18
Apr
11

Does Staying in the Faith Contribute to Salvation?

One of the many differences that come out in discussions between Mormons and Christians is what is all involved in faith.  Christians limit faith itself to trusting in Jesus’ work rather than in their own works to be saved.  We do see good works as resulting from faith and closely connected to faith but not part of faith itself.  We do that because the Bible not only says works are not part of faith – Ephesians 2:8-9 and other passages but also refers to them as fruits of faith – John 15:5 and other passages

Another thing many Mormons include in the definition of faith is staying in the faith.  But is that true?  Say that I was sleeping in my house when it caught fire.  The smoke made me unconscious.  A fireman rescues me without any help on my part.  After I’m rescued, I’m sitting on the sidewalk watching my house burn.  But then I remember a prized possession that is still in the house so I rush back into my burning house to try and get it.  This time I die.  If, however, I didn’t do that and stayed on the sidewalk could I then say that I had to do something to be saved?  I don’t think so.

The Bible talks about believers having been saved with no works on their part – past tense.  It talks about believers possessing eternal life – present tense.  Both are accomplished facts.  Yes, we need to remain in the faith – an encouragement we often hear in the Bible.  But does that mean that my staying in the faith contributes to my salvation?  No more than my staying out of my burning house contributed to my rescue in the analogy above.  In fact, it would be an affront to the fireman who rescued me to claim any credit for my rescue.  So also it is an affront to Jesus to say that I did or have to do anything to be saved.  But that is exactly what Mormonism teaches.  As Robert L. Millet, a BYU professor wrote, “Therefore acting alone, the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation.  The works of man – the ordinances of salvation, the deeds of service and acts of charity and mercy – are necessary for salvation.”  It’s teachings like these that cause us to say that Mormonism is a very dangerous religion.

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147 Responses to “Does Staying in the Faith Contribute to Salvation?”


  1. 1 shematwater
    April 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “But does that mean that my staying in the faith contributes to my salvation?”

    Just a question: “If you leave the faith are you still saved?”

    Using your analogy, your staying outside of the house, though not a direct cause of the rescue, is what made the rescue effective. Just as your choice to go back in nullified the rescue of the fireman, so too does our leaving the faith nullify the effects of the Atonement.

  2. 2 Ralph Peterson
    April 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Karl Bonhoeffer said “Faith without works is not faith at all, but a simple lack of obedience to God”

    Something a friend of mine wrote but which I have edited.

    Paul certainly seems to feel salvation for those “regenerated” Christians was not a sure thing, and falling from that regeneration was well within the capability of all Christians:

    1 Cor 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
    27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

    Castaway is a Greek word which means to not stand a test, or spurious.

    The tense is future, as in “should”. So Paul’s actions can render him “spurious” and “unfit for” salvation. Castaway.

    The concept in Phil 3 is about the “resurrection of the dead”, which A.T. Robertson points out in Word Pictures is for the good and evil. In other words, and which is obvious from the text, resurrection is an actual event, but it is also a metaphor for judgement and salvation. Thus Paul warns that he is neither perfect, nor has he yet apprehended the resurrection of Jesus. And, as he notes in verse 12,

    “but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”

    This is an “if” statement: It is conditional. Which is odd, in the context asserted by some that this is just about the resurrection, since Paul believed the resurrection applied to all people (1 Cor 15:21-22).

    Also, in Philippians Paul never uses the word “saved”. In fact, he mentions in 1:19 that some of the contention taking place can work to his salvation. Again, it is pretty obvious he does not believe he IS saved, though he believes that if he dies he will go to Christ (Phil 1:21), and he seems to feel that is a choice which is relatively close at hand. So it makes the point that he is not claiming to be guaranteed the resurrection of the Just all the more significant. But he believes if he dies, it will be in proclaiming the Gospel, and in suffering, thus having endured to the end (Mark 13:13), being fully obedient (Heb 5:8-9). Under those conditions, he will obtain the resurrection of the just,

    Philip 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

    In Philippians, the resurrection of the dead is synonymous with salvation and heaven, if we keep the commandments to the very end (Phil 4:1). The resurrection of the dead, for Paul, is not just the resurrection. It is all elements related to salvation. He uses the resurrection as the sureness we can have in the reality of the resurrection of Christ as opposed to relying upon the flesh in this life (Phil 3:3-4).

    But right there, in Phil 3:8-12, after he tells us that for him to die is to go to Christ, and after discussing his sacrifices, which qualify him for Christ because he counts his Earthly attainments as dung, then he says that even with all that assurance in having run valiantly, he still had not attained the resurrection of the dead for the Just, even though Christ had “apprehended” Paul (vs. 12).

    Jesus has Paul, but Paul does not yet have Jesus.

    This is analogous to asking a Mormon if he is saved. Yes, with conditions. Endure to the end. Or, in precisely Paul’s words to the Philippians, (Phil 2:12-13)”work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

    God is working in them, but they must respond to that influence, or else they will not attain unto salvation, which is expressed as the resurrection. Which is why chapter 4 of Philippians would be utterly condemned by the ‘once saved, always saved, grace only’ crowd, as Paul firmly comes down on the necessity of our good deeds in contributing to salvation.

    Phil 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

  3. 3 Echo
    April 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Shem said: “Just a question: “If you leave the faith are you still saved?”

    Using your analogy, your staying outside of the house, though not a direct cause of the rescue, is what made the rescue effective. Just as your choice to go back in nullified the rescue of the fireman, so too does our leaving the faith nullify the effects of the Atonement.”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    I think Mark responded to this question when he said: “Yes, we need to remain in the faith – an encouragement we often hear in the Bible…” and “But then I remember a prized possession that is still in the house so I rush back into my burning house to try and get it. This time I die.”

    In other words, we believe that a person can fall from faith and lose their salvation. But that is not a point he is making to which you need to respond.

    The point he is making is this: “… But does that mean that my staying in the faith contributes to my salvation? No more than my staying out of my burning house contributed to my rescue in the analogy above. In fact, it would be an affront to the fireman who rescued me to claim any credit for my rescue. So also it is an affront to Jesus to say that I did or have to do anything to be saved. But that is exactly what Mormonism teaches”

  4. 4 Echo
    April 19, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Ralph said: “Karl Bonhoeffer said “Faith without works is not faith at all, but a simple lack of obedience to God”

    We would agree with this statement because we also believe that faith without works is dead. Yes, we believe Christians cannot help but desire to do good works. Anyone with real true faith will produce good works. Just like an apple tree (faith) cannot help but produce apples (fruit).

    But let’s talk about the tree with its roots, branches and leaves before we talk about the fruit on the tree which is the apples.

    Faith is the tree with its roots, branches and leaves. That is one topic
    Apples are the fruit(works) that grow on the tree. That is another topic.
    Apples look nothing like roots, branches and leaves. They look like fruit, they are red or green or yellow and you can eat them. You don’t eat the roots, branches or leaves of the apple tree itself. The apples are a different part of the tree. The tree is not fruit, it only grows fruit. The tree comes before the fruit.

    Faith and works are two different things. Works are the fruit of faith. Works are not faith itself.

    The point you are yet missing still is this. Robert L. Millet (LDS) stated that “works are necessary for salvation.” The Bible teaches that works are NOT necessary for salvation. And where as Millet stated: “Therefore acting alone, the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation ” the Bible teaches that the grace of Christ IS sufficient for salvation…

    Ephesians 2:8-10″8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    Lets break that down into smaller segments…

    8A: “For it is by grace you have been saved”

    Notice the past/present tense here. YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED. Not…”you will be saved” not “you will be saved if” no. YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED

    Notice also that you have been saved BY GRACE. Meaning the grace of Christ is already sufficient.

    8B “through faith—and this not from yourselves”

    Having been saved by grace excludes ourselves. That is to say excludes anything we have done or will do. We were saved apart from something that comes from ourselves. We were saved because of Grace. Not because of ourselves.

    Notice also that we are saved “THROUGH faith”. Not: “Because of faith” (Again, not of yourselves)

    Notice that faith is alone there also. We are NOT saved “through faith and works” The Bible doesn’t say that, it says “through faith”.

    8C: “it is the gift of God”

    This Grace that already saved us is a gift FROM God, A gift by definition is something given freely. Nothing is expected in return. When something is expected in return, then it is no longer a gift but a wage.

    9: “not by works, so that no one can boast.”

    Again, we have been saved but NOT by our works. The LDS IS saved by works. They say “works are necessary for salvation” When the LDS says: “works are necessary for salvation.” That leaves us room for boasting about the works that we have done. When the LDS says: “the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation” then whatever we must do that makes that sufficient for salvation, that too leaves us room for boasting about what we have done. The ONLY way there can be no boasting is when works aren’t necessary and when the grace of Christ is sufficient. ONLY THEN is there no room for boasting.

    Another point this makes is that God’s gift is something given freely. Nothing is expected in return. No payment, no debt to pay back. Nothing. “NOT BY WORKS” it says. “no one can boast” it says. “Not of yourselves” it says. That is how much forgiveness we already have right now. A debt so large do we owe that it can never be paid back even if we had many eternities to do so. Think about this…it took a perfect and sinless God to be crucified on a cross in order to pay the debt in full! Impossible for us! But God has given us so fully and freely and completely the forgiveness we cannot work for even if we had endless eternities to do so. God has already given us the forgiveness that we need in order to be so fully and completely reconciled with God that we can be absolutely certain we now have eternal life. And his forgiveness comes “NOT OF YOURSELVES” Not by what you do…NOT BY WORKS!

    John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS (present tense) eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS(present tense) crossed over from death to life.

    Don’t fall from THAT faith!!!!

    Up to this point you can see plainly that we have been saved by grace ALONE and not by works through faith alone. That is the tree, that is the foundation, that tree will grow to bear much fruit…

    For he who had been forgiven much goes on to love much (Luke 7:47) You can’t love much until you have first been forgiven for much. We have been forgiven so fully and completely for all our sins, past present and future by grace alone and not by our works. The LDS must work for their forgiveness, they can’t be forgiven until they do this first. Which goes along with what Jesus said; he who is forgiven little loves little.

    Now comes the fruit…

    10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    Yes. We believe we can fall from faith. But notice where I wrote: “Don’t fall from THAT faith!!!!” I wrote that statement BEFORE works came into the picture.

    Our works don’t save us and they don’t keep us saved. Jesus saved us! Keep that faith! When you keep that faith, and you continue to believe you have been saved through that faith alone apart from anything you have done or will do, you then cannot help but want to produce much fruit (good works).

  5. 5 Kent
    April 19, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Great analogy Mr. Cares, Jesus is the fireman who already rescued (saved) us from the fire (hell) when He died on the cross in our place and it is impossible to rescue ourselves. So Mormons, just accept it.

    So the choice is Jesus saved us OR we can save ourselves, which is impossible.

  6. 6 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    “So the choice is Jesus saved us OR we can save ourselves, which is impossible.”

    Still the same old false dichotomy. When will you give it up?

  7. 7 jbr
    April 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    ** does our leaving the faith nullify the effects of the Atonement.***

    Keeping within the example:

    Depends on whom the focus of the person’s faith is being placed upon to begin with.

    There are many people who are\have placed their faith on funeral directors masquerading as the only one true fireman.

    The masquerading funeral director does not care how\when he gets a charred body…their goal is to obtain as many victims as possible. Anytime when one accepts a different procedure of search and rescue method other than from the true fireman has revealed from the Bible…………..that person has become a victim.

    What good is the rescue if being rescued is determined on our participation….so I’m charred on the first floor rather than on the second floor, or making it out entirely only to be overcome by smoke inhalation—– whoopie!! You’re still the victim :(

    _________________________________________________________________
    The true Fireman has no Heinz 57 to his search and rescue.
    The true fireman places you on the away from the toxic smoke

    When we remain on the curb – it is to focus on and thank the true firemans efforts.

  8. 8 jbr
    April 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Should read…………..
    The true fireman places you on the “curb” away from the toxic smoke.

  9. 9 Kent
    April 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I said, “So the choice is Jesus saved us OR we can save ourselves, which is impossible.”

    Ralph responded, “Still the same old false dichotomy. When will you give it up?”

    Ralph, I will never give it up as Jesus commands us to go to the ends of the earth with His gospel and while physically I can’t do that myself, with the Internet I can in effect go to the ends of the earth.

    Do you believe that there is anything you can do to save yourself? If so, how can that possibly top what Jesus already did for you?

    I agree with what Mr. Cares points out, “In fact, it would be an affront to the fireman who rescued me to claim any credit for my rescue. So also it is an affront to Jesus to say that I did or have to do anything to be saved.”

  10. 10 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    “Do you believe that there is anything you can do to save yourself?”

    I reject your premise. There is absolutely NOTHING I can to “to save” myself.

    You just aren’t getting it. LDS don’t believe we “save ourselves”. We can’t save ourselves. It is way beyond humanly possible to “save ourselves”.

    We just believe that we must do some things (like obey Jesus’ gospel) and then He will keep His promise and “save” us.

    You know, just like is said here,
    Heb. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM;

    Or in contrast,
    2 Thes. 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, AND THAT OBEY NOT the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    “If so, how can that possibly top what Jesus already did for you?”

    I CAN’T. Nor do I believe I must. I only believe that I must OBEY Christ. He is the one that saves the obedient.

    So, your false dichotomy is nothing more than a false dichotomy. And it has nothing to do with what we believe.

  11. 11 jbr
    April 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    ………You just aren’t getting it. LDS don’t believe we “save ourselves”. We can’t save ourselves. It is way beyond humanly possible to “save ourselves”………..

    Ralph, you are a victim. LDS don’t believe “we save oursleves” yet…………

    You just believe “do all you can and God does the rest”

    A LDS prophet wrote: “Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness … but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender,…It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. ”

    From the same prophet: “It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has
    forgiven you.”

    ——————————————

    Now just how does one enter heaven without being forgiven ? …. ANSWER: You can’t.
    The LDS answer for forgiveness …..”It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven”

    You are a victim of the funeral directors masquerading.

    LDS believes in “saving ourselfs”

  12. 12 Kent
    April 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I like it when ex Mormons join in the conversation as they can explain what we are trying to convey better than I can, especially if they are well versed in Mormon doctrine and practices, that the LDS teachings are a false gospel and while, from what I have been told by them, that they are considered as going to outer darkness for leaving their church and a lot of Mormons probably won’t listen to them because of this, but still the Holy Spirit has worked mircacles after all, they have been brought out of darkness and into the light. Any out there who want to join in our discussion?

  13. 13 Echo
    April 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Ralph said: “He is the one that saves the obedient.”

    If I promise you a car in exchange for you giving me $20,000 dollars, did you earn the car or did I earn it for you even though I gave it to you?

    If God promises you eternal life conditional on your obedience as you say. While God may raise you from the dead and let you into his kingdom because you were obedient, you earned it! You paid for it yourself! You saved yourself!

    On the other hand if Jesus gives you the car for free, then HE earned it, he paid for it and he truly saved you!

    Ralph said:

    “You know, just like is said here,
    Heb. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM; Or in contrast,
    2 Thes. 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, AND THAT OBEY NOT the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

    The “Gospel” isn’t a list of laws that we are commanded to be obedient to. The Gospel isn’t a message of how we can reconcile ourselves to God through our obedience. The Gospel is the message of what Jesus has done to reconcile us to God through HIS obedience.

    The Gospel invites us to believe in Jesus, to trust what he has done through HIS obedience. To “obey the Gospel” means to “believe” in Jesus and what he alone has done to reconcile us to God!

  14. 14 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    There you go again, trying to tell us what we believe, and getting it WRONG!

    You do know that misrepresenting what we believe doesn’t help your effort to convert us, right?

    Posting quotes without full context doesn’t help your cause either.

    The Bible is rather clear that repentance brings forgiveness. I am not sure why you have a problem with that.

  15. 15 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Well, too often it is simply someone pretending to be an ex-Mormon. I have caught numerous people doing this. They aren’t hard to detect.

    Also, if they REALLY are ex-Mormons, they often have an axe to grind, and fail to accurately represent things. In that respect they are no different than many here.

    You are now free to continue whipping the strawman.

  16. 16 Echo
    April 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    An LDS prophet wrote: ““Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness … but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender,…IT DEPENDS UPON YOU whether or not you are forgiven, and when. ” (emphasis mine)

    “IT DEPENDS UPON YOU” he said.

    Ralph, your definition of being saved is different from ours. Your being saved doesn’t depend on Jesus at all “IT DEPENDS UPON YOU”!

    Being fully forgiven is being saved!

  17. 17 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is summarized in Heb 6, (ISV)

    1)Therefore, leaving behind the elementary teachings about the Messiah, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again a foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, FAITH toward God,
    2)instruction about BAPTISMS, the LAYING ON OF HANDS, the RESURRECTION of the dead, and eternal JUDGMENT.

  18. 18 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Repentance brings forgiveness.

    Isa 1:16 ¶ Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
    17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

    Notice that it isn’t orthodoxy that brings forgiveness but orthopraxy.

    Jonah 3:5 ¶ So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
    6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
    7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
    8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
    9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
    10 ¶ And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

    Notice that it isn’t orthodoxy that brings forgiveness but orthopraxy.

    Ezek 18:19 ¶ Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.
    20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
    21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
    23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
    24 ¶ But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
    25 ¶ Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
    26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
    27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
    28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
    30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
    31 ¶ Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    Notice that it isn’t orthodoxy that brings forgiveness but orthopraxy.

    Matt 4:17 ¶ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    Notice that it isn’t orthodoxy that brings forgiveness but orthopraxy.

    Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Notice that it isn’t orthodoxy that brings forgiveness but orthopraxy.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Notice that it isn’t orthodoxy that brings forgiveness but orthopraxy.

  19. 19 Echo
    April 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ summarized in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

    ” And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

    What is the ministry of reconciliation? It’s the Gospel wherein Christ has reconciled (forgiven) the world.

    In the Biblical Gospel Christ has forgiven us. Our forgiveness depended on JESUS.
    In the LDS Gospel, Christ has NOT forgiven us. Our forgiveness depends on US. It doesn’t depend on JESUS!

  20. 20 Echo
    April 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Ralph said: “Repentance brings forgiveness”

    The argument on the table isn’t whether or not Repentance brings forgiveness, we do believe the same verses that you do. We believe Acts 2:38 when it says: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    The point we are making is that repentance does not equal obedience.

    You believe repentance = obedience. So when looking at these verses through your LDS glasses, this is what you see written there in those verses you gave: “Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness … but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender,…IT DEPENDS UPON YOU whether or not you are forgiven, and when. ”

    We believe repentance = confess. So when we look at the verse through our biblical glasses, this is what we see written there in those kinds of verses: After David commit adultery and murder, God’s law demanded that he be put to death, David simply confessed that he sinned against the Lord, and he was instantly assured he was forgiven: 2 Samuel 12:13 ” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”
    1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    Once again,
    In the Biblical Gospel Christ has forgiven us. Our forgiveness depended on JESUS.
    In the LDS Gospel, Christ has NOT forgiven us. Our forgiveness depends on US. It doesn’t depend on JESUS!

  21. 21 Ralph Peterson
    April 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Rom 2:6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Heb. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    1 Pet. 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

    Acts 5:29 ¶ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
    • • •
    32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

    I will take the word of the Bible over the words of some here.

  22. 22 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Ralph said: “I will take the word of the Bible over the words of some here.”

    The problem is Ralph that you DON’T Take the word of the Bible into consideration at all! You let the LDS church dictate to you what you are to think and believe without thinking for yourself what the bible has to say. Let me show you what I mean…

    First you quoted Romans:
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Rom 2:6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
    Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    What do you see when you read these portions of Romans? You see it through your LDS eyes, you see this: “I only believe that I must OBEY Christ. HE IS THE ONE THAT SAVES THE OBEDIENT.”
    In other words, only those who obey the law will be declared righteous.

