11
Jun
11

FAITH IN JESUS’ WHAT?

 

Both Mormonism and Christianity talk about having faith in Jesus.  But, as with so many words and phrases, each means something differently by that.

James E. Talmage, who was an LDS apostle, defined faith this way:  “Primarily, and in a theological sense, we are considering faith as a living, inspiring confidence in God, and an acceptance of His will as our law, and of His words as our guide in life.”  Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin put it this way:  “We each should develop the faith of Nephi to do the things the Lord has commanded [see 1 Ne. 3:7] knowing that all commandments are given for our good.”

When Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, they are not talking about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life.  The first and primary things Christians think about when faith comes up are not Jesus’ words but his works.  To Christians, having faith in Jesus means trusting that what Jesus did he did for us and because Jesus has done those things, we are already acceptable to God.  So much so that faith in Jesus, for Christians, includes the thought of abandoning any reliance on our own works.  But note that any mention of Jesus’ works for us is completely absent in James E. Talmage’s words – even though he is describing faith “primarily”.

Although both Mormonism and Christianity talk about having faith in Jesus, they have two different objects in which they place their faith.  In order to understand each other and not talk past each other, it is important to see this difference.  It is not enough to agree that both talk about having faith in Jesus.  The telling question is: faith in Jesus’ what?

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150 Responses to “FAITH IN JESUS’ WHAT?”


  1. 1 Kent
    June 11, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    i reject a Jesus who is a created being, who is the spirit brother of Satan, and who is anything less than God Almighty who came down to earth for heaven for a time to be the perfect sacrifice in my place, a sinner who cannot save myself from the fiery pits of hell, and who took all of my sins upon himself and rose again on the third day so that I will live with Heavenly Father forever and forever!

    I also reject a God was a man first on some other planet who progressed to be God as I only worship a God who is all powerful and has always been all powerful and who always has and always will be God Almighty.

    The Bible doesn’t teach any of the things I reject and the Bible is good enough for me.

    So it is important to clarify who the Jesus that we have faith in is.

  2. June 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Readers, before we go into another post that twists and turns our words, find out for yourself what our faith in Jesus Christ is:

    “Faith in Christ is the first principle of the gospel. Exercising faith is how we open ourselves up to God’s grace. As we trust Jesus Christ enough to keep His commandments and do His work, He sends His Spirit to help us become more like Him.

    http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/faith-in-jesus-christ

  3. 3 Echo
    June 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Kate said: ““Faith in Christ is the first principle of the gospel. Exercising faith is how we open ourselves up to God’s grace. As we trust Jesus Christ enough to keep His commandments and do His work, He sends His Spirit to help us become more like Him.

    http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/faith-in-jesus-christ

    Thank you for sharing this information and link. We appreciate that.

    Kate said: “before we go into another post that twists and turns our words”

    We don’t believe we are twisting and turning your words , so if you could explain to us and the readers just exactly what we have twisted and what we have turned, we can either clear up your misunderstanding or you can clear up our misunderstanding.

    Thanks!

  4. 4 Kent
    June 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    But Kate who is the Jesus you have faith in, is it our big brother and the brother of Satan who chose good instead of evil, like his brother did, as told to me on a chat on Mormon.org, and is your faith in a Jesus who is a created being?

    OR

    Is your faith in the true Jesus of the Bible who has always been and always will be nothing short of God Almighty who came down to earth for a time to be the perfect sacrifice to die on the cross in our place to save us who are sinners who cannot save ourselves, who rose from the grave on the third say, and who is the creator of everything there is?

  5. June 13, 2011 at 12:58 am

    No need to show you. Good luck in your faith destroying ministry. The good thing is that I will continue to spread the truth and write enough for others to see that you are only acting as wolves in sheep’s clothing. I know that will anger you, but it’s exactly what you are doing here. It is possible that you do it unknowingly and that in your heart you think you are doing the correct thing, however, you have been deceived. By their fruits, ye shall know them.

  6. June 13, 2011 at 1:03 am

    One last thing….Those of you LDS who have been led to this site because of doubts, please don’t hesitate to go to my blog and contact me if you have sincere questions.

    http://pillaroflight.wordpress.com

    Kate

  7. 7 Echo
    June 13, 2011 at 1:18 am

    We are not angry with you Kate, you are always welcome here.

  8. 8 Echo
    June 13, 2011 at 1:24 am

    And the invitation to show us how we are wrong is always open to you too. Keep providing us with official LDS sources. We respect that and welcome it.

  9. 9 Kent
    June 13, 2011 at 5:56 am

    True faith cannot be destroyed. I am just pointing out who the Bible says Jesus is and it says He is God Almighty, who made everything there is, including all the worlds. So God could not have been a man on some other planet before He was God as nothing, including all the worlds, didn’t exist until God made them.

    The Bible clearly says in John 1 that Jesus is God, it shows in John 1 and Hebrews 1 that everything that was made was made by Him, it shows in Exodus 3 that God called Himself I AM, and in John 8 that Jesus was calling Himself God when he told the religious leaders that BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM. So Jesus wasn’t Satan’s brother who chose good instead of the evil His brother chose.

    WHO JESUS IS AND WHAT HE DID IS EVERYTHING! IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS AND THE CROSS!

    Yes, Jesus did come to the earth for a time as a perfect man to be the perfect sacrifice in our place and anyone who believes on His name and confesses with his mouth that He is Lord, that He died on the cross, and rose again on the third day will be saved and saved doesn’t just mean you get to live in the afterlife with a chance, sometime in the future, to be with Heavenly Father forever but that you can know now by believing on His name that you will be with Heavenly Father if you just have faith. Jesus couldn’t have been the perfect blood sacrifice if He Is anything less than EMANUEL, GOD WITH US!

    John 1:1-3
    1IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.
    2THE SAME WAS IN THE BEGINNING WITH GOD.
    3ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANY THING MADE THAT WAS MADE.

    Hebrews 1:1-2, 10
    1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS
    10AND, THOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING HAST LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH; AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF THINE HANDS:

    Exodus 3:13-14
    13And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
    14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

    John 8:58
    58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS, I AM.

  10. 10 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    “When (Evangelical) Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, they are not talking about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life.”

    WOW!!!!

    THAT is a very interesting admission.

    “The first and primary things (Evangelical) Christians think about when faith comes up are not Jesus’ words . . . ”

    Ok, so you don’t hold His word’s in preeminence or even in importance. THAT is also a very interesting admission.

    What you are doing here is accepting later definitions of “faith” rather that the definition in use at the time the scriptures were authored.

    Perhaps you need the historical analysis of ‘belief’ (pistis) once more:

    While ‘grace’ represents both the receiving and giving aspect of the relationship, ‘faith’ represents the commitment to this relationship: “Faith (Lat. fides; Gk pistis) is a term also very much at home in patron-client and friendship relations…In one sense, faith meant “dependability”. The patron needed to prove reliable in providing the assistance he or she promised to grant. The client needed to “keep faith” as well, in the sense of showing loyalty or commitment to the patron and to his or her obligations of gratitude. A second meaning in the more familiar sense is “trust”: the client had to trust the goodwill and ability of the patron…while the benefactor would also have to trust the recipients to act nobly and make a grateful response.”[18] Some do not like this definition and attempt to refute it by referencing Hebrews 11:1; the pivotal definition of faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” On the surface, this appears to be the very definition that Mark Twain mocked. But failing to dig beneath the surface is to grossly misinterpret the passage. “In philosophical language [the Greek hupostasis] can signify the “substance” or “underlying essence” of something…The same term, however, carries the everyday legal or business connotation of “title deed” or “guarantee”, attested by numerous papyri as well as classical texts…Given this immediate context, [‘substance’] should be heard in the sense of title deed in 11:1, linking the discussion of faith more closely with 10:32-36 and the Christians’ loss of property…In this reading, [‘faith’] in Hebrews is being understood very much within the context of patronage or friendship. After a client receives the patron’s promise that a certain benefaction will be given to him or her…”trust” is all the client has. If the patron is honorable and reliable, however, having “trust” is a good as having the promised item itself. Conversely, showing “distrust toward” the patron means letting go of the grasp on the promised item not only psychologically (because distrust produces anxiety) but in reality (as “distrust” manifested itself in “disobedience”, which caused the wilderness generation to lose their possession of the promised land).”[19]

    Scholars have noted the use of pistis within the context of treaties and covenants as well. For example, “it seems clear that pistis in Herodotus means “treaty”, “covenant made by exchange of assurances and oaths.”[23] Other ancient non-biblical writers have used “pistis” to mean “assurance” or “pledge”…Thus, Herodotus employs it to mean a military pledge or agreement ( Often, the swearing of an oath is involved (Herodotus 9.92; Sophocles Oed. Col. 1632; Trach. 1182; Plato Critias 119D-120B; Polybius 16.13.3). Aesychylus says that the credibility (pistis) of an oath hinges on the integrity of the one who swears it (frg. 349 [222]). In Plato the term sometimes denotes a pledge of loving friendship (Phaed. 256D). Polybius readily uses the word to refer to oaths (4.17.11) or wartime assurances (9.27.11).”[24] Within this context, it is easy to see how Egyptologist John Gee drew the conclusion he did in the following article: “Between the time of writing the New Testament and the end of the second century, the meanings of several of the words changed. Examples include the change of the principle meanings of pistis from “collateral, guarantee” to “belief”; of pisteuein from “to trust, rely on; entrust, commit, put up collateral” to “to believe”…Because the New Testament is usually read with meanings of the second sophistic period and later meanings which have often changed the understanding of the text has sometimes been drastically changed.”[25]

    18. David A. DeSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture, 2000
    19. David DeSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 2000

    23. Jan Retso, Arabs in Antiquity: Their History from the Assyrians to the Umayyads, 2003
    24. David M. Hay, Pistis as Ground of Faith in Hellenized Judaism and Paul, Journal of Biblical Literature, 108/3, 1989
    25. John Gee, The Corruption of Scripture in Early Christianity, Early Christians in Disarray: Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy, 2005

  11. 11 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Nice red herring.

    Quite frankly, you don’t really have a clue what we really believe, so you don’t really know what you are rejecting.

    Sorry but the Bible doesn’t teach that Jesus is God the Father, but rather the Son of God. It clearly separates the two individuals.

    It also teaches that Jesus didn’t always have “all power” but was given “all power”.

    So, Who gave Jesus “all power”?

    “I only worship a God who . . . has always been all powerful and who always has and always will be God Almighty.”

    Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

    Ok, so you don’t worship Jesus. Fine. I get it.

    “i reject a Jesus who is a created being, . . .”

    Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

    Ok, so you reject the Biblical Jesus. Fine. I get it.

    Job 1:6 ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
    Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.

    Satan is a son of God, Jesus is also a Son of God.

    It’s in the Bible.

  12. 12 RLO
    June 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Ralph;

    Mark didn’t say, “When (Evangelical) Christians talk about faith…”
    He said, “When Christians talk about faith…”
    Mark didn’t say, “The first and primary things (Evangelical) Christians think…”
    He said, “The first and primary things Christians think…”

    Okay. So you’re still trying to pass off Mormonism as Christianity, and continuing to dictate to Christians what they have to call themselves. I get it.

    Consider this . . .

    I don’t happen to believe Joseph Smith was a prophet; besides the fact that there is no single and reliable account of his first vision, the Bible tells us, “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” Have we somehow suddenly found ourselves no longer in those last days, that God should now revert back to speaking to us anew through modern-day prophets?

    Nor do I believe in continuing revelation; the Bible is “thoroughly” sufficient, for we are told in the Bible, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” “Thoroughly” means just that. Thoroughly.

    I do not believe in a three-tiered Heaven; no such Heaven is described anywhere in the Bible. I do not believe in polytheism; for there is only one God who tells us, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” I do not believe in eternal progression; God was not once a man who then became a god, but he is the one and only God who for our sake took on humanity.

    I do not believe that polygamy is, ever was, nor ever will be, a God-pleasing marital arrangement; while the Bible may describe numerous polygamous relationships, nowhere in the Bible is polygamy prescribed. I do not believe a mandated ten-percent tithe is God pleasing to His New-Testament people; for the Bible tells us, “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 do not believe there is any further need for temples; the temple curtain was torn in two, not that it should be sewn back up again. I do not believe that secret rituals performed by people with secret names exchanging their secret hand shakes through sewn up curtains in modern-day New-Testament temples today are God pleasing either; they are the works of men. I prefer to choose my own brand and style of underwear. They’re Hanes. And let’s leave it at that.

    “But hey! I’m a Mormon too!!”

    Now. In view of what I’ve just told you my beliefs are, does it not strike you as a bit objectionable, as it well should, that with regards to the tenants of your Mormon faith, I would have the audacity to claim that I am a Mormon too? And if you find it to be utterly and patently absurd, perhaps now you are beginning to have a sense of what Christians are thinking when they hear Mormons boldly claiming themselves to be Christians too.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. You call it, “The Church of ‘Jesus Christ’ of Latter Day Saints.” So then, if my son’s middle name is Stanford, does that mean he can claim the educational institution of Stanford as his alma mater?

    Mormons are no more “Christian” than Christians are “Mormon.” Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints cannot rightly claim “Christian” on their spiritual curriculum vitae by virtue of name dropping “Jesus Christ” somewhere into their church’s name. Rather, it is what a church and its members believe, teach, and confess about the true Jesus Christ that determines whether or not they are truly Christian.

    You are a Mormon. I am a Christian. Come to terms with it.

    RLO

  13. 13 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Sorry, but Mark does NOT speak for “Christians”. He doesn’t speak for Catholic Christians! He doesn’t speak for Mormon Christians.

    Actually, because he has absolutely no authority, he only speaks for himself.

    I am a Christian, and he does NOT speak for me.

    NOWHERE in the Bible does God say He is going to stop calling and speaking to prophets. In fact it is rather clear that the Bible teaches that calling and speaking to prophets is His preferred method of operation.

    The Bible is NOT sufficient. Just look at the disputes among all the different Christian denominations. NOWHERE does the Bible say it is sufficient.

    “I do not believe in a three-tiered Heaven; no such Heaven is described anywhere in the Bible.”

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

    “I do not believe that polygamy is, ever was, nor ever will be, a God-pleasing marital arrangement;”

    Nothing like throwing Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses under the Anti-Mormon bus.

    So, you have an underwear fetish. Ok.

    You can call yourself whatever you want. There are lots of non-LDS Mormons. So?

    The bottom line is that by the Biblical definition and usage of the term “Christian”, the LDS fit.

    Mormons are no more Evangelicals than Evangelicals are Mormons.

    I am a Christian. Come to terms with it.

  14. 14 Ralph Peterson
    June 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    So, basically, you can’t refute my post so you must engage in “strawman” and “red herring” fallacies.

    I got it!

  15. 15 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Ralph said: “I am a Christian, and he does NOT speak for me.”

    What is a Christian Ralph? What is your definition of a Christian?

