons contribute information to defend critics, much of which is helpful, but it is not a church endorsed website.

          • Stormy

            Soundon, even though we don’t agree on our beliefs. Thank you, on how you responded. I would continue with a dialogue with you. However, I don’t want to continue with the way another person is responding to me. And I know he would keep attacking me. He has his mind set on who I am and nothing I say will change it. I am not trying to convince anyone on here. But respond with my own personal experiences. My main point for commenting in the first place was to defend people I know and love. Just like I’m sure anyone would.

            I brought in my experiences into it in response to a question. Thank you, for not judging my heart and pointing fingers at me or calling me names. My life hasn’t been easy and how the other guy is responding is how I’ve been treated growing up. Things like “you’re going to hell for not going to seminary” and “you’re wearing the sign of the devil”. I was wearing a cross. So it isn’t benifical for me to engage someone who is contentious. I’m not “hiding” but I can’t handle attacking. I’m not here living to please man. But there is only so much a woman can handle.

            I have a strong testimony in who Jesus is and He has saved me.I am a new creation in Him. I wish you could know my heart. I do love the Mormon people. Some of my dearest friends are Mormon and my family are too. We get into discussions. Yet, there is no name calling. We part our conversations knowing more of what the other believes. I would not tell someone what they themselves believe. I can’t judge their heart only God can. But I will share if others ask me what I’ve found and why I came to my decission of faith. Just like anyone would share how they came to believe what they believe.

            Thank you, again for how you are conducting yourself in here.

          • SoundOn

            Thank you. Sorry you have had bad experiences in the past. I can tell that you do have Faith in Jesus Christ and I wish for you the best. Thanks for the discussion.

          • Cody Quirk

            We defend our faith in our own individual ways.
            Unlike most members of the church, I don’t turn the other cheek and I will sink to the level of some anti-Mormons in viciousness if necessary.

          • http://Www.fairmormon.org is a good website with detailed and sourced research. It’s purpose is to tell the full story on the “thorny” issues of the past or set the record straight on commonly misunderstood doctrines. It is not an official website of the LDS faith but is respected. It is also fair and does not shy away from the fact that Mormons are human and some episodes in our past did not live up to our own ideals.

            My one caution however would be to warn against learning about the Church of Jesus Christ by merely reading responses to its critics. Imagine if you were learning about the formation of the United States and all you studied was about slavery, Benedict Arnold and the Sedition Acts. The information would be true and even important but would hardly give a balanced picture of American ideals. It would be better to start with the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Pain’s Common Sense, and the Constitution. Then after seeing the core beliefs, exploring where we may or may not have lived up to them. Therefore I would suggest you start with core information found on Mormon.org (an official website) and read some from the Book of Mormon. This should give you a good idea of our core beliefs, allow you to make your own inquiries to God, and help you decide if it’s worth investigating more deeply.

          • Gary

            I think you missed some of my comments. I was married in the LA LDS temple in 1975. I don’t think I need to do any more investigation. Enough for me. Your comment “It is not an official website of the LDS faith but is respected”, about the Fairmormon site, I’d ask, respected by whom? Not me. But whatever… I’ve said enough. You like Mormon theology. Good. I don’t. Good. My impression over the years has been that the LDS church is changing quite a bit from the 70’s, for the better. But it is still on the far right Fundamentalist “Christian” side, and I don’t want anything to do with it, other than driving past their ward buildings, and being glad I am through with them.

          • Cody Quirk

            Not really- my wife is a non-member and I am both a political & social Libertarian. However bash my faith and the Irish comes out!

          • elchupacabras

            So, Sound On, what about Joe Smith’s “translation?” What about his megalomania of ADDING HIMSELF into the context of Genesis 50? There are NO critical or textual evidences that Joe Smith should even be included in that chapter. How is that a “translation?”

          • Cody Quirk
          • elchupacabras

            Goodness sakes alive. You are a “fair” mormon bot. You fail to address my question and put some convoluted red herring posting out there from FAIR. I was talking textual criticism regarding Genesis 50. If Mormons complain about the authenticity and historicity of the Bible translation and yet Joe Smith adds himself into Genesis 50 in the JST, how can you defend such nonsense. Go back to your wardhouse and sing, “PRAISE TO THE MAN” (actual Mormon hymn.) Praise the polygamist who married 3 14-year-olds after claiming that an “angel with a flaming sword” made him. You can’t make this stuff up!

          • Cody Quirk

            No, that’s just your excuse for not being able to rebuttal what is in those url links, which makes you look even less sincere and authentic then you appear to be here.

            Wow, you are on something. Ever wonder why LDS stick with the KJV Bible, hmmmm? It’s because Emma Smith ended up with the original manuscripts (and by that time she was at odds with Brigham Young and the main body that flocked to him after Joseph’s death) and later give the papers to her son Joseph Smith III, whom was the leader of the opposing RLDS Church -and was believed by many LDS that the JST manuscripts were tampered and distorted by him and others in the RLDS faith, making the JST unreliable for LDS Church canon.

            So it’s open to question if Joseph Smith really added that in there.

            Plus- http://en.fairmormon.org/Question:_Did_Joseph_claim_that_an_angel_threatened_him_with_a_%22drawn_sword%22_or_%22flaming_sword%22_if_a_woman_refused_to_marry_him%3F

            Lose again.

          • elchupacabras

            No, sir. Your argument is bogus. Your own “church” stated this: “There are a few passages in which the printed Inspired Version fails to
            present the corrections found in the Prophet’s manuscripts, but these
            are passages of minor importance and are relatively insignificant. This
            is not to imply that the Reorganized Church has substituted its own
            revisions in place of the Prophet’s, but rather, in these instances, the
            wording of the King James Version has been retained.” https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/12/joseph-smiths-inspired-translation-of-the-bible?lang=eng

            Does “minor importance” and “insignificant” not many anything to you? Open up your LDS Bible and the JST notations are right there. It was Joe Smith who tampered with the Bible and NOT the other way around.

          • Cody Quirk

            That quote there actually hurts your argument on Genesis 50, and again-
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_the_Bible/%22Adding_to%22_or_%22taking_away_from%22

            You need to actually read the link; for one, the word “Bible” is nowhere to be found in the actual Bible. Two, those verses at the end of Revelation are not talking about biblical canon. Three, please explain the Apocrypha and the fact that various Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have different parts of it in their bibles? Won’t that make them just as guilty as Joseph?- according to your logic. Four- with the various differing translations and printed editions of the Bible out there with the various protestant/evangelical denominations, are they just as guilty as altering the wording and grammar in the bible?

            For a ex-Mormon, your arguments suck and are easily refutable; can’t you do a better job at trying to prove the LDS Church wrong? Seriously.

          • elchupacabras

            Apples and oranges, Quirk. While there may be differences on the books and some minor skirmishes regarding Textus Receptus, we are talking the absolute verbiage of the 5,000 plus manuscripts. Smith changed a number of theologies that were incoherent. You won’t listen to anything I say and I am done with you. No further responses will be given.

          • Cody Quirk

            Nope, that argument just got chopped, diced, and blended. You keep giving me stuff that I can easily refute, despite you being a ex-member that apparently isn’t that well-knowledge in LDS doctrine or history.

            However indeed, I have better things to do with my time.

          • SoundOn

            If you have a problem with making covenants using symbolic rituals then you have a problem with religion in general and Christianity specifically. Or you would reject baptism and the partaking of the sacrament since they are also symbolic rituals.

          • Gary

            Symbolic is one thing. Crazy is another. Although I have to give the LDS leadership credit. At least they recognized it was crazy, and changed it.

          • SoundOn

            Pretending to eat the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ also sounds crazy to those who don’t understand it and it is clear that you don’t understand what you criticize.

          • Gary

            Actually, I consider that crazy too!

          • SoundOn

            What a surprise.

          • Gary

            Of course, I’d probably have a more gut reaction to actually eating the blood and flesh of Christ, if it was presented to me in the same way the slitting of my throat and pulling my tongue out by its roots, was presented to me in the temple ceremony. I must say, the Mormons in those days (70’s), did a poor job in preparing people for the temple, without a hint of the crazy stuff they presented. In those days, the missionaries were too busy presenting a sanitized, white bread, presentation of their missionary lessons, and not getting into the weird stuff.

          • SoundOn

            You don’t know of which you think you do and I won’t confirm, deny, or make specific comments about the sacred covenants of the Temple. You’ve already shown that you don’t care much to understand such things anyway so I am going to drop it here. But, I will say, without going into specifics, that the ordinances in the Temple are also described in the Old Testament and members have always had the resources to prepare themselves to make temple covenants.

          • Cody Quirk

            Then obviously you cannot comprehend anything of esoteric value, especially much of the bible- as your understanding is very limited and your wisdom quite narrow on such sophisticated subjects.

          • elchupacabras

            There is nothing in the Bible like what the Mormon (Masonic inspired) temple is like at all. No resemblance at all to the white baker’s hats, the Masonic aprons, nor the odd handshakes and new names. Before 1990, we were stripped down naked as a jay bird and forced to pantomime our own murders if we revealed such drivel. Sorry, but the Bible pretty much spelled out the ritual in the Tabernacle and in Solomon’s temple. It was never 19th century fraternalism disguised as Christianity.

          • Cody Quirk
          • elchupacabras

            I concur that ceremonial vestiments were used in the Bible. We are in agreement, but they had very different meanings. You are engaging in eisegetical apologetics. First off, these were Levitical priests. The Levitical Priesthood was TEMPORARY (See Hebrews 7:11-16) and was a type and shadow of Christ. They were representative of Christ’s righteousness. The idea of restoring a “priesthood” in Mormonism that was clearly fulfilled in Christ, is simply antithetical to scripture. Worse yet, is the attempt by Mormon apologists who fail to see the clear connection with Free Masonry, which according to all accounts had its beginnings in the 15th Century. I would encourage you to look at Duncan’s Ritual and Monitor and compare it to the Mormon temple ceremony. http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/dun/dun02.htm Joe Smith was a 3rd degree Mason, and his father and brother were master Masons. Yes, the temple ceremony is different, but only the willfully blind can’t see how Joe Smith used it as a base and added to it. One look at this, and 15 minutes later my wife, who was a Relief Society President, quit the Mormon religion.

          • SoundOn

            // “I concur that ceremonial vestiments were used in the Bible. We are in agreement, but they had very different meanings… First off, these were Levitical priests. The Levitical Priesthood was TEMPORARY (See Hebrews 7:11-16) … The idea of restoring a “priesthood” in Mormonism that was clearly fulfilled in Christ, is simply antithetical to scripture.”//
            The Priesthood was not done away with after the coming of Jesus Christ. The Levitical Priesthood was not temporary, it was preparatory for another Priesthood which would be after the order of Melchezidek (see Heb. 7:11–12). The priesthood did not go away during Christ’s ministry since He held the Melchezidek Priesthood (see Heb. 5:6&10) and He ordained twelve apostles that they may have the same authority (see Mark 3:13-15, Matthew 10:1). It was through this authority that the apostles had the power to perform miracles and lead the Church after the death of Jesus Christ. In your opinion by what authority did the apostles do these things if the priesthood was temporary?

          • elchupacabras

            I never said that the “priesthood” per se was done away with. only the LEVITICAL priesthood. See Hebrews 7. Jesus was and IS our only high priest. As prophet, priest and king, only HE can intercede for man. Only Mormons believe they can be “high priests.” NO Christian church would ever assert such a thing. You can even read Patristics and NO Church father EVER taught such an absurdity. Yes, Christ ordained apostles, but as Ephesians states, that was for the “building up” of the church. How many times does the base have to be set? The monkey is on your back. Show me anything OUTSIDE of Mormonism that proves your point. It all rises or falls on Joe Smith’s twisted exegesis.

          • Cody Quirk

            Wrong again.

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_priesthood/Non-transferable

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_priesthood/Christians_don%27t_need_a_mediating_priesthood

            With the apostasy in place in the world even before the rise of Constantine the Great, it’s no surprise that churches then and later believed like that, as many truths in the bible were lost.
            You have yet to rebuttal the counter-evidence presented here, so we’re not going to play along with your changing of the standards to satisfy you.

          • elchupacabras

            I would be happy to respond when I have some more time. I am working on a project right now. First and foremost, it was NOT Constantine defined ontological orthodoxy at Nicea. The BISHOPS or πρεσβύτερος, presbyteros were the ones who responded to Arianism and heterodoxy. Study some historical theology, please.

