15
Mar
11

The Living Prophet

Ever since last fall’s General Conference, the LDS Church has been emphasizing the authority of the living prophet.  Twice in that General Conference, President Ezra Taft Benson’s 1980 speech, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet”, was not just referred to but cited quite heavily.  In fact, two different speakers listed all fourteen fundamentals.  This is striking because this was and has remained a controversial speech even among Mormons.  Numerous active LDS members have told me how they take that speech with a large grain of salt.  That critical attitude was also evident in numerous posts made by Mormon bloggers after General Conference.

It’s not difficult to see why this speech causes discomfort among some Mormons.  Here are the 14 fundamentals.  Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy listed them with this introduction: “Because they are of such great importance to our very salvation, I will repeat them again.” (my emphasis)

“First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

“Second: The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.

“Third: The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.

“Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

“Fifth: The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

“Sixth: The prophet does not have to say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ to give us scripture.

“Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.

“Eighth: The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.

“Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.

“Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters.

“Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.

“Twelfth: The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.

“Thirteenth: The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency—the highest quorum in the Church.

“Fourteenth: [Follow] … the living prophet and the First Presidency … and be blessed; reject them and suffer.”

Those are quite lofty claims!

But this emphasis on the living prophet hasn’t ended there.  In subsequent months, statements about the importance of following the living prophet have been appearing on the pages of the official LDS magazine, Ensign.  In fact, March’s edition spotlights this again in its column, “What We Believe”.

I, for one, am happy to see this emphasis.  I say that because it has been an ongoing frustration to quote a living prophet only to have it downplayed by Mormons as not binding.  But that is not what Benson said above.  It’s obvious that, by twice quoting those fundamentals at General Conference, the present Church agrees with Benson.  As the January edition of the Ensign states, “God continues to reveal truths to living prophets through the revelation of the Holy Ghost.  These truths are considered scripture (see D&C 68:4).  They come to us primarily through general conference, held the first weekend in April and October, when members throughout the world hear addresses from our prophet and other Church leaders.”

With statements like the above, the proper method for seeing what Mormonism truly teaches is looking at what its prophets and leaders have said rather than what individual members say.  And when a individual member’s position differ from that of the prophet, doesn’t honesty demand that, on the specific topic under discussion, that the member is not representing official Mormon teaching?

 

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86 Responses to “The Living Prophet”


  1. 1 shematwater
    March 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I like this post. I would agree that when the President of the Church speaks it should be binding on all the saints, and I will stand by the President at all times.

    However, I would warn against using these fundamentals to demand compliance with any other leader, as they only apply directly to the President.
    I would also warn against using them in reference to things the President said before they were President.

    Even with these warnings I would agree that in general, if any member of the Twelve Apostles or the First Presidency has said something and were not corrected by the President himself it should be taken as scripture that is as binding as any other scripture.

  2. 2 Ralph Peterson
    March 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Mark,
    You were doing really well, UNTIL this statement.

    “With statements like the above, the proper method for seeing what Mormonism truly teaches is looking at what its prophets and leaders have said rather than what individual members say.”

    Here you created a straw man with the “and leaders” part. The “14 fundamentals” refer ONLY to the President(Prophet) of the Church. That was a pretty slick trick, but it didn’t work.

  3. 3 jbr
    March 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Ralph,
    If “The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.” … then why don’t you address the main point instead you trying to be clever by deverting the point.

    Again, you are proving Mark’s point …”this speech causes discomfort among some Mormons.” You know why that is ?

    Because Presidents like Kimball while being president made statements that uncloaked the wolf in sheep’s clothing…which makes the job much harder for apologists and circle the wagon crowd to manage damage control.

    I talk to other Mormons on other sites and it’s not uncommon for them to blow off controversial statements by former presidents because it uncovers the image campaign of a theology that is pure as wind driven snow.

  4. 4 markcares
    March 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Ralph:
    So, should I conclude from what you say, that I should take what LDS apostles say with a grain of salt as possibly not reflecting the teachings of Mormonism? I agree that the LDS church says that only the president can speak for the whole church but it also says that the apostles are prophets. I know that you don’t want to imply that sometimes they are false prophets, but you can’t have it both ways. Are the words of LDS apostles always trustworthy when explaining doctrine?
    This is how the distinction between the president and apostles has been explained to me. Only the president can receive revelation that introduces new doctrine but apostles, as prophets, accurately explain existing doctrine. More than one Mormon has made that distinction to me. Would you agree with that?
    By the way, for those who are not aware that LDS apostles are also considered prophets, the following is from lds.org:
    “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, as did Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures. We sustain the President of the Church as prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire Church. We also sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.”

  5. 5 Ralph Peterson
    March 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    It is apparent that you didn’t understand my point. Or the 14 points for that matter.

    But then, not WANTING to understand could be the problem.

  6. 6 Ralph Peterson
    March 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    “So, should I conclude from what you say, that I should take what LDS apostles say with a grain of salt as possibly not reflecting the teachings of Mormonism?”

    Another strawman construction project.

    “I agree that the LDS church says that only the president can speak for the whole church but it also says that the apostles are prophets.”

    True, but irrelevant. You also know that no one claims that being such imputes infallibility. If you can’t distinguish between being infallible and “never lead the Church astray”, then any attempt on my part to explain it to you will fail.

    “Are the words of LDS apostles always trustworthy when explaining doctrine?”

    Yes, when you follow the prophets, you will NOT be lead astray in your quest for salvation and saving truth. Because the Lord has chosen and authorized them to speak in His behalf, He stands behind them. This concept just may be beyond your ability to willingly grasp.

    “Would you agree with that?”

    That looks reasonable. But language is a human feature. Each individual has different levels of ability to use and understand human language. Hyper critics quote mine statements from these men looking for contradictions and conflict where none, in reality, exist.

    Even the Apostle Paul was a much better preacher than writer. But alas, we don’t have any of his sermons, but only some of his letters. His letters are so confusing that the Apostle Peter speaking of them said, (2 Pet. 3:16) “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

    Some things haven’t changed in that respect.

  7. 7 Echo
    March 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Mark said: ““With statements like the above, the proper method for seeing what Mormonism truly teaches is looking at what its prophets and leaders have said rather than what individual members say.”

    Ralph said: “Here you created a straw man with the “and leaders” part. The “14 fundamentals” refer ONLY to the President(Prophet) of the Church. That was a pretty slick trick, but it didn’t work.”

    The 14th of the 14 fundamentals refers to the “and leaders”

    “Fourteenth: [FOLLOW] … the living prophet AND THE FIRST PRESIDENCY … and be blessed; REJECT THEM and suffer.”

  8. 8 Echo
    March 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    The “and leaders” refers to this as well:

    “As the January edition of the Ensign states, ‘God continues to reveal truths to living prophets through the revelation of the Holy Ghost. THESE TRUTHS ARE CONSIDERED SCRIPTURE (see D&C 68:4). THEY COME to us primarily through general conference, held the first weekend in April and October, WHEN MEMBERS throughout the world HEAR addresses from our prophet and OTHER CHURCH LEADERS.’ ”

  9. 9 shematwater
    March 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Ralph is right. The attempt here is to argue that all things said by these leaders is binding doctrine, which is not the case.
    A prophet is only a prophet when he speaks through the inspiration of the spirit, and only at these times are his words considered scripture. A prophet is not a prophet twenty four hours a days, 365 days a year (with an extra day in leap-years).

    We can be assured that when they speak in general conference the leaders are being guided by the spirit and thus their words are scripture. The only exception to this is the rare (and I mean very rare) occasion when the President stands and corrects the comments made by someone else, as he is the final authority on Earth.

    However, if a leader of the church prints a book without the consent of the church it is not scripture (no matter how accurate it is). When they speak at BYU or other institutions it cannot be guaranteed that they are inspired and thus speaking scripture. Even the President, when he is simply in conversation or not speaking under the direction of the Holy Spirit is not speaking scripture. Confusing this truth is where we get the wild claims that Joseph Smith taught there was life on the moon, or that the lost tribes are on the north star. These statements, though Joseph Smith may have said them, were not said through inspiration and so mean nothing.

    ECHO

    The 14th fundamental does not refer to “the other leaders.” It refers specifically to the First Presidency, which is the highest and presiding quorum of the Church. It does not refer to the twelve, nor to any other general authority. Why does it mention the First Presidency? Because it is a quorum, and nothing has been done without entire quorum’s approval. The President, though he may be the only one to receive revelation, has never taught it without first presenting it to the rest of the First Presidency and receiving their approval. They act as one, and thus to reject one is to reject all of them, and is thus a rejection of the President.
    (Much like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit act as one and to reject one of them is to reject all of them, and thus is a rejection of the Father.)

  10. 10 markcares
    March 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    So let’s take the 14 Fundamentals. They were quoted twice in last October’s General Conference. They were quoted by two members of the Seventy. The president did not correct them. Can I consider them official and binding statements of LDS teaching?

