01
Jun
11

Is a man-centered gospel good news?

The word gospel means good news.  At the last LDS General Conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard, one of the 12 apostles, said this about the gospel:

“I believe there is one simple but profound—even sublime—principle that encompasses the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we wholeheartedly embrace this principle and make it the focus of our lives, it will purify and sanctify us so we can live once again in the presence of God.  The Savior spoke of this principle when He answered the Pharisee who asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36–40).”

There are a couple of things to note about his words.  First, he is talking about a principle that “encompasses the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”  Second, he then quotes the two great commandments about love.

But nowhere does the Bible connect the word “gospel” with commands to us.  No, the biblical gospel (good news) is all about what God has done for us – not his commands to us.  Paul writing to the Corinthians said:  “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.  (I Corinthians 15:1-4).  He then proceeds to talk about Jesus’ resurrection appearances etc.  It’s all about what Jesus did – not about what we are commanded to do.

Down through the centuries, most Christians have considered John 3:16 the epitome of the gospel message:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Again it is all about what God did for us.

The good news of the Bible is all about God saving us through Jesus.  It is centered on him.  Compare that to Elder Ballard’s explanation.  There is not one mention of Jesus’ saving acts.  And he says he is talking about the principle that encompasses the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ!  His good news is all about two commands that no one can keep!  For who would be bold enough to say that they love God as completely as is commanded?  Or that they love their neighbor as themselves – devoting as much time, money, effort on others as they do on themselves?  A man-centered gospel is no good news at all.

Thank God that that is not the gospel of the Bible.  Thank God that he has given us a God-centered gospel – the good news of salvation worked entirely by him.

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189 Responses to “Is a man-centered gospel good news?”


  1. 1 Echo
    June 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    The Pharisees believed they would enter the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven through their “Faith and Works”. They believed the GOSPEL was a message of Commandments and Ordinances they needed to obey. They believed that obedience to the Commandments and Ordinances of God was necessary. They were DEAD wrong. Jesus abolished the Commandments and Ordinances of God, he nailed them to the CROSS…

    Colossians 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

    Ephesians 2:15-16 “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross”

    Since the Commandments and Ordinances were nailed to the cross. The Gospel is a message of “faith” in Jesus and not a list of “works” that we must do in order to enter the celestial kingdom.

  2. 2 jbr
    June 1, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    The only way a man centered is possible or good news is if one is perfect in such a way that it doesn’t cause a stumble …… let alone breakage.

    An image of that is like a person who attemts a marathon. Not only is finishing crucial, but every step is analyzed. If you can run the marathon without even stumbling …………
    then it might be good news.

    But as with every action, there is a re-action.

    Those who oppose the futility of a man made gospel message will certianly react to this.
    It can be very appealing to think of a ladder that is made available.

  3. 3 Ralph Peterson
    June 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    What did JESUS teach about commandments.

    Mark 12:28 ¶ And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, WHICH IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OF ALL?
    29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
    30 And THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: THIS IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.
    31 And the second is like, namely this, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. THERE IS NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE.

    By Jesus’ own words, Elder Ballard is correct.

    What part of Jesus words, “THERE IS NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE”, is so difficult to believe?

  4. 4 markcares
    June 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Come on Ralph. The whole point is the definition of the word gospel. Please stick to the topic.

  5. 5 Ralph Peterson
    June 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Come on Mark. Are you excluding the loving of God from the “gospel” of Jesus Christ?

    Are you excluding the loving of your neighbor from the “gospel” of Jesus Christ?

    Is that where you want to go?

  6. 6 markcares
    June 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Ralph:
    That’s my point. It’s not me, but it’s the Bible that excludes any commandments, including the ones you mentioned, from the gospel. They are law – not gospel. The gospel is the good news about what God has done for us – not what he commands us to do.

  7. 7 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Ralph, you think the Gospel is: “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”

    The Bible says the Gospel is “Good News” but by your definition of the Gospel it would actually be “Bad News”. Think of it like this….

    When God commands you to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and to love thy neighbor as thyself, all that those two commands do for you is to show you your “SIN” and how you will be declared “UNRIGHTEOUS.” These two commands put you to DEATH rather than bring you to life…

    Romans 3:20 “Therefore NO ONE will be declared RIGHTEOUS in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

    Romans 7:9 “Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I DIED.”

    Romans 8:2 “…the law of sin and death”

    1 Corinthians 15:56 “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law”

    Romans 7:10 “I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.”

    The LDS Gospel is “bad news” if obedience is your Gospel message.

    That is a false Gospel.

    The true Gospel is a message of what God has done for us. He has saved us apart from anything we have done or will do.

    2 Timothy 1:9 “who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time”

    Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy”

    Now that’s “Good news”!

  8. June 2, 2011 at 2:44 am

    If you are going to discuss how the Gospel was presented by Elder Ballard, please present what he really presented. Here is some of what he said:

    “Spring brings a renewal of light and life—reminding us, through the cycle of seasons,

    of the life, sacrifice, and Resurrection of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, for “all things bear record of Him.”

    I believe there is one simple but profound—even sublime—principle that encompasses the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we wholeheartedly embrace this principle and make it the focus of our lives, it will purify and sanctify us so we can live once again in the presence of God.

    The Savior spoke of this principle when He answered the Pharisee who asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    “This is the first and great commandment.

    “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36–40).

    It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service—the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.

    When this pure love of Christ—or charity—envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act. Our motivation and heartfelt desire are like unto that of the Savior. He shared this desire with His Apostles on the eve of His Crucifixion. He said:

    A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. …
    “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34–35).”

    Now, my questions for you:

    First, do you know what the word encompasses means? “surrounds” Read the scriptures. There are many beautiful principles that surround the Gospel.

    Lastly, I would like to ask you how you would explain this scripture:
    2 Thessalonians 1:8, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God; and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

    How does one obey the gospel, if none of what Elder Ballard presented encompasses it?

  9. 9 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Welcome Kate,

    Thank you for sharing the context of Elder Ballard’s quote.

    Kate said: “How does one obey the gospel, if none of what Elder Ballard presented encompasses it?”

    Verse 10 gives the answer…

    “on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, BECAUSE YOU BELIEVED OUR TESTIMONY TO YOU.”

  10. 10 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Ephesians 1:13-14 ” And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

  11. 11 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 4:03 am

    John 6:27-29 ” Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 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.”

  12. June 2, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Thank you for your kind welcome. I understand what you are trying to say with the scriptures you quote, and I will not try to debate that. I feel there is more to those scriptures than the simplified interpretation given. That aside, what I would like to know is this. Are you completely separating all that Jesus commanded us to do from His Gospel? Or do you believe that the walk He asked us to walk, the charity and love He asked us to give, the example he asked us to follow, are principles that come with a belief in His Gospel. If the latter, than you are not professing anything different than Elder Ballard who, as I said before, presented principles that “surround” the Gospel.

  13. June 2, 2011 at 4:47 am

    If you do an in-depth study of that whole chapter, allowing the Spirit to reveal to you the full meaning of it, you will find that He is speaking about partaking of His flesh and blood (the sacrament). Also, take another look at verse 27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” The version of scripture you are using loses much. If you look at the Greek words that this verse was actually translated from, you will gain a fuller meaning. The greek word for labour, used specifically in that verse means “to earn by working”. So the scripture is saying work not for things that perish, but (work) for that meat (the spiritual things, the mysteries of the kingdom of God) which endureth unto evelasting life, which the Lord shall give unto you, for him (you who have laboured for these spiritual things) hath the Father sealed.

  14. 14 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Kate said: “That aside, what I would like to know is this. Are you completely separating all that Jesus commanded us to do from His Gospel?”

    Yes. We are separating all that Jesus commanded us to do. Mark, The author of this blog, stated it eloquently:

    “…the biblical gospel (good news) is all about what God has done for us – not his commands to us. Paul writing to the Corinthians said: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:1-4). He then proceeds to talk about Jesus’ resurrection appearances etc. It’s all about what Jesus did – not about what we are commanded to do.”

    Kate said: “allowing the Spirit to reveal to you the full meaning of it, you will find that He is speaking about partaking of His flesh and blood (the sacrament).”

    What does it mean to you or for you when the scripture states “to partake of his flesh and blood”?

    Kate said: “The version of scripture you are using loses much.”

    Okay, let’s use the King James Version, I am very comfortable and okay with that. :)

    Kate said: “If you look at the Greek words that this verse was actually translated from, you will gain a fuller meaning. The greek word for labour, used specifically in that verse means “to earn by working”. So the scripture is saying work not for things that perish, but (work) for that meat (the spiritual things, the mysteries of the kingdom of God) which endureth unto evelasting life, which the Lord shall give unto you, for him (you who have laboured for these spiritual things) hath the Father sealed.”

    Okay, I agree. What do you think about verse 27, particularly the part I put in capital letters, do you think that says that God is giving something to us “or” that we must do something for God?

    27Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, WHICH THE SON OF MAN SHALL GIVE UNTO YOU:…”

  15. June 2, 2011 at 5:45 am

    I want to address your questions, but it will need to wait until after work tomorrow. I need to get some sleep ;o) though I enjoy talking about scripture with you. I’ll be back tomorrow with a reply. Thanks!

  16. 16 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Have a good night. Talk to you tommorow.

  17. 17 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    That is strange that you say that, because it is OBVIOUS that Jesus did NOT exclude commandments from His Gospel.

    This is a classic example of how the misunderstanding of Paul’s words leads people to reject the teachings of Jesus.

    Jesus not only reiterated commandments but He raised the bar.

    Matt 5:21 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
    22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
    . . .
    27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    . . .
    31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
    32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
    . . .
    33 ¶ Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
    34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
    . . .
    43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    And guess what! I found those in the BIBLE.

    And with regard to “law”. You fail to understand when Paul is talking about the (lesser) law of Moses and when he is talking about the (higher) law of Christ.

    Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the LAW OF GOD; but with the flesh the law of sin.
    8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2 For the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    In other words, when we repent and follow the Spirit we are forgiven for our previous violations of the law.

    Gal. 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the LAW OF CHRIST.

    In other words, when we love our neighbor as ourselves, we fulfill the LAW OF CHRIST.

    So no, the “Bible” doesn’t “exclude” the law at all. It shows us that, because of the atonement of Christ, through repentance we are forgiven for our previous violations of the law.

  18. 18 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “Yes. We are separating all that Jesus commanded us to do. Mark, The author of this blog, stated it eloquently:”

    WOW!!! You reject the teachings of Christ and you expect people to flee Mormonism for your theology?

    All I can say is WOW!!!!

    In a previous thread, you rejected revelation from the Holy Spirit and now this.

    WOW!!!

  19. 19 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Okay, I agree. What do you think about verse 27, particularly the part I put in capital letters, do you think that says that God is giving something to us “or” that we must do something for God?

    27Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, WHICH THE SON OF MAN SHALL GIVE UNTO YOU:…”

    The false dichotomy again.

    Echo,

    We have discussed this several times already. You just don’t want to understand it at all.

    D&C 14:7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, WHICH GIFT IS THE GREATEST OF ALL THE GIFTS OF GOD.

    What do you think about verse 7, particularly the part I put in capital letters, do you think that says that God is giving something to us “or” that we must do something for God?

  20. 20 jbr
    June 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Kate,
    The question to Jesus was a pointed one:

    “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” John 6:28

    ________________________________________________________

    Jesus answer was just as pointed. John 6:29

    _______________________________________________________________

    Jesus was making the point that they were following him for all the wrong reasons. They were in effect “doing all they could do” to keep up with him for the next meal.

    Jesus went on to say that the prophets revealed that one day, the people would be taught by God (John 6:45) —- And Jesus said that he was God.

    Many people did (and still do) rejected this answer from Jesus (John 6:66)

    ———————

    You (like those in John 6:66) are following Jesus for the wrong reasons.

    Jesus’ pointed answer didn’t reveal the LDS Gospel
    Jesus’ pointed answer didn’t reveal any agency requirement
    Jesus’ pointed answer didn’t reveal that more was to come later
    Jesus’ pointed answer didn’t reveal that the temple \ any temple ceremony was required

    Jesus’ pointed answer didn’t reveal that he was “a god”
    Jesus’ pointed answer didn’t reveal that he lessor in stature than the Father —-
    —–[we know this by the Jew’s comeback responses] ———–

    Jesus’ answer revealed that he was God (John 6:45)
    Jesus’ answer revealed that he was a part of the “Triune” God (John 6:46)
    Jesus’ answer reveals (at the time) was speaking as “being found in fashion as a man”

    Jesus’ answer reveals that he does not explain how that is possible
    Jesus’ answer reveals that he does not explain how that relationship works

  21. 21 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Ralph said: “This is a classic example of how the misunderstanding of Paul’s words leads people to reject the teachings of Jesus.”…”So no, the “Bible” doesn’t “exclude” the law at all.”

    You have been on the blog long enough to know that we don’t reject the teachings of Jesus. We believe in loving God and our neighbor. We believe in obeying the commandments. We believe in both law and gospel.

    So why do you disobey the commandments by saying something like this that you know is false?

  22. 22 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    You have been on the blog long enough to know that we don’t reject the teachings of Jesus. We believe in loving God and our neighbor. We believe in obeying the commandments. We believe in both law and gospel.

    So why do you disobey the commandments by saying something like this that you know is false?

  23. 23 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Ralph, you repeatedly don’t keep the commandments outwardly though. But more importantly, I can only imagine the sad state you are in inwardly, in your heart. People don’t pick grapes from thistles. You are a thistle Ralph. You are here to hurt people rather than heal people. That is clearly your whole goal.

    Jesus taught that you must first clean the inside of the cup, then the outside would be clean also. But the outside of your cup is dirty which only reflects what is inside.

    Jesus taught: love your neighbor as you love yourself. But by your actions here on this blog over the years, it appears you hate yourself because you clearly hate your neighbor. Why? Do you want to love yourself? I can help you. Lay down your guns. We want to help you Ralph.

  24. 24 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I HAVE been on the blog for a long time. I have continually seen the rejection of what Jesus taught regarding the commandments.

    “We believe in loving God and our neighbor.”

    That isn’t the way it comes across. It comes across that your anti-Mormon agenda causes you to reject the commandments and other teachings of Jesus. You continually condemn those that teach the importance of obedience to the commandments.

    And what did Jesus say about such things?
    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.

    So why do you disobey the commandments by making false claims about what Mormons believe. Why do you condemn those that do and teach the commandments?

  25. 25 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I HAVE been on the blog for a long time. I have continually seen the rejection of what Jesus taught regarding the commandments.

    “We believe in loving God and our neighbor.”

    That isn’t the way it comes across. It comes across that your anti-Mormon agenda causes you to reject the commandments and other teachings of Jesus. You continually condemn those that teach the importance of obedience to the commandments.

    And what did Jesus say about such things?
    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.

    So why do you disobey the commandments by making false claims about what Mormons believe. Why do you condemn those that do and teach the commandments?

  26. 26 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    “The LDS Gospel is “bad news” if obedience is your Gospel message.”

    That is an interesting statement, especially considering these scriptures.

    Rom. 10:16 But they have not all OBEYED THE GOSPEL. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

    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:

    1 Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of God?

    Echo, do you even read the Bible?

  27. 27 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Ralph said: “That isn’t the way it comes across. It comes across that your anti-Mormon agenda causes you to reject the commandments and other teachings of Jesus. You continually condemn those that teach the importance of obedience to the commandments.”

    First, I just want to say that we are NOT “anti-Mormon” We love Mormons and that is the truth. We love you too Ralph. What we truly are is anti-Mormonism. We are against the teachings of Mormonism because we believe they are false teachings that bring great harm to Mormons. Can you see the difference? If not, let me know.

    Ralph said: “So why do you disobey the commandments by making false claims about what Mormons believe. Why do you condemn those that do and teach the commandments?”

    We use official LDS sources to make our claims. We have no desire to get LDS Doctrine wrong. There is no point in getting it wrong. Often Mormons confuse our personal thoughts about Mormon Doctrine with Mormon Doctrine itself.

    We don’t condemn those that do and teach the commandments, we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved.

  28. 28 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Ralph said: “1 Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of God?”

    The Gospel is the message the Jesus Christ ALONE has done EVERYTHING necessary for our salvation. Jesus said: “It is finished!” Believe it!

    Those that OBEY “NOT” THE GOSPEL, are those who think they have to do something themselves, they don’t believe Jesus Christ ALONE has done everything.

  29. 29 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Ralph said: “That isn’t the way it comes across. It comes across that your anti-Mormon agenda causes you to reject the commandments and other teachings of Jesus. You continually condemn those that teach the importance of obedience to the commandments.”

    First, I just want to say that we are NOT “anti-Mormon” We love Mormons and that is the truth. We love you too Ralph. What we truly are is anti-Mormonism. We are against the teachings of Mormonism because we believe they are false teachings that bring great harm to Mormons. Can you see the difference? If not, let me know.

    Ralph said: “So why do you disobey the commandments by making false claims about what Mormons believe. Why do you condemn those that do and teach the commandments?”

    We use official LDS sources to make our claims. We have no desire to get LDS Doctrine wrong. There is no point in getting it wrong. Often Mormons confuse our personal thoughts about Mormon Doctrine with Mormon Doctrine itself.

    We don’t condemn those that do and teach the commandments, we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved.

  30. 30 shematwater
    June 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    ECHO

    You are once again the bully. When you act in this manner it is impossible to accept the claim that you have any feeling besides contempt for Ralph or anyone who would dare disagree with you.

    Simply put Ralph answered you very well by comparing scripture, and your only reply is a personal attack on his character. Do you even have a reasonable reply to what he has said? It seems that you don’t and thus resort to bully tactics in an attempt to discredit him.

    And the contradiction of believing in the law and yet rejecting it shows the illogical nature of almost everything you have said. If you believe in the law how can you then reject it.
    It is like saying that you accept the President and then deny the need to obey the laws.
    How can any rational person accept such a strait and glaring contradiction in doctrine.

    JRB

    I am not surprised that all the things you mention were not in the reply Christ made, as they were not the subject of the conversation.

    However, neither are any of the things you assert he did reveal.
    Revealed that Jesus is God: While I agree he was, it does not say this in John 6: 45
    “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
    It is rather obvious that he is not is not claiming to be God, but rather separating himself from the Father, who is God.

    Revealed a triune God: Again this is not in the text.
    “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.”
    There is no mention of a triune God; not even a statement that God is one.

    I don’t think you really grasp the meaning and intent of this chapter.

    To General Readers

    Elder Ballard did not describe a man centered Gospel, but a gospel centered on Christ, but which has many other things appended to it, such as man and the commandments.
    Much like a wheel, Christ is at the center, or the axle that attaches to the wheel; but there are still spokes and a rim that make the wheel roll forward. The true gospel cannot move forward without Christ, but without everything else there is nothing for Christ to work with.

  31. 31 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Oh, yeah, I can just feel the love when you accuse us of sin.

    Using official LDS sources doesn’t help much when you misrepresent what you find there.

    “We have no desire to get LDS Doctrine wrong.”

    And you continually do so.

    “Often Mormons confuse our personal thoughts about Mormon Doctrine with Mormon Doctrine itself.”

    LOL!!!

    Often Evangelicals confuse our personal thoughts about Bible scripture with what the Bible actually says.

    “We don’t condemn those that do and teach the commandments, we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved.”

    Jesus included.
    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

  32. 32 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    And let’s not forget this gem.

    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.

  33. 33 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    That is classic psychological projection.

    PS. I noticed that you didn’t answer my question.

  34. 34 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Using LDS sources doesn’t prevent you from twisting them into something they are not.

  35. 35 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    “But nowhere does the Bible connect the word “gospel” with commands to us.”

    I does connect them, you just don’t want to see it.

    “No, the biblical gospel (good news) is all about what God has done for us – . . . ”

    Well, what has He done for us?