    But what does the context of the book of Romans teach? It teaches the opposite…

    Romans 3:19-20 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

    So interpreting the passages in light of the context reveals a whole other interpretation than the LDS interpretation.

    In context, the correct interpretation being that we aren’t saved by what we do, but our deeds will be judged in the sense that a believer’s works are outward evidence of the inward faith they had in being saved through faith without good works.

    As for the rest of your verses, they have nothing to do with our works being a condition to our salvation. Works are simply fruits “OF” our faith that come quite naturally to those who have been saved by grace alone through faith alone.

    Yes Ralph, Christians do desire to obey God rather than man. But you obey man rather than God.

  23. 23 jbr
    April 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness … but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender,…It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. ”
    ——————————————————————————

    “It [forgiveness] depends on you….”

    Jesus revealed otherwise:

    “freely you have recieved, freely give” Matthew 10:8

    And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

    ————————————————————————–

    *** “It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you.” ****

    Notice … not a century …. but c e n t u r i e s PLURAL !!

    Was that what Jesus said to the criminal on the cross next to him?

    Was that what Jesus meant in Mark 5:34 “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace”

    Was that what Jesus meant in Luke 7:50 “woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’ ”

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Talk about a dispiriting message ….. “weeks, years, centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you.”

    Want to have the positive assurance:
    When the Son sets you free…..you are free indeed!

    —————————————————–

  24. 24 shematwater
    April 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Man this has gotten good.

    First, Echo, my point was that even according to the analogy given staying in the faith most definitely contributes, just not in a direct way, which you have confirmed.

    Second, I have seen the continual contradiction and illogical reasoning of the “saved by grace” that is so common among people, and Ralph has done a brilliant job of exposing this.

    It is quite simple: You are all saying that Grace = Salvation, end of story. The problem with this (and especially with the free gift idea) is that it proves that God not only chooses who is saved, but by default he chooses who is damned. If nothing we do has any effect than why do anything? We are either saved or damned and if the choice is solely in God’s hands than nothing we do can tip the scale in either direction. I don’t know about you, but I do not see the doctrine of Predestination in the Bible.
    Then there are some who claim that we must except the gift, and thus try to squeeze around the whole Predestination thing. The problem with this makes it our choice, and then salvation is dependent on us accepting. Thus it is no longer in God’s hands, but in ours, and so they have contradicted themselves.

    On the other hand, the LDS accept that our choices and actions will have an effect, and so, while the final act can only be done through Christ, we most definitely will have an effect on it. We do not accept the idea of Predestination, but nor do we contradict ourselves in our doctrine.

    Now, a lot of scriptures have been thrown around. I love Echo’s argument that Ralph is merely seeing these through the lens of LDS doctrine, because it equally applies to everything said by everyone else. You are all seeing things through your various lenses and interpreting according to preset ideas of doctrines. What is even more is that you are also interpreting the words of LDS leaders through the lens of your perceptions of LDS doctrine, having no real understanding of their meaning. As such, this argument is useless and should be ignored by anyone wanting to have a serious discussion.

    Now, I do have to side with Ralph when he cites about fifteen scriptures for every one that others cite (exaggerated I know).
    The simple fact is that there are multiple scriptures that speak to repentance requiring the works of men, and that repentance is required for salvation. The obvious conclusion is that works are required for salvation.
    Now, I, and I am sure Ralph, are acquainted with the many scriptures that speak to the gift of grace, and that it is through faith we are saved and all the wonderful (minority) scriptures that seem to support the “saved by grace” doctrine and contradict any need for works. They are used over and over again and the foundation for the doctrine. However, none of them truly necessitate the meaning that is being given to them, and as such do nothing to really counter the doctrine of the LDS

    Take Ephesians 2: 8-10, as quoted by Echo. Yes, it is true that salvation is a gift from God given by his grace and through our works. I don’t know a single member of the LDS church that disagrees with this. What we simply say is that we need to be in the right place at the right time to accept the gift.
    Thus we have the parable of the “Marriage of the King’s Son” as given in Matthew 22. In this parable the king prepared the wedding, and through his grace all who attended were fed and shared in the celebration. But those who refused to come were destroyed, as they were not worthy.
    In a like manner, it is by his grace that we receive of salvation, for nothing we do could even gain us that. But we must go when and where we are bidden, or we will have no part in his grace.

    Now, on a final note, speaking of the frequently used quote (at least in this thread) concerning repentance. It has been held by every person here (who is not LDS) that this quote proves that it is our works that bring about salvation. Now, the problem with this is that it does not consider all LDS doctrine, a common thing among those who “preach” about the falseness of that doctrine.
    The simple fact is this: A person can live the greatest and most righteous life possible, but if they do not believe in Christ and are baptized they will not receive of His grace to the salvation of their souls. If works in and of themselves had any power this would not be the case. Our works have power to bring us to salvation only because we believe in Christ and His grace works within us to salvation. It is really quite simple. Now, I always like representing things in mathematical and scientific terms, so let me give a little equation and chemical analogy.
    Works is what is required for salvation. However, in their natural state they are not salvation. So, faith mixes with them to create a new substance which I will call salvation. But, just mixing the two will not cause this reaction. A catalyst is needed that will cause this chemical reaction. That catalyst is grace. Faith mixes with works and grace causing this reaction and bringing about salvation.
    Thus, Salvation = (Faith + Works) x Grace. If any one of these ingredients is missing the formula does not work. Now, we can have faith, and we can do good works, but we cannot provide the grace. As such we are dependent on God for everything.

    RALPH

    What do you think of this equation? I like it because it shows that as long as we have some faith or some works we will still have some salvation. But, if God does not grant his Grace there is no salvation (as anything times zero equals zero).

  25. 25 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Excellently written post jbr!

    I loved the “FREE GIFT” in the revelation passage you gave also!

    It is so sad and breaks my heart that Mormonism teaches Mormons that they must PAY for a gift that comes absolutely FREE. That they have to PAY for forgiveness with their obedience. And even though they have paid for their forgivness, that they may have to wait centuries to recieve that assurance!

    The FREE gift of forgiveness. It’s So Sweet! Yes! The son sets you free indeed!

  26. 26 Ralph Peterson
    April 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    shematwater,
    That equations is a reasonable start.

    But there is a lot more to the term “grace” than our Evangelical friends are willing to admit.

    I will quote some material I have come across. It is not my own, but it provides an explanation that is better than I could articulate. Although I might edited it some.

    ‘As grace vs. works comes up frequently, it is interesting to note that what evangelicals call works were in Christ’s and Paul’s day actually termed graces- hasadim. Judah Goldin explains hesed as a “word expressing the phenomenon of “loyalty”, “devotion.” It is, as A. Lods put it, “a very comprehensive word, which, for the want of an adequate equivalent, we are obliged to translate, now by piety, now by mercy, love or grace: it corresponds fairly closely to the Latin pietas…” Taken literally, the term gemilut hasadim is an action that represents a doing something in return, which doing is expressive of a loyalty- or less clumsily, gemilut hasadim is an act by means of which one demonstrates his response to someone, in obedience to him or out of loyalty to him. In short, it really is an act of piety. And strictly speaking, any action- it need have nothing to do with charity, sedakah, at all- any action which an individual carried out as a fulfillment of a divine command, was an act of gemilut hasadim.”
    Judah Goldin, “The Three Pillars of Simeon the Righteous.” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 27:43-58.
    Don’t our evangelical friends frequently tell us that we should use an historical and grammatical approach to interpreting scriptures?’

    ———–

    And some more.

    ‘A brief summary of gemilut hasadim can be found here:

    http://books.google….hasadim&f=false

    Speaking on the topic of repentance, Byron L. Sherwin notes:

    “To effect complete reconciliation, the return must be mutual. Therefore, repentance requires both a human initiative and a divine response. The corollary of human contrition is divine grace (hesed). A midrash observes, “Consider the parable of a prince who was far away from his father-a hundred days journey away. His friends said to him: Return to your father. He replied: I cannot; I have not the strength. Thereupon his father sent word to him saying: Come back as far as you are able, and I will go the rest of the way to meet you. So the Hol One says to Israel: ‘Return to Me, and I shall return to you.’ [Mal. 3:7].”” (Byron L. Sherwin, In Partnership with God: Contemporary Jewish Law and Ethics, Syracuse University Press: 1990)

    What are we so often ridiculed for? “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23) I think Nephi was quite aware of the Jewish concept of repentance and grace.’

    ————

    And some more,

    ‘”The Hebrew hesed (plural hasadim) is usually translated as “grace” or “loving-kindness,” but sometimes also as “mercy” or “love.” An act of hesed is an act of kindness done neither to repay a debt nor for the sake of gain, but freely and purely out of love.” (Warren Zev Harvey, “Grace in Judaism,” Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Vol. 1, ed. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, ABC-CLIO: 2008)

    “Not only did Abraham do acts of hesed, but he commanded his descendants and followers to do likewise. According to a statement of Rabbi Judah bar Nahamani (Babylonian Talmud 1948, 8b), gemilut hasadim is the distinguishing characteristic of the children of Israel, who hold to the covenant of Abraham. Rabbi Judah cites God’s words regarding Abraham: “For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his posterity, to keep the way of the Lord, by doing what is just and right.” (Genesis 18:19) It would thus seem that the very purpose of the covenant of Abraham is gemilut hasadim, which is “the way of the Lord”; that is, the purpose of the covenant is moral imitatio Dei (Maimonides, Hilkhot De’ot 1:6-7).” (Harvey, 2008)

    “[Z]edakah denotes the act of giving, while gemilut hasadim refers to the noble intentions infused with the act.” (Sherwin, 1990)

    “Zedekah can be done only with one’s money, but gemilut hasadim can be done with one’s person and with one’s money. Zedakah can be given to the poor alone, but gemilut hasadim can be given to the rich as well as to the poor. Zedakah can be given only to the living while gemilut hasadim can be done both to the living and to the dead.” (Sherwin, 1990)’

    ———–

    Grace is SO MUCH MORE than just an “unmerited gift”. In fact it isn’t an “unmerited gift” at all.

  27. 27 shematwater
    April 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    RALPH

    I agree, and love the quotes you give. I was just trying to get down to the very basics for the benefit of those here that don’t quite get the basics.

  28. 28 Ralph Peterson
    April 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    “Was that what Jesus said to the criminal on the cross next to him?”

    I don’t know how many times this has been addressed here. But to be short, the thief didn’t go to heaven, because three days latter Jesus had not yet been to heaven.

    “Was that what Jesus meant in Mark 5:34 “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace””

    And faith without works is dead, so the “daughter” DID something first and THEN Jesus healed her.

    So SOMETHING WAS REQUIRED! Thanks for pointing that out.

    “Was that what Jesus meant in Luke 7:50 “woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’ ””

    See above.

    Let’s add context shall we.

    Matt 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Christ demands work)
    7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Christ demands more work)
    8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: (Christ demands even more work) freely ye have received, freely give.

    “free” means it was openly made available, not that it didn’t cost effort.

    Rev 22:14 Blessed are they THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they MAY HAVE RIGHT TO the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Christ requires obedience)
    15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Christ requires repentance)
    16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

    “free” means it was openly made available, not that it didn’t cost effort.

  29. 29 Ralph Peterson
    April 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    They don’t want to get the basics.

  30. 30 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Shem said: “Salvation = (Faith + Works) x Grace”

    Let me use your formula above using information from the BIBLE to fill in the blanks step by step and calculate the outcome of the MORMON formula for MORMONS.

    According to the Bible,

    Salvation = perfection(sinlessness)

    Therefore…

    1) Perfection(sinlessness) = (Faith + Works) X Grace

    The Bible has this to say about the “Works” portion of the formula: James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at JUST ONE POINT is guilty of breaking ALL IF IT.”

    One little sin and poof! The works portion of this formula calculates as a ZERO.

    Galatians 3:10 “CURSED is everyone who does not continue to do EVERYTHING written in the Book of the Law.”

    Therefore…

    2) Perfection(sinlessness) = (Faith + ZERO) X Grace

    The Bible has this to say about the “Faith” portion of the formula when the “works” portion of the formula is zero…

    James 2:17 “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is DEAD.” DEAD means Zero faith!

    Poof! Faith = ZERO

    3) Perfection(sinlessness) = (ZERO + ZERO) X Grace

    And as you yourself stated Shem, to which I agree…

    “But, if God does not grant his Grace there is no salvation (as anything times zero equals zero).”

    Poof! NO Grace granted! because “Anything times zero equals zero”

    4) ZERO = (ZERO + ZERO) X Grace

    which more clearly is calculated this way…

    5) HELL/OUTER DARKNESS = MORMONS

    But THANKFULLY GOD in the BIBLE has a different formula that Mormons can use!

    1) Salvation = Grace(FREE forgiveness)

    2) Perfection(sinlessness) = Grace(FREE forgiveness)

    (free forgiveness that does NOT “depend on you” as your LDS leaders have led you to believe)

    End of formula.

    NOW everyone s FREE to do truly good works!

  31. 31 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    You don’t know that. That’s a judgement only God can make. For all you know, God could have opened our eyes to not only understand LDS basics, but to see the lie’s and deception in them and that the really blind person here is you.

    Consider that, keep that in mind. That is always a possibilty isn’t it.

  32. 32 jbr
    April 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    “Was that what Jesus said to the criminal on the cross next to him?”

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Yes. The criminal was forgiven freely, unconditionally. Since Jesus reveals that not believing condemns already…then believing has the same effect.

    This is in the present tense … and no mention of forgiveness being dependent on proving worthiness.

    John 3:18
    Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
    .
    .
    “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

  33. 33 Ralph Peterson
    April 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Sorry, but the criminal was not forgiven freely.

    “Paradise” is NOT heaven. Three days LATER, Jesus said, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

    You know His Father in HEAVEN.

    So no, the criminal didn’t go to heaven, because he was in the world of the dead.

    No where does is say that Jesus forgave him. You are reading something into the Bible THAT ISN’T there.

    And you expect this to be convincing to LDS? Or are you really only trying to convince yourself?

  34. 34 Ralph Peterson
    April 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, . . . ”

    Can you believe IN Him without OBEYING Him?

    Do you believe Him when He said, (Matt 5:19) “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”?

    Do you believe Him when He said, (Matt 15:3) . . . “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
    4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
    5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
    6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
    7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
    8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”?

    Do you believe Him when He said, (Matt. 19:17)” . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments”?

    Can you really believe IN Jesus while ignoring what He taught? Let me know how that works.

  35. 35 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Ralph said:

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Do you believe Him when He said, (Matt. 19:17)” . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments”? Can you really believe IN Jesus while ignoring what He taught? Let me know how that works.”
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Ralph, can you really believe IN Jesus while ignoring what he taught? You don’t keep the commandments, how does that work? Let me know! Can you believe IN Him without OBEYING Him?

  36. 36 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Ralph said: “No where does is say that Jesus forgave him. You are reading something into the Bible THAT ISN’T there.”

    Jesus said to the criminal that today he would be with him in “PARADISE”. Jesus used the word: “PARADISE”

    Some information about “PARADISE” from LDS.org……

    “Paradise is that part of the spirit world in which the righteous spirits who have departed from this life await the resurrection of the body. It is a condition of happiness and peace.
    In the scriptures, the word paradise is used in different ways. First, as mentioned above, it designates a place of peace and happiness in the postmortal spirit world, RESERVED FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED AND WHO HAVE REMAINED FAITHFUL (see Alma 40:12; Moroni 10:34).” (www.lds.org) (emphasis mine)

    However, since the thief on the cross was not “RIGHTEOUS” “FAITHFUL” nor “BAPTIZED” according to LDS teachings, this account of the thief on the cross flies in the face of LDS teachings. Yes. It contradicts the beliefs held by the LDS Church. So the LDS church must instead insinutate that Jesus is a liar. THe LDS claims that Jesus didn’t say: “Paradise”, he said “the world of spirits”…

    This is made clear from LDS.org……

    “A second use of the word paradise is found in Luke’s account of the Savior’s Crucifixion. When Jesus was on the cross, a thief who also was being crucified said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42). According to Luke 23:43, the Lord replied, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that this is a mistranslation; the Lord actually said that the thief would be with Him in the world of spirits.” (www.lds.org)

    Ralph, here you charge jbr with reading something into scripture that isn’t there and yet you, as a Mormon, are the one reading something into scripture that isn’t there! In fact you are doing something far worse, you are removing something that IS THERE and adding something that isn’t there!!!!!!

    Ralph, I am so tired of the endless crap you dish out here aimed at us when all the while you are the one who is more than guilty of the charges you lay against us! Viper!

    When Jesus was speaking to the pharisees telling the pharisees that they were the children of the devil, he said this:

    John 8:43-47 ” Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

    Notice his charge there that Jesus’ language what not clear to them. They could not “hear” what he was saying. They did not “hold to the truth” and that he who belongs to God HEARS what GOD SAYS.

    Jesus then said in verse 51 to these same pharisees: ” I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

    Now anyone who belongs to God HEARS what Jesus said there and holds to the truth of what was said.

    How do theses pharisees (these children of the devil) respond to Jesus’ words?

    In Verse 52 they show that they don’t hear Jesus’ words, they don’t hold to the truth of what he said, Jesus’ language is not clear to them…

    In Verse 52 The children of the devil say: “yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.”

    Jesus said: “see death” the devils children said: “taste death”

    Jesus said: “Paradise” the devils children said: “the spirit world”

    This is written to Mormons who listen to God’s word and hold to the truth that Jesus taught and who hear Jesus, Mormonism is the Devil’s church! Get out before it is too late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    .

  37. 37 Echo
    April 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Ralph said: ““Paradise” is NOT heaven. Three days LATER, Jesus said, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” You know His Father in HEAVEN.”

    After Jesus spoke to the “criminal” on the cross Jesus said: 46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

    The spirit of Jesus is with Father.

  38. 38 Kent
    April 21, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Joseph Smith added text to Genesis 50 in the JST version of the bible that predicted his own coming as a prophet.

    That is completely self serving and absurd so how can anyone take other parts he translated that disagree with every other Bible seriously?

    Sadly, for his sake, he is probably in hell today suffering the punishment for, among other things, leading his flock down the wrong path.

    I reject most if not all of what Jospeh Smith taught and no I don’t have to accept him as a prophet to enter the kingdom of God.

    “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

    I reject what Joseph Fielding Smith said regarding Joseph Smith and I have no fear of dreadful consequences that will never happen to me because, ‘greater is He (Jesus) who is in me than he who is the world’ or in the case of Joseph Smith, who was in the world.

  39. 39 Kent
    April 21, 2011 at 5:14 am

    I ask forgiveness from everybody who visits this blog for part of my last statement. I never should have said that Joseph Smith is probably is in hell as it isn’t up to me. I have already asked God to forgive me and I already know he has forgiven me.

    Mr. Cares’s ministry is called Truth in Love and although I believe it is the truth that Mr. Smith was in danger of judgement, I know I didn’t state what I stated in love and that is wrong.

    I still do believe that I can reject Mr. Smith as a prophet of god and not suffer any consequences but I do wish I didn’t say the part about him probably being in hell as, again, it isn’t up to me.

  40. 40 jbr
    April 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Echo………
    Ralph is a victim of those who are\have placed their faith on funeral directors masquerading as the only one true fireman.