          • Cody Quirk

            Constantine organized the first council and still had a lot of influence over it.
            While I actually think that he was a good, somewhat fair ruler that indirectly helped Europe become Christianized in due time, including the Irish and Scottish ancestors of Joseph Smith, yet his actions and influence also furthered the apostasy of the church then, including the distortion of the scriptures and what they taught about the Godhead.

          • elchupacabras

            No one outside of Mormonism believes in a UNIVERSAL apostasy. NOBODY. You are relying on LDS apologetics for your answer.

          • Cody Quirk

            In a way, being quite distinctive from mainstream churches and denominations make us more genuine in adhering to our original Christian roots then ever.

            However the Adventists and the JW’s do share similar views on the apostasy.

            BTW, LDS apologetics rely on the scriptures (including the KJV Bible) and what solid, clear evidence there is on such allegations made against the Church and it’s leaders. If it used shaky or unreliable evidence, then you would be able to refute me point by point instead of throwing your temper-tantrum, lol.

          • elchupacabras

            Temper-tantrum? Yeah, right! I am laughing profusely. You ought to study the Second Great Awakening. You would see that Millerism spawned the Adventists (and Mormon eschatology follows some of Millerism) and ifluenced many including Joe Smith and Charles Taze Russell who founded the JW’s. All came out New York and the Northeast (although the JW’s came a few decades later.) Mormonism was not born in a vacuum. The theology is a hodge podge of different ideas from the 19th century. The Book of Mormon theology is definitely frontier theology of Joe’s days. I’m done arguing with you, because no one will persuade you to realize just how deep you are in defending Tom Monson and his boys. And you will never persuade me to ever go back to the abuse, hatred and dogma of Mormonism either.

          • Cody Quirk

            Millerism came after Joseph Smith’s First Vision and the establishment of the LDS Church. Indeed, ‘Mormonism’ was born in that period known as the Second Great Awakening, which is comparable to the periods of history when interest in religion was revived and played a forefront in spiritual enlightenment and even social upheaval, in some aspects. Perhaps without it, that young farm boy from upstate New York wouldn’t have taken any interest in what church to join, or even religion?
            Interesting that it seems out of all the faiths and movements that emerged from that period, only the LDS faith was the one that became the most prominent and widespread in the long run.
            I’m not even persuading you to go back, what made you get that idea? lol! But indeed, you cannot refute the stuff I posted, so it’s pointless to keep debating me.

          • SoundOn

            // “Yes, Christ ordained apostles, but as Ephesians states, that was for the “building up” of the church. How many times does the base have to be set? The monkey is on your back. Show me anything OUTSIDE of Mormonism that proves your point.”//
            So, we don’t disagree that Christ ordained apostles. Neither do we disagree that it was for the building up of the Church. So if to build up a church one must be using the priesthood what happens when the church functions without the priesthood? History shows that when Christ and His ordained apostles were killed the Priesthood authority went with them and the church ceased to be built up and as a result it withered away just as prophesied it would. But don’t take my word for it since I am one speaking inside of Mormonism. If you are looking for something outside of Mormonism on the subject you may try looking up The Great Apostasy in the encyclopedia where it is also explained in detail.

          • Cody Quirk

            -according to your opinion, of which I’ve posted evidence to the contrary that you seem to want to ignore. You’re the one with the monkey and yet claim there is nothing on your back.

          • Cody Quirk

            Your interpretation of Hebrews 7:11-16 and the Aaronic Priesthood is what it is- your interpretation.

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_priesthood/Restoration/Aaronic/Hebrews_7

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_priesthood/Non-transferable

            Yes, I remember reading the Duncan Ritual and Monitor handbook long ago. While it is quite accurate on masonic ritual and conduct, I yet disagree with his personal anti-Masonic commentary that he interjects and I still ended up joining the local Masonic Lodge where I live, just recently.
            I have to laugh at your wife because there are way, WAY more differences then similarities with the Endowment and the Masonic rituals, regardless of Joseph Smith’s membership in & relationship to Freemasonry.

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_temples/Endowment/Freemasonry

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry/Relationship_between_Freemasonry_and_temple_ceremonies/No_religious_elements

            While I am one of those LDS that certainly believe THIS about Freemasonry- http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry/Origins -since I believe it to be a lot more older then simply starting up in the 15th Century, however I firmly believe Freemasonry to still have both a spiritual and earthly value that has been greatly beneficial for men, for others, and society- especially in this country. I’m sure someone like Past Grand Master of Utah- Glen A. Cook, would agree with me.

            http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2005-fair-conference/2005-the-message-and-the-messenger-latter-day-saints-and-freemasonry

          • elchupacabras

            And I have to laugh at anyone who considers FAIR to be an organization that promotes truth. No one outside of the Mormon Church accepts any of their defenses. Its an organization that does not it concur on many points. Why do you think they ended up giving the boot to Dan Peterson? I can never thank them enough. After reading their circular arguments, I too decided to become an apostate. Using only LDS sources, I realized how weak and twisted the points of doctrines are. Glad you are happy in a religion made up by a convicted glass looker who married 34 wives, 11 of whom were already married, and 3 of whom were 14 years-old. (Not to mention, killing 2 men with a smuggled pistol after taking off his Mormon underwear in jail.) Glad you are happy to pay 10 percent of your income to fund a 5 billion dollar mall owned by the LDS Church. Glad you are in a religion that considers it a sin to have a cup of coffee. Glad you are in a religion that charges you ten percent to dress up and offer “interesting” hand shakes in hope of “saving” your dead ancestors in effort to become gods. Glad you are in a religion that believes Latin Americans are really descendants from the Hebrews. I defend your right to believe in those things, as I would your right to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Just don’t ask me to ever come back. 🙂

          • Cody Quirk

            Looks like you cannot refute any of my talking points, especially these-

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Legal_issues/Trials/1826_court_appearance_for_glasslooking

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy/Polyandry

            And obviously you have no understanding of temple sealings and the age of consent laws back then (which were lower then 18 years of age)- writer Edgar Allan Poe legally married his 14 year old cousin in those days.

            And I’m glad I am part of a faith that’s more Christian in origin and behavior then someone like you, that laughingly cannot prove the Church wrong or unchristian.

            Oh don’t worry, I wouldn’t ask someone of your character to ever come back.
            Then again, if you can’t leave the LDS Church alone- then you’re the one with the problem and miserable on the inside.

          • elchupacabras

            Can I leave the LDS Church alone? NO!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT! You spend 40 years of your life in it, do the obligatory time waste of 2 years of your life, wear the odd long undies and you find out the truth about the deceit? No way will I leave it alone. Ask any ex-Mormon (we are thousands and our number is growing by the day) and we will answer the same way. I’ll leave Mormonism alone when IT LEAVES THE REST OF THE WORLD ALONE. Your 90,000 missionaries go out and share the Joe Smith story telling everyone that “…all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt…” (Joseph Smith History 1:19– canonized in Mormonism), and that all the other churches are not true! ONLY when they stop telling everyone else that they are wrong, then all of us EX-MORMONS will stop.

          • Cody Quirk

            You remind me of Alma 24:30, as do many ex-Mormons out there, and yet you still cannot prevail against the LDS church, no matter how hard you try, plus way more people join it then leave it, as evidenced by the annual statistics and growth in stakes, districts, wards, and temples.
            BTW, those were the words of the Godhead to Joseph Smith, yet-
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Plan_of_salvation/Salvation_of_non-members

            However your petty obsession with your former faith and attacking it doesn’t do you any service or benefit at all; rather it makes you look like a bigot and a crazed stalker to many.

          • SoundOn

            My point in connecting Snow’s couplet to the Trinity is simply to show how strange it is to criticize the beliefs of a Church that not only has doctrine about God that is much more easy to understand, but also can be explained more accurately using the bible than the beliefs of those who criticize us.

          • Cody Quirk

            That’s some pretty poor excuses you got, and for one it is a no brainer that the Bible has flaws in it (via centuries of human translation), and especially is not “complete canon”, since some Catholic & Orthodox churches not only have the Apocrypha, but varying books of it that are included and excluded.

            The’penalties’ formerly given in the temple endowment are figurative & symbolic, much like the penalties in the rituals of Freemasonry are also symbolic. If they were meant to be taken literally, then there would be ex-Mormons being killed off left & right because they talked about or showed a YouTube video of the endowment. Yet that isn’t happening at all.
            If that’s something that you can’t comprehend, then you wouldn’t have likely been able to enter the most sacred parts of King Solomon’s Temple- and back then, they took the secrecy of their rituals serious enough that they would’ve killed to keep it secret.

            FAIR does an excellent job dealing with the false anti-Mormon allegations thrown at the church, that all the antis seem to do in response is simply attack the organization rather then try to refute it’s counter-rebuttals point by point with solid evidence- something that you seem to be doing.

          • SoundOn

            I am much more concerned with my beliefs being consistent with the bible than I am them being Christian orthodox. Those who read the bible recognize that it teaches the same as you quoted from the D&C which is that we are children and heirs of God (Romans 8:17) with the potential to sit in His throne (Rev 23:21).

          • Gary

            Rev 23?

          • SoundOn

            Sorry, Rev. 3:21 says “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne”

          • Gary

            Ah…thanks.

          • Stormy

            When learning who they teach God the father is… He is not a man of flesh and bones in my beliefs. That is what blew me away.
            A quote taken from lds.org: “Before our mortal birth we lived with our Heavenly Father (see Job 38:4–7; Jeremiah 1:5; Abraham 3:21–23). Heavenly Father is a glorified, perfected, celestial being with a body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345).”

            https://www.lds.org/manual/book-of-mormon-teacher-resource-manual/the-great-plan-of-happiness?lang=eng&query=War+in+heaven

          • Cody Quirk

            Really, because it didn’t blow me away when I took the missionary discussions, especially in light of Genesis 3:22, Psalms 82:6, and other verses in the bible that back such beliefs up.

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_the_nature_of_God/Characteristics_of_God/Corporeality_of_God

            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_the_nature_of_God/Deification_of_man/Unbiblical,_false,_and_arrogant

            Yeah, that’s a pretty poor excuse to give up on the LDS faith.

          • SoundOn

            So you really must not believe that Jesus is the same as God the Father since we know that Jesus has a resurrected, glorified body. If you do believe that Jesus is the same as God the Father then you would have to assume that he took His body off and placed it somewhere else after He was resurrected and why not just leave it in the tomb? And how could anyone believe such a concept that is not taught in the scriptures? We know from the bible that Jesus has a body of flesh and bone, but what about His Father? Does the bible teach anything about the body of the Father at all? If not then how can you be sure that He does not have a body like His Son?

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            So God is nothing more then an ascended master with teleportation poweYIf you want to know what another faith believes, don’t you think it’s better to find out from a member of that faith

          • SoundOn

            Yes I do think it is important to know what others believe. If you noticed I asked a few questions that have remained unanswered. I’m quite curious about the answers to those questions. Perhaps you can give me your opinion. Does the bible teach us anything about the body of God the Father? If it does not then how can anyone who believes only in the Bible be certain that the Father does not have a body of flesh and bone like His Son?

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            I think your questions fall in the category of What color tutu does the tooth fairy wear or how does Santa keep from getting wind burn on the sleigh? Accepting silly myths as truth leads to making silly assumptions which leads to asking silly questions, Of course Stormy is right to reject mormonism for the total bs that it is. She just needs to take the next logical step and apply the same skeptical outlook to all so called “revealed religions” including christianity. I think eventually she will get there. Meanwhile you will be fretting over how God keeps Moroni out of the hen house on planet kbob.

          • ed2276

            If Stormy is to reject revealed religion as “bs”, then she must reject a perfect being who has perfect knowledge. If there is no such being then she can just as easily reject anything you have to say on any subject matter as “bs”, as you are far from perfect, and are incapable of perfect knowledge.

            Therefore, you are in no position to be the arbiter of what is true and what is not. And, in fact, your opinions can be dismissed as “bs” from the very start, can’t they?

            It’s Kolob, and there is no indication that Moroni is there or that, if he is, there are any hen houses from which he needs to be kept out.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Below is a response to your first sentence in response to me. The rest of the stuff you wrote is so infantile I wouldn’t know where to begin.

            Read it again dummy. I said she is right to reject Mormonism but I also said that rejecting Christianity is the next step. If that involves rejecting a perfect being then so be it. She needs to have the courage to go where the truth takes her.