    1) Given us commandments (including the two mentioned).
    2) Sent His Son to give us repentance.
    3) Given the Holy Spirit to the obedient.
    4) Given us His Son for a perfect example.
    5) Given us His Son, as a sacrifice for sin.
    6) Given us the resurrection of His Son.

    Those are just some of the things “God has done for us”.

  36. 36 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Ralph said: “Oh, yeah, I can just feel the love when you accuse us of sin.”

    2 Corinthians 7:8-10 “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

    Proverbs 15:31 “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.”

    Proverbs 17:10 “A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.”

    Proverbs 19:25 “Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.”

    Proverbs 25:12 “Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.”

    Proverbs 27:5 “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”

    Proverbs 28:23 “He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.”

    Proverbs 29:1 “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.”

    ***

    Ralph said: “Using official LDS sources doesn’t help much when you misrepresent what you find there.”

    What has been misrepresented specifically? If you provide the details, we can discuss them.

    Ralph said: “Echo said: “We don’t condemn those that do and teach the commandments, we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved.” Jesus included. Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.””

    But you have left out Mathew 19:25-26 ” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?” Jesus looked at them and said, “WITH MAN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, but with God all things are possible.”

  37. 37 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Ralph said: “P.S. I noticed that you didn’t answer my question.”

    The Doctrine and Covenants is not in the Bible therefore there is no reason to answer your question.

  38. 38 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Ralph said: “1) Given us commandments (including the two mentioned).”

    When God commands us: to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and to love thy neighbor as thyself, all that those two commands do for us is to show us our “SIN” and how we will be declared “UNRIGHTEOUS.” These two commands put us to DEATH rather than bringing us to life…

    Romans 3:20 “Therefore NO ONE will be declared RIGHTEOUS in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

    Romans 7:9 “Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I DIED.”

    Romans 8:2 “…the law of sin and death”

    1 Corinthians 15:56 “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law”

    Romans 7:10 “I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.”

  39. 39 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Yeah, just like the Pharisees were showing love toward Jesus.

    John 9:16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
    . . .
    24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.

  40. 40 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Ralph said: “Using LDS sources doesn’t prevent you from twisting them into something they are not.”

    Show me where I have twisted your doctrine so I can stand corrected and get it right. I would appreciate that. Thanks.

  41. 41 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    “The Doctrine and Covenants is not in the Bible therefore there is no reason to answer your question.”

    That isn’t an answer to the question.

    Of course I realize that to answer the question will destroy your whole house of cards.

  42. 42 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I have done that several times in the past. Please feel free to go back through the threads to find them.

    I expect to do so in the future.

  43. 43 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    You and I are not Jesus Ralph. We both are sinners in need of rebuke.

    Proverbs 17:10 “A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.”

    Do rebukes impress you?

  44. 44 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Echo,

    If you really wanted to understand how we believe in those scriptures, I could explain it to you. But you are so blinded by your misinterpretation of Paul’s writings that you excluded the teachings of Jesus.

    Now if you were to reverse your process and take the teachings of Jesus as FACT and then reconcile Paul’s easy to misunderstand writings to what Jesus taught you would find Mormonism. But as long as you place your misunderstood writings of Paul in preeminence you will never understand.

  45. 45 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    That doesn’t change the “love” they were showing Jesus.

  46. 46 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I am willing to listen to you. Are you willing to listen to me in the event you are the one who is blind?

  47. 47 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    “But you have left out Mathew 19:25-26 ” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?” Jesus looked at them and said, “WITH MAN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, but with God all things are possible.””

    Yup, but that doesn’t change the fact that JESUS taught that obedience to the commandments led to eternal life, now does it.

    So, by your own admission, you condemn Jesus.

    “we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved”

    Jesus said (Matt. 19:17) . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    AND (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.

  48. 48 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Ralph said: “That isn’t an answer to the question. Of course I realize that to answer the question will destroy your whole house of cards.”

    Ralph, we do keep the commandments. We do want to endure to the end. We know we have eternal life already.

    God has given something to us…unconditional forgiveness and Eternal life.

    And because of that, we WANT to do something for God.

  49. 49 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Echo,

    You have just admitted to condemning Jesus for what He taught. And I shouldn’t find a problem with that?

  50. 50 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Explain.

  51. 51 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    But you DON’T have eternal life already, because you are still a mortal and you haven’t endured to the end. You have yet to die so you CAN’T have eternal life yet.

  52. 52 Ralph Peterson
    June 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    By your own admission, you condemn Jesus.

    “we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved”

    Jesus said (Matt. 19:17) . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    AND (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.

    Need I say more?

  53. 53 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Ralph said:

    *********

    “By your own admission, you condemn Jesus.

    “we condemn only those who do and teach the commandments as the way to be saved”

    Jesus said (Matt. 19:17) . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    AND (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.

    Need I say more?”

    ********

    Well okay, sure. Jesus taught TWO ways to be saved…

    1) Perfection through perfect obedience to the commandments but since none of us is perfect and can never be perfect, that way to be saved won’t work for any of us and we all will end up in outer darkness, because the Bible says: “All fall short”

    2) Trust(Believe) that Jesus had done everything for us and in our place so that we can KNOW we are saved.

  54. 54 Echo
    June 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Ralph said: “But you DON’T have eternal life already, because you are still a mortal and you haven’t endured to the end. You have yet to die so you CAN’T have eternal life yet.”

    I have absolute certainty the I have eternal life because Jesus has done everything necessary to assure me of that. Eternal life doesn’t depend on me or what I do. So I have absolute certainty right now that I will go there when I die.

    Enduring to the end simply means holding on to that message right there. Jesus said: “my yoke is easy” and it is!

  55. June 3, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Wow, I go to work and look what happens to this nice conversation.

    JBR: I would expect you to read that verse in such a manner, but let me enlighten you a bit. In that chapter, Jesus is without the disciples and those that were fed so miraculously by the loaves and fishes seek him and Jesus tells them that they are seeking him, not because of what he has taught and the miracle that happened, but because he gave them “food” literally.

    So He tells them, literal food will perish, but the “meat” that I can give you endures unto eternal life. Now here is something you may not have thought about. In the scriptures, Jesus speaks of “milk” and “meat”. Milk is used when he is talking about the basics. Meat is used when he speaks of the deeper things, the mysteries of the Gospel. (The mysteries include the concept of sealing as well, but we will save that for another conversation.)

    So he is saying that it is important for us to work toward learning much about the “works of God”, or in other words, the mysteries of the Gospel that can make miracles happen, that can enlighten the mind with the Spirit enough to have faith that can do miracles. God works by the power of faith. Faith has many layers…the first being a belief in God, in Jesus Christ and in the Atonement for all mankind. As that belief grows by learning more and moving from milk to meat, that faith becomes a power…a power strong enough to move mountains, part the Red Sea, feed 5000 with five loaves and two fishes…you get what I’m saying?

    So, they ask him, how do we have that kind of faith to do miracles? (verse 28)
    He responds with the first step: Believe in Jesus Christ.

  56. June 3, 2011 at 1:15 am

    God will not force us to seek the mysteries of the Gospel. But he has given us the Spirit and the scriptures to “work” to get beyond the milk and receive the meat. We can say, we believe and that is enough. But if you search and study the scriptures, you will find out for yourselves that he wants us to gain more light and knowledge. One of the ways we can do that is to do the work. The work I speak of is obeying the commandments, recieve the ordinances that he has revealed, etc. There is a reason we are to have charity and love one another and walk the walk that Jesus commanded us to do…it is because we cannot understand and receive more light without the “doing” of the word.

  57. June 3, 2011 at 1:17 am

    I believe if you let go of the contention you feel to argue, just because you have a conditioned response to disagree with Mormons, you will actually let the Spirit in to learn something here.

  58. 58 Ralph Peterson
    June 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I don’t see where Jesus taught either of those approaches to salvation.

    More false choices from Echo.

  59. 59 Ralph Peterson
    June 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    It is a conditioned response and unfortunately it drives them to reject many of the plain and precious truths found in the Bible.

    Tis sad.

  60. 60 Ralph Peterson
    June 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Having a certainty (that may be false) isn’t the same as having it in hand.

  61. 61 Ralph Peterson
    June 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Why should I believe something that is demonstrably false?

    I don’t know how many times I have to show you that “It is finished” doesn’t mean what you say it does.

    And NO WHERE is scripture does it say “Christ ALONE” has done everything. And to say so is to ignore NUMEROUS statements in scripture. Like “enduring to the end” for example, you have to do that yourself.

  62. 62 shematwater
    June 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    ECHO

    Let me see if I have this right.

    The only reason God gives commands is to show us what pathetic little retches we are so that we will grovel before him, in return for which he will ignore everything we have done.

    This is not love. If this is true than it is God rubbing it in our faces. It descibes the hight of conceit and contempt that any being can have for another.

    If a man was to do this he would be described as an arrogant jerk and ridiculed by most people who knew him. Yet, with God this is the epitomy of love and grace? It is illogical.

    You are right that Christ teaches obedience and faith as ways to be saved. You are simply in error when you separate them. It is not two different ways, but two parts of the same path that cannot be separated and still acheive the goal.

    Also, I see no place in the Bible where perfect obedience is required, and please do not use the “be thou therefore perfect,” because you are simlpy misunderstanding the concept. We will be perfect, just not in this life. All that is required in this life is that we prepare to be perfected in the next.

  63. 63 Echo
    June 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Have a good weekend folks.

  64. June 4, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Yes, it is sad. I feel though that if those reading this would actually study the scriptures, they would have their hearts and minds open to the truth. The scriptures they continue to quote to support their position are concerning the Law of Moses at the time those who Paul was addressing were living. If they take a moment to learn exactly what that law was, they may understand the scriptures and stop getting hung up on the whole law thing.

    From lds.org:
    Law of Moses: The name assigned to the whole collection of written laws given through Moses to the house of Israel, as a replacement of the higher law that they had failed to obey. The law of Moses consisted of many ceremonies, rituals, and symbols, to remind the people frequently of their duties and responsibilities.

    It included a law of carnal commandments and performances, added to the basic laws of the gospel. Faith, repentance, baptism in water, and remission of sins were part of the law, as were also the Ten Commandments. Although inferior to the fulness of the gospel, there were many provisions in the law of Moses of high ethical and moral value that were equal to the divine laws of any dispensation.

    The law of carnal commandments and much of the ceremonial law were fulfilled at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The law functioned under the Aaronic Priesthood and was a preparatory gospel to bring its adherents to Christ. See JST Ex. 34:1–2; Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:19, 24; Eph. 2:14–16; Heb. 7:11, 18–19; 9:7–14; 2 Ne. 25:24–30; Mosiah 12:27–13:32; 3 Ne. 9:17; 15:1–8; D&C 84:23–27.

    One of the major questions the early Church in Palestine had to decide was about the obligation of Christians to the ceremonial law of Moses. The matter was partially solved by the conference held in Jerusalem, as recorded in Acts 15 and Gal. 2. The Jewish Christians in particular had difficulty giving up the ritual of the law of Moses.

    The law as given through Moses was a good law, although adapted to a lower spiritual capacity than is required for obedience to the gospel in its fulness. However, the Jewish leaders had added many unauthorized provisions, ceremonies, and prohibitions to the original law, until it became extremely burdensome. These innovations were known as the “traditions of the elders.”

    By N.T. times among the Jews the law had become so altered it had lost much of its spiritual meaning almost to the point that the law was worshipped more than the Lord. It is this form of the law that is so harshly spoken against by Jesus and by Paul (see Matt. 15:1–9; Mark 7:1–13; Gal. 2:16–21).

  65. 65 Kent
    June 4, 2011 at 3:00 am

    shematwater said,

    “Also, I see no place in the Bible where perfect obedience is required, and please do not use the “be thou therefore perfect,” because you are simlpy misunderstanding the concept. We will be perfect, just not in this life. All that is required in this life is that we prepare to be perfected in the next.”

    The problem with the reasoning that we have the afterlife to become perfect is very dangerous as the Bible teaches just the opposite that we have just this lifetime to do so and then comes the judgement.

    Hebrews 9:27

    “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

    So we keep the whole law our whole lives without faltering without having a chance to be perfect on our own efforts after we die (the Law)

    OR

    We accept the free gift made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross in our place.

    It is all about Jesus and His work on the cross so just trust in what He did and believe in Him and you will be set free!

    You don’t have to wonder anymore if you are good enough to be with Heavenly Father when you leave this earth!

  66. 66 Kent
    June 4, 2011 at 3:26 am

    shematwater said,

    “Also, I see no place in the Bible where perfect obedience is required”

    James 2:10

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

    That is the standard we have to meet as we are either perfectly obedient or we are disobedient.

    But we can be perfect in God’s eyes if we just trust and believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place, sinner’s who cannot save ourselves, and rose again on the third day.

    Once again, Jesus’ death on the cross just didn’t give us a life in the afterlife with maybe some time in the distant future be able to be in eternity with Jesus and Heavenly Father but his death on the cross, to those who believe on His name, means we can be with Jesus and Heavenly Father forever!

    You can know that now just have faith!

    Of course that doesn’t give us a license to sin as Jesus said in Matthew 4:7, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

  67. June 4, 2011 at 3:45 am

    How dangerous? Read 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah…”

    Also, 1 Peter 4:5-6, “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

    I also find this interesting. Look at 1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” So you say we are evil and that our belief in doing good, loving our neighbor, having charity is a futile effort to be obedient to a law that you say Jesus Christ does not expect us to live by? Yet, read that verse again…how do you explain it?

    Then in 2 Peter, he goes on to say to be diligent, to add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, emperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity, and if these things be in you (because you are diligent in obtaining them), then in verse 10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

    Then further in 2 Peter, he goes on to talk about those who escape the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but then are again entangled in sin, it is worse for them…verse 21, “For it had been better for them not to have know the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”

    1 John 2:3-4, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

  68. 68 Kent
    June 4, 2011 at 3:49 am

    A side note on having to do certain works to have a chance to be good enough to progress to be worthy enough to be with Jesus and Heavenly Father.

    A pastor once told me, “it is none of my business if you give or not and I don’t even want to know how much or how little you give as that is between you and what God puts on your heart to give.”

    I know I can be in the presence of Jesus and Heavenly Father whether I give a little to my church, give a lot to my church, or don’t give anything to my church as it is all about Jesus’ blood on the cross and my belief in Him that gives me a place in heaven when I die and it is not about what I do.

    Yes, it is good to give to your church but if it is required, then there will be times when we are not cheerful givers and God wants us to be cheerful givers.

    My question to Mormons, can you, according to your churh’s teachings, be exalted in in the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom if you don’t tithe at least 10 percent to your church?

  69. June 4, 2011 at 3:53 am

    So using James, that you quoted from, look at 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction (exactly what Elder Ballard was talking about) and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” How does one keep himself unspotted from the world unless he is “doing something himself”. Verse 22, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

  70. June 4, 2011 at 4:10 am

    “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:8, 10).

    I see that you are under the assumption that we live by a check-off list and that we feel if we are doing each thing on the list, we make it to a certain kingdom. You couldn’t be more off base. Maybe you should read my blog and learn some things.

    Only the Lord knows our hearts. I only know my own, I cannot speak for you or anyone else when it comes to why I do the things the Lord commands me to do. I do them out of love and faith. If someone pays tithes just because they can check it off their list, then they are no better than the Pharisees, that Christ chastened for that very reason. But if they do it because in their heart, they know that the Lord has given them everything they have, so to return even a tenth to him, to help build his kingdom, is done in faith, knowing that no matter how much they give, they are still unprofitable servents…that nothing they doe “earns” them anything, yet they do them because the Lord requires them to follow him and obey His commandments.

  71. 71 shematwater
    June 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    KENT

    I think Kate did a wonderful job of answering you, but I will add a few things.

    The Hebrew quote does not say that perfection must be attained in this life. True perfection in this life is not possible, and no one ever claimed it was. However, a kind of perfection is possible, for both Job and Noah were declared perfect men before God. This means that they did everything in their power to obey God and follow his example.
    All that is required in this life is an honest striving to attain perfection. As Kate said, if we love God and believe in him then we strive to be like him and obey his commands. This is all that is asked of us, and if we are faithful we will be perfected in the next life.

    James 2: 10. Using just the one verse does not give you the full meaning of James’ words. When we take the whole passage together we see a very different picture than the one you claim.
    James is not teaching that absolute perfect obedience is required. What he is saying is “don’t think that you can excuse even the smallest sins.” It is the idea that one can indulge in even a single sin. Going off LDS examples, I remember the story of the woman who made the comment “I don’t believe God will keep me out of Heaven just for one cup of coffee in the morning.” This is the attitude that James is warning against, for it is an attitude of direct defiance of God’s law, and thus makes you guilty of all of it.
    One cannot knowingly indulge in any sin and be saved. However, a person who honestly strive to rid himself of all sin, crying for forgiveness every time he does sin, and slowly makes progress in overcoming; that person, despite the fact that they fail on occassion, will be saved, for he has honored all the law without excuse.

    At to the idea of a check-list, I will disagree with Kate a little here, for I do believe there is a check list. After all, Baptism is requried for the Celestial Kingdom, and Temple Marriage is required for exaltation. Considering the many things required to receive either of these ordinances there is deffinitely a check list.
    However, there is an supportive faith without which the checklist does no good. It is explained beautifully in a talk this past conference about “To Be” and “To Do.” Both are required for salvation. We must be like God, and we must do the works of God. But, as it explains, to do without to be is hypocracy, and thus the check list becomes a condemnation of the person rather than a salvation. On the other hand, to be without to do is self denial, and thus the supportive faith looses all effect.
    It is only when we combine the two, when we be and do what God asks, that we gain salvation.

  72. June 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Nicely said, shematwater. The point I was trying to make about the checklist is the attitude of a “checklist”. If we view our lives such that the sacred ordinances of the Gospel are just “items” we have to check off to get somewhere, instead of desiring them with a fulness of faith that these things will bring us closer to seeing God face to face, then I think we are missing something. When young in testimony, we are more inclined to start out that way, with a “checklist” mentality. However, as we grow in our faith and testimony, we shed that mentality because our hearts desire to partake of that precious fruit from the tree of life. That is why opposition, which brings about trials and adversity is so important in this life. The sweet taste so much better than the bitter, we began to seek after the things of God and what will bring us to him fully, even face to face.

    I hope that those here, who will not let the Spirit teach them because they are hardening their hearts…simply because they have been taught to think we teach a false Gospel, will set aside their conditioned responses and search the scriptures. Ask God if what we are saying is true. It is my prayer that they might set aside the hate in their hearts and let the Spirit work in them.

  73. 73 Echo
    June 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    KATE,

    LDS people such as yourself have a tremendous zeal for God. I personally find that most LDS people have great sincerity and devotion to their beliefs. That’s admirable. I am thankful to God that he has given me a sincere and deep love for Mormons but I am also thankful to God that other Christians posting here also have a sincere and deep love for Mormons.

    Both Mormons and Christians each have the wholehearted desire to follow James 1:27 which says… “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
    and verse 22 “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

    What do you think James 2:10 is saying?…

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

  74. 74 Kent
    June 6, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Kate, we don’t have a hatred for Mormons, but as Echo stated, we have a love for them and that is why we take the time to point out the dangers of Mormon doctrine.

    There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that after we die we have have more chances to meet the perfection Heavenly Father requires of us to be in His presence. So if we can’t meet this requirment and both you and we would agree that this is impossible, then what is the solution? At the end of this post I will again point out the solution to this.

    How else can it be explaned that the following passage doesn’t say that we live, we die, and they we are subject to God’s judgment?

    Hebrews 9:27

    “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

    I have to ask, according to Mormon teachings, do most people, even unbelievers go to at least the lowest level of heaven where they will spend enternity in relative comfort?

    If so, this is a dangerous doctrine as the Bible teaches that unbelievers are condemned to the hell fire. They are not condemned to the lowest level of heaven as people not written in the book of life, unbelievers, are cast into the lake of fire (hell).

    John 3:18

    “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.”