  11. 11 markcares
    March 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I have another question. What about the recent series of manuals entitled, “Teachings of Presidents of the Church”? They were used in all the wards each Sunday. They are official church manuals. They have teachings in their title. Sure seems as if those would be trustworthy sources to use in order to see what the LDS church teaches.

  12. 12 Ralph Peterson
    March 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    They were originally given by President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve February 26, 1980 at BYU. He became President of the Church in 1985.

    They have not been canonized, so technically they are not binding. But good council.

  13. 13 Ralph Peterson
    March 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    They are published by the Church. As such they are less binding than canonized scripture, but more binding than other material.

    As I said above, language is a human feature. Each individual has different levels of ability to use and understand human language. Hyper critics quote mine statements from these men looking for contradictions and conflict where none, in reality, exist.

    Even the Apostle Paul was a much better preacher than writer. But alas, we don’t have any of his sermons, but only some of his letters. His letters are so confusing that the Apostle Peter speaking of them said, (2 Pet. 3:16) “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

    Some things haven’t changed in that respect.

    To truly understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is critical that you understand what Paul meant when he wrote this; (1 Cor 2) 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
    12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

  14. 14 shematwater
    March 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    MARK

    By the comments you have made and the article itself it has become evident that you are seeking for justification. You want to be justified when you pull some random quote from some leader of the church and claim it is binding doctrine. You want to be justified by using any odd reference in your quest to prove LDS wrong (a quest you seem to be failing at admirably).

    I don’t think that any member is going to give you this justification, and I think Ralph has effectively explained why.
    We believe in revelation, and until you accept this belief you will never understand the gospel in the same manner as one who has accepted and felt it. We cannot justify your attempts to use the words of our leaders against us until you have shown an understanding of those words and those leaders, which cannot truly come without having the Spirit of God reveal it to you.
    (read the Corinthian reference above).

  15. 15 markcares
    March 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Shem:
    You first said: “Confusing this truth is where we get the wild claims that Joseph Smith taught there was life on the moon, or that the lost tribes are on the north star. These statements, though Joseph Smith may have said them, were not said through inspiration and so mean nothing.” Then in a follow-up post you said: “You want to be justified by using any odd reference in your quest to prove LDS wrong (a quest you seem to be failing at admirably).”
    Those are unfounded and false charges. I challenge you to find one instance in anything I have written where I did what you charged. Shem, how about an apology?
    The quotes I use are almost entirely from official and mainstream LDS sources (Ensign and manuals). I have done that because that is what LDS leaders told me to do when I asked where I go to find the church’s position on various issues. It was a LDS stake president, for example, who first introduced me to Gospel Principles. I have been told by other LDS leaders they are trustworthy.

  16. 16 Kent
    March 20, 2011 at 2:46 am

    I was told by a Mormon missionary that he would listen to a living prophet over scripture any day.

    Well scripture contains the words of Jesus Christ Himself so how can a church claim to be a Chirstian church but follow some other man’s teaching, namely the Mormon church’s president, over the teachings of Jesus Christ?

    Mormons, have you ever wondered why you are always having to explain and defend the seemingly many contradictions of your church and defend what current and previous leaders say?

    Could it be that its teachings are not consistant and are not the true gospel?

    I prefer to stay with the Bible as it doesn’t change. Remember, Jesus Christ is the Same, Yesterday, Today, and Forever!

  17. 17 Kent
    March 20, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Also, how can we take serious a man like Joseph Smith’s teachings who wrote himself into Genesis 50 in his version of the Bible?

    We can go back to the original language and see that what he added is nowhere to be found so the fact that he added text to make it predict his own coming is absurd!

    And we can’t trust the widely excepted translations of the Bible and we can trust Joseph Smith’s version?

  18. 18 shematwater
    March 21, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Mark

    You know, I have read so many people online and at times, especially under stress, their words seem to run together. I do apologize, as what I said was not truly accurate and should not have been said.

    My perception of your intent was influenced by the clear intent of others, which caused me to read into your words something that is not rightly seen in them. Sorry.

  19. 19 shematwater
    March 21, 2011 at 2:04 am

    KENT

    We can’t go back to the original as the original no longer exists (to our knowledge). What we can do is go back to copies and transcriptions of the original which were made several hundred years later, and thus there is no proof that the original did not contain these things.

    Second, if we are to reject Joseph Smith because he is not Christ, why on earth would we listen to Peter or Paul, or any other man except Jesus?
    Another problem with this wonderful argument is that we don’t actually have the words of Christ himself. All we have are the accounts of what he said written a few decades after he said them. He didn’t write a book that we can read from. His Apostles and disciples wrote what they remember of his words.

    Now, we do believe in following a living Prophet, just as the Israelites followed the living Moses, or thw Saints followed the Living Peter. However, just like them, we do not follow him as a man, but as the voice of God on Earth. We do not believe that when the Prophet speaks it is the words of Christ he is delivering (much like reading a letter sent from Christ) and so we are following the words of Christ and not the words of Joseph Smith or any other man.

  20. 20 Ralph Peterson
    March 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “All we have are the accounts of what he said written a few decades after he said them. He didn’t write a book that we can read from. His Apostles and disciples wrote what they remember of his words.”

    AND we don’t even have those. All we have are copies of those. No originals are known to exist.

  21. 21 Ralph Peterson
    March 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    And why do some take the words of Paul (as they are misinterpreted) over the words of Jesus?

    Jesus said, (Matt. 23:34)¶ Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

    (Luke 11:49) Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

  22. 22 Echo
    March 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Ralph said in post #18: “And why do some take the words of Paul (as they are misinterpreted) over the words of Jesus?…(Luke 11:49) Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:”

    Ralph, you have answered your own question.

    What your post tells me is that JESUS’ own words tell us to listen to not only his words, but also to the words of ***HIS***, I repeat ***HIS*** apostles and prophets. Therefore to listen to ***HIS*** apostles and prophets is the same as listening to Jesus.

    That said. We KNOW for a FACT that Paul was an apostle of Jesus. After all, he authored most of the New Testament!

    The same Jesus who tells us to listen to “his” prophets and apostles is the same Jesus who also warns us about false prophets who come to us in sheep’s clothing. In other words, they are false prophets who look and act like Christians and profess to be Christians but they are not ‘real’ Christians.

    The very fact that Jesus gives us this warning and tells us how to avoid false prophets is EVIDENCE that God will indeed allow a false prophet to lead us astray if we fail to do what Jesus asks us to do. Any false prophet can claim: “I am a prophet of God and God will never allow me to lead you astray” but that is a lie of the devil. God will allow false prophets to lead us astray if we don’t do what Jesus asks us to do. The bible has examples of false prophets and false teachers leading many to eternal destruction in outer darkness!

    Jesus instructs us that we will know false prophets by their fruit. What is the fruit of a false prophet? Since a false prophet “acts” righteous like he thinks or assumes a Christian should act (he is in sheep’s clothing), sin might not always easily be detected. Although another fruit of a false prophet that can be detected is his (false) teachings (“WOLF” in sheep’s clothing).

    The “wolf” will contradict God’s word and in so doing, he is guilty of persecuting Jesus and “his” true apostles and prophets.

    The True apostle of Jesus whom Jesus himself wants us to listen to and who authored most of the New Testament, stated:

    God “justifieth the ungodly” in Romans 4:5

    Joseph Smith contradicted the apostle Paul. Joseph Smith stated: God “justifieth NOT the ungodly” (Romans 4:5 Joseph Smith Translation.)

    There is NO WAY to misinterpret Paul’s words there. There is NO WAY to misinterpret Joseph Smith’s very obvious contradiction to Paul’s words. The two are diametrically opposed to each other.

    Joseph Smith is a false prophet as are all the LDS prophets and apostles. They are guilty of not only openly contradicting God’s word, but they are also guilty of misinterpreting the entire scriptures because the entire message of Christianity and the Bible is: God justifieth the ungodly! The Mormon Church is guilty of persecuting Jesus!

    When the Mormon prophets say to you: “God will never allow me to lead you astray” HE IS LYING!

  23. 23 Kent
    March 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Shematwater and Ralph, I would much rather rely on writings of people who actually knew and were with Jesus Himself then what anyone over 1800 years later or more says. As far as the copies being from copies, they are agree with what was said over the centuries all the way down the line.

    Also, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are at least 2000 years old, have Biblical Old Testament text intact and the Genesis text agrees and is consistant with the versions down through the centuries sense then and there is no mention of a prophesy of someone like Joseph Smith coming, he wrote himself into the Bible, period!

    Funny, you would believe what someone wrote after the fact about people like Julius Ceasar, Agustus Ceasar, etc, some written hundreds of years after the fact, or that something like the Trojan war happened, which was handed down by word of mouth for centuries, but not the words of Jesus?

    Isn’t it strange that the Joehovah Witnesses all of a sudden in only the early 1960’s come up with the only true Bible (in their own eyes) that disagrees in major points with every other Bible translation before or since and that Joseph Smith comes up with a Bible in only the 1800’s that also disagrees with all other Bibles on some points and adds to the text in Genesis 50 to predict himself?

