21
Jul
11

Amazing Grace

 

Very few words have only one meaning.  That is apparent in any dictionary as most words have a number of meanings listed for them.  Therefore the context in which it is used is vitally important in determining its proper meaning.  Nowhere is this more important than in reading the Bible.

Take the word grace.  When it is used in the context of salvation, it refers to an attribute of God – his unconditional love.  This is the love Jesus spoke about in John 3:16.  This is the love Paul referred to in Romans 5, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’  What is pertinent to our discussion is that the Bible says, when it comes to salvation, grace and works don’t mix.  “And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work.”  (Romans 11:6)

Mormonism defines grace differently. The LDS manual, True to the Faith, says:  “The word grace, as used in the scriptures refers primarily to the divine help and strength we receive through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  The LDS Bible Dictionary uses almost the exact same wording.  A couple of other excerpts from it:  “This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.”  “However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient.”  Nowhere do either of these two sources mention the idea that grace is God’s unconditional love for mankind.

One reason I am pointing this out is to highlight the fact that when Christians and Mormons talk about grace, most of the time they will be thinking of two different things.  If there is going to be any meaningful discussion between the two, this fact needs to be acknowledged.  Christians will need to remember that when most Mormons hear the word grace they will be thinking of an enabling power given them.  Mormons will need to remember that most Christians will be thinking of God’s love shown them in giving them salvation totally and freely on the basis of what Jesus did.

The second reason for doing this is so that I can bear my testimony about this amazing grace.  I know that God has accepted Jesus’ payment for my sins and I don’t have to add anything to it.  I know that I am going to spend eternity in celestial glory in God’s eternal family, in God’s presence, solely on the basis of what Jesus has done.  To him be all glory!

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165 Responses to “Amazing Grace”


  1. 1 Echo
    July 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    RLO

    I sense from a previous post of yours written to both Shem and Anne on the last thread that this is an area you seem to have struggled with or might be struggling with in order to try to resolve this with them. Hopefully, they will appreciate the effort you are making. If there is anything I can do to help you (not that I know everything), please don’t hesitate to ask. I know I often need the help of others also.

  2. 2 RLO
    July 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks. I appreciate that offer. I may need to take you up on that. On a side note, Shem and I seem to be making some progress on mending over some former sore spots on the previous thread.

  3. 3 Echo
    July 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    RLO,

    Anytime.

    I love this topic. Amazing grace, God’s unconditional, unmerited, undeserved love for man. Have you seen this video?

    “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch like me….
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Was blind, but now, I see.

    T’was Grace that taught…
    my heart to fear.
    And Grace, my fears relieved.
    How precious did that Grace appear…
    the hour I first believed.”

    What do you think of the lyrics? That’s my life story exactly. That’s my testimony.

  4. 4 RLO
    July 22, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Echo;

    The song “Amazing Grace” is a particularly popular song in Christian circles here in the United States, even in Lutheran circles, in spite of the fact that the author John Newton had strong Calvinistic and Methodist leanings. It is often played and sung at funerals. It was played and sung at my father’s funeral. It is played at virtually every funeral of a fallen police officer where it is often accompanied by bagpipes as well. As a retired police officer in one of the nation’s ten largest cities, I’ve heard those bagpipes more times than I care for. The song is a tear jerker. And a song I’ve always love to hear. And a song I’ve always hate to hear. If that makes any sense . . .

    RLO

  5. 5 Ralph Peterson
    July 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    And here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Amazing Grace”

    With Highland bagpipes no less.

  6. 6 Ralph Peterson
    July 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Mark,

    You have a hard time maintaining accuracy in your descriptions. So, here again are some corrections.

    ” . . . highlight the fact that when evangelical Christians and Mormon Christians talk about grace, . . . ”

    ” Evangelical Christians will need . . . Mormon Christians hear the word grace they will be thinking of an enabling power given them. Mormon Christians will need to remember that the evangelical Christians (a minority in the Christian world) will be thinking of God’s love shown them in giving them salvation totally and freely on the basis of what Jesus did.”

    “I know that God has accepted Jesus’ payment for my sins and I don’t have to add anything to it.”

    The Bible is rather clear, as I have shown many times, that repentance brings forgiveness of sins.

  7. 7 shematwater
    July 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Personally, I want to see where Grace is given the definition suggested by Mark. He equates it with the love mentioned in other verses, but these verses do not call this love grace. So, which verse tells us directly that the meaning of grace in the Bible is God’s unconditional love?

  8. 8 Martha
    July 24, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Here’s a great video from a former Mormon that exemplifies the different feeling between Mormonism and Christianity.

    http://live.ccboise.org/resources/videos/171

    Here’s the song he is talking about. One of my all time favorites to worship my God and my God alone.

    Love you guys.

  9. 9 Martha
    July 24, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Here’s a great video from a former Mormon that exemplifies the different feeling between Mormonism and Christianity.

    http://live.ccboise.org/resources/videos/171

    Go to this site and then find Marcus. That’s the video you want to watch.

    Here’s the song he is talking about. One of my all time favorites to worship my God and my God alone.

    Love you guys.

  10. 10 Martha
    July 24, 2011 at 4:15 am

    You may want to watch them all because it shows what God can do. God bless.

  11. 11 Kent
    July 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Ex Mormon Marcus said from the video that he was supposed to tell his Mormon bishop if he was sinning but if he was still struggling with certain sins, that he didn’t want to go back to the bishop and tell him that he was still struggling with the same sins.

    It sounds like his bishop would have a condemning attitude towards him if he hadn’t conquered them.

    http://live.ccboise.org/resources/videos/171, as Martha said, click on Marcus’ testimony.

    The apostle Paul talks about that very subject in Romans 7 and 8, that there are times when he didn’t do what he wanted to do, not sin, even though he willed not to do those things but he points out that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

    The Apostle Paul himself shows that that we all struggle with sins at times but there is no condemnation to those who are in Chirst Jesus. He even went so far as to say to himself, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

    The Mormon bishops Marcus in his video testimony talks about should take a lesson from the Apostle Paul because even they, if they are honest with themselves, struggle with the same sins that a lot of the rest of us struggle with and very likely the same sins that Marcus didn’t want to admit to his bishop that he was still struggling with.

    Romans 7:15-8:2

    15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
    17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
    22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
    1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

  12. 12 Kent
    July 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    This is just a personal observation so I am not sure if what I am going to propose in this post is accurate but, it seems to me that the Mormon bishops have their positions because they are said to have progressed further towards the celestial kingdom then their brethren so that is why are said to be able to read others’ hearts.

    But regarding the bishops judging what is in people’s hearts, ex Mormons do say that the bishops are thought to be able to read what is in people’s hearts even though the Bible says only God knows our hearts.

    1 Kings 8:39

    39Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)
    So guess what Mormons, your bishops can’t read what is in your hearts and no, they aren’t further along the road to exaltation, if that is why they supposedly got their positions, than anyone else as there is no progression, just the blood of Jesus that gets you there.

  13. 13 Echo
    July 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Shem said: “Personally, I want to see where Grace is given the definition suggested by Mark. He equates it with the love mentioned in other verses, but these verses do not call this love grace. So, which verse tells us directly that the meaning of grace in the Bible is God’s unconditional love?

    Ephesians 1:6 ” To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

    Ephesians 2:5 ” Even when we were dead in sins , hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)

    Dictonaries define the term grace as “unmerited favor” or “mercy” etc. (that’s unconditional love)
    I have not ever found the LDS defintion: “This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.” in any dictionaries yet.

  14. 14 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    “It sounds like his bishop would have a condemning attitude towards him if he hadn’t conquered them.”

    Or maybe he was just interested in helping him get free from sin.

    Perhaps Ex-Mormon Marcus was just unwilling to give up his sins to know God.

    “The Apostle Paul himself shows that that we all struggle with sins at times but there is no condemnation to those who are in Chirst Jesus.”

    Or, as the Apostle Paul became more righteous by his obedience, the Spirit revealed to him the smaller sins to which he was still susceptible, thus helping him on his way to overcome them. You know, the process of sanctification.

  15. 15 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Not accurate at all. Bishops are called by the Lord. The Lord has His own reasons for doing what He does.

    Oh, and I like the way you make God so weak that He can’t reveal the heart of a person to another or give the gift of judgment to men.

    Luke 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

    Interesting that you quote 1 Kings, here is something you missed.

    1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
    10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
    11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
    12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

  16. 16 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Ephesians 1:6 ” To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

    Ephesians 2:5 ” Even when we were dead in sins , hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) ”

    These verses don’t support the definition of “unmerited favor”. Neither of them preclude actions on the part of the one receiving grace.

    AND, neither of those verses are in conflict with the LDS definition.

  17. 17 jbr
    July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Shem
    Romans 3:24
    and are justified freely by his grace

    Ephesians 1:6
    to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

    Galatians 4:26
    But the Jerusalem that is above is free

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

    Matthew 10:8 …..
    Freely you have received, freely give.

    John 8:32
    Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    John 8:36
    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

  18. 18 Kent
    July 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Ralph, you have taken the verses from 1 Kings 3 out of context as it isn’t about Solomon asking God to judge people’s hearts but that he administer the laws of the land with wisdom and that he govern fairly because he felt overwhelmed by all the authority that had been given to him as king.

    On the other hand, the section in 1 Kings 8 is talking about God being the only one who can judge what is in people’s hearts who have sinned against Him whether they are sincere of not so no, the Mormon bishops cannot read what is in other people’s hearts as no one but God can do so.