    Revelation 21:8

    “But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    Revelation 20:15

    “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

    The true gospel is stated below and that is the solution:

    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 whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”

    Saved doesn’t mean to just be able to live in the afterlife with a chance, of someday maybe hundreds or even thousands of years from now, of being with Heavenly Father, but saved means that we know for sure we will be in His loving arms when we leave this earth! So call on the name of the Lord and trust in what He alone did for us! Read the Bible without the Mormon prism that has been engrained in you over the years.

    Again, unsaved (unbelieving) means being in the fiery depths of hell.

  75. June 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

    First of all, I’d like to say that genuine love for all people is a Christ-like attribute. I would like to think that most people really do have that love, though, all the years I have been around, I would actually find it not as truthful as I would like it to be. I hope that yours is sincere.

    What I see with the pattern of questioning that keeps coming up, though, is not really a love for Mormons, but a phrase used in many ministries’ “Witnessing to Mormons” guides, that actually teach methods to find ways into doctrinal conversations to attack, confuse, belittle, etc. What I find sad is how much work goes into some churches to “break” a Mormon of his beliefs…to find a way to do this to those who maybe are weak in their faith, or understanding of Doctrine. Funny thing is, one of the jokes within some of these ministries is how young, fresh and not so knowledgeable our young missionaries are and how they are the best targets because of that.

    How refreshing it is to me, that the Lord calls missionaries, who are young and humble, at the beginning of their journey in life to witness to others of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is because being young in their knowledge, pride has not entered in and the Spirit can work through them. They are there to declare the message of Jesus Christ, to help others onto the path of faith, repentance, baptism, and reception of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit is the one that converts.

    Nowhere in our meetings do we devise devious methods to break Non-LDS Christians of their beliefs, how to attack, confuse, or belittle them, etc. We simply try to share with you what we know to be true. Unfortunately, some people online, members of the Church and non-members alike, can get a little hot under the collar and respond to each other contentiously.
    I wish that weren’t the case, but people are people…we all fall short, right? However, contention makes the Spirit flee. So I hope that anyone here who might want to respond with contention will hold back.

    The truth is that we do believe differently. I am hearing what you believe, backed by how you are reading the scriptures (though I am amazed at how you will only read a verse to stand on its own without the whole chapter and context in which it was given and what people were being taught and under what circumstances they were living, etc.). I have been backing up our beliefs (trying to use only the Bible, being thoughtful of your disbelief in other scripture), with sound interpretations and context of the chapters they are in. You have not been able to dispute them.

  76. June 6, 2011 at 6:01 am

    The scripture you have asked me about is James 2:10.
    First, start at the 1st chapter of James. It is such a beautiful Epistle. 1:22-27, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

    For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

    But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
    If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

    Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This is all self-explanatory I believe.

    Chapter 2 goes on to talk about how we should love our neighbors as ourselves and if we do, we “do” well.
    2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    I think this can refer to the spirit of obedience to the Law of God. The laws of the Kingdom of God are perfect. It is a perfect Kingdom and its laws must be obeyed. I think we are in agreement that we are imperfect and require redemption. That is why the Atonement was necessary and that no man could enter the Kingdom of God without the sacrifice our Savior made for us. No one can enter unless he is cleansed from all sin. That can only happen by the atoning blood of our Savior.

    Do I need to post the rest of that chapter? I think you already know how it backs up our belief that he requires us to do as he did. Verse 24, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

    We do not believe that all you need to do is confess a belief in Jesus Christ to attain eternal salvation. We also do not believe that our works earn that for us. We believe that we must accept Christ by faith, repent and change our lives to be in accordance to his teachings, be doers of his works because of the love we have for Him, and help to build the kingdom of God here on the earth as he has commanded. These are the things we believe we must do and endure to the end in order to receive the grace that is offered.
    He freely offers it to us, but “what shall we do” to receive it? Acts 2:37-47, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    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.”
    He says that promise is for all…and that this must they do to “save yourselves” from this crooked generation. So they were baptized and “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in taking the sacrament, in prayers, they sold all their goods and shared with all those in need, “and they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house…”

    So, why is it that when we say these things the Lord requires us to do…you tell us that we have a false gospel? Yet, plainly this is taught in the Bible.
    A passage of scripture in the Book of Mormon testifies of our need for the Savior so eloquently.

    2Nephi 2:6-9
    “Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of god, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.”

  77. June 6, 2011 at 6:04 am

    I will have to address your questions tomorrow…after work. However, I believe I have answered some of them in previous posts. You may want to go back and reread all of my replies.

    I chuckle that you say “dangers of Mormon Doctrine”. I will address that as well.

    Till tomorrow evening!

  78. 78 Echo
    June 6, 2011 at 8:06 am

    KATE,

    Thank you for all your thoughts. Christians do wholeheartedly believe in being doers of the word and in keeping God’s commandments.

    But back to James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    How much does this passage say we are guilty of if we only offend in one point? What do you think it means to “offend in one point”?

    Kate said: “No one can enter unless he is cleansed from all sin. That can only happen by the atoning blood of our Savior.”

    Can you possibly explain this to me more so I can be sure I understand what you mean?

    Kate asked: “So, why is it that when we say these things the Lord requires us to do…you tell us that we have a false gospel? Yet, plainly this is taught in the Bible.”

    My answer would be that all of “these things the Lord requires us to do” are considered “Law” not “Gospel”

    While we as Christians wholeheartedly desire to obey the law, we are not saved through or by the law, we have already been saved by grace through the gospel.

  79. 79 Kent
    June 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Echo asked Kate,

    Kate said: “No one can enter unless he is cleansed from all sin. That can only happen by the atoning blood of our Savior.”

    Can you possibly explain this to me more so I can be sure I understand what you mean?

    It sounds like she is saying that works don’t get us into the presence of Heavenly Father, that the Mormon checklist, even if done cheerfully, doesn’t get anyone there that it is only by the blood of Jesus. If this is what she meant, then, Amen!

    That is what we have been saying all along that nothing but the blood of Jesus and it is what He did on the cross and His rising from the dead on the third day that gets us there and it is not about anything we do if we just believe in Him!

  80. June 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

    First I would like to go to the very beginning of this discussion. The whole debate began over criticizing an Apostle of the LDS church for talking about the commandments Jesus gave us and how they encompass the gospel. Your criticism is that the gospel only means “good news”.

    Take a moment and peruse a few dictionaries and you will see that the most common usage denotes the good news along with the teachings, precepts, truths, etc. Being that is the standard concept of what gospel means, I would say that crying out foul against our church is rather telling of the desire to trash our beliefs as well as turn others against the truths that we teach.

    Here are a couple examples (I give you one from a very old source and one from a newer one):
    From Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary:

    The term is often used to express collectively the gospel doctrines; and ‘preaching the gospel’ is often used to include not only the proclaiming of the good tidings, but the teaching men how to avail themselves of the offer of salvation, the declaring of all the truths, precepts, promises, and threatenings of Christianity.” It is termed “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23), “the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16), “the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15), “the glorious gospel,” “the everlasting gospel,” “the gospel of salvation” (Eph. 1:13).

    From the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

    Definition:
    1. any of the four books of the Bible which contain details of the life of Jesus Christ

    2. the teachings of Jesus Christ

  81. June 7, 2011 at 1:50 am

    I suggest you read what I wrote. Many of the questions that you guys keep giving me were thouroughly answered. I am going back and reading myself right now and if I see something I wasn’t clear about, I will re-address it.

    Also, do not put words into my mouth. Your running in circles trying to twist what I said and that doesn’t come across very nice.

    Kent said: “and it is not about anything we do if we just believe in Him!”

    Are you not reading any of the passages I have shown you? You guys don’t even give them thought? I wonder…is it hard to reconcile what your reading, with what you have been taught for so long and it scares you?

    Clearly the New Testament teaches that the gift of salvation is provided by grace, but is only available to those who repent and are baptized.

    Romans 2: 6-10 says, (God)” who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient, continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

    Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil…

    But glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good…”

    Jesus confirmed this when he answered the certain ruler’s question (Luke 18:18-22) when he asked “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered, “thou knowest the commandments…” and he listed them, and the ruler said, “all these I have kept from my youth up.” And Jesus didn’t say, well you didn’t need to do those, I only gave those to you to show you how you could never measure up…no, he said, “Yet thou lackest one thing.” That statement right there is saying, yes, those I want you to do, but you are lacking one other thing. The other thing was “come follow me.”

    Hebrews tells us “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love

    And good works:”

    “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”

    “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

    “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

    What those scriptures say is this: endure with faith, love, and good works. For if we sin, after receiving the truth, then the sacrifice will not cover us. So, don’t let go of such a great reward. Have patience, that after you “do” the will of God, you will receive the promise.

    Now, please don’t flood me again with all the verses that you use to prove that works are bad. Go back and read what I wrote about the Law of Moses at that time. Learn the history behind the scriptures…it will help your understanding.

  82. June 7, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Oh, and incase I wasn’t clear what he means by come follow me, and doing the will of God…remember, Jesus told his disciples to preach repentance and baptism and keep my commandments.

  83. 83 shematwater
    June 7, 2011 at 4:09 am

    ECHO

    You said “But back to James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
    How much does this passage say we are guilty of if we only offend in one point? What do you think it means to “offend in one point”?”

    That would depend on what constitutes an offense. A truly penatent person who makes a few mistakes due to the frail and weak nature of the mortal existance; or a person who knowlingly violates the law without true contrition.

    I would say that James is speaking of those who knowingly and without contrition violate the law. As Kate has pointed out, in chapter one he is ridiculing those who are “hearers” and not “doers” of the word. In other words, those who hear and know the laws of God but still go against them without thought. Then, later in chapter two he talks of believing without having the works and says that such has no power to save.
    So we see that James is not talking about the simple failings of the mortal life, but about those who truly offend the law (not just break it, but actually oppose it) in their actions but violating it and then trying to excuse themselves because of their faith.

    Now, let me ask you a simple question, and Kent or anyone else can answer it if they like.

    If works are not required, what is to stop a person from being the most vile sinner and still be saved? In other words, once a person has faith is it possible for them to fall, or is it “once saved always saved?”

    KENT

    You asked if the majority of people with be in at least the lowest level of heaven, and then gave several quotes to try and contradict the idea. Let me give you one that proves it without question.
    Matthew 12: 31 “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”
    This is reiterated in Mark 3: 28 “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be fogiven unto the sons of men, and blaphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme.”

    Now, you may notice the very definite “shall” in both of these verses. They do not say they can be forgiven, thus making it only a possibility. They say they shall be forgiven, making it a garauntee. All sin shall be forgiven, except the blasphame of the Holy Ghost.
    If all sin shall be forgiven how could God be just and still condemn those whom he has forgiven to hell?

    As to all your quotes, John 3: 18 speaks to the condemnation that all who do not receive a Celestial Glory will suffer, for they are forever condemned to be out of the presence of our Father. Revelation 21: 8 and Revelation 20: 15 both speak to the wicked being cast into the lake of fire (a figure of speech, not an actual description) but neither states how long they will suffer in that state. Since both only speak to the time of the Milenium, which is before the final judgement, it is reasonable to assume these verses mean that they will suffer only for this amount of time (1000 years). As such neither verse would mandate complete barment from heaven.

  84. 84 Echo
    June 7, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Kate,

    Kate said: ” It is termed “the GOSPEL of the GRACE of God” (Acts 20:24)”

    Notice the word “GRACE” in that verse? Now compare that with this verse…

    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 it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

    Kate said: “the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15)”

    Can you tell me about the peace you have? Do you have peace?

  85. June 7, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Echo, you keep doing the same runaround with the same singled out verses. That can’t feel very secure to you. You keep wanting to jump through the same hoops. Why? Is that all you have? Please understand, I ask these things with sincerity. I am not trying to belittle you. Why can’t you address any of the things I have brought to your attention?

    For that matter, as I have perused some of the discussions in previous posts, you guys keep doing the same thing there as well. You don’t address anything that shows you are not clearly understanding the scriptures or what was being taught. It seems that instead of actually talking about it, you jump back to square one, completely ignoring the truth. Then you go to name-calling and stating lies about what we believe. It comes across as this: “oh dear, they are sounding right…I need to make them sound bad again, or people are going to believe what they say…” Some people will see through that, I can assure you.

    That is the only reason I am taking this much time out of my evenings…it is for those who are reading and actually finding out the truth…the real truth. There ARE intelligent people out there who get it.

    As for your last question to me…Yes, a resounding yes! My heart is full, my joy is full, I am filled with peace amidst much turmoil that surrounds the earth right now. I have joy because of the Gospel, the true Gospel. I have been able to share the Gospel with many people because they want to know where that peace and that joy comes from.

  86. June 7, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I hope you take a true look at all that was discussed. There is much to learn.

    I want to leave you with a verse before I leave tonight.

    Colossians 1:10-12 says, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;…”

    Ponder on that for a while. Until tomorrow ;o)

  87. 87 Echo
    June 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Kate said: “Echo, you keep doing the same runaround with the same singled out verses. That can’t feel very secure to you. You keep wanting to jump through the same hoops. Why? Is that all you have?”

    If you mean James 2:10, I did bring that up twice because I still don’t understand how your response directly addresses that particular scripture verse. I would rather ask you to explain what you mean again and more clearly than put words in your mouth that you didn’t say or misunderstand what you mean to say.

    Kate said: “Why can’t you address any of the things I have brought to your attention?”

    Forgive me, I thought I was addressing the things you brought to my attention. I thought you weren’t addressing the things I brought up though. :)

    Kate said: ” It seems that instead of actually talking about it, you jump back to square one, completely ignoring the truth.”

    I don’t ignore anything anyone says, I do try to listen to whatever people say. :)

    Kate said: “Then you go to name-calling and stating lies about what we believe. It comes across as this: “oh dear, they are sounding right…I need to make them sound bad again, or people are going to believe what they say…” Some people will see through that, I can assure you.”

    I think Kate, you need to stop judging us as if we are evil because all of your conclusions are wrong because they stem from that incorrect preconception you have. Why don’t you just assume from here on out that our hearts are as kind and loving as yours and perhaps you will see the things we say in a whole different light.

    Kate said: “As for your last question to me…Yes, a resounding yes! My heart is full, my joy is full, I am filled with peace amidst much turmoil that surrounds the earth right now. I have joy because of the Gospel, the true Gospel. I have been able to share the Gospel with many people because they want to know where that peace and that joy comes from.”

    Thank you for sharing. Do your sins ever rob you of peace?

    What are your thoughts on the other point I made that you missed?

  88. June 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I have to go to work, so don’t have time right now, but wanted to answer your question, “Do your sins ever rob you fo peace? That just tells me you aren’t listening to a word we are saying. Please go back and read everything. The answer is No…because I am repentant, because I completely understand the Atonement! Good grief…and our conclusions are not wrong. I am not judging you. I am judging what you are saying. Our conclusions couldn’t be more right. They are the “gospel” truth ;)

  89. 89 Echo
    June 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Kate,

    Kate said: “That just tells me you aren’t listening to a word we are saying”

    Kate, can you stop judging please? I am listening.

  90. June 8, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Echo,
    I did answer you about James 2:10.
    I will explain further if it will help. I believe that it is speaking of the spirit of obedience (which I said earlier). Let me explain:

    In Deuteronomy 5:29, Moses is telling the Israelites that the Lord said to them, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”

    John 14:21 says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

    Also, John 15:10, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (He set the example for us by following his Father).

    When we do these things, we can have the Spirit fully with us…John 14:15-17 “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.”

    And, Revelation 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.”

    So, doing His will, is keeping the commandments. To have a heart that desires to keep them all is to have a spirit of obedience. To be selective, to not really care, to feel that it doesn’t matter, is not the spirit of obedience but yet another spirit that we would have with us when we knowingly break one, that is the spirit that would tempt us to break them all. Someone who doesn’t hesitate to break a commandment, would most likely break others. That is not a spirit of obedience.

    That is what I feel that scripture alludes to. Does having the spirit of obedience in our hearts mean we are perfect? No, we cannot be perfect yet…Jesus Christ died to make up for our imperfectness…yet, if we do not have that spirit of obedience, and do not sincerely repent, it avails us nothing. I think I made that point earlier, but hope this explanation helps.

    Next, Echo, I would like to apologize if you felt I was judging you. It was not how I wanted you to feel, I was just making an observation that it seemed every time I quote scripture along with an explanation that backs up LDS belief, you appear to disregard them because you don’t acknowledge that I made my point and fully backed it up.

    If you feel I haven’t addresses your questions, please re-read. I feel that I have explained your verses about works and the law by giving you reading material about the law of Moses during that time. That is my explanation for the verses you have used regarding this.

    I also feel that I may have had a misconception of how you were coming across by confusing you with the many others who have posted not only on this post but others on the blog that set a tone of hatred toward us. For that I sincerely apologize. You have been respectful as best you can, however, the disregard of the Gospel as false saddens me. I truly feel that if you read and study and ask Heavenly Father to enlighten your mind, you will see that we aren’t teaching a “false” Gospel.

    I feel Mark’s initial post was a huge error of judgment. We are being told that Mormons believe the Gospel to be the two great commandments. I have clearly shown you that the talk rightly says those commandments “encompass”, which means “surrounds” the Gospel.

    Also, I proved to you that the common definition from hundreds of years ago until now, means not only that Christ died for us and was resurrected, but also includes His teachings, commandments, doctrine, etc. so to blast us because of a talk that spoke of Jesus’ two great commandments that he gave us as “encompassing” the Gospel doesn’t make any sense…such a one “That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought”(Isaiah 29:21), cannot be serving God.

    I hope you will think on these things and again, read about the Law of Moses at the time Paul was speaking to the church.

  91. 91 Echo
    June 8, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Thank you for your kind post Kate,

    Thank you also for your further explanation on James 2:10. I think it was helpful, at least I hope I understand you better…

    Kate said: “To have a heart that desires to keep them all is to have a spirit of obedience. To be selective, to not really care, to feel that it doesn’t matter, is not the spirit of obedience but yet another spirit that we would have with us when we knowingly break one, that is the spirit that would tempt us to break them all. Someone who doesn’t hesitate to break a commandment, would most likely break others. That is not a spirit of obedience. ”

    Okay, so the person that you coined as having: “a spirit of obedience,” is a person who desires to obey all the commandments, yet still sins and sincerely repents. The other person you described is not serious about obedience or repentance but just sins whenever they choose to or maybe they desire to just keep some commandments but disregard the one’s they don’t want to keep etc.

    Would you agree that the person with “a spirit of obedience” , when they sin, stumble into sin? When I use the word “stumble” I am thinking of the analogy in scripture of a person in a race. I think you would know the analogy I am referring to, if not, let me know and I can find the scripture verse for you. Anyways, when I think of that analogy, I have a picture of a person running in a race, they are running towards the finish line meaning they have a spirit of obedience and desire to obey all the commandments. But while they are running along to the finish line, they perhaps stumble on a stone or and twig or a dip in the road and fall down(stumble into sin), but they get up, wipe off the dirt, and carry on running.

    The “selective” person isn’t serious about the race, he may run some of the way, he may walk some of the way, he may choose to sit or lay by the side of the road, but he doesn’t stumble, he lays down on the side of the road or on the road intentionally.

    Would you agree with that? I certainly don’t want to put words in your mouth so I would rather ask if you would agree with that.

    Kate said: “Next, Echo, I would like to apologize if you felt I was judging you. It was not how I wanted you to feel, I was just making an observation that it seemed every time I quote scripture along with an explanation that backs up LDS belief, you appear to disregard them because you don’t acknowledge that I made my point and fully backed it up.”

    It’s probably good for me to explain that I won’t always verbally acknowledge all points that are made. But I am listening intently to everything that is said. Sometimes I don’t verbally acknowledge points because I actually agree with them and feel an excellent point has been made. Sometimes I don’t agree with the point made but I don’t verbally respond because I don’t want to pick apart every single point that is made that I disagree with. I think Ralph, one of the LDS men posting here, can testify that while I may come across as not listening , he did learn that this was not actually the case with me. When he and I discussed a particular point back and forth, he was Surprised to learn that I was listening so well in fact, that I had to let him know that the point he made was absolutely more scriptural than mine.