            The truth is revealed over time through inquiry, observation and testing. It is not acquired by believing the rantings of some shyster, sex deviant, who managed to cull a few idiots out of the herd of over stimulated peasants who were caught up in the throes of the so called second awakening. More then one cult came out of that era btw.

            You should let your intellect free you. Go ahead, step into the world of reason. You’ll like it. It’s liberation. It’s like getting your first car. It’s freedom for the mind. Stormy has taken the first steps toward real freedom through real enlightenment, you should join her journey.

          • ed2276

            How about beginning where you started: with your infantile, derisive, snarky, straw man BS about Kolob, Moroni, and hen houses? You don’t like infantile responses, don’t post infantile statements.

            The “truth” is ever changing, according to you. Given the limited capacity of human reason and intellect, human subjective interpretation of evidence, and lack of evidence, one may never know the “truth”. What is “truth” today, because you have imperfect knowledge and/or evidence, or because your reasoning is faulty and your intellect limited, may well end up being fallacy tomorrow. And what you hold today as “truth” may in fact be false, but evidence revealing the falsity of your “truth” may never be found. Therefore, you will continue to believe, and perhaps teach others to believe, in a falsehood as truth; and the actual truth may never be known to you or to those you mislead. So much for your worship of your gods of reason, intellect, and evidence as the final word on truth.

            As for your libel of Joseph Smith, it certainly isn’t based in evidence and truth. For one who holds evidence, reason, and intellect so dear as foundational principles for discovering truth you seem to have abandoned those principles to your anti-religious bias. There is ample evidence that everything you have just written about the Prophet and the Saints is malicious, libelous, and false. A rational, reasonable, intellectual, objective human being would study the evidence and interpretation of the evidence from all sides–LDS apologists and LDS critics, alike–and thus arrive at an informed opinion. I’ll wager you haven’t engaged the evidence from both perspectives, have you?

            And who are you to pronounce him as a “sex deviant” in any case? You are not God, and you certainly have no authority to declare who is and is not a sexual deviant, or even what sexual deviancy is. You may have an opinion about what constitutes sexual deviancy, but that is all you have.
            You have no authority to establish what is moral or immoral behavior, and no one else is bound to submit to, or conform their behavior and beliefs, to your subjective sense of morality. What may be sexual deviancy to you may be a gesture of hospitality to others.
            For instance: When a couple of archaeologists came to Central America in the 1940’s and ’50s to explore the Maya ruins, the Lacandon Maya Indians, some of whom had two wives, gave the archaeologists “wives” for the duration of their stay. One archaeologist reported being given a 14 year old “wife”, by whom he contracted gonorrhea; he reported his companion being given an 8 year old “wife”.
            The Lacandons, the “wives”, and the archaeologists were perfectly fine with the arrangement. To have refused the Lacandon’s gesture of hospitality may have been taken as a great insult by them. Who are you, or anyone else for that matter, to say that the archaeologists were over stimulated, sexual deviants, or the Lacandons’ behavior was wrong? And IF Joseph Smith did what you accuse him of, and IF there is no God, who are you to judge and condemn his behavior?

            There being no God, there can be no absolute moral standard of right and wrong, so anything goes. If such behavior offends your personal, sexually repressed Victorian sensibilities that is too bad.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            I’ll just let your first paragraph slide, “infantile”, I guess is in the eye of the beholder. Although, I think you are misapplying the phrase “straw man” to my derisive joke about God and Moroni. I was thinking, while God is making spirit babies, and if Moroni happens to be visiting Kolob, just wondering how God keeps Moroni from humping any of the other ladies on site. After all, God and Moroni did choose the sex deviant, Joseph Smith, as the messenger to mankind so obviously they have a pretty relaxed view of morality, at least in the traditional sense of what that term means. On to the next portion of your ludicrous nonsensical response.

            I don’t recall saying that the truth is ever changing. I never said that and I don’t believe it. Perhaps you are attributing to me, your own value system. Not long ago Osiris ruled the heavens and the earth. Sometime later, Moses and then Jesus came down and squared us away as to the truth. Then about 175 years ago, up pops the criminal, con man, and sexual deviant, Joseph Smith with a whole new message detailing mankind’s path to heaven. I mean come on, now that is some serious truth changing.

            And lets not forget all the other Gods and messengers over the years. How about Mohammad, or the Hindu blue elephant god. How about the Norse gods i.e. Thor, Odin and the boys? Now be honest Ed, if you were born in Saudi Arabia, you would be absolutely certain that Mohammad was the one and only prophet of God. And you’re going to lecture me about truth, like you have even the vaguest notion what is “truth.” That truly is laughable you pathetic bumpkin.

            Truth doesn’t change. Our appreciation of the truth however, does change on the basis of new or better information. For instance, folks use to think the world was flat. Later they changed their mind and decided, again on the basis of compelling evidence, that the earth is round like a marble. Then is was believed on the basis of centrifugal force, the earth bulged quite a bit around the equator. Now we believe the earth is roundish with some bumps and dimples. I’m not talking about surface geologic features here like mountains and canyons. I’m referring to the shape of the earth on a grander scale. The point is, from thinking the earth is flat to thinking the earth is roundish was a long march toward truth. Each perception of the shape of the earth was more truthful and descriptive then the perception that preceded it. So “No” dummy, the truth is not ever changing, but knowing the truth is the goal we seek.

            Did anyone at any point in your journey through life, ever explain a little thing call “evolution” to you? I don’t know if you’re an idiot or just poorly educated. But the point is, it’s okay for us not to know the ultimate truth about anything. We’ve been evolving through history for millions of years. We’ve been figuring it out as we go. Thank God, we stumbled upon what we call the scientific method. Since we are fallible and given to pattern recognition, which is fine when looking for the shape and behavior of animals we like to eat; but not so useful when attempting to understand the structure of an atom. The more abstraction we have to employ to develop our understanding of the truth, the less helpful pattern recognition, has proven to be. Attempting to understand the truth of things is hard work and it takes the very best and brightest among us to make each tiny step forward. We make mistakes, but thanks to the process, we usually catch and correct mistakes. Those of us who aren’t smart enough to work on the cutting edge of discovery have to keep up as best we can. We do that by asking questions and asking for proof and above all, we become as familiar with the scientific method and the underlying laws of nature as our limited capacity allows.

            Guys like you are to lazy to be bothered, to be engaged. I would have more respect for you if you were writing from one of those countries where belief in super natural forces is mandatory and failure to do so could get your head cut off. You don’t have that excuse. You live in a relatively free country. You can seek truth as best we can understand it at this time. Instead you waste time arguing with others over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Be it lassitude or cowardice, you have no credible excuse for your extraordinary ignorance. It is self imposed stupidity

            Leave Stormy alone, maybe you don’t have the balls to explore the envelope of your potential to know truth. But Stormy has taken the first steps, let her go. Hazing her back into compliance with the ignorant herd does nothing to elevate you, and it harms her greatly.

            Who am I to declare someone a sexual deviant? You did ask me that question. I thought about ignoring the question entirely because it is so stupid. Are you laboring under the assumption that only through the authority of God, can we know right from wrong? Of course you are, and in that assumption lies your monumental ignorance and stupidity. Cultures all over the world for hundreds of thousands of years have established norms of behavior through which they govern themselves, and make it possible to live life and raise their children, in some degree of safety. I mean what else do I need to say.

            I find it funny that you have to stoop to the behavior of an anthropologist who fucked an 8 year old in some backwater, in order to make Joseph Smith’s behavior look palatable by comparison. Hahahah. Hehehehe. That was funny. You are one confused sanctimonious little cretin aren’t you.

            Here is a final thought for you: You know why your leadership cautions you against sharing too much about the belief system with outsiders? It’s really simple, they are smart enough to know that the whole paradigm is so laughable, anyone who hears it, except under threat of death, is going to bust out laughing. I mean come on. You’re smart enough to read and write, you have it within you to shed the whole convoluted mess and move on. And for crying out loud, don’t give them anymore of your money. Bye Bevis, try to grow a pair. And leave Stormy alone.

          • ed2276

            Okay, I’m going to humble myself here and back away from the angry response I was going to send you. I am going to do so because, in reflecting on what I wrote, I have come to accept that, in many ways, what I wrote was wrong-headed, defensive, and prideful. I apologize.

            You are correct: had I been born in Saudi Arabia I
            most likely would have embraced Islam as THE truth. While Muslims embrace others, including Jesus, as prophets (though they reject Jesus as the Son of God or as having died for our sins) they do hold that Muhammad was the last true prophet. If such had been the
            case, I would be accepting Jesus as a prophet, while denying His being the Son of God and Redeemer right
            now. And, in believing that that Muhammad is God’s last true prophet on earth, I would be denying that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

            I was guilty of constructing a straw man to represent your position on truth. That was dishonest and reckless of me. I understand what your actual position is now. I apologize for being so presumptuous.

            In giving the example you did about the flat earth–and I can think of other examples where scientific discoveries have indisputably revealed both fallacy (geocentricity) and truth (heliocentricity)–I have to admit that I not only agree with your views, I share them.

            I have taken college-level introductory courses in biology, microbiology, human anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. I am undereducated when it comes to evolution and natural selection. I have read what others have argued, and accepted those arguments that best matched my religious paradigm. I have not engaged the subject, and am not qualified to offer an educated opinion about it. I am skeptical about it, as I have seen reported misidentification of fossils by “scientists”, but I have also seen misidentification of fossils from the religionist side, as well. I am thinking of the Moab “Malachite” Man incident.

            Of course “cultures all over the world” have set their own limits on what is right and wrong. I would urge you to take note, however, that not all cultures adopt the same standards of what is right or wrong within their societies. Thus, cultural norms–and questions of morality–in the absence of a universal, absolute standard, are merely relative.
            Your own revulsion about what you think Joseph Smith did may be thought of as strange or as sexually “deviant” by other cultures. And that was my point in using the archaeologist example. I wasn’t trying to justify either Joseph Smith, the Lacandon’s, or the archaeologists’ behaviors. Rather I was making the point that, absent an absolute standard of right and wrong, which can only come from a perfect moral being–God, in my view–your judgment about Joseph Smith’s alleged behavior is really nothing more than an expression of your personal cultural preference, not necessarily an ironclad indictment of his character.
            What you are left with, then, is a morality that is dependent on a majority opinion–a “might makes right” scenario. Behaviors are not right or wrong because they are absolutely, truly, and inherently so; they are merely deemed right or wrong, moral or immoral, because the majority say so and can beat you into submission if need be. A shift in majority opinion, or a superior use of force by a minority, may well make what was once “immoral” suddenly “moral”.
            Given the rationale for the Court’s recent majority opinion in favor of same-sex marriage, it remains to be seen what the “cultural norm” here may become. It may be that what you rail against as deviancy with regard to Joseph Smith’s alleged behavior may become the accepted cultural norm of the present.

            As for Stormy, when you can claim ownership over her I will think about your demand. In any case, I fail to see where I was “hazing” Stormy, or trying to bring her back into the Mormon fold. She mentioned something about God having a body of flesh and bone, and I referred her to a passage from the Bible, showing that Jesus had a body of flesh and bone. I’d hardly call that “hazing” or trying to drag her anywhere. If she thought of it as so, she is old enough to tell me. She can also ask me not to write to her anymore–which I had not thought to do, anyway–and I certainly would honor her request. But, that’s up to her, not you.

            I haven’t been active or paying tithing in the LDS Church since 1994; though, what I do with my money is my own concern.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Okay, fair enough, I can think of several counter arguments to your position especially as it relates to right and wrong and where those values are derived from. For instance, I think it is a universal wrong among all cultures for close blood family members to have children together. As for the rest of it, I think common sense and local conditions rule the collective values of a culture. Quite often, common sense leaves through the back door as religion enters through the front.

            I could give you countless instances of barbarism practiced in the name of God. You would counter by reminding me that the Nazi’s and the communists murdered millions and use that as an example of the fruits of godless atheism. Ultimately though, I think you will agree, a powerful truth, lie’s in the fact, that we can and do behave badly, in or out of the presence of the gods. So why do we need the gods to tell us right from wrong? Seems whether we have them or not, we still screw things up.