    People that express …”Sorry, but the criminal was not forgiven freely.” ….
    do not believe Jesus who say “If the Son sets you free, you ARE free, indeed”

    It’s simple wanton opposition. Jesus says “ARE free” and the wolf in sheeps clothing counters with.. “EVENTUALLY WILL BE free”

  41. 41 Echo
    April 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    jbr, What you say is sad but true.

    I hope and pray that Ralph and all Mormons will come to realize that we are not their enemies and what we really want is to be their friends.

    I pray that the Son will set them FREE!

    John 8:34-36 ” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

    Jesus said: “if THE SON sets you free, you will be free indeed”
    Mormonism says: “It ‘depends ON YOU’ whether or not you will be free, you might be free in weeks, years or centuries”

    THAT’S SLAVERY! THAT’S CIRCUMCISION!

    Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” NIV

    Galatians 5: 2-3 “I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision OR ANY OTHER RULE KEEPING SYSTEM, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law” The Message Bible (to make the point given clearer for Mormons)

    Galatians 5:3-4 ” Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” NIV

  42. 42 Martha
    April 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Kent, 
    I thought I would take up your offer. You see I am an ex Mormon. I have also been saved by grace, not from my works. The true Jesus came and got me. He loves me unconditionally, not by my works. I am forgiven the moment I repent. I dont have to work for my forgiveness. 

    I know I am going to heaven where I will be in the presence of God for all eternity. I will not be going to outer darkness because I left the Mormon church. 

    If I have to make a choice of having to work all my life and maybe I will get into the celestial kingdom where God is but knowing that I’ll probably go to the terrestrial kingdom because I’m unworthy because I can’t be perfect and not be with God. 

    OR believe that Jesus died on the cross to take my sins upon Him so that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. Where I relish obeying Him because he is my father, He is my friend. He loves me and I love Him. 
    He doesn’t critisize me for being imperfect. He loves me unconditionally. 

    I choose the real Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus who paid my debt freely and completely. It is finished. My belief (faith) sets me free. 

    It took me a lot of years to get rid of the burden of works. The LDS church is good at engraining (brainwashing) that in. God has been the one who has healed me.   Again, not of my works, but because of His love. 

    I praise Him for His righteousness  and faithfulness! I thank Him for taking my sins daily so that I can be in His presence now and for all eternity. 

  43. 43 Martha
    April 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Ralph. It is true that many ex-Mormons have an axe to grind. My experience with talking to ex Mormons is that they are angry because they realize they have been so completely decieved by the Mormon church. It’s like scales falling off their eyes when the finally see that Joseph Smith was a liar and a very bad person. That is their axe. They usually get mad at God for a time. They can’t believe God could do this to them. But the answer to that question is that the Mormon church is not of God. They worship a different thing (works), a person (Joseph Smith). The religion is constantly changing with political pressure and worldly attitudes. 

    But God is the same, yesterday and forever. He is love and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That is the true Jesus. 

    I encourage you to try to clear your mind of the mormon teachings, open up the New Testament and read about the real Jesus. 

    Please know I am praying for you all. 

  44. 44 Martha
    April 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I would like to publically reject what Joseph Smith and the rest of the Mormon prophets have taught. I know I will not go to outer darkness because I am in the presence of God. His love showers down on me constantly. He lifts me up when I’m down. He makes me holy because He is Holy. He is the Only true God the God of Israel – there is no other God. I am righteous because of the blood He’s shed on the cross. I obey Him through this post.

  45. 45 shematwater
    April 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful how the subjective belief one of group is treated as fact while the subjective belief of another group is ridiculed as false. The entire attitude simply lends itself beautifully to constructive discussion, don’t you think.

    ECHO

    First, if you do know the basics than you are doing a fabulous job of hiding this fact, as you have yet to get them accurate, as we have shown.

    Second, your explanation of my equation is not accurate. I notice you give no reference in your claim that Salvation = Perfection. I understand, as no such definition or equation has ever been given in the Bible. In truth, the best equation for this would be Salvation = Eternal Life. As Christ tells us that Eternal Life is to know God (John 17: 3).

    Thus we have Knowing God = (Works + Faith) x Grace.

    Now, James 2: 10 is not saying that all sin is equal, and thus there are no works. What he is saying is that we cannot think that God will excuse any sin, but that we will be accountable for all our works. This is his reasoning in verse 11. If you are perfect in all respects except one you still have sin. It is not that all sin is equal, just that it is all sin.

    As such, what we gain is closer to Knowing God = (good works – evil works + faith) x Grace.

    Now, everyone is going to have some good and some bad works in their life. Also, everyone is going to have some degree of faith, as without it no good can be done. Simply put, if you do anything good you have the faith that it is good. It does not matter that it is not centered in Christ (I do not distinguish regular faith from “saving faith”).
    The trick is not to be perfect, but to balance our works and faith so that they because a positive, so that when grace is multiplied in we gain the reward.

    The Bible actually credits all men with some good works (except sons of perdition) and proves that all men have faith, though not understanding. As such, by the Bible the equation I give works to illustrate the reward that Christ will give us all according to our works.

    Now, I am not going to get into the Joseph Smith Translation. It is a matter of faith, and that is all there is to it. If you don’t accept Joseph Smith as a Prophet rail all you want against it. For those who do accept him as a prophet it is a wonderful tool and blessing that clarifies and teaches the true Gospel of Christ.

    On a final note, you quote Christ as saying “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23: 46)
    The insistence that “into thy hands” has to refer to going to heaven makes no sense. This term does not necessitate being in the same place. The phrase means to give power to, or surrender to another.
    Speaking of his life Christ also said “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
    Taking both these statements we see that Christ was simply saying that he was giving full control to the Father over his spirit. He was laying down his life as he had power to do, and was giving his Father full control over where it went (though he knew where he was going).

  46. 46 Kent
    April 23, 2011 at 2:40 am

    shematwater said,

    “Now, I am not going to get into the Joseph Smith Translation. It is a matter of faith, and that is all there is to it. If you don’t accept Joseph Smith as a Prophet rail all you want against it. For those who do accept him as a prophet it is a wonderful tool and blessing that clarifies and teaches the true Gospel of Christ.”

    It is the height of absurdity and completey self serving for Jospeh Smith to add to the text of the book of Genesis, Genesis 50 in particular, predicting his own coming as a prophet.

    That the JST bible is the only translation of many translations that has this addition speaks volumes that it is false.

    Besides, I am certain that even the JST bible doesn’t say that god was a man first on some other planet before the very creation of the heaven and the earth, that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan who chose good instead of evil, that we can progress to be gods of our own planets, and other examples of a different and false gospel that is taught by the Mormon church.

  47. 47 Echo
    April 23, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Shem,

    Explain this….”Thus we have Knowing God = (Works + Faith) x Grace.”

  48. 48 Kent
    April 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I said, “Besides, I am certain that even the JST bible doesn’t say that god was a man first on some other planet before the very creation of the heaven and the earth, that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan who chose good instead of evil, that we can progress to be gods of our own planets, and other examples of a different and false gospel that is taught by the Mormon church.”

    I think the Joseph Smith translation is the word of god as far as it has been translated correctly so I reject any changes or additions he made to the Bible such as, him adding himself as a coming prophet in Genesis 50 and other mis-translations such as changing “God justifieth the ungodly” to “God justifieth not the ungodly.”

    But Smith didn’t change other parts of the Bible and they don’t agree with doctrine the Mormon church teaches today so since the parts of the Bible that Smith didn’t tamper with are still the word of God, then the Mormon church is teaching things contrary to the word of God.

    Mormons, why doesn’t your church still stress that yours is the only true church and that all of our churches are abominations before God and we are following the harlot? After all, the Book of Mormon says this.

    Because if that was the case, then Mormons would be trying as hard to point out the errors in our churches’ teachings as we do in pointing out errors that we see in what your church teaches because if rejecting Joseph Smith as a prophet has the most dreadful consequences (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190), and our churches are abominations before God, then wouldn’t we be going to outer darkness when we die?

    Because going to a lower heaven doesn’t sound like a dreadful consequence to me.

  49. 49 Kent
    April 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I said, “I think the Joseph Smith translation is the word of god as far as it has been translated correctly so I reject any changes or additions he made to the Bible such as, him adding himself as a coming prophet in Genesis 50 and other mis-translations such as changing “God justifieth the ungodly” to “God justifieth not the ungodly.”

    Don’t you think it is just a little curious that the JST tranlations doesn’t agree on certain points with every other Bible that has ever been translated into english?

    On those points that disagree I compare that to the Jehovah’s Witness New World translation where they also changed key points in the Bible.

    The Bible doesn’t agree with what your church teaches? Then just change parts of the Bible so that it agrees with what you church teaches.

    But like the J. Witnesses’ bible, the JST bible has scriptures that sitll agrees with other Bibles and is inconsistant with what their churches teach.

  50. 50 Echo
    April 25, 2011 at 7:14 am

    The testimony of these ‘Mormons’ really touched my heart…

    http://www.sacredgrovesonline.org/videos/unveiling_grace.htm

  51. 51 shematwater
    April 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    ECHO

    What explanation do you want? Be a little more specific.

    I gave the Biblical reference that shows what I have said, so if this is the explanation you want I have already given it. If you want a further Biblical explanation with supporting verses I am happy to give that as well. I am also happy to explain the concept of Eternal Life according to LDS doctrine and how this equation actualy works if that is what you want.

    Please clarify.

    KENT

    As I said, it is a matter of Faith, and my faith is sufficient to accept it. Your faith seems more based on the works of men and your own reasoning than on anything that God himself has done or said.
    Rail all you want, but my faith is firm and your complaints will not shake it.

    As to pointing out the errors in other churches, we are intelligent and wise enough to understand that attacking others only makes them defensive and thus prevents any real discussion and blocks the spirit. This results in no opportunity to truly teach and thus the goal is frustrated.
    We prefer to take the more effective route in taking what people believe, letting them know that we respect their belief, and then asking if we can share ours and have a discussion comparing the two. It is a much more effective way to teach and it invites the Spirit of God into the discussion.

    As to outer darkness, one cannot suffer the second death until they have been redeemed from the first, as the dead cannot die again. As those who have never been baptized by the proper authority are still dead as to the first death the second death can have no claim on them.

    Now, I have always held that most Christians will receive the reward they believe in and are hoping for, as the only heaven they truly believe in is the Terrestrial Kingdom. This is a reward and a glorious life. But you will not enjoy the presence of the Father in this kingdom, which is why it is referred to as damnation, for it is an eternal separation. It is also an end to progression, and thus a damnation of the soul.
    The real question is not how bad this kingdom is (as it is more glorious than anyone can imagine) but how much better the Celestial is and how you will feel for eternity knowing that you could have been worthy of the greater reward. This seems like enough of a hell to me.

  52. 52 Ralph Peterson
    April 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    The Bible isn’t uni-vocal, nor is it inerrant. It even contradicts itself.

    “Mormons, why doesn’t your church still stress that yours is the only true church . . .”

    You are kidding right?

    http://lds.org/search?lang=eng&query=%22only+true+church%22

    ” . . . and that all of our churches are abominations before God and we are following the harlot?”

    Another misrepresentation.

    “After all, the Book of Mormon says this.”

    Another misrepresentation.

    1 Ne. 14:10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.

    If you want to exclude your church from the “church of the Lamb of God” and include it in “the church of the devil”, you are free to do so.

    “Because if that was the case, then Mormons would be trying as hard to point out the errors in our churches’ . . . ”

    Your logic is faulty. Being actively engaged in BUILDING the Kingdom of God on the earth and spreading the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is a higher priority than tearing down other churches.

    ” . . . and our churches are abominations before God, . . . ”

    Another misrepresentation.

    ” . . . then wouldn’t we be going to outer darkness when we die?”

    Another misrepresentation.

    Please excuse my interruption of your flogging of a strawman party.

  53. 53 Echo
    April 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Shem, I am asking you to explain how Works plus faith times grace helps you to know God. : your formula: “Thus we have Knowing God = (Works + Faith) x Grace.”

  54. 54 shematwater
    April 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    ECHO

    It is simple.
    One cannot know something until they have experienced it. I cannot know what skydiving is like until I have been skydiving.
    In a like manner, one cannot know a person until they have experienced that person’s life. I cannot know the life of British Nobility until I have lived the life of British Nobility. I cannot know the life of an African slave of the 1800’s until I have lived the life of an African slave of the 1800’s.

    Now, this is not to say that I cannot gain insight into these things or lives through the accounts of those that do know them. But this is not true knowledge. It is an acceptance as truth that which we do not know ourselves (thus a faith in the one giving us the information).

    Apply this to God: We cannot truly know God until we have lived the life that he lives. It is impossible. The commandments he gives are a beginning. By obeying God (doing the work) we begin to gain an understanding of what his life is. Through faith we accept that what he tells us is true and will lead us to a full understanding and knowledge of him. However, it is grace that actually works within us to raise our mortal bodies to the glorified and immortal body that God also has.
    Thus, through the combination of works and faith we learn what it is to be like God, and when we learn enough we are brought in to fully experience the life he has, and thus can truly know God.

  55. 55 Echo
    April 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Shem said: “One cannot know something until they have experienced it. I cannot know what skydiving is like until I have been skydiving… Apply this to God: We cannot truly know God until we have lived the life that he lives. It is impossible.”

    Thus we the Mormon formula of:

    1) Knowing God = (perfection/sinlessness + faith) X grace

    Again, that calculates out this way once the math is scripturally done…

    2) Outer Darkness = Mormons.

    The Pharisees kept God’s commandments and in no way knew God. It’s not in keeping his commandments where we get to know God, to know God is to know his heart…

    To know God = Grace (Free forgiveness)

    Perfection(sinlessness) = Grace(FREE forgiveness)

    Salvation = grace (free forgiveness)

    (free forgiveness that does NOT “depend on you” as your LDS leaders have led you to believe)

    End of formula.

    NOW everyone s FREE to do truly good works!

  56. 56 RLO
    April 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Seriously Echo. Give it up. Shem proceeds from an entirely different paradigm. He will not accept, and he simply cannot accept, much less can he even consider, all you have patiently shared with him, because it fundamentally conflicts with what he believes a priori to be the truth. The more you try to share with him God’s life-saving Truth of salvation by grace alone, the deeper will he dig in his heels in order to defend Satan’s life-stealing lie of an alternative salvation by works. Leave him now. Let him defend the intricacies of his brilliant mathematical salvation equation before the Almighty God on Judgment Day. Indeed. That should be quite enlightening.

  57. 57 Echo
    April 27, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks RLO, I think you are right. It’s time to let it go and to give up on Shem.

    Shem will be enlightened in the judgement when the following takes place…

    Mathew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? AND IN THY NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  58. 58 Kent
    April 28, 2011 at 1:37 am

    RLO and Echo, but I believe there are other Mormons looking in on the discussions here who have never heard what the Bible teaches apart from what their church teaches so they can be reached. Engaging people like Shem and Ralph can bare good fruit.

    Also, while all things are not possible with man all things are possible with God so even Shem and Ralph are within God’s reach.

  59. 59 Echo
    April 28, 2011 at 2:34 am

    I hear ya Kent. Thanks for the concern for all the Mormons who read this blog. I share the same concern as you do.

    “Faith comes from hearing the message”. That good news, the news through which God creates saving faith, is contained in this thread already. It’s a simple message to understand and it’s contained in this thread.

    It’s like RLO said: “The more you try to share with him God’s life-saving Truth of salvation by grace alone, the deeper will he dig in his heels in order to defend Satan’s life-stealing lie of an alternative salvation by works.”

    I have spoken with Shem for well over a year or more on this blog and another blog. I know him very well. The deeper Shem digs in his heels to defend Satan’s life-stealing lie, the more complicated he (and thus Satan) makes the simple message look when the message itself isn’t complicated at all.

    You will see me again in other threads declaring the same simple truth of the gospel. But I am done on this thread because the simple truth of the gospel is already written here.

    I need to be constantly reminded that this isn’t a battle of intelligence, this isn’t a battle to win every argument, it’s a battle to save souls. And it doesn’t take intelligence to save souls. I don’t have to win every argument, I don’t have to have the last word. The simple message of the gospel is what saves souls. RLO just reminded me of that fact.

    But If any Mormon reading this blog has questions about the simple message they are always welcome to post the question on the blog and then I would post an answer.

  60. 60 Kent
    April 28, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Echo, I see your point as with other non believers, non Mormons, sometimes all we can do is share the gospel and then let God work on their hearts but if they are unwilling to believe, then at least they have heard it and who knows, a seed as been planted and fruit can grow when we least expect it.

    But you are right, sometimes people can dig in and harden their hearts and it gets harder and harder for the message to get through that hardness.

  61. 61 Ralph Peterson
    April 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    If God does it all, then you are wasting your time.

    The fact that you said this, “sometimes all we can do is share the gospel” clearly indicates that you don’t really believe that God does it all.

    Why can’t you guys get your story strait. Either God does it all, and you are totally wasting your time. OR God doesn’t do it all, but depends on you to do something He can not.

    “But you are right, sometimes people can dig in and harden their hearts and it gets harder and harder for the message to get through that hardness.”

    If God does it all, all He has to do is soften “their hearts”. So again, you are clearly indicating that God doesn’t do it all.

    Which is it. Does God do it all, or not?

  62. 62 Echo
    April 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    God creates faith through his message in his word. Through his good news.
    He has called us to share “his” good news with you.

    But people harden their own hearts. The Pharisees were a prime example of this. They were so indoctrinated by false teaching that they refused to listen to Christ’s words. They were too proud to admit that they just might be wrong. The Pharisees spent all of their time trying to trap Jesus in his own words. A sign of the hardness of their hearts. They got offended when Jesus said things to them that sounded harsh and cruel instead of listening, instead of sincerely inquiring as to why Jesus would say that to them. They misjudged his motives. They hurled insults at Jesus and mocked him. The one thing they failed to do was: “listen”…. and faith doesn’t penetrate deaf ears. Their hearts were too hard. Jesus left them.

    Jesus taught his disciples that they would be treated the same way he had been treated.

    And it’s true!…. Ralph, you have followed in the footsteps of the pharisees step for step thus far.

    Don’t continue to harden your heart. It could save your soul!

  63. 63 Ralph Peterson
    April 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    So, God doesn’t do it all. Apparently, according to you guys, I have to do something.

  64. 64 Echo
    April 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    God gives you the gift of faith, he gives you the ability to believe through his word, but he doesn’t do the believing for you.

  65. 65 shematwater
    April 29, 2011 at 12:18 am

    ECHO

    So it isn’t a free gift. We actually have to do something (believe) to be saved. Ralph is right, your so called gospel is self-contradicting and thus false. Why should I accept it?

    As to the equation, you are again twisting my meaning by replacing what I have written with your own words.
    You give the equation as “Knowing God = (perfection/sinlessness + faith) X grace.”
    I give the equation as “Knowing God = (good works – evil works + faith) x Grace.”
    See the difference. We do not claim perfection in this life is required, as no man is sinless. Thus your simplified version of Mormonism = Outer Darkness is a false statement, as I have already explained.
    You constant twisting of my words and the doctrine of my faith is another reason why you fail to convince me. How can one who is so dishonest truly be teaching the gospel of Christ?

    Matthew 7: 21-23
    You miss the entire point of this passage because you ignore verse 21. Let us look at the entire passage.
    “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.
    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied IN THY NAME? and IN THY NAME have cast out devils? and IN THY NAME done many wonderful works?
    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    Christ is not speaking of those who truly follow him and keep his commandments and teach others to keep them (Matthew 5: 19) as you claim. He is speaking of those who claim to be his disciples, those who profess to be Christians and do all their works in the name of Christ but who deny the need for their own work and deny the need for us to be obedient.
    As he has said, only those who do the will of the Father, not just believe the will of the Father, with be saved. It is those who go contrary to that will, though they believe, who are cast out.