    Kate said: “I feel Mark’s initial post was a huge error of judgment. We are being told that Mormons believe the Gospel to be the two great commandments. I have clearly shown you that the talk rightly says those commandments “encompass”, which means “surrounds” the Gospel. ”

    Mark and I, have no desire nor reason to intentionally misrepresent LDS teachings. Of course we are imperfect human beings just like everyone else and could mess up unintentionally. But we do try our best to present LDS teachings as accurately as we possibly can. We are trying to reach LDS people here, not NON LDS people. And the fact of the matter is that LDS people know their own teachings very well so If we intentionally misrepresented LDS teachings, we are wasting our time here day after day after day trying to reach LDS people aren’t we. So from our perspective, there is no point or purpose at all in misrepresenting LDS teachings.

    We provide ONLY official LDS sources here. When we present LDS teachings here in this blog, we use LDS quotes which really speak on behalf of Mormonism for themselves. That’s why we welcome you to share more of the context of LDS quotes if you feel we havn’t given enough context. All of that is more than welcome here and appreciated.

    We then take what we see there in those LDS teachings and give “our” perspective on those teachings. Generally this is where we get charged with misrepresenting LDS teachings which isn’t really the case because the perspective we give is “our” perspective of LDS teachings. Most of the time, the LDS folks who post here misunderstand what we mean and that is when we get charged with misrepresenting LDS beliefs. Granted, I am also learning over time to try and think of more and better ways to communicate more clearly with the LDS so they don’t misunderstand what we mean but I am still a work in progress as I am sure Mark is also.

    We do always welcome the feedback of the LDS on these points, that gives us the opportunity to see where we have been misunderstood so that we can explain ourselves (hopefully) more clearly. We appreciate your patience with us in this.

    Kate said: “I feel Mark’s initial post was a huge error of judgment. We are being told that Mormons believe the Gospel to be the two great commandments. I have clearly shown you that the talk rightly says those commandments “encompass”, which means “surrounds” the Gospel. ”

    I think this may be a good example of what I mean when I say the LDS misunderstand what we mean and then get hurt or offended by it thinking we have willfully misrepresented LDS beliefs.

    Mark’s point wasn’t that these two commands are all that there is to the LDS Gospel but that the LDS gospel contains “commands to us” whereas our gospel doesn’t contain any commands to us. I know that Mark and myself both would acknowledge that the LDS Gospel is this: “Kate said: Also, I proved to you that the common definition from hundreds of years ago until now, means not only that Christ died for us and was resurrected, but also includes His teachings, commandments, doctrine, etc”
    But Mark is simply trying to focus in on one particular point in the LDS gospel.

    I also would like to take the time to let you know that we aren’t “blasting” the LDS. I realize sometimes online it is very difficult to know whether a person is speaking gently and in love or is blasting someone. I would like to assure you that we do desire to obey God when he asks us to speak gently and with much love for the LDS people.

    Sorry this is so long, but I did try to address all of your points.

  92. June 8, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it. We must be in time zones with many hours between us. I will have to post tomorrow evening again, and will try to respond to the questions. One thing I would like to say, though, before I go…my heart goes out to the LDS people, who may be struggling, or weak in their faith. You mentioned they know very well the teachings, yet, I’m sure in your own congregations, you will see a mixture of those who study the word and those who don’t. Some are just babes in the gospel and really don’t have a firm grasp on all doctrine, they just know that the spirit witnessed the truth. Thus, many can be led astray when people speak as though they are knowledgeable in things they really aren’t. I can assure you, that those who fall away, do not fall away because the gospel demands too much. I’ll save that for another discussion. Gotta go now.

  93. 93 Echo
    June 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I came across a video on the contrast between the false gospel of RELIGION and the one true gospel of REDEMPTION…

    Religion verses Redemption…

    Please keep in mind that I don’t agree with all of Driscol’s doctrines, beliefs, doings. But this video is in agreement with what I believe. Which is the ONLY reason I would refer to something by Driscol.

  94. June 9, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Echo,
    I’m not completely clear with what exactly you are trying to ask me, but I will say this. I spoke of what I believed that scripture might have been referring to.

    Stumbling into sin? I’m not really sure where you are going with that. I think maybe you and I see things a bit different when it comes to taking one verse and using it as an absolute. I would have to meditate on that whole chapter to really “get it”.

    I think anyone can fall into sin. However, if someone is following Christ and feasting on His Words, they walk in the “light”. I believe they have no desire for sin. If they do fall into sin, or “stumble” as you would say, then I believe it would be because in some way or another, they have allowed something in to lessen the light.

    I would not want to stand in any judgment though of anyone’s stumbling though. Only the Lord knows the whys and what someone is capable of understanding. That is why he says, in Luke 12:48:

    “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

    But, back to the stumbling. Anyone who sins, can turn from the path they are on, do works meet for repentance, and be baptized. (Acts 26:20)

    Now in response to your video. I disagree completely with what he is saying. I can only speak for my own religion, but we do not teach that if you don’t do what God says, he will not love you. That is a blatant lie in this man’s video. It’s what he begins his whole premise on and that makes the whole video unworthy of watching.

    Our Heavenly Father loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. He loved us enough to give us commandments to follow so that we could learn to be like Him and return to Him. As our own earthly fathers would not stop loving us if we make mistakes, even bad ones, our Heavenly Father loves us as well and His arms are open always. He loves us so much that He provided a way for us to return to him. No unclean thing can enter where he is. We are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ if we do what He asked us to do. He has mercy on us, as he did the woman taken in adultery, He nevertheless told her, “Go, and sin no more.” John 8:11

    Do you really want to use this man’s analogy? Would you really love your child and not give them rules that you would expect them to obey? Do you really think churches teach that God only loves them conditionally? Or that He loves them enough to ask them to seek and be taught by His Word what they need to do to return into his presence. Remember, He gave us agency to choose. Because of that, He won’t force His will on us, but hopes that we will desire His will for us enough to follow His commandments. We choose life or death. He loves us nonetheless. Sadly, there is so much more to this doctrine that gives so much hope even for those who feel hopeless…but you are spending so much energy to make sure those who don’t understand it all, yet, don’t ever understand it and abandon their faith.

    In the end, if we are right and have the fullness of the Gospel, how will you feel for doing that? I say, “if”, but this I “know” without a doubt. For the witness I have received I am so thankful for. It is because of that, that I feel so driven to help you to see what harm you are doing. I do believe that you are not realizing what you are really doing…that you truly believe you are trying to help others. I don’t think you have a bad heart…rather just one that has been deceived. I only pray that you will come to see this one day and if you do, that you will work just as hard to undo the harm you have caused by pulling people from the truth they just didn’t fully understand.

    I don’t have time to delve more into this, but I think you get what I’m saying. A very disturbing video and blatant lie about religion. I know there are some Christian denominations that might teach that, but ours is not one of them.

  95. 95 Echo
    June 9, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Kate said: “Stumbling into sin? I’m not really sure where you are going with that”

    I think of “stumbling into sin” as sinning unintentionally. Like someone running in a race and tripping on a twig or stone or dip in the road. They don’t fall intentionally but by accident. Would you agree with that?

    Kate said: “That is a blatant lie in this man’s video.”

    This isn’t a video about “Mormonism” specifically. It is a video about ALL False Religion. It is a video that shows the contrasts between what the Bible teaches (Redemption) and what False Religion teaches. This video is summing up the major false teachings of all the false religions of the world and comparing that to redemption.

    Kate said: ” It’s what he begins his whole premise on and that makes the whole video unworthy of watching.”

    Did you watch the whole video?

  96. 96 Ralph Peterson
    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Yup, that sums it up perfectly.

    Around and around they go.

    You are doing a wonderful job. But be careful, if help Echo paint himself into a corner, he will accuse you of sin.

  97. 97 Ralph Peterson
    June 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    That should read, “But be careful, if YOU help Echo paint himself into a corner, he will accuse you of sin.

  98. 98 jbr
    June 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Shemawater,

    The point of me mentioning about John 6:46 and “God” was not to focus that the Trinity was being mentioned ….. it was to get Mormons like yourself to see that Jesus was calling himself more than just a “parsonage”………..

    A gospel that is centered on the wrong understanding of who Christ is and what he offers….is still a man centered gospel. Case in point:

    .—————> “but without everything else there is nothing for Christ to work with” become it.

  99. 99 Echo
    June 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Kate said: “Would you really love your child and not give them rules that you would expect them to obey?”

    This isn’t the message I got from the video, can you tell me where in the video you got this impression?

  100. 100 Echo
    June 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Kate said: “our Heavenly Father loves us as well and His arms are open always. He loves us so much that He provided a way for us to return to him”

    What is the way you return to him?

  101. 101 Echo
    June 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Kate said: “Do you really think churches teach that God only loves them conditionally? ”

    I am not sure what you are referring to here, can you explain?

  102. 102 Echo
    June 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Kate said: “No unclean thing can enter where he is”

    How do you become clean?

  103. 103 jbr
    June 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Shemawater,

    The point of me mentioning about John 6:46 and “God” was not to focus that the Trinity was being mentioned ….. it was to get Mormons like yourself to see that Jesus was calling himself more than just a “parsonage”………..

    A gospel that is centered on the wrong understanding of who Christ is and what he offers….is still a man centered gospel.
    Case in point:

    .—————> “but without everything else there is nothing for Christ to work with” become it. <———————

    The true gospel doesn't have Christ having nothing to work with.
    The true gospel doesn't have human participation beyond "to believe"

    As Ralph puts it ….. "the ladder "
    In Mormonism …. "Do all you can do"

    Christ doesn't throw a life preserver with a rope attached .. waiting for you to hold on as you prove worthiness and agency.
    Christ IS the preserver … no ropes …. no proving worthiness ….. no agency.

    A man made gospel presents the idea that people are swimming down stream capable of partially \ fully rescuing themself.
    Jesus' point about the commandments as "if you obey" ………..
    It is equivalent to swimming up stream in the Niagara Falls at the point of no return

  104. 104 jbr
    June 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Kate ……………….you said:
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    If they do fall into sin, or “stumble” as you would say, then I believe it would be because in some way or another, they have allowed something in to lessen the light.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    and followed up by saying:

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    “I would not want to stand in any judgment though of anyone’s stumbling though. Only the Lord knows the whys and what someone is capable of understanding. ”
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Then you’re saying ……….. that ultimately you stand in the way of yourself because of what you believe in your first statement.
    Then you’re saying ……….. that forgiveness as defined by Mormonism is standing in judgment

  105. 105 Ralph Peterson
    June 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    “Did you watch the whole video?”

    Nope! Didn’t want to waste my time. The Bible is good enough for me.

  106. 106 Ralph Peterson
    June 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    It is called obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  107. 107 Ralph Peterson
    June 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    It is called the principle of Repentance. It is part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    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?

    Lest some say Jesus didn’t teach repentance, what did He say?
    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.
    Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

  108. 108 shematwater
    June 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Kate is doing such a beautiful job here that I I really don’t feel like commenting anymore.

    However, JBR

    Christ is so much more than a personage. He is the Son of God, the God of the Old Testament, the Savior of the New Testament; he is the Lord of Hosts, the only begotten of the Father in the Flesh; and it is through him, and only him, that we can be saved. To say he is a personage is not to give a complete description of him, but to give a partial description of one aspect of him.
    This is where you fail to understand the LDS doctrine. In everything I have read and heard from general Christianity, the Christ of Mormonism is, in essence, the same thing, but on a greater scale, so much more magnificent and glorious.

    Going with your analogy, even if Christ is the preserver, unless we make the conscious choice to grab on we cannot be saved, unless you believe that Christ is going to force salvation unto us.
    It is really quite simple: If there is a verb anywhere in the requirements for salvation than we are in control over whether or not we are saved. You can get rid of all the commandments and just go with the single requirement “to believe” and you still end up with our salvation being determined by us.
    The only real difference between LDS and most other Christians is that we believe Christ has set the bar a little higher.

  109. 109 Kent
    June 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Ralph said, ” It is called obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    Do Mormons believe that you have to obey the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to enter into the celestial kingdom where Jesus and God the father are, that it is not enough to believe in Jesus?

    Also, if you have sins that you may have committed during a particular year, for example if you smoke cigartettes or drink alcoholic beverages, are you deemed not worthy to worship in the temple and that if someone is never deemed temple worthy they can never enter the celestial kingdom?

  110. 110 Ralph Peterson
    June 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    “Do Mormons believe that you have to obey the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to enter into the celestial kingdom where Jesus and God the father are, . . . ”

    Yes! That is what I said.

    “. . . that it is not enough to believe in Jesus?”

    Like I keep asking, “can you believe IN Jesus without BELIEVING Jesus?”
    Jesus taught the laws and ordinances of the His Gospel as a means of salvation.

    “Also, if you have sins that you may have committed during a particular year, for example if you smoke cigartettes or drink alcoholic beverages, are you deemed not worthy to worship in the temple and that if someone is never deemed temple worthy they can never enter the celestial kingdom?”

    The Bishop is ordained to be a judge of these matters for the members of his ward. Temple worthiness is to be determined by him based on the answers to certain questions. Perhaps you should talk to your Bishop regarding these matters.

  111. 111 Kent
    June 10, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Ralph, I was just trying to learn what your church teaches rather than assuming anything as you or one of the other Mormons who regularily post here, sometimes say that we assume something that isn’t taught.

    So, can you answer me whether someone who isn’t temple worthy would be unable to enter the celestial kingdom? As even though I assume that your church teaches they can’t enter there, I can’;t be sure if that is what is taught and there is no way for me to find out otherwise as obviously I don’t have a bishop I can ask as I am not a Mormon.

  112. June 10, 2011 at 1:40 am

    I understood what you meant by “stumbling into sin”, I simply stated that I wasn’t sure where your questioning is going; circles, it seems. I have stated very clearly why I feel mistakes happen. Either way sin happens it can be repented of.

    I made it clear that I knew the video wasn’t speaking about Mormonism specifically…you are nitpicking. I also made it very clear his message is a blatant lie. I do not have to watch the whole video when the first minute spoke volumes as to what spirit directs his message. It was very offensive to the spirit…that’s all I need to know. When you have the spirit with you, you can have the gift of discernment.

    You said that you didn’t get the same message I got from the video.

    The opening phrase was “Here’s why I HATE religion………fight against THIS HORRIBLE ENEMY…RELIGION. Religion says this, ‘IF I obey, God will love me.’”

    Need I say more? He begins his whole sermon on a lie.

    Mormonism does not teach that, nor do I know other Christian denominations that teach that. So he gets people worked up about a LIE. Don’t you know who the Father of Lies is?

    I will also not answer the rest of your questions because you know the answers. I say this with sincerity…I’m kind of tired of repeating myself. You are now at the point where you are throwing questions at me, that have already been answered.

    I am hoping you see how it works…you are trying to battle truth. You will just run around in circles doing this. Haven’t you noticed that I always have a valid and scriptural answer for you that you can’t dispute? You have a small arsenal of scriptures that you will not openly accept were written about the Law of Moses during that time period that “had become so altered it had lost much of its spiritual meaning almost to the point that the law was worshipped more than the Lord.”

    You refuse to openly accept the fact that we are to do as Jesus did, and throughout His time on earth, he told us to obey His commandments, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Spirit, follow Him, learn of Him, do all that He did, etc.

    You would rather take the word “Gospel” and pretend that it isn’t commonly used as not only the good news of the sacrifice He made for us and the resurrection, but also His teachings and commandments.

    You will even use the scripture, James 1:27, yet will not see the truth it is telling you….

    “Pure religion and undefiled, before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This verse not only tells us things WE have to DO, it also tells us the WE have to keep ourselves UNSPOTTED from the world.

    Interestingly, if you look at verse 25, it says “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein (notice here that he specifically says the ‘perfect’ law, not the altered law of Moses, and he tells us we have to DO something…continueth therein) he being not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the WORK, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

    I will continue to pray that you will get on your knees humbly and ask of God if what I’m saying is true. Read your scriptures with the intent to know the truth. Find out for yourself that we do not teach a false gospel. I am calling you out on this…if you really claim to have love in your heart, then you will stop trying to turn people from the true faith…

  113. 113 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Kate said: “I understood what you meant by “stumbling into sin”,

    Perfect. James 2:10 says: ” For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”

    Notice the word: “Offend” there? It means “stumble” ( and stumble means to fall into sin unintentionally)

    See the definition here:

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4417&t=KJV

    So what the verse is saying is that whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble (unintentionally) in one point, he is guilty of all”

    In other words, whoever commits one unintentional sin breaks God’s ENTIRE law. THE WHOLE LAW. The law demands perfection and nothing short of it otherwise we are LAWBREAKERS. One Lawbreaker is no different from another law breaker. All law breakers are guilty and go to outer darkness.

    In fact, we are CURSED if we don’t continue to keep every commandment without stumbling…

    Galatians 3:10 “for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in ***ALL** things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”

    The whole point I am making? The point is this: Nobody can enter the celestial kingdom through obedience. God is ridding us here of the wordly idea we have that we must obey God before he will love us enough to allow us to enter the celestial kingdom. He does this by showing us what his law actually demands of us. We must be perfect. No unclean thing can enter God’s presence. We can’t do it, it’s impossible for us. And that is exactly what he wants to teach us. So that now God can teach us the way that he has provided, Jesus is the way. Jesus has made us perfect and perfectly clean.

    *************

    Kate said: “The opening phrase was “Here’s why I HATE religion………fight against THIS HORRIBLE ENEMY…RELIGION. Religion says this, ‘IF I obey, God will love me.’” Need I say more? He begins his whole sermon on a lie. ‘

    He begins his sermon making the point that religion (meaning FALSE religion) teaches that if we obey God, God will love us. False religion does in fact teach that. It’s no lie that they teach that. But yes, it is a LIE that if we obey God, then he will love us. I agree with you! True religion (meaning redemption) doesn’t teach that point but false religion does. It bothers me also that FALSE religion would teach that if we obey God, then he will love us. It offends me as much as it offends you and as much as it offends the Pastor in the video!

    Does the LDS church teach that if we obey God, then he will love us? You would say no.

    You stated this: “He loves us so much that He provided a way for us to return to him” and I asked you: “What is the way you return to him? And Ralph replied to that with this: “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”

    So the situation in the LDS Church is just like the “LIE” in the video: DO THIS, DO THIS, DO THIS, *THEN* I will let you return to me. While you would say your God loves you now, I would say your God doesn’t actually love you enough to give you eternal life unless you DO THIS, DO THIS, DO THIS just as the video states! I would say that really isn’t love at all. So as far as entrance into the celestial kingdom is concerned, you believe the very LIE that offends you which is: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.

    Please watch the whole video. It’s quite possible that everything or at least many things on the video that offend you, offend me also and offend that Pastor on the video too! That’s why I would like to discuss it with you. I think we will find some common ground there. Please watch the whole video. The video also talks about True religion (Redemption). It’s well worth watching :)

    My God loves you enough to give you certainty of eternal life in the celestial kingdom right now and all apart from anything you have done or will do. Now that’s true love! God does love us so much that he HAS provided a way for us to return to him some day. That way is JESUS and JESUS ALONE. “It is finished!” Jesus said. Jesus alone has already made us perfectly clean. “I AM the way” Jesus said. He DID NOT say: “I will provide a way”

    Permit me to say the same thing to you In your own words: “I am calling you out on this…if you really claim to have love in your heart, then you will stop trying to turn people from the true faith”

  114. June 10, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Ok, if you want to look at the definition of the Greek word used for offend… it actually means first and foremost, “to cause to stumble or fall”…so that verse it actually saying that If you keep the whole law, and CAUSE to stumble or fall (sounds intentional to me), he is guilty of all. (I wonder how guilty you will be if you cause others to stumble and fall…you might want to think about that.)