    1 Kings 3:7-14

    7 NOW, O LORD MY GOD, YOU HAVE MADE YOUR SERVANT KING INSTEAD OF MY FATHER DAVID, BUT I AM A LITTLE CHILD; I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GO OUT OR COME IN. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
    10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “BECAUSE YOU HAVE ASKED THIS THING, AND HAVE NOT ASKED LONG LIFE FOR YOURSELF, NOR HAVE ASKED RICHES FOR YOURSELF, NOR HAVE ASKED THE LIFE OF YOUR ENEMIES, BUT HAVE ASKED FOR YOURSELF UNDERSTANDING TO DISCERN JUSTICE, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

    1 Kings 8:35-40

    35 “WHEN THE HEAVENS ARE SHUT UP AND THERE IS NO RAIN BECAUSE THEY HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU, WHEN THEY PRAY TOWARD THIS PLACE AND CONFESS YOUR NAME, AND TURN FROM THEIR SIN BECAUSE YOU AFFLICT THEM, 36 THEN HEAR IN HEAVEN, AND FORGIVE THE SIN OF YOUR SERVANTS, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
    37 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 38 WHATEVER PRAYER, WHATEVER SUPPLICATION IS MADE BY ANYONE, OR BY ALL YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL, WHEN EACH ONE KNOWS THE PLAGUE OF HIS OWN HEART, AND SPREADS OUT HIS HANDS TOWARD THIS TEMPLE: 39 THEN HEAR IN HEAVEN YOUR DWELLING PLACE, AND FORGIVE, AND ACT, AND GIVE TO EVERYONE ACCORDING TO ALL HIS WAYS, WHOSE HEART YOU KNOW (FOR YOU ALONE KNOW THE HEARTS OF ALL THE SONS OF MEN), 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

    I forgot to change the translation to the King James Version as usually, when I am quoting scripture regarding anything else besides talking to Mormon, I use the New King James version.

  19. 19 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    As you may be aware, and as the OP acknowledges, words usually have more than one definition. In these verses the words of interest are “freely”, “free”

    Romans 3:24
    and are justified freely by his grace

    Ephesians 1:6
    to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

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

    Matthew 10:8 …..
    Freely you have received, freely give.

    In these, the words “freely” and “free” mean available to all, without restriction. They do not mean that nothing is required.

  20. 20 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I didn’t take them out of context. Clearly you missed the point. Solomon asked for judgement AND GOD GAVE IT TO HIM.

    Get it. God CAN and DOES give judgement to men.

    Do you get the point now?

  21. 21 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Just in case you still don’t get it.

    Judg. 3:10 And THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD CAME UPON HIM, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim.

    1 Sam. 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.

    1 Chr. 17:10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.

  22. 22 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Ephesians 1:6

    The words “He hath made us accepted” show that actions on the part of the recipient are excluded because it is spoken in past/present tense rather than future tense. We have been accepted, not based on our merit gained over a lifetime of obedience and good works, but based on the merit of the “beloved”.

    For the LDS, the verse would have to read something along the following lines…

    “wherein he will accept us in the beloved” and then additional information would need to be added such as “if we do all that he commands us to do”

    We don’t want to add to the scripture in this way because it completely alters what is written and therefore completely alters doctrine turning it from true doctrine to false doctrine.

    Ephesians 2:5

    The key words here are: “Even when we were dead in sins” These words show that the grace we received was unmerited favor because at the time we received it, we were dead in sins.

    If you read the account of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14, the Pharisee gave God credit and thanks for all his works, the tax collector was dead in sins. Those who believe that works precede grace, like the Pharisee did, are not justified by grace.

    It was the tax collector who went home justified before God.

    Why?…Unmerited favor.

  23. 23 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Echo said, “The words “He hath made us accepted” show that actions on the part of the recipient are excluded because it is spoken in past/present tense rather than future tense.”

    No they don’t “show that actions on the part of the recipient are excluded”! So such thing is required. An example, 1) a person LISTENS to the gospel, then, 2) accepts the gospel, then, 3) repents of his sins, then, 4) is baptized as required, then, 5 receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now by the person following these commandments given BY God, God has made the person accepted.

    “We have been accepted, not based on our merit gained over a lifetime of obedience and good works, but based on the merit of the “beloved”.”

    A false conclusion based on false logic and presumptions.

    Also, being accepted does NOT preclude the possible future rejection if the person again falls into sin and refuses to repent.

  24. 24 shematwater
    July 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    KENT

    Ralph has done a great job of answering you. I would simply add that no one has ever taught that Bishops, or any other man, can read the thoughts of another. However, it is taught that because of their calling Bishops and others are given the knowledge of others thoughts so as to assist them in their duties.
    Simply put, God is reading the thoughts and then telling the Bishop what he read. It is not the Bishop reading the thoughts. As such there is no problem with the verses you are trying to use.

    ECHO

    Sorry, but that does not prove anything beyond your interpretation.
    First, I looked up grace on dictionary.com, and this is what it says.
    “favor or good will.”

    Notice that there is no indication that it is unmerited favor or good will. This is the third entry. We go all the way down to the eighth entry to see what you are claiming, and even then we are given an alternative that is the LDS understanding.
    Theology .
    a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of god.
    b. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
    c. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
    d. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God’s favor or one of the elect.

    Notice that part b describes an enabling power that strengthens and regenerates the individual. So, in using the dictionary we see that both our understandings are perfectly reasonable. As such, the verses you site can just as easily have the LDS meaning, and are thus not proof of the meaning given.

    As to your point about the present tense use, I would simply point out that he is righting to members of the church, and thus they have already been baptized and entered into the Covenants of the Gospel. As such it is perfectly accurate to use the present tense.
    I would also point out that the present tense is only used when speaking to those who are members, and that the future tense is used when speaking to those who are not, which always includes the command to Repent and be baptized.
    As such, we know that those he is speaking to in Ephesians have already done the work required.

    JBR

    I would point out that none of the verses you sight equate Grace with unconditional Love. They speak to Grace being free, or Christ setting us free, or being justified by grace. However, nowhere does it say that Grace is the unconditional love of God.

  25. 25 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Echo said, “Ephesians 2:5

    The key words here are: “Even when we were dead in sins” These words show that the grace we received was unmerited favor because at the time we received it, we were dead in sins.”

    More ripping from context. Let’s look at the context, shall we?

    Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

    So, “God, who is rich in mercy,” describes the who.

    and “for his great love” describes the what.

    and “Even when we were dead in sins” describes the when.

    So God loves the sinner, even before the sinner repents. So?

    Notice that NOTHING in those verses requires the “quickened us together with Christ” to have occurred “even when we were dead in sins” but only that it is “God” who did it.

  26. 26 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    RLO,

    Grace = God’s unconditional love

    RLO, If you were witnessing to a Mormon in person, face to face, how would you explain God’s unconditional love(Grace) to them?

  27. 27 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    So, why the subject change?

  28. 28 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Why the off topic post?

  29. 29 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Ralph said: “So, why the subject change?”

    It’s not a subject change. Grace alone (God’s unconditional love) saves us. Grace saved Marcus. God saved the unworthy.

  30. 30 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Ralph said: “Perhaps Ex-Mormon Marcus was just unwilling to give up his sins to know God.”

    That’s not what he said in the video at all.

  31. 31 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Ralph, the 1 Kings passages you gave have nothing to do with judging a person’s heart. It’s about judging a person’s actions.

  32. 32 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Marcus is saved. Salvation comes AFTER death.

    Facts are facts.

  33. 33 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    So?

    Do think he would freely admit that?

    It is rather obvious that his whole beef with Mormonism was his unwillingness to repent.

  34. 34 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    And their heart drives their actions.

    Duh!

  35. 35 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Ralph said: “Marcus is saved. Salvation comes AFTER death.

    Facts are facts.”

    That’s Mormonese

    In Christianese, Salvation and saved mean the same thing.

  36. 36 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Correction, “Marcus is saved?”

  37. 37 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    In Bible-ese salvation comes AFTER death. You know, that “endure to the end” thing that I have shown to you numerous times.

  38. 38 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Ralph said: “So?

    Do think he would freely admit that?

    It is rather obvious that his whole beef with Mormonism was his unwillingness to repent.”

    ******

    The commandment to not bear false testimony against our neighbor commands each and every one of us to take Marcus at his word and to be very careful and cautious when we don’t. There must be ample factual evidence of Marcus’s unwillingness to repent before we can even suggest that he wouldn’t freely admit that.

  39. 39 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Ralph said: “Correction, “Marcus is saved?”

    Marcus is saved. It’s done. Christ died for the unworthy. The worthy don’t need Christ.

  40. 40 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Here is your evidence as provided by Kent.

    “Ex Mormon Marcus said from the video that he was supposed to tell his Mormon bishop if he was sinning but if he was still struggling with certain sins, that he didn’t want to go back to the bishop and tell him that he was still struggling with the same sins.”

    So, his problem with Mormonism was his unwillingness to repent.

    Or did Kent misrepresent Marcus?

  41. 41 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Nah, he isn’t dead yet.

  42. 42 jbr
    July 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Shem,
    That’s a wanton conclusion on your part… Jesus says no such thing as there are conditions for taking the free gift of th ewater of life.

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

    If there was conditions…Jesus would have revealed — ” Come take take the free gift…….. once…..
    … all you could do”

    or

    after you climb that ladder”

    or

    after you’ve proven yourself worthy”

  43. 43 jbr
    July 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Yes Ralph… Mormonism puts different meanings to the almost virtually every different word common to Christianity.

    Grace to Mormons is Jesus being kind enough to you the chance to show yourself worthy, pay him back that debit for that generosity (with interest) … and someday presumably be like Heavenly Father……. (which that must mean having at least one wife for yourself to pregnant for no other reason than to send spirit children to a planet of your own so they can [worship ?] you and start it all over again.)

  44. 44 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Ralph said: “Here is your evidence as provided by Kent.

    “Ex Mormon Marcus said from the video that he was supposed to tell his Mormon bishop if he was sinning but if he was still struggling with certain sins, that he didn’t want to go back to the bishop and tell him that he was still struggling with the same sins.”

    So, his problem with Mormonism was his unwillingness to repent.

    Or did Kent misrepresent Marcus?”

    ******

    For Mormons, the definition of “repentance” includes among other things, overcoming the sin itself. A Mormon who has not overcome a particular sin is not fully repentant of that sin.

    Not so for Christians. For Christians, sorrow over sin and the desire to turn from sin (the struggle), reflects repentance. In our beliefs, Marcus is fully repentant even though he has yet to overcome his sins.

    At this point in the process, a Mormon who struggles with sin will work to overcome that sin in order to gain back the favor and forgiveness of God’s conditional love. That conditional love expressed through a salvation based on meeting the conditions, as well as forgiveness conditioned on overcoming one’s own sins.