    The Bible says in the latter days that false prophets would rise up so I would say Charles Taze Russell from the Witnesses and Joseph Smith fit that description and are two of a kind.

    Personally, I reject a lot of what Smith and your living prophet(s) have said or say as they teach another gospel than that is found in the Bible and it is either I am accursed or Mormons are accursed and Smith and others have said that my beliefs are an abomination and that I am following the harlot.

    But, as I have said, people have to choose one gospel (the Bible only) or the other gospel as taught by the Mormon church as no, they are not the same.

  24. 24 Echo
    March 21, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Kent said: “Personally, I reject a lot of what Smith and your living prophet(s) have said or say as they teach another gospel than that is found in the Bible and it is either I am accursed or Mormons are accursed and Smith and others have said that my beliefs are an abomination and that I am following the harlot.”

    This is a great point!

    I just want to add something for the Mormon readers….

    The Gospel in the Bible to which the Apostle Paul himself testifies is this: “God justifieth the ungodly” Romans 4:5

    1 Corinthians 15:2 ” By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

    The Bible warns against turning from that Gospel…

    Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”

    The gospel of Mormonism is summed up in this: “God justifieth NOT the ungodly”

    That is another gospel. It is a gospel that eternally condemns souls to outer darkness.

    Mormonism does not “hold firmly to what was preached” (1 Cor 15:2) by Paul himself (Rom 4:5), Mormons “believe in vain” (1 Cor 15:2). Only one gospel saves and that is the gospel wherein God justifies the ungodly.(Rom 4:5)

    I pray all Mormons will turn to the true gospel and be saved.

  25. 25 Ralph Peterson
    March 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    The problem is that your so called “Biblical gospel” is nothing more than the misinterpretation of Paul and totally ignores large portions of Jesus teachings. It isn’t rally base upon the Bible at all.

    The Gospel taught by the LDS church is totally consistent with what the Bible, when properly understood, actually teaches.

    Thank goodness not all Evangelicals are as closed minded as some here.

    http://evangelicalsandmormonsforjesus.com/

    http://evangelicalsandmormonsforjesus.com/fast-facts.htm

  26. 26 Ralph Peterson
    March 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    The problem is that your so called “Biblical gospel” is nothing more than the misinterpretation of Paul and totally ignores large portions of Jesus teachings. It isn’t rally base upon the Bible at all.

    The Gospel taught by the LDS church is totally consistent with what the Bible, when properly understood, actually teaches.

    Thank goodness not all Evangelicals are as closed minded as some here.

    Web site //evangelicalsandmormonsforjesus.com/

    Web site //evangelicalsandmormonsforjesus.com/fast-facts.htm

  27. March 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Ralph, just in case you weren’t aware, “secret” hand shakes pilfered from Masonry is not part of Christianity, never has been, never will be.

  28. 28 Kent
    March 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    John 14:6

    Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    Matthew 6:9-10

    After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

    Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

    Notice that the reference in John 14 says we can’t get to Heavenly Father except by Him (Jesus) but it doesn’t say that we have to be sealed in some temple or joined in marriage to someone in some temple to get to be with Heavenly Father. Notice also that in Matthew 6 it doesn’t say Heavenly Father is in the highest level of heaven but in heaven itself.

    But I am sealed by something much better, the blood of Jesus Christ he shed in my place on the cross!

    So Mormon beliefs are a different gospel.

    John 3:16-18

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Notice that John 3 says we are saved if we believe in Jesus but we are condemned if we do not believe in Him.

    So saved, to be in heaven with Heavenly Father when we die, or condemned, in hell, if we don’t believe.

    So Mormonism teaching there are three levels of heaven is teaching another gospel.

    People choose one gospel or the other as, again, they are not the same.

    Ralph said,

    “All we have are the accounts of what he said written a few decades after he said them. He didn’t write a book that we can read from. His Apostles and disciples wrote what they remember of his words.”

    So why even bother even using anything He is quoted as saying in the Bible if we can’t trust what it says?

    So the choice is whether people believe what the Bible says and that it is the truth or not believe what it says.

    Like I have been saying all along different gospels so choose one or the other.

    Ironic, that it is unbelievers, atheists, who are the ones who most often question the validity of the Bible but Mormons also question our beliefs by questioning the validity of the Bible. This could be more than a coincidence.

    Interesting that even Jesus Christ Himself, when he walked on this earth, and his original dicsiples wouldn’t have been temple worthy as doesn’t the drinking of any beverage such as wine disqualify someone? Jesus and his followers did drink wine even if they didn’t get drunk from it.

  29. 29 Kent
    March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I said, “Mormons also question our beliefs by questioning the validity of the Bible.”

    I think this would be better stated that it is atheists who quesiton our beliefs by questioning the validity of the Bible and while Mormons don’t question our beliefs in that sense, they also do question the validity of the Bible.

  30. 30 Echo
    March 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Ralph said: “The problem is that your so called “Biblical gospel” is nothing more than the misinterpretation of Paul and totally ignores large portions of Jesus teachings. It isn’t rally base upon the Bible at all.”

    Joseph Smith misinterpreted Romans 4:5 where it states “God justifieth the ungodly” and falsely interpreted it to say: “God justifieth NOT the ungodly”

    Since you Ralph, have proven time and again just how ungodly you are, that true Gospel in the Bible which Paul himself preached and warned against turning away from, would include you! You qualify!

    However since you have turned to a gospel that is no gospel at all… Your gospel states that God justifieth NOT the ungodly” so by your own beliefs, and your own proven track record of ungodliness, you are condemned! An apostate Mormon you are! A hypocrite, a viper and white washed tomb!

    Why are you procrastinating your repentance? For this is what you believe and will be held accountable for: For Alma 34:35 states: “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

    Ralph said: “Thank goodness not all Evangelicals are as closed minded as some here.

    http://evangelicalsandmormonsforjesus.com/

    http://evangelicalsandmormonsforjesus.com/fast-facts.htm

    I checked out the links, Joel Osteen is a teacher who says what itching ears want to hear!

  31. 31 shematwater
    March 22, 2011 at 3:37 am

    All that you say is very true, except that last bit.

    As to Joseph Smith “adding” the word not into the quoted verse, is there any real proof that Paul did not write it this way originally, but that the negetive was lost in translation or transscription?
    Unless you can show the original you cannot prove that Joseph Smith contradicted anything that Paul wrote, but only what others have transcribed from his writings.

    The real problem with Christ justifying the ungodly is that a False Prophet is ungodly, and thus, by reason of this doctrine, is Justified.

  32. 32 shematwater
    March 22, 2011 at 3:53 am

    KENT

    John 14: 6
    No, this does not mention any temples as a requirement to enter the presence of the Father. But that is fine, as the LDS church doesn’t teach the temple is a requirement to enter the Presence of the Father either.

    Matthew 6: 9-10
    I am confused here. If he is in the Highest Heaven, would this not requrie him to be in Heaven to begin with. Just like I can’t be on the top floor of a building without being in the building. Where is the contradiction.

    John 3: 16-18
    Notice that there is no word that indicates an automatic saving. In fact, the word should (past tense of shall) indicates an obligation or duty to do something. Thus the phrase “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” means that all those who believe are under an obligation to be saved, which puts all the responsibilty on them, not on Christ. This is supported by the later passage of “that the world through him might be saved.” Notice the word “might” that indicates only a possibilty, not a gauruntee.

    In other words, God so loved us that he gave his Only Begotten Son, and in so doing made it possible for us to be saved. Having done his part we, as true believers, now carry the responsibility of our own salvation.

    Isn’t language wonderful?

  33. 33 shematwater
    March 22, 2011 at 4:01 am

    When did anyone ever say they give greater credibility to any of these otehr historical people or events? I don’t recall anything of this kind being mentioned by anyone until now.
    Personally, all historical documents are subject to the same criticism, including the Bible.
    The only difference between the Bible and others is that the Bible deals with our eternal soul, and so one must be extra careful in reading and interpreting it. I mean, it isn’t going to matter a whole lot int he grand sceme of things if we accept the Trojan War as a historical event. But it will matter a great deal as to how we interpret the words of the Bible.
    For this reason we do generally give a greater scrutiny of the Bible, but we do not use different standards.

    On a final note; even with all the records we have we have nothing that was not written at least 50 years after the original document. For the Old Testiment it is generally a few hundred (The Dead Sea Scrolls date to only about 200 B.C. and Isaiah was about 600 B.C.). With these kind of gaps it is not illogical to conclude that errors may crept in.

  34. 34 Echo
    March 22, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Shem, Is there any real proof that what you are saying is true? Unless you have the original you cannot prove that the word “NOT” was removed. So lets not pretend that you have the original while I don’t.

    However if you read all of the context of Romans 4:5 in the scripture, you will see that the entire book of Romans as well as other scriptures indeed testify that God justifieth the ungodly.