            About local conditions: I think they are very important. Native americans lived in what is now the USA for thousands of years and did so with minimal impact on the environment. Their gods were local and had a vested interest in maintaining the quality of the environment. We show up with our God, who originated in a land of want, and look at the results. We have almost totally destroyed the diversity and viability of what was once a paradise, easily able to sustain several million inhabitants with plenty for the other animals we share this rock with. Exporting gods from lands of want to lands of plenty is a disaster in all cases. I’m glad you Mormons have taken God back to the desert where he belongs. The desert god can actually make the desert a better, and more viable environment for a multitude of people, plants and animals. That same god though in a place like the Ohio Valley is a terrible terrible affliction upon the land and all living things. I hate to fly over the USA. The whole country seems to have been turned into a farm, a suburb or a city. It makes my soul ache. In that vein, I was sorry to discover the Mormons had spread so thoroughly among the Pacific Islanders. No good can come of that.

            How is it possible to take college biology and not be immersed in evolution through natural selection? It’s kind of like the foundation of modern biology. Everything grows either from it, or ties to it. That’s not cool man. You should demand your money back, at least whatever you paid to learn bio.

            I know I’m not responsible for defending Stormy, the person. But in truth I am defending Stormy the metaphor. She is the brave soul working her way out of the fetid swamp filled with witchcraft, superstition and demons. She is resolute but it’s getting dark and she is becoming unsure. I applaud her bravery. She has thrown the Book of Mormon on the ash heap where it belongs, but poor girl, she is still wearing her magic underwear………….just in case. I stand on firm ground, holding a candle, representing man’s ascent from the swamp. The candle is knowledge. It is the way out. She just needs to make it a little further and she can leave the magic underwear behind along with all the rest of that useless baggage. She will be free. Besides, it read to me like you guys were ganging up on her, pushing her into a defensive posture, which of course is exactly what you were doing. So on those counts, I think I will continue to be a gentleman, the holder of the light, and continue to act in her defense, regardless if she wants me to or not. Reason and knowledge must prevail or surely we will be lost.

            Yes, giving money to the church, any church does impact me. The church’s pay minimal tax. All business pay taxes. It costs money to maintain the roads they use and the electricity they use etc. When a church gets a tax exemption because it is a church, that means I have to pick up the slack. I don’t want to pay to support religious institutions. I consider the tax exempt status of churches to be unconstitutional and would like to see it done away with. Why do I have to support institutions that fill people’s heads with nonsense, superstition and fear, even if it does make them placid and accepting? Placid acceptance, or on the other hand, contrived outrage, is not what I want from my fellow citizens, who along with me, are jointly responsible for helping to chart our nations course. That you have not personally contributed to the church since 1994 is commendable. Just consider my suggestion that you not support them into the future, a well deserved “at-a-boy” for continuing to do the right thing.

            Finally, I am most gratified that you have backed off from the error of your earlier thinking. I understand, you were taken by the moment, the camaraderie, so forth and so on. I just hope our brief interaction fortified you enough such that you can now recommence your own journey toward truth and enlightenment. We need all the clear headed, steely eyed, realists, we can get, in order to face the challenges ahead. Apology accepted!

          • ed2276

            Yes, but marriages between close relatives (I’m thinking of between brothers and sisters, here) are not prohibited because they are necessarily held to be inherently morally wrong (though that may be a personal consideration). It is more due to the fact that over time it has been shown
            that such close marriages can result in severe congenital defects.

            Still,marriage between first cousins is allowed in some states within the U.S. There are several states which prohibit such marriages outright; there are some which allow such marriages outright; and, there are a few states which allow marriage between first cousins, but with the
            condition that they are either beyond their reproductive years, or at least one cousin in the union is incapable of reproduction.

            It then appears that the states which ban such marriages outright may be doing so for moral reasons, those which permit them without condition have no moral objection, while those which place conditional restrictions on such close marriages don’t do so because the culture thinks of such marriages as inherently wrong; rather, state concern about the possibility that the children of such couples may end up suffering with congenital defects, which is also a
            concern for the long-term health/benefit of society, as a whole.

            As for the rest of it, again if we are talking about “common sense” we aren’t talking about inherent evils, we are talking about the sense, held in common, of a majority. There is, then, no reason why a majority cannot develop a different “common sense”, and declare what was once culturally unacceptable to be acceptable. There is also no reason that a minority could not engage in behavior deemed unacceptable or undesirable if that minority is able to exert
            its will through force of law or by violence.

            Religion informs people that there is a perfect being—God—who declares what is inherently evil, or morally wrong. The believing culture adopts such declarations as their norm and custom; as their “common sense”. In a state where God does not exist, the “common sense” of the culture becomes not what is inherently right or wrong by Divine decree, but merely what is palatable, and thus acceptable to the society. Thus, society without God is less stable and inclined to do that which may well harm society.

            Yes, great evils were/are done in the name of God, but that does not mean that they were necessarily done because God willed it. Jesus said (I paraphrase), “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will be saved in the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of the Father. In that day many will come to me and say ‘Have we not done many mighty works and miracles in your name?’ but I will say unto them “Depart from me you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.”

            That some misuse religion for their own selfish, wicked purposes—even believing they are doing the work of God—does not mean that they were acting as God would have had them act, nor does it negate the need for God simply because men will do evil. Men don’t do evil because God doesn’t exists. If God didn’t exist men would have an excuse for doing evil. Men can only do evil if God exists; because men have free will they to choose to do evil in opposition to God’s will.

            In regard to secular concerns, I don’t know that the ultimate utopian aims of Communism are evil, or undesirable (if achievable); but, just as religion can be perverted by evil and selfish men, so can a secular ideal like communism. From Engels to Marx, Lenin, Stalin,
            Trotsky and Mao the utopian ideal has been unachievable because of the means these men employed to move toward that end, if the ever really desired to actually achieve the ideal, and great evils have been done along the way in the name of the communist ideal.

            Marx’s means was the proletariat, which was to dissolve when the ideal society was reached. The proletariat and the politburo never dissolved and never will, because once men began to gain power, privilege, and wealth; once they began to be able to satisfy their own selfish interests, they lost sight of the ideal and became corrupt—drunk with power and excess—and had no intention of losing the
            advantages and privileges of power, which they were/are determined to hold onto and reserve for their families/friends/cronies. This doesn’t mean the ideal was
            wrong, it simply means that men used evil in the name of the ideal. So does man with God and religion.

            Again, it isn’t because God is unnecessary or causes men to pollute, abuse, or destroy the Earth and its resources. God is certainly not pleased with the way we use His Earth. And that is the LDS view: This Earth and everything in it belong to God, not to man. Man is simply the steward over the things which God allows man to use. As stewards, man is to “dress and keep” the Earth, to use its resources with thanksgiving and prudence, to keep the Earth beautiful and clean, and to provide for the needs of all, to care for the poor and needy among us.

            Mankind, religious and non-religious alike, are using the Earth and its resources in wicked, greedy, evil, and selfish ways, and because of this the Lord has said the “whole world lieth in sin”, and the poor are oppressed and perish. This is not how it should be, according to God’s will.

            It ought not to be that men only improve the desert because they have taken God there. If men were sufficiently humble and obedient to God’s will even the Ohio Valley—or anywhere else in the world—would be a paradise. And this is why God is needed to direct man. Because, without a perfect, moral being to lay down the moral standard men, men will just say “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”, and justify every excess and irresponsible behavior their hearts can imagine.

            With God as our creator, the owner of heaven and earth and all things that are in them man, as a steward, is accountable to God for his stewardship, and how
            man has cared for his brother and sister. Without God, and that accountability, why should a man not “eat, drink, and be merry”, or get all that he can for himself, regardless of the negative consequences for those living or for posterity? In a few, short years such a man will die and go out of existence. Why not get all he can get for himself here
            and now?

            I wouldn’t be too harsh in criticizing my college for my lack of understanding. As I wrote, it was an introductory biology class; more of a survey course. We did study genetics and
            evolution, but I don’t recall being “immersed” in it; and there are reasons why I am not familiar with it, which have nothing to do with how I was taught.

            One reason is that I took the course back in the early 80’s, and my memory of what I was taught then minimal; another is that I was really interested more in the field assignments and the opportunity to do nature photography than in evolutionary biology. Finally, I have just not been really interested in the subject of evolution over these many years, and so I have not kept up with it or pursued
            the subject at length.

            Still, I do believe in science and that valuable knowledge and understanding is to be gained from its use and study. However, there are things which science can never reveal; things which are matters of faith, the knowledge of which can only be found out by way of the spirit of revelation. And so, for me, let science reveal those things which are of science and God reveal those matters which are of the Spirit.

            Now, where Stormy is concerned, I have to object to your including me with “you guys”, and your use of “you”, as applied to me, to accuse me of trying to “haze” her, or badger her into Mormonism. I posted exactly one remark to Stormy, and it had nothing to do with trying to convince her or persuade her to stay/become Mormon. At the time
            I posted my comment to Stormy I had not seen or read any of her conversations with “you guys”, nor have I followed that thread to this point. Stormy replied to me that she had already answered the subject I wrote to her about in an
            earlier post. I read her earlier post and left it at that; I made no further post to her.

            My giving money to the church could not possibly have any impact on you, just as my withholding money from the church—which I have been doing–could not lessen
            the taxes you pay. You pay taxes regardless of whether I give or not. In addition, you are not the only one that pays taxes, and so your taxes may be allocated to other areas of government concern. They may not necessarily go
            directly to paving and maintaining the roads surrounding the church buildings.

            And, I also pay property taxes, as do many other LDS members. How do you know that it is not money from the taxes I and other LDS members pay that is being used
            to maintain the roads around those buildings? As for electricity, I don’t know that being tax exempt relieves the church from having to pay for power used in its buildings.

            Another thing to consider is that when you pay your taxes the money you used to pay them with is no longer yours. It becomes the government’s property. You have no more ownership interest in it. So, when a government uses money in a particular way it is not “you” supporting anything. It is government exercising its ownership prerogative over how it spend its money. That is why
            government rejects arguments for non-payment of taxes for matters of conscience. For instance, you cannot refuse to pay taxes because you object to war and government may use “your” money to fund the military.

            As for the constitutional issue, you believe it is unconstitutional to not tax churches, but there is a good counterargument that tax exemption is constitutional. The first reason is that the 1st Amendment to the Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”. Taxing statutes are law; it
            follows that Congress may not enact a taxing statute (law) and apply it to religious institutions.

            The second, and more sound, reason is that the terms of the constitution give Congress plenary power over what is and is not to be taxed. If, in fact, it is constitutional for Congress to decide it will tax churches, it is just as constitutional for Congress to decide it will not tax churches. You may feel that Congress should tax churches, but the fact that they choose not to is not an unconstitutional choice.

            I am happy and grateful that you accepted my
            apology. I hope that I will be more of a realist, and make it my goal to take part in discussions in a more mature,
            realistic, honest, and “steely-eyed” way.

            But, I want to put you on notice: though my view of Mormonism may change (I know much more about Joseph Smith’s behavior, polygamy, polyandry, etc. that I did before), my belief in it will not. I can look honestly at Joseph Smith and see his flaws/faults (which he, himself, confessed he had), and still know that he is just what he claimed to be: a prophet of God.

            How do I know? Because I have received a witness which science nor man could give provide. I know, by the witness of the Holy Spirit, that Joseph Smith was called as a
            prophet by God. Joseph’s sin would be if he refused to do what God commanded him. Because God commanded Joseph, and Joseph did as commanded, Joseph did
            not sin in relation to polygamy, etc.; no matter your personal criticism or revulsion. And though you think me insane, I cannot, and never will, deny what I know to be true by way of revelation from God.

            In the same way, by the same witness from the Spirit, I know that God lives! I know that He is aware of me, and that He loves me! I know that the Book of Mormon is a true record of Jesus Christ.

            I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came into this world to atone for the sins of the world; that He rose from the dead with His resurrected body; that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that we must follow Him to return to our God and Father. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and that it is led by living prophets.

            I write “believe” because I have not yet received a personal witness from the Holy Spirit about these things. But, I trust that my faith, which is based on the knowledge I have
            received by way of the witnesses I write of, is correct.

            To these things I bear witness, in Jesus’ name.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            I’ve made several attempts to fully read your novel. Unfortunately, I become so frustrated, and depressed at your monumental lack of logic that I am overwhelmed and have to put it down. Don’t worry, give me a day or two and out of the kindness of my heart, I will wade through it and respond. Thus I will give you one last opportunity to read truth and become enlightened. Until then, I recommend you stay off the blogs and don’t engage in philosophical or conceptual discussions. Better to keep your mouth shut and be suspected of being a fool then to open it and remove all doubt.