    A Christian on the other hand who struggles with sin will turn to Jesus who has forgiven him for all of his sin and has forgiven him for the sins he still struggles with. It is that unconditional love, that grace, which keeps Christians like Marcus desiring and striving to overcome sin. He is motivated by the fact that he has God’s favor, God’s grace. He is motivated by the fact that God has justified the unworthy. He is motivated by the fact that he is completely forgiven even in his sins.

    We all are unworthy. That’s a fact. Marcus is now admitting something the LDS won’t freely and openly admit to their leaders. He stated that he is unworthy. And he speaks the truth not only about himself, but about all of us. He no longer has to feel pressured to hide that from man or God. Isn’t that what Adam and Eve tried to do in Eden after they sinned. Yes. They tried to hide it from God then tried to blame their sin on everyone but themselves, including God himself. But we can’t hide anything from God. We might as well be completely truthful to God and to man. The fact of the matter is we are unworthy and God knows it. To pretend we are not, to hide that truth from others, is just that….lying. What good will lying do us in the judgment. It will condemn us.

  45. 45 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Free, meaning available to all, not free as in without action on the receivers part.

    Jesus (and others) did put conditions on it. I have pointed these verses out several times. Must I cite them AGAIN?

  46. 46 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    And nowhere are these “Mormon” meanings in conflict with the Bible. So then we are down to not just what the Bible says, but what does it really mean.

    By what reason can you say that YOUR interpretation is more accurate than mine?

    (Remember, Echo has already denied, 1) revelation from the Holy Spirit, 2) logic, & 3) reason.)

  47. 47 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Ralph said: “Remember, Echo has already denied, 1) revelation from the Holy Spirit, 2) logic, & 3) reason”

    Here is a suggestion Ralph, rather than bearing false testimony against me by putting words in my mouth I did not say, quote me directly.

  48. 48 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I am going to add some corrections that some people just don’t get.

    Echo said “For Mormon CHRISTIANS , the definition of “repentance” includes among other things, overcoming the sin itself. A Latter-Day Saint who has not overcome a particular sin is not fully repentant of that sin.”

    This is correct, and is consistent with the Bible. We are saved FROM our sins, NOT in our sins.

    “Not so for evangelical Christians. For evangelical Christians, sorrow over sin and the desire to turn from sin (the struggle), reflects repentance. In our beliefs, Marcus is fully repentant even though he has yet to overcome his sins.”

    Really? We have had this discussion before. Biblical repentance is more than what you are describing. (As I have shown before.) What you are describing is “sorrow of the world” which leads to spiritual death. But “godly sorrow” leads TO real repentance the turning away from sin.

    “At this point in the process, a Mormon Christian who struggles with sin will work to overcome that sin in order to gain back the favor and forgiveness of God’s conditional love. That conditional love expressed through a salvation based on meeting the conditions, as well as forgiveness conditioned on overcoming one’s own sins.”

    Yes, a portion of Gods love is reserved for those that love and obey Him.

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
    . . .
    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: AND MY FATHERE WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, BECAUSE ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

    2 Cor. 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

    “An evangelical Christian on the other hand who struggles with sin will turn to Jesus who has forgiven him for all of his sin and has forgiven him for the sins he still struggles with. It is that unconditional love, that grace, which keeps evangelical Christians like Marcus desiring and striving to overcome sin. He is motivated by the fact that he has God’s favor, God’s grace. He is motivated by the fact that God has justified the unworthy. He is motivated by the fact that he is completely forgiven even in his sins.”

    He has no incentive to give up sin at all.

    Plus, you are neglecting Jesus command.

    John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: SIN NO MORE, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

    John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and SIN NO MORE.

  49. 49 Echo
    July 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Ralph said: “By what reason can you say that YOUR interpretation is more accurate than mine?”

    Our interpretation is that God “justifies the ungodly” which is exactly what the scripture says.

    Your interpretation is that “God justifieth not the ungodly” which is the opposite of what scripture says.

    Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    Now without veering off into your usual direction you go with this, stay focused on the words in the scriptural verse.

    Why is a persons faith counted for righteousness when he himself in ungodly? The reason is Jesus. Jesus has imputed us with his righteousness through the forgiveness of all our sins.

  50. 50 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    So, you are insisting that I sift through our past threads here to provide the evidence?

    Well, here is the thread.

    https://markcares.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/revelation-above-reason-or-reason-above-revelation/

    How quickly you forget.

  51. 51 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    And so you revert back to what has already been refuted?

    Well, I guess, “any port in a storm” and all that.

  52. 52 Ralph Peterson
    July 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Here is another problem with the “unmerited gift” definition. It turns this verse into gibberish.

    John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

    Let’s see how “unmerited gift” fits this verse.

    And of his fulness have all we received, and “an unmerited gift” for “an unmerited gift”.

    It is impossible to get “an unmerited gift” in exchange for “an unmerited gift”.

  53. 53 RLO
    July 26, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Ephesians 1:6-8, partially cited by jbr above, does well at explaining it. Romans 3:24, also cited by jbr, explains it. Both of these passages reveal that we receive his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus and his blood. Neither of these passages reveal any conditions or requirements of mankind, regardless of how desperately some want to read conditions and requirements into them.

    Romans 9:16 and Romans 11:6 are a couple of others off the top of my head that you could use.

    But whether or not Unbelief through the workings of the Holy Spirit has its eyes and its ears and its heart opened to the truth by way of these passages is altogether another matter.

  54. 54 Echo
    July 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Echo said: ““An evangelical Christian on the other hand who struggles with sin will turn to Jesus who has forgiven him for all of his sin and has forgiven him for the sins he still struggles with. It is that unconditional love, that grace, which keeps evangelical Christians like Marcus desiring and striving to overcome sin. He is motivated by the fact that he has God’s favor, God’s grace. He is motivated by the fact that God has justified the unworthy. He is motivated by the fact that he is completely forgiven even in his sins.”

    Ralph said: “He has no incentive to give up sin at all.”

    Incentives don’t produce love for God. They produce love for the incentives.

    And just as the scripture verses you gave say…God wants us to love him. They don’t tell us to love his incentives.

    Remove the incentives you have, and here is your response….

    “He has no incentive to give up sin at all”

    Ralph, do you truly love God, or do you only love his incentives?

  55. 55 Echo
    July 26, 2011 at 12:27 am

    John 1:16 NIV ” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.”

  56. 56 Echo
    July 26, 2011 at 12:38 am

    You see Ralph? Your heart is revealed here. You are only in it for what you can get out of it. You are in it only for the incentives. Take away the incentives and you would not “give up sin at all.”

    Now that can change. Mormon Doctrine is the cause of being in it for the incentives alone. It is the conditional love that causes this within you. Let’s talk about God’s unconditional love for you. Okay?

  57. 57 Echo
    July 26, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Ralph said: “And their heart drives their actions. Duh!”

    Actions don’t always point out motives, desires, reasons why one has acted the way they have.

  58. 58 shematwater
    July 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    JBR

    I am curious what post of mine you are referencing. It seems that you meant Ralph, but I could be mistaken.

    As to your evidence of no condition, just look at the quote you give. It has a condition attached to it that you are simply refusing to see.
    “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

    there is clearly a condition to receiving that water, and that is that we must choose to come, or journey to the place it is being offered.

    You guys keep talking about unconditional and unmerited, and how Christ has done all this for you, but you miss your own words that clearly teach we must do our part. Christ does not come to us to hand us this gift of Salvation. He stands at the gate of Heaven and beckons to us, and all who believe enough to make the journey and walk to those gates he will admit into heaven. But he has set a time in which we must do so. If we do not do what is needed and prepare ourselves to enter the time will pass and we will be rejected.
    Just think of the Ten Virgins. Five did what was needed so that when the time came they were prepared. The other five came with faith, believing they would be admitted to the marriage feast, but because they were not prepared the time past and they were not permitted to enter.

    We must first come to him in faith, then Christ will heal us and give us rest. But if we do not come, or do not have faith he will reject us.

    ECHO

    NIV vs. KJV.

    I find it funny that we can’t use a translation that we prefer but you can do so whenever you like.
    Yes, the NIV gives a different understanding of the verse that Ralph sited.
    However, the JST gives a different understanding for the verse that you site.
    So, you complain that we have changed the meaning, but you use an altered meaning when it suits you.
    A little hypocritical, don’t you think?

    As to loving God, we love him because he has provided those incentives.
    As new converts to Christ we are as babes, requiring certain strategies to strengthen us in the spirit. Just as a young child is motivated more readily by external incentives, so too is one who is young in the gospel more motivated by incentives. But, just as when a child grows older he begins to understand life and becomes more motivated by his love for others, so too does a person grow in the spirit and gain a true love for God that becomes his motivation.
    God knows how our minds work, and so he gives incentives for those who are young in the faith to teach and train them until they are grown, and then their love for him begins to motivate them. This love is strengthened by the understanding that those incentives were for their benefit and so they love him even more and do even more to please him.

    Ralph is one who seems to be very strong in the faith, and so to claim that the existence of incentives proves he has no love for God is not only ridiculous but insulting.

  59. 59 Ralph Peterson
    July 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    “Actions don’t always point out motives, desires, reasons why one has acted the way they have.”

    True, but motives, desires, always drive actions.

  60. 60 Ralph Peterson
    July 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Nice verse, but again notice that it doesn’t require that nothing was done to receive that grace.

    Take for example, the Holy Ghost is given to the obedient.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

  61. 61 Ralph Peterson
    July 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    One of the incentives to obey God, is the gift that He gives the obedient.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

    So, from the Bible, we know that Repentance brings forgiveness, and obedience brings the Holy Ghost.

    Also, the love of God, is an incentive.

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

    Some VERY NICE incentives there.

  62. 62 Echo
    July 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Ralph said:

    “One of the incentives to obey God, is the gift that He gives the obedient.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

    So, from the Bible, we know that Repentance brings forgiveness, and obedience brings the Holy Ghost.

    Also, the love of God, is an incentive.

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

    Some VERY NICE incentives there.”

    **********

    Take away all the incentives except the love God has for you. Can you tell me about that love?

  63. 63 Ralph Peterson
    July 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Can you tell me about that love?

    Of course I can. But why would I want to share such sacred things with one who is decidedly antagonistic? You know, that casting pearls and swine thing.

  64. 64 Ralph Peterson
    July 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Echo said,
    “For Mormons, the definition of “repentance” includes among other things, overcoming the sin itself. A Mormon who has not overcome a particular sin is not fully repentant of that sin.