    Ralph said: “NOWHERE in the Bible does God say He is going to stop calling and speaking to prophets. In fact it is rather clear that the Bible teaches that calling and speaking to prophets is His preferred method of operation.”

    “IN THE PAST, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, BUT IN THESE LAST DAYS he has spoken to us by his Son.”

    Ralph, you have a man for a prophet, we have the son of God for a prophet. Which prophet do you think is greater?

    Ralph said: “The Bible is NOT sufficient. Just look at the disputes among all the different Christian denominations. NOWHERE does the Bible say it is sufficient.”

    If you havn’t got divisions within the true Church you havn’t got Jesus. Satan doesn’t cause divisions in false churches because he is pleased with the soul destroying doctrine taught there. He causes divisions in the true Church to keep folks such as yourself away from the true church and to decieve you into thinking the non devisive church is the true church.

    Ralph said: “Nothing like throwing Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses under the Anti-Mormon bus.”

    God created Adam and Eve. He did not create Adam and Eve and Jane. Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses were all sinners. And yes, Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses are all anti-mormonism.

  16. 16 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Ralph, Re Post #11

    Mark said: “When (Evangelical) Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, they are not talking about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life.”

    “Ralph replied: “WOW!!!! THAT is a very interesting admission.

    I can tell you are not grasping what Mark is saying here. Because I know you well enough by now.

    You are thinking we reject his will as our law and his words as our guide in life. Aren’t you. That’s not what Mark is saying. What he is saying is that God’s will as our law and his words as our guide in life are not included in the defintion of “faith”

    We accept his will and his words as our guide in life. But that has nothing to do with the definition of faith.

    Mark said: ““The first and primary things (Evangelical) Christians think about when faith comes up are not Jesus’ words . . . ”

    Ralph replied: “Ok, so you don’t hold His word’s in preeminence or even in importance. THAT is also a very interesting admission.”

    That’s not what Mark said is it Ralph.

  17. June 14, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Omission of truth is the same as lying. Lying is a sin.

    Instead of picking a few quotes out of context to fit what you are trying to portray inaccurately (by the way, same as bearing false witness…just thought you’d like to know.)

    Here are just a sampling of what gets taught by LDS.

    Elder Richard G. Scott:
    “…true faith, faith unto salvation, is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord’s anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.”
    By the way, this quote came from an excellent conference talk for any of your readers to read and learn more about the truth. http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/the-transforming-power-of-faith-and-character?lang=eng&query=faith

    Elder Robert D. Hales:
    “…Only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement can bring us peace, hope, and understanding. Only faith that He suffered for our sakes will give us the strength to endure to the end. When we gain this faith, we experience a mighty change of heart, and like Enos, we become stronger and begin to feel a desire for the welfare of our brothers and sisters. We pray for them, that they too will be lifted and strengthened through faith on the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.”

    Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:
    “What is true faith? Faith is defined as “belief and trust in and loyalty to God; … firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” 2 We believe that “faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true … , and must be centered in Jesus Christ.” In fact, we believe that “faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.” 3

    Joseph F. Smith:
    “Our faith in Jesus Christ lies at the foundation of our religion, the foundation of our hope for remission of sins, and for exaltation after death, and for the resurrection from death to everlasting life. Our faith in the doctrines that have been restored through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith confirms and strengthens us and establishes beyond a question or doubt, our faith and belief in the divine mission of the Son of God.” 4

    Gospel Principles and Doctrine Manual:
    “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, we have confidence in Him; we trust Him and accept Him and His teachings. The Apostle Paul wrote that “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).”

    Latter-day Saint Woman manual:
    “Without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
    We learn several truths about faith from this scripture: that to please God (1) we must have faith in Him, (2) we must believe that He exists, and (3) we must believe that He will answer us when we try hard to know Him or to get help from Him.”

  18. 18 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Kate said: “Omission of truth is the same as lying. Lying is a sin. Instead of picking a few quotes out of context to fit what you are trying to portray inaccurately (by the way, same as bearing false witness…just thought you’d like to know.)”

    Kate, I have told you previously that we welcome you to post as much of the context of the quotes we use here that you would like to and that we welcome any LDS links you want to post. So NOW What does that mean Kate? It means were are not omitting the truth. So quit bearing false testimony against us and quit lying about us!

  19. 19 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Now Kate, since you made the charge that Mark has “portrayed” LDS docrine inaccurately, could you show me what Mark said that was inaccurate?

  20. June 14, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Echo ( Mark ) must have decided he didn’t want the answer to this, so he took the question down, however, since it is still in my mailbox, I will go ahead and answer: Echo said, “Kate, go and learn what this means: ” I desire mercy not sacrifice””

    I will answer with an article that explains it quite clearly. Perhaps a little knowledge might feel good to you echo.

    Church News

    “Obedience more acceptable than showy sacrifice”

    Published: Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998

    In calling Israel to repent and return to the Lord, Hosea conveys the Lord’s words:

    “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets: I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.”For I desired mercy [meaning charity or loving kindness], and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

    “But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.” (Hosea 6:5-7.)

    This passage is suggestive of other Old Testament verses:

    “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22.)

    And, “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Prov. 21:3.)

    The principle is clear: obedience to divine law, commandments, covenants and weightier principles of the gospel such as charity is far more acceptable to the Lord than ritualistic or showy performance.

    In His mortal ministry, Jesus cited the passage from Hosea. In one instance, He rebuked the Pharisees who had criticized Him and His disciples for eating with publicans and sinners. This was His response to them:

    “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

    “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matt. 9:12-13.)

    On another occasion, the Pharisees chided the Master and His disciples for plucking and eating corn on the Sabbath day. Again, He invoked the same passage from Hosea when He said:

    “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. [ See Hosea 6:6.]

    “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” (Matt. 12:7-8.)

    © 2011 Deseret News Publishing Company

  21. June 14, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Echo said (or Mark, whichever one you are being right now): “The first and primary things Christians think about when faith comes up are not Jesus’ words but his works. To Christians, having faith in Jesus means trusting that what Jesus did he did for us and because Jesus has done those things, we are already acceptable to God. So much so that faith in Jesus, for Christians, includes the thought of abandoning any reliance on our own works. But note that any mention of Jesus’ works for us is completely absent in James E. Talmage’s words – even though he is describing faith “primarily”.”

    Talmage’s work can be hard for the average reader…

    Had you actually read Talmage’s Study of the Articles of Faith, instead of quote mining from other anti-mormon sources to back up your nit-picking about trying to find things wrong with our beliefs, you would have found this:

    “Faith Essential to Salvation — Inasmuch as salvation is attainable only through the mediation and atonement of Christ, and since this is made applicable to individual sin in the measure of obedience to the laws of righteousness, faith in Jesus Christ is indispensable to salvation.”

    If you are not sure, “mediation and atonement” are “Jesus’ works for us” that you said are completely absent in Talmage’s words.

    This omission is what I’m referring to Echo (Mark).

  22. 22 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Kate said: “Echo said (or Mark, whichever one you are being right now): ”

    For your information, I have access to Mark’s blog. I am not Mark and he is not me. Mark lives is the USA and I live in Canada.
    Mark and I are both WELS Lutherans. I am a volunteer for his ministry and I post on this blog, one other ministry blog which I also have access to, as well as I answer emails that come into the ministries websites.

  23. 23 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Kate said: “If you are not sure, “mediation and atonement” are “Jesus’ works for us” that you said are completely absent in Talmage’s words. ”

    Do you believe that entrance into the celestial kingdom is conditional on your works?

  24. 24 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Kate said: ““But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. [ See Hosea 6:6.] ”

    Kate, what do you think this particular verse is saying?

  25. June 14, 2011 at 4:13 am

    You already know what we believe…why keep asking the same thing. What we believe is completely validated in the Bible. this is the reason I have come to dislike conversing with you Echo…you ask the same things over and over, quote the same verses over and over, and each time someone, if not myself, has answered thoroughly with scriptural support from the Bible and then you start over again.

    As for your next question, read the article.

  26. 26 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Kate said: “You already know what we believe…why keep asking the same thing. What we believe is completely validated in the Bible. this is the reason I have come to dislike conversing with you Echo…you ask the same things over and over, quote the same verses over and over, and each time someone, if not myself, has answered thoroughly with scriptural support from the Bible and then you start over again.

    As for your next question, read the article.”

    Would you like to know why I ask you the questions over and over again? It’s because if I tell you what you believe you will say I am twisting your words and have an evil heart. So I figured that If I ask you a question and then respond to it, then you won’t accuse me of being evil.

    Which method would you prefer?

  27. June 14, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Echo said, “It’s because if I tell you what you believe ”

    Exactly. You cannot hold a normal conversation. We say something, back it up biblically, and you either tell us what we believe, or go back to square one by asking a question that has been answered. It’s quite annoying.

  28. 28 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Mark said: “But note that any mention of Jesus’ works for us is completely absent in James E. Talmage’s words – even though he is describing faith “primarily”.”

    Jesus’ works are this….he did all the works necessary for us to enter the celestial kingdom. So many works did he do in fact that Christians abandon any reliance on any of our own works as necessary for entrance into the celestial kingdom.
    In LDS teachings…..our works are necessary to enter the celestial kingdom.

    In that sense, Jesus’ works for us are completely absent in James E. Talmage’s words – even though he is describing faith “primarily”.”

  29. June 14, 2011 at 5:43 am

    No, no matter how you want to paint the picture, Jesus’ works are not completely absent in Talmage’s words. Ridiculous statement.

    Why you keep leaving out the fact that we know we could not even come close to entering the Celestial Kingdom if it were not for the Atonement (Jesus’ works)…and you only state that it’s our works that are necessary is what readers should ask…and it comes across as you being deceptive to all those reading.

  30. 30 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Kate said: “Why you keep leaving out the fact that we know we could not even come close to entering the Celestial Kingdom if it were not for the Atonement (Jesus’ works)…and you only state that it’s our works that are necessary is what readers should ask…and it comes across as you being deceptive to all those reading.”

    Why don’t you read the archives Kate. There we have talked about this LDS belief in the atonement.

  31. 31 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

    But if it makes you feel better Kate, go ahead and post some links here on it. That’s not a problem. It’s welcome.

  32. 32 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    What is a Christian Ralph?
    Someone who believes in Jesus Christ.

    What is your definition of a Christian?
    The assertion that Latter-day Saints are not Christian has at its base the idea that the Latter-day Saints don’t meet the definition of the word “Christian.” But the meanings of words are determined by usage and acceptance. If a definition is widespread (used by many people), persistent (used over a long period of time), and established (accepted by individuals and organizations that are respected and assumed to be knowledgeable) then we can confidently state that the definition is correct and accurate.

    The attempt to define “Christian” in such a way as to exclude Latter-day Saints (and many other groups that are generally considered to be some kind of Christian denomination or religion) is really the recent work of a minority group within Protestantism. The nearly-universal and nearly-2000-year-old usage of the word “Christian” has clearly included unorthodox groups that disagree, sometimes sharply, with the teachings and practices of those who claim to be able to define Latter-day Saints out of the Christian fold.

    The following are some organizations and resources that classify The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Christian. The range of sources from encyclopedias to media outlets to government organizations supports the fact that the definition of “Christian” includes Latter-day Saints.

    Yahoo Directory: “Christian Denominations and Sects”

    adherents.com: “Largest Branches of Christianity in the U.S.”

    beliefnet: “Faiths and Practices” index

    MSN Encarta encyclopedia: “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

    RSN (Religion New Service): Religion Backgrounders

    PBS (Public Broadcasting Service): “The Church: A Brief History”

    LaborLawTalk dictionary

    Encyclopedia Britannia Online

    BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)

    World Council of Churches (WCC): Churches

    National Council of Churches (NCC): National Council of Churches’ 2005 “Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.”

    United States Department of State: International Religious Freedom Report 2004 (Tonga)

  33. 33 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “Ralph, you have a man for a prophet, we have the son of God for a prophet. Which prophet do you think is greater? ”

    Well, it is unfortunate that you don’t really believe what the Son of God taught. So to claim that He is your prophet is rather amusing.

    Also, again, you are presenting a false choice. Prophets are called by the Son of God.
    Luke 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I WILL SEND them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

    Notice the future tense “will send”.

  34. 34 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    “If you havn’t got divisions within the true Church you havn’t got Jesus.”

    Really? So your God is the author of confusion?

    Well, if you actually believed what Jesus taught you then you would know better.

    John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
    • • •
    21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
    23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

  35. 35 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    “God created Adam and Eve. He did not create Adam and Eve and Jane.”
    Irrelevant to the topic.

    “Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses were all sinners.”
    Irrelevant to the topic.

    “And yes, Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses are all anti-mormonism.”
    That is one of the dumbest statements I have ever seen you make. Totally vacuous.

  36. 36 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    It is rather clear what Mark said. If he intended to communicate something different he needs to clarify it.

    He attempted to exclude the teachings of Jesus from what Jesus did. Well Jesus DID teach so you can’t exclude Jesus’ teachings from what Jesus did. Rather simple don’t you think?

  37. 37 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    What is a Christian Ralph?
    Ralph said: Someone who believes in Jesus Christ.

    The demons believe in Jesus Christ. Are they Christian?

  38. 38 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    A prophet pointed to Christ. Christ has come. Christ is our prophet.
    A prophet spoke God’s word to the people, whoever speaks God’s word (from the Bible) is a prophet in that regard even still today.

    The LDS Church teaches that their prophet will never lead you astray. (False Prophet’s say that)

    The Bible warns that Prophets will lead you astray. Mathew 24:11 ” and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

  39. 39 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Ralph said: “Really? So your God is the author of confusion?”

    Look who is guilty of twisting my words! I said Satan was responsible for the confusion.

    Despite all the divisions, we are one in faith with believers of every denomination and share an inheritance together in the Celestial Kingdom. (the LDS Church excluded-we are not one in faith with them.)

  40. 40 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    He he he.

    So, you disagree that Christians believe in Jesus Christ?

  41. 41 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    It’s what you believe about Jesus Christ that makes you a Christian.

  42. 42 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    A prophet AFTER Jesus Christ pointed back to Christ. So what is your point?

    If Christ was really your prophet,then you would believe Him when He taught that obedience is important to eternal life.

    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.

    Luke 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I WILL SEND them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

    Notice the future tense “will send”.

    So Echo, are these prophets that Jesus is going to send, false prophets?

    Mathew 24:11 ” and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” So why warn about false prophets if there weren’t also going to be true prophets?

    If there are to be no more prophets, then why not say so?

  43. 43 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    “Look who is guilty of twisting my words! I said Satan was responsible for the confusion.”

    No, that is not accurate. You said, “If you havn’t got divisions within the true Church you havn’t got Jesus.”

    Very simple here Echo, divisions are caused by confusion and also cause confusion. Your statement very clearly implicates Jesus as the author of this confusion. Now you are saying Satan is responsible for confusion.