    You keep going back to the fact that He gave us commandments to show us we could never make it. Well, true, we could not make it without our Savior, which is why He sacrificed His Son for us, and that opened the way for us to be able to attain what degree of glory we desire to attain.

    That is why he speaks of many mansions:
    John 14:2
    In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

    Matthew 13:43
    “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

    2 Corinthians 12:2
    “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
    In this verse Paul is teaching of a third heaven, implying that there is more than one eternal destination, and hierarchical glories

    1 Corinthians 15:40-41
    “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
    There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.”
    “Paul is teaching about the resurrection. In verse 40, he teaches that people will be resurrected into one of three bodies: a Celestial body, a Terrestrial body, and assumable a Telestial Body. The body we’re resurrected into will correspond with the glory and kingdom we receive. Notice the next verse blatantly teaches that there is one glory of the sun (The Celestial Kingdom), another glory of the moon (The Terrestrial Kingdom), and a glory of the stars (The Telestial Kingdom). The sun, moon, stars is obviously symbolic of the hierarchy in glory of the kingdom.

    My point is that understanding the different “mansions” the Lord has prepared will help you to understand the difference between going to Heaven, and being able to abide the Celestial Kingdom.

    We teach that God loves us all. It’s our choice if we want to be with Him or not. He loves us enough to make sure we are all in Heaven, even if we don’t desire to follow Him and learn about the way we can live to attain the highest heaven. That sounds like a much more loving God than what you are teaching.

    I would think other readers would want to know the truth and have the chance to choose for themselves…instead of being told false information about what we teach. Let those who have ears to hear, and eyes to read what this conversation holds.
    I do not want to contend any longer. You have proven my words that you cannot battle the truth without running around in circles and then turning to lies, which you are now resorting to.

    Yes, Jesus said, I Am the way…AND, YES, He did say, I will show you the way. IF you read the rest of that chapter, He expounds on “I am the way”.

    He says in verse 12, “…He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

    Hands down, the truth will always prevail. You can get upset and speak untruths…(it is your blog), all you want, but I have said enough. Those with ears to hear and eyes to see will know that you are acting like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Since this will be my last post, I say to your readers, “seek to know the truth for yourselves. Study the scriptures for yourself and pray. Ask Him to show you the WAY. You WILL find it.”

  115. 115 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Kate, you believe the very same LIE that offended you.

    You stated this: “He loves us so much that He provided a way for us to return to him” and I asked you: “What is the way you return to him? And Ralph replied to that with this: “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”

    So the situation in the LDS Church is just like the “LIE” in the video: DO THIS, DO THIS, DO THIS, *THEN* I will let you return to me. While you would say your God loves you now, I would say your God doesn’t actually love you enough to give you eternal life unless you DO THIS, DO THIS, DO THIS just as the video states! I would say that really isn’t love at all. So as far as entrance into the celestial kingdom is concerned, you believe the very LIE that offends you which is: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.

    Kate said: “He says in verse 12, “…He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

    If you watch the video, you will see where works fit into the picture.

    You believe the very LIE that offends you which is: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.
    I believe the very TRUTH that God loved me enough to give me certainty of eternal life right now, and because of that amazing love, I want to obey.

    Good talking to you. Thank you for chatting with us.

  116. 116 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Kate, if you desire to have true Godly discernment, please watch the whole video.

    Shutting yourself off , closing your mind, from things like the video I posted is the very opposite of Godly discerment. What you think is discernment is not discernment at all. It is exactly the road to take in order to be decieved.

    If you don’t want to be deceived, you need to hear and listen to viewpoints other than your own and examine them in the event you are wrong . But you are not willing. You are an easy target for Satan to deceive. You are an easy target for Satan to get you to believe his LIE’S. And because of that, you are an easy target for Satan to lead to outer darkness.

  117. 117 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    “Here’s why I HATE religion………fight against THIS HORRIBLE ENEMY…RELIGION. Religion says this, ‘IF I obey, God will love me.’”

    That is an interesting statement, AND it contradicts what JESUS teaches IN THE BIBLE.

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
    . . .
    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
    24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    John 15:10 IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

  118. 118 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Since Jesus Christ is the judge of all, it will be Him, or one whom He appoints, that will decided who will and who will not enter the celestial kingdom.

    I don’t quite understand why (at least it seems to me) that Evangelicals are so interested it judging other people’s salvation. You seem quite comfortable in condemning others to “hell” for one reason or another.

    I just don’t get it.

  119. 119 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    The video says,
    “Here’s why I HATE religion………fight against THIS HORRIBLE ENEMY…RELIGION. Religion says this, ‘IF I obey, God will love me.’”

    Echo says,
    “So the situation in the LDS Church is just like the “LIE” in the video: DO THIS, DO THIS, DO THIS, *THEN* I will let you return to me. While you would say your God loves you now, I would say your God doesn’t actually love you enough to give you eternal life unless you DO THIS, DO THIS, DO THIS just as the video states! I would say that really isn’t love at all. So as far as entrance into the celestial kingdom is concerned, you believe the very LIE that offends you which is: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.”

    That is an interesting statement, AND it contradicts what JESUS teaches IN THE BIBLE.

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
    . . .
    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
    24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    John 15:10 IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

    So here we have ANOTHER classic example of Echo teaching something that contradicts what JESUS taught in the Bible.

  120. 120 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Don’t need to watch the whole (or any part of) the video. We don’t need the video, we have the BIBLE!

    The video CONTRADICTS the Bible.

    Echo CONTRADICTS the Bible.

    That is all we need to know.

  121. 121 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Ralph, are you deaf? Have you not heard what I have been saying all along? Had you watched the entire video, you would see how God’s children do believe in obeying God’s commandments.

    The problem with the LDS church is that they make God’s home (eternal life in the celestial Kingdom) dependant on your obedience and that is a LIE.

    You believe this: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.

    That is like saying to your child: “you are not my son until you do everything I tell you to do. You are not going to live in my house until you have done everything I have asked”

    That’s cruelty! That’s disfunctional parenting! That’s the devil’s doctrine!

    The truth is God loves us so much that he gave us eternal life. He loves us so much that he wants to have the assurance and security that his home is our home. And since by this he shows us we are HIS chidren, his love for us leads us to love him in return and that means…we want to obey him!

    Watch the video!

  122. 122 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Echo, are you deaf?

    Jesus (who you reject) taught that obedience was necessary for eternal life. The LDS Church teach the same. The “lie” is that you don’t need to obey to have eternal life. The teachings of Jesus expose that lie.

    The video CONTRADICTS the teachings of JESUS. Your rants CONTRADICT the teachings of JESUS.

    I don’t need to WASTE my time watching the video. I have the BIBLE and the teachings of JESUS!!

    “The truth is God loves us so much that he gave us eternal life.”

    Another LIE! You haven’t been given eternal life yet. You don’t get eternal life until AFTER you endure to the end, meaning AFTER you die. How many times does this have to be said?

  123. 123 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Like I said earlier…

    The problem with the LDS church is that they make God’s home (eternal life in the celestial Kingdom) dependant on your obedience and that is a LIE.

    You believe this: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.

    That is like saying to your child: “you are not my son until you do everything I tell you to do. You are not going to live in my house until you have done everything I have asked”

    That’s cruelty! That’s disfunctional parenting! That’s the devil’s doctrine!

    The truth is God loves us so much that he gave us eternal life. He loves us so much that he wants to have the assurance and security that his home is our home. And since by this he shows us we are HIS chidren, his love for us leads us to love him in return and that means…we want to obey

    I REPEAT….. WE WANT TO OBEY,
    I REPEAT…. WE WANT TO OBEY,
    I REPEAT….. WE WANT TO OBEY.

    CAN YOU HEAR ME RALPH? PLEASE LISTEN… I am reaching out to you here with great love and concern …

    Ralph said: “John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

    What did Jesus say? He said: John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.”

    How has he loved you Ralph? By giving you an impossible list of commandments that you continually have proven you cannot keep while he threatens you with this: Ralph, if you want to return to me, OBEY me!

    Where is the love in that message Ralph? It’s just not there! We can’t even begin to love others until we first know how much God loves us.

    How much does your God love you Ralph?

    Ralph said: “23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
    24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

    How many ways does the LDS NOT KEEP HIS WORDS? The answer is countless…

    The LDS says:

    *The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly

    * The Bible has errors

    * The Bible is missing portions of scripture

    *The Bible is insufficient

    * Not every single word in the Bible is God’s word

    *God does not justify the ungodly (The bible says God does justify the ungodly)

    * We have a restored gospel (The Bible warns against a false gospel)

    *We have a prophet that will never lead us astray (The Bible warns us against false prophets who will lead us astray)

    *Don’t listen to anti-Mormons, don’t read anything by anti-Mormons, close your ears to everything (The Bible teaches us to TEST everything by opening our ears and to hold on to the good)

    *You won’t know if you have eternal life until you are dead when God has judged whether or not you did your best to obey the commandments (The Bible says you can KNOW you have eternal life (John 3:36; John 5:24 etc.)

    * and on and on and on…

    Ralph said: “John 15:10 IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

    What does “abide” mean? It means “to remain in”

    TO remain in his love Ralph.

    How has he loved you Ralph? By giving you an impossible list of commandments that you continually have proven you cannot keep while he threatens you with this: Ralph, if you want to return to me, OBEY me!

    That’s not love!

  124. 124 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I am going out of town for the weekend, I hope everyone has a great weekend! Talk to ya when I get back.

  125. 125 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Like I said earlier…

    The problem with Evangelicals is that they make God’s home (eternal life in the celestial Kingdom) not dependent on obedience and that is a LIE. Jesus’ teachings expose this lie.

    We believe this: “IF I obey God, God will love me” BECAUSE that is what JESUS taught.

    The truth is God loves us so much that he gave us commandments, a perfect example of obedience, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son, so we would know the way to eternal life.

    I REPEAT….. GOD WANTS US TO OBEY,
    I REPEAT…. GOD WANTS US TO OBEY,
    I REPEAT….. GOD WANTS US TO OBEY,

    Are you listening Echo? JESUS wants you to OBEY so much that He taught is was NEEDED for eternal life. It is in the BIBLE!!!

    I am not surprised that Echo ignored these verses. BECAUSE he doesn’t BELIEVE what JESUS taught in them.

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
    . . .
    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
    24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    Those aren’t my words, they are JESUS’ words.

  126. 126 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm

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

    Romans 6:23 “the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

    1 John 5:11 “God HAS given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

    1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

    Epheisans 1:14 “who is a deposit GUARANTEEING our INHERITANCE until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

    Collosians 1:12 “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

    Hebrews 9:15 “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

    1 Peter 1:3-5 ” Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance THAT CAN NEVER PERISH, SPOIL OR FADE-KEPT IN HEAVEN FOR YOU, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. ”

    Philippians 4:3 “Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, WHOSE NAMES ARE IN THE BOOK OF LIFE.”

    John 8:35-37 ” Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, BUT A SON BELONGS TO IT FOREVER”

    etc. etc.

    Deal with THESE passages written here! How do you interpret them? Or do you twist them or ignore them?

  127. 127 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    “* We have a restored gospel (The Bible warns against a false gospel)”

    Yes, the Bible warns against a false gospel. And the gospel taught by Echo is the false gospel. Echo’s gospel CONTRADICTS the BIBLE. It CONTRADICTS the teachings of JESUS, because it is a FALSE gospel.

  128. 128 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Echo,

    Why don’t you believe the BIBLE?

    Why don’t you believe what JESUS taught?

    WHY?

  129. 129 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    How has he loved you Ralph? You can’t answer that can you.

  130. 130 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Ralph said: “Yes, the Bible warns against a false gospel. And the gospel taught by Echo is the false gospel. Echo’s gospel CONTRADICTS the BIBLE. It CONTRADICTS the teachings of JESUS, because it is a FALSE gospel.”

    Ralph…..a RESTORED gospel is your CLUE that YOUR GOSPEL is not the same gospel taught in the BIBLE.

  131. 131 Echo
    June 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Now I am really going out of town for the weekend, I hope you have a great weekend Ralph! Talk to ya when I get back. :)

  132. 132 Ralph Peterson
    June 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    “How has he loved you Ralph? You can’t answer that can you.”

    Sure I can. But you want to know what comes to my mind? Pearls before swine, pearls before swine.

    “Ralph…..a RESTORED gospel is your CLUE that YOUR GOSPEL is not the same gospel taught in the BIBLE.”

    Echo . . . .the RESTORED gospel is your CLUE that YOUR GOSPEL is not the same gospel taught in the BIBLE.

  133. June 11, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Dear Blog Readers,

    I do not write to contend with Echo (nor am I speaking to him now because he chooses not to listen, has become contentious to the point of being untruthful, and just keeps repeating himself), but to show you how he seeks to deceive you. Please take a look at the context of each of these passages that he used to prove his point and decide for yourselves who has the truth. Please note, because there is not a way to italicize, I will have to use caps for emphasis. Please don’t take that as yelling…I am not.

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

    Kate: John chapter 5 is about how Jesus heals an invalid. The Jews are angry (because of the altered Law of Moses they were worshipping to the letter of the law) that he did this healing on the Sabbath. Jesus finds the man he healed in the temple and says, “Behold, though art made whole: SIN NO MORE, LEST A WORSE THING COME UNTO THEE.”

    The Jews want to kill him because he broke the Sabbath, and because Jesus spoke of God as His Father. Then Jesus speaks about the Father loving Him and how the Father shows him all that He does so that He will do it too. “for whatsoever he doeth, these also doeth the Son like-wise.” (Please remember the scripture I quoted earlier that relates to this..He says the same thing, but says that WE need to do like the Son does…)

    Then He goes on to speak about how He promises to take the Gospel to the dead…”For as the father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them (this has to do with how much glory they are assigned with as they are ressurected); even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”

    He says that man will be resurrected, judged, and assigned his glory by the Son..”For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son:

    Then He says that all men should honor the Son. Then comes the verse, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death into life.

    Now remember, when Jesus talks about a belief on him, he continues as in John 14:12, “the works that I do, he shall do also…and If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    So, back to the verses after the one echo quoted, remember, He was speaking of the dead, and resurrection, and He talks about that” the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God (he shall teach them); and they that hear shall live.”

    Then all that are in the graves shall come forth; they that have done good, will be resurrected unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. He then says, “I can of myself do nothing: as I HEAR, I JUDGE; (judge what? Whether they have DONE good, or DONE evil). And my judgment is just.”

    Well, I see that this is going to be a lengthy process, so I will end with the first one and give you one at a time…just to remind you that there is no value in quoting little quips of scriptures as echo is doing, to support what you are trying to teach. You MUST study the whole context within which it stands.

  134. June 11, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I would like to focus on this one next.

    ECHO: 1 Peter 1:3-5 ” Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance THAT CAN NEVER PERISH, SPOIL OR FADE-KEPT IN HEAVEN FOR YOU, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. ”

    KATE: Peter is speaking to them saying, you have this beautiful promise, which you can rejoice in, though you are inundated with many temptations, which are there as a trial of your faith, that you will stay strong and praise and honor Him, receiving in the end (of the trial of your faith) the salvation of your souls. So keep your mind strong, be sober, hope to the end, as obedient children…don’t fashion yourself with the lusts that you used to have, be holy in all conversation (be holy because I am holy…another DO as I DO), call on the Father, WHO JUDGETH ACCORDING TO EVERY MAN’S WORK.”

    You are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and that by Him, you believe in God, “that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing YE HAVE PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH “ through “love one another” ( a reference the commandment Jesus gave us John 13:34-35) with a pure heart fervently.

    Then Peter goes on to list the things you need to do:

    Lay aside malice, all guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speaking.
    Desire sincere milk of the word (sciptures) that you may grow in them, that if you believe, you will not be confounded but will be built as a spiritually strong house.
    Stay away from fleshly lusts.
    Be honest.
    Let your good works be that which they behold, to glorify God.
    Obey the laws.
    Follow in Christ’s steps for he was an example for us.
    He speaks about why the Gospel is preached to the dead, the spirits in prison…then goes on to tell us more things we need to DO.

    He said that to those who believe, Christ is precious…but to those who do not believe, the scriptures become a stumbling, a rock of offense because they are DISOBEDIENT.

    Very clearly this refers to that fact that belief is an action word.

    Believing=obedience to all that He said to do and showed us to do.

  135. 135 jbr
    June 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Shemawater… Am going to break down your response (your response will be in between the lines)
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    ” You can get rid of all the commandments and just go with the single requirement “to believe” and you still end up with our salvation being determined by us.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    .
    .
    REPLY: ……

    It maybe technical, but it needs to be understood. Our salvation is not determined by us, rather our damnation is.
    If left to one’s choice…people chose to reject and oppose. Jesus illustrated this with the “Sower and the seed”.
    Jesus revealed that people are like the soil

    …All four soils doesn’t chose when the seed sown unto it.
    …The “good” soil isn’t credited for having any participation for the seed being sown
    …The “good” soil isn’t credited for having the ability (“agency”) to ward off the obstacles that the other 3 soil has \ had
    .
    .
    ……Yet a careful reading of the Bible will reveal that Jesus said the “bad” soil is held accountable for their failure
    .
    .
    .

    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    “The only real difference between LDS and most other Christians is that we believe Christ has set the bar a little higher.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    .
    .
    REPLY:…………..

    The real difference between LDS vs. other Christians is more than just that.

    LDS see the bar as an eventual obtainable goal … be it however long that would take … with a certain % of personal envolvement.
    Christians see the bar as an unobtainable goal …. be it per what the law demands … if any % of personal envolvement is included.

    LDS see that if the bar is unreachable in this life………there is an opportunity afterwards
    Christians see that if the bar is unreached in this life…there is no opportunity afterwards

    LDS has the cart in front of the horse ………….. (the relationship of works to faith)
    Christians have the horse in front of the cart

  136. 136 Kent
    June 12, 2011 at 12:19 am

    The whole point that was warned about concerning the teaching of a false gospel in Galatians was there were those who were saying people still had to be circumcised which bound them to the law and cancelled out grace.

    But circumcision represents having to live by the whole law and faith by grace is by what Jesus did on the cross but it is clear that it is impossible to ever keep the whole law.

    The commands of Jesus that Ralph says are needed for our salvation are things that Jesus wants us to do but if it isn’t all about our faith in Him and what He did on the cross, then we are required to follow all of them always without fail, which is impossible. On the other hand, by sowing to the Spirit and trusting in what He did, then we can actually do a better job of keeping them if we are freed by our faith in Him.

    Galatians 1:16

    6Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST, AND NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW: FOR BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.

    Galatians 5:1-6

    1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
    2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
    3FOR I TESTIFY AGAIN TO EVERY MAN THAT IS CIRCUMCISED, THAT HE IS A DEBTOR TO DO THE WHOLE LAW.
    4Christ is become of no effect unto you, WHOSOEVER OF YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE.
    5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
    6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

    Galatians 3:11-12

    11BUT THAT NO MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    12AND THE LAW IS NOT OF FAITH: BUT, THE MAN THAT DOETH THEM SHALL LIVE IN THEM.

    Kate chuckled when I said I was concerned about the dangerous doctrines of the Mormon Church but one of them, saying we have a chance to be worthy enough, even after our death from this world, when the Bible teaches that we only have this life and then the judgment.

    But the good news, the gospel, is that we don’t have to be worthy enough as He is worthy enough and it is our faith in Him and what He did on the cross and God sees Him who is in us and does not see our sin anymore!

  137. June 12, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I want to share with you some well-written thoughts on this, by Robert L. Millet.