    Not so for Christians. For Christians, sorrow over sin and the desire to turn from sin (the struggle), reflects repentance. In our beliefs, Marcus is fully repentant even though he has yet to overcome his sins. ”

    We have already had this conversation. Just see this thread.
    https://markcares.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/what-is-repentance-2/

  65. 65 jbr
    July 27, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Shem,
    I was addressing post # 44.

  66. 66 Echo
    July 27, 2011 at 6:17 am

    This video just fell into my lap today. Topic: Mormon Grace verses Christian Grace

    http://www.whatloveisthis.tv/episodes/2011/ep427.htm

  67. 67 Echo
    July 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    The video above starts out looking like it’s a video on polygamy, keep watching,

  68. 68 jbr
    July 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    That’s a good video.

  69. 69 Echo
    July 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    And that’s what is so amazing about grace….Our debt is paid in full, the balance due is zero.

  70. 70 Kent
    July 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Mormon version of the song: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch, after all I can do, like me.”

    It just doesn’t sound right, does it?

    But if grace is after all we can do, then we are still lost and are not found and we are still blind because we cannot see.

    God’s grace is by what Jesus did on the cross by dying in our place, sinners who cannot ever save ourselves and by Him rising from the dead on the third day.

  71. 71 Kent
    July 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I should have worded my last post that this would be the meaning of the verse if we use the Mormon definition of grace that comes from the Book of Mormon as stated here:

    2 Nephi 25:23

    “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

    Contrast that with what the Bible teaches here:

    Ephesians 2:8-9

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

    That is the thing, a gift is a gift and it is freely given to us without us having to do anything in return for it because if we have to give compensation for the gift of grace, then it isn’t a gift at all and grace after all we can do is compensation for it.

    Webster’s dictionary describes a gift as follows:

    gift

    noun \ˈgift\

    Definition of gift

    1. : a notable capacity, talent, or endowment

    2. : SOMETHING VOLUNTARILY TRANSFERRED BY ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER WITHOUT COMPENSATION

    3. : the act, right, or power of giving

  72. 72 Ralph Peterson
    July 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The fact that you don’t want to see how 2 Nephi 25:23 and Ephesians 2:8-9 are easily reconcilable is your problem not ours.

    Also you are STILL stuck on the false claim that we believe that we work our way into heaven. I have addressed this issue ad nauseam.

    Since it is obvious that you guys don’t really understand LDS theology and DON’T WANT TO, I will refrain from wasting further effort at this time.

  73. 73 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Ralph said: “Also you are STILL stuck on the false claim that we believe that we work our way into heaven. I have addressed this issue ad nauseam.”

    And you have contradicted official LDS doctrine ad nauseum…

    “If you want to know how to be saved, I can tell you; it is by keeping the commandments of God. No power on earth, no power beneath the earth, will ever prevent you or me or any Latter-day Saint from being saved, except ourselves. We are the architects of our own lives, not only of the lives here, but the lives to come in the eternity. We ourselves are able to perform every duty and obligation that God has required of men. No commandment was ever given to us but that God has given us the power to keep that commandment. If we fail, we, and we alone, are responsible for the failure, because God endows His servants, from the President of the Church down to the humblest member, with all the ability, all the knowledge, all the power that is necessary, faithfully, diligently, and properly to discharge every duty and every obligation that rests upon them, and we, and we alone, will have to answer if we fail in this regard.” (Heber J Grant (LDS)

    “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (LDS Articles of the faith ; 3 )

    “And let us not suppose that in calling people to repentance the prophets are concerned only with the more grievous sins such as murder, adultery, stealing, and so on, nor only with those persons who have not accepted the gospel ordinances. All transgressions must be cleansed, all weaknesses must be overcome, before a person can attain perfection and godhood” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.16)

    “Another prerequisite or condition to repentance is to know that no unclean thing can dwell with God (see 1 Ne. 10:21; 1 Ne. 15:34; Alma 7:21; Alma 40:26; and Hel. 8:25). You can hide sins from your bishop, you can hide them from your parents and friends, but if you continue and die with unresolved sins, you are unclean and no unclean thing can dwell with God. There are no exceptions” ( “The Message: Do You Know How to Repent?” New Era, November 1999, p.7).

    There were a more quotes given in the video I posted above.

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

  74. 74 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Ralph,

    The reason I have been pointing out your sins all along is not in order to judge you or make you look bad but in order to show you what God wants to show you.

    The law (which condemns all sin) is a schoolmaster. What does that mean? It means the law was intended to show you your sin and to teach you that you, like me, are unworthy.

    Are you unworthy? Yes you are, I have shown that to you many times.
    Am I unworthy? Yes, I am.

    The LDS Church teaches you this: “If you want to know how to be saved, I can tell you; it is by keeping the commandments of God.”

    If you and I died today Ralph, we would not be saved (justified) according to this LDS teaching because we sin.
    If you and I died a year from now, we would not be saved(justified) according to this LDS teaching because we sin.
    If you and I died when we were 100 years old, we would not be saved(justified) according to this LDS teaching because we sin.

    We are sinners Ralph. You and I are sinners.

    Being saved by keeping the commandments is the same thing as being justified by the law. (And this is in fact what the LDS teaches) i.e. If we obey the commandments (the law) we will be saved (Justified)

    The Bible says this about being justified by the law…

    Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    So since the law points out our sin. Your sin, my sin, everyone’s sin, no person ever living will be justified by the law. The LDS Church teaches that we are justified by the law. (“If you want to know how to be saved, I can tell you; it is by keeping the commandments of God.”)

    Jesus teaches something much more amazing than that, we are justified by Christ…

    Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”

    Galatians 3:23-25 “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are NO LONGER under a schoolmaster.”

    The verse above is talking about this….We are born under the law, the law was our school master. Prior to faith in Jesus, we all believe that we must obey the law in order to be justified. (we believed we are saved by obedience to the commandments) However this law, this schoolmaster teaches us something as we attempt to obey the law. It teaches us that all fall short of the glory of God, that nobody obeys the law, that we are unworthy and that we cannot justify ourselves by obeying the law because we sin daily. (Even Jesus taught that anger was equal to murder and lust was equal to adultery)

    The law reveals our sin! So the schoolmaster removes our pride of thinking we can obey the law and be justified and instead leads us to humble ourselves so that we admit we don’t obey the law and therefore we cannot be justified by the law. That’s what the law was intended to do. Intended to rid us of pride and lead us to humble ourselves before God. And that schoolmaster brings us to Christ as the verse says. It brings us to Christ to be justified by his blood rather than by our works of the law. And as the verse states, once we are justified by faith, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    Jesus has justified us already by grace alone…

    Romans 3:24 “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

    Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”

    Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we HAVE BEEN justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

    Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”

    Romans 10:10 “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified”

    1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you WERE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    Galatians 2:16 “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

    Galatians 3:11 “Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God”

    Galatians 3:24 “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.”

    Galatians 5:24 “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”

    Titus 3:7 “so that, having been justified by his grace…”

  75. 75 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Those are such wonderful statements. Here is what Jesus says about them, (Matt 5:19) “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. ”

    And they are consistent with other statement Jesus made.

    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.”

    John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Matt. 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

    Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    Matt 25:31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41 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:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 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.
    44 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?
    45 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.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    I will take the word of Jesus over your misunderstanding of the words of Paul any day.

    Even Paul contradicts your interpretation.

    1 Tim. 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

    2 Tim. 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

    Col. 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

    Rom 2: 6 (G0d) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

  76. 76 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Your interpretation of those verses are inconsistent with statements made by Jesus. (I know, you quys don’t care what Jesus says.)

    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.”

    John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Matt. 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

    Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    Matt 25:31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41 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:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 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.
    44 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?
    45 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.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    I will take the word of Jesus over your misunderstanding of the words of Paul any day.

    Even Paul contradicts your interpretation.

    1 Tim. 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

    2 Tim. 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

    Col. 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

    Rom 2: 6 (G0d) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

  77. 77 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    “grace alone”?

    That phrase is NOWHERE in the scriptures.

  78. 78 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Ralph,

    When Jesus says things like….”Matt. 19:17 “. . . : but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

    He isn’t saying that we should try our best to keep the commandments or do “all we can do”. He is saying we must keep all the commandments to enter life. Perfection is the demand here. We need to be perfect before we die.

    Are you perfect?… No, you are a sinner.

    Am I perfect?… No, I am a sinner.

    We both sin. We both are sinners who do NOT keep the commandments. We both repeatedly fail to keep the commandments. Therefore we will not enter into life through our works in keeping the commandments.

    The LDS Church states: ” but if you continue and DIE with unresolved sins, you are unclean and no unclean thing can dwell with God. There are no exceptions”

    You and I cannot DIE with unresolved sins. So what happens if you die today Ralph? If you die today you will die in unresolved sins and so would I if I were LDS. But I am not LDS and I know that I will not die in unresolved sins.

    More than anything God wants us to speak the truth and I am speaking the truth about both of us right now.

    Notice also that Jesus states that if you keep the commandments, you will enter “life”. There are only two destinations after we physically die. There is this “life” that Jesus is referring to and then there is “Death”
    Eternal life and Eternal death, Heaven and Hell.

    We need a solution that comes from outside of us rather than from within us.

    What is that solution?

  79. 79 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    So, now you are TELLING Jesus what He meant to say.

    What about letting the words He spoke speak for Him?

    Have you ever noticed that John and Rev are two of the last books written? Kind of like “the last words” on the topic.

    “What is that solution?”

    Repentance from dead works and faith toward God! (See Heb 6:1) Real repentance, not the diluted concept promoted by anti-Mormons.

    I will let the words of Jesus speak the truth to me. Thanks!

    “The LDS Church states: ” but if you continue and DIE with unresolved sins, you are unclean and no unclean thing can dwell with God. There are no exceptions”

    That is consistent with this,
    Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
    2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
    3 But fornication, AND ALL UNCLEANNESS, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
    4 NEITHER FILTHINESS, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, NOR UNCLEAN PERSON, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, HATH ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.
    6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: FOR BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS COMETH THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE.

    Once AGAIN the Bible supports LDS theology, rather than yours.

  80. 80 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Hey, Echo!

    Do you get your anti-Mormon drivel from the anti-Mormon Research Ministry?