    Please make up your mind and then get back to us.

  44. 44 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Ralph said: “If Christ was really your prophet,then you would believe Him when He taught that obedience is important to eternal life.”

    Very obviously obedience isn’t even in your nature. Why is that?

  45. 45 Echo
    June 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Ralph said: “No, that is not accurate. You said, “If you havn’t got divisions within the true Church you havn’t got Jesus.”

    Just like you to take things out of context. Right after that I said: “Satan doesn’t cause divisions in false churches because he is pleased with the soul destroying doctrine taught there. He causes divisions in the true Church to keep folks such as yourself away from the true church and to decieve you into thinking the non devisive church is the true church. “

  46. 46 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Nice red herring.

  47. 47 Ralph Peterson
    June 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    “He (Satan) causes divisions in the ‘true Church’ to keep folks such as yourself away from the ‘true church’ and to decieve you into thinking the non devisive church is the true church. “

    So, Satan controls your “true Church”, such that he can cause divisions in it? Is this really the argument you want to be making?

    Especially considering the verses I already posted, which you ignored.

    John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
    • • •
    21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
    23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    And how about this,
    Eph. 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

    Rom. 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
    5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

    1 Cor. 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

    1 Cor. 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    14 For the body is not one member, but many.
    • • •
    18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
    19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
    20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
    • • •
    25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

  48. 48 jbr
    June 15, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Kate…..
    would you please stick to one version

    Either keep to: “You [chrisrtians] already know what we [mormons] believe…and when you know that the #1 response is that we don’t

    or

    that only Mormons only truly know what you believe…. and stop that we do

  49. 49 jbr
    June 15, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Hey Ralph………..
    So much division among Mormons. False testomies …….. can’t you guy’s at least start from the same opinion?

    Which is it …… :

    1. Ralph said: “Quite frankly, you don’t really have a clue what we really believe, so you don’t really know what you are rejecting.”

    or

    2. Kate said: “You already know what we believe…”

    I agree with Kate……..your spreading false testomy Ralph.

  50. June 15, 2011 at 4:45 am

    jbr, you really are wasting your time. My point was that we have countlessly posted truth and you just act like you didn’t hear a word we are saying. Ralph is pointing out merely what you are portraying to the reader…that you haven’t a clue about what we believe.

  51. 51 Ralph Peterson
    June 15, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Hey Ralph………..
    So much division among Mormons.

    Nah, not really. But his is irrelevant to the topic. We were talking about Churches. There only ONE true and living Church and that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    “Which is it …… :”

    Kate has told you what she means. I will tell you what I mean.

    You guys are told OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again what we believe, . . . .

    BUT . . . .

    You don’t or won’t see it as a whole and therefore don’t or can’t understand it. Often the problems you see with it are only problems because you can’t or won’t remove your evangelical polluted blinders and allow the scriptures to speak for themselves.

  52. 52 Ralph Peterson
    June 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Typo alert.

    But this is irrelevant to the topic.

  53. 53 RLO
    June 16, 2011 at 12:41 am

    For a variety of reasons, I haven’t posted much in these first six months of 2011. And with the coming of the summer months, I don’t anticipate being around at all. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer. Perhaps we’ll join up again in the autumn. Peace to all.

  54. June 16, 2011 at 2:21 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?

  55. June 17, 2011 at 4:00 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.

  56. 56 Anne McKee
    June 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Kate and all LDS defenders,

    I have found these “truth in love” people to be arrogant and self-righteous. They feel superiority to “Mormons” because of their “knowledge”. Little do they know that WE have something going that they will never understand. Everyday our missionaries invite people to listen to the truth. We do not ridicule other religions. We do not tell people what THEY believe, we simply invite, testify and teach. How could anyone dedicate a whole church to tearing down another? Can you imagine the contention that roils in their hearts day in and day out? Too bad Mark Cares and Becki and the others don’t follow the Savior and administer to the sick, elderly and needy. Instead they spend HOURS, DAYS and YEARS tearing down the LDS church. Do they have a truth in love ministry for Jehovah Witnesses? A truth in love ministry for Catholics? A truth in love ministry for Jews? Nope, they just want to tear down the LDS church.
    I haven’t commented until now, but I wanted to give a shout out to Kate for being DONE with these hard-hearted, stiff-necked hypocrites. Good for you!! I wish we would ALL stop and let this blog curl up and die!

    To Mark, Echo, Kent and others:
    We aren’t feeling the LOVE! You are clueless if you think that this venue is effective in showing love to the Mormons! You routinely misrepresent our beliefs, draw the wrong conclusions and just plain don’t get it! Actually, I generally feel your disdain and out right hatred. I honestly feel like you people would have stoned the prophets had you lived in the day! You do a good job of it now with your cyber-stones! Don’t worry about us! We have the Lord and Savior on our side. We know the true Gospel . We have a prophet to guide us, ordinances to bind us to God and the Priesthood to bless us.
    May the Lord forgive you for the evil thoughts and designs of your heart! But, that would require repentance and you guys think repentance is a one time event and that event is over, so good luck!

    anne (first time commenter….and last)

  57. 57 Echo
    June 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Welcome Anne,

    Anne said: “I have found these “truth in love” people to be arrogant and self-righteous.”

    Is it arrogant to take a stand on the word of God and to present to you his truth not our truth? Was it arrogant of Jesus to tell the Pharisees they were blind? Was it arrogant of Jesus to show the Pharisees their false teachings? Was it arrogant of Jesus to show the Pharisees that their religion was false? Was it arrogant of the apostle Paul to tell the Jews that they crucified Christ? NO. None of these things were arrogant.

    Were the Pharisees arrogant? Yes they were. They got offended when Jesus told them their religion and teachings were false, they hurled insults at him, made fun of him, ridiculed him, lied about him, slandered him and all in exchange for his great love, they said: “he has a demon!” and spent all their time judging Jesus as a person rather than listening to his teachings. Etc. etc. They were too self-righteous in the sense of thinking their religion was true, to even desire to listen to the teachings of Jesus. They were too self righteous to even begin to think that they themselves might be wrong. Talk about pride and arrogance! They thought they were better people than Jesus! Sound familiar? Yes! The self-righteousness and arrogance and stubbornness and sinfulness of the Pharisees describe the LDS right down to the last detail! Just read through the archives of this blog.

    But because the Pharisees spent all of their time hurling personal insults at Jesus and judging him personally rather than listening to his teachings and discussing those things, that was a sign of the wickedness in their own hearts.

    Jesus taught that ALL people were sinners in need of being treated with kindness and respect. Jesus said: “Love your enemy, do good to those who hate you” Jesus taught that all people were sick (sin sick) and that the sick need a doctor. That’s YOU, that’s ME. We are sick. Accepting that fact about yourself and about others to the point where you realize we are standing on the same ground in that regard, no person better than another, only then will you be able to treat others with love and respect and forgiveness and not hurl insults like you LDS people do now. It’s only then that you LDS people will realize that you are to love us through thick and thin and we are to love you through thick and thin. The LDS are always going for the throat of Christians (judging the person) rather than loving your neighbor (judging the teachings)

    The LDS are indeed BLIND just like the Pharisees!

    Anne said: “We do not ridicule other religions”

    Ridiculing other religions is bad, but the one thing far, far worse than ridiculing other religions is that you ridicule people rather than focusing on discussing teachings and wanting to rescue people from their blindness. The LDS people are experts at ridiculing people! We Christians do not want to ridicule the LDS religion. If Christians ridicule LDS people, another Christian should lead them to repent of that wickedness. But for Mormons, it seems to be everyone’s sin. We want to do what Jesus did, point out the false teachings in order to rescue you from them because LDS teachings are fatal to the soul. We don’t want you to go to outer darkness. Now that’s love!

    Anne said: “We do not tell people what THEY believe”

    Jesus did it and he said: “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Mathew 10:38

    Anne said: “How could anyone dedicate a whole church to tearing down another? Can you imagine the contention that roils in their hearts day in and day out? “

    We dedicate our whole lives leading others to Christ so that they may have the free gift of eternal life and know that with certainty right now. We dedicate our whole lives to letting people know that God has already fully forgiven them and they don’t have to earn forgiveness by FIRST overcoming their sins. We dedicate our whole lives to bringing the good news that Jesus brought…That eternal life is not conditional on our obedience; it is unconditional through the blood of Jesus who has washed away all of our sins.

    We don’t have contention in our hearts, YOU DO. THE LDS DOES. You all continually negatively and sinfully judge people themselves rather than judging what we teach, your hearts and mouths are filled with contention!

    Anne said: “Too bad Mark Cares and Becki and the others don’t follow the Savior and administer to the sick, elderly and needy. Instead they spend HOURS, DAYS and YEARS tearing down the LDS church. “

    YOU are the SICK (sin sick) we are administering to. YOU are the needy.(In need of the knowledge that eternal life is not conditional on our obedience, it is unconditional through the blood of Jesus. YOU are the blind who won’t examine the teachings we bring to you because of your pride and arrogance. And yes, we administer to the physically sick, elderly and needy as well.

    Anne said: “Do they have a truth in love ministry for Jehovah Witnesses? A truth in love ministry for Catholics? A truth in love ministry for Jews? Nope, they just want to tear down the LDS church”

    Our Church body has a ministry to the entire world. Jehovah’s witnesses, Muslims, Jews, atheists, everyone in other words.

    Anne said: “I haven’t commented until now, but I wanted to give a shout out to Kate for being DONE with these hard-hearted, stiff-necked hypocrites. “

    Anyone who is “DONE” is BLIND to their hard-heart and stiff neck not realizing that they themselves are the hypocrite. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”

    Anne said: “We aren’t feeling the LOVE! “

    Why do you suppose that is? Is it because you sinfully judge people rather than judging our teachings? I have often said I love LDS people and that I am not anti-Mormon, why don’t you believe me? Is it because you sinfully judge me against my own words? Is it because the evil contention so ingrained in your own heart keeps you from seeing the love? Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee though no one pursues…”

    Anne said: “You routinely misrepresent our beliefs, draw the wrong conclusions and just plain don’t get it! “

    So then help us! Help us without judging us as people! Stick to the teachings! That’s exactly what we have always asked of the LDS. But they don’t want to help us, they have no patience, no love, no longsuffering. They would rather beat us over a head with a bat and aim for our throats with their unending personal insults, arrogant comments and contentious remarks!

    Anne said: “Actually, I generally feel your disdain and out right hatred. “

    No. Wrong. Attacks against the person rather than the teaching, that’s hatred and disdain! How blind you are!

    Anne said: “. I honestly feel like you people would have stoned the prophets had you lived in the day! “

    You are stoning us! It’s not persecution to tell someone their beliefs and their religion is false. JESUS DID IT. It is persecution to continually go for someone’s throat by judging them as a person in a sinful way. THE PHARISEES DID IT

    Anne said: “But, that would require repentance and you guys think repentance is a one time event and that event is over, so good luck!”

    We believe in daily repentance. But I tell you, unless you repent, you will in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. For the Unrepentant will dwell in outer darkness. And that is why we spend hours a day/weeks/years trying to rescue you from that awful fate. Reaching out to Mormons is a pain filled cross that we are willing to bear for YOUR sake, not for ours. BECAUSE we love YOU!

    I understand you are sincere about your faith, But you can be sincerely wrong. I don’t want to judge your motives nor do I want to judge you as a person. But I will judge your religion, your teachings and your sins in order to lead you to repentance. And in reality it is not that I am judging you but God himself who judges you through me-through his own word.

    You follow a prophet who is a MAN
    We follow a prophet who is JESUS

    Jesus said: “Whoever does not take up their cross AND FOLLOW ME is not worthy of me.” Mathew 10:38

    Did Jesus say we are to follow a man or that we are to follow him? A person who follows a man rather than Jesus is “not worthy” of Jesus

  58. 58 Kent
    June 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Anne, I have never once said anything negative about anyone here ever. Have I been critical of the Mormon church’s teachings? Yes, and I have tried to the best of my ability to point out the differeneces in the teachings if we use the Bible only with the understanding and faith that it is the correct complete word of God with the teachings of the Mormon church that uses the Bible as far as the Bible has been translated correctly, plus Mormon scriptures, plus the teachings of Mormon leaders past and present, and that people have to choose one set of beliefs or another. My goal is to show Mormons that the extra stuff added on is not needed, that the Bible is complete and it is all about what Jesus did on the cross and that there is nothing anyone could ever do better than that.

    Jesus died on the cross in our place, sinners who cannot save ourselves, and rose again on the third day and those who believe on His name will be saved, which means they will live with Heavenly Father forever and we can know now that our place with Him is secure as Jesus said, “it is finished.” What is hateful about telling people that?

    Also, what is hateful about telling people that Jesus is God Almighty, that He always has been God Almighty, that he came for a time to earth to be the perfect sacrifice on the cross in our place, and that He is not the brother of Satan who chose good instead of evil, that he is not a created being, and that through Him everything in the universe was created?

    Also what is hateful about saying that we only have this lifetime to get right with God and that there is only two choices, either eternity with Heavenly Father or outside of His presence in Outer Darkness and there are not three levels of heaven that people go to, just one place or the other as that is what the Bible teaches?

    The reasons I do this is because I do believe that the Mormon church teaches another Jesus and that it puts people in danger of the judgment and not only is it not hateful to do so, it is caring to do so, and that is why we do what we do.

    Anne, you have no way of knowing whether we don’t do works to help the poor, etc so you can’t assume that because we come here to comment that we don’t do those things.

    Besides, we are supposed to not announce to people what good works we do as, “don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.”

  59. 59 Echo
    June 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Men (false prophets-LDS prophets) teach you that it’s wrong for someone to judge false teachings and false religion.
    Jesus (true prophet) teaches you that it is right for someone to judge false teachings and false religion.

    Men (false prophets-LDS prophets) teach you to sinfully judge people. (they don’t teach you this directly but indirectly without your realizing it and a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough)
    Jesus (True prophet) teaches you not to sinfully judge people.

    Jesus himself warned against false prophets when he said: Mathew 7: 15-16 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? ”

    What is the fruit of a false prophet? Is it how he behaves as a person, his outward righteousness? No! Jesus said he would be in sheep’s clothing. In other words, he is going to look righteous to you. The REAL fruit of a false prophet is his teachings! If his teachings contradict the teachings of Jesus he is a false prophet!

    Only a false prophet would say: “God will never allow me to lead you astray”
    God does allow prophets to lead us astray if we don’t place God’s very own word as more important to us than the words of any man…

    Mathew 24:11 “and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people”

    YES! God does allow people to be led astray!

    My Pastor would never say to me: ” God will never allow me to lead you astray.” Do you know what my Pastors tell me? They tell me to test their words by scripture. They tell me to vigorously ask questions, hard questions, questions that might put them on the spot! They tell me to put God’s word as more important than their own words. They tell me to trust God above all men including them as my pastor! They invite me to lead them to repentance if they have taught something false! They know that GOD ALONE is the ONLY one who will never lead me astray!