          • ed2276

            I appreciate your willingness to go over what I wrote and respond. I am sorry you feel frustrated. It’s probably best that you don’t waste your time making the effort to reply. Let’s just move on with our lives, shall we?

          • SoundOn

            It’s no surprise that an atheist would encourage others to ignore the scriptures, but how can an atheist call it good? What is goodness to an atheist and does it make you happy? Can you describe happiness without sounding like the Christians you criticize?

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Wtf? You sound like Charlie Manson. The difference being that when he gets wound up, he usually finishes his sentences with a long string of gibberish.

            You’re a funny kid. I recommend you escape that mad house church and seek a genuine education. Pay attention to subjects like anthropology, biology, especially evolutionary biology, history and Plato. For gawds sakes, read Plato. Think about every phrase he writes. And think about his prose within its own context. Whatever you do, don’t reflect on his wisdom through the lens of your own goofy superstitions.

          • SoundOn

            I went through 8 years of college. Most people would consider this a genuine education. Science does not conflict with my religion. Now, can I assume that you do believe that you can trust your feelings within you, but that for some reason you don’t believe that you can trust them and apply them when learning spiritual truths?

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            8 years is a long time. What are your degrees?

            Science doesn’t conflict with my faith either.

            Trust is not a function of the spiritual experience. One doesn’t need to know what it means. Just to have experienced it is sufficient enlightenment for me.

            However let me stress this point: It is the fool who has a spiritual experience and then allows another fool to tell him / her, what that experience means.

            To my mind, if the gods want to further elucidate to me what my experience means, they will inform me. I do not believe they will tell a guy the next county over what my experience means and then tell him to tell me.

          • SoundOn

            // “However let me stress this point: It is the fool who has a spiritual experience and then allows another fool to tell him / her, what that experience means.”//

            More accurately it is a fool who has a spiritual experience only to call God and His prophets fools for explaining the meaning. Good luck with that.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            It’s not God I’m not listening to. I never said that. In fact in another post I clearly stipulated that I would be more then happy to hear from God. As for the people who you call prophets, don’t make me laugh. Prophets my ass. I never called God a fool and you know it. Are you choosing to be dense or is it your natural state?

          • SoundOn

            Foolishness is waiting for God to speak to you while you ignore His words. There is no need to wait for God to speak to you when He has been speaking through His prophets throughout the ages.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Say’s who, oh that’s right, the prophets. Give it a rest. You can repeat it all you want as many different way’s as you want, and it comes down to…………. you have to believe what another guy say’s to you. No that is not the way of God. But that “is” the way of every shifty eyed snake oil salesman in the world. It has always been thus. For crying out loud, grow up already. Jesus Mary and Joseph, enlightenment is not a curse, it is a blessing, you dam dolt.

          • SoundOn

            God speaks through prophets, but you don’t just take their word for it. You can know if those men teach the truth. You can speak to God directly through prayer and God speaks back directly through the Spirit, but you’ll have to change your attitude and take God seriously if you expect Him to take an interest in you.

          • Stormy

            I wasn’t planning on responding again. However, I saw this in my email. I don’t have access to my computer right now. I have been using my phone. So I haven’t been able to answer like I would have liked. And then someone else entered the conversation and started attacking me. So before I stop responding I’ll answer your questions the best I can. Sorry, I didn’t answer before.

            I felt I should respond. I know that the Bible says that In Colossians 1:15 “He (speaking of Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation” and in John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him in spirit and truth.” So yes, I believe the Father is spirit. I also, believe Jesus is God in the flesh. The Bible is clear on that. Jesus himself said in John 8:58 ” truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” I am is the name that God have Moses when he asked who should I tell them who sent me. And God responded I AM. By the people’s reaction and the verses surrounding this verse we know that Jesus was claiming to be God. They were going to stone him for blasphemy. This is my very short answer. I hope that answered some of your questions.

            Here is a website helps explain the traditional Bibical view and what I believe when it comes to God the Father having a body of flesh and bones. This website even helps explain the trinity and why the Bible is trust worthy. It also goes into more detail on Jesus claiming to be God in the Bible. I hope that it helps. And I hope you do go onto this website. I have put two links. One is in response to God having a body. The other is in response that the Bible has been corrupted.

            http://www.compellingtruth.org/God-physical-body.html

            http://www.compellingtruth.org/Bible-corrupted.html

          • Gary

            If you are happy, it does not make any difference what other people think.

          • SoundOn

            What is happiness to an atheist? Can you describe it without also describing the fruits of the Spirit which are so useful in coming to a knowledge of spiritual truths?

          • Gary

            I’m not an atheist. However, the “fruits of the spirit” are still fruits, whether you view them from your spirit, someone else’s spirit, a gnostic spirit, an anthropic principle universe, or a random-chance multiverse. Fruits are fruits.

          • SoundOn

            Sorry I misunderstood you to be an atheist. I must have confused you with another person on this board.

          • Gary

            Nothing to be sorry about. Let’s just say I am a heavy skeptic.

          • Gary

            I guess I shouldn’t be so abstract. Fruits being “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23meekness, self-control”… So no religion has an exclusive claim on those properties. Atheists have claim to them too. Heck, my cats and dog have claim to them too. Actually, they probably have more claim to those properties than I do!

          • SoundOn

            //”God is spirit, and those who worship him in spirit and truth.” So yes, I believe the Father is spirit. I also, believe Jesus is God in the flesh. The Bible is clear on that. “//

            Yes, I agree that the bible is clear that Jesus is God and that He has a body considering that He was born and resurrected with one and appeared with one after the resurrection. What does John 4:24 say about the Father? It only specifically speaks of God and since Christians agree that there are three seperate persons of God which is a personage of Spirit? It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is a personage of Spirit and we know that Jesus has a body, but what about the Father? What scripture causes you to believe that He resembles the Holy Ghost more than His only begotten Son? And if you believe these 3 to be the same then it still seems clear to me that this one God has a body since He, in the form of Jesus, had one while He taught that God was a Spirit. So wouldn’t you say that God is a Spirit with a body of flesh and bone?

          • Stormy

            If God the father has a physical body. Then that would mean that he had to come from somewhere else, where he was born into a body like Jesus was here. Then that would be saying that God was a spirit born to his heavenly parents. Who in turn would have been born in the flesh in another world to their heavenly parents and on and on. At some point there would have had to be an all existing one/eternal, infinite creator who created the first humans.
            If God was in fact born and worked his was to godhood from his parents planet then he is not the existing one he claims to be in the Bible.

            So when God speaks of no other god’s in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 43:10: “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”

            Isaiah 44:6, 8: “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 8Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

            We know who God is saying He is based off of what the Bible says: the Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipostent, Omnipresent, Self Existent, Infinite Creator.

            Yes, the Bible doesn’t come out and say God the Father is a spirit. In Philippians 2:6-8 it says this about Jesus: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
            But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” If Jesus was in the form of God before He came and took on the likeness of men. Wouldn’t it be more logical to assume that He was in a spiritual form (we don’t know how it or what that looks like. God is SO much bigger than our brains can understand.) and took on a the human form here when He was born.

            If Jesus being In the likeness of his father (if God the father had a physical body) and then that would mean that Jesus had to have had a body before He came to earth, leaving that body for an earthly one when He was born here.

            I will never fully understand how the trinity works. But I do know that they are all ONE God with distinct characteristics. Much like how we are fashioned. We are made up of our body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We are still one but we have 3 distinctive parts that make us who we are. My soul is not my spirit, and my spirit is not my body, and my body isn’t my soul. In just the same way the father isn’t the son, the son isn’t the spirit, and the spirit isn’t the father. That is how we were made in God’s imagine.

            I am trusting in the Name of Jesus and Him alone for my salvation. Because in the Bible Jesus says that No one comes to the father but through Him. He is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is the helper Jesus promised His followers before He returned to the Father (John 14:16).

            Jesus needed to be raised from the dead to prove that He has power over death. If He hadn’t rose then clearly He would not have been who He claimed to be, which was God in the flesh. Jesus fulfilled mankind’s need for a sacrifice to have our sins firgiven. He was the perfect spotless lamb that paid the price in full for mankind’s disobedience to a Holy God ( that started when Adam and Eve direct disobedience of God’s instructions not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of food and evil). Since Jesus was the last sacrifice mankind needed (He laid down His life and took it back up again. Man did not take His life. He surrendered it as the ultimate sacrifice to save us all). Therefore, there is no longer a need for the High Priest to go in on our behalf to sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the Arc of the Covenant. Jesus is now the High Priest who interceades on the people’s behalf (Hebrews 4:14-16).

            Because of Jesus I can approach the throne room with my requests. I am now clothed in Jesus’ righteousness, because He bore my sin on the cross. He paid my debt so that I could have eternal life.

            I know I answered more than you asked. But it all ties in together.

            I would like to end with this. I have experienced the greatness of God in my life. My life is a tapestry showing just a small part of such a larger one being made by my God. I look forward in anticipation for the day I get to see my God face to face and to see how the Godhead truly works. I look forward to worshiping Him in spirit and in full truth. I stand in awe of who He is. I’m grateful that my God doesn’t fit inside a box of human intellect. That means He is who He claims to be. No need for me to try to force Him to fit into a size that my mind can comprehend (because I can’t and I will lose the aweness of who He is). My salvation is secure in Him. He is God and i am not.

            For the record: I am answering questions asked of me. I am not forcing anyone to believe what I believe. That is a personal choice that only one can make. It is between them and God. I am just stating my experiences and beliefs when asked.

          • SoundOn

            It is clear to me that you have a love for God since you desire to meet Him face to face. Seems to me that deep down you know that He has a face to see. This also would mean that He has arms and legs and a body too. You ask a few interesting questions about how he received His body that I can’t answer since they are not found in the scriptures. I don’t know how God received His body and I’m not sure if Adam and Eve have a belly button because the scriptures don’t explain it. However, I do know that we all belong to the family of God with the potential to become like Him. And if children then heirs (Romans 8:17) with the potential to one day sit in His throne (Rev 3:21).

          • Stormy

            The same logic that is being placed in your comment is the same approach I am taking towards the Father being spirit. You on the other hand are taking the place on the other side and saying that the father has a body of flesh and bones. You keep asking questions. So I would like to take some time to ask questions before I go on answering your questions. How can we have a dialogue when I seem to be the only one really answering? You do answer, but usually with more questions and are not clear on what you believe.

            I think we also need to define who we think are children and heirs with Christ. From the statement above I can conclude that you believe that ALL of humanity are in fact His children. Would that be a correct statement for your beliefs? I don’t want to assume I know what you believe.

            I would also like to know how you would define these things based off of what you believe (that way I know if we differ in our beliefs so I can address it. I want us to have a fair dialogue):

            – the Holy Ghost/Spirit, can the spirit be in all places?
            – God who is God? Where did He come from?
            – Who is Jesus, I really want to know who you believe Jesus is.
            -Who is Lucifer/Satan?
            – What did the death and Resurrection of Jesus accomplish for you?

            Those are my main questions. You are asking thought provoking questions. I respect that you are asking questions about my beliefs. It is causing me to dig deeper into why I believe what I believe. I am thankful, that the LORD is giving me this chance to grow and test all things. You know what I believe on so many issues. Yet I don’t know what you yourself believe.

            I do want to thank you, for keeping it non-contentious. That is the reason I decided to join back in conversation with you. You shouldn’t have questions left unanswered, because of someone else on here attacking me.

          • SoundOn

            //”From the statement above I can conclude that you believe that ALL of humanity are in fact His children. Would that be a correct statement for your beliefs?”// Yes
            // “the Holy Ghost/Spirit, can the spirit be in all places?”// Yes
            // “God who is God?”// We believe in God the Eternal Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. These three form the Godhead (Trinity) and we believe that they are entirely united as one in purpose as described in John 17. I think it is safe to say that we believe that they are one in every way accept for them being literally one in substance.

            // “Where did He come from?”// Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father, but I don’t know where His Father came from because the scriptures don’t explain it.
            // “Who is Jesus, I really want to know who you believe Jesus is.”// Again, Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father and He is our Creator, Redeemer.
            // “Who is Lucifer/Satan?”// Lucifer as Isaiah taught that Lucifer was a son who fell from the Heavens (Isaiah 14:12). I’m sure you agree that he tempts mankind, trying to do all he can to cause us to sin so that we will not be able to return to live with God.
            // “What did the death and Resurrection of Jesus accomplish for you?”// Jesus atoned for the sins of all mankind which allows me to repent and become whole through His grace. Because Jesus Christ was resurrected we too can be resurrected with glorified immortal bodies and have the opportunity to return to be with Him in the next life.