    The scriptures are consistent in their declaration that “no unclean thing can enter into [God’s] kingdom” (3 Nephi 27:19). In theory, there are two ways by which men and women may inherit eternal life. The first is simply to live the law of God perfectly, to make no mistakes. To do so is to be justified—pronounced innocent, declared blameless—by works or by law. If we were to keep the commandments completely (including receiving the ordinances of salvation), never deviating from the strait and narrow path throughout our mortal lives, then we would qualify for the blessings of the obedient. Then, through the redemption wrought by the Son of God, including his power to raise us from the dead and bring us back into his presence for judgment, we would qualify to dwell in celestial glory.

    And yet we are very much aware of the terrible truth that all are unclean as a result of sin (see Romans 3:23). All of us have broken at least one of the laws of God, and therefore we have disqualified ourselves for justification by law. Moral perfection may be a possibility, but it is certainly not a probability. Jesus alone trod that path. “Therefore,” Paul observed, “by the deeds of the law”—meaning the law of Moses, as well as any law of God—”there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (Romans 3:20; compare 2 Nephi 2:5).

    40The second way to be justified is by faith; it is for the sinner to be pronounced clean or innocent through trusting in and relying upon the merits of Him who was perfect, clean, and innocent (see Romans 10:4; 2 Nephi 2:6-7). Jesus owed no personal debt to justice; the Holy One thus claims of the Father “his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men” (Moroni 7:27). Because we are guilty of transgression, no amount of good deeds on our part, no nobility independent of divine intercession, could make up for the loss. Truly, “since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself” (Alma 22:14).

    40Thus He who loved us first (see 1 John 4:10, 19) reaches out to the lost and fallen, to the disinherited, and proposes a marriage. The Infinite One joins with the finite, the Finished with the unfinished, the Whole with the partial, the Perfect with the imperfect. Through covenant with Christ and thus union with the Bridegroom, we place ourselves in a condition to become fully formed, whole, finished.

    41″The Great Exchange”

    41The means by which the Savior justifies us is wondrous indeed. It entails what might be called “the great exchange.” It is certainly true that Jesus seeks through his atoning sacrifice and through the medium of the Holy Spirit to change us, to transform us from fallen and helpless mortals into “new creatures in Christ.” But there is more. Jesus offers to exchange with us.

    41In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul speaks of his own eagerness to forsake the allurements of the world in order to obtain the riches of Christ. “I count all things but loss,” he said, “for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”—and now note this important addition—”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” (Philippians 3:8-9; emphasis added).

    41 – 42Paul’s point is vital: justification comes by faith, by trusting in Christ’s righteousness, in his merits, mercy, and grace (see Romans 10:1-4; compare 2 Nephi 2:3; Helaman 14:13; D&C 45:3-5). Though our efforts to be righteous are necessary, they will forevermore be insufficient. Paul teaches a profound truth—that as we come unto Christ by the covenant of faith, our Lord’s righteousness becomes our righteousness. He justifies us in the sense that he imputes (or credits) his goodness to our account and takes our sin. This is the great exchange.

    42To the Corinthians Paul explained that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. . . . For he [God the Father] hath made him [Christ the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21; emphasis added). As Paul explained elsewhere, Christ “hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13; compare Hebrews 2:9).

    42 – 43One Protestant theologian, John MacArthur, has written: “Justification may be defined as an act of God whereby he imputes to a believing sinner the full and perfect righteousness of Christ, forgiving the sinner of all unrighteousness, declaring him or her perfectly righteous in God’s sight, thus delivering the believer from all condemnation. . . . It is a forensic reality that takes place in the court of God” (The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 197).

    43MacArthur also explained: “Justification is a divine verdict of ‘not guilty—fully righteous.’ It is the reversal of God’s attitude toward the sinner. Whereas He formerly condemned, He now vindicates. Although the sinner once lived under God’s wrath, as a believer he or she is now under God’s blessing. Justification is more than simple pardon; pardon alone would still leave the sinner without merit before God. So when God justifies He imputes divine righteousness to the sinner. . . . Justification elevates the believer to a realm of full acceptance and divine privilege in Jesus Christ.” The harsh reality is that “the law demands perfection. But the only way to obtain perfect righteousness is by imputation—that is, being justified by faith” (Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles, pp. 89-90, 103).

    44 – 45Since “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), we are “justified only by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” or in other words, “justified by faith alone without the deeds of the law” (JST Romans 3:24, 28). The comforting message of the gospel is that Jesus the Messiah has, “according to his mercy,” offered to save us, “by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly . . . ; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

    45Those who enter the gospel covenant and thereafter seek to do their duty and endure to the end the Lord holds “guiltless” (3 Nephi 27:16; compare D&C 4:2). It is not that they are guiltless in the sense of having never done wrong; rather, the Holy One removes the blame and imputes—accounts or decrees to the repentant sinner, the one who comes unto Christ by covenant—His righteousness. “For as by one man’s disobedience”—the fall of Adam—”many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one”—Jesus Christ—”shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).

    45Justification in Mortality

    45In one sense—in the present, in the here and now—we are justified as our sins are forgiven. Whenever we repent or turn away from our evil ways (the Hebrew connotation of repentance); whenever we repent or change our thoughts, attitudes, and desires (the Greek connotation of repentance), we are justified—pronounced clean and free from sin and the demands of divine justice.

    44 – 45To be justified by God is to be made clean in spite of one’s inability to repay the Master, to be made innocent in spite of one’s lack of moral perfection. It is to be acquitted from sin through one’s faith in Christ, faith which manifests itself in the works of righteousness (see Romans 2:6-7, 13; Galatians 5:6; Titus 3:8, 14). The Lord Jesus compensates for the chasm between man’s simple striving and God’s immutable standards of perfection, between where a man really is and where he must eventually be.

    45Justification is both a journey and a destination, a process as well as a condition. Sidney Sperry thus spoke of justification as not only a matter of “acquittal” from guilt and sin but also of “being regarded as righteous in a future divine judgment.” “A comparison may be made,” Brother Sperry noted, “by reference to a man on an escalator. We anticipate that he will reach a given floor if he stays on the escalator. So a person will eventually be justified”—meaning fully entitled to enter the Lord’s presence—”but may be regarded as being so now, if he retains a remission of sins (Mosiah 4:26) and continually shows his faith in God” (Paul’s Life and Letters, p. 176).

    45Another way of saying this is that when we come unto Christ by covenant, the Lord Jesus justifies or exonerates us in the here and now; he treats us now as if we were fully qualified to inherit eternal life. In process of time and as we remain “in Christ,” meaning in covenant, the Holy Ghost, the sanctifier, works and labors with our soul, ridding us of filth and dross, transforming our actions and our desires.

    45 – 46In short, for the present God justifies or ratifies our actions, and the way we know we are approved of God is that he sends forth his Spirit upon us. We enjoy the peaceful assurance that he is pleased with our offering (see D&C 59:23). In time, and after we have been proven and tried, we are justified in the sense that our lives, our covenants, and our ordinances receive the ratifying and certifying approval of heaven.

    46I have met Latter-day Saints all over the Church who are faithful, diligent, and God-fearing individuals. They work hard, they pray hard, and they serve tirelessly. They live in a constant state of repentance and improvement, and they hope that some day they will become the kind of stuff out of which a celestial kingdom will be made. Many of them, however, feel anxiety about their standing before God and wonder whether their course in life is pleasing to the heavens. And yet Inotice that they seem to enjoy the gifts of the Spirit in their lives; they teach and speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; and they have sufficient faith to be healed when they are ill. I notice too that they tend to be kind, gentle, meek, and charitable. All of these things are evidence that they are on course, that they are in the line of their duty, that God is pleased. These people are walking in proper paths; at the end of the path is eternal reward. We are justified when we remain in covenant.

  138. June 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

    That was from his book Within Reach.

    I just thought it might help you see our views a little clearer.

  139. 139 jbr
    June 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Kate…I read quite well the effects of Mormonism on the soul of a pesron…………..

    “Many of them [ refering to Mormons], however, feel anxiety about their standing before God and wonder whether their course in life is pleasing to the heavens”

    Mormonism offers no confidence when salvation is based on “all you can do”
    Mormonism offers no peace when forgiveness is conditional upon total abandonment of that sin
    Mormonism offers a Jesus as an example to follow …. not a subsitute from sin
    Mormonism leaves a person wondering in this live
    .
    .

    Jesus of the Bible is completely different

    Jesus offers complete confidence about how \ when salvation is ours
    Jesus offers peace of forgiveness that is unconditional
    Jesus offers his perfection to us in exchange
    Jesus leaves me not wondering of my status

  140. June 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    jbr, No, you are wrong. We teach the same Jesus. You would just rather turn what we say and twist it around to deceive others. That is sad and won’t be well for you in the end. Someone who follows Jesus would not spend so much time trying to destroy a persons faith. Someone who follow Jesus would realize that there are many within his own congregation who have anxiety about how God sees them…it is called weakness in faith. ALL succomb to that at times…if you peruse all the blogs tagged with God, you will see that it is not just in LDS congregations, but in ALL.

    So when you begin to attack a person’s faith, you are judging. That isn’t very Christ-like, now is it. Re-think what you are doing here. When Jesus went to cast a bad spirit from a man’s son (Mark 9), he said if you believe, all things are possible. The man said, “I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” You see, Jesus knew he believed…yet his faith wasn’t perfect.

    Again, this whole conversation has finished. those who can read will see that all you guys are doing is acting very unChrist-like. You speak of love, but your comments and desires to twist our words and speak lies are not fruits of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone can see that. You have really, only proven by what spirit you are being led by.

  141. 141 Echo
    June 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Dear readers,

    Re Kate’s post # 134

    Notice the “main focus” of Kate’s post. It’s about being obedient in order to return to the Father(The highest degree of glory).

    In LDS teachings, The harder you work at being obedient, the higher the kingdom of glory you will receive. For Kate the main focus in these scriptures is all about OBEDIENCE and the level of glory SHE/YOU will receive. Notice her “main focus” is all about HER/YOU and what SHE/YOU will get rather than it being about LOVING OTHERS and about MERCY.

    When reading the scriptures, we don’t want the focus to be on US/YOU but on God’s MERCY for man which I will get into a little later.

    Notice Kate brings to your attention: “SIN NO MORE, LEST A WORSE THING COME UNTO THEE” She puts those words in capital letters and in doing that, she completely disregards the whole point of this portion of scripture because for her, it’s all about obedience in order to obtain the highest degree of glory rather than about MERCY towards others!

    Then she goes on to talk about …”For as the father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them” and then Kate says: “ (this has to do with how much glory they are assigned with as they are ressurected); even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”

    Nothing here in John 5 says anything about different glory’s we are assigned to. The word “quickeneth” means to cause to live, make alive, give life.

    Kate then said: “HE SAYS THAT man will be resurrected, judged, and assigned his glory by the Son” (emphasis mine)

    Notice that HE (That is Jesus) doesn’t say what Kate says he says.

    The LDS believes in three separate kingdoms of heaven (3 levels of glory) plus they believe in Hell, Outer Darkness and Paradise. Verse 29 states there are TWO destinations not SIX. It says there are TWO destinations 1)Heaven(life) and 2) Damnation(Hell[which is equivalent of outer darkness in LDS teachings]):…..

    “29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Now here is my take on John chapter 5

    The Pharisees and Jews were all about strict obedience to the law of God. They believed obedience was necessary to return to the Father. (Just like the LDS does)

    What the Pharisees failed to see was the “heart” of the law. The heart of the law being:. Love, compassion and “MERCY” towards OTHERS.

    Mercy is tender compassion and love towards those that don’t deserve it. Mercy is loving kindness and patience with those who sin against us or offend us. It is Longsuffering, Mercy is being respectful towards others who sin against us or offend us, it is being patient with them. It is Unconditional love, It is love and Patience with the shortcomings and failures of others, it is an act of pardon. It is a FREE love, it is a RESCUING love. It is to love our enemy and to do good to those who hate us. It is to willingly die out of love for the very people who hate us and would put us to death. So Mercy really means: forgiving those who don’t deserve it, forgiving others even in their sins. The Pharisees just couldn’t understand all of this. (nor do the LDS)

    So John Chapter 5 begins with Jesus wanting to teach the Pharisees about MERCY, about LOVE, about COMPASSION for others…..

    An invalid was at the pool called “Bethesda”. Bethesda means: “HOUSE OF MERCY”

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G964&t=KJV

    This invalid had been an invalid for 38 years. This invalid was a sinner who was still in his sins. Jesus, through love, compassion and mercy, healed the man and first said to him: See you are well again” So Jesus made this man well(he healed him) BEFORE he said to him: “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (Remember this whole point: 1) He healed him and made him well and 2) THEN he told him to stop sinning. It will come up a little later on)

    The scripture then goes on to talk about how the Jews persecuted Jesus for healing this man on the Sabbath and they also wanted to Kill Jesus because he made himself equal with God.
    The Jews were strict observers of the law, the law stated that they were to rest on the Sabbath but the Jews made up their own Sabbath laws that weren’t in the law of God and were not commanded by God. (Now the LDS makes up laws also that God has never commanded nor forbidden. For example the LDS binds your conscience by teaching you that you should not drink coffee or eat anything with caffeine in it, nor should you drink alcohol- just to name a couple of examples. When Jesus taught elsewhere in scripture…It’s not what goes into your mouth that makes you unclean, it’s what comes out of your mouth that makes you unclean)

    When the Pharisees observed these laws that were neither commanded nor forbidden by God, (as in this instance of taking up your mat and walking) they looked down their apparent “Oh so Holy nose” at those who didn’t keep these laws that they made up. The point? The point is they felt superior because of the pride that was ingrained into them. They thought they were more obedient before God, more superior in status before God, than this invalid and JESUS. Jesus was breaking their law which they claimed was God’s law but it wasn’t. And so they persecuted Jesus for it.

    Then Jesus goes on to say: “19…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. 20For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. ”

    As we can see, what the Father has shown the son is that the Father raises the dead. (Kate implies obedience to the commandments here but the context clearly shows that it is talking about raising the dead through love, compassion and Mercy and it is not talking about obedience to the commandments leading to levels of glory) Quickeneth means to cause to live, make alive, give life.

    Jesus continues: “ 22For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”

    So in context, to honour the Son is to have compassion, love and mercy for the dead! The dead are unrepentant sinners just like the invalid was when Jesus healed him. (When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins Col 2:13)

    Jesus moves from the physical to the spiritual. This is where the point I made earlier comes in and I will repeat it now: “So Jesus made this man well(he healed him) BEFORE he said to him: “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (Remember this whole point: 1) He healed him and made him well and 2) THEN he told him to stop sinning. )
    So now Jesus is going to give LIFE to the DEAD. The spiritually DEAD.

    In the same way this invalid was crippled for 38 years and unable to get into the pool to heal himself, we are all crippled and invalid’s because of our own sins and we are unable to heal ourselves (we are DEAD) Dead men can’t do a thing. WE too need Jesus to heal us and raise us from the spiritually dead.

    With compassion, love and mercy, Jesus 1) heals us and makes us well: “He forgave us all our sins” Col 2:13
    That same sentiment is reflected in Jesus words here: “24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Because since all our sins are taken out of the picture through full and free forgiveness, NOTHING is left now to seperate us from God and therefore eternal life! We KNOW we have eternal life!

    Forgiveness First! Being made whole first! Having absolute confidence of eternal life first! THEN comes the words: “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (The reverse of LDS teachings)

    That same love, compassion and mercy given to us is the same love compassion and mercy we extend to others throughout the rest of our lives. This is the good that we do ……

    Then Jesus goes on to talk about the judgment and then he says…
    “29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

    Those who were forgiven apart from anything they had done went on having that same love, compassion and mercy for others. They did good. But those like the Pharisees and the LDS who remained dead, who thought they could heal themselves in the pool of overcoming their sins in order to be made well (forgiven) did evil and were resurrected into damnation. They withold forgiveness until you first overcome your sin in the same way they believe forgiveness is withheld until they overcome their sins. They beat you into submission by hurling insults at you until you cave in under the pressure and stop doing whatever it is you are doing. They exclude you and will not contend with you. The LDS are poisoned through LDS False Doctrine to become Completely unmerciful and they don’t even know it. It’s the yeast of their unmerciful doctrine that leads them to act this way. Jesus said a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.

    Jesus goes on to say: “42But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.”
    We can see that the LDS doesn’t have the love of God in them. They have no love, compassion or mercy. For them it’s all about attacking people not rescuing them from false doctrine .Jesus wants us to honor him as he teaches us in this chapter and we honor him by showing love, compassion and mercy to others. But for the LDS as you can witness to by all the posts in this thread and the archives in this blog, the truth about the LDS is this: “They honor me with their lips but their hears are far from me” (Mathew 15:8) …

    Mormons poison the well…

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html

    Christians attempt to stick to doctrinal discussions and debate while treating Mormons themselves with love, compassion and mercy, because Christians love Mormons and want to rescue them from the false teachings that are destroying them. Mormons tend to go for the throat of Christians, they continually veer off of the doctrinal discussions, hurling personal attacks against Christians themselves, judging their motives in opposition to the motives given by the Christians themselves. The LDS would rather attack people personally than rescue them from false teachings. In doing this, they poison the well so that YOU the Readers think all the other claims we are making are false. Rather than wanting to rescue us from false teachings they want to poison the well against what we teach by attacks against people rather than doctrine. They laugh at us, ridicule us, say our hearts are filled with hate, they don’t believe us when we tell them we love Mormons. Kate has stated several times that I am not listening when I explained that I was indeed listening. But notice that Kate wouldn’t watch the whole video (she wouldn’t listen to me and my viewpoints) Mormons would rather destroy us personally than rescue us. We would rather rescue them than destroy them personally.

    Contention (sin) begins with attacks and against a person themselves. Judging motives contrary to someone’s own words etc.. Sooner or later this sin needs to be pointed out so that peace can be kept between the LDS and Christians. I just want to say at this point that Christians aren’t perfect either. But the huge majority of this stuff is coming from the Mormons. If you read through the archives of this blog you will see that when Christians too have fallen into a personal attack in this regard (which is very, very rare by comparison), it’s because they have repeatedly been inundated over and over by the contention and division caused by Mormons. Like I said earlier, to vigorously oppose false teaching is not contentious. Jesus acted with much love when he opposed the false teachings and false religion of the Pharisees as did the apostles. But for those who continually were contentious and divisive Jesus even called them names such as hypocrites, vipers and white washed tombs because they failed to recognize all the evil coming up out of their own hearts. The lack of love, compassion and mercy.

    Don’t let Mormons poison the well for you. I encourage you to very carefully examine the doctrinal arguments from both sides (LDS vs. Christian) and to stick to what the scripture alone says. God is your God, not Mormons, not Christians. YOU alone will be held accountable for your beliefs. Let God’s word be your measuring rod of who is speaking the truth and who isn’t. Don’t get distracted by personal attacks against people. Keep your focus on the doctrinal discussion alone.

    The Pharisees, like Kate and all LDS trust in obedience to the commandments, (the law of Moses is a term used for obedience to the commandments) But Jesus said:
    “45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.”

    If you read through the archives, on the matter of how people treat people (not doctrine) you will see that Mormons, like the Pharisees, lack love, compassion and mercy. Something to which KATE completely overlooked in John Chapter 5!

    Jesus said: “I desire Mercy not sacrifice” Serving God is not about self sacrifice to gain God’s approval or to return to him some day,that just breeds pride and pride is of the devil. but it is about loving, Mercy is about serving and caring for OTHERS even those who are dead in sin.

  142. 142 Echo
    June 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Kate, you start off your post poisoning the well. In your defense, I don’t think you would do this knowingly or intentionally. I will give you the benefit of the doubt in that. Everyone is guilty of unintentional sin from time to time and I am no exception. That isn’t the point, I don’t want to harm you in all of this, but rather I would like to instruct you in a better way.

    Kate said: “I do not write to contend with Echo (nor am I speaking to him now because he chooses not to listen, has become contentious to the point of being untruthful, and just keeps repeating himself), but to show you how he seeks to deceive you. Please take a look at the context of each of these passages that he used to prove his point and decide for yourselves who has the truth. Please note, because there is not a way to italicize, I will have to use caps for emphasis. Please don’t take that as yelling…I am not.”