    RLO

    I could make the same statement, but that hardly is useful to constructive discussion.

  66. 66 Kent
    April 29, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Echo said:

    “The testimony of these ‘Mormons’ really touched my heart…”

    http://www.sacredgrovesonline.org/videos/unveiling_grace.htm

    The above link is actually people giving their testimony about how they came out of the Mormon faith and any Mormons who are questioning what they have been taught, no you don’t have to worry and be afraid about going to outer darkness if you leave your church as Jesus loves you and He will never leave you or forsake you!

  67. 67 Kent
    April 29, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Ralph said,

    “If God does it all, then you are wasting your time.

    The fact that you said this, “sometimes all we can do is share the gospel” clearly indicates that you don’t really believe that God does it all.

    Why can’t you guys get your story strait. Either God does it all, and you are totally wasting your time. OR God doesn’t do it all, but depends on you to do something He can not.

    “But you are right, sometimes people can dig in and harden their hearts and it gets harder and harder for the message to get through that hardness.”

    If God does it all, all He has to do is soften “their hearts”. So again, you are clearly indicating that God doesn’t do it all.

    Which is it. Does God do it all, or not?”

    Ralph, people have freewill to accept or reject the gospel so God doesn’t force anyone to believe that Jesus already did it all for us on the cross.

    Mormons, again, watch the testimony of people who have been set free from the Mormon faith. The truth will truly set you free!

    http://www.sacredgrovesonline.org/videos/unveiling_grace.htm

  68. 68 Kent
    April 29, 2011 at 4:45 am

    shematwater said: “I give the equation as “Knowing God = (good works – evil works + faith) x Grace”

    The problem here is that we can never subtract our evil works, our sins, as even one sin can put us into outer darkness (hell) forever and none of us can ever live up to the perfection Heavenly Father demands of us.

    James 2:10

    “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    The solution? believing in Him (Jesus) and what He already did in our place on the cross.

    John 6:28-29

    Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

  69. 69 RLO
    April 29, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Kent said: “The solution? believing in Him (Jesus) and what He already did in our place on the cross.”

    Give it up, Kent. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

  70. 70 Echo
    April 29, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Shem said: “So it isn’t a free gift. We actually have to do something (believe) to be saved. Ralph is right, your so called gospel is self-contradicting and thus false. Why should I accept it?”

    Well when someone gives you a gift for Christmas or your birthday and you (believe) they gave you that gift, you go right on ahead and take credit for getting that gift Shem. The rest of us who are not brainwashed into thinking that “doing nothing” is “doing something” will give all the credit to the one who gave us the gift.

    ” … but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

    Now there’s something you can take credit for Shem!

    Have fun in the judgment!

  71. 71 Ralph Peterson
    April 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    “Ralph, people have freewill to accept or reject the gospel so God doesn’t force anyone to believe that Jesus already did it all for us on the cross. ”

    You can’t even see the problem with your own statement. IF I have to believe THEN I have to do something, and THEN Christ didn’t do “it all for us on the cross”.

    Also IF as you say, “people have freewill to accept or reject”, then God can’t force them against their will to accept. So THEN God can’t do it all, we have to do something on our own.

    The fact of the matter is, I HAVE accepted Jesus Christ AND His Gospel.

  72. 72 shematwater
    April 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    ECHO

    You do not have an accurate analogy here, as usual.

    I have never denied that God has given me a gift. I will even admit that salvation is a gift from God, and in a sense it is free.
    However, like so many other gifts one must put themselves into a position that allows them to accept it.
    A soup kitchen may be giving out free meals, but unless you go down to where they are you will not get one.
    Using your analogy, a family may be giving gifts at Christmas time, but a brother or sister who does not visit is unable to claim their gift.

    I never take credit for the gift that is given me, but I do take credit for the journey that got me to the place where I was able to accept it. At least in part, as I am definitely assisted by Christ the entire way.

    Now, you claimed to know the basics of LDS doctrine, and yet you don’t seem to understand this very basic concept.

    KENT

    James is speaking to those who wish to excuse a little sin by claiming perfection in other areas. It is the idea of a pet sin, or something that they are sure God will simply ignore. This attitude, described very well by James, is what makes us guilty of all the law, not the simple act. It is an attitude that is in rebellion towards God and tries to dictate to him how he will judge. These people are guilty of the entire law, for they are in rebellion against it.
    However, those who are not in rebellion against the law, who are honestly trying to purge their lives of all sins, are not condemned by James, as they do not seek to keep even the smallest sin.

    As such, a person can easily have all the parts of the equation I have given.

    RALPH

    I have yet to hear any real explanation to this contradiction of thought. The best one out there is the doctrine of Predestination, but I don’t know many who accept that anymore.
    Of course, I did here the attempt by some to say that we only have free will after we accept Christ, but that just makes things worse.

  73. 73 Echo
    April 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Shem said: “Using your analogy, a family may be giving gifts at Christmas time, but a brother or sister who does not visit is unable to claim their gift. I never take credit for the gift that is given me, but I do take credit for the journey that got me to the place where I was able to accept it. At least in part, as I am definitely assisted by Christ the entire way”

    Yes, that is your LDS doctrine and I understand your LDS doctrine in exactly the same way you have stated it there.

    I also understand what “I do take credit for the journey” means but I will let you explain it in your own words, could you please explain everything you take credit for in the journey? What is required of you to travel that journey?

  74. 74 Ralph Peterson
    April 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.”

    That is true. It is also true that the real message of the cross is foolishness to those who are accepting a false message of the cross.

  75. 75 Echo
    April 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Ralph said: “You can’t even see the problem with your own statement. IF I have to believe THEN I have to do something, and THEN Christ didn’t do “it all for us on the cross”.

    It’s like this and in this exact order of words…

    Christ did it all for us on the cross, [now] believe it.

    The following statement would be false doctrine…

    Christ did it all for us on the cross, if we believe it.

    Ralph said: “Also IF as you say, “people have freewill to accept or reject”, then God can’t force them against their will to accept. So THEN God can’t do it all, we have to do something on our own.”

    Just to let you know Ralph, and just for the record, Kent believes that we have freewill to accept or reject salvation.

    Mark Cares, RLO and myself would disagree with that teaching. We do not believe in free will in conversion. Kent is not WELS Lutheran. Kent believes in active acceptance (free will/human decision), we believe in passive acceptance (Born of God)

    John 1:13 “children born not of natural descent, NOR OF HUMAN DECISION or a husband’s will, but born of God.

  76. 76 Ralph Peterson
    April 29, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Shem,

    You posted, “Using your analogy, a family may be giving gifts at Christmas time, but a brother or sister who does not visit is unable to claim their gift.

    I never take credit for the gift that is given me, but I do take credit for the journey that got me to the place where I was able to accept it. At least in part, as I am definitely assisted by Christ the entire way.”

    The naysayers here will neglect this part “as I am definitely assisted by Christ the entire way”, to create a strawman attack on you.

    And they will also fail to understand that in the end YOU STILL END UP WITH THE GIFT!!!!

    As if you making the journey to get the gift somehow disqualifies you from being given the gift that was promised to you upon the conditions of you making yourself available to receive it.

    Also, I wouldn’t be surprised that their favorite FALSE DICHOTOMY shows up again. You know the one, where it is either all Jesus or all you.

    I just don’t understand why they can’t get that it is a synergistic phenomenon.

  77. 77 Kent
    April 29, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Ralph said, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.”

    That is true. It is also true that the real message of the cross is foolishness to those who are accepting a false message of the cross.”

    The choice is, what is foolishness?

    Either Jesus did it all for us on the cross or that we can do something in our own strength that tops what He already did for us in our place, the perfect unblemished lamb of God who was innocent but who took all of our guilt upon Himself.

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Bare in mind that if anyone thinks he or she can top what Christ did for all of us, then that smacks of boasting.

    And it is not saved as seen through the prism of Mormonese where we are merely given the chance to be righteous. But it saved by the blood of Jesus so that we who believe on His name take on His righteousness and not our own as our own righteouness is worthless, filty rags

    John 1:29

    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

    So, again, what is foolisheness? Believing in what Jesus did on the cross or believing that we can possibly do anything apart from believing on the only name who can save us, Jesus Christ.

  78. 78 RLO
    April 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Ralph said: “Also, I wouldn’t be surprised that their favorite FALSE DICHOTOMY shows up again. You know the one, where it is either all Jesus or all you … I just don’t understand why they can’t get that it is a synergistic phenomenon.”

    What you call a false dichotomy, Bible-based Christians call Biblical truth.
    And what you call a synergistic phenomenon, Bible-based Christians call false doctrine.

    Synergistic phenomenon? Well, let’s see:

    “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his fatih is credited as righteousness.”
    Romans 4:4-5

    ” … to the man who DOES NOT WORK BUT TRUST GOD … ”

    “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    ‘Blessed are they
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man
    whose sin the Lord will never count
    against him.’ ”
    Romans 4:6-8

    ” … the man to whom God credits righteousness APART FROM WORKS … ”

    “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the results of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
    Romans 5:18

    ” … the results of ONE ACT … brings life for ALL MEN.”

    “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteousness.”
    Romans 5:19

    ” … through the obedience of the ONE MAN the many will be made righteousness.”

    “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
    Romans 9:16

    “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
    Romans 11:6

    … and on, and on …
    but to what avail?
    After all, how many countless times have you been shown all of these and many other passages?

    I guess there are reasons why you believe what you believe.
    Just as there are reasons why we believe what we believe.

  79. 79 Kent
    April 30, 2011 at 4:39 am

    RLO said,

    “I guess there are reasons why you believe what you believe.
    Just as there are reasons why we believe what we believe.”

    I think one of the reasons Mormons believe what they believe is because they really don’t think the Bible is reliable as a source.

    After all, their official view is that “the Bible the word of God as far as it has been translated correctly.”

    Because if they did believe the Bible, as we do, is the true word of God, then they wouldn’t have their views which by the way doesn’t back up their contentions except when it is taken out of context.

    My question to Mormons is if the Bible isn’t translated correctly, then why use it at all?

    But I believe if the Bible is the true word of God, then the Book of Mormon, other Mormon scriptures, and other Mormon teachings would not be needed as the old testament prophets and sacrifices purposes were to predict and point to Jesus’ atoning work on the cross and these and new testament prophesies predict his coming in triumph to defeat Satan at the end of the ages and there is no need for any new revelation as we already have what we need to know. So it is all about Jesus Christ and if it isn’t, then there is no reason to call ourselves Chriatians

    I also believe that there has never been a general widespread apostasy like the Mormons teach as we have the teachings of the original apostles to guide us in the Bible and they have not been lost or corrupted.

    Ralph or shematwater, what proof do you have, beyond your church saying it is so, that there has been a general overall apostasy in the church ever?

    RLO, again, we believe what we believe because we trust the Bible as the true and only word of
    God and the Mormons don’t believe this.

  80. 80 Kent
    April 30, 2011 at 5:18 am

    One more thing, the religious authorities in Jesus’ time on earth didn’t believe in who He is, they didn’t receive or accept who He is, the Christ, the Son of God, who was both a man while He was on earth but who always is and always has been God Almighty and who never was a man first on some other planet who progressed to be a god.

    So they didn’t kill Him because He claimed, as the Mormons believe, to be the spirit brother of Satan who chose good instead of evil and the Christian martyrs also didn’t give up their lives for the Mormons false claims. The authorities killed Him because of who He is (but they didn’t believe Him) and the martyrs kept their faith even to the point of death because of who He is, both the perfect man while He was on earth and God who made everything there is, as shown below, So Jesus is not a created being, like Satan.

    So not only is it all about what Jesus did on the cross it is also all about who Jesus is and we either believe what the word of God says about Him in the Bible or we don’t believe it.

    John 1:1-14

    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2The same was in the beginning with God.

    3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

    7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

    8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

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

    11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

  81. 81 shematwater
    April 30, 2011 at 6:42 am

    RALPH

    I think Echo tried to sidestep what you predicted by giving the full quote from me and then singling out the one phrase to use against me. A nice try, but it won’t work.

    You were also right in predicting the continued argument that either we believe Christ does it all or we do it all, and not allowing for a middle ground of mutual cooperation.

    It is amazing how predictable things are. I think we could have even predicted the exact verses that would be used by them, as it is always the same ones.

    ECHO

    What I take credit for is making the choice to take action. I do not take credit for being able to accomplish the task, as without Christ I never would be able to. However, the choice was and is mine, and the initial effort or action was and is mine. The end result is Christ’s, and all glory goes to him in making all things possible, but the choice is still mine.
    It is much like trying to get home for Christmas. I do not have the means to do so. In his infinite grace Christ has sent me the money I need to get a bus ticket home. He has done his part. My part is, first, to get on the bus, and then to follow the instructions for transfers and remain on the right line that will take me to my destination.
    The credit for the initial boarding and for remaining on the right line is mine. However, the means by which I am able to make those dicisions and the final reward at the end is credited to Christ, and so He has the glory.

    KENT

    You give the prime example of the argument of it was all Jesus or it is all us. You claim that we believe we can “top” what Christ has done for us. This is so far from the truth that I would laugh if it weren’t so painful to read.
    Please give one instance why I, Ralph, or any leader of the Church has ever said that we can ever “top” what Christ has done. They have never made any such statement, and if you don’t know this you speaking in ignorance.

    Ephesians 2: 8-9 is very true. However, the meaning of this passage is not to say that our works do not matter, that they have no effect. There meaning is to say that without grace they have no effect. Paul is saying that no man can gain salvation solely my his own works, but that salvation comes only through the free gift of grace.
    In truth, this passage is a perfect testament to my little equation. Notice how grace is multiplied in, meaning that if grace is absent (or a zero) there is no salvation.

    As to the Bible, we use it because, for the most part it is translated correctly. We do not discard a book for a few errors, but cling to the accurate truths that it does contain and rely on God to tell teach us the difference between the accurate parts and those that are in error. It is really rather simple.

    RLO

    We have read these passages before, and we see a very different meaning in them than you do, for the simple reason that we accept all the verses that teach that our works are required, and we read these passage as not contradicting the others, but as supporting them.
    I am not going to get into a debate over individual verses, and I have been in enough endless Bible bashings that I am not in the mood for another. I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.

    Simple Question: If everything was done by God and nothing we do has any effect, than why would anyone be damned?

  82. 82 RLO
    April 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Shem said: “I think we could have even predicted the exact verses that would be used by them, as it is always the same ones.”

    You know, Shem, I’m not so sure this is something you should be bragging about. Scriptural truths are there for everyone to read. So yes, Scriptural truths are predictable. Regrettably, your stiff-necked response to Scriptural truth is also predictable.

    Shem said: “What I take credit for is making the choice to take action … the choice was and is mine, and the initial effort or action was and is mine.”

    What arrogance in the face of bare Scripture! which tell us:

    “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8

    “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” Ephesians 2:1

    “But because of his great love for us, god, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:1, 4-5

    So Shem, seriously, what business does a dead man who was “made alive with Christ” have in trying to take credit for anything regarding his salvation?

    Shem said: “ … and the initial effort or action was and is mine.”

    Really Shem? The initial effort and action was and is yours?

    “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit … ”
    John 16:16

    And Shem, consider the questions Paul asked of the Galatians:

    “I would like to learn just one thing from you : Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Galatians 3:2-3

    Shem, for the sake of your eternal soul, stop trying to attain the goal by human effort.

    Shem said: “It is much like trying to get home for Christmas … ”

    Sorry Shem, but it’s nothing at all like trying to get home for Christmas. Because dead men don’t go home for Christmas. Dead men just lie there. Dead.

    Shem said: “Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradictions and unexplainable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    More arrogance Shem? So you choose to scoff at the mysteries of God? And because it is an unexplainable “mystery” to you, you simply reject it? You Shem, do you presume to know the mind of God? For not even Paul, in Romans 11:33-35 presumed as much:

    “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

    How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

    Who has known the mind of the Lord?

    ( Shem, apparently! )

    Or who has been his counselor?

    Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”

    ( Why, Shem, of course! )

  83. 83 Echo
    April 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Shem said: “What I take credit for is making the choice to take action. I do not take credit for being able to accomplish the task, as without Christ I never would be able to. However, the choice was and is mine, and the initial effort or action was and is mine. The end result is Christ’s, and all glory goes to him in making all things possible, but the choice is still mine.
    It is much like trying to get home for Christmas. I do not have the means to do so. In his infinite grace Christ has sent me the money I need to get a bus ticket home. He has done his part. My part is, first, to get on the bus, and then to follow the instructions for transfers and remain on the right line that will take me to my destination.
    The credit for the initial boarding and for remaining on the right line is mine. However, the means by which I am able to make those dicisions and the final reward at the end is credited to Christ, and so He has the glory.”

    That’s exactly how I understand LDS Doctrine.

    Now for the reader’s sake, could you drop the analogy of money, a bus ticket, the transfer instructions etc. and use actual real explanations to explain what you mean by all of this?

    Shem said: “I am not going to get into a debate over individual verses, and I have been in enough endless Bible bashings that I am not in the mood for another.”

    For the record, until you are ready to address all those verses, we will advise all the readers to take your refusal to address each of those verses as this: You don’t have an actual response because those verses contradict your doctrine.

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    1 Cor 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

    The foolishness of God is so much wiser than you Shem! That’s why you can’t understand it!

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    1 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM, because they are spiritually discerned”

    Shem, they are confusing BECAUSE you cannot understand them!

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    1 Cor 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight”

    Your rational mind is foolishness in God’s sight Shem!

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    1 Cor 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”

    Yes Shem the message is foolish to you isn’t it. Yes God’s doctrine is confusing to you!

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine”

    1 Cor 1:19 “For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    Yes Shem, it’s confusing to you, it’s frustrating to your intelligence!

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine”

    1 Cor 1:20 “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

    So much for your rational mind! It’s foolish compared to the rational mind of God!

    Shem said: “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine”

    1 Cor 3:18 “Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.”

    That’s right Shem; you must become a “FOOL” before you can become “WISE” Not at all what you believe!

  84. 84 Kent
    April 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I have asked Mormon missionaries if they believe the creation story of Genesis and they have told me that yes they do in fact believe the account of the creation and that at least this part of the Bible has been translated correctly and that it is the word of God.
    If that is the case, then why do they believe that God possibly could have been a man first on some other planet?

    1. When planets, which orbit stars, didn’t exist until at least the fourth day of creation when the stars themselves were created.
    2. That man, who God created on the sixth day of creation, also didn’t exist until God breathed life into dust of the ground. The Bible doesn’t say man was created before the sixth day and since man was just lifeless dust before this, dust can’t progress to being God as dust can’t be anything but dust unless God, who has always been God, breathed life into him. Remember that God had to have created the dust first before He created man from the dust.
    Interesting that even the Book of Mormon says in several places that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever” so if God doesn’t change, then He has always been God hence he couldn’t have been a man first and that nowhere, even in the Book of Mormon, does it say God was a man first before He became God.
    Maybe in other Mormon scriptures or teachings it says God was a man first but this doesn’t agree with the Bible or, ironically, the Book of Mormon which is supposed to be, according to Joseph Smith, the most correct book there is so we have to choose what we believe, one or the other.

    The Bible

    OR

    What the Mormon church picks and chooses is correct in the Bible, the Book of Mormon (which doesn’t say God was a man first), other Mormon scriptures, and other teachings of Mormon leaders, current and from the past.
    If I am wrong, all I get is a place in a lower heaven but if Mormons are wrong, then they are in danger of the judgment and ending up in outer darkness away from the presence of Heavenly Father where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  85. 85 Echo
    April 30, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I want to add one thing. The Scripture teaches that you must become a “FOOL” before you can become “WISE”.