          • Stormy

            What scriptures are you referring to? Just the Bible? Or are you speaking of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine of Covenants, Pearl of Great Price as well?

          • SoundOn

            I replied to you using the bible since that is what you believe, but other scriptures provide clarity to the Bible. For example, the bible does not specifically teach that the Father has a body, but the Doctrine and covenants does teach this. D&C 130:22 states “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            You replied to Stormy “”using the bible since that is what you (she) believes.” What a facile scoundrel you are. She didn’t ask you what she believed. She knows what she believes. She wanted to know what you believe. You chopped it up as if the irreconcilable conflicts between the bible and the book of mormon can be reconciled simply by addressing each in separate posts. Sorry pal, it doesn’t work that way. You can have the book of mormon or you can have the bible, but you really can’t have both. Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet and everything he wrote is a bunch of crap. Sorry you wasted your life believing in a bunch of crap.

          • SoundOn

            For someone who claims not to be religious you sure seem quite concerned about it.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Of course I’m concerned about it. George W. Bush was my wake up call. If we could somehow prevent religious people from voting, but in a democracy such as ours, that is unrealistic. The only solution I can see is to confront the superstition and ignorance wherever I find it. I hope more concerned citizens will join me. The world is become to dangerous to suffer the votes of fools. Our founders were careful not to include religion or reference to the gods in our Constitution. They well understood the danger religion poses. Bet you didn’t know the only founder who was a christian was Adams. Thankfully he was a one term president. Look how far we’ve fallen, W was elected to two terms. Dam right I’m interested in religion. Every thinking person should be.

          • SoundOn

            I know there’s an agenda to rewrite history, but none of the founding fathers, besides Adams, were Christian? Seriously? The ideas of natural law came from John Locke, a Christian. Did you forgot that George Washington was president before Adams or just forget that he was a Christian? And have you ever heard of the Jeffersonian bible? And I’m no fan of Bush, but your logic is astounding. You really consider George Bush to be on the extremely religious side? So, if George Bush is on one extreme do you believe we should shift to the complete other extreme? In your opinion would we be better off following the atheist communist regimes based upon the atheistic principles outlined by Karl Marx? Do you prefer Stalin to Bush? No wonder Christianity is a thorn in your side.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            No, George Washington was not a Christian. He was a Deist. Back then, intelligent people were allowed to openly acknowledge that they had no idea what, if anything was in store for them after death. Our founders were not who you think they were. They didn’t believe like your elementary school teacher, taught you.

            I don’t think George W. Bush gives a rats behind about Christianity. However, he did mobilize them in order to win. As such he was beholden to them. Do you even remember the Terri Schiavo incident? She was a brain dead young woman who’s husband decided to pull the plug. There were no attending physicians who disputed that she was brain dead. On behalf of the so called Religious Right, Bush inserted himself into that family situation and even managed to get Congress members to return to Washington in order to take a pointless vote. It was all posturing.

            Yes I am very fearful of another resurgence of the faithful. It leads from one disaster to another. Bush tried to force schools to ” teach the controversy” as he called it. There is no controversy. Evolution through natural selection is the only and best legitimate theory we have. “Intelligent Design” is an idiotic religiously based initiative that only the severely deluded could ascribe to.

            Of course there were the fetus wars. I got so sick of seeing my tax money spent on commercials telling women how guilty they would feel if they had an abortion. How in the world is it legal or right for government to intrude into such a private and personal matter. The issue has been settled for decades by the courts at the highest level.

            And of course we had to waste almost a decade arguing if climate change is a reality. It’s a reality. The science is well established and has been for 20 years at least. But all good Christians know we don’t need to conserve the natural world because Jesus is going to return any day and sweep us all up to heaven so, why bother.

            It’s impossible to have a conversation with you that involves any depth. I never said I was an atheist and I certainly never said I am a communist. Why did yo pair those two up in your question? Is that your idea of being cute? I’m neither of the two just for your information. And if you mean by the opposite of Bush as in Bush represented bad government and I want the opposite, meaning, good government. Then “Yes” I want the opposite of Bush. Btw, Bush’s economic policies were a disaster. I won’t even go there with you, that would require a level of comprehension on your part that I am confident, you do not possess.

            Oh just go back to dreaming about planet kobald and all the honey’s you’re gonna get when you expire. lol

          • SoundOn

            You have some funny jokes up your sleeve. But what’s not so funny is that you buy into the propaganda and that’s what scare me the most about the future of our country. It’s paving the way for communism which is not a pretty picture. Thanks for the discussion anyway. I’ll let you have the last word.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            I don’t know what propaganda you think I buy into but, so be it. The last word huh. Okay well just let me say this. Though I disagree with you on pretty much everything, I find you personally to be a decent and courteous individual who speaks his mind and doesn’t harbor rancor. I guess a religion has to be measured in terms of its outputs as well as the contents of its value system. From that perspective, perhaps there are worse things in this world then a religion that produces predominantly decent, hard working, honest people who tend to treat others they way they, themselves, would like to be treated. I should leave it at that, but in character with being an anti religion A-hole, albeit a well informed A-hole, I ask that you google Washington’s religion. Consider the possibility that if I am right about that, I could be right about everything I’ve said. Cyl.

          • SoundOn

            Ok I’m back just to say thank you. Oh and George Washington was baptized into the Church of England although he seems to not have prescribed to any particular religion. He was a Diest and he prayed. Sounds similar to the story of Joseph Smith before he prayed to learn which church was correct. Perhaps we both have some truth and bias in our posts. Thanks again.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Maybe you have some bias but I know I don’t. Hehe

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            I most certainly do agree that God has flesh. If you doubt it, may I direct you to the website Greaterthings where God is holding court on a regular basis. Now to be honest, God is only God of earth
            He’s not the God of gods, he is just the god for this planet. He goes by the name Sterling Allan and he has come to earth to save us from the 3.5 year reign of the beast.

            The other day while were all praying to God, Sterling took the time to explain that when he is on earth, we pray to the group of angels and luminearies who fill in for him while he is down here, and we just refer to the heavenly court as God. Very kind of him to clarify that because some of us were confused.

            If you want to get on board, now is the time. As soon as an internet sensation by the name of Lindsey Stirling, a young woman who dances while playing the violin, joins him, God and Lindsey are going to have dinner with Jesus, who is going to come down from heaven for this special occasion and give Lindsey and God an annointment. Then it’s game on.

            Everyone will know that Sterling Allan is God in the Flesh or as he likes to refer to himself “Heavenly Father In The Flesh” or shorthand, HFITF and of course Ms. Stirling is “Heavenly Mother In The Flesh” Of course coming around after Jesus has already dined with him and Lindsey will be too late. He probably won’t let you join his club and he will probably let the beast have you. So join now before its to late.

            It’s exciting isn’t it, God here, now, in the flesh, just like you’re talking about. I was surprised by the fact that God would be so horny in the flesh. Sterling has confessed to being a pedophile and he has tried to persuade a slew of women to join him for the supping. He keeps going back to Lindsey Stirling because the angels pulled up a bunch of her videos in the related pane on Youtube. That and the other women ran just as fast as they could in the opposite direction, once Sterling approached them with his plan. God has it all laid out on his website at GreaterThings.

            But he’s thinking Lindsey is going to come around. He is promising her the power of teleportation if only she will sup with him and Jesus. She will be able to hold performances and teleport around the audience and even teleport home and take a shit on her own throne if she wants and then teleport right back to the performance. Sterling aka God thinks it will be so much fun. He’s having a hard time understanding what’s holding her back.

            Aside from being horny, God in the flesh is also a little impatient. Yup, turns out if Lindsey Stirling doesn’t join him soon, she is going to have a disabling accident on stage which will not heal unless she has dinner with him and Jesus.

            So check it out, all your dreams come true a couple clicks away at Greaterthings.

          • SoundOn

            See Ether 12:26 for my reply.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            So did you check out Greater Things? If you haven’t, you should. But for the grace of God go you my friend. That guy isn’t a joke, he’s a cautionary tale. Please check it out. See what happens to people when they take that nonsense seriously.

          • ed2276

            What did Jesus say to allay the disciples fears that He was a spirit when He appeared to them after His resurrection?

            “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” Luke 24:39

            To further prove that He was not spirit, but had a body of flesh and bone, Jesus then ate fish and honeycomb:

            “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
            And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
            And he took it, and did eat before them.” Luke 24:41-43

            The resurrection itself was the resurrection of Jesus’ body of flesh and bone, was it not?

          • Stormy

            Read my comment below. I answered this a few hours ago.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Hang in there Stormy. Don’t let these idiots beat you down. They think a mile wide and an inch deep. You’re on the right track. Knowledge really is power.

          • Stormy

            I am hanging in there Jimmy Hoffa. Thank you, for defending me often. I have felt alone and that no one else saw what I was feeling was happening. I understand and know we believe differently. But that didn’t stop you from standing up for me. So thank you.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Given that Jesus didn’t exist until he was created from an amalgamation of tales at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. which was ordered convened by the emperor Constantine, in an attempt to unify the Roman Empire under one religion, and given that the name of the christ to which all these stories would be attributed, was put to a vote……. yes Bevis, Jesus was elected. Furthermore, given the Catholic church, over the centuries had the time and the wealth to squash all dissenting opinion, in voice and in print (The Mormons tried. They bought up a lot of bad press, but couldn’t keep the truth down) with regard to the life and times of whoever Jesus was; do we really have a clue if Jesus appeared in the flesh after his time on the cross????? Hehe

      • Stormy

        At the booth for Tri grace ministries there will be a former Mormon Bishop. His name is Lee Baker. He wrote a book from LDS sources (http://www.amazon.com/Mormonism-Life-Under-False-Pretenses/dp/0982532180). When I searched Mormonism I used Mormon sources and not as you called it anti literature.

        • Cody Quirk

          Apparently you failed to use THIS source-

          http://fairmormon.org/

          Which is pretty accurate in the REAL truth about such anti-Mormon claims.

      • Jimmy Hoffa

        “If you want to know what another faith believes, don’t you think it’s better to find out from a member of that faith ”

        Not necessarily, many of the so called faithful don’t even know their own history and are significantly brain washed such that they tend to discount any information that is critical of their faith, unless it’s introduction into their awareness has been facilitated or approved for their consumption by the leadership of the respective faith. I think that is true of the faithful of pretty much any religion. The more odious the faith, the less likely the faithful are to know the truth and the less likely they are to being open to hearing the truth.

        I don’t trust members of any faith. I think anyone who believes in that sort of thing, or think they have answers with regard to what, if anything happens after we die, is full of shyte.

        I do recognize spirituality. In fact I’ve felt it in a personal sense. But I have no idea what it means or if it is internal or external to me. I sure as heck wouldn’t let some yayhoo who doesn’t know anymore then I do, define to me, what my own spirituality means.

        People who do allow their spirituality to be hijacked by a religion are weak people in my mind and I don’t trust them. Although I will admit, religion can be a useful tool if one is attempting to get groups of people to do different tasks. I have met people who are affiliated with different religions for purely earthly purposes. For instance the small business man who networks through the local church etc. I can respect that guy because I know he is just being pragmatic and taking care of business.

        As for those who are fully grown adults and actually buy into that nonsense, I have no use for them. In fact, if they weren’t so dangerous, I might even feel sorry for them.

        • Cody Quirk

          I can agree with some of this, however I certainly did my homework quite well before I joined the LDS church, as did others. Plus unlike the authentic “cults” that are around today, the LDS church emphasizes the importance of education and knowledge, elects their leaders in a democratic manner, and tolerates difference of opinion and belief to a practical extent for a legit church.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            I think you should revisit your assumptions. I don’t think they support education and knowledge. In fact, I just had a conversation with a great guy who took college biology and didn’t study evolution through natural selection. How is that even possible? Their system is rigged. They have it set up so only really old goats can get into top leadership, close to the money. I don’t know the mechanics but just looking at those guys proves the point. If your interested, you should look into it a bit further. I’ll bet you can’t run for supreme phooBa. You know what I mean. I think their system is rigged.