    Notice how you claim I do not listen. I have explained to you previously that I was indeed listening after you made that charge against me the first time so that you could be acquainted with how I do things. I want to say now that I believe it shows great love and respect when we listen to one another. Something you yourself seem unwilling to do. I get this impression from the fact that you didn’t want to watch the whole video I posted for you. That’s so unfortunate because I really think you and I would find some common ground there to agree on and to rejoice about together. You say you don’t want to “contend with Echo” (I see no love, compassion or mercy in those words) You say I am “contentious” but I know of NOTHING that I said that was contentious. Everything I said to you I said out of love, compassion and mercy for you. Had you instructed me as to what I did exactly that was contentious because you wanted to lovingly, compassionately and mercifully help me overcome what I did wrong, then that would be wonderful. But you didn’t do that. You just attack me and leave me hanging. That isn’t love, compassion or mercy. Then you charges me with be “untruthful” but you don’t explain why. That too leaves me scratching my head wondering what I said that wasn’t truthful. Again, you show no love, compassion or mercy. You make all these charges against me despite my words to the contrary. Do you truly have the power to look into my heart? Can you make an honest judgment about me this early in the discussion? If so, based on what words that I have spoken to you? I have tried to clear up your misconceptions and false judgments but you don’t appear to “listen” my explanations, The very charge you make against me!

    I certainly would still like to be friends with you Kate. I am not perfect; I make mistakes, I sin, just like you do. And I am willing to apologize when you or someone brings to my attention what I have done wrong and convinces me of it by explaining it to me lovingly, compassionately and mercifully.

    Like Jesus, I am not holding any of this against you because I would like to be friends with you and continue our discussions, but could we keep the discussions focused on vigorously discussing doctrine while showing love, compassion and mercy for one another? .

  143. 143 Kent
    June 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Kate, no one is trying to destroy your faith but I would say that we want you to question what your church teaches with the Bible as the source.

    Besides, if you faith is the truth, then it would be impossible to destroy it no matter what we say.

  144. 144 Echo
    June 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Kate said: “jbr, No, you are wrong. We teach the same Jesus.”

    The LDS has a different Jesus than Christians. Only one of them is the true Jesus. The other one is a fake and a fraud who will save nobody because a fake Jesus hasn’t got the power to save anyone or anything… Kate, you need to try and listen to us in the event your Jesus is the fake Jesus. Okay? Are you willing?

    Kate said: “You would just rather turn what we say and twist it around TO DECIEVE OTHERS”

    Kate, what proof do you have that jbr is “decieving others” If you can’t provide Facts, MANY convincing FACTS on this charge you have laid, you are sinning against God’s commandment of not bearing false testimony against your neighbor. Are you aware of that?

    Kate said: “Someone who follows Jesus would not spend so much time trying to destroy a persons faith.”

    Jbr isn’t trying to destroy your faith. He is trying to rescue you from putting your faith in false soul-destroying doctrine that comes from a false religion that leads people to outer darkness. Jesus himself spent a great deal of his time trying to refute the false teachings and false religion of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were offended by his efforts in all of this just like you are. The Pharisees persecuted Jesus just like you persecute jbr! The Pharisees that truly listened to Jesus were saved from going to outer darkness!

    Kate said: “So when you begin to attack a person’s faith, you are judging. That isn’t very Christ-like, now is it. ”

    You are the one judging Kate, not jbr. You judge him as a person who is decieving others without any evidence. Your judging him based on pure speculation! He is trying to rescue you here just like Jesus tried to rescue the Pharisees: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I longed to gather you together as a hen gathers her chicks but you were not willing” Be willing to listen Kate! We all love you because we love all Mormons!

    Kate said: “Re-think what you are doing here. When Jesus went to cast a bad spirit from a man’s son (Mark 9), he said if you believe, all things are possible. The man said, “I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” You see, Jesus knew he believed…yet his faith wasn’t perfect. ”

    Be willing for us to help you with your unbelief Kate. We love Mormons!

    Kate said: “Again, this whole conversation has finished. those who can read will see that all you guys are doing is acting very unChrist-like. You speak of love, but your comments and desires to twist our words and speak lies are not fruits of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone can see that. You have really, only proven by what spirit you are being led by.”

    Kate, look in the mirror, it is YOU who is acting very unchrist like, we want to help you with that, we love and care about you and all Mormons.

  145. 145 Echo
    June 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Kate, please read my post 142 and 143 above. They no longer show up on the “most recent posts” due to the high percentage of responses coming into the blog. Post 142 is a response to your John 5 post. Thanks.

  146. June 13, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I think there is enough conversation here. I choose not to keep going around in circles. It is not my faith I’m worried about, it’s those who you are lying to. I have not sinned, I have only chosen to post the truth. You have chosen to take the truth and twist it to fit your perception of what we believe. People can read. That is why I’m done.

  147. 147 shematwater
    June 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I just want to say a few more things, though I could say many more.

    First, Love and acceptance are not the same thing. This goes back to the video Echo gives and their declaration that false religion (which to them includes LDS) teach that one must be obedient to be loved. Echo reasserts this a few mroe times before Kate simply drops the subject and the conversatio.
    However, Echo is in error because of this distinction between acceptance and love. God will always love his children, but he cannot always accept them. I love the quote from the movie Testaments “In your new kingdom I cannot be your father; but where ever you go you will always be my son>” This is true love, for true love does not accept the wrong actions of a person, but does not cease to love because of them, as this is best for the one you love. On the other hand, a false love will accept a person regardless of their actions as this is what gives you the most pleasure.

    As to JRB and the parable of the sower, if you read in Matthew 13 you will see that is is the soil (or the person) who is credited with being good and allowing the seed to grow. The very parable sited as proof of the contradictory doctrine is in fact evidence against it.

    Now, speaking directly to Echo, I would like to say “Be willing to listen ECHO! We all love you because we love all people!” “Be willing for us to help you with your unbelief ECHO. We love people!” “ECHO, look in the mirror, it is YOU who is acting very unchrist like, we want to help you with that, we love and care about you and all people.” “ECHO, you need to try and listen to us in the event your Jesus is the fake Jesus. Okay? Are you willing?”

    You ask us to be open minded in the event that we may be wrong, but I have yet to see you act open minded in any way. Kent asks that we examine our faith based on the Bible, but we ahve already done this, and find the LDS church to be more in harmony with it. So, what if you are wrong and we are right? Are you prepared to entertain that thought like you want us to? Someow I don’t it.

  148. 148 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    “The LDS has a different Jesus than (Evangelical) Christians. Only one of them is the true Jesus. The other one is a fake and a fraud who will save nobody because a fake Jesus hasn’t got the power to save anyone or anything…”

    Well, the LDS Jesus is the Jesus of the Bible. If he is different from Echo’s Jesus then it is rather obvious which on is fake. I don’t really know what difference it makes since Echo rejects the teachings of the Biblical Jesus anyway.

    “Kate, you need to try and listen to us in the event your Jesus is the fake Jesus. Okay? Are you willing? ”

    Since Echo rejects the teachings of the Biblical Jesus what difference does it make?

  149. 149 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    “The Jews were strict observers of the law, the law stated that they were to rest on the Sabbath but the Jews made up their own Sabbath laws that weren’t in the law of God and were not commanded by God.”

    That statement is internally inconsistent. The Jews were not strict observers of the law.

    Jesus said,
    Matt. 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
    . . .
    28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

  150. 150 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    “Contention (sin) begins with attacks and against a person themselves.”

    Is that like calling someone a sinner because they disagree with you?

    “The Pharisees, like Kate and all LDS trust in obedience to the commandments, (the law of Moses is a term used for obedience to the commandments) But Jesus said:
    “45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.”

    So, Echo thinks Jesus is a Pharisee?

    So, Pharisees, like JESUS trust in obedience to the commandments. Humm.

    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    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.

  151. 151 Echo
    June 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Echo said: “Contention (sin) begins with attacks and against a person themselves.”

    Ralph: “Is that like calling someone a sinner because they disagree with you?”

    This disagreement is not a sin…..

    Echo says: “The sky is blue”
    Ralph replies: “No, the sky is purple”

    This is a sin…

    Echo say: “The sky is blue”
    Ralph says: “Oh Echo, your such a bully, your heart is so filled with hate”
    Echo says: ” LDS teachings say: “The sky is purple” (quote from LDS.org verbatim)
    Ralph says: “LOL Echo, you are twisting our words, your lying, we don’t believe the sky is Purple, we believe the sky is Purple. Don’t you get it? How stupid can you be?
    Echo says: show me what we are missing Ralph
    Ralph says: NO. I don’t want to waste my time.

  152. 152 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Echo,

    The problem is really like this.

    LDS say: “The sky is blue”
    Anti-Mormons reply: “The LDS say, the sky is pink”

    Is that a sin?

    LDS say: “The sky is blue”
    Echo says: “Oh LDS, you are wrong, you are going to hell unless you believe the sky is pink”
    Echo says: ” LDS teachings say: “The sky is purple” (quote from LDS.org verbatim)”
    Ralph says: “LOL Echo, you are twisting our words, we don’t believe the sky is purple, we believe the sky is blue. Don’t you get it?
    Echo says: show me what we are missing Ralph
    Ralph says: Read this Bible verse “Jesus said, “the sky is blue”,” and this Bible verses “Jesus said “the sky is blue”.”
    Echo says: That is just Jesus talking, we can ignore that because Paul says this “a misunderstanding of what Paul actually said”.

  153. 153 Echo
    June 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Ralph said: “The problem is really like this.

    LDS say: “The sky is blue”
    Anti-Mormons reply: “The LDS say, the sky is pink”

    Is that a sin?

    _____________________

    You saying “Anti-Mormons” is a sin. We are not anti-Mormon. We are anti-Mormonism and you have been told this recently.

    As for the conversation itself. That’s not how it goes. We provide LDS quotes Ralph. And we welcome you to provide LDS quotes also Ralph. We welcome you to provide more of the context than we have provided if you want to. That’s completely welcome here.

    Just because we see a tornado in your blue sky that is headed right for your house that doesn’t mean we are Lying about the LDS belief in a blue sky. The point is you are simply too busy sleeping in your house to notice. We are outside banging on the door trying to wake you up and save you, you wake up long enough to hurl insults at us and then go right back to sleep. The smart thing to do would be to get out of bed and look out the window to see if there really is a tornado heading for your house.

  154. 154 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Shem said: “This is true love, for true love does not accept the wrong actions of a person, but does not cease to love because of them, as this is best for the one you love.”

    You didn’t watch the video did you. This “truth” is covered in the video. This “truth” I believe in. Do you?

  155. 155 shematwater
    June 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    ECHO

    I have watched the video, so I will be more direct in a response to it.

    Simply put, if you use this man’s definition of religion the LDS church does not come within its scope.
    We do not teach that God only loves the obedient.
    We do teach that it is all about Christ (focused on him).
    Through the LDS church one can gain the greatest peace and joy attainable in this life.
    We do not teach that there are good people and bad people; but that all people are good (at least initially) who have simply made some poor choices in life.
    We do believe in the two basic classifications of the repentant and unrepentant, and in the same basic way as described.

    To try and use this video to show the error of the LDS only shows how little you actually understand about LDS doctrine, for everything that is being praised is describing LDS doctrine and culture, while everything being ridiculed is not found in our church.

  156. 156 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Shem said: “We do not teach that God only loves the obedient.”

    You do not SEE that you teach that God only loves the obedient. Because you are blind to what we see in your teachings. You are so busy fighting against us with your truck load of pride you can’t hear or see a thing.

    You believe this: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.”

    So what if you say he loves you now. BIG DEAL! I asked Ralph how your God loved him, he avoided answering me! That’s because he doesn’t have a clue! And because he doesn’t have a clue, he doesn’t know how to love others like God has loved him. I haven’t met an LDS person yet who obeys God! You are all wretched sinners just like the rest of the world! Your God only loves you enough to return to him some day if you first obey him but you don’t obey him! That’s the whole point! Your God doesn’t love you enough even right now to truly change your heart, to truly get you to want to obey him right now! And that’s because you have to obey him before you will be able to return one day. That’s because returning to him is conditional on your obedience. That’s conditional love! That’s a fact! You are so blind to that, it is a fact. Conditional love never motivates and that is exactly what is wrong with the LDS Church. Unconditional love is the only way!

    Now if one of you would listen to us for 5 minutes instead of sinning, you would find out how much God REALLY loves you through our message. But you’re too deaf because you have your fingers of pride plugging up your stubborn ears. Your Church has pre-programmed you to shut us out. You guys are like pre-programmed robots. (Beep…destroy, destroy, destroy…Beep….Don’t listen…Beep….)

    Shem said: “We do not teach that there are good people and bad people; but that all people are good (at least initially) who have simply made some poor choices in life.”

    That’s unbiblical

    In Luke 18:19 Jesus said: ““No one is good—except God alone.”

    God views you differently than you view yourself. God views our sin much more harshly than you do. Sin is trivial to you. It’s trivial to Ralph, It’s trivial to Kate, it’s trivial to the LDS, it’s trivial to the entire unbelieving world.

    Sin is DEADLY serious to God. Including all the sins you LDS folks so frivolously and freely commit here on this blog against others. And unrepentantly I might add. When you sin in ways such as the LDS so freely sin here, you deserve to be beaten, flogged, spit on, mocked, and crucified just like Jesus was and then you deserve to go to HELL for all eternity. That’s how deadly serious sin is to God. When you sin so freely like you LDS so freely sin here on this blog, you are spitting in the face of Jesus, mocking him, you are crucifying him all over again. Sin is so ugly, so despicable, so wicked and evil that GOD HAD TO BE CRUCIFIED because of sin! That is how deadly serious God takes ALL SIN. And you think you will be exalted? THINK AGAIN! You think you will get any degree of glory? THINK AGAIN! “THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH!”

    Hebrews 10:31 “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

    I haven’t spoken with a single LDS person yet who takes ALL sin deadly seriously. All you LDS people do is fire out sinful personal attacks never actually taking the time to listen.

    We have told you all over and over that we love and care about you. Jesus said: “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you”

    But you wretched LDS people can’t even love those who love you! It’s absolutely pathetic! LDS people resort to sinning to defend themselves against those who love them! That’s totally pathetic! You’re in the devil’s church!

    Mathew 5:46-47 “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

    Even Pagans are better at love than the LDS people! Open your eyes!

    I imagine I will get an earful now from the pride filled LDS people. Don’t you know that Satan fell from heaven because of pride! (beep…attack….beep, beep, beep…sin now…beep)

    So unless one of you wants to at least listen to us, I see no point in continuing discussions with any of you. You can’t beat a dead horse.

    The Bible teaches that a man born in this world is physically alive but spiritually DEAD.

    YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

  157. June 15, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Having a bad day? It’s understandable since everything you just said applies to you, not us. The thing is, in our beliefs, you can repent because Jesus died for us, offering us the opportunity to repent and come unto Him. So, I won’t condemn you, though if you choose not to repent of your tirade here, your words may.

    All I can say is, ” Good grief, echo!” You sure lost your cool. You have gone and judged us unrighteously. I forgive you though, but that is one of the things that we have learned to “do” by following Him and loving Him enough to feel His love for you. You see, we don’t set out to destroy your faith in Him, we just want to share the opportunity with you to grow in Him, so seek more light and knowledge and progress in that light, which is what he wants us to do…by the way …when we meet at the judgement bar, look for me, I’ll be the one smiling ;o).

  158. 158 Echo
    June 15, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Kate, stop falsely judging people, I was not angry.

    Kate said: “when we meet at the judgement bar, look for me, I’ll be the one smiling ;O”

    Woe to you! You hung yourself with that comment.

  159. June 15, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Woe to me? I will be smiling at the judgement bar because I will experience the joy of meeting my savior face to face, and I will be smiling knowing that you will see that because of His atoning blood, I will not be condemned to hell as you so unrighteously judged.

    The reason you repeat the same inaccurate statements over and over again, is so the readers will forget the truths we posted. It’s a psychological game you are playing…you see the truth we teach…yet by your actions, it appears that you hope the readers will forget the truths we posted when they are continually flooded with your half-truth lies. You must take them as fools? I don’t, I expect that because you are getting to flustered and angry, that they are seeing your true colors. They will go back and read. They will know the truth.

  160. 161 Ralph Peterson
    June 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “Because you are blind to what we see in your teachings. You are so busy fighting against us with your truck load of pride you can’t hear or see a thing. ”

    Oh, the irony!! LOL!!

    “. . . he avoided answering me! That’s because he doesn’t have a clue!”

    Talk about making a false judgment!

    “You are all wretched sinners just like the rest of the world!”

    You can’t refute the argument so you resort to this. We get it.

    “God views you differently than you view yourself. God views our sin much more harshly than you do. Sin is trivial to you. It’s trivial to Ralph, It’s trivial to Kate, it’s trivial to the LDS, it’s trivial to the entire unbelieving world. ”

    You can’t refute the argument so you resort to this. We get it.

    “But you wretched LDS people can’t even love those who love you! ”

    You can’t refute the argument so you resort to this. We get it.

    If you can’t be civil Echo, it is time to ignore you.

  161. 162 Ralph Peterson
    June 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    If you can’t be civil Echo, it is time to ignore you.

  162. 163 Ralph Peterson
    June 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Kate,

    Echo gets like this when he paints himself into an untenable position. (Something that happens rather often.)

    I have found success ignoring him when he behaves like this.

    He just doesn’t understand that he has absolutely NO authority to speak for God or interpret scripture. His bloviating is nothing but hot air.

  163. 164 shematwater
    June 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    To those who are reading this:

    Echo claims to know our doctrine, and has asserted that “{We} believe this: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.”

    However, in asserting this Echo has ignored previous comments made by myself and Kate and is thus again presenting false ideas in an attempt to prove us wrong. What Echo fails to understand is the difference between love and acceptance, which I tried to explain earlier. The statement of our faith that Echo gives should read more like this “IF I obey God, God will accept me enough to return to him some day.” However, he does now, and he always will love me, and every person who has ever lived.
    I gave a quote before that illustrated this very well. “In your new kingdom I cannot be your father; but no matter where you go you will always be my son.”
    What is this saying? It is saying that because of our actions we separate ourselves from God and thus we cannot have the relationship we could have; but regardless of this he will always love us.

    Now, Echo also makes the accusation that we view sin as a trivial thing, which is again a false idea. We do not view sin as trivial, but as a great danger that has the potential to destroy our souls and forever bar us from the presence of our Father. It is something powerful that is to be shunned. However, we also believe in the great power of our Father and his Son’s atonement, through which we are empowered to overcome all sin.
    We do not believe that we have to be obedient to receive of his Grace, but only believe and thus desire obedience, for it is through his grace that we are enabled to be obedient, and only through his grace that we can truly fulfill that which is required of us.

    As to accusation of us being sinners, I don’t think any of us will argue this point, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and we are no exception. However, the accusation that we do not even desire to not sin is false, for there is no greater desire in our hearts but to be perfect followers of Christ, whom we love dearly. While we know we will never attain the perfection of Christ, we strive to attain the perfection of Job and Noah, who were declared perfect by God in the Bible. Few of us will actually attain this goal, but all of us strive for it.

    Now, I would like to answer the question that Echo has given; that of how does God show his love for us. I will name a few ways in which he has shown his love for us.
    1. He has given us our physical bodies, allowing us to be born into this life and continue in our progression to perfection.
    2. He has given all men the Light of Christ to guide us through this life, inspiring us to do good and shun evil.
    3. He has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life as our example, and then sufer and die for us, to be raised again; thus providing the means for our return to live with him.
    4. He has promised the Gift of the Holy Ghost to all those who are faithful as a greater guide through life, not only to insprire to do good and shun evil, but to give direct instruction on the best course we can take.
    5. He does not leave any of his children in the dark, but prepares a way for all of them to hear the gospel (whether in this life or the next) and accept his Son and be saved.
    6. What I consider the greatest evidence of his love: in the eternal worlds he has promised to give us the greatest amount of glory that can. Even the vilest of murders he loves enough not to leave their souls in Hell, but will eventually redeem them and bring them into some degree of glory.