    How do you become a Fool so that you can become wise? The first step is to believe what the scripture says even when it doesn’t make sense to you. It means believing the scripture regardless if it’s confusing, it means believing the scripture even if it looks contradictory to you. It means believing the scripture even if it’s a mystery to you. It means believing the scripture even though the scripture doesn’t fit within your human reason. ONLY THEN are you prepared for God to make you truly wise. ONLY THEN will biblical truth begin to open up to you.

    For example, to become a fool so that you can become wise:

    The Bible says that God justifieth the ungodly.

    Mormonism teaches the exact opposite, the JST states: “God justifieth NOT the ungodly”

    Becoming a fool means you are going to believe what the scripture says, not what Joseph Smith said…

    It means believing scripture when it says that God justifieth the ungodly, even though that presently goes against your reason, your intellect, even though that seems contradictory to you and to everything you have ever believed before etc.

    And you must do this with ALL of scripture.

    Once you allow yourself to become a FOOL like this, then God will begin the work of showing you his profound wisdom, his higher reasoning, he will begin to show you how his foolishness is so much higher than your greatest wisdom or even the greatest wisdom of any man who ever lived! He will begin to show you how his word doesn’t contradict itself. He will begin to clear up all the confusion you now have.

    But if you fail to become a fool now, so that God can make you WISE FOR SALVATION. You will NOT have victory in the judgment. I guarantee you will be defeated and the reward you will reap will be outer darkness. If you wait until the judgment to become a Fool, you will be a fool indeed and you will reap a Fool’s reward…OUTER DARKNESS!
    God must first make you WISE FOR SALVATION so that you can withstand the judgment.

    2 Timothy 3:14-15 ” But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE YOU WISE FOR SALVATION through faith in Christ Jesus.”

    STOP hardening your heart against these truth’s we have shared with you. There does come a time when truth can NEVER again penetrate a heart so willfully hardened.

    Become a fool, and let us walk you through this.

  86. 86 shematwater
    May 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    RLO

    I notice you ignore my question.

    Now, I do not ignore an unexplainable mystery. I ignore an impossible mystery. There is a very big difference. I am perfectly happy with the unexplainable, as there is much in LDS doctrine that is not fully explained. I am content to wait to receive this understanding from God when the time is right.
    However, I am not willing to except as truth an impossible doctrine that cannot have a rational explanation. I do not presume to know the mind of God, but I do know what it is not, and it is not confusion.

    I love the way you judge my intentions and assume my beliefs as well.
    You quote Galatians and say “for the sake of your eternal soul, stop trying to attain the goal by human effort.”
    When did I ever say I could attain the goal through my own human effort? I have never made this statement, nor any like unto it. I have very clearly said that my human effect will never attain the goal, that the attaining of the goal is only possible through the grace of God, and anyone trying to attain it in any other way will fail.
    Of course, you can’t see this, as you are so blinded by your preconceived notions of LDS doctrine and member motivation that anything that is contrary to your perception is simply ignored.

    ECHO

    I did explain things first in real terms, and then in analogy. If you can’t see it it really isn’t my fault.
    However, to clarify, example: God commands us to be baptized for the remission of sins. It was my choice to be baptized, and it was my actions (plus the one baptizing me) that did the ordinance. However, it was the grace of God that gave the Priesthood to men so that I could choose to be baptized; it was the grace of God that brought this truth to me; it was the grace of God that makes the baptism effective. I chose to be baptized. This was not a choice God made for me, and thus I am credited with choosing to do so. However, no matter what my choice if God had not prepared the way, set up the situation in which this was possible, and accepted my actions. As such, all glory goes to God.
    (Try not to distract the conversation with comments on how priesthood no longer exists and how baptism isn’t necessary.)

    Now, as to your quotes on foolishness and wisdom, these are just as easily applied to you by the LDS. You see the doctrine of the LDS as foolish, as it doesn’t conform to your views of salvation through grace. You see your own wisdom in accepting the doctrine you have espoused. It is so easily turned. Let us try not to use such useless arguments, as it does nothing to further the conversation.

    As to being a fool, by your own explanation you have not yet become the fool, and so you have no wisdom.
    You have failed to accept that only the righteous, or those who do the will of the Father, are the only ones who will enter His Kingdom (Matthew 7: 21-23).
    You have not accepted that we will be like God (1 John 3: 2).
    You have not accepted that we are the literal offspring of God, his spirit children (Acts 17: 28; Hebrews 12: 9)

    By your own reasoning you have failed to accept the words of the scriptures, regardles of the apparent contradictions and confusion, and thus you have put your own wisdom above that of God’s. Shame on you.

    However, I disagree with your reasoning. I do not think that accepting every word currently in the scriptures is required, and I see no place in the Bible that teaches this.
    Instead, I rely on the Holy Spirit, who is the witness of all truth, and I count myself a fool compared to his wisdom, and will gladly reject any idea that I have formed if he tells me that it is wrong.

    KENT

    I love how you continually change the subject, bringing in new topics to try to overwelm people instead of actually conituing in a discussion on one. However, I will say this:

    The creation as laid out in Genesis is basically correct, but it is not complete. This is a very important distinction. Secondly, it is not completely correct, as can be seen in the corrections that exist in the Book of Moses. Any member claiming that it was completely correct or accurate is wrong.

  87. 87 Echo
    May 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    To the readers…

    Shem said: “You have failed to accept that only the righteous, or those who do the will of the Father, are the only ones who will enter His Kingdom (Matthew 7: 21-23).
    You have not accepted that we will be like God (1 John 3: 2).
    You have not accepted that we are the literal offspring of God, his spirit children
    (Acts 17: 28; Hebrews 12: 9)”

    As Christian’s, we believe and accept EVERY word that is written in scriptures (The Bible), including the one’s that Shem stated we don’t accept.

    We don’t accept the LDS’s interpretation of those scriptures.

    Beware of deceptive doctrine!

    Read ALL of the scriptures for yourself. God speaks directly to you through his word. Do not add to that word, do not subtract from that word, and do not accept anything that contradicts that word, in fact run from anyone who contradicts that word. For example, the Bible NEVER says we are God’s “literal offspring” In fact it teaches that we are “adopted children!” That’s the opposite of “literal offspring”!!
    Let scripture interpret scripture for you. (Let God’s own word interpret God’s own word for you)

    God is holding YOU accountable for clinging to his EVERY word and believing it at all costs. If you fail to do this in that you are too lazy to do this, if you willingly believe something that you know is contradictory to God’s word, If you allow someone to deceive you in these ways, YOU will take the sole responsibility and be held accountable for that. Your eternal welfare is at stake here. Deception leads to outer darkness. There are eternal consequences. God’s word in the Bible is the ONLY tool he uses to protect you from deception and he expects you to use it to the best of your ability. When you do these things, he promises to protect you from all danger and harm and to bring you safely into his kingdom forevermore.

  88. 88 Echo
    May 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    To the Readers,

    Shem said: “I do not think that accepting EVERY WORD currently in the scriptures is required”

    Now there is the devil’s temptation RIGHT THERE! Satan speaks through Shem! He wants to draw all of YOU (the readers here) away from God’s word so that he can devour you and destroy your soul. Satan knows that God’s word is written to protect you from Satan’s snare of lie’s and deception! Satan knows he can only decieve you and lead you to outer darkness(Hell) when you think you don’t have to accept EVERY WORD in the scriptures! The moment you don’t accept God’s EVERY WORD, that’s the moment Satan can get you to believe his soul destroying doctrine.

    When the Devil tempted Jesus, Jesus replied: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on EVERY WORD that comes from the mouth of God.’”

    Shem, yes you are the “literal offspring” of your God because your God is the devil himself.

    John 8:43-45 Jesus said: ” Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!”

  89. 89 RLO
    May 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Shem said, “I notice you ignore my question.”

    For the benefit of reader, Shem’s questions was this:

    Shem asked: “Simple Question: If everything was done by God and nothing we do has any effect, (then) why would anyone be damned?”

    First Shem, I ignored your question because I didn’t see any point in answering a question that has been asked and answered so many time before. I would challenge you to go back through the archives of the past three years on this blog, and count how many times this same question has already been asked and answered. So really, it’s not this same old worn out question that has been ignored; rather, it’s the answer that has been repeatedly ignored. In fact, the latest answer to your very question can be found in Mark’s initial post of this thread. Go back up and re-read those three short paragraphs. There, you will find the answer.

    But, because you probably won’t do so, here it is, the answer, but yet again:

    The answer to your question of why anyone would then be damned is,

    THEY RUN BACK INTO THE BURNING HOUSE !!

    In other words, you can’t do anything to bring about your salvation; you can only do something to lose it.

  90. 90 RLO
    May 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Shem states: “I am perfectly happy with the unexplainable … However, I am not willing to except as truth an impossible doctrine that cannot have a rational explanation.”

    So, you are perfectly happy with, and willing to accept the “unexplainable,” so long as the “unexplainable” has a “rational explanation” ??

    If the “unexplainable” had a “rational explanation,” well then it wouldn’t be “unexplainable” now, would it?

  91. 91 RLO
    May 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Shem asked: “When did I ever say I could attain the goal through my own human effort?”

    Do you even read your own posts?
    You suggest this every time you require works as a prerequisite to attaining the goal.
    You suggest this every time you subscribe to a synergistic theology.

  92. 92 RLO
    May 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Shem;

    … and since you are so quick to point out what you feel I have ignored from your posts, here again, as a reminder, are the small handful of passages I provided to your, “I just don’t understand why they can’t get that it is a synergistic phenomenon.” statement, to which you have yet to respond:

    “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
    Romans 4:4-5

    “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    ‘Blessed are they
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man
    whose sin the Lord will never count
    against him.’ ”
    Romans 4:6-8

    “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the results of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
    Romans 5:18

    “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteousness.”
    Romans 5:19

    “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
    Romans 9:16

    “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
    Romans 11:6

  93. 93 RLO
    May 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    … and scampering off with your, “I am not going to get into a debate over individual verses” answer, ain’t gonna cut it.

  94. 94 shematwater
    May 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Reader

    I love how Echo tries to divert things in the conversation. Notice that while Echo claims to believe in a different interpretation he gives no indication as to what that interpretation is. So, going off the standard that Echo has set forth, we can assume that there really is no other interpretation and the passages are being ignored because they contradict what Echo believes in.

    I agree that there is great deception out there, but it is Echo and those who espouse the same doctrine that are deceiving, both themselves and anyone who listens to them.

    And notice that according the Echo, while nothing you do has any effect on your salvation you will still be held accountable for what you do.

    Read the entire Bible and you will see the truth; that we are all the literal children of deity; that we are the adopted children of Christ in the spirit. It is all through the Bible to anyone who simply opens theirs eyes to see it.

    RLO

    The initial article does not answer the question, as I have shown. However, by your logic God has not done everything. The final determination is still ours.
    It is simple: If we have the choice to reject the gift then by default we have the choice to accept the gift; or in other words if by our actions we prevent salvation, by our actions (or lack thereof) we ensure our salvation.
    This is the law of opposition. One cannot make a choice unless there is opposing things to choose from; nor can ones actions cause one outcome of events unless they had the potention to cause the opposite outcome.
    If our actions have any effect on us being damned they have to have an effect on us being saved. As such, to assert otherwise is contradiction.

    We do not ignore the answer, we simlpy point out that the answer is itself a contradiction.

    As to unexplainable and impossible, you are simply not using your power of thought, or are ignoring it in an attempt to show problems with what I have said.
    The unexplainable is something that we know is possible, but which we cannot explain with our current understanding. Example: The resurrection. We know it is possible because Christ himself was resurrected. However, we cannot explain how it works at this time, as our current knowledge is insufficient.
    The impossible is that which cannot exist no matter what you do. Example: Two things cannot occupy the same space. It is impossible.

    So, I will gladly accept the unexplainable, as someday it will be explained. But I will never accept the impossible.

  95. 95 shematwater
    May 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    To the Reader

    Echo said “For the record, until you are ready to address all those verses, we will advise all the readers to take your refusal to address each of those verses as this: You don’t have an actual response because those verses contradict your doctrine.”

    In reply I would like to analyze all the posts that have been made on this thread. I will separate them into two groups; Ralph and myself, and then everyone else.
    What I will do is compare the references and quotes given by eahc group from the Bible, and if the other group addressed them directly in their comments.

    I will begin with the non-LDS group, listing each reference (an * means it was addressed directly by either me or Ralph).
    Matthew 7: 22-23*
    Mark 5: 34*
    Luke 7: 50; 23:42-43, 46(* verse 46 only)
    John 1: 1-14, 29; 3: 18; 6: 28-29; 8: 43-47, 51-52; 16: 16
    Romans 3: 19-20; 4: 4-8; 5: 18-19; 9: 16; 11: 6, 33-35
    1 Corinthians 1: 14-15, 25; 2: 14; 3: 18-19
    2 Corinthians 5: 18-19
    Galatians 3: 2-3, 10; 5: 1-4
    Ephesians 2: 8-10* (addressed twice)
    2 Timothy 3: 14-15
    James 2: 10, 17 (* verse 10 only)
    1 John 1: 9
    2 Samuel 12: 13

    Thus, by my count they quoted from 13 books (12 NT, 1 OT), citing a total of 25 different chapters which included 70 verses (give or take a few) Of these 70 verses 8 were addressed directly by either Ralph or myself.

    Now we will look at what Ralph and myself posted, and what verses were addressed by others.
    Matthew 4: 7; 5: 19; 7: 21-23 (posted separately from when the other group referenced it); 10: 6-8; 15: 3-9; 19: 17; 22: 1-14
    Mark 2: 17
    John 17: 3
    Acts 2: 38; 5: 29, 32*; 17: 28
    Romans: 2: 6-10*; 6: 16
    1 Corinthians 9: 26-27
    Philipians 2: 2-13; 3: 8-12, 20-21; 4: 1, 9
    2 Thesselonians 1: 8
    Hebrews 5: 9 (cited twice); 6: 1-20; 12: 9
    1 Peter 1: 22
    1 John 3: 2
    Revelation 22: 14-17
    Isaiah 1: 16-20
    Jonah 3: 5-10
    Exekial 18: 19-31

    Thus by my count, we have referenced 15 books (12 NT 3 OT), citing a total of 28 different chapters consisting of 118 verses (give or take a few). Out of these verses 7 were directly addressed by those who are arguing against us.

    So, we address 8 out of 70, or 11.5 percent.
    On the other hand, only 7 of 118 have been addressed by the ooposition, or 6 percent.

    Now, Echo says that if I do not address these specific references that the reader will be informed to assume that I have no answer to give. Aside from this being just silly, let us apply this same rule to Echo and everyone else.
    So, before I will address the particular verses I was talking about, I would like Echo to address the 111 verse that we have cited that were not directly addressed.

    Now, I will freely admit that most of these verses have been addressed in an indirect way, which usually consisted of a simple statement that we are wrong in our interpretation, but giving no actual evidence or alternate interpretation to prove otherwise.
    Of course this is how I also responded to the particular verses in question, and so I think we are even.

    But then, when has anyone on this thread (besides me and Ralph) applied the same standard to both sides? It just doesn’t happen, and I don’t expect it to happen now.

  96. 96 RLO
    May 2, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Shem said: “It is simple: If we have the choice to reject the gift, then by default we have the choice to accept the gift…”

    So Shem, let’s apply your logic to Mark’s original scenario:

    “If we have the choice to reject the gift … ”

    (If we have the choice to run back into the burning building …)

    ” … then by default, we have the choice to accept the gift.”

    (then by default, as an unconscious victim overcome by smoke, we have the choice on having the firefighter come into the building to save us)

    Can’t you see the absurdity of suggesting that an unconscious victim, overcome by smoke, could ever actually have any kind of an influence over whether or not someone comes into the building and saves him?

    When you get your arms around this truth, then Ephesians 2:4 will make a whole lot more sense to you:

    “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”

    ” … even when we were DEAD in transgressions … ” he ” … made us ALIVE with Christ … ”

    You didn’t do anything to get yourself out of that building, Shem.

    But, by all means, Shem, if you feel you must, go ahead, run right back into that burning building. That certainly is the one thing you have a choice on.

  97. 97 RLO
    May 2, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Shem exhorts: “Read the entire Bible and you will see the truth.”

    For Christians and mormons alike, this is, without a doubt, the best advice, hands down, you will ever receive from Shem.

  98. 98 RLO
    May 2, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Shem says: ” … Two things cannot occupy the same space. It is impossible … ”

    Yet,

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Diety lives in bodily form” Colossians 2:1

    Shem says: “So, I will gladly accept the unexplainable, as someday it will be explained. But I will never accept the impossible.”

    Impossible for who, Shem? For you? Or for God?

    “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ” Matthew 19:26

  99. 99 Echo
    May 2, 2011 at 2:59 am

    I had to have a good laugh at your percentages (Echo and gang 6% Shem and Gang 11%)as if quoting lengthier portions of scripture at once requires a response for every single verse rather than one response to the whole quote. Where is your human reason now Shem? Have you flushed it down the toilet? I know you are much smarter than this! This is completely deceptive since your aim was to make us look like we responded less than you did! What a VIPER you are Shem! The cracks in your whitewash are exposing the evil hidden underneath. You better put another coat of paint on your white washed tomb!

    I think folks can go back and see that we have responsed to a great deal more than you give us credit for responding to! If you wanted a clearer response at that time, than what was given, you could have asked! Not only that, some of the verses that I didn’t respond to didn’t require a response from me because I was in agreement with the point made by you or Ralph. A couple of other verses I didn’t respond to because it would have changed the whole direction of the conversation and a small few quotes/verses you gave in the list I couldn’t find. The following I didn’t respond to:

    You have failed to accept that only the righteous, or those who do the will of the Father, are the only ones who will enter His Kingdom (Matthew 7: 21-23).
    You have not accepted that we will be like God (1 John 3: 2).
    You have not accepted that we are the literal offspring of God, his spirit children (Acts 17: 28; Hebrews 12: 9)

    I will respond to them now…

    Shem said: “You have failed to accept that only the righteous, or those who do the will of the Father, are the only ones who will enter His Kingdom Matthew 7: 21-23

    Here is what we believe about only the righteous entering his Kingdom…

    “You have often heard me say that the Christian life has two dimensions: the first is faith, and the second is works…Faith should be first. After faith is preached, then we should teach about good works. It is faith–without good works and prior to good works–that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone”~Martin Luther

    We are saved through faith alone, we are made righteous through faith alone. Phil 3:9 “and be found in him, NOT HAVING A RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MY OWN THAT COMES FROM THE LAW, but that which is THROUGH FAITH in Christ—the righteousness that COMES FROM GOD and is by faith.”

    John 6:28-29 ” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

    Shem said: “You have not accepted that we will be like God (1 John 3: 2).”

    We believe we will be like God.

    Shem said: “You have not accepted that we are the literal offspring of God, his spirit children (Acts 17: 28; Hebrews 12: 9)”

    Lets look at the verses you gave…

    Acts 17:28 “28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

    Hebrews 12:9 “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!”

    That leads to the question: When do we become God’s offspring? When does God become our Father?

    1 Peter 1:23 “For YOU HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

  100. 100 RLO
    May 2, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Echo;

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to expose Shem’s statistical analysis farce. What a pitiful last ditch effort Shem has sunken to!

  101. 101 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “Either Jesus did it all for us on the cross or that we can do something in our own strength that tops what He already did for us in our place, the perfect unblemished lamb of God who was innocent but who took all of our guilt upon Himself.”

