04
Aug
11

GODHOOD IS NOT AN OUTDATED LDS DOCTRINE

 

Over the years, numerous Mormons have told me I was wrong when I stated that Mormonism teaches that people can become gods, while a smaller number of Mormons have said that I was correct.  This lack of agreement is understandable because this doctrine has been downplayed in recent years.  Just one example of that is the change made in Gospel Principles, the basic manual of the LDS Church.

The 1979 edition states:   “We can become Gods like our Heavenly Father.  This is exaltation.”  (p. 290).  In contrast, the 2009 edition states:  “We can become like our Heavenly Father.  This is exaltation.”  (p. 275).  Both, however, just a few sentences later, talking about those who are exalted, say:  “They will become gods.” That sentence alone indicates that present-day Mormonism still teaches this doctrine.

But, as I have stated, it is not mentioned nearly as much as it used to be.  Therefore, I was surprised to see a reference to it in the current (August 2011) issue of the Ensign, the monthly magazine published by the LDS Church.  Elder L. Tom Perry, one of Mormonism’s 12 apostles, has a lengthy quote from Spencer W. Kimball, a past prophet of the LDS Church.  In reference to Peter and John, Kimball wrote:  “Their righteous lives opened the door to godhood for them and creations of worlds with eternal increase.” (p. 51)  Not only does President Kimball talk about their becoming gods but also refers to the LDS doctrine that part of godhood is the creation of new worlds which they then will populate “with eternal increase” or, in other words, with their own spirit children.

I have a couple of reasons for highlighting this quote.  The most obvious reason is as proof that the idea of people becoming gods is still a teaching of Mormonism – a fact that should be both known by Christians and acknowledged by Mormons.  (By the way, even some Mormons have told me that it bothers them that many of their fellow Mormons don’t acknowledge this or do so reluctantly.)

But another reason I am citing this quote is to offer another example of how Mormonism focuses the attention on people and not on Christ.  According to Kimball, it was Peter and John’s own righteousness that opened the door to godhood for them.  According to the Bible, however, it’s all about Christ’s righteousness.  In fact it says our righteousnesses are nothing but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

I, for one, am so comforted by the fact that my standing before God and my eternal destiny doesn’t depend on what I do or how good I am, but rests entirely on what Jesus has done for me and his perfect righteousness.  As Paul states, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (Philippians 3:9)  That also is my desire.  To Jesus, not to myself, be all the glory.

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84 Responses to “GODHOOD IS NOT AN OUTDATED LDS DOCTRINE”


  1. 1 jbr
    August 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    My belief in why it’s not mentioned nearly as much as it used to be is because too many come from different religious backgrounds which would have a problem with that….. and that would be unproductive for growth.

    It’s really true about Jesus’ warning about the lion that prowls. A prowling lion is quite while stalking it’s victims.
    Or Jesus warns about the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  2. 2 Cindy
    August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I’m so glad to be able to rely on Christ’s righteousness as well…my own is pretty sad, but His is perfect! Praise God for the unmerited gift of Christ’s righteousness on my behalf! Great post!

  3. 3 Ralph Peterson
    August 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Just a few issues with this post.

    “But another reason I am citing this quote is to offer another example of how Mormonism focuses the attention on people and not on Christ.”

    Well, I notice that YOU failed to include the FIRST part of the quote. By not including that part allows you to give the wrong impression about LDS doctrine and beliefs. So, to correct that wrong impression, let’s show the part you missed.

    ““In proper sequence, first comes the knowledge of God and his program, which is the way to eternal life, . . .”

    Well, every faithful LDS knows the articles of faith, which are a summary of our “knowledge of God and his program”.

    Just to help you out here I will quote the first four articles of faith.

    1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
    2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
    3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
    4 We believe that 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, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    – – –

    “According to Kimball, it was Peter and John’s own righteousness that opened the door to godhood for them.”

    Well, that is one way to look at it. I wonder, do you look at these statements of JESUS in the same way?

    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.

    So, can we say that according to JESUS, it is the individuals own righteousness that opened the door to godhood/eternal life for them?
    – – –

    “According to the Bible, however, it’s all about Christ’s righteousness.”