    Sure sounds like it.

  81. 81 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Ralph said: “The LDS Church states: ” but if you continue and DIE with unresolved sins, you are unclean and no unclean thing can dwell with God. There are no exceptions”

    That is consistent with this…

    Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
    But fornication, AND ALL UNCLEANNESS, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
    NEITHER FILTHINESS, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
    For this ye know, that no whoremonger, NOR UNCLEAN PERSON, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, HATH ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.
    Let no man deceive you with vain words: FOR BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS COMETH THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE.”

    *****************end of quote

    And I agree completely!

    The difference is that you will die in unresolved sins whether you die today, next year or when you are 100 years old.

    I won’t die in any unresolved sins even if I died today.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  82. 82 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Kent and jbr,

    Please don’t take the time to explain to Ralph what I mean when I say:

    ” The difference is that you will die in unresolved sins whether you die today, next year or when you are 100 years old.
    I won’t die in any unresolved sins even if I died today.”

    Let that fact linger in Ralph’s mind unexplained. I have just planted the final seed in Ralph and we can pray that maybe one day that seed will grow into a genuine desire to really want to listen and understand.

    Until Ralph has a genuine desire to understand, we should not give him the answer. Ralph first needs to come to the realization that he will always be caught up in unresolved sins throughout his life. When he first realizes that, and it could take the rest of his life, he will be ready to listen and learn what it means when we say that we can be certain each and every day that we will never die in unresolved sins.

    Thanks.

  83. 83 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    And if there are any LDS lurkers or other lurkers here who are genuinely interested in knowing how you can be certain every day that you won’t die in unresolved sins,

    Please email me through the following website by clicking on: “Feedback” and ask for “Echo”

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

  84. 84 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Sorry, Echo, but you are NOT my judge. It is true that Jesus delegates judgment to His authorized servants, you are NOT among them.

    Also, since you reject the revelation of the Holy Spirit, there is no way for you to know my spiritual status.

    Since you have been shown to be in error time after time, I am not concerned about your opinion. Thanks.

    Hey, here is a thought. Instead of addressing the flaws in your theology that are being exposed here, why don’t you just try to distract everyone by accusing others of sin. That’s the ticket!

  85. 85 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Please, please don’t waste everybody’s time with that.

    I already understand your theology. It just isn’t consistent with the teachings of Jesus. And so I reject it.

  86. 86 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Or you could just repent like the Bible teaches us. Your choice.

  87. 87 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I posted this earlier and still haven’t had a decent response to it. So, one more try.
    – – – – –
    Here is another problem with the “unmerited gift” definition. It turns this verse into gibberish.

    John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

    Let’s see how “unmerited gift” fits this verse.

    And of his fulness have all we received, and “an unmerited gift” for “an unmerited gift”.

    It is impossible to get “an unmerited gift” in exchange for “an unmerited gift”.

  88. 88 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Ralph said: “Sorry, Echo, but you are NOT my judge”

    That’s correct.

    Ralph said: ” It is true that Jesus delegates judgment to His authorized servants, you are NOT among them.”

    No one on earth is authorized to judge you for your sins.

    Only God is authorized to judge you for your sins and he has judged you already. When God tells you to love your neighbor and be kind to them and you don’t do what he says and someone points that out to you, GOD himself has judged you, not that person.

    Ralph said: “Also, since you reject the revelation of the Holy Spirit, there is no way for you to know my spiritual status.”

    I know your spiritual status because your sins and your beliefs reveal your spiritual status. I don’t reject the revelation of the Holy Spirit I believe the Revelation you recieve is not from the Holy Spirit.

    Ralph said: “Since you have been shown to be in error time after time, I am not concerned about your opinion. Thanks. ”

    Ralph, since you have been shown to be in error time after time, I am very concerned about you and your opinion. Thanks.

    Ralph said: “Hey, here is a thought. Instead of addressing the flaws in your theology that are being exposed here, why don’t you just try to distract everyone by accusing others of sin. That’s the ticket!”

    Nice try. It is your sin that is the distraction in all the discussions. Instead of addressing the flaws that are being exposed in your theology, you resort to sin to distract and lead others astray from the facts that your flaws have been exposed. As I said before, SIN is the only POWER you have to defend yourself. Obviously you have no faith in God or his word and the power therein.

  89. 89 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    We believe in repentance.

  90. 90 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    In reading the context…

    16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    From the song: “Amazing Grace”

    “Twas GRACE that taught my heart to FEAR” = For the law was given through Moses

    “And grace my fears relieved” = but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ

    Grace for Grace.

    A schoolmaster to lead us to Christ.

  91. 91 Echo
    July 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Ralph, go to those in your church who are authorized to judge your for your sins and confess all the sins you have commit here on this blog because they are many. Don’t hide them, don’t lie. In fact give them the link to this blog so they can judge you.

    You are unworthy Ralph. And if they tell you that you are worthy, then…

    “Let no man deceive you with vain words: FOR BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS COMETH THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE.” Ephesians 5:6

    It’s your duty to do this. God will hold you accountable for this.

  92. 92 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I was talking about real repentance, not the fraudulent concept you espouse.

  93. 93 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    That still doesn’t address the issue I raised.

    It is impossible to get “an unmerited gift” in exchange for “an unmerited gift”.

    I am not surprised that you can’t address this.

  94. 94 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    More “your a sinner” drivel from Echo.

  95. July 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Ralph said: “I was talking about real repentance, not the fraudulent concept you espouse”

    We believe this…

    1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

  96. July 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I am not surprised you can’t understand it.

  97. 97 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Nice contortion you’ve got going there, trying to conflate “grace” with the law of Moses when verse 17 SPECIFICALLY differentiates between them.

    LOL!!!

  98. 98 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Confession is PART of the repentance process. To bad you reject the rest.

  99. 99 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Another personal attack.

    Hey, if you can’t refute the argument just attack the messenger. It just might help you hide the fact that you don’t have a counter argument.

  100. 100 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Let’s add a little context, shall we.

    1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, AND WALK IN DARKNESS, we lie, and do not the truth:
    7 BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    Walking in darkness is walking in sin. Walking in the light is walking in obedience.

    More context.

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
    . . .
    29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

    More context.

    1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
    23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
    24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

  101. July 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    You walk in sin, so how do you reconcile your beliefs with your actions?
    Does the fact that you continue to walk in sin then mean you are unrepentant?
    What happens to the unrepentant?

  102. 102 Ralph Peterson
    July 29, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Another personal attack from Echo. I wonder if that is all he has.

    Hey, if you can’t refute the argument just attack the messenger. It just might help you hide the fact that you don’t have a counter argument.

  103. July 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Ralph said: “It is impossible to get “an unmerited gift” in exchange for “an unmerited gift”.

    Ralph, Mark stated that Grace is unconditional love. Unconditional love means unmerited favor.

    Grace for Grace is like saying we receive one blessing upon another unconditionally. The law is a blessing in that it leads us to repentance; the Gospel is a blessing in that it gives us forgiveness of sins.

    It is both Grace that leads us to repentance and it is Grace that leads us to forgiveness.
    God has given us grace for grace.

    It is NOT impossible to get “forgiveness of sins” in exchange for “repentance”

    Grace for Grace. Unconditional love (unmerited favor) leads us both to repentance and forgiveness of sins.

    Ralph said: “It is impossible to get “an unmerited gift” in exchange for “an unmerited gift”.

    It is impossible to get “divine help and strength through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ” in exchange for “divine help and strength through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ”

    It is impossible to get “an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts” in exchange for “an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts”

    Now Ralph, can you please answer these questions…

    You said:

    ******

    “Confession is PART of the repentance process. To bad you reject the rest.

    Let’s add a little context, shall we.

    1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, AND WALK IN DARKNESS, we lie, and do not the truth:
    7 BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    Walking in darkness is walking in sin. Walking in the light is walking in obedience.

    More context.

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
    . . .
    29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

    More context.

    1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
    23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
    24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

    End of Ralph’s quote.

    *******

    You walk in sin, so how do you reconcile your beliefs with your actions?
    Does the fact that you continue to walk in sin then mean you are unrepentant?
    What happens to the unrepentant?

  104. 104 shematwater
    July 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    ECHO

    First, I highly doubt Ralph walks in sin. You seem to misunderstand the phrase. To walk in sin is the seek it out, to prefer sin to righteousness, or choose it above the commands of God.
    Ralph does not walk in sin. I don’t think he would claim to be without sin, but having committed sin is not the same as walking in sin.
    The same is true for walking in Light. One can be a very good person, but if they reject the gospel they are not walking in light.

    As to your continual insistence that we can never be without unresolved sin, you obviously don’t understand LDS doctrine or even the Bible.
    On the day we are baptized all sin is washed from us in the water as we are buried with Christ. Every sunday when we partake of the sacrament, as long as we are worthy, that blessing is renewed and we are once again cleansed from all sin. Also, James tells us that when a person has faith enough to be healed by the spirit their sins are cleansed (James 5: 15).
    Just because I know you will argue the concept of being worthy for baptism and the sacrament, I will point out that John the Baptist refused to baptize the Pharisees, telling them to “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8).” Paul, when testifying to King Agrippa in Acts 26 says that he preached to the gentiles to that they would “do works meet for repentance.”
    To receive the ordinances of the gospel one must be worthy, as the Bible clearly teaches, by performing appropriate works.

    To add to this we must understand that when the leaders speak about unresolved sins they speak to those that would make one unworthy to partake of the sacrament. If one dies while unworthy of this ordinance then they have a problem. Now, I don’t know about Ralph, but I was able to take the sacrament this past Sunday, and I did so worthily. As such I have no unresolved sins.

    The real problem with your continual push to label Ralph and others as sinners is that you are trying to use your own beliefs, which simply doesn’t work. We know how the Lord works, and we know how one is forgiven. Most importantly, we know our standing before God, and so for you to tell us it is something else is like trying to tell us there is no sun. We just look up, see the sun, and know that you are wrong.

  105. 105 jbr
    July 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Shem…
    Yet..we know what the Lord revealed. If there is a problem is that you start from a position of works.
    You don’t stand before the same God that traditional Christendom has.
    You don’t hold the Bible the same that traditional Christendom has.