    Just the same old and refuted false dichotomy.

    Just as I predicted.

  102. 102 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Still not getting it. When we repent our sins are forgiven. When our sins are forgiven they no longer count against us because of the Atonement of Christ. When our sins no longer count against us because of the Atonement of Christ, we have put on HIS righteousness.

    When we believe in Christ we obey Him and repent of our sins. When we do this, and endure to the end, He rewards us with His Spirit now, and Eternal life later.

    You guys keep trying to construct and flog a strawman. It is a strawman because it does NOT represent our doctrine.

    You obviously aren’t interested in the truth of what we actually believe.

    The fact that you can flog the strawman doesn’t really mean anything to us.

  103. 103 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “My question to Mormons is if the Bible isn’t translated correctly, then why use it at all?”

    Because it has much that is right and good. And when properly understood supports LDS doctrine.

    “But I believe if the Bible is the true word of God, . . . ”

    The Bible is simply a collection of books. The decision on which books to include and which books to exclude was done by uninspired men of the Catholic Church.

    And here you are attempting to create another false dichotomy. The Book of Mormon and other LDS scripture don’t contradict the Bible, but reinforce the truths found in it.

    The Bible is clearly insufficient to determine the essentials of salvation. Else there wouldn’t be so many different interpretations. But to prepare for the second advent of the Lord, we DO need to know the essentials.

    “So it is all about Jesus Christ and if it isn’t, then there is no reason to call ourselves Chriatians.”

    We call ourselves Christians because we FOLLOW His EXAMPLE. We call ourselves Christians because we DO what HE wants us to DO.

  104. 104 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    More misrepresentation. This misrepresentation may fool the ignorant readers, but to the informed, it tells us more about you than LDS doctrine.

    It is becoming rather apparent that you have to resort to misrepresentation because when accurately represented LDS doctrine aligns perfectly with the Bible.

    Lets look at the Greek of John 1, shall we? Because it doesn’t say what you are representing it to say.

    En archE en ho logos kai ho logos en pros ho theos kai theos en ho logos
    In beginning was the word and the word was toward the god and god was the word.

    Following is a short list of translations whose translators have understood the issues inherent in correctly translating John 1:1:

    The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text
    1808, LONDON
    Rendering: “…and the word was a god”

    The Monotessaron; or, The Gospel History, According to the Four Evangelists
    1829, BALTIMORE (by John S. Thompson)
    Rendering: “…and the Logos was a god”

    The Emphatic Diaglott
    1864, NEW YORK, LONDON (by Benjamin Wilson)
    Rendering: “…and a god was the Word”

    The Bible – An American Translation
    1935, CHICAGO (by J.M.P. Smith and E.J. Goodspeed)
    Rendering: “…and the Word was divine”

    New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures
    1950, BROOKLYN (by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.)
    Rendering: “…and the Word was a god”

    Das Evangelium nach Johannes
    1975, GOTTINGEN (GERMANY) (by Sigfried Schulz)
    “…und ein Gott (oder, Gott von Art) war das Wort”
    Rendering: “…and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word”

    Das Evangelium nach Johannes
    1978, BERLIN (GERMANY)(by Johannes Schneider)
    “…und goettlichen Wesens war das Wort”
    Rendering: “…and god-like sort was the Word”

    Das Evangelium nach Johannes
    1979, WURZBURG (GERMANY) (by Johannes Schneider)
    “…und ein Gott war das Wort”
    Rendering: “…and a god was the Word”

    John 1 doesn’t teach Jesus is “the eternal God”. It teaches his nature is the same as God’s. As the “Translator’s Handbook to the Gospel of John”, by Newman and Nida and published by United Bible Societies (obviously not LDS, but in fact Trinitarian in their philosophical position) on pages 8-9 notes:
    Quote
    …”God” is here the equivalent of an adjective, and this fact justifies the rendering he (the Word) was the same as God. John is not saying that “the Word” was God the Father, but he is affirming that the same divine predication can be made of “the Word” as can be made of God the Father, and so “the Word” can be spoken of as God in the same sense
    .
    To make sure there is no misunderstanding of what the passage means, the authors immediately add:
    Quote
    Many languages have two quite different types of equational sentences. One type indicates complete identity in such a sentence as “My husband is John Smith” or “John Smith is my husband,” that is, the two parts of the sentence are completely equivalent. In the second type, however, one may say “John Smith is a teacher” but cannot say “A teacher is John Smith.” “A teacher” merely qualifies “John Smith” and indicates the class of persons to which he belongs. The latter is precisely the type of equational sentence which occurs in this verse. “God” completely characterizes “the Word,” and all that is true of God is true of the Word. This does not mean, however, that the two elements can be inverted, and that one can translate “God was the Word” any more than one can make “Love is God” an inversion of the Biblical statement “God is love.” It is difficult for some people to recognize that this equational sentence in Greek belongs to the second class because in the predicate the term “God” refers to a unique object. Since this type of equational sentence may be misleading with “God” in the predicate, it is better to translate it “The Word was the same as God” or “Just what God was is what the Word also was.”

    The false statement that there is only one God in John 1 in view is absolutely refuted by the grammar used by John. While the Jehovah’s Witness translation that “and the Word was a god” is too stark for the ears of Trinitarians, it is in fact a very valid translation which, but for the theological bias of the Trinitarian community, would be in some form widely disseminated.

    Daniel Wallace, who is also a Trinitarian, affirms the content of Newman and Nida’s assertions, though he tries to avoid the obvious problem of the existence of two divine beings by stating
    Quote
    “…that the “Word shared all the attributes and qualities that “the God” (of 1:1b) had. In other words, he shared the essence of the Father, though they differed in person.” (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page 269

    I find it funny that he must theoligcalize the grammar of John 1:1 by editorializing that the “Father” and “essence” are to be understood in the context of this verse, when the Words aren’t found in the verse or even the context of the verse. Says Wallace:
    Quote
    The construction the evangelist chose to express this idea was the most concise way he could have stated that the Word was God and yet was distinct from the Father.GGBTB, p 269, emphasis in the original

    Similar arguments are easily accrued for the Revelation 1 analysis. Jesus is clearly distinct in Revelation from God. He is a second God. This position was explicitly affirmed by Justin Martyr and Origen, both of whom were considered ‘orthodox’ in their day. It wasn’t until later that their writings came into question because of their direct statements about Christians worshiping two Gods.

  105. 105 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Shem,

    It is the same old and refuted misrepresentation of LDS doctrine. It is the same old and refuted false dichotomy.

    It has been explained to them many times, but they have to continue to misrepresent because if they accurately represented our doctrine then they would have no Biblical argument against it.

    They just won’t admit that we believe and understand that our works aren’t what saves us. They only put us in compliance with what God demands of us, before He will extend His grace and save us.

  106. 106 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Kent,

    The fact that you obviously don’t understand LDS theology isn’t a problem for us.

    If you really don’t want to make an effort to understand what we ACTUALLY believe, that is fine. But don’t expect your uninformed rants to be convincing.

    The creation story in the Bible is the story of THIS earth’s creation. It isn’t the story about any of the PREVIOUS creations.

    Here is a clue for you, the phrase “in the beginning” isn’t referring to eternity. Eternity has no beginning. “In the beginning” of necessity refers to a limited event.

    The fact of the matter is, Jesus, the Son of God was,

    1) Born to a moral woman.

    2) Lived as a human man.

    3) Died, like all humans.

    4) Was resurrected to a physical body of flesh and bones.

    John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

    So, tell me what did Jesus do that the Father didn’t?

  107. 107 shematwater
    May 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    ECHO

    You miss my point, and again you side step on some points.

    I did give you credit, if you read the entire post, just not for direct address.
    I said “Now, I will freely admit that most of these verses have been addressed in an indirect way, which usually consisted of a simple statement that we are wrong in our interpretation, but giving no actual evidence or alternate interpretation to prove otherwise.
    Of course this is how I also responded to the particular verses in question, and so I think we are even.”
    However, a direct address is what you required of me, and I was simply pointing out that no one on this thread has really been giving direct addresses to the verses sighted very often. I was not attempting to say that we are better for responding more directly, only pointing out that the demand for direct address on your part was ridiculous considering the nature of this thread.

    Second, it was intended to be absurd, as it was intended to point out your double standard in the comment you made.

    Simply put, if not directly addressing a particular verse means concession that the opposition has to be right and I am too deceiving to admit it, then for you to not directly address a particular verse must mean that I am right and you are too deceiving to admit it.

    You again blend direct address with indirect address in your latest post. You do address the references in Acts and Hebrews, but you bypass the reference in 1 John by simply saying you agree with it (but fail to explain what you mean by this) and you give no direct address to Matthew 7: 21-23. Instead you give an explanation of your belief, but never actually explain how these verses agree with your doctrine.

    In the process of this thread I, as well as Ralph, have replied directly to those verse we felt needed a direct address, and replied indirectly to those that we felt did not require such. We have done exactly as you have done, and yet you have applied a different standard in an attempt to confuse the discussion.
    Thus, we see your deception and your tactics, which are not given to honest discussion. You allow yourself room to maneuver, but deny us the same privilege.

  108. 108 Echo
    May 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Ralph, can you post your responses at the bottom of the thread rather than throughtout? It just makes things easier for everyone.

  109. 109 shematwater
    May 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Now that the verses I cited have been address (though not in a complete manner) I will address the verse in Romans that RLO gave.

    Romans 3: 19-20
    “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

    This speaks of the law of works, or the Law of Moses. Remember that Paul contended continually against those who still sought to impose the Law of Moses (or of Carnal Commandments, as he calls it in Hebrews 7: 16). If we read farther in the chapter we find a reference to the Law of the Prophets (verse 21) and the Law of Faith (verse 27), which are basically synonymous in this chapter. This is another Law, which would require rules to live by, or a code of conduct, as that is what a law is. As it is referred to as the Law of the Prophets it is the code of conduct that they lived through faith.
    We can cross reference this with Galatians 3: 17 “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
    We thus see that the Law of Faith, or the Law of the Prophets which laid out the code of conduct they followed was the Covenant made with Abraham. To see the full impact of this covenant we return to Genesis 17: 1-4.
    “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
    And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
    And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
    As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.”
    In this we are given the conditions of the Covenant. “Walk before me and be thou perfect.” In verse three we read of Abraham accepting this covenant, and in verse four we get the promises of the Covenant. Notice especially the phrase “As for me” spoken by God, which indicates this is his half of the agreement made with Abraham, while Abraham agreed to be perfect.
    We see a confirmation of the need for Abraham to perform works in James 2: 21-23 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
    Notice that James affirms that it was Abraham’s works that justified him, not his faith.
    So, returning to Romans 3: 19-20, by the works of the Law of Moses (meaning the sacrifices and oblations) is no man made perfect, for this law can only reveal sin, not remove it. However, through the Law of Faith we are justified through our righteous works as they perfect our faith, and the promises of God are dependent on these works.

    Romans 4: 4-8
    2-5 Now, verse 2 seems to give a contradiction to James, who says that Abraham was justified through his works (James 2: 21). However, when we understand that Paul is still addressing the Law of Moses, or more particularly in this case, the Law of Works, we see that Abraham is not justified by this law. Thus we understand these verses to be referring to those who seek to be justified by their own works without the saving grace of Christ. This was a common problem among the Jews of the day, as many believed that adherence to the Law of Moses was sufficient to ensure salvation.
    Since we know from James that Abraham was Justified by his works, we can understand from Paul that he did not rely on these works to be justified, but rather relied on the grace of God, and through that Grace was justified by his works.
    Note: Even leaving the JST out of this this verse can be seen to agree with LDS doctrine, for Christ will justify all the ungodly who repent and turn to him. It is those who do not repent, but seek to do their own works that will not be justified.
    6-8 These verses are very true, and I agree with them completely. However, I see no free forgiveness, only a blessing on those who are forgiven.

    Romans 5: 18-19
    “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
    For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. The doctrine this teaches is pure and beautiful. However, there is again no indication of free forgiveness or salvation without works. It simple states that many will benefit from the atonement without any indication of how.
    Now, it is said that the free gift came upon all men, but this does not mandate salvation, and is in complete harmony with the LDS doctrine. We have always maintained that the Grace of God is given to all men. We simply assert that it is up to us to use it.

    Romans 9: 16
    “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

    Great. I agree.

    Romans 11: 6
    “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

    This entire chapter is concerned with the Election of Grace, or the idea of being foreknown of God, or Predestined. However, it is not speaking of the worlds to come, but of this world. Paul is teaching that by the Election of Grace certain people were placed in certain situations on earth for their benefit and to further the purposes of God. This is explained well in chapter 9, as it describes how that before Jacob and Esau were born God had chosen one to be the ruler over the other, and so it had to be by grace, as neither had done any works yet (9: 10-13). It is also said in chapter 9: 17 that Pharaoh had been placed so that God could show his wonders.
    In chapter 11 Paul is speaking of Israel, and how certain people had been chosen by God to come into this life as part of the chosen seed, and that God had selected enough who he knew would remain faithful throughout the history of Israel. This is shown in Paul referencing Elijah when God told him that He had reserved 7,000 faithful in Israel.
    This teaches the same doctrine as Jeremiah 1: 5, that God knew before anyone was born when, where, and into what family every single person would be born, and to what work they would be called.
    However, Paul does not leave it here. To leave it at this is to teach the concept of Predestination which teaches that before this world was created God knew who he was going to save and who he was going to damn. Paul, on the other hand, explains further. In verses 20-25 he teaches that through unbelief Israel lost the election of grace, and by Faith the gentiles have gained it. However, he warns that unbelief will cause the Gentiles to also loose it, and belief will yet redeem Israel.
    Before anyone tries to claim this affirms there is no need for our own works, I would point out in verse 22 we are told to continue in the goodness that our faith has brought us. This would indicate some kind of work on our part.

    Here is a full understanding of LDS doctrine in regards to these verse (or as much as I am aware of). I have given no indirect comments, but have addressed each directly and completely.

  110. 110 shematwater
    May 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    RLO

    You said “So Shem, let’s apply your logic to Mark’s original scenario:
    “If we have the choice to reject the gift … ”
    (If we have the choice to run back into the burning building …)
    ” … then by default, we have the choice to accept the gift.”
    (then by default, as an unconscious victim overcome by smoke, we have the choice on having the firefighter come into the building to save us)
    Can’t you see the absurdity of suggesting that an unconscious victim, overcome by smoke, could ever actually have any kind of an influence over whether or not someone comes into the building and saves him?”

    The problem is that you are not applying it accurately. I never once asserted that an unconscious person can choose anything.

    First, I never really liked the analogy anyway, but I will stick with it.
    Second, as it reads “After I’m rescued, I’m sitting on the sidewalk watching my house burn. But then I remember a prized possession that is still in the house so I rush back into my burning house to try and get it. This time I die. If, however, I didn’t do that and stayed on the sidewalk could I then say that I had to do something to be saved? I don’t think so.”
    Here is our choice. Christ may have brought us out, but now, according to the analogy, we have to make the choice to either remain out or go back in.
    According to what you said (you can’t do anything to bring about your salvation; you can only do something to lose it) the only choice we have is to run back into the house. This is not accurate, as the choice is to remain outside or run back inside.
    Thus, to run back inside is to loose salvation, while to remain outside is to retain it. But the final choice is still yours, and no matter what Christ does it is all up to you.

    Going to a different topic you said “Do you even read your own posts? You suggest this every time you require works as a prerequisite to attaining the goal. You suggest this every time you subscribe to a synergistic theology.”

    Have you read my posts, because to make such a claim would indicate that if you have you are ignoring everything I am saying. I will clarify again.

    I asked the question “When did I ever say I could attain the goal through my own human effort?”
    I have never made such a statement. I have, more then once, affirmed that no man (myself included) can ever attain the goal through their own efforts, but require the atonement and grace of Christ. Let me illustrate my meaning.
    Say I wanted to be a doctor. I could go out and study all the books in the world on the profession and possibly even get very good at it. However, without a legal license I cannot use my knowledge and skill. If I tried I would soon be arrested and imprisoned, or fined severely, or receive any other punishment assigned by the law. If, however, I attend an accredited school, study well and pass all my classes, then apply for my license, I will be granted one and be able to practice my chosen profession.
    In a like manner, if try to attain the goal of salvation by my own works (self study), no matter how righteous I am I will never enter into the Kingdom of God. If, however, I rely on the power of God, do the work he requires of me, and in the end appeal unto the Grace of Christ I will receive salvation and be made a partaker in God’s Kingdom.
    Notice that in trying to be a doctor my getting a license is dependent on the licensing board. I cannot give myself a license.
    In like manner I cannot grant myself salvation, no matter what I do. I am dependent on Christ. He, being a perfect and just judge, will reward me according to my works, as he has stated.
    Now, I know you will try to claim that I am still teaching salvation by our works, but you will be false in the claim, and anyone with any sense will see it.

  111. 111 Echo
    May 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Shem said: “You miss my point”

    I didn’t miss your point.

    I was trying to spare you from further making yourself look bad.

    But since you insist…

    There have been no problems with responses back and forth with one another, if folks are unsatisfied with our response, they can bring that to our attention or ask more questions, we don’t have a problem with that at all.

    The problem began WITH YOU. You refused to address some scriptures. We have not refused you at all. So all this “double standard” stuff you are aiming at us once again is just hogwash! Another pitiful attempt to trap us.

    Let it go and Move on!

  112. 112 Kent
    May 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Shem said, “In like manner I cannot grant myself salvation, no matter what I do. I am dependent on Christ. He, being a perfect and just judge, will reward me according to my works, as he has stated.
    Now, I know you will try to claim that I am still teaching salvation by our works, but you will be false in the claim, and anyone with any sense will see it.”

    But what do you mean by salvation? Do you mean being able to live again after we die with a chance to become righteous and progress to exalation in the highest heaven or do you mean not having any of our sins counted against us because of what He did on the cross in our place in which case our salvation is from outer darkness (Hell) and to be forever in the presence of Heavenly Father? Because that is what grace is, unmerited favor that we don’t deserve, a free gift that we can’t repay but just accept.

    But I believe in the power of the Bible as the word of God and if you did just read the Bible completely your eyes would be open. Other Mormons have done just that, they just read the Bible and trusted it as the true word of God, not just as far as it has been translated correctly, and they have come out of the Mormon church.

    Shem, you have been saying that people here have not answered you at times but you or Ralph never answered me when I asked what proof do you have that the Bible is not translated correctly and also that there was ever a general apostasy?

    Because if either of you ever did answer me, I must have missed it.

    I think it is clear that we do have the correct teachings from the original apostles and deciples, people who knew Jesus during his time on earth that were written down just after his lifetime.

  113. 113 Echo
    May 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Shem said: ” You do address the references in Acts and Hebrews, but you bypass the reference in 1 John by simply saying you agree with it (but fail to explain what you mean by this) and you give no direct address to Matthew 7: 21-23. Instead you give an explanation of your belief, but never actually explain how these verses agree with your doctrine.”

    Okay, The 1 John dilemna you have was this, this is what I said….

    Shem said: “You have not accepted that we will be like God (1 John 3: 2).”

    I said: We believe we will be like God.

    The dilemna you now have is this: Shem said: “but you bypass the reference in 1 John by simply saying you agree with it”

    For me, that was a sufficient answer because I do believe we will be like God, just as the verse says. You didn’t explain your beliefs of what it means to “be like God” so I didn’t have to explain mine and how they differ from yours. You didn’t explain what you meant when you said I don’t believe that verse, had you done that, I would have replied to that comment. You simply charged me with NOT believing we will be like God and completely without an explanation on your part. Well since you didn’t give any explanation other than the charge that I don’t believe it, I simply responded to the charge you made. I didn’t have to give alternate scriptures because that verse right there is exactly what I believe.