  60. 60 Ralph Peterson
    June 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    ” . . . far worse than ridiculing other religions is that you ridicule people . . . ”

    Like Echo does when he paints himself into a corner.

    “We dedicate our whole lives leading others to Christ . . . ”

    Nah! You lead them AWAY from the teachings of Christ. Especially these teachings.
    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.

    “That eternal life is not conditional on our obedience;”

    Contrary to what Jesus taught here.
    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.

    “YOU are the SICK (sin sick) . . .”
    Echo’s fall back position is to yell “sin” when someone points out his errors. Just like the pharisees did to Jesus.

    “Is it because you sinfully judge people rather than judging our teachings?”
    WOW!!! Talk about psychological projection. LOL!

    “I have often said I love LDS people and that I am not anti-Mormon, . . .”
    As with the gospel, ACTIONS speak louder that words.

    “But I tell you, unless you repent, you will in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. ”
    You always say that Jesus did it all and that I can’t do anything to be saved (which is false), now you are telling me I need to repent to be saved (which is true).

    So which is it? Would you please make up your mind.

    “Reaching out to Mormons is a pain filled cross that we are willing to bear for YOUR sake, not for ours.”
    I thought you believed that Jesus did it all. So now you are saying that our salvation is dependent upon your work here.
    Would you make up your mind and get back to us.

    “You follow a prophet who is a MAN”
    Well, didn’t you know that ALL prophets are men? Even Jesus.

    Rom. 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

    And didn’t you know that Jesus promised to send us prophets?
    Luke 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I WILL SEND them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

    Notice the future tense “will send”.

    This site is a fulfillment of part of that prophecy. ” I WILL SEND them prophets and apostles, and some of them they . . . persecute:”

  61. 61 Echo
    June 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Ralph, re your post # 59

    Ralph said on ridiculing: Like Echo does when he paints himself into a corner.”

    Ralph, pointing out your sins doesn’t mean I have painted myself into a corner. It means you must resort to sin because you have painted yourself into a corner that you can’t get out of so you resort to sin to get yourself out of it. When the word of God fails to prove you are right, resorting to sin is all you have left to defend your position.

    Ralph said: “Nah! You lead them AWAY from the teachings of Christ. Especially these teachings.
    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.”

    Ralph, you lead people away from Christ by not obeying his commandments. I am trying to lead you to Christ and to obedience to his commandments.

    Echo said: “That eternal life is not conditional on our obedience;”
    Ralph replied: “Contrary to what Jesus taught here.
    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.”

    Jesus said he has reconciled us to himself. 2 Corinthians 5:19 “19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”
    Why do you now try to reconcile yourself to him through your obedience (or rather lack of obedience) instead of having faith that he has reconciled you himself. Why do you have faith in yourself rather than faith in Jesus? You very obviously don’t keep the commandments, you don’t even at least try to keep the commandments. I am a sinner too but I at least try to obey the commandments and I am willing to repent when I don’t.

    Echo said: “YOU are the SICK (sin sick) . . .”
    Ralph replied: “Echo’s fall back position is to yell “sin” when someone points out his errors. Just like the pharisees did to Jesus.”

    Taken out of context of all that I wrote. Here is the context: “Jesus taught that all people were sick (sin sick) and that the sick need a doctor. That’s YOU, that’s ME. We are sick.”
    Go ahead and point out all my errors in teaching Ralph, go ahead and paint me into a corner. But do it all without SINNING!
    Is sin all you have to defend yourself? I think it is you who has painted himself into such an uncomfortable corner that you must resort to sinning in order to take the focus off of the corner you painted yourself into and place the focus on me instead. Just what the Pharisees did to Jesus. You sin in order to take the focus off of the fact that I have just proven my point and proven your teaching wrong! Nobody will notice if you take the focus off of that by sinning so that now the focus is on me instead, right Ralph?

    Echo said: ““I have often said I love LDS people and that I am not anti-Mormon, . . .”
    Ralph replied: “As with the gospel, ACTIONS speak louder that words.”

    Yes the Gospels do speak louder than words and you my friend are convicted by the gospels of having nothing but contempt and hatred because you sin, sin, sin! Sin is hatred Ralph. Sin is contempt! Sin cause contention! And the thing is, you just keep right on sinning unrepentantly leading many souls down the same road as yourself!

    Echo said: “But I tell you, unless you repent, you will in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. ”
    Ralph replied: “You always say that Jesus did it all and that I can’t do anything to be saved (which is false), now you are telling me I need to repent to be saved (which is true).”

    The kindness of God leads you to repentance Ralph.

    Echo said: “Reaching out to Mormons is a pain filled cross that we are willing to bear for YOUR sake, not for ours.”
    Ralph replied: “I thought you believed that Jesus did it all. So now you are saying that our salvation is dependent upon your work here.
    Would you make up your mind and get back to us.”

    Your salvation is dependant on the work of Jesus alone. I am simply his messenger to bring you his message of salvation.

    Echo said: “You follow a prophet who is a MAN”
    Ralph replied: “Well, didn’t you know that ALL prophets are men? Even Jesus.”

    Your prophet is just a man. Jesus is both GOD and man.
    Regardless of even that fact, I can’t believe you would choose to follow a man over Jesus!

    Ralph said: “And didn’t you know that Jesus promised to send us prophets?
    Luke 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I WILL SEND them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: Notice the future tense “will send”. This site is a fulfillment of part of that prophecy. ” I WILL SEND them prophets and apostles, and some of them they . . . persecute:”

    The LDS CHURCH has slayed and persecuted the TRUE prophets and apostles when they said this: “The living prophet is more vital to us than the dead prophets” Your living prophets contradict God’s true prophets and apostles. Ans also, When anyone brings God’s word to you, they are a prophet. That’s what prophets did, they spoke to the people in behalf of God. When anyone brings you God’s word in truth, that person is a prophet.

  62. 62 Echo
    June 18, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Ralph you would say a person is ridiculing Hitler when he holds him accountable for his sins! You would say a Person who holds a man accountable for sexually molesting children is ridiculing him. I can see who your Father is Ralph. I just hope others can see it also. Repent!

  63. 63 Anne McKee
    June 19, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Here I am already changing my mind about posting here again. :) But I have a question:

    I have been a practicing Mormon my whole life. I have been healed by the power of the Priesthood, I have had my prayers answered, I have been directed and guided by the Spirit, BUT YOU tell me that I am going to hell. SO…my question is:
    Why would the Lord answer my prayers, allow me to be healed by the Priesthood and guide me with the Spirit IF this is a false religion. Wouldn’t that constitute “leading me on”? Why would He do that?

    Anne

  64. 64 shematwater
    June 19, 2011 at 5:24 am

    This has been fun, and I am a little sorry I came into late.

    First, I would like to express my disappointment in Kate. After such a beautiful conversation on the last thread to start out this one in such anger and contention was just sad.
    Then, of course, we have Anne jumping in with that one post that certainly didn’t help anything, and in my opinion was just as unchristlike as anything anyone else has posted.

    However, the responses to this last post was also very unchristlike. I especially liked Echo’s accertain that he doesn’t ridicule the person while talking about how every single person in the LDS church is out ridiculing right and left. while I am sure this was said in anger and frustration, it is still hypocritical.
    Speaking of arrogance and Christ, I would like to point out that Christ never once ridiculed the Pharisees until came to him asking questions that were specifically geared to trap him. He never went to the pharisees and ridiculed them, but he did lay into them rather nicely if they came trying to ridicule him. Thus, in this particular scenario, the comparison would be better drawn with the pharisees representing those who approach others with the purpose of destroying their doctrine, and Christ would be compared to those who stand up to such a confrontation with the truth.
    If you hadn’t noticed, this would put LDS in comparison with Christ, but those who devote ministries and blogs to destroying LDS doctrine in comparison with the pharisees.

  65. 65 shematwater
    June 19, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Now, there have been a few verses cited as evidence against LDS doctrine, and while they don’t have a direct bearing on the subject of the thread, they were introduced and so I would like to comment on them.

    Hebrews 1: 1-2
    “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world”
    This passage has been used to show that prophets are no longer needed, and in fact no longer used. While I like Ralph’s point that if no new prophets were to come why make a distinction between false and true prophets, I would like to say a few more things.
    First, if this passage means what is being implied than no man after the death, resurrection, and assention of Christ can rightly be considered prophets, which would rule out Paul, and most likely Luke and Jude as well, and thus goes a large portion of the New Testament. Of course there is the argument that because they are in the Bible they are still prophets, but this simply turns it into “who I believe are prophets are prophets, but no one else” and thus becomes a rather useless discussion. However, if you are to take the verse to mean what is being claimed than you have to reject at least Paul as a prophet, and thus you are in danger of rejected all his epistles, which is the primary source of the “saved by grace” doctrine. Either way you are in a bit of a pickle with this interpretation of the passage.
    Second, I would like to point out that Paul himself declares that prophets would still be needed by the saints. He says in Ephesians 4: 11-13
    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, PROPHETS; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
    In these verses we read of the necessity of prophets and other callings in the church that are designed to teach men and assist them in their progression to perfection, and will be needed until that progression has been completed.
    So, to say that Paul is teaching the Hebrews that prophets will no longer be used is a contradiction of what he taught the Ephesians.

  66. 66 shematwater
    June 19, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Second verse used against LDS doctrine: 2 Timothy 3: 16-17
    “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
    It has been frequently upheld that this passage proves that the Bible is sufficient and that nothing else is needed. The basis for this claim is both in the word “all” and the word “throughly.” I would like to say that the LDS believe that all scripture is given by inspiration so that all men may be throughly furnished to do the good works of God. However, I would point out that no where does this passage indicate any actual limit to scripture, nor does it speak to any scripture specifically. In fact, considering the time in which it was written it is more logical to conclude that Paul was speaking mainly of the Old Testament writings, as the New Testament has not been compiled yet, and a large part had not even been written.
    Then, of course, there is the difficulty of all the Biblical references to extra-biblical scripture, especially in the Old Testament. A few examples: Book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21: 14); Book of Jasher (Josh. 10: 13, 2 Sam. 1: 18); Book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29); Book of Gad the Seer (ibid); Book of Nathan the prophet (ibid); Visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr 9: 29); and Saying of the seers (2 Chr. 33:19). Beside these we also know the Jude had some writings from Enoch (Jude 1: 14) which we no longer have.
    Considering all these scriptures, and maybe more we don’t even know about, can it reasonbly be said that this one passage by Paul excludes these books for the simple fact that they are not currently in the Bible? Was Paul including these books in his statement? If you think not can you prove such from the Bible?

  67. 67 shematwater
    June 19, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Now, I will make a brief comment on my understanding of faith according to LDS doctrine, which is in perfect harmony with every quote given in this thread.
    It has been asserted that we believe in the words of Christ while “Christians” believe in the works of Christ. I would like to shed a better light on this point.
    It is not that we believe in his words to exclude his works (as is being suggested), but that, like Ralph said, we count his words to be part of his works.
    To be more precise, we believe so strongly in his works (or Atonement, as this is what Mark means by works) that we can’t help but believe in his words. One who has given so much for our salvation will not lead us astray in his teachings. Thus, by having faith in his works we are assured of his word.
    Now, once we have accepted this faith we then show our faith through our obedience to his commands, through submitting our will to his and accepting his law as ours. We recognize what James said, that until the works are there faith is dead. If all we had was a faith in his works, but did not show this by our works, we would not have a faith that is binding.
    As such, when we discuss faith we do not focus on the simple reasoning as to why we have faith, but on the effect that faith has in our lives.

    Thank You.

  68. 68 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Welcome back again Anne and thank you for your sincere question. A good question I might add. You are always welcome here.

    Here are some scriptural truths that come to my mind from scripture. And please keep in mind that there might be more possibilities than the one’s that I personally know of.

    These are some truths from the Bible….

    The Priesthood, both Aaronic and Melchizedek have been made Obsolete in the New Testament.

    Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear”

    Both the Aaronic and the MIelchizedek Priesthood were shadows that pointed to Christ. A foreshadowing of something to come and to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Christ has come so we have no need of the shadow that was pointing to his coming. You can read all about that in the book of Hebrews if you wish. And if you would like help with that or would like me to explain that in more detail, I would be glad to help you.

    The fact is, the priesthood has no power and is obsolete in the New Testament.

    The Bible also teaches that the “lawless one” is capable of doing all sorts of “counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” that serve “THE LIE” and DECIEVE those who are PERISHING.
    So this is not from God, it is in accordance with Satan and how he works. Satan is the deciever. So these miracles, signs and wonders will be very deceptive and will look like they are from God when in reality, they are not….

    2 Thess 2:9-10 ” The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.”

    God has asked us all to place HIS word in the Bible above that of any man. Above that of ALL man. As of most importance than the word of any man. For example if God’s word says one thing and a man says something that clearly contradicts what God has said, and we believe the man rather than what is written in God’s word, then we really in reality are “refusing to love the truth” But we must understand everything in context of all of scripture as a whole and not just through bits and pieces of it.

    What happens to those who refuse to love the truth? God sends a POWERFUL DELUSION so that we will believe the LIE…

    2 Thess 2:10-12 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. ”

    So in answer to your question, the Lord isn’t misleading you or leading you on. The Lord has given you his written word to protect you from every deceptive scheme Satan can possibly come up with to destroy you. Satan desires to destroy both you and me. He will do whatever it takes to accomplish that fact. He is much more powerful than you and I would ever dream of. He is much more deceptive than we could ever give him credit for. The ONLY weapon we have to defend ourselves against Satan and his deceptive schemes is God’s written word in the Bible!

    Jesus himself sets this example for us. When Jesus was tempted 3 times, each time Jesus said: “It is written!” And that is exactly how we defend ourselves from Satan also.

    So if we refuse to believe God’s word, we open ourselves up to deception. And eventually God Sends us a powerful delusion so that we believe the LIE because we refused to love his word above that of every man.

    If you want to avoid Hell, it’s not too late for you. You have only this lifetime though. The moment you die, you have no more chance to change your eternal destiny. I encourage you to Believe God’s word.

  69. 69 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Shem said: “I especially liked Echo’s accertain that he doesn’t ridicule the person while talking about how every single person in the LDS church is out ridiculing right and left. while I am sure this was said in anger and frustration, it is still hypocritical.”

    I didn’t say what I said in anger and frustration. I said it in love. Talking about how the LDS are out ridiculing people isn’t in itself ridiculing the LDS, it is pointing out their sins in order to lead them to repentance. I am attempting to bring peace between us all. Ridiculing people is contentious, pointing out that contention isn’t ridicule. It’s an attempt to lead people to repentance, an attempt to lead to peacful discussion of doctrine between us. It’s an attempt to ask that we treat one another with love and respect while we discuss doctrine vigorously. I see the LDS and myself as if we all are on the same team and Satan is your enemy and my enemy. When we start attacking a person rather than attacking doctrine, Satan wins! When we attack doctrine only with love and respect for one another, Satan loses! And the possibilty of coming together into unity is great! Why can’t we all be friends fighting the battle against Satan together like a team? Why can’t we think of these discussions with one another as a rescue mission (I rescue you, you rescue me) rather than as a war in which we fight against one another ? We have a powerful enemy in common. SATAN. And together we can win this battle!