            It’s hard to believe any grown adult would choose to join that outfit. I don’t know what passes for research in your neck of the woods but Mormonism doesn’t pass the smell test on so many levels, I’m not even going to try. Read Jon Krakuer, “Under the Banner of Heaven” Krakuer is an awesome author and he tells the story of Mormonism in an objective manner. Another incredible book he wrote was “Into Thin Air.” It’s a true story about a climb on Everest. You won’t believe how good it is. In fact I think you should read the Everest book first so that you appreciate Krakuer’s calliber. Then read the other one.

          • SoundOn

            You seem to confuse scientific fact with scientific theory. Evolution is a fact when it is defined as minor changes within a species over time, but it is still very much a theory when defined as one species evolving into another. You may have faith that this theory is true, but it has yet to be confirmed with science. The one thing we all have in common here is that we must exercise Faith (or some substitute version of it) in the things that we believe. You can exercise Faith to learn of God and that Faith will grow as you apply His teachings, but God will not be found in a science book. Science will always remain neutral to spiritual things and this is by design because God wants us to exercise Faith.

          • One thing you wrote reflects a widespread misunderstanding of what a scientific theory is. The “facts” (not the best term) presumably means the scientific data, which shows not just changes over time in the archaeological record, but also the relatedness of all living things evidenced in the genomes of living things. The THEORY of evolution is the explanatory framework which correlates all that data. And so it is not something yet to be confirmed (that would be a hypothesis), it is the correlation of all the relevant data in relation to one another.

            But the point you end with is correct – evolution is not antithetical to any sort of faith (except one which is incompatible with all science, reason and logic and not just biology, in which case there is no reason to fixate on evolution).

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            You don’t know anymore then anyone else where God will be found. So don’t even go there with me. As for evolution. It’s like gravity. It’s a theory. Difference being, there is more evidence to support the theory of evolution then the theories of gravity. Here is the short course in evolution: It’s a dat, it’s a dat, it’s a dat, it’s a dat, it’s a dog. Where is the proof the dog was ever a dat. You got dats and you got dogs. Where is the missing link? Haha. That whole argument deserves no more attention then that. You probably don’t believe in the fossil record or DNA. I suppose you think those proofs are Satan’s attempt to trick us. Give it up soundOn, I’ve already been everywhere you’ve been. I finally just faced up to the truth. Go ahead give it a try. God wants you to use your brain. He wants you to stand on the shoulder of giants and see a little further. God told me that personally, and he said I should pass it along to you. Hehe

          • SoundOn

            //“You don’t know anymore then anyone else where God will be found. … I’ve already been everywhere you’ve been. I finally just faced up to the truth. Go ahead give it a try.”//
            How ironic that you accuse me of not knowing more then you just before you declare that you know more than me. Isn’t that interesting?
            //“God wants you to use your brain.”//
            Yes, but he also wants you to use your heart as well as your mind. Can’t focus on one without the other if you want to learn the truth since either one alone can be decieved, wouldn’t you agree?

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            No I would not agree. I would not agree that religion has any place in an inquiry involving either the mind or the heart. Logic, a good knowledge of history, and a basic understanding of first principles as they relate to natural law are the keys to insight and the basis upon which we as individuals and society at large should use as guideposts into the future.

            As for God telling me what to tell you: I think you know I was making a point. I was trying to illuminate for you how absurd this whole prophet business is. Come on, if you’re making an issue about that, it just proves how desperate you are. A pathetic offense, is not the best defense my friend.

          • SoundOn

            For one who isn’t religious you sure are concerned about. Perhaps this is a good time for us to agree to disagree. Thanks for the discussion.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Your welcome. I sincerely hope I was able to offer you some relief from your superstitions. I believe in service to others. Enjoy the rest of your life.

          • SoundOn

            It is your superstitions that I am questioning, but I do appreciate the dialogue.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            Same here, cyl.

          • Cody Quirk

            Krakuer? Really?
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Criticism_of_Mormonism/Books/Under_the_Banner_of_Heaven
            He made way too many errors and irrational assumptions in his book.

            And-
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_education/Education_and_belief
            http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_church_finances/No_paid_ministry/General_Authorities_living_stipend

            Yeah, you’re not really doing a good job of describing Mormonism, and if FAIR is inaccurate and false on their counter-claims, then why don’t you refute them point by point in detail?

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            If he made so many errors and irrational assumptions in the book, perhaps you will be so kind as to share three examples of each? It is only right that you support your assertions with examples, or don’t they teach that at Mormon school.

          • Cody Quirk

            Can’t you click on the url link, or are you that lazy?

            However-

            Pg 194, Claim: …[there is] compelling circumstantial evidence [which] suggests that [Samuel H. Smith] succumbed from poison administered by Hosea Stout….

            Answer: http://en.fairmormon.org/Murder_of_Samuel_H._Smith
            “Quinn bases this statement on the June 1892 letter of William Smith to a Brother Kelley. The letter was written almost forty-eight years after Samuel Smith’s death and William Smith’s bitter estrangement from Brigham Young and the other apostles. In addition, while Mary B. Smith Norman, Samuel Smith’s daughter, claimed in 1908 that her father had been poisoned, there appear to be no contemporary sources indicating death by poisoning. Furthermore, while no one who has read Stout’s diary would contest accusations of violence, even leading to death, there is no evidence whatsoever that Stout murdered Smith. Quinn acknowledges this lack. Even so, he still places credence in a rather tenuous assortment of evidence. Krakauer, on his part, appears to have read Quinn’s book and either ignored the extensive end notes on this matter or chose not to mention the serious lack of facts supporting Quinn’s assertion.”

            Pg 69, Claim: Native Americans are, according to the Book of Mormon, descended from the lost tribes of Israel.

            Answer: The author’s claim is false: Book of Mormon peoples are distinct from the lost ten tribes (2 Nephi 29:13, 3 Nephi 17:4)

            Pg 221, Claim: Brigham Young’s letter instructing the Mormons to leave the immigrants alone didn’t appear until decades later; there is question about its provenance and authenticity.

            Answer: This claim is false. As one author pointed out:

            As with most of Brigham Young’s correspondence, this letter was copied immediately after being written by using a letterpress book that contained onionskin pages to create a mirror image of the document. [Richard Turley noted that] “A perfect mirror image of Young’s famous letter is right where it should be in Brigham’s 1857 letterpress copybook. It is a contemporaneous copy and was available to and used by the prosecution in the trial that led to John D. Lee’s conviction and subsequent execution in the 1870s.”[1]

            The original letter is found in: Brigham Young to Isaac C. Haight, 10 Sept 1857 Letterpress Copybook 3:827–28, Brigham Young Office Files, LDS Church Archives. It is reproduced in Turley, Walker and Leonard, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, 184-185.

            The relevant phrase says, “In regard to emigration trains passing through our settlements, we must not interfere with them until they are first notified to keep away. You must not meddle with them. The Indians we expect will do as they please but you should try and preserve good feelings with them. There are no other trains going south that I know of[.] [I]f those who are there will leave let them go in peace.”

            1. Craig L. Foster, “Doing Violence to Journalistic Integrity (Review of: “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of a Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer),” FARMS Review 16/1 (2004): 149–174. off-site; citing Richard E. Turley Jr., “Church Response to Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven,”

            – – – – – – – – – –

            These are samples from that url link which indeed demonstrates that Krakauer’s book is inaccurate and quite distorted.
            As I said, Jon got it wrong, and you shouldn’t rely on that book in debate, Hoffa.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            The reason I didn’t get back to you is because you cited Richard Turley. He is a well known Mormon apologist and has no standing outside the closed world of Mormons who are his only audience. If you cite him and he is not credible, which he isn’t, then all your citations are suspect. Sorry, no more time to waste on the unreachable. You are a captive of the abyss. Sorry pal. Cyl.

          • Cody Quirk

            That’s your rebuttal, LOL!

            Turley is well regarded outside of Mormonism, as are his works. Yet you cannot come up with anything against what I just posted about the MMM.

            Congrats, you lost this fight.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            No, Turley is not well regarded outside of Mormonism. Hell in fact, in a real sense, he doesn’t even exist outside of Mormonism.

          • Cody Quirk

            Oh really?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_at_Mountain_Meadows#Awards_and_Praise

            For a man using the name of a corrupt and whacked ex-Teamsters official, you really suck in your knowledge and criticism. Too bad you can’t even refute the examined flaws to Under the Banner of Heaven, lol.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            What is so hard about acknowledging that a group of people got fooled by a 19th century fanatic? Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. It’s okay to use your own intellect and reach the only truthful conclusion. Once you do, all your angst and defensive will go away. How about a fact based system of belief. When it comes to God and his intent: “I don’t know”, is a good place to start. Oh, attacking my nic; real classy.

          • Cody Quirk

            And yet you keep ignoring the evidence that your biased assumption about Joseph Smith and the LDS faith isn’t at all accurate. Once you realize that your arguments are only making you look silly and prejudiced, then all your angst and hatred will go away perhaps. Nice to see you change the subject since you’re unable to answer the LDS apologist rebuttal to the urban legands and inaccurate stereotypes of the LDS church and it’s history.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            There is no answer to an apologist. It’s propaganda. You can continue to dialogue if it helps, but frankly I am weary of arguing with an adult who believes in Santa Claus. You are very primitive and I can’t imagine anything I say will encourage you to look outside the spoon fed narrative that you subsist on. You cite a guy with no standing and insist I respond to his foolishness. Why don’t you check out Greater Things. Its a website run by a Mormon who has discovered that he is God on earth. Believe me, it’s right up your alley.

          • Cody Quirk

            Basically you cannot refute what a apologist has debunked & clearified and are throwing a hissy fit about it. Richard Turley’s book about MMM was well regarded and won several non-Mormon awards, so you also lost that argument, therefore I cannot take you, or your arguments seriously.
            Congrats.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            The fact that he is a propagandist is it’s own refutation. Why can’t you get that concept through your thick skull. One does not refute a person with no credibility. To do so would imply a credibility that does not exist. Please stop haranguing me with repetitive nonsense. You cite people with no standing and then are offended when I choose not to argue with blind ignorance and deception. Defending Mormonism is not going to make Mormonism true. It’s an utterly bullshit religion cooked up by fanatical pedophile and con man. If you can’t expunge the poison from within yourself, at least have the decency not to defend it in public. Instead of responding, why don’t you entertain yourself with a nice long daydream about how happy you are going to be when you shuffle off your mortal coil and get your own planet K-bob along with 1000 nubile young women and a flock of ewe’s, just in case. lol

          • Cody Quirk

            Wow, that’s all you got? Along with such prejudiced stereotypes and allegations that have already been addressed or refuted while using profanity in frustration.

            Very nice. Shows just how much of a un-credible and cowardly bigot you are.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            “Bigot”? Ha that is funny. Guilty as charged. I’m also a bigot against that organization that promotes pedophillia, NAMBLA or something like that. You got me. I admit, I have a thing against organizations that promote ignorance and magical thinking. The world has enough problems. We need people who are rationale and realistic in their thinking. One of these days, when I have a little time, maybe I’ll tell you the real history of the world and the reason things are the way they are. Trust me, the real truth doesn’t include an angel named Maroni interrupting a masturbating 14 year old in his bedroom. Meanwhile you have a nice life and watch out for demons and aliens lol

          • Cody Quirk

            Actually with a organization that promotes education and allows appropriate dissent and also democratically elects it’s leaders, we are quite intellectual and rational in comparison to ignorant, uninformed, and vile groups and people like you.
            Get a clue, and remember, Jews are not trying to take over the world!

          • ed2276

            Jimmy, you wrote: “In fact, I just had a conversation with a great guy who took college
            biology and didn’t study evolution through natural selection.”

            I know that you must be referring to me in the statement above because you identified the person as a “great guy”. lol.

            Seriously, though, I just want to make point of clarification here about what I actually wrote during our conversation. I did not write that I didn’t study evolution through natural selection when I took the biology course. I said that I did study it, but was not “immersed” in its study. The course was a general, introductory/survey biology course. I was more interested in field assignments and nature photography.

            I took the course in the 80’s and don’t remember the details of the evolution portion of the course; In fact, the only thing I do remember about that particular course is the field assignments. My interests have been in other things since then, and I have not studied or “immersed” myself in evolutionary biology in the last 30 years.

            [edit] Now you’ve done it, Jimmy! As I have been thinking of that biology course, I am starting to have flash backs! I get these fragmented, fleeting images of plants…pea pods, I think. Yes, pea pods!!!! I can’t get them out of my mind now! Nooooo!!! lol

            [2nd edit] Maybe it was not actually pea pods, but a pea plant blossom? However, other things are starting to come back. I remember we studied Mendelian genetics because I can remember doing the dominant/recessive gene grid to determine the likelihood of a flower being either red, white, or pink, or of a child having brown or blue eyes. And, for some reason the terms endosperm, angiosperm, and gymnosperm seem to be creeping back into my memory.