    Shem said: “The real problem with Christ justifying the ungodly is that a False Prophet is ungodly, and thus, by reason of this doctrine, is Justified.”

    But when that false prophet rejects that God has justified him in Christ, he rejects what Christ has done for him and thereby rejects Christ. By rejecting the message, he forfeits the prize.

  35. 35 Ralph Peterson
    March 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Shem,

    I have already shown, using the Bible (in a previous thread) that JS got it right. So any accusation that he got it wrong is asinine.

  36. 36 Ralph Peterson
    March 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    “So Mormonism teaching there are three levels of heaven is teaching another gospel.”

    Well, according to the Apostle Paul, there are three heavens. Perhaps you have never read it. It is in the Bible.

    2 Cor. 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to THE THIRD HEAVEN.

  37. 37 Kent
    March 23, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Shematwater said:

    “In other words, God so loved us that he gave his Only Begotten Son, and in so doing made it possible for us to be saved. Having done his part we, as true believers, now carry the responsibility of our own salvation.”

    Our responsiblity is to believe in Jesus, that He died and shed His blood in our place on the cross, that we are hopeless sinners who can never save ourselves, and that He rose again on the third day.

    So just believe it with the faith of a child who doesn’t question it but just accepts it as a free gift that we can never in 10,000 lifetimes repay. But the good news (the gospel) is that we don’t have to repay it as he already did it for us 2000 years ago and it is truly finished.

    But if we don’t accept the free gift with the faith of a child it is the same thing as being a condemned unbeliever.

    Mark 10:15

    “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

    Notice it says kingdom and not kingdoms (Mormon version).

    Back to John 3:16-18

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Notice again it says believers have everlasting life, which, again, is in heaven and not heavens but unbelivers are condemned (to Hell).

  38. 38 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Ralph, how did Joseph Smith conclude that “God justifieth NOT the ungodly?

  39. 39 Ralph Peterson
    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    “Our responsiblity is to believe in Jesus, that He died and shed His blood in our place on the cross, that we are hopeless sinners who can never save ourselves, and that He rose again on the third day.

    So just believe it with the faith of a child who doesn’t question it but just accepts it as a free gift that we can never in 10,000 lifetimes repay. But the good news (the gospel) is that we don’t have to repay it as he already did it for us 2000 years ago and it is truly finished.”

    That is an admission that we MUST DO something. Now we are left with the debate about what it means to “believe IN Jesus”.

    Does it include believing Jesus when He teaches us that we must repent?

    Does it include believing Jesus when He teaches us that we must be baptized?

    Does it include believing Jesus when He teaches us that we must love our neighbor as our selves?

    Does it include believing Jesus when He teaches us that we must be keep His commandments?

    Does it include believing Jesus when He teaches us that we must endure to the end?

  40. 40 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    F. Pieper in his book: Christian Dogmatics volume III says this:

    “they[evangelicals and non Lutherans] want to make the gospel result from faith, instead of basing faith on the gospel” (page 204)

    “[Lutherans] do not use such evangelical statements as “he that believeth shall be saved” etc to announce conditions that must first be fulfilled, but use them as what they are meant to be, namely, as means urgently to invite and persuade men to believe the Gospel message” (Page 204)

    “The true Gospel teachers do not direct the grace seeker to his faith, but to the object of faith, namely, to Christ’s perfect reconciliation or, expressed differently, to the objective promise of grace.” (Page 204)

  41. 41 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Ralph said: ‘That is an admission that we MUST DO something.”

    We don’t DO SOMETHING to be saved. Jesus has DONE everything. To believe he has done everything is an admission that he did everything because we can’t do anything. Here is what I mean…

    If I give you a fully assembled jigsaw puzzle, can you do anything to complete that jigsaw puzzle which I already fully completed or assembled for you?

    Your faith in the fact that I completed the puzzle in no way means you must DO SOMETHING. Your faith did NOTHING. Your faith is simply acknowledging that it was all assembled and given to you without you having done anything!

  42. 42 shematwater
    March 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you Ralph. I think Echo needs the link.

    ECHO

    I never said I had the original. All I said is that you don’t, and thus your argument lacks actualy proof.

    Now, I am not saying it is not a valid argument, only an inconclusive one, and thus not one that must be accepted as the only valid argument.

    Now, I have read Romans, and with the exception of this verse I see exactly what Joseph Smith taught, that the Ungodly are condemned for their wickness and the righteous are justified through Christ.

  43. 43 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Shem said: “I never said I had the original. All I said is that you don’t, and thus your argument lacks actualy proof.”

    Why would you use the argument that I cannot prove my point because I don’t have the originals when you cannot prove your point either because you don’t have the originals?

    When you attempt to hang me with your argument, you are only hanging yourself right along with me.

    So lets not muddy up the discussion with useless arguments, that helps nobody. Let’s move on to something more helpful to everyone.

    I am going to take what is left of your post to the bottom of the thread and discuss it there. I think that is easier than having posts here, there and everywhere throughout the thread.

  44. 44 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Shem said: “Now, I have read Romans, and with the exception of this verse I see exactly what Joseph Smith taught, that the Ungodly are condemned for their wickness and the righteous are justified through Christ.”

    Lets study the book of Romans together.

    Romans 2:17-24 “17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

    How do you interpret these passages?
    (Tell me in your own words what is being said here.)

  45. 45 Ralph Peterson
    March 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Shematwater,

    Echo was here and involved in the thread. To provide him a link would be a waste of time as the material I provided in it was ignored by him at the time.

    Any effort to communicate with him is a waste of time because he isn’t interested in a civil conversation.

    He soon will be accusing you of sin, if he hasn’t already.

  46. 46 shematwater
    March 23, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    KENT

    Did you miss the meaning of the word “Should?” From your response it seems you have. You again quote John 3: 16-18 and claim that it is gaurunteeing Everlasting Life to all believers, but this is not the case. What it is gaurunteeing is the chance to be saved, as indicated by the one word “should?”
    If it was a gaurunteed salvation it would have said “would” or “will” which indicate this deffinitiveness. Should does not indicate this and thus we see that these verses do not mean what you are claiming.

    Now, as to our responsibility, what you say makes absolutley no sense. Taking the true meaning, as I have just outlined, faith is not part of the responsibility, but a prerequisite for it. If we don’t believe we are under no responsibility to “work out [our] own salvation (Philip. 2: 12). However, for those who do believe they are now responsible for this work.
    To say that the faith is what we are responsible for is contradictory to John3: 16-18.

  47. 47 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Ralph said: “Any effort to communicate with him is a waste of time because he isn’t interested in a civil conversation.

    He soon will be accusing you of sin, if he hasn’t already.”

    I think anyone can read the archives and see that YOU Ralph are the one being uncivil.

  48. 48 Echo
    March 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Ralph,

    Only in Satan’s church is it uncivil to point out sin.
    Only in God’s church is it uncivil to sin.

  49. 49 Kent
    March 24, 2011 at 1:59 am

    John 3:18
    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Romans 10:9
    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Acts 16:30-32
    And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
    And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    Acts 8:35-37
    Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    It is clear that it is enough to believe in who Jesus is and what He did for us to be saved (go to heaven when we die) and if we don’t believe in Him we are condemned (we go to hell)

    By the way, the scripture Phillip was referring to in Acts 8 was Isaiah 53 which told us that we have all gone astray and that Jesus would come to pay the price for us to take away our sins

    So people hear the gospel, as told in the Bible alone, and they either believe it or don’t believe it.

  50. 50 Kent
    March 24, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Phillipians 2:12-15

    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

    The context of this passage, we have to look at the text that follows Phil. 2:12, is that working out our salvation is showing a good example to the world but it is still God who is doing the work in us, people who are already saved and are believers who will go to heaven. Paul was talking in this letter to believers in the church of Phillipi and telling them to keep doing the same things regardless if Paul was there or not.

  51. 51 shematwater
    March 24, 2011 at 2:52 am

    John 3: 18
    Just because we are not condemned does not mean we are saved. All it means is that we are not condemned. This distinction is important, as it shows us the real meaning. Those who do not believe are condemned because without that faith they cannot do what is required. Those who do believe are not so condemned, but neither are they saved until they have done what is necessary.
    This, again, indicates a conitional salvation placing resposibility for action on us.

    Romans 10: 9
    verse 10 states “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
    So, we see the reasoning for the statement in verse 9. This reasoning is that if you truly believe with all your heart you will do those works that are required, or you will live righteously. This does not deny the need for works.

    Acts 16: 30-32
    Notice that they taught him all the words of Christ. It was Christ who taught that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matt 7: 21). Christ also taught that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned,” which is likely why we read about this prison guard being baptized that very day.

    Acts 8: 35-37
    There is no indication in here that Faith saves, only that faith is a prerequisite to baptism. This would indicate that Baptism is requried, just as Christ said in Mark.

    Again, things are no truly so clear when we consider them in their full context and meaning.

  52. 52 shematwater
    March 24, 2011 at 3:00 am

    So, is it our choice to do these good works, or are they forced on us once we believe?