  70. 70 jbr
    June 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Shemawater,
    Is it faith or some ritual that convinces you that Mormonism holds the truth ?

  71. 71 Anne McKee
    June 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Echo,

    Thank you for trying to answer my question. But, I have been LEAD by the Spirit, I have been HEALED! I have had prayers answered the moment I needed them! (some with very DISTINCT answers) I would NEVER dream of giving Satan that much credit. I DO believe the Bible! I do believe His word.
    I agree with Shem’s latest post ….even though he called me “Un-Christ-like” :) (see below) ….I believe in All of God’s words and works and the Savior’s words and works. The people of the Old Testament had only the PROMISE of the Atonement and it was good enough for them! We can even trust God’s promises before they are fulfilled!!

    As for the priesthood being obsolete, you are mistaken. The Law of Moses is obsolete. No where does it say that the Priesthood of God is obsolete. After all, Peter, James and John, among others, continued the laying on of hands, healing and baptizing long after the Savior’s death. All of these functions require Priesthood authority. It is the power to act in God’s name and while there have been times when the authority was not on the earth (after the Apostles were all killed off), it has now been restored!! God’s house is a house of order!

    While saying that I find the “truth-in-love” crowd to be arrogant may seem “Un-Christ-like” to you, Shem, I think that honesty is always a good thing. I am related to some of them. They think that we are evil. They have condemned us to hell! They would NEVER dream of listening to the missionaries because they “Know it all”. I call that arrogant! It is the opposite of humble! I also think that Kate was beginning to see it too! I don’t blame her for giving up trying to make her point. ALL of “our” points fall on deaf ears because they WILL NOT LISTEN!!! that is “arrogance”! Sorry if the truth upsets you!

    Echo- what happens to the millions and billions of people who lived and died and never even heard the Savior’s name? Are they also going to hell? What chance do they have? Did your Savior abandon so many of God’s children? (p.s. Mine didn’t)

    Anne

  72. 72 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Can you find a definition in the Bible of what a prophet is?

  73. June 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    First, I would like to say to Shematwater, I am sorry I disappointed you. Yes, I worked hard to respond well and truly educate them…however, it became very clear that even IF I was helping them to see truth, no way were they going to allow anyone else to see it, so they inject their conversation with poison (as you will see below.) Then posting a new post on Faith, with the lies and omission of truth they did, and then reading through their Mother website, which is the fountain of all these web blogs, I came to realize that their intentions do not appear to be valid. I give them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps, in their hearts, they truly believe we need to be saved, but to dedicate a church (ministry set up as a not-for-profit) to destroy the faith of good people, and make a very good living off of it, doesn’t make their intentions look very good.

    I have had LDS people contact me privately, thanking me, saying that they had almost been deceived. So, no matter how disappointed you might be in me, I have helped some people not to walk away from their faith.

    Now, I’d like to show examples of the love and lack of judgment from Echo and the others. Please do not cry foul about me quoting anything out of context. Just as you say to us, you can post all the rest of the context if you want. But then, I will just ignore it and continue to act as though you only said these particular quotes. Isn’t that the example you have set for me? Oh, and I say this all with love, in case you might be reading it otherwise, because we love you.

    Faith post:

    “But note that any mention of Jesus’ works for us is completely absent in James E. Talmage’s words-“ (proven to be a lie)

    “Although both Mormonism and Christianity talk about having faith in Jesus, they have two different objects in which they place their faith.” (also proved to be a lie…everything in the Gospel of Jesus Christ points to the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.)

    Gospel post:
    In “Elder Ballard’s explanation. There is not one mention of Jesus’ saving acts.” (proven to be a lie—look at the opening statement in the actual talk I posted)

    From responses:

    “Jesus abolished the Commandments and Ordinances of God, he nailed them to the CROSS…”(proved wrong with many biblical references…it was the law of Moses, he gave new commandments and gave priesthood authority to perform ordinances..which you can find throughout the New Testament..look at Acts 8:13-20, this is all about Priesthood authority)

    “Your opinions are all based on a whim. On your feelings” (You make a judgment on me and you have no idea what my background is. Nor do you know how much study I have done. I have been able to scripturally back up every bit of our doctrine)

    “The fact of the matter is that you havn’t done all you can do by doing extensive research first” (another lie—another judgment, and again, you have no idea what my background is…why have I been able to stump you all along the way, and you just repeat the same diatribe?)

    “We use official LDS sources to make our claims. We have no desire to get LDS Doctrine wrong.” (Proven wrong—quotes are misrepresented)

    “What has been misrepresented specifically? If you provide the details, we can discuss them.” (Proven wrong—each time details provided, conversation jumped right back into the same diatribe never addressing our proof.)

    “The LDS Gospel is “bad news” if obedience is your Gospel message. That is a false Gospel.” (Again, we proved over and over that obedience is PART of what encompasses the Atoning sacrifice of the Savior—Jesus taught it continually and you yourself have stated that his “words” should be set at naught.)

    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. (Echo is non-judgmental and only shows love?)

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

    “So the situation in the LDS Church is just like the “LIE” in the video:” (You inject the conversation with enough of these poisonous statements to kill the “loving” conversation)

    “You believe the very LIE that offends you” (again, we are told what we believe, after we have proven differently)

    “What you think is discernment is not discernment at all.” (You don’t know me, or my life…you would not be able to make that judgment accurately.)

    “You are an easy target for Satan to deceive.” (Again, you don’t know me—however, even the elect may be deceived, which is why I “work” daily to keep the Holy Ghost with me, and the fruits of that show me that He is with me.)

    “You believe this: “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.” (Again, telling us what we believe, even though we proved that it was a lie.)

    “That’s the devil’s doctrine!” followed up by “I am reaching out to you here with great love” (Hmmm)

    “How many ways does the LDS NOT KEEP HIS WORDS? The answer is countless…” (Lies)

    “In LDS teachings, The harder you work at being obedient, the higher the kingdom of glory you will receive.” (Wrong, though no matter how we explain it correctly, you continue to go back to statements like this.)

    “But the huge majority of this stuff (contention) 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” (we are vigorously opposing the false teaching of our doctrine.)

    “Be willing for us to help you with your unbelief Kate. We love Mormons!” (Judging me again)

    “Even Pagans are better at love than the LDS people!” (continually injecting your conversation with this stuff negates the love you supposedly feel.)

    “The LDS are always going for the throat of Christians (judging the person)” (No, we are contending with the false descriptions of what we believe.)

    “The LDS people are experts at ridiculing people!” (wow, I would say we are experts at defending ourselves when our faith is constantly ridiculed.)

    “We Christians do not want to ridicule the LDS religion. (That is not what I see happening.)

    We don’t have contention in our hearts, YOU DO. THE LDS DOES. You all continually negatively and sinfully judge people themselves rather than judging what we teach, your hearts and mouths are filled with contention! (How does this sound???)

    So then help us! Help us without judging us as people! Stick to the teachings! That’s exactly what we have always asked of the LDS. But they don’t want to help us, they have no patience, no love, no longsuffering. (We do! Maybe we lose patience because no matter how we PROVE it, you refuse to accept it and just repeat the same questions so we keep going in circles.)

    We believe in daily repentance. But I tell you, unless you repent (we do too! Why do you assume we don’t repent? Is it because you want your readers to have that perception?)

    “The LDS CHURCH has slayed and persecuted the TRUE prophets and apostles.” (Lies)

    “Ralph you would say a person is ridiculing Hitler when he holds him accountable for his sins! You would say a Person who holds a man accountable for sexually molesting children is ridiculing him. I can see who your Father is Ralph.” (again, wow)

  74. 74 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Since the Bible is able to thouroughly equip us to every good work, we don’t need more that what is already in the Bible.
    We believe in a God that has the power to preserve his word for us through all generations. That means the books that you mentioned that are not in the Bible, those books weren’t within God’s will to be in the bible.

  75. 75 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Shem, that is exactly how I understand LDS doctrine also.

    I think the problem is that because we don’t know what each of you are thinking inside, Mark and myself havn’t yet found the words to make clear to you what we mean when we say what we say. That is why ongoing discussions are so important. So we can share our thoughts with each other. (You with us and us with you). In that process, both sides come to see what the other person is thinking and how better to explain things in light of that discussion. That requires that both sides have alot of patience for one another.

    Mark isn’t saying that the LDS reject the Atonement. But bringing the Atonement itself into the discussion just complicates the conversation even more since the LDS and Christians have different idea’s on what the Atonement really means. So we attempt to let some things go (so-to-speak) unmentioned (like the atonement for example) in the discussion or unmentioned in what we say so that we can narrow things down as much as possible to one single point or two and make it more simple to discuss. (But as you can see things still remain quite complicated to discuss as it is as we all seem to get side-tracked on something else, I am just as guilty of that as anyone)

    Shem said: “It is not that we believe in his words to exclude his works (as is being suggested), but that, like Ralph said, we count his words to be part of his works.”

    I think if you read Mark’s post carefully, he isn’t suggesting that the LDS exclude Jesus’ works entirely. Mark is talking about the “PRIMARY” thing spoken of. Like Mark said the same thing about us when he said : “When Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, they are not talking about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life. The first and primary things Christians think about when faith comes up are not Jesus’ words but his works. ”

    Mark isn’t excluding Christians from accepting his will as our law or even his words are our guide. Mark is simply saying that those things aren’t the “PRIMARY” or the “FIRST” thing we speak about or the “FIRST” in order of sequence..
    See what I mean?

  76. 76 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Kate,

    you said: ““Although both Mormonism and Christianity talk about having faith in Jesus, they have two different objects in which they place their faith.” (also proved to be a lie…everything in the Gospel of Jesus Christ points to the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.)”

    You believe you are saved by grace after all “YOU” can do.
    We believe we have already been saved by grace after all that “JESUS” has done.

    Can you spot the differences?

  77. 77 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Anne,

    You said: “But, I have been LEAD by the Spirit, I have been HEALED! I have had prayers answered the moment I needed them! (some with very DISTINCT answers)”

    I don’t doubt your sincerity and honesty in this. I don’t doubt that you have experienced what you say you have experienced. But my questions are these,…

    How do you know that the Spirit by which you are led is from God or from Satan trying to deceive you? How do you know whether or not the prayers that were answered, were answered by God or answered by Satan deceiving you with miracles signs and wonders?

    You said: “As for the priesthood being obsolete, you are mistaken”

    What was the purpose of the Aaronic priesthood in the Old Testament?

    You said: “They would NEVER dream of listening to the missionaries because they “Know it all”. I call that arrogant!”

    Do you believe the LDS Church is the only true church on earth? If so, is that being arrogant also? Are you willing to listen to me?

    You asked: “Echo- what happens to the millions and billions of people who lived and died and never even heard the Savior’s name? Are they also going to hell? What chance do they have? Did your Savior abandon so many of God’s children? (p.s. Mine didn’t)”

    I don’t want to change to another new topic since we have a few too many going already  So my short answer is that the Bible states that all men will be without excuse. :)

  78. June 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    With all due respect, Echo, the statement you made was that “they have two different objects in which they place their faith.”

    Without the atonement, our works are nothing….the Atonement is the Primary, Central focus of our faith. That is what we have faith in..that is where our faith lies. If we did not have faith in being cleansed by His Atoning blood, why would we want to obey him and do those things necessary to progress? This is what I keep trying to say, Echo. It seems that maybe you don’t understand that. What prevents your heart from hearing that? That is a sincere question.

  79. 79 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Kate,

    Thank you. Yes, that is how I understand the LDS doctrine also. But how about answering my question?

  80. June 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Echo: You said:” But how about answering my question?”
    You see Echo, this is frustrating, as this type of questioning, is only to keep pointing out what “else” we believe. But the topic was what we base our faith on. The answer I gave you shows you that we do not place our faith in two different objects as you stated. The object we each have faith in is the atoning blood of our Savior.

    Echo said: “You believe you are saved by grace after all “YOU” can do.
    We believe we have already been saved by grace after all that “JESUS” has done.

    Can you spot the differences?”

    So, the differences you want me to point out are not the ones that you would think. You see, the way you imply what we believe is that we are only saved by grace, after we do something. We believe that BECAUSE we have faith in His atoning blood, that we must do those things He has asked us to to. So in reality, this is what is implied…that without his grace, we can’t do anything. Because of His grace, we can do all we can do to progress and attain more and more light.

  81. 81 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    That’s how I understand LDS doctrine too. The LDS teaches that because you have faith in his atoning blood, that you must do those things he has asked you to do, and that without that grace you can’t do anything but because of his grace, you can do all you can do to progress and attain more and more light.

    In order to enter the celestial kingdom, you are now doing all you can do and will continue to do all you can do, but if a Mormon doesn’t do all they can do, are they saved by grace into the celestial kingdom?

  82. June 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Well, I believe since you studied so much, that you know the answer is that we believe there are different kingdoms of Glory, the highest being the Celestial Kingdom. I know the basic answer to that is what bothers you. I have been doing a deep personal study on that and because some of what I am learning is being led by the Spirit for my own understanding, I won’t post it all here, but the short answer is this. We cannot abide the fulness of God’s Glory in the baby state that we are in spiritually. We are given the opportunity to grow in Him and be partakers of His light, grace upon grace. Not everyone will take that opportunity, though He will give ALL men that opportunity…even those who have died without it, hence, that is why he went to preach to the Spirits in Spirit prison.

    As we grow in the light (a portion of His Glory), and continue in it, we gain more and more until we are completed. (gaining more and more light entails receiving the ordinances as well). We could do none of this, had we no faith in the Atoning blood of our Savior that makes any of this possible and make us heirs. We could perform ALL the works, but they would put us no where and we would not receive the light I am speaking of without first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” I believe that because of God’s love for ALL man, he prepared such so that ALL could be saved, even if they hadn’t “yet” received enough light to abide in His Glory. There is much more to all of that, but that is the short of it.

    Now, based on what I have been experiencing here, I am feeling that you will go back to ‘One” aspect of what I said and question again, “So are you saying that if we don’t do the works, we can’t enter the Celestial Kingdom to be with God?” and disregarding my explanation of the rest of what I believe, simply to point out that one thing. Maybe that is what bothers me about these discussions. You want all our beliefs to be on blanket statement, when it has much deeper meaning than that.