    Well, NOT according to the words of JESUS found in the Bible.
    – – –

    “In fact it says our righteousnesses are nothing but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).”

    If fact, that verse IN CONTEXT is referring to the “righteousnesses” of the WICKED which OF COURSE are “filthy rags”.

    As far as believing in becoming gods, the LDS are in company with the early Church fathers.

    The following quotes are taken from Henry Bettenson, The Early Christian Fathers (London: Oxford University Press, 1956, repr. 1958). Each author’s name, and relevant page numbers in the book are given after each quote.

    . . . and they have received the title of “gods,” since they are destined to be enthroned with the other “gods” who are ranked next below the Saviour. (Clement of Alexandria, p. 244.)

    . . . the Word, I say, of God, who became man just that you might learn from a man how it may be that man should become God. (Clement of Alexandria, p. 244.)

    The Son in his kindness generously imparted deification to others . . . who are transformed through him into gods, as images of the prototype . . . the Word is the archetype of the many images. (Origen, p. 274.)

    For the Word was not degraded by receiving a body, so that he should seek to “receive” God’s gift. Rather he deified what he put on; and, more than that, he bestowed this gift upon the race of men.(Athanasius, p. 384.)

    . . . If the works of the Godhead had not taken place by means of the body, man would not have been made divine. (Athanasius, p. 399.)

    The Word was made man in order that we might be made divine. (Athanasius, p. 404)

    Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are the sons of the Most High.” . . . For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality. (Irenaeus, Against Heretics, 4.38.)

    But he himself that justifies also defies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. “For he has given them power to become the sons of God” [John 1:12]. If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.” (Augustine, On the psalms, 50.2.)

    The following quote comes from The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology, which is a reputable (non-LDS) book. Notice that he traces the doctrine down to the tenth century, which is two thirds of the way into the Middle Ages:

    Deification (Greek theosis) is for Orthodoxy the goal of every Christian. Man, according to the Bible, is “made in the image and likeness of God”. . . . It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both OT and NT (e.g. Ps. 82 (81).6; II Peter 1.4), and it is essentially the teaching of both St Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (cf. Rom. 8.9–17; Gal.4.5–7), and the Fourth Gospel (cf. 17.21–23).

    The language of II Peter is taken up by St Irenaeus, in his famous phrase, “if the Word has been made man, it is so that men may be made gods” (Adv. Haer V, Pref.), and becomes the standard in Greek theology. In the fourth century St Athanasius repeats St Irenaeus almost word for word, and in the fifth century St Cyril of Alexandria says that we shall become sons “by participation” (Greek methexis). Deification is the central idea in the spirituality of St Maximus the Confessor, for whom the doctrine is the corollary of the Incarnation: “Deification, briefly, is the encompasing and fulfilment of all times and ages”, . . . and St Symeon the New Theologian at the end of the tenth century writes, “He who is God by nature converses with those whom he has made gods by grace, as a friend converses with his frieds, face to face.” . . .

    Finally, it should be noted that deification does not mean absorption into God, since the deified creature remains itself and distinct. It is the whole human being, body and soul, who is transfigured in the Spirit into the likeness of the divine nature, and deification is the goal of every Christian.

  4. 4 jbr
    August 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Cindy…
    Yes. Thanks be to God.

  5. 5 rechtglaubig
    August 5, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Hello Ralph,

    I confess that I haven’t read through your entire post, there is a lot there and I am at work and short of time, but a quote from St. Irenaeus stood out. Having an interest in ECFs myself, I tried to look up the quote and failed. The one I am refering to is: “if the Word has been made man, it is so that men may be made gods” (Adv. Haer V, Pref.)”

    Can you please link me the website you pulled this quote from?

    I am having no luck finding it at all. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103500.htm

    Thank you in advance!

  6. 6 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Ralph,

    Have you read the context of each of these quotes you have provided?

  7. 7 rechtglaubig
    August 5, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Yes. Context is important. Ralph, in your opening statement you said that Markcares left out part of a quote and that in doing so, he was misrepresenting your beliefs. You then post many quotes from ECFs and the few that I have had time to look up, do not seem to exist or are cut short. Further reading reveals that they [the ECF quotes I read in full context] do not support what you are trying to make them say. I can provide you with links to several web resources for the ECF writings if you would like to read them.