    Sorry, but if we are going to preserve the agency of man the interpretation you give just doesn’t work. If it is all God than we no longer have agency, which doesn’t seem all that much like heaven.
    However, if we understand these verses (which I have read before) to mean that God is simply giving us the will and the strength if we so choose to act on them, then we preserve the agency of man.

    So, you choose whether you want to believe in a God who preserves our freedom or one who enslaves us for his own purposes.

  53. 53 shematwater
    March 24, 2011 at 3:09 am

    I prefer the King James Version, but lets go with it.

    Taking just these verses I see a great accusation against the hypocracy of the Jews in Rome. He is letting them know that this hypocracy has lead to many of the Gentiles rejecting Christ, a basically using his name as curse because of the actions of these Jews.

    Honestly, there is no indication in these verses of anyone being condemned or saved or justified or anything like this. It is simply a warning.

    Now, if we continue in the chapter we get the full force of the warning.
    verse 25-29 (KJV)
    “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
    Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

    We see in these verses a great condemnation of the ungodly. Paul is letting the Jews know that the Gentiles who live righteously, but do not follow the law (or the Law of Moses) will judge the Jews who keep this law but do not live righteously.

    This entire chapter is a lesson on righteousness, and how it is by being righteous that we are justified.

  54. 54 shematwater
    March 24, 2011 at 3:09 am

    I prefer the King James Version, but lets go with it.

    Taking just these verses I see a great accusation against the hypocracy of the Jews in Rome. He is letting them know that this hypocracy has lead to many of the Gentiles rejecting Christ, a basically using his name as curse because of the actions of these Jews.

    Honestly, there is no indication in these verses of anyone being condemned or saved or justified or anything like this. It is simply a warning.

    Now, if we continue in the chapter we get the full force of the warning.
    verse 25-29 (KJV)
    “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
    Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

    We see in these verses a great condemnation of the ungodly. Paul is letting the Jews know that the Gentiles who live righteously, but do not follow the law (or the Law of Moses) will judge the Jews who keep this law but do not live righteously.

    This entire chapter is a lesson on righteousness, and how it is by being righteous that we are justified.

  55. 55 Ralph Peterson
    March 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Here is what Echo ignored.

    From this thread, https://markcares.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/what-a-difference-a-%E2%80%9Cnot%E2%80%9D-makes/

    Well, shall we look at the “ungodly” in the context of other New Testament verses?

    1 Tim. 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

    1 Pet. 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

    2 Pet. 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
    6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

    Sounds bad for the “ungodly” doesn’t it!

    2 Pet. 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    Bad indeed.

    Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • • •
    15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
    • • •
    18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

    Even Paul in Romans agrees with Joseph Smith.

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    Unless you think “the wrath of God” isn’t something for the ungodly to fear.

    Yup!!! It looks bad for the “ungodly”. Joseph Smith got it right.

    Will you agree that the opposite of ungodly is godly?

    2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    Ex. 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

    Deut. 25:1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

    1 Kgs. 8:32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

    2 Chr. 6:23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.

    Prov. 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.

    Yes, Joseph Smith got it right.

    Both the Old AND THE NEW Testaments agree, Joseph Smith got it right.

  56. 56 jbr
    March 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    So, you choose whether you want to believe in a God who preserves our freedom or one who enslaves us for his own purposes.
    ———————————————————————————-

    Oh, so God isn’t “enslaving” (using Ralph’s ladder example) by proving yourself for ages upon ages till you get to become a god ?

    I can just hear God saying…”prove it shem,… prove it, … prove it…. do all you can do shem ….when you say “uncle” to all you can do, then I’ll step shem

    That’s real freedom shem……….

  57. 57 Kent
    March 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    shematwater, I will read what you said in your last and try to answer it in another post but for now I would like to go back again to John 3:16-18.

    You said that ‘should not perish’ means that it is not conditional that we are saved if we believe in Jesus. However there are several different dictionary usages for the word should and one of them is for something to follow from the action word should. You used the form of the word in usage number 4, as to mean that if we believe in Jesus, it is probable that we should not perish. However the context in usage number 1 actually is conditional, that something will follow if the condition of believing is met. So the passage does mean if we believe in Jesus, it follows we are saved and will not perish and if we don’t believe, we are condemned.

    Definition of SHOULD
    past of shall
    1
    —used in auxiliary function to express CONDITION
    2
    —used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency
    3
    —used in auxiliary function to express futurity from a point of view in the past
    4
    —used in auxiliary function to express what is PROBABLE OR EXPECTED
    5
    —used in auxiliary function to express a request in a polite manner or to soften direct statement

  58. 58 Echo
    March 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Ralph said: “Sounds bad for the “ungodly” doesn’t it!”

    Just how bad will it be for the ungodly Ralph? You admit that it “sounds bad” yet here you have been posting on this blog, sinning freely, willingly and openly against Mark and others. Now THAT IS UNGODLY!!! And when someone points out your sin, you bite, growl and show your teeth.

    And even when your sins are pointed out, you lap your own vomit up off the floor with your tongue and repeat the process all over again. Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” 2 Peter 2:22 “Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

    Don’t YOU know how bad it will be for the ungodly Ralph?! Let me tell you just how bad it will be for YOU RALPH.

    There is a loaded GUN pointed at your head in the Book of Mormon…

    Alma 34:35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, YE HAVE BECOME SUBJECTED TO THE SPIRIT OF THE DEVIL, AND HE DOTH SEAL YOU HIS; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

    You are going to DIE Ralph! And I am here trying to save you from this certain death!

    Be a man! Talk to me! Or be a dog who returns to lap up his own vomit and has no hope whatsoever to become Godly.

    I would be more than glad to deal with all these verses on what happens to the UNGODLY because I agree with you that the UNGODLY will reap the same DEATH of the wicked as YOU! The UNGODLY will be sealed by the DEVIL and become HIS just like YOU will if you don’t heed the warnings of your BOM!

    I want to save you from all that and all you can do is bite me and growl at me, or are you really just standing there with your tail between your legs? I am trying to offer you steak to eat instead of your own vomit! Which do you prefer? Steak or Vomit? Which do you prefer, Godliness or ungodliness?

    Before we can talk about what happens to the UNGODLY in the final judgment, we FIRST must talk about God justifying the UNgodly right here in the present. (which comes BEFORE the final judgment)

    I am not ignoring your verses. It’s just that God justifying the ungodly must be discussed before we can discuss what happens to the ungodly.

    Are you willing to talk or are you going to continue biting, growling and showing me your teeth?

    Nothing I ever say is intended to harm you in ANY WAY. Yes, sometimes love must be tough love, but it’s always motivated by love and concern. Try your best to believe that and interpret all my words in light of that statement. Lets talk like friend to friend. But we can’t continue jumping all over the place. Things must be discussed in order of when they happen.

    What do you say?

  59. 59 Echo
    March 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Shem said:

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    I prefer the King James Version, but lets go with it.

    Taking just these verses I see a great accusation against the hypocracy of the Jews in Rome. He is letting them know that this hypocracy has lead to many of the Gentiles rejecting Christ, a basically using his name as curse because of the actions of these Jews.

    Honestly, there is no indication in these verses of anyone being condemned or saved or justified or anything like this. It is simply a warning.

    Now, if we continue in the chapter we get the full force of the warning.
    verse 25-29 (KJV)
    “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
    Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

    We see in these verses a great condemnation of the ungodly. Paul is letting the Jews know that the Gentiles who live righteously, but do not follow the law (or the Law of Moses) will judge the Jews who keep this law but do not live righteously.

    This entire chapter is a lesson on righteousness, and how it is by being righteous that we are justified.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    So the “law” being spoken of is the 10 commandments?

  60. 60 Ralph Peterson
    March 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Shematwater,

    Notice that no one can refute the fact that JS got it right, “God justifieth NOT the ungodly”.

  61. 61 Echo
    March 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Ralph,

    When Jesus was tempted by the devil. The devil quoted scripture to tempt Jesus with while ignoring other scriptures. Jesus gave the other scripture to silence the devil’s temptation.
    The point…all of scripture is true and when scripture is taken as a whole and interpreted in that way, then you end up with God’s intended interpretation rather than ending up with the devil’s interpretation which in the end destroys souls.

    JESUS is what reconciles this….

    Prov. 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord

    with this…

    “God justifieth the ungodly” Romans 4:5

    The wicked, the ungodly, are those sinners who sin against any of God’s commandments be that the 10 commandments, the sermon on the mount or any other command in scripture. Sinners deserve only God’s wrath both now and in eternity. You are either a sinner (ungodly, wicked) or a saint (Godly, sinless)

    God does not justify the wicked in this sense: God demands that our sin be punished with ONLY his wrath and anger both now and in Hell for eternity. God’s justice demands that our sin be punished! And OUR SIN WAS PUNISHED!…

    JESUS traded places with us! He suffered God’s wrath in our place, as our substitute, as us, thus satisfying the demands of God’s justice. He was punished for us! He traded places with us. He became us, we became him. In God’s eyes, that was Ralph and Echo on the cross dying for our own sins. But if it really was you and I on the cross, we would die and go to Hell and never get out! And not only that, but now throughout our lives, when God looks at us,(because Jesus became us and we became him) God see’s Jesus! Perfect, sinless, righteous! Naturally since God’s see’s us a perfect, sinless and righteous as Jesus, Eternal life is ours! We KNOW that now! No fear of the judgment! None! Zip! Zero!