    All these things show the great of our Father in Heaven, and because of them we love him and strive to obey him.

  164. June 16, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Readers,
    You are being terribly deceived by a donation funded campaign to turn 1,000,000 Mormons away from their faith. These bloggers are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are having training seminars to teach their “witnesses” to know how to manipulate your emotions, striking you at the parts of life that “everyone” experiences…suggesting to you that it is because of the LDS church.

    Readers, please peruse the blogging world…every Christian living in today’s fast paced, amoral society is being bombarded with stressors of every kind…including feeling “unworthy”. Television, magazines, you name it, make “all” people feel unworthy of love, for a number of reasons. Chemicals, pollution, poor nutrition, and the likes are resulting in depression that causes a person to question whether their lives are even worth living. Depression is not induced by a love of our Heavenly Father, unfortunately, our lives, Mormon and Non-Mormon alike, are being affected by the acceleration of Satan and his hosts to bring anyone and everyone away from Jesus Christ.

    These bloggers, whether they know it or not, are being tools in the hands of Satan. They are being deceived themselves by those who designed this campaign.

    If you follow the money, you can always find out how these campaigns get started in the first place. Do a search online and see how these so-called “Christian” Churches are really just businesses. There are even blogs for the “church” business coaches who give it like it is..teaching how to run a financially profitable church. Bottom line is this…Mormonism is growing…and it scares them to death! Money out of their pockets!

    Quoted from their website: “it is generally agreed that Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions of our times.”
    That means less money in their church. So they are on a mission…to destroy the faith of Mormons, especially targeted? Quote: “Future target audiences for media campaigns may include young Mormon males and young Mormon couples.”

    Quoted: “Total projected cost to fulfill this three year vision: $1,000,000.
    TILM media campaigns use media messages (billboards or post cards, for example) to direct
    carefully targeted Mormon audiences

    to an ever-expanding Internet presence.

    Witnessing to Mormons is a challenge.

    It has often been said that Mormons and Christians have the same vocabulary but different dictionaries.

    That is why carefully designed web sites are being developed where Mormons can discretely learn more about God’s true plan of salvation in a language they can fully understand.”

    In other words, set up blogs pretending to be Mormon’s who have left the faith and found Christianity. This is where Mormons can “discretely” learn…in other words, “learn by deception.”

    More from their site:
    “To support this effort, TILM will reach out to Mormons by equipping Christians to witness. For the duration of each campaign, targeted cities will be a focal point for equipping seminars, training and providing specific witnessing tools that Christians can use to engage Mormons.

    TILM media campaigns are targeted. This was the case for our first campaign conducted from November 2009 to February 2010. As a part of that campaign, TILM targeted women between the ages of 25-45 and asked if they were “Feeling Worthy?” The feeling of worthiness is a significant stress point among women due to the culture and the theology of the LDS church. A total of five billboards were placed in the three largest cities of Eastern Idaho (Pocatello, Idaho Falls and Rexburg). These geographical areas have a large and historical LDS influence.

    Future target audiences for media campaigns may include young Mormon males and young Mormon couples.

    For each audience, TILM will develop a strategic Internet presence using web pages, blogs, and other social media.”
    And…let’s make sure we get at the ones who are spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ…

    Here is a quote from there teacher’s handbook for the seminar: (Note how to manipulate these young missionaries…find out where they are weak…)

    “Being a missionary is often a huge point of stress for young men. Much of their future progress in the Church and even their future marriage prospects hinge on their going on a two-year mission. And while they are on their missions, many are under a great deal of stress. They are experiencing the emotional stress of being away from their families, having very limited contact with them. They are physically tired because of the rigorous schedule they must keep. In addition, many are under spiritual stress. It’s hard to believe, but Mormon missionaries are not well trained. They may appear knowledgeable, but you would be surprised by the number of missionaries who don’t have a grasp on what they believe and may even be entertaining serious doubts. Many have become missionaries only because of family and peer pressure and the expectations of their culture. On top of everything else, many people are not very nice to them. Because of all this, a kind smile to a Mormon missionary can go a long way. Inviting them over for a nice meal is a good way to initiate a dialogue.” (You mean a good way to bring them down?)

    Here is a few of the staff of TILM blog. We encourage you check them out.
    Mark’s Blog
    Mark focuses on witnessng to Mormons especially by pointing out the differences beween statements made in current LDS literature dealing with important spiritual topics and biblical teaching. His posts can give you how ideas on how to witness to your LDS friends..
    Becki’s Blog
    Becki concentrates on witnessing specifically to LDS women. She extensively references LDS sources. (Note her deception!)
    Dave’s Blog
    Dave posts about what is happening in the ministry – especially about how we are addressing our vision of inviting one million Mormons to hear the gospel by the end of 2013. (Did anyone mention how much money they will make off of this venture???)

    Here is just one of the falsehoods they are teaching these witnesses:
    “Tithing is not only a religious duty, but also a means of proving success.” REALLY?
    And if you have read through our posts, you will see how they refuse to accept that the Atonement has anything to do with our beliefs.

    So… do you really want to hear what they have to say? Do they have ANY credibility?

  165. 166 RLO
    June 16, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Readers;

    By all means, Readers. Do precisely what Kate has asked you to do. Check out all the blogs. Do all your own homework. Evaluate for yourselves, whether Kate’s claims are based on truth, or whether they are based on something else (the ranting of a paranoid, maybe?). By all means. Do so. And then draw your own conclusions.

    Personally, I believe the accusations in this post would be laughable, were they not so pitifully sad.

    Kate;

    I’m sorry you find those two little words on a billboard – – “Feeling Worthy?” – – so threatening to you, Kate.

  166. June 16, 2011 at 4:10 am

    In response to RLO below:

    What you just said is laughable. With the charade that is going on here, it will benefit those who think you have their best interests at heart to know what is really going on.

    As far as me? I do not feel threatened in the least. I’m just sickened by the lies and deception. I am here to expose your true colors. It’s that simple.

  167. 168 RLO
    June 16, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Fine Kate. So then, we’ll let the readers decide for themselves.

  168. 169 Echo
    June 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Dear readers,

    Kate said: “And if you have read through our posts, you will see how they refuse to accept that the Atonement has anything to do with our beliefs. ”

    Here is a link to one page of the “Are you feeling worthy?” website. On this page the LDS “Atonement” that Kate says we refuse to accept as having anything to do with their beliefs, is mentioned….

    http://hishealingnow.com/articles/Failure.html#hhnArticle-Segment-5

    Here is a link to the home page of the website…

    http://hishealingnow.com/

    On the following webpage link below is a list of numerous contrasts between Christian teachings and LDS teachings. You can look through the contrasts and see the contrasts and definitions side by side. The “Atonement” which Kate states we refuse to accept as having to do anything with LDS beliefs is listed as number 46

    http://www.truthinlovetomormons.com/basic_mormon_doctrine/contrasts/contents.htm

    TILM is a “not for profit” Ministry seeking to lead Mormons to Christ and to free salvation through faith in him.

    Kate is guilty of slander. She is making slanderous accusations based on her feelings rather than on fact. Based on her emotions rather than on her mind. Based on how her Church has trained her to react rather than based on the factual truth and actual research. She has commit intellectual and spiritual suicide. She is a prime and easy target for Satan.

    “Slander” is listed as a sin of “depravity” and “God Haters”. It is a deadly serious sin. Readers, judge for yourself…

    Romans 1:29-31 ” They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and DEPRAVITY. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, SLANDERERS, GOD HATERS, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

    As I stated in an earlier post, the LDS think sin is trivial. You have witnessed this yourself. It’s written right before your very eyes as evidence and as fact. Just read their posts.

    I second what RLO stated…check out all our websites, and make up your own mind. Don’t be misled by those who themselves have been deceived. THINK for yourself. Don’t let someone do the thinking for you.

    As for this blog, I ask you to keep your focus on the doctrine we discuss with Mormons and on nothing else. Search and study the scriptures for yourself. Trust God’s word alone.

    Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    I encourage everyone also to do some research on what the LDS does with the 10% mandated compulsory tithe they have. New Testament Christians don’t believe in a 10% mandated compulsory tithe, we give what we desire to give, whether that be: nothing or 2 % or 5 % or 10% or more, that is the freedom we have in Christ. (2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly OR UNDER COMPULSION, for God loves a cheerful giver.”) I would also question the LDS church as to why a person has to pay the 10% tithe to begin with since we are living in the New Testament times not Old Testament times. And also ask why it is compulsory.

    Kate,

    We can help you if you will let us. God will take out your heart of stone and give you a new heart. Just listen, just learn what we believe, that’s all we are asking. Give us a chance to clear up the misconceptions you have when we present LDS doctrine to you. I assure you, you are simply misunderstanding what we mean. WE truly LOVE MORMONS. You included!

    Eze 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

  169. June 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Oh but wait…I only did exactly what you do to us….oh my…look how you react???? wow. I quoted exactly from your website. How funny…you pull little quotes from our doctrine manuals and such and build your case and BAM! You are going to send us all to hell. Yet, I do the same to you…and you call it slander?

    All I can say is Wow.

  170. 171 Echo
    June 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Kate,

    My opinions on LDS doctrine are based on years and years of extensive research into Mormonism and of listening to Mormons. If you were to peruse my bookshelves in my home, you would think I was a Mormon because of all the Mormon books I own. I have done my homework thoroughly because I don’t want to slander anyone; sin is not a trivial thing to me.

    Your opinions are all based on a whim. On your feelings. On what your church dictates to you. You come to this website and within a few short posts tell us our hearts are filled with evil etc.

    If you want to make a charge about our doctrine being deceptive, that’s fine. I would welcome that if your intent is to rescue me from being deceived and you have done extensive research. But your arguments hold no weight because you haven’t done years and years of extensive research into what we believe nor are you willing to listen to us with patience.

    We fully admit we aren’t perfect and we can make mistakes in our presentation of LDS doctrine. WE have no desire to do that so we have always welcomed your help. That is why we are very open to members of the LDS Church providing us with further information by giving us official LDS links. We have nothing to hide here. But we also need the LDS to have listening ears that desire to hear what we are saying and to understand what we are saying and to answer our questions before committing intellectual suicide.

    What “IF” you have been deceived? What “IF” what we are saying is true? What “IF” your church is leading you to outer darkness? Would you want to know that so that you can avoid that awful fate?

    Don’t commit intellectual suicide, do some extensive research. Continue to chat with us, learn what we mean when we say things about LDS doctrine, learn what we believe, get all that understanding first and then you won’t be committing intellectual suicide. The Pharisees committed intellectual suicide, don’t follow in their tracks. God expects you to use your mind, not your emotions. God expects you to use your mind and not blindly believe the mind of your church leaders.

    The fact of the matter is that you havn’t done all you can do by doing extensive research first and by listening to and learning from all of us here. Sin is trivial to you. Your position holds no credibility at all for those very reasons. It doesn’t have to be this way. And since you believe you are saved by grace after all you can do, you have already failed to do all you can do.

  171. 172 Ralph Peterson
    June 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Kate,

    This is what you are dealing with here.

    “My opinions on LDS doctrine are based on years and years of extensive research into Mormonism and of listening to Mormons. If you were to peruse my bookshelves in my home, you would think I was a Mormon because of all the Mormon books I own. I have done my homework thoroughly because I don’t want to slander anyone; sin is not a trivial thing to me. ”

    And yet he still doesn’t understand it. He won’t take of those Evangelical polluted goggles.

    “I would welcome that if your intent is to rescue me from being deceived and you have done extensive research.”

    Well DUH!!!! He doesn’t understand that that is part of the reason we are here.

    “But your arguments hold no weight because you haven’t done years and years of extensive research into what we believe nor are you willing to listen to us with patience. ”

    Kate, I don’t know about you, but I have been dealing with Evangelicals for “years and years”. They don’t all agree, most are more Calvinist than Arminianist, but not all.

    I have several very large and important problems with their theology. I have found anyone of them that can or will address these issues to my satisfaction.

    The one issue that comes up often here is the inconsistency that we can’t do ANYTHING toward our own salvation, yet they continually ask us to do something toward our own salvation.

  172. 173 Ralph Peterson
    June 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Typo alert!

    I haven’t found anyone of them that can or will address these issues to my satisfaction.

  173. 174 Echo
    June 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Ralph said: “I have several very large and important problems with their theology. I have found anyone of them that can or will address these issues to my satisfaction. The one issue that comes up often here is the inconsistency that we can’t do ANYTHING toward our own salvation, yet they continually ask us to do something toward our own salvation”

    We can certianly continue to discuss this with you so that you will eventually understand.

  174. 175 Echo
    June 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Mark, RLO and myself are not Calvinist or Arminianist, we are Lutheran. I don’t know what background the rest of the posters here are.

  175. 176 Ralph Peterson
    June 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I understand very clear that it is an inconsistency. It is you that doesn’t seem to be able to understand.

  176. 177 Ralph Peterson
    June 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Can you explain the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism?

  177. June 17, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Echo: Again, wow. First, I read your replay during my lunch break but can’t reply from work, so had to wait till now. Now I’m so exhausted that I really don’t want to waste my time trying to address every one of your issues.

    But…you have to realize that the fact that you may have studied Mormonism for years makes absolutely no difference in regards to what I posted. I am not going to study your website for years…I posted quotes directly from your website. That has nothing to do with the gospel you preach. It has to do with the campaign I am letting everyone know about. I realize it is not a secret campaign, just one that unsuspecting Mormons should know the facts about.

    It is not slander to point out what I understand from your website, and back it up with quotes directly from your website. Anyone can go to it and see that for themselves. Those who are blinded by the hatred they have for the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (which Gospel we teach), will see nothing wrong with your campaign. Those LDS, who are being “discretely” taught, which is another way of saying, taught by deception will see what I quoted, go to the site and see for themselves the truth.

    Another thing. Do you think people don’t understand that a “Not for profit” organization doesn’t mean money doesn’t get made?
    Hello? The heads of these organizations pay themselves quite handsomely,…not all take advantage of that in the wrong way, but some do. So throwing it out as if no one could be making a dime off this campaign is silly. People aren’t dumb.

    Also, it’s obvious I ruffled your feathers…you must be worried that I might have actually caused some good LDS folk to turn away from you. Good.

    You can say all the horrible things you say to me….it is only making you look worse.

  178. June 17, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Typo: replay should read, reply….

    however, it’s actually kind of funny because conversing with you , echo, is always like hitting replay.

    Just like the tithing issue…I addressed that earlier.

  179. June 17, 2011 at 1:54 am

    BTW, Echo: This is the website they need to go to, to see where I quoted from….not the one’s you posted.

    http://tilm.org/

    Make sure you read the curriculum, the teacher’s guide that teaches them how to go after Mormons.

  180. June 17, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Readers,

    I would like to retract my statement regarding the TILM’s objective’s to deceive mormons. I was wrong to imply that they are doing anything wrong, even though they talk about discretely teaching you, targeting you, etc. Even though, they teach in their seminars to learn the Mormon vocabulary so that when they speak to Mormons, they will have more of an impact on them, this does not mean they are trying to deceive you, or in some cases, if it seems that someone is pretending to be an lds person who has left their faith, but might not really be, it will be up to you to decide for yourselves whether you are being led from the truth or not.

    As far as their goal to collect a million dollars to destroy the faith of an LDS person, I have no intention of making you feel that they have anything but love in their heart for you while they do this. It is up to you to find that out for yourselves, it is up to you whether or not you want someone judging you and your faith as evil. My only hope is that you do go to their tilm website and read it thoroughly.

    I’m done here.

  181. 182 Echo
    June 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Arminianism:

    1. election- (and condemnation on the day of judgment) conditioned by the rational faith or nonfaith of man;
    2. The Atonement-, while qualitatively adequate for all men, was efficacious only for the man of faith;
    3.unaided by the Holy Spirit, no person is able to respond to God’s will;
    4.grace- is not irresistible;
    5.believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace.

    Calvinism:

    1. Total depravity of man
    2. Unconditional election-some are chosen to be saved and some are chosen to be damned
    3. Limited atonement-only the sins of the elect were atoned for by Jesus Christ
    4. Irresistible grace
    5. Perseverance of the saints-the elect will persevere

    Lutheran:

    1. Total depravity of man (Gen 6:5; Rom 5:10; Psa 51:5;Rom 3:9-18 etc.)
    2. God wants all men to be saved ( 1Tim 2:3-4)
    3. Atonement-The sins of the whole world were atoned for. (2 Cor 5:19 etc.) and is received personally through faith.
    4. Grace is not irresistible (Mat 23:37 etc.)
    5. Man can fall from grace (1 Cor 10:12 etc.)

  182. 183 Echo
    June 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    The Lutheran perspective on Arminianism…

    http://www.wlsessays.net/subject/a/Arminianism

    The Lutheran perspective on Calvinism…

    http://www.wlsessays.net/subject/c/Calvinism

  183. 184 shematwater
    June 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    So, only the Calvinists actually teach that everything was done by Christ. The other two admit that we must do something, though they limit this to faith.

    While the atonement was for all sin, only the faithful really receive any benefit, and since grace can be resisted (indicated by not being irrisistable) it is all in our choice to believe and not resist that determines whether we are saved or not.

  184. 185 Echo
    June 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Not exactly. Arminianism teaches that man must make a decision to accept Christ into their hearts. In other words salvation isn’t entirely the work of Jesus but man must do his part in choosing to take that salvation. He must make a decision. Man hasn’t been saved until he chooses to be saved. Arminianists don’t believe in the TOTAL depravity of man. While they may believe that man is sinful or depraved. They don’t believe man is so depraved that he is spiritually DEAD. Dead men cannot choose God. DEAD men can do nothing. They believe that man can at least choose God. They don’t believe in universal objective justification. They believe that objective justification is only for those who choose to take it.

    In Luthern teachings, our Salvation is entirely the work of Jesus. Jesus has reconciled the whole world to himself. (Universal Objective justification) (Romans 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20)

    How does God get that message to us that he has already reconciled us to himself? Through his Spirit he leads us to repentance and gives us the gift of faith. Faith in his finished work. Not faith to finish the work by making a decision for Christ. We can resist these efforts of the Spirit.

  185. 186 shematwater
    June 19, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Actually, that is exactly what I said, just in different words. In the end it is all up to us whether or not we are

  186. 187 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 4:52 am

    I think you have misunderstood me because your words: “In the end it is all up to us ” give me that impression. It’s not up to us.

    Allow me to explain again if I may…

    Our salvation is done. Jesus said it is finished. So believing God has finished our salvation does not in itself finish our salvation. For example, if you special order a brand new car and have an assortment of options put on it. When the car dealer calls you up and tells you your car is now assembled (finished) and he tells you that you can pick the car up, your faith that the car is finished didn’t cause the car to get finished. In fact the car had to be finished before you could have faith that it was finished.

    Faith is not the cause of salvation. Faith is only the means through which you learn of the completed salvation we have in Jesus that was already “finished” before you believed.

  187. 188 shematwater
    June 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    But even in this analogy, it is still up to me to go down and pick up the car in order to enjoy the use of it, and thus it is up to me to gain the car, as leaving it at the deelership will do me no good.

    However, this explanation really destroys the justice of God. After all, if I am already saved why would anyone wind up in Hell. It makes no sense.

  188. 189 Ralph Peterson
    June 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    “Jesus said it is finished.”

    Echo,
    Why do you continue with this obviously false and demonstrably so understanding of the phrase “it is finished”?
    In context it is OBVIOUS that Jesus was referring to ONLY the suffering part of His atonement. The RESURRECTION part of His atonement was yet to be accomplished.

    You misuse of this phrase as a “proof text” of Evangelical doctrine hurts your cause far more than it helps it.


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