    I do realize that the LDS doesn’t believe what that verse says, the LDS believes more along the lines of this…”we will be A God” rather than “we will be like God” just as the verse says.
    But since you didn’t say this, I don’t respond to what you don’t say, I respond only to what you do say.

    Another point I want to make on that is this…Is that if I would have responded like I am now, it would be off the topic of this thread. So really, your bringing up a point that is off topic and you think it is fine for you to change the topic by bringing this up in the first place but when someone like Kent does what you did here you say this:

    “KENT I love how you continually change the subject, bringing in new topics to try to overwelm people instead of actually conituing in a discussion on one.”

    And so if I give a short answer or no answer at all (in attempt to avoid changing the topic) I am damned by you. On the other hand, if I do give an answer, I am damned again by you for changing the topic! Not only that, but who is guilty of double standards now?

    Now please understand that I am not saying that you shouldn’t change the topic. I have no problem with you bringing the “we will be like God” topic or any other topic into the discussion. Sometimes veering off into a different topic is necessary for understanding the present discussion. Sometimes it is not. Whatever. You are free to post what you want to post. What I am saying is stop expecting others to stop doing what you yourself do!

    If you don’t want to respond to someone’s off topic post, or you don’t want to respond to their scriptures then give them the last word rather than thinking you must have the last word but refuse to address those scriptures.

    I mean all of these threads have to end sooner or later. The last post in a thread is going to be left unresponded to by either you or us depending on who wrote the last post. For instance, if my post was the last post in a thread and you didn’t respond at all to my post or to all my scripture verses, I wouldn’t consider that a “refusal” on your part to deal with what is said. It’s simply giving me (or you if your post was the last one) the last word on it.

    Shem said: “and you give no direct address to Matthew 7: 21-23. Instead you give an explanation of your belief, but never actually explain how these verses agree with your doctrine.”

    In my opinion I did give direct address to Mathew 7:21-23 here is what I wrote earlier…

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Echo said: “Shem said: “You have failed to accept that only the righteous, or those who do the will of the Father, are the only ones who will enter His Kingdom Matthew 7: 21-23

    Here is what we believe about only the righteous entering his Kingdom…

    “You have often heard me say that the Christian life has two dimensions: the first is faith, and the second is works…Faith should be first. After faith is preached, then we should teach about good works. It is faith–without good works and prior to good works–that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone”~Martin Luther

    We are saved through faith alone, we are made righteous through faith alone. Phil 3:9 “and be found in him, NOT HAVING A RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MY OWN THAT COMES FROM THE LAW, but that which is THROUGH FAITH in Christ—the righteousness that COMES FROM GOD and is by faith.”

    John 6:28-29 ” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    You said that I have failed to accept that only the righteous, or those who do the will of the Father, are the only ones who will enter His Kingdom. (Mathew 7:21-23)

    In my post above I am trying to show you how that we are righteous through faith alone. It’s a righteousness that God gives us. It’s not a righteousness that comes from obeying all the commandments like the LDS believes. I am trying to show you that the “will of the father” is to believe in Jesus who did this for us rather than as the LDS believes the “will of the father” is to obey his commandments. While it is also true that God does desire that we obey his commandments and we do desire to obey God’s commandments, it’t not those who obey the commandments who will be declared righteous in his sight. It’s those who believe Jesus has made them righteous in his sight that are declared righteous.
    Notice in the Mathew verses that these people obeyed the commandments and Jesus said to them: “I never knew you, away from me you evildoers”

  114. 114 Echo
    May 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Shem, one more thing. We can’t be expected to respond to Ralph’s posts when he posts many of his responses mid thread rather than at the bottom of the thread. All it takes is 5 people posting or 5 posts by one indivdual or more and we won’t catch that Ralph has even posted anything because it no longer shows up on the “recent posts” area.

    Nobody is going to scroll through every post in this whole thread every time they visit looking for New posts entered somewhere in the middle of this thread.

    Granted, I did this in response to a few posts that where placed mid thread but I have stopped doing it because it doesn’t work for anyone trying to follow this discussion nor should we have to scroll through every post in the whole thread looking for new responses.

    The other thing I don’t like about Ralph posting mid thread is that when he does that, it appears that he has posted BEFORE me when he hasn’t posted before me. His “prediction” post is one example of that. It wasn’t a “prediction” at all that he made because I posted my post, the one that came after his, before he did! Check the times!

    I am not trying to bad mouth Ralph in saying this, like I said, I have done it myself the odd time. But I have realized that it just doesn’t work. I think everyone needs to post only at the bottom of the thread.

  115. 115 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    The word “translate” has a much broader meaning than most people realize.

    From the 1828 dictionary we have,

    TRANSLA’TE, v.t. [L. translatus, from transfero; trans, over, and fero, to bear.]

    1. To bear, carry or remove from one place to another. It is applied to the removal of a bishop from one see to another.

    The bishop of Rochester, when the king would have translated him to a better bishoprick, refused.

    2. To remove or convey to heaven, as a human being, without death.

    By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see
    death. Heb. 16.

    3. To transfer; to convey from one to another. 2 Sam. 3.

    4. To cause to remove from one part of the body to another; as, to translate a disease.

    5. To change.

    Happy is your grace,

    That can translate the stubbornness of fortune

    Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

    6. To interpret; to render into another language; to express the sense of one language in the words of another. The Old Testament was translated into the Greek language more than two hundred years before Christ. The Scriptures are now translated into most of the languages of Europe and Asia.

    7. To explain.
    – – – – – –

    The “translate” as used by in the LDS Article of Faith means the conveyance of the intent of the original author (Matthew, Mark, Paul, Peter etc.) to us. It isn’t limited to the rendering in English of the Greek text.

    It includes the accurate understanding and interpretation of the text. With this in mind, the simple fact that there are different interpretation of the current text is proof of parts not being “translated correctly”.

    See my previous post regarding John 1:1.

    I can provide examples of Biblical self contradictions. Would doing so change your perception of the Bible? Or would you just make excuses for these contradictions?

  116. 116 Ralph Peterson
    May 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Excellent explanation.

    Indeed, happy is the person who repents, is forgiven of his sins, and imputed for righteousness.

    To be imputed for righteousness is just another way to say that you have been forgiven.

    And the Bible is very clear that repentance brings forgiveness.

    The “ungodly” that repent and receive forgiveness or in other words imputed for righteousness are no longer “ungodly” but are now righteous and therefore can be justified.

  117. 117 Echo
    May 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Ralph, could you stop posting mid thread please?

  118. 118 shematwater
    May 2, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    ECHO

    So, if I just simply said that I was not going to respond to RLO’s references because it would have diverted the topic you would have been okay with that.
    Some how I doubt it, even though it does divert the topic if you actually choose to respond to what I have posted.

    And yes, there is a double standard, as well as a tactic of blacklisting instead of discussion.

    Now, I never cared to ask you for direct address of the verses because I really don’t care that much. The thread is about belief and should not be turned into a Bible bashing session, which is what always happens when there is a request for direct address. I gave my belief and my opinion in light of these verses, but politely declined giving a deep discussion of them for this reason.
    Yet you, in your attempt to discredit and blacklist me from the conversation, insisted on a direct address regardless of my wanting to keep the conversation on topic and in the spirit it had been in. It was not me that started anything, but you.

    Quite honestly I really don’t care anymore, and I will not be commenting on this topic again. I have simply resigned myself to the inevitable task of explaining every single verse you use in any of your posts as it seems to be the only way to handle the situation.
    You said: “There have been no problems with responses back and forth with one another, if folks are unsatisfied with our response, they can bring that to our attention or ask more questions, we don’t have a problem with that at all.”
    I am now saying that I will not accept any response that does not give an alternate interpretation to the exact verses that me or Ralph uses.
    Now that there is a definite standard in place, I will lead the way.

    So, to continue with what I said
    Philippians 3: 9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

    As I have said before, Paul is speaking of the Law of Moses, or of the ritual and sacrifice that outwardly showed obedience. He is found in Christ, having righteousness by Faith, and not by the Law of Moses. However, this does not mean that simply believing makes him righteous, but that his faith has given him the power to be righteous. Just as we travel “by” car or “by” bike but still must actively drive the vehicle; so too are we righteous “by” faith, but still must be obedient to God.

    Now, since you mention it, I did notice the mention of works in Matthew 7: 21-23. However, I have also noticed that the works are not what is being used as justification. The people are not saying “we have done this so we should be saved.” They are saying “because we believed we did this, so we should be saved.” This is a very important difference.
    Christ is talking about those who think that faith is all that is needed, and that good works are just there to prove faith. This is not the case however, as Christ clearly teaches.
    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven”
    Interpretation: Not everyone who believes and confesses me will be saved in the Kingdom.

    “but he that doeth the dwill of my Father which is in heaven.”
    Interpretation: Only those who are obedient to the commands of God will be saved in the Kingdom.

    “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
    Interpretation: Many a professing Christian will say “Lord, we believed on you and so we did all these things. Why are we not saved?”

    “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
    Interpretation: They had failed to do the will of the Father and thus are cast out of the kingdom.

    It is rather simple.

    1 John dilemma: I get that you want to keep the conversation focused, but I doubt you would have let me or Ralph off with a simple “I agree with this verse” response, but would have demanded an explanation as to what we agreed with. I have asked nothing less. But since you seem to need my interpretation before you can give yours (a little cowardly it seems) I will give it.
    like: From the Oxford online dictionary “having the same characteristics or qualities as…”
    Thus, for us to be like God we we have to have the same characteristics or qualities of God.
    Using this most basic of understandings, what characteristics or qualities of God do you think we will have?

    Oh, and if Kent had brought in a new subject in response to something said that would be very different. But he didn’t. He brought in topics that have no relation to the discussion at hand.
    Example: Kent brings in the topic of additions Joseph Smith made to Genesis. This has no baring on the discussion. He later brings in the question on the creation (to which I made the reply you quote) which also has no baring on the conversation. Not only is there no relationship for these topics to the discussion, but there was nothing in the discussion that would have logically led to their inclusion. The same can be said of his question on how we know the Bible is not translated correctly.
    Now, I may have judged motivations wrong, and for that I am sorry. But whatever the reason for bring in such topics, the choice to do so was a bad one and not helpful to this discussion. This is what I was commenting against, though I may not have been clear in my choice of words.
    I agree that an occasional veering of topic is good, but only when it enhances the current conversation. While I have introduced new topics, you cannot honestly say that I have simply inserted a topic that was not directly connected to the current conversation, nor that I did not show this connection. I am applying no double standard.

    KENT

    Salvation, in its most basic sense, is salvation from outer darkness, yes. This salvation is free to all except those who term in complete and total opposition to God. It is a salvation that is given through the Grace of God and one that we cannot attain for ourselves no matter what we do.
    I think this covers it nicely.

  119. 119 shematwater
    May 3, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I just had another thought as I was driving home today, and I thought all the readers should benefit from it.

    Echo said “If you wanted a clearer response at that time, than what was given, you could have asked!”

    This is very true, and if I ever feel I need clarification I am happy ask for it.

    Echo also said “if folks are unsatisfied with our response, they can bring that to our attention or ask more questions, we don’t have a problem with that at all.”

    Again, I accept this completely as it is perfectly reasonable.

    I will also here state that on occasion Echo has followed these guidelines very well, asking for clarification and other questions that arose.

    Now, I made the following statement in reply to a list of references provided by RLO.
    “We have read these passages before, and we see a very different meaning in them than you do, for the simple reason that we accept all the verses that teach that our works are required, and we read these passage as not contradicting the others, but as supporting them.
    I am not going to get into a debate over individual verses, and I have been in enough endless Bible bashings that I am not in the mood for another. I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    You will notice that I asserted that we do have an understanding of the verse, but I explain that I did not wish to debate individual verses so as to avoid diverting the discussion into a bible bashing session.
    This may seem very similar to Echo comment that “A couple of other verses I didn’t respond to because it would have changed the whole direction of the conversation.”

    However, instead of acknowledging this Echo gave the following reply to what I said.
    “For the record, until you are ready to address all those verses, we will advise all the readers to take your refusal to address each of those verses as this: You don’t have an actual response because those verses contradict your doctrine.”

    Now, I have to wonder what happened to the rational approach of acking for clarification of further questions.
    Basically, why couldn’t Echo have simply said “Can you share with us your interpretations of these verse?” If asked in a polite manner I would have gladly provided the information.
    But what we have instead is a direct attempt to blacklist me. Basically, Echo tried to discredit what I said. Echo has become the bully, threatening my basic reputation if I don’t do things his way. That is the spirit of this comment, and it does not belong in any rational and civil discourse.
    Now Echo is trying to say that I started the whole thing by politely declining to venture into a needless diversion, something that Echo has said he has tried to avoid as much as possible himself.

    To conclude this post I will make one single point that everyone here, with the exception of Ralph, does not seem to be able to grasp.
    If there is any choice that we have to make in any capacity than we are responsible for our own salvation. It is plain and simple.

  120. 120 Echo
    May 3, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Shem You said this:

    Shem said: “But what we have instead is a direct attempt to blacklist me. Basically, Echo tried to discredit what I said. Echo has become the bully, threatening my basic reputation if I don’t do things his way. That is the spirit of this comment, and it does not belong in any rational and civil discourse.”

    Shem, first you said this…

    ” I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplainable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    You said that while at the same time refusing to address our scriptures.

    ONLY THEN DID I say this: “For the record, until you are ready to address all those verses, we will advise all the readers to take your refusal to address each of those verses as this: You don’t have an actual response because those verses contradict your doctrine.”

    Here are the events in the order they happened…

    1) You tell me my biblical truth is full of contradiction
    2) I respond to you by telling you that your beliefs are the contradictory ones.
    3) You charge me with blacklisting you

    Who is blacklisting who Shem? You blacklisted me! You devil! You thief! You liar! You brute! You beast! You white washed tomb! Trying to white wash your tomb once again!

    Shem said: “But what we have instead is a direct attempt to blacklist me”

    Liar! We all know that Satan is the Father of Lie’s and liars.

    Shem said: “Basically, Echo tried to discredit what I said.”

    Liar! Basically Shem tried to discredit what we said, I simply just responded to his remark in order to neutralize it!

    Shem said: “Echo has become the bully”

    Shem has revealed himself to be the true bully here. Isn’t that just like SATAN to pull such a dirty trick as this. Shem is trying to trap me just like the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus!.

    Shem said: “threatening my basic reputation if I don’t do things his way.”

    Shem is the one who is attempting to threaten my reputation! Just like the Pharisees tried to threaten the reputation of Jesus!

    Shem said: “That is the spirit of this comment, and it does not belong in any rational and civil discourse.”

    Amen! I think you should leave this blog because you have thoroughly ruined your own reputation. The spirit of your comments is the spirit of the devil. That is the spirit of your comments that is the spirit of many of your posts; you do not belong in any “rational and civil discourse” here or anywhere. You are a man fighting in opposition to God, a man who is on Satan’s team and in Satan’s church. This explains all that you do and say. You are well on your way to outer darkness Shem. Sad, but true.

  121. 121 RLO
    May 3, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Without taking any sides …

    I have some grave misgivings over the depths to which we have all sunk. Mormon and Christian alike. I don’t think Christ is particularly pleased with me, or any of us, right now. And Satan is smiling.

    Why don’t we all just stop posting for a few days? Perhaps until Mark puts up a new thread.

  122. 122 Echo
    May 3, 2011 at 7:03 am

    RLO

    I truly care about the eternal welfare of Shem, Ralph and all LDS. YOU KNOW I DO!
    You know I have love for these people! I am passionate about Mormons!

    After speaking with Shem on nearly a daily basis for more than a year, arguments such as the one’s he has made here (not doctrinal arguments), but arguments intended to ruin the credibility and reputation of Christians has been a continual ongoing thing from him over the course of the entire year or more.

    You and I and other Christians have, over the course of that time, attempted to lovingly steer him away from this type of divisive and contentious behavior that makes it impossible to have a discussion with him. We tried our best, because we loved him!
    He has proven himself time and again to be hard of hearing or deaf.

    If I leave him that way, he will die, his soul will be lost forever! I don’t want that to happen to him!

    The only hope there is for Shem is that he only has a bad hearing impairment rather than complete hearing loss.

    You know that folks with a hearing impairment must be spoken to LOUDLY enough so that they HEAR what is being said. Jesus spoke LOUDLY to the pharisees. Some heard, others were deaf.
    Folks that are deaf need to be made an example so that others won’t be decieved by them. Jesus made a fine example of the Pharisees so that we too might HEAR and not be decieved by them.

    I have just spoken LOUDLY in hopes that he might finally HEAR. And if he is deaf, then he is an example so that hopefully others might hear.

    Sometimes love must be TOUGH love. Eternity is dependant on it.

    Not only that, but I have to think of the eternal welfare of the readers. It literally rips me to pieces inside to think that people might be decieved by Shem’s divisive and contentious arguments and because of that they may believe his doctrinal arguments. I hate to see anyone harmed or destroyed in any way by that!

    I could honestly care less about whether or not Shem ruin’s my reputation and makes me look bad, I am so happy and content in Jesus, these things just bounce right off of me having no effect on me whatsoever. The real concern I have is that others will be decieved by those divisive and contentious arguments to the point that they won’t listen to the truth of God’s word and instead they will believe the lie’s and the devil’s doctrine. And all to the point that their souls will end up in outer darkness.

    That is where my heart is at. Trying to spare Mormon’s the grim future they face.

    I am emotionally exhausted and completely worn out from trying to show Mormons the love I have for them and I am feeling that after all of that effort and after all of the time I have put into this, I am only left with the fear that they all might be lost for eternity! This whole thing has left me in tears! While I may have not carried this all out perfectly for I will admit I am not as perfect as Jesus, in fact far from it. I carried it out to the best of my knowledge and ability.

    Now if you will excuse me, I need to get away from all of this.

  123. 123 Ralph Peterson
    May 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “Echo has become the bully, threatening my basic reputation if I don’t do things his way. That is the spirit of this comment, and it does not belong in any rational and civil discourse.”

    This is a standard Echo approach and is why I don’t respond to him.

    Until he can be civil, I will continue to ignore him.

  124. 124 Ralph Peterson
    May 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    “Mormon and Christian alike”

    You really should be more accurate in your descriptions.

    What you really mean is LDS Christians (or Mormon Christians) and Evangelical Christians.

  125. 125 Ralph Peterson
    May 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Shem,

    Apparently your salvation isn’t dependent upon you or Jesus. According to the post above, it is dependent upon Echo.

    Statements like, “If I leave him that way, he will die, his soul will be lost forever!” explicitly declare that your salvation is dependent upon Echo.

    I realize that this is totally contradictory to what he says out of one side of his mouth. But there it is.

    Oops! The in the very next line he declares that your salvation is dependent upon you. “The only hope there is for Shem is that he only has a bad hearing impairment rather than complete hearing loss.” So now if you aren’t saved it’s your fault.

    I wish he would make up his mind. It is all so confusing.

    Oop! The very next line puts your salvation dependent on some one else, but not Jesus. “You know that folks with a hearing impairment must be spoken to LOUDLY enough so that they HEAR what is being said.” So now, your only hope for salvation is some one with a loud voice.

    I wish he would make up his mind. It is all so confusing.

    I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know that the way to show “love” to others was to misrepresent what they believe and threaten them with hell if they disagree with you.

  126. 126 jbr
    May 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    There were people in Jesus’ time who are more interested in trapping him in his words than actually learning the truth. Jesus eventually called them “children of the devil”.