      • Jimmy Hoffa

        So you’re a comment deleter huh? Fair enough. Just to balance the scales, here is the thing I really like about Mormonism: It’s getting all those women after a guy dies and his own planet to boot. That was my whole problem with christianity back in the day. What about the women you know. I don’t know about the rest of the people in here but the idea of eternity without any monkey business didn’t sound all that appealing to me. I mean when I see a nice looking female, I want to poke her. I think most men feel that way. So when I die, the thought I can get all the poontang that I didn’t get while I was alive is pretty promising if you get my drift. When you think about it, the muzzies and the mormons have more in common with each other then the mormons and the christians. If it’s 72 virgins or 1000 wives to make spirit babies with, a good time is going to be had and that’s for sure. The christians offer nothing that can compete with that. Am I right?

        • Stormy

          I see now that I must of deleted a comment I made a few days ago. I have been typing things on my smart phone, which isn’t always smart. The comment I must of deleted was when I stated that Former Bishop Lee Baker would be at the booth with Tri-Grace Ministries. My point was that there is someone in the booth that converted to Mormonism and then left after 32 years in the church (He at one point was a Bishop). He asked questions to those above him, the same questions that the youth under his leadership were asking him. His answers went unanswered. He wrote a book that follows his journey (I just started reading) and my last comment had the link: http://www.amazon.com/Mormonism-Life-Under-False-Pretenses/dp/1937520757/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t/184-5195431-0717353

          I’m sorry, if this is what you are referring to Jimmy Hoffa in your above comment about being a comment deleter.

          • Jimmy Hoffa

            No Stormy, sorry for the confusion. I thought I was addressing that comment to someone else.

          • Stormy

            Okay, good to know. I just wanted to make sure that I addressed it if were to me. On my phone, I can’t see what is addressed to whom. I just saw that it was in regards to a comment being deleted. You might of addressed it to the right person. I just couldn’t tell.

    • I think you missed the point as to what the irony is…

      • Stormy

        What irony? What is stated as ironic is not based on truth.

        • Cody Quirk

          Neither are the claims that Tri-Grace Ministries and other anti-Mormon groups throw at the LDS Church.

          If you have multiple christian churches in the local area condemning what you are doing against a Christian denomination, and especially have the ADL publicly condemn material you put out-
          http://archive.adl.org/presrele/chjew_31/5013_31.html#.ValeYPlViko

          -then you’re simply a bigot with no credibility.

      • Stormy

        I would encourage you to go and meet the staff that makes up Tri-Grace. Then you would have heard both sides and views.

    • Cody Quirk

      And yet their facts and claims on the LDS church are completely distorted, along with behaving in a completely unchristian manner against a Christian denomination.

      http://fairmormon.org

      The Anti-Defamation League also had THIS to say about a DVD they put out years ago-

      http://archive.adl.org/presrele/chjew_31/5013_31.html#.ValcM_lViko

    • SoundOn

      Do the Tri-grace ministries really claim to know the deep doctrines of Mormonism and if so where did they learn about those things? Did they find them in the Book of Mormon? If so perhaps you could share which of those scriptures is in disagreement with the bible that you believe in.

  • This video illustrates why temples are important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It includes commentary from Catholic and Jewish professors as well as Mormons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejf9a70qgl8&list=PL-2ihKjhqm0XkEVWHoqGEG5YrNPC-E4_J&index=9

  • jhardy355

    “It is easy to dismiss “sealing” (marriage for eternity) as unbiblical. But in an era when fidelity to one’s spouse is held up less frequently as an ideal, this teaching – whether true or false – ought to be something that a religious conservative might appreciate.”

    Eternal marriage is not as unbiblical as one might think. Speaking of marriage Jesus said:

    “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt 19: 6)

    “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:” (Eccl. 3:14) .

    “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:” (Matt. 16:19) .

    Everytime a preacher marries a couple and utters the words “til death do you part”, he is putting the marriage asunder. It’s like a built in divorce clause.

    It was not meant to be so.

  • ed2276

    ” It is easy to dismiss “sealing” (marriage for eternity) as unbiblical.”

    Professor McGrath, isn’t it just as easy to accept “sealing” (marriage for eternity) as biblical? Consider Jesus’ conferral of the “sealing” [binding] authority on Peter:

    “And I [Jesus] will give unto thee [Peter] the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and
    whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and
    whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Could it, then, follow that if Peter was to bind a marriage on earth by the authority of the “keys of the kingdom” which Jesus had given him that such a marriage would be bound (sealed) in Heaven? And, as a marriage bound on earth continues on earth, may it not follow that a marriage bound in heaven continues in heaven?

    When Jesus appeared to the apostles after His resurrection He also gave to them, as well as to Peter, the authority to bind a person’s sins on him or remit them:

    “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20: 21-23

    It seems to me that a binding/sealing authority is biblical.

    • Gary

      If you follow Peter as the Rock, the you must be Catholic. Good. Pope Francis will be happy. I personally think he is a good guy!

      • ed2276

        I’m not Catholic, though my wife is. I am LDS.

        • Gary

          Sorry. I was trying to make a joke. I am sure things have changed in the LDS church. Most of the old timers (original LDS from Utah, you know, rural, farm stock), back in the 70’s, were quite anti-Catholic. Since you married a Catholic, you are OK with me.

          • ed2276

            Ha. No problem.
            I’ll be sure to let my wife know that I’m okay because I married a Catholic, while she is not okay because she married a Mormon. [grin]

          • Gary

            You’d have to check with the Pope on that one.

    • elchupacabras

      A cursory reading of those passages shows nothing about marriage. Hermeneutics are important. Those are referring to functions of the church and of church discipline, NOT matrimony or sealing power. Jesus compared himself as the bridegroom in an effort to show that there is something much greater than marriage. And what of Jesus’ declarations that there would be NO marriage in heaven? And what of being eunuchs for the kingdom? Your argument doesn’t harmonize with the rest of the narrative. It is eisegetical at best.

      • ed2276

        Yes, but it doesn’t exclude marriage as their subject either. It also doesn’t refer to any specific church function as being the sole object of the binding authority.
        The language is quite broad: “Whatsoever” Peter binds on earth will be bound in heaven; and, as I pointed out, the binding power seems to even extend to the remitting or retention of sin.
        The broad language–the only specific application I have found so far being in relation to sin–surely means that you are correct: the binding authority applied to church functions. But, isn’t marriage a church function?

        As for Jesus’ declaration that there would be “no marriage” in heaven, I think you paint with too broad a brush. Jesus’ comments were applied to the woman and 7 brothers in the specific scenario the Sadducees, who didn’t believe in a physical resurrection, presented to Him. Jesus said that “they”, meaning the seven brothers and the woman in the scenario, neither marry or are given in marriage in the resurrection, but are as the angels in heaven. He didn’t say that there are absolutely NO married people in continuing marriages in heaven.

        He prefaced his remark by telling the Sadducees that they didn’t understand the power of God. What power could that be? Could it be the sealing power? For, if the marriages between the woman and the brothers were not sealed by the binding power on earth–which appears to have not been present until Jesus gave it to Peter–then the marriages would not be sealed/bound in heaven. Therefore, in the resurrection their marriages would not continue and they would remain separate and single, as the angels in heaven. This would seem to leave room for the alternative possibility that those whose marriages are bound on earth continue in those marriages after the resurrection, and that they are not as the angels in heaven.

        It would seem, then, that those marriages which are not sealed on earth by the binding authority of an earthly administrator who has the keys of that authority, as were given to Peter, will not continue in heaven after the resurrection, and such people will become as the angels in heaven…separate and single. As to whether marriages which have been bound by the sealing power on earth will continue in heaven, Jesus didn’t say anything about that when he answered the Sadducees’ question.

        [edit] I have just read a different LDS interpretation of the use of “they” in the Lord’s reply to the Sadducees:

        “Second, the Lord did not say there would be no people in the married state in the resurrection, but that there would be no marriages made in the resurrection.

        Third, we must be clear about the “they” who are neither marrying nor being given in marriage. The context of the scriptures just cited suggests a generic rather than a specific meaning. Simply put, that means no marriages are made in the resurrection…”
        David H. Yarn, Jr., emeritus professor of philosophy, BYU.

        Professor Yarn went on to point out that even though “they” is a generic statement that no one will marry or be given in marriage in the resurrection, those whose marriages have been bound by the sealing power before the resurrection will continue after the resurrection.

        Whether “they” is used in reference to those in the Savior’s reply or is used generically the principle is still the same. The marriages of those who were not bound/sealed prior to the resurrection are not of force in the resurrection, while marriages sealed/bound prior to the resurrection continue in heaven. As Professor Yarn clarified:

        “What the Savior declared of the Sadducees who would later have part in his death is hardly applicable to his Saints who, through the [sealing/binding] ordinances of the priesthood and their righteousness, qualify for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, which the Lord equates with eternal marriage [post-resurrection continuation of their marriages]. (See D&C 132:19–24.)”
        https://www.lds.org/ensign/1986/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng
        (Scroll down to the second question in the article: Inasmuch as Latter-day Saints believe in marriage for eternity, how do we explain Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 22:29–30?)

  • Eric

    Seems as though anytime there is something positive written about the LDS Faith on the internet, there seems to be a lot of comments as if anyone with an objective view of Mormonism must be corrected into thinking like a Bible Bashing Fundamentalist.

    • I doubt that our own behavior will distinguish us in the annals of diplomacy.

  • mstockinger

    What consistently fascinates me is the contrast between the professionalism of the public affairs department of the Church of the Latter-day Saints and the tone-deafness and lack of sophistication evident in these Christian ministries who have been trying to take down Mormonism with the same tired rhetoric for a couple of centuries now. A 12 page diatribe? What happened to “brevity is the soul of wit”? Is there any sense at all of on whom the sympathy falls on?

    The “slime the Mormons” tactic always falls apart when the people fed with this kind of nonsense actually meet Mormons and realize they aren’t the caricatures they always heard about. The contrast between the wild-eyed haters sitting at the fold-out tables and the experience one has on the tour is always a clear win for the Mormons.

  • Thank you for your kind words and I am so glad you enjoyed the visit to our temple. Part of the reason we hold these open houses is to build bridges of understanding with the community such that as you say, even if you do not subscribe to all of our doctrines, can appreciate our motives.

    It seems one of my fellow coreligionists, Cody Quirk, has been a bit emphatic in his defense of the faith. While I appreciate his exuberance, I do not fully support his methods. There is plenty in life to disagree on and I am sure this thread is unlikely to result in any mass conversion to any faith. Dialog should be built on mutual respect and Christlike love for others. Argument and contention drive out the Spirit of God. It is better to disagree without being disagreeable.

  • Russell Spencer

    I’m glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Indianapolis Temple. I hope others will follow your example and take advantage of the opportunity. Nothing clears up personal misunderstandings quite like personal experience.

    And in my experience, the tours are always reverent and non-confrontational, and not used to actively proselyte visitors. And how often do you get to see the inside of an LDS temple? For those not of our faith, this is a unique opportunity to see the temple’s interior and learn about the sorts of ordinances we perform there.

  • ghostfox

    As someone who identifies as being a Mormon I just wanted to say thank you for being respectful and kind to our religion. In a day and age where religious people are being shouted down for having faith of any kind, what we need more than ever is respect and tolerance.

  • Jimmy Hoffa

    All this debate about the Bible and possible conflicts with the Book of Mormon, it’s so senseless and utterly pointless. We are just a bunch of hairless beach apes throwing poo at each other. Deal with it.

  • Stormy

    Tri-Grace ministries does not “scream vulgarities at them and desecrating temple garments at open houses and general conferences”. They on the other hand condemn that behavior as do I! They can’t stop them because of freedom of speech. I’ve seen the dialogue on the streets between mormons and Biblical Christians and at its best it is great. Because they are hearing what one another has to say.

  • Stormy

    An LDS video I found intersting on bullying. I thought others might find it interesting too.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FYVvE4tr2BI

  • Bethany

    I’ve always been sorry I didn’t get to see the temple in the city I grew up in before it was dedicated, although I was only 10 at the time so I imagine I wouldn’t have appreciated it. Oh, well, maybe I’ll be in the vicinity of another one of these days…