    Therefore one should not expect that when you look up and see what you’re calling the sun, that you’d conclude we are wrong.

    Because you place “all you can do” (works) at importance, and as you insist that proving yourself worthy is required… you can call what you see as the “sun”…but the fact remains that you’re not looking up at the sun based on Bible alone.

    I would appear that you, Ralph and other regular Mormons aren’t sure of yourselves for to be constantly here.
    If you really believe that the BoM is the most accurate book on earth, then you have nothing to fear.

    However……others don’t hold to your opinion. Others like those from Concerned Christian… or Living hope Ministries. Watch for yourself:

    http://sourceflix.com/the-bible-vs-the-book-of-mormon/

  106. 106 Kent
    July 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    JBR said, “I would appear that you, Ralph and other regular Mormons aren’t sure of yourselves for to be constantly here.
    If you really believe that the BoM is the most accurate book on earth, then you have nothing to fear. ”

    I know the BOM speaks of continuing revelation but why would that continuing revelation teach things that contradict what the most correct book there is on earth so much so that it would make that correct book grossly incomplete? So their current church, in many areas, doesn’t even really follow that most correct book anymore.

    The introduction to the 1981 BOM that I have says it contains the fullness of the gospel, as does the Bible, but later editions of the BOM drop the part in the introduction about the Bible also containing the fullness of the gospel. So is that a newer revelation that the Bible now doesn’t contain the fullness of the gospel and do the teachings that appear in other Mormon scriptures show that the BOM really doesn’t contain the fullness of the gospel?

    Below are just some of the contradictions with the BOM that the Mormon church now teaches.

    Where in the Book of Mormon does it teach that God was once a mortal man and that he was not always God?

    Where does it teach that God has a body of flesh and bones?

    Where in the Book of Mormon does it teach that men can become Gods?

    Where in the Book of Mormon does it teach that temple participation is necessary to become exalted?

    Where does it teach that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers?

    Where does it say that males must hold either the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood?

    Where does it teach that there are “three degrees of glory”?

    Where does it say that the faithful members must wear sacred undergarments that have the power to protect them?

    Where does it say that God is the offspring of another God who in turn is the offspring of still another God?

    Answer to all those questions, those concepts are found nowhere in the BOM.

    It is more consistant to just follow the Bible and have faith that it is complete.

  107. 107 Kent
    July 31, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Follow up on my last post, if any of those questions I listed are in he BOM, where are they? And if the BOM really is the most correct book on earth, if they aren’t there, then why are they not in there? I know, as I said, I have read that the BOM speaks of continuing revelation but wholescale additions of many key doctrines?

  108. 108 Ralph Peterson
    August 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Sorry, but the “introduction” to the Book of Mormon is not considered “revelation”. It is simply an introduction to what the book is and where it came from.

    And, just so you will know, “the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” is simply the fullness of the doctrines that Jesus taught while in mortality. It doesn’t include all of the doctrines of the Kingdom of God.

  109. 109 Ralph Peterson
    August 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    See my post above. You seem to think that “the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” must some how include all doctrines. This is a false notion. The fact that we believe in continuing revelation is prime facie evidence that all doctrines and knowledge have not already been revealed.

    But, that is a nice strawman you have created. Have fun flogging it.

  110. 110 Ralph Peterson
    August 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    “I(t) would appear that you, Ralph and other regular Mormons aren’t sure of yourselves for to be constantly here.”

    It would appear that you, jbr and other regular evangelicals aren’t sure of yourselves by being constantly here, preaching anti-Mormonism. If you were so confident of your own theology, why are you driven to attack mine? Why don’t you just teach yours and I will teach mine and let everybody decide on their own which they prefer?

  111. 111 shematwater
    August 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    JBR

    You again make the same mistake that all evangelicals on these blogs make. You say that “If there is a problem is that you start from a position of works.”
    I do not start from a position of works, and neither does the LDS church. We start from a position of Faith which is later tested and proven by works. It is clearly taught in our Fourth Article of Faith.
    “We believe the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
    Notice that faith proceeds everything else. It is the first principle or doctrine of the church to have faith, and after that to have the works.

    Let us put things another way, just for your benefit. Echo, by claiming to know our standing before God and telling us is like telling us that the sun gives no light. However, we remember that we were once in darkness, and that it was the sun that rose and gave us light, for we saw it. Now, you can claim that it isn’t giving light, but we know that it is.

    Now, just so you know, I am on these threads for two reasons. The first being that I enjoy this. I love religion discussion and debate, and even the pointless arguments that are so frequent on these blogs. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t be here. The second reason is that these blogs profess to tell people the truth of the LDS Church, and yet are so full of errors that I feel the other side needs to have a say in the conversation so that people actually have a fair opportunity to accurately evaluate the church.
    I have no fear of you or anyone else who posts on these blogs, for I know God and I know his gospel, and you do not have it. As such you can do nothing to me that I do not allow you to do.

    KENT

    To be the most correct book only means to have less errors contained within it than any other book, not to contain more actual information. The Book of Mormon is the most correct because there are less errors, not because it contains all truth; and not containing all truth does not mean that it is not the most correct.
    As to the fullness of the Gospel, I would say that the fullness of the Gospel could be said to be contained in the 13 articles of Faith. So, as long as all this information is within the Book of Mormon (which it is) the Book contains the fullness of the gospel. I say this because these doctrines are enough to bring all men back into the presence of the Father, which is a fullness.

    As to your contradictions, you really need to learn what that term means before you use it (sorry for any insult).
    Let us look at all your points.
    God was once a mortal man: Where in the Book of Mormon does it say he was not once mortal. Unless you can show this there is no contradiction.

    God has a body of flesh and bones: Mosiah 7: 27; Ether 3: 15

    men can become Gods: 3 Nephi 27: 27, 28: 10

    Temple participation is necessary to become exalted: Where in the Book of Mormon does it say it is not necessary. Unless you can show this there is no contradiction.

    Jesus and Lucifer are brothers: Again, unless you can show where it says they are not then there is no contradiction.

    Males must hold either the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood: Again, unless the Book of Mormon says we don’t than there is no contradiction.

    There are “three degrees of glory”: Does the Book of Mormon say that there aren’t three degrees?

    Faithful members must wear sacred undergarments: Does the Book of Mormon say they don’t have too?

    God is the offspring of another God: Does the Book of Mormon say that he isn’t?

    So, of all your supposed contradictions, two are actually taught in the Book of Mormon (more are truly hinted at, though not taught), and the rest are not contradictions because the Book of Mormon does not teach that they are false.
    Your attempts to discredit the LDS and the Book of Mormon have failed once again.

  112. 112 rechtglaubig
    August 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Hello to all! I hope no one minds me posting in the middle of a discussion, but I have a few questions to ask our LDS friends.

    Do you ever feel guilt or burdened by your sins?

    When/if this happens, how do you over come that guilt or burden?

    Forgive me if I am intruding.

  113. 113 jbr
    August 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Shem…
    Interesting that you mention the fourth article of faith. You talk faith being forefront but that is only in theory.

    Because their is no faith in these statements : it’s all about works and obedience to commands….

    —– “Neither a man nor a woman can be exalted in the celestial kingdom unless both unite in the unselfishness of the everlasting covenant of marriage and unless both choose to keep the commandments and honor the covenants of that united state” —- Ensign, January 2001

    —– As for the highest heaven: “No man or woman…will even enter into the celestial kingdom without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are, I cannot go there without his consent“ —- Brigham Young

    —— Man cannot be redeemed from this spiritual death by an act of Christ alone..” —– The Restored Church, Pgs. 562,563

    ——” Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct our lives is God’s greatest gift to man.  Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any possession earth can give.  It is inherent in the spirit of man.  It is a divine gift to every normal being…  Without this divine power to choose, humanity cannot progress .” —- Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood

    —–One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation —–
    Spencer Kimble – Book of Mormon Student Manual

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Shem you talk a good game about faith but the fact is LDS theology places as much importance on works then fills in the balance with faith. That is not a revelation that comes from God.

    Such a belief does not make a person justified and perfect, and it will be shown as such for what it is.

  114. 114 Ralph Peterson
    August 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Just more of the false dichotomy anti-Mormons continue to put forth. Nothing in those statements precludes faith being the first step.

    Faith is what drives LDS couples to enter into the everlasting covenant of Marriage. Faith in Jesus Christ is what drives people to obey the commandments, including repenting of their sins. Real repentance, not the incomplete notion of it held by evangelicals.

    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
    25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
    26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

  115. 115 Ralph Peterson
    August 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    “Do you ever feel guilt or burdened by your sins?”

    Feelings of quilt can be beneficial if they cause us to repent.

    2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
    10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

    “When/if this happens, how do you over come that guilt or burden?”

    REPENT! (Not the diluted evangelical version but REAL repentance.)

  116. 116 jbr
    August 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Ah Ralph……more of the same false dichotomy anti-Jesus rhetoric continue to put forth.

    By your words you will be condemned. Such a belief that has over taken you does not make a person justified and perfect, and it will be shown as such for what it is.

  117. 117 Ralph Peterson
    August 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Quoting from the Bible in context is “anti-Jesus”? Who knew?

  118. 118 Ralph Peterson
    August 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    More of what jbr calls “anti-Jesus” as said by . . .

    . . .

    JESUS!

    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.”

    John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Matt. 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

    Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    Matt 25:31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41 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:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 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.
    44 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?
    45 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.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  119. 119 shematwater
    August 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    JBR

    I love what Ralph has said, but let me add this little bit. You do not understand the nature of faith or what it is.

    I once got a job soldering. I attended a brief class on the dangers of static electricity as it relates to circuit boards. In that class we were instructed to always have ourselves grounded, and to test our equipment every time we left our station to make sure it was still working. The reason being that even a small charge of only 5 watts was enough to destroy the circuits we were working with. The human body cannot detect such a charge.

    When working there I checked my equipment every time I got up, and made sure I was grounded while I was working. Why? Because I believed the experts knew what they were talking about. I was never going to be able to see the damage caused if I wasn’t grounded, so I had to take on faith what they were saying and follow their instructions to prevent something that I would never know happened in the first place.