  83. June 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    TYPO: “one” blanket statement.

  84. 84 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Kate, the thing is…that we aren’t disregarding your beliefs, we are simply giving Mormons credit for knowing what you believe and so when we want to discuss “ONE” particular aspect of your beliefs, we are simply taking it for granted that you know all the doctrines and teachings that surround that “ONE” particular aspect. I mean it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone if you want to take the time to bring something up that we didn’t mention for the readers sake. We have no problem whatsoever with that. But when we focus on one particular point in LDS doctrine, that doesn’t mean we are disregarding all the other surrounding teachings. I mean if we have to mention everything all the time, our posts will become combersome, lengthy and overwhelming to write. We are trying to keep things simple here. We are trying to discuss one or two particular points at a time so that things don’t become overly complicated.

    So with that in mind, and with all the surrounding doctrine you have provided us, In order to enter the celestial kingdom, we are saved by grace after all we can do. Right?

  85. June 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I have something to say about this, but have to go now…it’s father’s day and I go to celebrate my children’s father with them. I will be back later.

  86. 86 Echo
    June 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Enjoy Father’s day Kate!

  87. 87 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    “Mark and myself havn’t yet found the words to make clear to you what we mean when we say what we say.”

    You say the Bible is sufficient, so why do you and Mark need to say anything at all?

    And if Christ has done it all already, as you suppose, why do you need to do anything at all?

    Your position is a mass of confusion.

  88. 88 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Echo said “Mark isn’t excluding (Evangelical) Christians from accepting his will as our law or even his words are our guide.”

    Mark said “When (Evangelical) Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, THE ARE NOT TALKING about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life.” (Emphasis mine).

    Echo said “Mark isn’t excluding (Evangelical) Christians from accepting his will as our law or even his words are our guide.”

    Mark said “When (Evangelical) Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, THE ARE NOT TALKING about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life.” (Emphasis mine).

    Echo said “Mark isn’t excluding (Evangelical) Christians from accepting his will as our law or even his words are our guide.”

    Mark said “When (Evangelical) Christians talk about faith in Jesus, however, THE ARE NOT TALKING about accepting His will as our law or even His words as our guide in life.” (Emphasis mine).

    Confusing!

  89. 89 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Except that you AREN’T saved, yet, regardless.

    The difference is, that if you take your belief to its logical conclusion, salvation is strictly arbitrary, unless you also believe that it is universal.

  90. 90 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Echo said, “You believe you are saved by grace after all “YOU” can do.”

    In context, what does 2 Nephi 25:23 mean?

  91. 92 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    2 Timothy 3: 16 tells us HOW all scripture is given, NOT WHEN!

  92. 93 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Echo,
    What a bunch of drivel, full of personal attacks.

    Why can’t you articulate a reasonable argument?

  93. 94 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Shem,

    I didn’t see where Hebrews 1: 1-2 was used, so I didn’t address it.

  94. 95 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    It is the witness of the Holy Spirit.

  95. 96 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    “How do you know that the Spirit by which you are led is from God or from Satan trying to deceive you?”

    Since you reject revelation from the Holy Spirit, you haven’t experienced it. It is impossible to explain it to you because you have experienced it.

    Could you describe the color blue to a person that was born blind? No, because they haven’t experienced it.

    “How do you know whether or not the prayers that were answered, were answered by God or answered by Satan deceiving you with miracles signs and wonders?”

    Since you reject the witness of the Holy Spirit, how do you know that your understanding of scripture is correct?

  96. 97 MikeS
    June 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    John 14.10 – Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

    In Revelation 3.14 the object of the modifier is not God but Creation.

    And in Job you’re assuming that ‘son’ means the same thing as when Jesus uses the term.

    Language doesn’t work that way.

  97. 98 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    In context, what does 2 Nephi 25:23 mean?

  98. 99 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    One Evangelical Christian author wrote of his sudden discovery that his previous beliefs about salvation were very different from those held by the early Christians:

    “If there’s any single doctrine that we would expect to find the faithful associates of the apostles teaching, it’s the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. After all, that is the cornerstone doctrine of the Reformation. In fact, we frequently say that persons who don’t hold to this doctrine aren’t really Christians…

    “Our problem is that Augustine, Luther, and other Western theologians have convinced us that there’s an irreconcilable conflict between salvation based on grace and salvation conditioned on works or obedience. They have used a fallacious form of argumentation known as the “false dilemma,” by asserting that there are only two possibilities regarding salvation: it’s either (1) a gift from God or (2) it’s something we earn by our works.

    “The early Christians [and the Latter-day Saints!] would have replied that a gift is no less a gift simply because it’s conditioned on obedience….

    ” The early Christians believed that salvation is a gift from God but that God gives His gift to whomever He chooses. And He chooses to give it to those who love and obey him.”
    —David W. Bercot, Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up: A New Look at Today’s Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianity, 3rd edition, (Tyler, Texas: Scroll Publishing Company, 1999[1989]), 57, 61–62. ISBN 0924722002.

  99. 100 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Re Ralph’s post # 98

    Quote from Ralph’s post…

    “” The early Christians believed that salvation is a gift from God but that God gives His gift to whomever He chooses. And He chooses to give it to those who love and obey him.” —David W. Bercot,

    Salvation is a gift of God given freely to those who don’t love and obey him, that gift shows the very nature of his AMAZING love for us. That free gift is his love for us. That love, that free gift, opens our hearts to love God back.

    You can’t love and obey God until God first loves you.

    1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us”

    Bercot has it backwards. He implies that we must love and obey God before God will choose to give us salvation. Which translates into ” God loves us because we first loved God” and “IF I obey God, God will love me” enough to return to him some day.”

    We get all the glory rather than God.

  100. 101 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    “Salvation is a gift of God given freely to those who don’t love and obey him, . . . ”

    Total DRIVEL unsupportable be scripture.

    And don’t waste your time with the “God justifies the ungodly” drivel as we have shown beyond doubt that that is incorrect. :)

  101. 102 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    As expected, Echo is ignoring the main point.

    “THE EARLY CHRISTIANS BELIEVED that salvation is a gift from God but that God gives His gift to whomever He chooses. And He chooses to give it to those who love and obey him.” —David W. Bercot,

    So both the early Christians AND THE LDS believe the same thing regarding salvation.

  102. 103 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    The Bible teaches about the seriousness of sin of “commission” (doing something bad), but it also talks about the seriousness of the sins of “omission” (failing to do something good).

    Jesus Himself taught in Matthew 25 that people who merely committed sins of omission(failing to do something good) would spend eternity in the very same dwelling place as Satan:

    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

    (Notice also that those passages above show that there are only TWO destinations in eternity.

    1) everlasting punishment, where the devil and his angels are and
    2) Life eternal.
    (This idea is repeated throughout the Bible)

    How many times do we fail to do something good? In countless ways we fail, we fail every day.

    The Bible teaches that if we commit just one sin, like get angry or have a lustful thought or fail to visit people in prison, or fail to help anyone at any time, or fail to do something good, we have broken God’s whole ENTIRE law. ..

    James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

    Galatians 3:10 “CURSED is everyone who does not continue to do EVERYTHING written in the Book of the Law.”
    If we don’t do all these things all the time, we don’t love God. Sin is hatred of God. Sin makes us ungodly. Therefore it wouldn’t matter how many sins we were forgiven of in the past, one sin now, removes all of that past forgiveness. It means we are totally and completely unforgiven. And those who are unforgiven are totally unclean.

  103. 104 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Ralph said: “And don’t waste your time with the “God justifies the ungodly” drivel as we have shown beyond doubt that that is incorrect. :) ”

    The “DRIVEL” as you define it is in reality God’s own word. What you call “incorrect” is actually the TRUTH of God that you refuse to believe…

    Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    2 Thes 2:10-11 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the LIE ”

    Romans 4:4 “Now to him that WORKETH is the reward NOT reckoned OF GRACE, but of debt.”

    Romans 4:5 ” But to him that worketh NOT, but believeth on him that JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    Romans 4:6 “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness WITHOUT WORKS”

    Romans 5:6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the UNGODLY. ”

    Luke 18:9-14 “ To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME, A SINNER.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, WENT HOME JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Mark 2:17 ““It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

    Galatians 3:21-23 “ Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a PRISONER OF SIN, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”

    THEREFORE, Salvation is a gift of God given freely to those who don’t love and obey him, Why? you might ask. The answer is this…so that people will love him and obey him.

  104. 105 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Please post at the end of the next comment. The post above and the post below go together. Thanks.

  105. 106 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    You know Echo, I don’t know why I even waste my time with you. It is clear from the context of Romans as a whole and the Bible as a whole that your understanding of who God justifies is in error.

    I have shown this to you before, but you just don’t get it.

    1) the Bible is NOT inerrant. Get use to that fact.
    2) God doesn’t justify the ungodly.
    3) the ungodly that repent and obey are forgiven and are no longer “ungodly”.

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

    Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin (ungodliness) is death; . . .

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

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

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

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

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

    Bad indeed.

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

    Also, we can look at the other side of the coin, so to speak.

    Will you agree that the opposite of ungodly is godly?

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

    Now let’s turn to the Old Testament.

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

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

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

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

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

  106. 107 Kent
    June 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Ralph, the word you call drivel is as Echo pointed out, is the word of God while the incorrect words are those of Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church that were either mistransalated or flat out added on. Examples of these are in the Book of Moses where it is added that there was a spiritual creation before the phiysical creation, a mistranslated verse was changing from “God justifieth the ungodly” to “God justifieth not the ungodly”, and another add on is at the end of Genesis in the Joeseph Smith translation where Smith self servingly added on a prophesy about himself coming as a prophet.

    Ralph, you haven’t proved anything but just confirm that there are two different belief systems that we have to choose from, the Bible, which if people have faith that it is the true and complete word of God it will set them free or the teachings of the Mormon church.

    Mormons if we are wrong all we get is a place in a lower heaven but if you are wrong you risk enternal seperation from Heavenly Father in outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  107. 108 shematwater
    June 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    KATE

    It wasn’t exactly that you said those things that disapopinted me. It was that you started this thread with those comments. Honestly, after about fifty posts of truly pointless discussion (which I happen to enjoy) I would not blame you, as I have done very similar things. But I am a little disappointed in not started each new thread as if it was the first, and then letting the people bring these kind of comments on themselves from that thread, not from a previous thread.

    ECHO

    I am sorry, but the first response you made to Anne was not naid in love, and to claim such is simply to be hypocritical again. Then to claim that it was not a glaring ridicule of every memeber of the LDS church is simply to add to the hypocracy. Then you try to claim that it is all done to point out our sin so that we will repent and all that garbage, which takes it to the height of hypocracy. Did not Christ say “Thou Hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7: 5)
    I find it rather tiring that you continually try to hide yourself behind a screen of love and caring when practically nothing you say carries even a hint of these things.

    You said: “But bringing the Atonement itself into the discussion just complicates the conversation even more since the LDS and Christians have different idea’s on what the Atonement really means. So we attempt to let some things go (so-to-speak) unmentioned (like the atonement for example) in the discussion or unmentioned in what we say so that we can narrow things down as much as possible to one single point or two and make it more simple to discuss.

    If you are not speaking about the atonement please explain which works of Christ your faith is centered in. I mentioned the atonement because it was the most obvious things that you could be referencing when you say that “having faith in Jesus means trusting that what Jesus did he did for us and because Jesus has done those things, we are already acceptable to God.”
    This just seems like another ecample of your hypocracy.

    Now, to the reader I would like to give a much more indepth explanation of what the LDS teach concerning the effects of the Atonement in the lives of all people.

    It has been posted that the LDS believe we are saved “after all we can do” and that ‘Christians’ believe that we are saved “after all Jesus did.”
    so, let us look at what each considers Salvation to be.
    As I understand it general Christianity teaches that there is only one Heaven and one Hell. To be saved is to go to Heaven to live with God (whom they consider the Trinity) for eternity. There is little actually taught about what happens once we are in heaven, and so I have run across several ideas. the most common is that we will be continually praising and serving God. It is common to believe that we will still know one another once we are in heaven, but that all relationships from mortality will cease to exist. Details beyond this are so confused between the many denominations that it is better to simply state that none of them really seem to know and leave it at this.
    So, to most Christians simlpe faith in Christ, without any real need for obedience, will gain you this salvation. As this is the only salvation they believe in anyone who does not gain it is damned.

    Now, speaking from the LDS perspective, we actually believe in this same salvation. Everything that is described here (except the trinity) is part of LDS doctrine.
    However, we believe that this one Heaven is divided into varying degrees of Glory, and that this particular salvation is what is gained in the Terrestrial Glory (or the middle glory). Obedience is not really needed for this salvation, just faith. While it is true that the Father will not be here, Christ will be available, and it is still in the presence of God.
    However, we also believe in the higher salvation of the Celestial Glory. The different between this and the Terrestrial is that our relationships in this life endure, so that marriage, parents, brothers and sisters and all other relationships are still a vital part of our existance.
    We actually take things a little bit farther and declare that within the Celestial Glory there are three levels, the Highest of which truly allows us to become like God in every respect (execpt authority). This salvation does require obedience, for it is so much grander than the Terrestrial.
    Added to this, as mentioned, we also believe in a third Glory, one below Terrestrial, which we call the Telestial. This is the glroy of heaven reserved for those who were neither obedient nor had the faith. This is still part of heaven, but the lowest part, and only the Holy Ghost will be with those who are given this salvation.
    Thus we truly believe that the Atonement of Christ does apply to all people, regardless of obedience, and truly regardless of faith. The only people who will never receive any salvation is those who openly rebel against God. This means those who were once elegible for the highest level of salvation (to become like God) and then falls to the point of hating what they once loved to the point of wanting to destroy it. These people will gain no salvation, but everyone else will gain some salvation.

    IN truth, the LDS doctrine of Salvation makes the Atonement of Christ much more broad in its application, and thus shows the love of God more than that of other Christian denominations.

  108. 109 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    “Mormons if we are wrong all we get is a place in a lower heaven but if you are wrong you risk enternal seperation from Heavenly Father in outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    LOL!

    If we are wrong, then we still get to go to heaven with you because we have met all of the requirements that you claim must be met.

    . . .
    But I have a question. If God is omnipresent, as you believe, how can I be separated from Him at all?

    Oh oh, just another flaw in your theology.

  109. 110 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    “IN truth, the LDS doctrine of Salvation makes the Atonement of Christ much more broad in its application, and thus shows the love of God more than that of other Christian denominations.”

    Yes, indeed you are correct.

  110. 111 annemckee
    June 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Kent,

    We KNOW we are not wrong! Have YOU ever listened to the missionaries from our Church? Have you ever looked beyond the anti-mormon drivel to see what we REALLY believe? I know many Christians that don’t REALLY know the first thing about the LDS Church…but they know “lingo” and have heard crazy claims. Do you really know Joseph’s history? Do you know that he was a good man with NO agenda? Nope, you have heard the lies. Someone on this blog asked if the LDS people here would listen to YOUR missionaries. I would compare that to a Christian listening to Judaism. It would be a step backwards.
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the real deal! It is the restoration of the true, original Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is 100% consistent with the Old Testament and the New Testament. NO ONE, not one person can get past the Book of Mormon. If it isn’t what it claims to be, then what is it? Many have tried, but it is here. It is a miracle. It is true. There is no other explanation for it. I challenge anyone to try to deconstruct it. It can’t be done…..people have tried, but they just cannot do it.