    Yes. It is only because of Jesus and what he has done that God justifieth the ungodly.

    And because of this great and awesome news, and since we know we have eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, those who believe desire to become as Godly in reality as they already are through faith. Not to gain eternal life, but because eternal life is ours already! There is no greater love than this! That love compels us to want to live for God just out of love and thanks for the love he has shown us!

    Mormonism on the other hand “says” they have a Jesus who died for your sins, but it’s all whitewash on a dead man’s tomb. What they really have is a Jesus holding a loaded gun to your head…

    Alma 34:35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, YE HAVE BECOME SUBJECTED TO THE SPIRIT OF THE DEVIL, AND HE DOTH SEAL YOU HIS; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

    Repentance by Mormon definition means you must overcome your sins in order to be forgiven. That makes you your own Savior from sin. You are not forgiven in your sins.

    Sure, people with a gun held to their head will make attempts to do what they are told to do in order to avoid being shot. But it is impossible to love someone who is holding a gun to your head. Anything they therefore do, is nothing but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) because it is not motivated by the love Jesus has for us. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” Heb 11:6

    The desire and the power to live a truly Godly life comes from the forgiveness we already have in Jesus. Forgiveness even in our sins. God having justified the ungodly. For there you have a sacrificial and unconditional love with no gun held to your head. That is a savior you can truly love and desire to serve the rest of your life!

  62. 62 Echo
    March 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Let me put that in practical terms…

    God commands us to Love everyone, including the unlikable and unlovable, including those who hate us, he wants us to do it sincerely, from the heart!

    That means…no sinning in our thoughts, words or actions against anyone, at anytime, for any reason, regardless of how they treat you! Regardless if they sin against you. You are to do good to everyone, all the time and in all ways. Serving all others for their sake not for your sake. And all this right from the heart, sincerely and genuinely.

    However, you have not obeyed God as you should. You continuously fall short of his glory (Romans 3:23). Your sins make you unlikable, unlovable and all sin is hatred towards God.

    Your Savior Jesus Christ has taken away the guilt of your sin, won full and free forgiveness for you, (he forgave you) and this is your greatest treasure and comfort!

    In other words, Christ has loved YOU from his heart, YOU the unlikable and unlovable who hates him! He was crucified FOR YOU. He forgave you even though you continuously fall short of his glory and will continue to fall short of his glory. All of that is forgiven!

    “God justifieth the ungodly”!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. 63 Kent
    March 26, 2011 at 2:31 am

    1 Corinthians 15:1-4
    1”Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures;
    4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”

    1 Corinthians 15:14-17
    “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
    15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
    16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
    17And if Christ be not raised, YOUR FAITH IS VAIN; YE ARE YET IN YOUR SINS.”
    John 1:29
    29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.

    So the only way that God can justify us, the ungodly, is through the blood of Christ on the cross in our place and Him rising from the dead on the third but if God doesn’t justify the ungodly, then Jesus died for nothing. Also, if Jesus dying on the cross just took away Adams sin and not all of ours as well, then, again, He died for nothing. But 1 John 1:29 clearly says Jesus died to take way the sin of the world, thank God!

  64. 64 Kent
    March 26, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Regarding the Joseph Smith version of the Bible, that he did write himself into the Bible by adding on to Genesis 50 is both absurd that he did so and self serving and I will trust the historical Bible over his heresy any day!

    Since the Dead Sea Scrolls version of Genesis, at least 2000 years old, is consistant with the Bibles all the way down the line, this fact is a lot more trustworthy than any so called restored version and the scrolls say nothing about anybody like Smith coming along.

    So if he could just insert himself into his bible, then how can we trust his’ version saying that God justifys not the ungodly? When the real Bible says just the oppoosite that God justifys the ungodly (us).

    Do you know what the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons have in common? They both have bibles that were changed to reflect their unsound doctrine.

    Also, the main people who question the validity of the Bible besides Mormons are atheists. Mormons might say that they don’t question its validity but if that is the case, then why they don’t accept it without the condition, “as far as it has been translated correctly”?

  65. 65 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 1:41 am

    It is freedom, for the simple fact that at any time I can say “No thanks. I don’t feel like trying anymore.” I am not forced to continue if I don’t want to.

  66. 66 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 1:52 am

    The problem Kent is that you are not reading the dictionary correctly. According to what you post the primary use of the word should is as a past tense for the word shall, which is how I used it in my interpretation.
    The definitions that follow are auxiliary, or supplimental supportive definitions that are not as common but are still uses for the word.

    Even with your explanation however, it doesn’t really mean what you are saying.
    Think of this sentence that uses the same meaning as you do: “When I pull the trigger the gun should fire.”
    Now, in a simple understanding we can conclude that the obvious result of pulling the trigger is the gun firing. However, if the gun is not properly assembled (say missing the firing pin), or there are no bullets in the gun, or any number of other things that could be wrong, pulling the trigger will not cause the gun to fire, even though we know it should.
    In like manner, those who believe should be saved, yes. However, if they have not been baptised, if they have not kept the commandments in any number of ways, then their faith will not save them, even though we know that it should.

  67. 67 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 1:58 am

    What you describe is not just, and is thus not of God. It is really as simple as that.

  68. 68 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Oh, and by the way, your comparrison to the Devil tempting Christ is just silly.

    The devil used one passage to tempt Christ: You have used only one passage to prove your doctrine.
    Christ used other scriptures to silence the devil: Ralph and I have given additional scriptures to support what we have said.

    I wander where the similarities really are.

  69. 69 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 2:10 am

    John 1: 29
    Notice that it is only one sin that is being taken away. It does not say the sins, but the sin. What single sin could this have reference to I wander?

    Now, I will be the first to agree that the only way we can be justified is through the blood of Christ, but it is only the righteous who will be so justified, not the wicked and ungodly. I am sorry, but the term ungodly does not refer to all men, but to the wicked. The righteous are those who believe and do the will of the Father. To be righteous does not require perfection, but the desire, the will, and the willingness to do everything that one cna to attain perfection. These are the people who will be justified through the blood of Christ and e made perfect through his grace.
    Thus, Christ did not die for nothing, but for all the faithful from the time of Adam to the final judgement; to ensure that they would have a way in which they could be perfected. This is what Paul meant, as he was writing to faithful saints. Notice that there is no mention of ungodly men in the Corinthians.

  70. 70 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 2:22 am

    I think the real question is will you trust God himself or will you trust the work of men in translating and transcribing.

    Remember, Israel rejected Elijah when he came to them. They killed Isaiah and Jeremiah, not believing they were prophets. Even after the great miracles wrought in Egypt the Israelites constantly turned on Moses. And the entire world rejected the warnings of Noah and died in the flood.
    Christ hath said that “No prophet is aaccepted in his own country.” (Luke 4: 24) and history has proven him right.

    It doesn’t matter what Joseph Smith wrote in regards to the Bible, as he was a prophet of God and did that writing under the inspiration of the Most High. Christ was rejected for claiming to fulfill a prophecy, and now you are rejecting Joseph Smith for claiming to restore a prophecy. If this is your only reason it is a poor one.

  71. 71 Echo
    March 28, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Shem said: “What you describe is not just, and is thus not of God. It is really as simple as that.”

    What is considered “just” to you?

    Shem said: “Oh, and by the way, your comparison to the Devil tempting Christ is just silly. The devil used one passage to tempt Christ: You have used only one passage to prove your doctrine.
    Christ used other scriptures to silence the devil: Ralph and I have given additional scriptures to support what we have said. I wander where the similarities really are.”

    There are more passages that support my position. BUT that isn’t the point I was making so lets not depart from my point. The point I was making is that you contradict the very word of God in the Bible with your doctrine that “God justifieth NOT the ungodly.” That contradicts the scripture that says that “God justifieth the ungodly.”

    And THAT is Satan’s temptation to Jesus. It is to get you to believe part of scripture but not all of it because Satan knows that when you only believe part of God’s word, you will undoubtedly misinterpret it to his glory and your destruction. Which is EXACTLY what you believe and are doing. You have all these passages and you interpret them in a certain way which contradicts other passages of scripture. So what do you do? You claim that God’s word is wrong and you are right. Romans 3:4 “Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”

    Like I stated before…God condemns those who turn to a different gospel than the gospel that PAUL preached which is that “God justifieth the ungodly” Romans 4:5

    Mormonism teaches a different gospel from that…they teach that God justifieth NOT the ungodly.

    Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”

    Your God is powerless to preserve his word, mine is powerful, he preserves his word to protect us from false teaching and the doctrines of the devil. “Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” Romans 3:4

  72. 72 Kent
    March 28, 2011 at 5:48 am

    shematwater said:

    “Remember, Israel rejected Elijah when he came to them. They killed Isaiah and Jeremiah, not believing they were prophets. Even after the great miracles wrought in Egypt the Israelites constantly turned on Moses. And the entire world rejected the warnings of Noah and died in the flood.
    Christ hath said that “No prophet is aaccepted in his own country.” (Luke 4: 24) and history has proven him right.”

    How do you know if any of this happened or that Jesus said what you quoted if you don’t believe that the Bible was translated accurately?

    We either believe the Bible, all of it, is the word of God or we don’t believe it is the word of God. I believe that the writers of the Bible were divinely inspired and the events you listed did happen and Jesus did say what you qouted.

    But there is a major difference between people such as Moses, Isaiah, Elijah, and Jeremiah and someone like Joseph Smith because none of them conveniantly wrote themselves into scripture like Joseph Smith did and besides, some of what he translated makes no sense at all.

    Notice how Smith, here directly below, changing part of the section of Romans 4 makes no sense in the context of faith not being justified by works that even in his version agrees with the real version, except for the insertion of the word ‘not’.

    Romans 4:4-5 (Joseph Smith)
    “Now to him who is justified by the law of works, is the reward reckoned, not of grace, but of debt. But to him who seeketh not to be justified by the law of works, but believeth on him who justifieth not the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    The real passage directly below here shows how Abraham was justified by believing God but if it was by works he would have his own glory but not before God

    Romans 4:1-5
    1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

    2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    4NOW TO HIM THAT WORKETH IS THE REWARD NOT RECKONED OF GRACE, BUT OF DEBT.

    5BUT TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    The choice is whether we give God the glory (the Bible) or we give ourselves the glory (Mormons).

    I believe that as a Christian it is all about Jesus and what He did on the cross for us in our place and continues to do if we trust in Him and that our goal is to rely less and less on ourselves and more and more on Him and that by doing so it enables us, through His strength and not our own, to live as He wants us to live and that this is in direct opposition to the Mormon concept of us progressing. Because if it is about us, then it is not about Jesus and isn’t that what Christianity is supposed to be all about, Jesus?

    So I don’t progress as I become less and Jesus becomes more.

  73. 73 Kent
    March 28, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Maybe I got part of Smith’s meaning wrong but this I know, the real Bible passage in Romans 4 clearly says that God justifies the ungodly and that Abraham was justified by his believing God and if it was about his works, then to God it would count for nothing.

    As I said, His belief in God and not in himself enabled him to do what God wanted him to do.

    So it is all about God and not about us so my goal is become less and not progress but to rely more and more on God. Because if it is about me progressing someday to be a god myself, then it isn’t about God.

    Besides if I was a god, who would I worship, myself? The Bible talks about the saints, who become like the angels in the resurrection, and the angels worshiping God but not about us becoming gods.

    As I have said, the Bible teaches one gospel while the Mormon church teaches another gospel so we have to choose one or the other as, no, they are not the same thing.

    I wish Mormons would be consistant and stick to what the Book of Mormon says that their church is the only true church and that our churches are the harlot and are an abomination.

    So, if you believe what it says in Galatians, either they are accursed or we are and if it is we that are accursed, we would not go to a lower level of heaven but to outer darkenss (hell).

  74. 74 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    ECHO

    This single scripture is what contradicts the rest of the Bible. Joseph Smith simply corrected that contradiction.
    If there are more scriptures that support what you say then why have you not shared them? Why do you hold only to this one?
    On the other hand, we have given other scriptures that do contradict this one.

    So, I think the conversation is done, unless you can produce these other scriptures.

  75. 75 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    KENT

    What Joseph Smith wrote makes perfect sense, and I would actually agree with most of what you said.
    It is all about God. Everything we do we are enabled to do because of Faith in God, which is why our faith is counted as righteousness, and why works in and of themselves can do us no good. This is the doctrine of the LDS church.

    The difference comes in our understanding of God and his motivation. For you everything is about God, and so even God’s actions are motivated by him receiving glory. For us this is not the case. For us our actions are motivated by a desire to glorify God, but God’s actions are motivated by a desire to glorify us. We do not worship a self serving God, but one whose love is so great that he seeks to glorify his children, just as he is glorified.

    When we are all gods we will still worship our Father and Jesus Christ, for they will always be our God. For us to become gods is to enter into a state of existence, not a state of authority.

  76. March 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Now you know why people need to know how to witness to Mormons specifically.

    ——–“God’s actions are motivated by a desire to glorify us.”
    ——–“When we are all gods”

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    2 Corinthians 11:14
    And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

  77. 77 shematwater
    March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Romans 8: 17
    And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, THAT WE MAY BE ALSO GLORIFIED TOGETHER.

    1 John 3: 2
    Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.

    2 Corinthians 3: 18
    But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, ARE CHANGED INTO THE SAME IMAGE from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

    Truth will always win in the end, and does not need to be dressed up in different guises for different people.

  78. 78 Echo
    March 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Shem said:

    “This single scripture is what contradicts the rest of the Bible. Joseph Smith simply corrected that contradiction.
    If there are more scriptures that support what you say then why have you not shared them? Why do you hold only to this one?
    On the other hand, we have given other scriptures that do contradict this one.

    So, I think the conversation is done, unless you can produce these other scriptures.”

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    You don’t understand. Satan wants YOU to “correct” any teaching in scripture that contradicts your false teaching (false interpretation). Which is exactly what you have done.

    Jesus, on the other hand wants you interpret scripture by reconciling (through other scripture) what “seems” contradictory to you until there is no more contradiction.

    In other words…scripture does not contradict itself. If it seems contradictory to you, then it is YOU who is in error not the scriptures or God. (It is God’s word) YOU need to change the way you think. YOU need to change YOUR interpretation! God does not need to change his interpretation to suit you, nor do you have the right to change his interpretation!

    If you read the account where Satan tempts Jesus, you will see that is how Jesus handled Satan’s temptation to misinterpret God’s word.

    Anyone can make up a false religion using the Bible to make them “look” Christian. It’s really quite simple…How they can do this is first take all the scriptures they want in their false religion, twist a few others, and remove all the scriptures that contradict the beliefs they want to have. Presto! False prophet destroying many souls by his false teaching! Satan wins!

    UNLIKE Mormons, We Lutherans don’t use bits and pieces of scripture to support our teachings and then take it upon ourselves to correct anything in scripture that contradicts our teachings! NO! We don’t do that because we know that is a one way ticket to HELL! Nobody can take words out of God’s mouth or contradict his word and get away with it! Unlike Mormons, we take what is written deadly seriously! We don’t tamper and tinker with God’s very own word!

    You have asked me: “If there are more scriptures that support what you say then why have you not shared them? Why do you hold only to this one?”

    One reason I did not share them is because you may use that information to change the direction of the topic by responding to all of my verses. That will get the focus off of what I want to discuss first. I will bring them into the discussion in due time.

    Right now I would like to learn what or who gives Mormons the right to tamper and tinker with God’s word. I want to learn how Mormons justify themselves before God in correcting anything in the Bible that contradicts what Mormonism believes. I want to learn what gives Mormons the right to add to God’s word. I want to learn these things first. I want to learn how Mormons interpret the temptation of Jesus. These are the things I want to discuss and learn first.

    As I stated before, I agree with all the verses that Ralph gave. Ralph hasn’t given ONE SINGLE verse that contradicts what I believe when I echo the scripture and say that God justifieth the ungodly. Unlike Mormons, I don’t go and correct(by contradiction) any teaching in scripture that contradicts what I believe. I believe EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God. Nothing that seems contradictory to you is contradictory to me. Nothing in the Bible contradicts itself!

    The problem here is that you and Ralph won’t take a moment to listen and more importantly to understand what we believe. I invite you to take some time to first understand what we believe. ONLY THEN will you know what scriptures to use to help us see what you want us to see. I can tell that neither of you have a clue what we believe. Of course, the slap on the wrist that I am giving you now is for me as well. Even though I have studied Mormonism for many years and I have listened with open ears to many Mormons as they taught me, I can always learn more myself and therefore should listen more also to both you and Ralph and other Mormons, and I will make more of an effort than I already have in that direction also. But I have put in a great deal of effort in learning Mormonism over the years, if a stranger were to visit my home, they would think I am a Mormon because of all the Mormon books I own! How many Lutheran books do you own??
    It’s important to me to learn Mormon beliefs the way Mormons see it. I have no desire to get their beliefs wrong or to misrepresent Mormon beliefs. This is very serious and not something I take lightly. I don’t want to give false testimony against Mormons. I want to obey God’s commandment in that. I must get it right. Therefore I MUST continue to learn.