    In like manner, we obey God, we keep his commandments, not because our emphasis is on works, as you so wrongly portray. But because we have faith in Christ. We believe he knows what we need to do, and if we follow his counsel and example we will receive the reward in the end.
    Just as I grounded myself at my work station to prevent an undetectable damage, so too do I ground myself in the commandments of God to prevent an unknowable condemnation.

  120. 120 rechtglaubig
    August 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Shematwater,

    What if your instructor tells you that you have been permanently grounded and that any further efforts to ground yourself are useless and violates your trust in him. In response to his kind action, you thankfully buy him lunch and offer to help others benefit this gift.

    The Christian “works” out of gratitude and thankfulness for the victory that Jesus has won for us. The burden and focus is taken off of us, weak pathetic sinners, and placed on The Almighty God Himself. I can’t explain the relief I felt when this finally hit home. My attitude and motive changed as well. I did things not because I was supposed to or because God told me to, but because I wanted to out of love for God and neighbor.

  121. 121 rechtglaubig
    August 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Hello Ralph,

    Could you explain the details of the evangelical version of repentance?

    Thank you in advance!

  122. 122 jbr
    August 2, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Shem…
    What’s wrong with your anaology is that God demands that you be perfect in your soldering…not do the best you can.

    Using Jesus as an example only means you’re going to be a failure and be held to that because you are under the idea that less than perfect is acceptable as long as you gave it you best shot.

    In religious terms, being considered a failure is damnation…not an eventual chance to re-prove yourself.

    As much as you keep telling yourself otherwise…you do not understand the nature of your refusal of Jesus being your subsitute solderer. You’re condemned already.

  123. 123 jbr
    August 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Shem…
    What’s wrong with your anaology is that God demands that you be perfect in your soldering…not do the best you can.

    Using Jesus as an example only means you’re going to be a failure and be held to that because you are under the idea that less than perfect is acceptable as long as you gave it you best shot.

    In religious terms, being considered a failure is damnation…not an eventual chance to re-prove yourself.

    As much as you keep telling yourself otherwise…you do not understand the nature of your refusal of Jesus being your subsitute solderer. You’re condemned already because of less than perfect keeping the commandments.

  124. 124 jbr
    August 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Shem,
    as for Ralph….par for course. He has become a person who is more interested in his own clanging cymbal.

    Quoting from the Bible in context is “anti-Jesus”? Who knew? …. Satan almost quotes God correctly in his defined context. Quotes coming come Ralph is no different.

  125. 125 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    “Using Jesus as an example only means you’re going to be a failure . . . ”

    ????

    Why? Was He a failure?

    You guys ALWAYS FAIL to understand this verse,

    Matt. 5:17 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Oh, that’s right, you guys don’t care about these types of verse because it was only Jesus talking.

  126. 126 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I will let evangelicals explain the detail of the evangelical version of repentance.

    https://markcares.wordpress.com/category/repentance/

  127. 127 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Apparently “perfection” (in the Bible) isn’t what you think it is.

    Here Jesus tells a “young man” that he is only two aspects away from being perfect.

    Matt 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    Notice the obvious implication that following Jesus leads to perfection.

  128. 128 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Again, resorting to the personal attack.

    How nice.

  129. 129 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    More implications that following Jesus leads to perfection.

    Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    Following the Master leads to perfection. Jesus said it. Exercise faith in Jesus and go on to perfection.

  130. 130 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    More implications that following Jesus leads to perfection.

    John 17:23 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.

    Becoming one with Jesus leads to perfection. Jesus said it. Exercise faith in Jesus and go on to perfection.

  131. 131 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    WOW!!! This looks really bad for you guys.

    Your hero Paul even commanded perfection.

    2 Cor. 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

  132. 132 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Double WOW!!!

    Paul does it again.

    2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS:
    17 That the man of God MAY BE PERFECT, throughly furnished UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.

  133. 133 Echo
    August 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Since the LDS claims we can reach perfection in this life, then what is the excuse you LDS have for not being perfect right now?

  134. 134 Ralph Peterson
    August 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    “Since the LDS claims we can reach perfection in this life, . . . ”

    Who has claimed that perfection can be reached in this life? Please provide a reference.

  135. 135 rechtglaubig
    August 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Thank you sir, now could you explain real repentance in contrast to the evangelical version for me, please?

  136. 137 Echo
    August 4, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Ralph said: “Who has claimed that perfection can be reached in this life? Please provide a reference.”

    Why procrastinate? Procrastination isn’t “real repentance”

    “And, in fine, wo unto all those who ***DIE*** in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and REMAIN IN THEIR SINS.” ~2 Nephi 9:38 Book of Mormon

  137. 138 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Echo,

    That is a nice verse. But, if you will read it carefully, it doesn’t say anything about “perfection”.

    So, could you try again.

    Remember, I am looking for a reference that supports your assertion that “the LDS claims we can reach perfection in this life, . . . ”

  138. 139 RLO
    August 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Since you yourself and all of Mormondom claim “God would never give us a command we can’t accomplish,” then I believe Matthew 5:48 provides you the reference you are looking for.

    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    That is unless (of course!) the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:48 are but yet again another of the many “so-called” Mormon translation errors of the Bible . . .

    So then, Ralph, which is it? Does God give you commands you can accomplish? Or has he given you a command you cannot accomplish?

  139. 140 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    RLO,

    That is nice BUT, as I said above, ‘if you will read it carefully, it doesn’t say anything about “perfection”’.

    I also said above, “Apparently “perfection” (in the Bible) isn’t what you think it is.”

    Aren’t you guys even curious about the Greek word being translated to “perfect” and what it really means?

    – – – –

    And just for your information the Bible makes it clear that we can obey His commandments.

    1 Cor. 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

  140. 141 RLO
    August 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Ralph;

    Your response is a reminder to me why discussion with you is pointless. First, Echo asks, “Since the LDS claims we can reach perfection in this life, then what is the excuse you LDS have for not being perfect right now?” To which you dodge the question altogether by asking, “Who has claimed that perfection can be reached in this life? Please provide a reference.” To which I provide you a reference in Matthew 5:48. To which you provide a response which is simply “unresponsive.”

    So in spite of your claim that we can obey all of God’s commands, you simply have no answer to the question, What is your excuse for not being perfect now, as God has commanded you to be in Matthew 5:48?”

    Good bye, Ralph.

  141. 142 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Your response is a reminder to me why discussion with you is pointless. Nothing in Matt 5:48 requires “perfection” to be accomplished in this life. Also, you are unwilling to explore what “perfect” really means.

    It is also interesting to note, that YOU also accept Matt 5:48 as “God’s word”, yet YOU reject the requirement for being perfect in this life.

    So, IF Matt 5:48 requires perfection in this life THEN you are also REQUIRED to believe it, NOT just the LDS.

    Also, for you to require that Matt 5:48 to mean that perfection in this life means that Echo’s statement is misleading and should read ““Since the BIBLE claims we can reach perfection in this life, . . . ”, and it isn’t just an LDS claim at all.

    So which is it? A Bible claim, or only an LDS claim?

    If it is only an LDS claim, then provide an uniquely LDS reference for it.

  142. 143 RLO
    August 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Ralph;

    “Perfect” is only a complicated word, if you want it to be, or as in your case, if you need it to be.

    You say that, “Nothing in Matthew 5:48 requires perfection to be accomplished in this life” ?

    Really.

    Notice, it doesn’t say,

    Become ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

    It says,

    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    So what part of the little word be is it, that you are incapable of understanding??

    Everything you think, believe and espouse is based on the faulty premise that God only gives commands you are capable of obeying.

    Again, good bye, Ralph

  143. 144 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    First, your argument in support of your claim is weak.

    The commandment to “BE ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” is very open ended. IF it was required to occur in this life, why doesn’t it say so?

    Say for example, “in this life, be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

    Or why not “Be ye therefore perfect, even as I am perfect”? (Did Jesus claim to be “perfect”? Why not?)

    Second, you’re saying it is a BIBLE CLAIM and NOT an LDS only claim right.

    So, why is it a controversy?

    Why did Echo make it sound like it was bad, since it is in the Bible?

    Since it is in the Bible, do you believe it?

  144. 145 RLO
    August 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Ralph asks: “Since it is in the Bible, do you believe it?”

    Make no mistake about this. Perfection is required. The only question is whether you seek to attain perfection through your own efforts, or whether you accept a perfection that comes by some other way.

    Psssst … Ralph … I’m perfect.

    But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
    Romans 3:21

    Now, again, Ralph, *** heavy sigh *** good bye.

  145. 146 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    “Make no mistake about this. Perfection is required.”

    Then WHAT is the controversy?

    “The only question is whether you seek to attain perfection through your own efforts, . . .”

    I don’t know a single Latter-Day Saint that thinks they can do this on their own. This is just another instance of a false imputation of what we believe.

    “. . . or whether you accept a perfection that comes by some other way.”

    BINGO!

    “Psssst … Ralph … I’m perfect.”

    Oh goodie for you. That begs the question, if you are perfect why do you continue to misrepresent LDS doctrine and theology?

    It is interesting that you are claiming something for yourself that Jesus (while He was in mortality) didn’t claim for Himself.

    “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
    Romans 3:21”

    EXACTLY!!!!

    It comes through belief in and therefore OBEDIENCE to Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Because as we KNOW that,

    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
    25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
    26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    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,

    IF they were already perfect, why did they need to “go on unto perfection”?

    Philipp 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    Why does Paul deny being perfect? Are you better than him?

    Also, I notice that you STILL aren’t interested in what the Greek word, from which “perfect” is translated, really means.

  146. 147 RLO
    August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Paul wrote in Romans that we are justified by faith, since he was dealing with false teachers who wanted to say that Christ’s saving work was not enough, and that people must add their own works to what Christ did in order to be saved, redeemed, justified, and reconciled.

    James was dealing with an entirely different kind of false teaching, namely, people who said that they didn’t have to do any good works. James reminds these people that we are not not justified by a faith that doesn’t do any works, because such a faith isn’t really a faith at all.

    Paul and James didn’t believe differently. They were simply speaking to different false doctrines. You need to keep this in mind.

    Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Christians believe what Paul preached, and believe what James preached. There is no conflict between the two. But quoting one out of context against the preachings of the other is a faulty manner for you to be trying to make your point.