    So now we’re to believe that (as God revealed as ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing) the masquerader is going to be totally accurate at anytime when speaking.

    Getting rescued from the burning house can only be accomplished by one set of criteria. The masquerader’s goal is to divert the criteria standard.

    The masquerader will always speak from a position of percentage the truth. So the wolf will say …. ” We’re saved by grace” ….. and once trapped what it really becomes….

    *** “Therefore acting alone, the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation.” ***
    ____________________________________________________________________

    In a true child\parent relationship, forgiveness is not conditional. An cruel parent will use forgiveness as some leverage like a ladder to be climbed or a rescue effort contingent on “doing all you can do”.

    Thankfully the message “THE LONE ACT OF GRACE BY CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT FOR SALVATION” can not be usurped by the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    The masquerader’s gate of hell will not stop it.
    The only tatic left for the masquerader is to confuse and trap people in their words.

    +
    +

    “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36

  127. 127 Ralph Peterson
    May 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    “In a true child\parent relationship, forgiveness is not conditional.”

    Oh, really?

    So a parent must forgive one child for the ongoing sexual molestation of another child? Or does the child need to stop the molestation first?

    “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36

    That is something that I believe with all my heart. But how can you really “believe in the Son” without also obeying the Son?

    Rom. 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

    Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Heb. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

  128. 128 shematwater
    May 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I love how Echo continues to ignore what I said in an attempt to justify the comments made.

    Echo asserts that the order of events were
    1) You tell me my biblical truth is full of contradiction
    2) I respond to you by telling you that your beliefs are the contradictory ones.
    3) You charge me with blacklisting you

    Of course, this ignores the part where I did give a reply to the verses in question. That reply was:
    “We have read these passages before, and we see a very different meaning in them than you do, for the simple reason that we accept all the verses that teach that our works are required, and we read these passage as not contradicting the others, but as supporting them.
    I am not going to get into a debate over individual verses, and I have been in enough endless Bible bashings that I am not in the mood for another.”

    Only after asserting this did I make the comment that Echo seems to be responding in anger too, which comment was not intended to address the verses in question, but a different part of RLO’s post.

    “I will say only this: Your “biblical truth” is so full of contradiction and unexplanable “mysteries” that a rational mind is forced to reject it as God would not be the author of such confusing doctrine.”

    Thus, as any clear minded person would recognize, I was simply letting RLO know that I was addressing directly one part of his post, while indirectly addressing the other.

    Now, as to claiming contradiction in their doctrine, I think both of us have effectively showed the contradiction, but I will try one more time.

    1. If everything depends on Christ then no choice we make can have any effect.
    2. If we do have to make a choice than it cannot be all dependent on Christ.
    Conclusion: For anyone to believe that we must choose to believe and then assert that everything is dependent on Christ is a contradiction.

    Now, maybe we are confused, and I invite anyone to explain how the doctrine taught by any non-Mormon Christians on this thread (including the original article) does not contradict itself in this manner.

  129. 129 shematwater
    May 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Actually, what you describe is very bad parenting, and has been proven to be such.

    Now, love is unconditional, but a good parent does not forgive unconditionally, but requires the child to pay the consequences of their actions.

  130. 130 jbr
    May 4, 2011 at 1:38 am

    how can you really “believe in the Son” without also obeying the Son?
    ——————————————————————————

    It does not matter … as long as you are illegitimate, you are done away with even if you attempt to obey.

    Galatians 4:30
    John 8:41-47

  131. 131 Kent
    May 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    “how can you really “believe in the Son” without also obeying the Son?”

    This is how we obey Him, we believe in Him.

    John 6:28-29

    “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

    Since we believe in Him, good works will follow. In talking to ex Mormons they say that they were of the belief that Christians believe that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and then, since we are saved, we can do whatever we want.

    But if we abide in Him, good works will follow because we want to please Him in gratitude for what He did for us in our place on the cross but not just for a chance to become righteous but his death on the cross wiped the slate clean but if we believe our own efforts have anything to do with saving us, not just from phyiscal death but from outer darkness (Hell), then we are doomed to failure as none of us can ever live up to the perfection that Heavenly Father demands of us.

    But the good news (the gospel) is we don’t have to live up to this perfection and even though we are to live righteous lives, we know we are covered by the blood of Jesus and we put on His rightouesness and because of this Heavenly Father sees our sins no more. So it is His perfection that God sees and it is all about Jesus and not about us at all.

    The way I see it is that rather than progressing some day to be a god, I am actually regressing as it is less of me everyday and more of Jesus everyday and that is how I am obedient by relying on Him and not me.

    Besides, as someone else pointed out, we become more like God but we we never become gods, even in the afterlife, but as the angels are who are created beings who worship God as the scripture tells us in Matthew.

    Matthew 22:30

    “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

    I hope I get this stuff right, as I and others here have said, we are not trying to win a debate here but to present the true gospel of the Bible the best we can.

    The most important thing one of our Mormon visitors has said is when Shem said, “Read the entire Bible and you will see the truth” Well I believe this is exactly our point, that if you just read the Bible alone and accept that it is the true word of God that has been translated correctly, then your eyes will be opened. Other Mormons have done so and they have no fear of ending up in outer darkness and they now see there is no need for the Book of Mormon, other Mormon scriptures, the teachings of the Mormon prophets and church leaders, etc as they have the true Jesus of the Bible who He died in our place on the cross, rose again on the third day.

  132. 132 Kent
    May 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    This is the gospel that the ex Mormons believe and, as I said, saved doesn’t mean just being able to live in the afterlife with a chance to be righteous but being saved from outer darkness (Hell) and, no, they have no fear of ending up in outer darkness. I will do one more post that shows the true gospel.

    In the following passage the scripture the Eunuch and Phillip were referring to was Isaiah 53 which foretold of Jesus coming to die on the cross. Please take the time to read this other passage and, as I said, read these in faith that they have been translated correctly and your eyes will be opened.

    Acts 8:27-38

    27And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
    28Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
    29Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
    30And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
    31And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
    32The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
    33In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
    34And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36And 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?
    37And 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.
    38And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

  133. 133 Kent
    May 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Romans 10:9-13:

    “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.

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    Again, believing in Jesus gives us His rightteousness and not just a chance to live in the afterlife and to become righteous and this is what ex Mormons believe and no, they will not end up in outer darkness.

    If I am wrong about the Mormon church believing that ex Mormons end up in outer darkness, then my apologies, but this is what ex Mormons say is what they believed and were told.

    But if Mormons do believe that they will end of there if they reject their Mormon faith, isn’t it just a bit unfair that people like Adolf Hitler can live in eternity, maybe without honor but in relative comfort, but ex Mormons are tormented forever in outer darkness?

    Do some people believe that ex Mormons are worse than Hitler?

  134. 134 shematwater
    May 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    KENT

    Ex Mormons will not end up in outer darkness, and this is not what is taught. If this is what ex mormons claim they either never understood the doctrine, or are purposely trying to exaggerate things in an attempt to deceive.
    Forgive me for quoting LDS scripture here, but to understand who is going to outer darkness I must. First, blasphamy against the Holy Ghost is the only sin that will send a person to Outer Darkness, and Christ himself says that it is the sin that cannot be forgiven at any time (Matthew 12: 31).
    What constitute Blasphamy against the Holy Ghost? We read this in D&C 132: 27 “The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant.”
    So, unless the ex mormon has been cealed in the Temple and then commits murder and desires to kill Christ, he is not going into outer darkness. These are the conditions that constitute the only offense that will cause a person to be forever damned in Outer Darkness. Everything else can be forgiven, and will be forgiven, and all people who do not blaspheme the Holy Ghost will escape this punishment.

    As to all your other points concerning works, I just have one question: What happens to that man who believes but does not do the works?
    Now, you have asserted that mormons think “Christians believe that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and then, since we are saved, we can do whatever we want.”
    Now, I do not think you believe this, and I never have. But the simple fact is that the doctrine you do believe in can be used to justify this belief.

    Now, if you want to assert that faith brings the works, I am in perfect agreement with you. I am also in agreement that a lack of faith will not bring the works of righteousness (at least not to the same degree). This is in perfect harmony with LDS doctrine.
    The question then becomes, whose choice is it that we do these works of righteousness? Are we compeled to be righteous, having no control over our actions. Or do we simply desire to do righteous and choose to act on that desire, believing that Christ will give us the strength we need to fulfill it.
    This is where I have seen the greatest difference between LDS doctrine and the rest of Christianity. It is not that one of us is for faith and grace and the other for works, for both of us agree that all three are necessary. The difference comes in how we believe we do the works.
    I have had people tell me strait that if you believe in Christ you no longer have any free will, but have to do what God says. This is an idea I have to reject.
    Now, I am not sure what you believe in this area, but I would venture to guess that it is more similar to LDS doctrine than it is different, and that we are just emphasizing different parts.

    LDS doctrine is simple: Without faith nothing we do can ever have an effect. Once we have faith through this we desire to obey Christ. As he says in JOhn 14: 15 “If ye love me keep my commandments.” Once we have this desire then the Grace of God works in us to give us the ability to act on the desire. However, we must choose to act, it is not something that we are forced to do. If we act we gain more of his grace to do even greater works, and so on until his grace has perfected us. If we choose not to act his grace withdraws from us and we are left to fend for ourselves.
    Faith is the first and primary principle on which the LDS doctrine is based. We must first have faith, and then the rest will follow, but only if we choose to actively seek it.

  135. 135 shematwater
    May 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    As I said I would respond directly to all verses given, here is my response to those verses referenced since my last post.

    Galatians 4:30
    “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

    Using the story of Isaac and Ishmael Paul is illustrating how the acceptance of the covenant and the rejection of the Covenant effect us. Isaac, illustrating the accepting of Christ, is choosen and given the covenant, while Ishmael, illustrating unbelief and unacceptence, is cast out.
    In like manner, those who accept the gospel are part of the covenant and will partake in the blessings, while those who reject it will be cast out of the kingdom. I would simply say that this is speaking of the Celestial Kingdom, not heaven in general

    John 8:41-47
    “Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
    Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
    Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
    Ye are of your father the devil, and the blusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and bode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
    And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
    Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
    He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

    I love this passage, s it shows that it is the works of the person, not their faith, that determines who they are following. If we are the children of God we will follow his commandments. If we are children of Satan we will do wickedly. Of course, I do bring in the verses right before this in which the Jews claim to be saved because they are descendents of Abraham, as well as few after when Christ asserts that they do not do what Abraham did.
    Now, using this as proof that works without faith merit nothing is interesting, though not entirely accurate, as in this passage the “children of the devil” are never credited with any good works.

    John 6:28-29
    “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

    I have no complaint with this verse, and agree with it completely. But as James tells us in the second chapter of his epistle, if we do not have the works our faith is meaningless, and so the work of believing on Christ is to obey his commands, not simple to accept his grace.

    Matthew 22:30
    “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

    This verse is frequently used, though I don’t think anyone really understands it (including me). However, I think the best explanation I have heard is that the Sadduccees were addressing a specific case and family that had or was living in Jeruselem around that time. This is taken from verse 25, which says
    “Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:”
    The phrase “there was among us” is taken by some to indicate this specific verse. This idea is again supported by verses 31-32
    “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
    I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
    Thus, verse 30 was not an explanation of the Resurrection, for it is after making this comment that Christ then addressed the doctrine of resurrection, proclaiming it to be true.
    So, in verse thirty he is saying that this particular family was not worthy of eternal marriage, but that the resurrection was still a true doctrine.

    Acts 8:27-38
    “And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
    Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
    Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
    And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
    And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
    The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
    In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
    And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    Then Philip opened his mouth, nd 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.
    And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

    I have always loved this story. It is because of faith that the Eunich seeks baptism, and because he is of such faith Philip baptizes him. But notice that Philip never once says that the Baptism is not necessary, only that faith must come first.

    Romans 10:9-13:
    “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.
    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    The meaning of this passage is the same as John 6: 28-29. It is only when one has true faith in Christ that they become righteous, which faith only exists in the presence of righteous works.
    In this passage I would also point out the term “unto” which would indicate a movement to, not a instant replacement. In other words, faith on the heart will lead us into righteousness, it will not make us righteous.

  136. 136 Echo
    May 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    To the readers,

    Shem made the statement:
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Now, as to claiming contradiction in their doctrine, I think both of us have effectively showed the contradiction, but I will try one more time.

    1. If everything depends on Christ then no choice we make can have any effect.
    2. If we do have to make a choice than it cannot be all dependent on Christ.
    Conclusion: For anyone to believe that we must choose to believe and then assert that everything is dependent on Christ is a contradiction.

    Now, maybe we are confused, and I invite anyone to explain how the doctrine taught by any non-Mormon Christians on this thread (including the original article) does not contradict itself in this manner.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Anyone wanting to know the non-confusing, non contradictory answer to this question can simply read Mark’s original post above and “think” about it for themselves. It’s very simple and easy to understand.

    Ralph asked: “So a parent must forgive one child for the ongoing sexual molestation of another child? Or does the child need to stop the molestation first?”

    Ralph, you have called me “uncivil” for pointing out your sins. Can we apply that same reasoning of yours to your own question here?… Do you then believe that it is uncivil for someone to hold the child accountable for his sexual molestation by pointing out his sin? If someone were to point out that child’s sin to him, wouldn’t that be a very loving thing to do?

    In response to your question….if the child guilty of sexual molestation is not sorry for what he has done and he instead thinks it is uncivil of anyone to point out his sin, meaning he desires to continue in his sin, hasn’t that child rejected forgiveness?

  137. 137 Echo
    May 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    And we all know that any child who rejects forgiveness rejects God. Even though God has not rejected them. God has a place for those who reject his forgiveness….OUTER DARKNESS. Because as Shem himself said, a parent(God) “requires the child to pay the consequences of their actions.”

  138. 138 Kent
    May 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Believing in what Jesus did in our place to save us from outer darkness (Hell), not just so that we can live in the afterlife with a chance to become righteous and climb the latter to Heavenly Father by our own works, but to actully live for eternity with Heavenly Father because of what Jesus did is not works.

    The Bible teaches that we have one of two options, believe in Jesus Christ and go to heaven or not believe in Him and suffer the consequences for our unbelief, outer darkness (Hell).

    But it is very important to indentify who Jesus is, God almighty through which everything in the heavens and the earth were created and who humbled Himself to come to earth as the perfect man to take away the sins of the world but who was still God Almighty who has always been God Almighty and always will be God Almighty (Bible).

    OR

    The spirit brother of us and Satan who is a created being who chose good instead of evil like his brother Satan chose (Mormon).

    Shem, you mentioned before the creation story of Genesis is imcomplete and you quoted from the Book of Moses. This book adds that everything that was created existed in spiritual form before the physical creation.

    Well, we reject that addition to the creation story just like we reject Joseph Smith adding prophesy in Genesis that predicts himself coming as a prophet in the latter days, and we reject Joseph Smith changing “God justifieth the ungodly” to God justifieth not the ungodly.”

    If the Bible disagrees with what your church teaches simple, just add or change words in the Bible so that it does fit what your church teaches.

    Mormons, just read the Bible, only the Bible, and trust that yes it is the true word of God that has been translated correctly and have faith in what Jesus said about His words.

    Mark 13:31

    “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

    Shem, I will answer to what you said about what I posted from Romans 10 about coming unto faith shortly.

  139. 139 Ralph Peterson
    May 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 BUT WHOSO KEEPETH HIS WORD, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

  140. 140 Ralph Peterson
    May 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    You guys are getting silly.

    ‘Joseph Smith changing “God justifieth the ungodly” to God justifieth not the ungodly.’ has already been addressed.

    Joseph Smith got it RIGHT! Plain and simple.

    “Mormons, just read the Bible”

    Been there, done that. What I don’t find in the Bible when read as a whole (not just a few verses in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians) is not what you guys are preaching.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I will go back to waiting for Echo to save me.

  141. 141 Ralph Peterson
    May 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, even as he is righteous.

  142. 142 shematwater
    May 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    READER

    If you will notice, I have, on more than one occasion, pointed out the very contradiction I speak of in the opening article which Echo is so eager for you to read. It illustrates this contradiction beautifully.

    1. We can choose to run back into the house and thus loose salvation.
    2. If we choose to stay outside this has absolutely no effect on us remaining alive.

    See the total lack of logic in this reasoning. See the contradiction that given a choice, only one option truly has an effect.

    Simple put, if choosing to run back in causes us to loose salvation, than choosing to remain outside must cause us to retain salvation, and thus our being saved is dependent on our own choices.

    KENT

    Romans 1: 25 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

    I prefer to worship God and follow his commands rather than to worship and serve the man-made translations of the Bible.
    I am not bound by a 2,000 year old record, but by the living word of God spoken through his living prophet, as spoken directly to me. I bless and thank God every day that he has not left me to struggle and try and glean what truth I can from a text written in a time and place so completely foreign to my own experience, but has given me words and counsel in my own language and culture, fit my own time.
    I am bound by the word and command of God, but I am free from the confusion and strife that comes with trying to transfer one culture into another.

    ECHO

    You are not uncivil for pointing out error, but for being a bully in doing so.
    Matthew 18: 15 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
    Why do we not all follow the advise of Christ and not try to call each other out in their sins on a public forum. I will apologize for any time that I have done so.

    As to your question, refusing to repent is not the same as rejecting forgiveness. These two are only synonymous if the forgiveness is contingent on repentance.
    Thus, if forgiveness requires one to end the action and seek no more to engage in such, refusing to do so is rejecting forgiveness.
    However, if forgiveness is simply granted regardless of what you do than continuing in sin is not rejecting it, as you can still claim forgiveness.
    Just another example of the illogical contradiction of what you claim to be the gospel of Christ.

  143. 143 shematwater
    May 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    MARK 13: 31
    “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

    I believe this with all my heart. However, I do not believe, as some people assert, that the Bible contains all the words of God, nor do I believe that all the words it does contain are the words of God.
    This verse does not say “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but the words of the Bible shall not pass away.”
    It specifically says the words of God will not pass away.

    Thus, to use this verse to assert that everything in the Bible is a perfect preservation of God’s words, or that there are not more of his words out there, is an inaccurate use of this particular verse of the Bible.
    (And thus it is a mistranslation, as Ralph has explained earlier.)

  144. 144 Echo
    May 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Ralph,

    You and I both believe this: “1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.”

    FACT/TRUTH: You have shown me numerous times that you don’t “keep his commandments” and you continue to not “keep his commandments.”

    What is your solution to that problem?

  145. 145 Ralph Peterson
    May 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, even as he is righteous.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I will go back to waiting for Echo to save me.

  146. 146 Echo
    May 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Shem said:

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    “If you will notice, I have, on more than one occasion, pointed out the very contradiction I speak of in the opening article which Echo is so eager for you to read. It illustrates this contradiction beautifully.

    1. We can choose to run back into the house and thus loose salvation.
    2. If we choose to stay outside this has absolutely no effect on us remaining alive.

    See the total lack of logic in this reasoning. See the contradiction that given a choice, only one option truly has an effect.

    Simple put, if choosing to run back in causes us to loose salvation, than choosing to remain outside must cause us to retain salvation, and thus our being saved is dependent on our own choices.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    There is no contradiction.

    What “Choice” did the “UNCONSCIOUS” man make when the fireman rescued him? Can an “UNCONSCIOUS” man make a choice?

  147. 147 Echo
    May 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Ralph,

    What is your solution to that problem?

    John 8:34 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family…”

    Now a slave has no permanent place in the family

    Now a slave has no permanent place in the family

    Now a slave has no permanent place in the family


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