    You are both too busy not listening. Instead you fire at me scriptures pointing to what will happen to the ungodly in the judgment (to which I agree) when I am NOT talking about the judgment at all so your scripture references are totally useless in the discussion at hand because we are talking about two different moments in time. You are talking about the future judgment, I am talking about right now. I am talking about conversion. I am talking about the message through which God gives us faith. I am talking about the message that brings people from darkness into the light. I am talking about the message that transforms a child of the devil into a child of God. We all need to be on the same page, discussing the same topic, before any scripture verses can be used in the discussion. Therefore it is Ralph that has given not one single verse dealing with the discussion at hand. He hasn’t given ONE SINGLE scripture that contradicts what I said and that is because Ralph is not listening to what I am talking about.

    So without derailing the discussion by discussing those things further, lets get back to the discussion at hand…

    Before we can discuss the Bible: “God justifieth the ungodly” which is the topic in Romans, verses Mormonism: “God justifieth NOT the ungodly” I want to learn what or who gives Mormons the right to tamper and tinker with God’s word. I want to learn how Mormons justify themselves before God in correcting anything in the Bible that contradicts what Mormonism believes. I want to focus on these things right now and learn from you. I want to learn how Mormons interpret the temptation of Jesus. These are the things I want to learn for now.

    So, lets try a new thing… let’s learn from one another each in their own turn.

    Lets discuss that first. You (and Ralph if he wants to join in, I welcome him to join in) be the teacher, I will be the student who asks questions so I can learn what you believe about those things. Then when that discussion is finished, you and Ralph can teach us how God justifieth NOT the ungodly in contradiction to the bible and I will ask questions in order to learn (hopefully) more about that. You be the teacher, I will be the student. Then when that is finished, then I will teach you how God justifieth the ungodly yet reserves the ungodly to be punished in the judgment (2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished)all in complete harmony with the bible. And you and Ralph can ask me questions. That way everybody is learning rather than refuting one another’s teachings and talking about two different things. Lets try that and see if it works, okay?

    And could I suggest we take the discussion to the bottom of the thread each time? It’s very difficult to track posts that are in the middle of threads like these posts we have been putting in. Thanks in advance!

  79. 79 Kent
    March 29, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Wow, some pretty scary stuff concerning quotes from so called Mormon prophets:

    On October 9, 1859, Brigham Young said,

    “From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are — I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent” (Journal of Discourses 7:289)

    “There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God” – Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190

    So not only do I reject the teachings of Joseph Smith, the living prophet, or any other Mormon so called prophet, I accept Jesus Christ as my only way to eternal life!
    Contrast the words of Brigham Young and Joseph Fielding Smith with the only true savior for mankind and the only true way to eternal life, Jesus Christ Himself. Folks, if some of you think that Joseph Smith has any part in the narrow gate we must pass through, you are sadly mistaken.

    John 14:6
    Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”

    (from Joseph Smith himself as printed in History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412)

    Sounds like Smith was boasting of his works, forbidden by the passage below, so not only does Joseph Smith have nothing to with my eternal life, everyone who comes to Mr. Cares’ blog eternal life, or anyone else who has ever lived, it looks like he has some explaining to do to God.

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast.

  80. 80 shematwater
    March 29, 2011 at 4:37 am

    ECHO

    Your question is exactly the reason why we cannot discuss anything. You know the answer already, and it is this point that you want to focus on. You do not want to bring in other verses or discuss possible meaning in wording or anything that is akin to constructive analysis. All you want to do is focus on a point that neither side can truly prove to the satisfaction of the other, and thus avoid all useful discussion.
    However, I will ablidge.

    Q. Who gives the LDS the right to tamper with God’s word?
    A. No one, and never has any member of the LDS church (including Joseph Smith) ever claimed such a right. As a matter of a fact, we are so opposed to the idea that we will not even allow the ancient scribes and theologians to get away with such a spiritual crime.

    God has given his word, but man has changed it. Joseph Smith did not have the right to tamper with God’s word, but he was given both instruction and inspiration to restore it to its original meaning.

    Now, I know that you will have many arguments against this, and frankly I don’t care. I have no desire to focus the conversation on this because it is a useless focus that, as I said, is only used to avoid real discussion.

  81. 81 shematwater
    March 29, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Again Kent, you do a fabulous job of twisting the words of great men to fit into your own ideas.

    Let me ask you a simple question: What would you say to a man who told you that he accepted Christ as his savior but did not Believe that Paul or Peter were really prophets and so was not going to pay attention to anything that they wrote?

  82. 82 shematwater
    March 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

    ECHO

    I will apologyze for my last comment. I am tired and did not fully understand what you were asking when I wrote it. Please ignore it.

    Q. Who gives the LDS the right to tamper with God’s word?
    A. No one, and never has any member of the LDS church (including Joseph Smith) ever claimed such a right. As a matter of a fact, we are so opposed to the idea that we will not even allow the ancient scribes and theologians to get away with such a spiritual crime.

    God has given his word, but man has changed it. Joseph Smith did not have the right to tamper with God’s word, but he was given both instruction and inspiration to restore it to its original meaning.

    We believe this for one simple reason: We believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. We believe that those things that he wrote while under the inspiration of the spirit are the words of God, just as surely as anything written in the Bible is the word of God. God, through Joseph Smith, has revealed that the Bible as it currently existed was not accurate, but had been altered from it’s original meaning. He was commanded to go through and restore that which had been lost.
    This faith is no different than having faith in Peter or Paul and believing that their words are the inspired words of God. For the saints in that first century to believe these men, especially with the radical changes that they were introducing into the church (preaching to gentiles and abolishing circumcision) took great faith. They were changing the words of God, and not just the Law of Moses, but the covenant of Abraham, as circumcision was the sign of this covenant. But all this was done under the direct command of God, because it was what was necessary.
    Joseph Smith, under the direction of God, corrected many of the errors that were in the Bible, and through doing this restored many great truths that had been lost. Yes, it is against the established order of the Christian tradition, but so too was Peter against the established Jewish tradition when he began to preach to the gentiles, and when he declared the circumcision was no longer a requirement.

    Our belief in Joseph Smith and his divinely inspired translation of the Bible is the same faith we put in Peter and the changes he made to the church of his day.

  83. 83 Kent
    March 30, 2011 at 2:56 am

    shematwater, I didn’t twist anything but just qouted what B Young and J.F. Smith said and I contrasted it with the words of the true master and savior of all mankind, Jesus Christ.

    So either Jesus is the only way to God the Father, as stated in John 14:6, or He isn’t the only way.

    But Paul and Peter didn’t contradict Jesus’ teachings while Mormon leaders, especially J.F. Smith and B. Young, contradicted the teachings of Jesus when they said that Joseph Smith, a mere mortal man, has anything to do with our eternal destiny.

    Again, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father except by Me.”

    So, as I said to Ralph in the other recent thread, you don’t see any conflict between what J.F. Smith and B. Young said with Jesus being the only way to the Father?

  84. 84 Kent
    March 30, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Joseph Smith said, “Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.”

    Sounds like Smith was boasting to me

  85. 85 Kent
    March 30, 2011 at 3:39 am

    In my dealings with Mormons, mainly missionaries, they sometimes seem to be taken aback that I don’t seem to have respect for what they believe is the most important thing in their lives, the teachings of their church.

    But consider if I, as an illustration, believed I could fly if I jumped off of a high building and that it was a belief I had that was near and dear to my heart. Would it be better for someone to question that belief that I could fly and point out to me that I was mistaken in my belief that I would be, in this case, falling down the path of destruction or should someone just let me alone and let me have my belief even if it meant that I would fall to my death if I attempted to fly off of a building?

    I knew a young man who left for a Mormon mission about a year ago and while he and I had pleasant conversations as we didn’t often talk about our respective religious beliefs, he would remark that people who witnessed to Mormons were out to harrass Mormons.

    But the truth is we care about Mormons and we want to keep them from jumping off of the building and fall to the path of destruction.

  86. 86 shematwater
    March 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    KENT

    Yes you did twist their meaning. By giving the comparison you gave you proclaimed a meaning in their words that was not their.

    Also, nice evasion to my question. I never asked if they contradicted anything. I asked that if someone were to deny them and prophets and thus ignore all their writings what would your reaction be.
    Try not to use evasion tactics as it doesn’t look good for you.

    As to boasting, great. I have read this entire speech of Joseph Smiths and it is one of his greatest. Yes, he boasted, and what he boasted in was very true. He never said that he was greater than Christ, only that the work he did no one else has done. Nor did he say others couldn’t do it, only that they haven’t.
    Also, if you read the entire talk you will see a constant reference to his reliance on Christ and how it is through Christ that he was able to do the work he did.
    So, did he have something to boast about? Yes, for he had fulfilled a work that no other man had ever done. Did he boast himself above Christ? No, only as having done a different work.

    Now, if you are going to condemn Joseph Smith for such a boast then you also must condemn Paul, for Joseph states that he is following Paul’s example when the former apostle boasted of his work among the gentiles (2 Corinthians 11: 10, 16-17)


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