    YOU can know the truth, but you must humble yourself to hear it. Not many are humble enough to listen. Maybe you are? I would hope so! Before you depart this life, I would hope you would do yourself the service of finding out what we believe from US…not from the “enemy”.

    The truth in love ministry is misguided. Like I said, there is NO LOVE involved! There is pride, revenge, deceit but no love.
    I look at Mark Cares as the big “pot-stirrer” in the sky. He throws out some ridiculous claim and counts on his minions to go into a feeding frenzy over his diatribe. Then, the well-meaning Mormons, respond in exasperation trying to get you all to understand. All the while, Mark sits back and chuckles. Mark has poisoned many minds and confused youngsters about their beliefs. I believe that there will be a “special” place reserved for him in the world to come. But, hey, even Mark Cares could repent! I won’t count him out yet!

    Anne

  111. 112 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Ralph, re your post #105

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

    What did I say? (note the part in capital letters)…

    “THEREFORE, Salvation is a gift of God given freely to those who don’t love and obey him, Why? you might ask. The answer is this…SO THAT PEOPLE WILL LOVE HIM AND OBEY HIM”

    Ralph said: “Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Which refers to the LDS Three kingdoms of heaven where NEARLY EVERYONE, no matter how lascivious they are, get to go. (with few exceptions)

    In Christian theology, the lascivious go to outer darkness.

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

    LAW-WORKS- God’s law demands that the wicked must be punished and condemned to Outer Darknessl. . That’s justice. One sin is all it takes to be declared “wicked” and condemned to outer darkness.

    GRACE- God’s grace declares that Jesus Christ was punished and condemned in our place. Justice is fully satisfied. The ungodly are now justified . That’s grace. That’s mercy.

    And so now people will love and obey God.

    Which do you want to be under? Do you want to be under LAW-WORKS or under GRACE? Pick one or the other. They cannot be mixed together into a formula of “saved by grace after all you can do” because that is GRACE plus LAW/WORKS…You can’t do that. It’s one or the other, not a mixture of the two. Pick one.

    “The very desire to earn grace is itself really nothing else than a rejection of grace. For works and grace are conceptual and moral opposites and exclude one another (Romans 11:6).” (August Pieper in the essay “The Glory of the Lord”)

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Romans 11:5-6 ” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

    Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

    Galatians 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

    Galatians 5:4 “You who are trying to be JUSTIFIED BY LAW have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”

    Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

    Ephesians 2:8-9 ” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast. “

  112. 113 Ralph Peterson
    June 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    “THEREFORE, Salvation is a gift of God given freely to those who don’t love and obey him, Why? you might ask. The answer is this…SO THAT PEOPLE WILL LOVE HIM AND OBEY HIM”

    That is just drivel.

    “Which refers to the LDS Three kingdoms of heaven where NEARLY EVERYONE, no matter how lascivious they are, get to go. (with few exceptions) ”

    That, of course, is false! The lascivious, who die in there sins, go to ONLY the lowest of the three heavens. Echo, AGAIN falsely representing our doctrine.

    God’s law demands that the wicked who don’t repent must be punished and condemned to be punished for their sinsl. . That’s justice. One sin is all it takes to be declared “wicked” and condemned to be punished, unless you repent and become obedient. God’s grace declares that Jesus Christ was punished and condemned in our place if we repent. Justice is fully satisfied. The formerly ungodly who repent and are obedient now can be justified . That’s grace. That’s mercy. That’s justice.

    So, if people love God, they will repent and be obedient.

    “Pick one or the other. ”

    Another false dilemma/choice by Echo.

  113. 114 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Ralph said: “That, of course, is false! The lascivious, who die in there sins, go to ONLY the lowest of the three heavens. Echo, AGAIN falsely representing our doctrine.”

    Which is what I said if you read it carefully.

    The LDS Church teaches that not only do the lasciviousnessa go to the lowest Kingdom of glory. But the fact that there are 3 degrees of glory means the LDS have license to sin. We can sin if we want to and still go to a kingdom of glory. However the Bible teaches that if we even fail to do something good, we spend eternity with Satan.

    Jesus Himself taught in Matthew 25 that people who merely committed sins of omission(fail to do something good) would spend eternity in the very same dwelling place as Satan:

    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

    2 Thessalonians 2:10 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the LIE and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

  114. 115 Echo
    June 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    If anyone who is reading this blog wants to discuss anything with me via email. Please click on the following link, scroll down to “Feedback” click on it, write your email, and address it to “Echo”

    http://www.truthinlovetomormons.com/feedback/feedback.htm

  115. June 21, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Echo,
    Shematwater said much of what I wanted to say (now that I’m home from work), so I don’t feel the need to address your question earlier. Thank you Shematwater. ;)

  116. June 21, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Echo, with your belief, what happens to those who deal with mental illness, who sin, but because the mental illness interferes with their reasoning skills, they cannot comprehend God enough to have a belief in Christ, let alone have even enough faith to know they will be around the next day. Do they go to hell?

  117. 118 Echo
    June 21, 2011 at 3:46 am

    For us, faith doesn’t come from our reasoning skills, faith is a gift God gives us. In our beliefs, an infant can believe.

    Psalm 8:2 “From the lips of children and INFANTS you have ordained praise”

  118. June 21, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Hmmm…so you are saying then, that for the most part, those with mental illness will go to hell….and only those he gives faith to are saved?

  119. June 21, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Echo, many people deal with chemical depression. Most find it hard to have a belief in anything. Are you then, telling these people that if they don’t have faith it’s because God does not want to give it to them? So they will just go to hell?

  120. June 21, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I’m having a really hard time believing that people want to jump right over to your faith, when this doesn’t portray a very loving God.

  121. 122 Echo
    June 21, 2011 at 4:59 am

    God can give the gift of faith to anyone and anyone in Hell will be without excuse.

  122. June 21, 2011 at 6:01 am

    So does God randomly select who He will give faith to?

    If not, then what does a person have to “do” to gain the gift of faith?

    If I were to go with your words, then “anyone in Hell will be without excurse” says to me that if they find themselves in hell, it will be because they had no excuse such as a mental illness. If that is so, then what did those who wound up in hell, “not” do that landed them with no excuse?

    If God did not give them the gift of faith, would that then be an excuse? so they wouldn’t wind up in Hell because they were not without excuse?

    Help me here, I’m trying to follow your way of thinking.

  123. June 21, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I’ll return again tomorrow evening to find out your answer.

  124. 125 Echo
    June 21, 2011 at 7:02 am

    I am off for a long summer vacation and won’t be posting on this blog during that time. But if anyone sincerely wants to talk to me personally and has questions, feel free to email me at the link I gave in post # 115 above. I will be checking my emails periodically. I would love to hear from you. Otherwise, I will talk to you all when I get back. :D

  125. 126 Echo
    June 21, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Kate,

    The Bible says: 1 Timothy 2:3-4 ” This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants **ALL** men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    Faith comes from …

    Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

    1 Peter 3:21 “…baptism that now saves you also…”

    Even though God gives the gift of faith, people can refuse to believe the truth…

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

    Acts 14:2 “But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.”

    Acts 19:9 “But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. “

  126. 127 Kent
    June 21, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Kate, I believe that someone who is mentally incompetant and mentally ill would go to heaven as God is merciful and just.

    But I would say that you don’t fit that category so it isn’t about someone else’s salvation it is about yours and whether or not you accept the free gift that Jesus gave you at a tremendous price.

    On antother note: often we go back and forth about whether we do anything, other than believing and trusting in who Jesus is and what He did on the cross verses if there is anything, any kind of works, that we need to do to be in the presence of Heavenly Father forever. Ralph, in particular, lists things that Jesus has commanded us to do and, believe it or not, we agree that Jesus wants us to do those things, at least those that are in the Bible alone and not the ordinances of the Mormon Church such as those of the temple.

    The question is whether we can keep the commandments of God 100 percent in this lifetime or not and if we don’t trust and believe completely in Jesus and what He did on the cross in our place, then we are bound to having to live up to that perfection but if we do trust and believe in Jesus we are not bound by this 100 percent perfection but, as I said, Jesus still wants us to do live a certain way and by constantly trusting and asking by prayer for His help to live as He wants we can get closer to that perfection than if we try to do it by our own efforts which are doomed to failure.

    That is the thing, being a Christian is all about Jesus and not about us.

    And one of the dangerous doctrines that, I remember Kate chuckling about , is the Mormon belief that we still have time in the afterlife to acheive, at some point the pefection, that if we are to live by the law, that the law demands if we don’t accept Christ’s grace as I believe the scripture in the Bible that says in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”, is clear that we don’t have another chance once we die.

    Regarding what Ralph says about “God justifieth not the ungodly” verses “God justifieith the ungodly”, if the first passage is true then, we can never be justified by God before we come to faith as before we come to faith we are the ungodly while conversely if the correct passage is that God justifies the ungodly, when we come to faith in Christ, we can go from being the ungodly to godly because of our faith in Christ and the blood that he shed on the cross.

    An important distinction though is becoming godly is behaving like Christ but not becoming gods ourselves, even in he afterlife, as in the resurrection (the afterlife) we will be as the angels of heaven.

    Matthew 22:29-30

    Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

    As if anyone is to become a god, why didn’t Jesus say so?

  127. 128 Ralph Peterson
    June 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    “But the fact that there are 3 degrees of glory means the LDS have license to sin.”

    More false representations of LDS doctrine. For someone who CLAIMS (obviously falsely) that you understand LDS theology you do a whole lot of false representations of it.

    Does this statement of Jesus give a license to sin?
    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.

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

    Does this statement of Paul give a license to sin?
    1 Cor 15:41 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.
    42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. . . .

    Does this statement of Jesus give a license to sin?
    D & C 19:15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
    16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
    18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

    Echo,
    You aren’t going to convince any knowledgeable Mormon with these false representations.

  128. 129 Ralph Peterson
    June 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Which is what I said if you read it carefully.

    No, if you read what you wrote carefully, you are left with a false impression about LDS doctrine.

  129. 130 shematwater
    June 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Echo claims the LDS have a lisence to sin kind of built into the doctrine. The reasoning is that even the most vile sinners will be given some degree of glory in heaven eventually.

    I would like to point out that as long as there is only one Heaven (or one degree of glory) and Faith is all that is necessary to attain it, than Echo teaches a much greater lisence to sin, for even the greatest reward will be given to the vilest of sinners if they just believe (confess with their mouth and believe with their heart).

    On the other hand, while we do beleive in some level of glory for all people (for Christ has stated that all sin will be forgiven eventually) and thus the idea of a lisence to sin can be argued, we do not believe that faith is all that is needed for the greatest reward, and so for those who truly seek all that the Father has promised their is no lisence to sin, for such a desire will bar one from receiving that fulness.

    Thus, we see again how the LDS doctrine is on a firmer footing than that of Echo, for the very accusation made against us applies in an ever greater degree to him.

    KENT

    You said “The question is whether we can keep the commandments of God 100 percent in this lifetime or not and if we don’t trust and believe completely in Jesus and what He did on the cross in our place, then we are bound to having to live up to that perfection but if we do trust and believe in Jesus we are not bound by this 100 percent perfection but, as I said, Jesus still wants us to do live a certain way and by constantly trusting and asking by prayer for His help to live as He wants we can get closer to that perfection than if we try to do it by our own efforts which are doomed to failure.”

    This is one of the greatest descriptions of LDS doctrine I have ever heard. It is beautiful.

    Now, concerning the doctrine of gaining the chance in the next life; this chance is reserved for those who did not have such in this life. Think of all the people who lived throughout the world, in places where the gospel was not taught for centuries. If faith comes from hearing the word (as the Bible teaches) than how could any of these people have faith, as they never had the opportunity to hear.
    Now, without the doctrine of teaching them after death you are left with only two options. Eitehrthey are all condemned for not believing, and thus God is not just to them for never having given them the chance to accept; or they are all saved, which is unjust to all those who did hear as these were not given the same chance to fail as the rest.
    However, if those who did not gain the chance in this life are given the chance in the next than justice is satisfied and neither group has been unjustly delt with.

    Speaking of Hebrews 9: 27, I understand what you are saying. However, if you know LDS doctrine you should know that we do believe in a judgement that is pronounced on every person at the time of their death. This judgement send the righteous spirits to paradise, while the wicked are sent to Hell, or prison.
    Reading this in context we see that this is being compared to Christ; for as Christ came a made a sacrifice only once, so too do we die only once. However, it can also be implied that as Christ will return the second time, there will also be a second time for man to accept him.
    This makes much more sense with what Peter says concerning Christ preaching the to the spirits in Prison, and the prophecy that Christ would open the prison and bring out the prisoners (Isa. 42:7; 61:1). They have received the first judgement, and Christ has visited them to teach them that they may gain salvation in the last judgement.
    (Now, I know the reference to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, but remember that is was not until after he was dead that Christ went and taught the prisoners, and so when this parable was given the gulf was there, but since that time Christ has bridged the gulf.)

  130. 131 Ralph Peterson
    June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    “Regarding what Ralph says about “God justifieth not the ungodly” verses “God justifieith the ungodly”, if the first passage is true then, we can never be justified by God before we come to faith as before we come to faith we are the ungodly . . . .”
    And so it is true. Justification occurs by (and therefore after) faith.

    Rom. 3: 28 man is justified by faith without the deeds (of the law of Moses).

    Rom. 5: 1 justified by faith, we have peace with God.

    Gal. 2: 16 man is not justified by the works of the law (of Moses), but by the faith (or obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ).

    Gal. 3: 24 that we might be justified by faith (or obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ).

    Ex. 23: 7 I will not justify the wicked.

    Deut. 25: 1 they shall justify the righteous.

    “. . . while conversely if the correct passage is that God justifies the ungodly, when we come to faith in Christ, we can go from being the ungodly to godly because of our faith in Christ and the blood that he shed on the cross.”
    Nah, faulty logic there. True faith leads to repentance and obedience. Repentance from sins leads to forgiveness for those sins. Forgiveness means a declaration of cleanliness or godliness. And now justification can occur.

    The “ungodly” through repentance and obedience become “godly”. And then justification can occur. So no, the “ungodly” are not justified, nor can they be.

    Faith and repentance go together.
    Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, REPENTANCE toward God, and FAITH toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Heb. 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE from dead works, and of FAITH toward God,

    Repentance brings forgiveness.
    Acts 3:19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

  131. 132 Kent
    June 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    shematwater, I don’t have time today to address some of your other points but regarding becoming gods, God is a jealous god and He would not want anyone to be worshipped by spirit children as isn’t that what is taught by your church in the highest level of the celestial kingdom that people at the highest level are gods who are worshipped by their spirit children?