  147. 148 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Not exactly,

    Paul was writing against Judaizers, Jewish “converts” who didn’t believe that obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ was sufficient and that strict obedience to all aspects of the law of Moses (or in other words over-obedience) was required for salvation. It was the same problem that Jesus faced with the Pharisees.

    Matt 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
    24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
    25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
    26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
    27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
    28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

    “James was dealing with an entirely different kind of false teaching, namely, people who said that they didn’t have to do any good works. James reminds these people that we are not not justified by a faith that doesn’t do any works, because such a faith isn’t really a faith at all.”

    In other words people like modern evangelical anti-Mormons. Got it.

    “Paul and James didn’t believe differently. They were simply speaking to different false doctrines. You need to keep this in mind.”

    I agree, and I do keep it in mind. Unlike some here, who totally neglect the teachings of Jesus and ignore James. LDS can and do believe in all of them.

    “Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Christians believe what Paul preached, and believe what James preached.”

    Yeah, but do they believe what Jesus preached? (See above.)

    “There is no conflict between the two.”
    When properly understood, you are correct. There is no conflict with what they taught and what The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints teaches.

    “But quoting one out of context against the preachings of the other is a faulty manner for you to be trying to make your point.”

    Much psychological projection in that statement.

  148. 149 RLO
    August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Ralph sneers back: “In other words people like modern evangelical anti-Mormons. Got it.”

    Unsolicited name calling, Ralph? I know you’ve got that beef with some other posters here. But why do you insist on painting all of us with the same brush?

    We’re not accomplishing anything further here. I’m thinking this is a pretty good place to stop this conversation.

    Good bye Ralph. Feel free to take your last parting shot.

  149. 150 Echo
    August 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Ralph said: “The commandment to “BE ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” is very open ended. IF it was required to occur in this life, why doesn’t it say so?”

    It does say so…. “Be” perfect (which is what the verse says) means be perfect right now, this very instant.
    If the verse said to “Become” perfect, then you could ask: “why doesn’t it say so?”

  150. 151 shematwater
    August 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    People really don’t really seem to understand the English Language very well.

    “Be ye therefore perfect” does not mandate that it be now. It is in the present tense, yes, but we are always living in the present tense. As such, whenever we attain perfection we will have fulfilled this command.

    However, what I think most people are failing to understand is that the verb “To Be” does not always refer to present actions, but also to present attitude.
    It is much like telling a student to “Be a strait A student.” It is impossible to be a strait A student until the classes are taken, the material studied, and the grades calculated. However, the expectation is that this will all fall into place, and so the present tense is used now to describe what you want them to be in the future.

    God commands “Be ye therefore perfect” as a way of saying “I expect you to attain perfection, just as your Father has.

  151. 152 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Just who did I name call?

    “modern evangelical anti-Mormons” is a description of a group, not a name.

    If you want to self identify with that group, you are free to do so, BUT I didn’t put you in it.

  152. 153 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Shem said: “People really don’t really seem to understand the English Language very well.”

    Shem said: “Be a strait A student”

    “Strait” by definition is: “A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water”

    “Straight” would be the proper English word to use a phrase such as: “Be a straight A student”

    Yes, some people don’t understand the English Language very well. Shem is one of them.

  153. 154 Echo
    August 6, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Ralph said: “Remember, I am looking for a reference that supports your assertion that “the LDS claims we can reach perfection in this life, . . . ”

    Alma 34:35 (BOM) ”For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even UNTIL DEATH, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

    1 Nephi 3:7 explains that God doesn’t give commandments that he doesn’t enable you to keep.
    But I will remind you that God’s command to “be Holy” and “be perfect” (not “become perfect”) are included in the commandments of God.

    Alma 11:37 (BOM) “And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.”

    Moroni 10:32 (BOM) “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and DENY YOURSELVES OF ***ALL*** UNGODLINESS; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, ***THEN*** is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.” (Caps/asterisk emphasis mine)

    Elder Kimball warns: “Even though forgiveness is so abundantly promised, there is no promise nor indication of forgiveness to any soul who does not TOTALLY repent. . . . WE CAN HARDLY BE TOO FORCEFUL in reminding people that they cannot sin and be forgiven and then sin again and again and expect forgiveness’ (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 353, 360).

    Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held accountable for their former sins (see D&C 82:7; Ether 2:15)” (Gospel Principles, pp. 252- 253).

    Ether 2:15 (BOM) “And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.”

    Mormon Apostle Dallin H. Oaks reminds Mormons that the assurance of forgiveness “comes when a person has completed all the steps of repentance” (BYU devotional address, 1981).

    “TRYING IS NOT SUFFICIENT. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin” (Spencer W Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness)

    “Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal” (Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

    The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 148 Repentance is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression and daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God.

    D&C 1:31-33 – “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;”

    Miracle of Forgivness, Spencer W. Kimball, pg 164 – To try is weak. To do the best I can is not strong … we must always do better than we can.

    Romans 2:5 ” But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”

    Gospel Principles, pg 93, How Repentance Helps Us …as a result of repentance, the atonement of Jesus Christ becomes effective in our lives and our sins are forgiven…

    “The perfect relationship between the atoning grace of Christ and the obedient efforts of mankind is powerfully stated by Nephi: ‘We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23). Furthermore, we are invited to ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.’ When we deny ourselves ‘of all ungodliness,’ THEN AND ONLY ‘THEN is his grace sufficient’ for us (Moroni 10:32).” (emphasis added)( Clyde J. Williams, “Plain and Precious Truths Restored,” Ensign, October 2006, p. 50–54)(Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” )

    The stakes are high! Higher than you would ever even remotely come close to. Higher than I would ever be able to remotely come close to. In no uncertain terms if you or I died today, we would both be hooped! This is bondage Ralph. This is slavery. God wants you to be FREE. It doesn’t have to be this way. These quotes would lead me to despair if I believed they were true. I actually feel genuine sympathy for you having to deal with this kind of fear mongering God! Doesn’t it honestly lead you to despair too? Only a self righteous Pharisee would answer that question with a “no”

  154. 155 shematwater
    August 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    ECHO

    I cannot always spell, but that is not the same as understanding the language. The written form is simply a collection of symbols used to represent the ideas, concepts, and meanings of the language, it is not the language itself.
    I have always been bad at spelling, but my comprehension of the language is high, as is attested to by all the standardized tests I have ever taken in the area. I understand the language, and trying to use a misspelling as evidence that I don’t only shows how little you actually understand it.

    As to all your quotes, none of them mandate perfection in this life. They mandate a striving for perfection, yes, but not actual perfection.
    However, I will also say that some type of perfection has to be attainable in this life, so I will agree with you. The proof of this is in the Bible, and so you should also believe it. After all, Noah is declared to be perfect (Gen. 6:9), as is Job (Job 1: 1, 8; 2: 3). If these two mortal men could be declared to be perfect in the scriptures of God, why can’t we hope to attain the same perfection that they had?

  155. 156 Echo
    August 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Shem said: “The proof of this is in the Bible, and so you should also believe it. After all, Noah is declared to be perfect (Gen. 6:9), as is Job (Job 1: 1, 8; 2: 3). If these two mortal men could be declared to be perfect in the scriptures of God, why can’t we hope to attain the same perfection that they had?”

    Falling short of perfection in this life, is nothing other than procrastination.

  156. 157 shematwater
    August 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    ECHO

    You have still failed to prove anything. Your personal opinions mean nothing. You are trying to declare to the saints of God what his gospel is. Show us where Christ or any other prophet has stated “If you are not perfect in this life you will never be saved.”
    You can’t because no such statement has ever been given. In fact, Christ himself did not declare himself to be perfect until after the resurrection.
    Matthew 5: 48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
    3 Nephi 12: 48 “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.”
    It was not until after he had risen from the dead and had taken his place at the right hand of the Father that he declared himself to be perfect. Notice also that the command was given to be perfect like the Father, which he himself could not attain to until after he was glorified in heaven. How than can anyone claim that the command to be perfect in this verse refer to a perfection in this life, if Christ himself did not attain it until the next.
    We are commanded to be perfect, and if we live our lives in accordance with Celestial Law we will be glorified into perfection when we are resurrected. This is what the command means, and anyone who says different is deceived.

  157. 158 Echo
    August 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Two elements of LDS repentance are these…

    “Abandonment of Sin. Although confession is an essential element of repentance, it is not enough. The Lord has said, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43).

    This clearly states that a person is not repentant if he has not abandoned his sin. You with me so far?

  158. 159 shematwater
    August 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    ECHO

    No, I am not with you, for I am will the Lord, whom you clearly reject.

    Yes, sins must be forsaken, and every time they are forsaken we are forgiven. Such as with Baptism, the sacrament, or when we have faith enough to be healed by the power of God. Of course there are other times when forgiveness can be granted, so don’t think that I am giving a complete list.

  159. 160 Echo
    August 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Shem said: “Yes, sins must be forsaken, and every time they are forsaken we are forgiven. Such as with Baptism, the sacrament, or when we have faith enough to be healed by the power of God. Of course there are other times when forgiveness can be granted, so don’t think that I am giving a complete list.”

    That’s how I understand LDS doctrine also.

    Moroni 10:32 (BOM) “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and DENY YOURSELVES OF ***ALL*** UNGODLINESS; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, ***THEN*** is his grace sufficient for you…”

    According to the above verse, what would make a person unrepentant?

  160. 161 shematwater
    August 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    ECHO

    No it wouldn’t.

  161. 162 Echo
    August 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Shem,

    How does your response of: “No it wouldn’t” answer my question of: “According to the above verse, what would make a person unrepentant?”

  162. 163 shematwater
    August 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    ECHO

    sorry, I misread the question.

    According to this verse what would make a person unrepentant is the unwillingness to forsake sins.

  163. 164 Echo
    August 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Shem said: “According to this verse what would make a person unrepentant is the unwillingness to forsake sins.”

    “TRYING IS NOT SUFFICIENT. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin” (Spencer W Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness.LDS)

    According to the statement above, and keeping that in mind, how would you answer my question about the quote below…

    Moroni 10:32 (BOM) “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and DENY YOURSELVES OF ***ALL*** UNGODLINESS; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, ***THEN*** is his grace sufficient for you…”

    According to the above verse, what would make a person unrepentant?

  164. 165 shematwater
    August 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    ECHO

    I would give the exact same answer, as it in no way contradicts President Kimball.


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