    Jesus said that in the resurrection (the afterlife) we who believe in Him will be “as the angels of God in Heaven” , created beings who worship God but who are not gods themselves, and no one will be married in heaven so if we aren’t married in heaven, then we wouldn’t have spirit children there to worship us anyway.

    Matthew 22:29-30

    Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

    Again, if anyone is to become a god, why didn’t Jesus say so?

    Also, notice Jesus said heaven, and not heavens here and the mansions that he is preparing for us are not levels but areas we who believe in Him will occupy. Where do you get degrees of glory from many mansions? As Mormons who I asked this have, unless I misunderstood, as given the mansions as supporting degrees of glory.

  132. 133 Kent
    June 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    By the way, the context of Matthew 22, if anyone doesn’t know, is Jesus was asked who would be married to a woman among seven brothers who had all married her but had all died so His answer is saying that in the resurrection (the afterlife) that people will not be married.

    So the Mormon temple marriage is not needed as marriage is only for this lifetime.

    I know Mormons don’t like non Mormons bringing up the temple as to them it is something sacred.

    But really only God is sacred.

  133. 134 Ralph Peterson
    June 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    ” . . . God is a jealous god and He would not want anyone to be worshipped by spirit children . . . ”

    Sorry, but that is contradicted by the Bible. God will have the Philadelphians worshiped.

    Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; BEHOLD, I WILL MAKE THEM TO COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THY FEET, and to know that I have loved thee.

  134. 135 Ralph Peterson
    June 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    A classic anti-mormon misreading of what the scripture actually says. It is NEW MARRIAGES that won’t occur AFTER the resurrection. NO WHERE does it say that the state of being married won’t exist after the resurrection.

    Matt. 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry (men taking a wife), nor are given in marriage (women given as a wife), but are as the angels of God in heaven.

    Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry (men taking a wife), nor are given in marriage(women given as a wife); but are as the angels which are in heaven.

    Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry (Marriages of men occur during mortality), and are given in marriage (Marriages of women occur during mortality):
    35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry (men taking a wife), nor are given in marriage (women given as a wife):

    No NEW Marriages occur AFTER the Resurrection. They MUST occur in mortality (this world).

  135. 136 shematwater
    June 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    KENT

    I actually didn’t comment on the Matthew Quote because it is actually not fully understood even by biblical scholars. It is frequently used to show proof against the idea of eternal marriage, but this is only one understanding. It is not the only possible meaning, and in truth not even the most likely.
    I prefer this interpretation: In asking this questions the Sadducees were referencing an actual family that had recently, or was currently living at the time and were thus trying to trap Christ, believing that this real life example would show the concept of resurrection to be illogical. Thus, when Christ responded he was not speaking of all people, but was speaking about this particular case and basically passing judgment on them (as was his right); after which he then taught the doctrine of the resurrection.
    With this understanding there is no difficulty in believing in eternal marriage, as saying that one family did not earn such is not saying that no family can.

    Now, to give a few other scriptures that actually do teach eternal marriage and eternal families:
    Eccl 3: 14 “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”
    Mark 10: 7-9 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
    And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
    Taking these two passages together we see that the marriage vow joins man and women by the power of God (as shown in Mark) which shall be forever, as it was done by God (as shown in Ecclesiastes). As such, when a person is married by the power of God that marriage is eternal.

    Matthew 16: 19 (also 18: 18) “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
    Thus, if Peter bound a marriage on the Earth it was also bound in heaven, and thus made eternal.

    There is also the simple reasoning from the story of the creation. It is generally held that if Adam and Eve had not fallen they would have lived forever, and that all those who are saved will be returned to this same state from which we are fallen. Considering that it was before the fall, while Adam and Eve were still in this eternal state, that they were married (Genesis 2: 25) it is only logical to say that when we are returned to that same state marriage will also be restored to its original eternal nature.

    As to the Jealousy of God, Ralph gave a very good reference to this, but I would also like to state a few things.
    First, God is Jealous, but of his children. He does not want his children worshiping other gods; or calling other gods their father. This is like the jealousy I would feel if my children were calling anyone else their father. However, this jealousy does not extend to those who are not his children, for those who are not his children should not be calling him Father, but should be revering their own father.
    As it happens all of us on this Earth are his children and so for us to worship other gods provokes his jealousy. However, when we attain the perfection that allows us to have children of our own this jealousy will not be provoked, for our children would rightly revere us as their fathers, and our Father as their Grandfather, so to speak.

    As to our children worshiping us as their father, I will give you my understanding, which I am fully confident is what was being taught by Joseph Smith (and thus by God). While I children will revere us as their fathers, they will actually worship Jesus as the Father, or the Head of the Gods of our generation. In this manner all our children will be begotten sons and daughters unto Christ, for as the Head he will be the great authority.

    Now, speaking of the many mansions, I will say this: Mansions themselves would not indicate different degrees of glory. However, this is not all that is taught by this passage. Jesus also states that he is preparing us mansions so that when we come we will be in the same place (or neighborhood) as Christ. This would indicate that among the mansions of Heaven there are places in which Christ is not found. Thus, there will be those in Heaven who will not be in the presence of Christ (and thus not in the presence of the Father), which teaches the same basic concept as the degrees of glory. Some will be worthy to enter Heaven, but not worthy enough to be in the presence of Christ.

  136. June 22, 2011 at 12:32 am

    So your answer only said He wants ALL men to be saved…that does not sound like what you teach by the way. So I will presume that you are saying with that verse that he gives the gift of faith to ALL men? and it is up to each person to choose to hear the words of Christ in order to gain that gift? But isn’t that something they have to DO? And how does an infant or mentally ill person “choose” to hear the words of Christ?

  137. June 22, 2011 at 3:10 am

    Kent, you said: “The question is whether we can keep the commandments of God 100 percent in this lifetime or not and if we don’t trust and believe completely in Jesus and what He did on the cross in our place, then we are bound to having to live up to that perfection but if we do trust and believe in Jesus we are not bound by this 100 percent perfection but, as I said, Jesus still wants us to do live a certain way and by constantly trusting and asking by prayer for His help to live as He wants we can get closer to that perfection than if we try to do it by our own efforts which are doomed to failure.”

    I have to agree with shematwater,
    I think you don’t even realize how much you really do believe that LDS teach true doctrine. Give it time ;)

  138. 139 Kent
    June 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Regarding levels of heaven or, so to speak, degrees of glory that people go to, notice how Paul was talking in 2 Corinthians 12 about how a man he knew was caught up to the third heaven ABOUT HOW HE WAS CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE, THE THIRD HEAVEN.

    Now see how in Luke 23 the thief on the cross freely admits he deserves his fate, dying on the cross, but he repents in the last moments of his life and Jesus accounts him worthy to be in PARADISE (The Third Heaven) because the thief believed in who Jesus is. So the thief didn’t progress to be worthy in anything he did to merit being in the third heaven (paradise) but by his belief in Jesus and of Jesus’ dying on the cross he put on Jesus’ righteousness that allowed him to enter the Third Heaven even though, as I stated, he deserved his punishment as a sinner (his own efforts).

    SO WE TOO CAN KNOW WE CAN BE IN THE THIRD HEAVEN BY BELIEVING IN JESUS AND WHAT HE DID ON THE CROSS IN OUR PLACE AND ALSO PUT ON HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, JUST LIKE THE THEIF ON THE CROSS, AND NOT OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, TO GET THERE.

    2 Corinthians 12:2-4
    2I 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.
    3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
    4HOW THAT HE WAS CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    Luke 23:39-43
    39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
    40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
    41AND WE INDEED JUSTLY; FOR WE RECEIVE THE DUE REWARD OF OUR DEEDS: BUT THIS MAN HATH DONE NOTHING AMISS.
    42And he said unto Jesus, LORD, REMEMBER ME WHEN THOU COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM.
    43And Jesus said unto him, VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE, TODAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.

  139. 140 Kent
    June 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    These are the First and Second heavens and they are not places where people according to their glory go but are merely places where the birds fly, earth’s atmosphere, (the First Heaven) and outside earth’s atmosphere where the sun, the moon, and the stars are (the Second Heaven).

    Genesis 1:20
    20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, AND FOWL THAT MAY FLY ABOVE THE EARTH IN THE OPEN FIRMAMENT OF HEAVEN.

    Genesis 1:14-17
    14And God said, LET THERE BE LIGHTS IN THE FIRMAMENT OF THE HEAVEN to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
    15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
    16AND GOD MADE TWO GREAT LIGHTS; THE GREATER LIGHT TO RULE THE DAY, AND THE LESSER LIGHT TO RULE THE NIGHT: HE MADE THE STARS ALSO.
    17AND GOD SET THEM IN THE FIRMAMENT OF THE HEAVEN to give light upon the earth

    Again, the Third Heaven is paradise, not a degree of glory, where all people who believe in who Jesus is and what He did on the cross go.

    2 Corinthians 12:2-4
    2I 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.
    3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
    4HOW THAT HE WAS CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
    Luke 23:39-43
    39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
    40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
    41AND WE INDEED JUSTLY; FOR WE RECEIVE THE DUE REWARD OF OUR DEEDS: BUT THIS MAN HATH DONE NOTHING AMISS.
    42And he said unto Jesus, LORD, REMEMBER ME WHEN THOU COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM.
    43And Jesus said unto him, VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE, TODAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.

  140. 141 Ralph Peterson
    June 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    You are conflating “paradise” to the “third heaven” without basis. Your whole argument fails.

    The thief didn’t get to heaven at all.

  141. 142 Ralph Peterson
    June 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    “Again, the Third Heaven is paradise, not a degree of glory, where all people who believe in who Jesus is and what He did on the cross go.”

    Again, you are conflating “paradise” with “the third heaven” without basis.

  142. 143 Kent
    June 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Ralph said, “You are conflating “paradise” to the “third heaven” without basis. Your whole argument fails.

    The thief didn’t get to heaven at all.”

    It is very clear that 2 Corninthians 12 refers to the Third Heaven and Paradise as the same place so since the thief on the cross in Luke 23 was on that day with Jesus in Paradise, that he was indeed in Heaven. So my basis is that 2 Corithians 12:2 says the man referred to was caught up to the Third Heaven and that 2 Corninthians 12:4 says he was caught up into Paradise so since Luke 23:43 says the thief would that day be with Jesus in Paradise, that that day he was in the Third Heaven.

    2 Corinthians 12:2-4

    2I 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.
    3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
    4HOW THAT HE WAS CAUGHT UP INTO PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    Luke 23:39-43

    39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
    40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
    41AND WE INDEED JUSTLY; FOR WE RECEIVE THE DUE REWARD OF OUR DEEDS: BUT THIS MAN HATH DONE NOTHING AMISS.
    42And he said unto Jesus, LORD, REMEMBER ME WHEN THOU COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM.
    43And Jesus said unto him, VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE, TODAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.

    Ralph, i pray that your eyes are opened as it is a plan as the nose on your face that the Bible in the passages I stated shows that the Third Heaven and Paradise are the same place but if you can’t see it, then others who may be questioning what they have been taught all of their lives, that if the thief on the cross, who obviously didn’t do anything to progress to be worthy enough to be in the Third Heaven, was able to be there after he died because he believed in who Jesus is and in Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross for him (and all of us) so you can know now that you will be there when your life ends just have faith!

  143. 144 Ralph Peterson
    June 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    It is very clear from 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 that “paradise” and “the third heaven” are separate places.

  144. 145 Ralph Peterson
    June 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Three days later Jesus said,
    John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

    So, Jesus had been to “paradise” but He hadn’t been to heaven.

    Matt. 7:21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

    Matt. 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.
    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

    Matt. 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of MY FATHER IS IN HEAVEN, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

    Matt. 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

    Kent, I pray that your eyes are opened as it is a plain as the nose on your face that JESUS in the passages shows that Heaven and Paradise are NOT the same place.

  145. 146 shematwater
    June 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    KENT

    The fact that the two sentences are separated by the conjunction “and” would indicate that Paul is talking about two different men who had two different experiences.
    He new a man who had been caught up into the Third Heaven, and he knew a man who had been caught up into Paradise. Thus to say that this obviously gives the same meaning to the terms Heaven and Paradise has no basis beyond your own belief and desire for it to mean this.

    Now, concerning your explanation of the first two heavens, I have to point out that no such distinction is made in the text. The term is the “Firmament of Heaven” in both instances. Never does it call either one the first or second heaven, but simply refers to all the area that is above the ground as the “Firmament of Heaven.” So again, your understanding has no actual basis in the Bible.

    Now, besides the reference in 2 Corinthians, there is also the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. In verses 40-41 Paul compares the resurrection to varying degrees of glory; the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. He calls one glory Celestial and another Terrestrial (the third is not given a name in the King James). This clearly shows degrees of Glory, for in the resurrection there will be those who receive a glory compared to the sun, some compared to the moon, and some compared to the stars.

  146. 147 Ralph Peterson
    June 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I missed these gems.

    “John 14.10 – Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”

    Ok, so? In that statement Jesus is clearly a separate and distinct being/person/individual from the Father. If it was not so, He wouldn’t need to make the statement at all.
    ——————

    “In Revelation 3.14 the object of the modifier is not God but Creation.”

    Not sure what your objection really is.

    But the same word is used in the same manner here,
    John 2:11 THIS BEGINNING OF MIRACLES did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

    And here,
    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: WHO IS THE BEGINNING, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    ————————-

    “And in Job you’re assuming that ‘son’ means the same thing as when Jesus uses the term.”

    Why should I assume differently?

    ——————————

    “Language doesn’t work that way.”

    So, the same word used in the same context must be assumed to have a different meaning?

    Does language work THAT way?

  147. 148 Ralph Peterson
    June 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    If you believe what Jesus taught does that make you a Christian?

  148. 149 Kent
    June 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Shem said,

    “The fact that the two sentences are separated by the conjunction “and” would indicate that Paul is talking about two different men who had two different experiences.
    He new a man who had been caught up into the Third Heaven, and he knew a man who had been caught up into Paradise. Thus to say that this obviously gives the same meaning to the terms Heaven and Paradise has no basis beyond your own belief and desire for it to mean this.”

    So why did not Paul say that he would glory them if he was talking about two men with two different experiences, one who went to the Third Heaven and another one who went to paradise? Instead he says, “Of such an one will I glory” in the text the follows. So he is talking about one man here, not two men.

    2 Corinthians 12
    1It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
    2I 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.
    3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
    4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
    5Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

  149. 150 shematwater
    June 23, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Because he is saying that he will glory in this type of man, not necessarily this particular man.

    However, even if I conceed that it is the same man it is still two different events. So that he is glorying in a man who once was taken to the third heaven, and on another occassion was taken to paradise. Thus the man point I was making, that of the two being different places, is still proven true.

    I won’t be posting for a while. I have some trouble at home that I have to take care of.
    Bye.


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