  8. 8 Kent
    August 5, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Mormons, sorry but you will never progress to be gods, you will never be worshipped by spirit children and you will never create, with your wive(s), universes as God is the creator of everything there ever was, everything there is, and everything there ever will be.

    We are created beings who will be as the angels in the afterlife, who are also created beings, and we, believers in the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, will worship Him and will not be worshipped.

    Mormons, I am afraid that the only thing you are creating is a path to outer darkness but it is not too late while you live and breathe on this planet to turn to the narrow path, Jesus Christ, the only way to heaven and no, you don’t need Joseph Smith’s permission to enter into where God the Father and Jesus Christ are as he was a mere mortal man who had and has no power or say so over anyone’s soul, not even his own. I would like to think he is not in outer darkness but, alas, I am afraid that he is there.

  9. 9 rechtglaubig
    August 5, 2011 at 7:03 am

    “. . . If the works of the Godhead had not taken place by means of the body, man would not have been made divine. (Athanasius, p. 399.) ”

    This quote is taken from Athanasius’ “Against the Arians” Discourse III Chapter 26.33. The full quote being:

    “For this cause then, consistently and fittingly such affections are ascribed not to another , but to the Lord; that the grace also may be from Him , and that we may become, not worshippers of any other, but truly devout towards God, because we invoke no originate thing, no ordinary man, but the natural and true Son from God, who has become man, yet is not the less Lord and God and Saviour.

    33. Who will not admire this? Or who will not agree that such a thing is truly divine? FOR IF THE WORKS OF THE Word’s GODHEAD HAD NOT TAKEN PLACE THROUGH THE BODY, MAN HAD NOT BEEN DEIFIED; and again, had not the properties of the flesh been ascribed to the Word, man had not been thoroughly delivered from them ; but though they had ceased for a little while, as I said before, still sin had remained in him and corruption, as was the case with mankind before Him; and for this reason:— Many for instance have been made holy and clean from all sin; nay, Jeremiah was hallowed even from the womb, and John, while yet in the womb, leapt for joy at the voice of Mary Bearer of God ; nevertheless ‘death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression Romans 5:14;’ and thus man remained mortal and corruptible as before, liable to the affections proper to their nature.” http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xxi.ii.iv.i.html

    I capitalized the quote cited. Reading this in context, it is clear that “the man made divine” is Jesus.

  10. 10 Kent
    August 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    The Mormon answer often that men can be gods is that even Jesus Himself said that His Jewish leader critics were called gods by scripture (see John 10:34) but the context is that He was referring to them as judges with authority over the people because the same word translated as gods is translated in other verses in the Bible, besides in John 10 and Pslam 82, as meaning judges in fact the scripture Jesus is quoting in John 10 (see Pslam 82:6) is God’s chastisment of the judges and Jesus is asking the Jewish leaders in John 10 why would they say He was committing blasphemy when He called Himself the Son of God if even they themselves are gods (judges).

    But it is clear that the passages in John 10 and Psalm 82 are not referring to deity when the they call the Jewish leaders and the judges gods but that the Jewish leaders wanted to and did end up killing Jesus when He was saying He is God and that He was one and of the same substance as God.

    So, in the Old Covenant of the Old Testament when there was the real temple of God, which isn’t needed anymore because of the New Covenant that Jesus gave us that was sealed by Jesus’s blood shed on the cross in our places, sinners who cannot save ourselves, the penalty was death for anyone who claimed to be God but the good news, the true gospel that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day, means people will be forgiven if they repent from the sin of saying that they can become Gods.

    Here is a link that explains the use of the word gods from John 10 and Pslam 82 that explains it better than I do.

    http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/yegods.htm

  11. 11 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    You mis-quote.

    It is NOT “the man made divine” but “man made divine”. You know “man” as in mankind. Not “the man” as in Jesus.

  12. 12 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    If you think I have taken them out of context, then feel free to, not just assert it, but do as I did, AND SHOW IT!

  13. 13 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Sorry, BUT your assertion is without substance. For Jesus to say that His Jewish leader critics were judges is NOT a defense against the accusation of “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God”

    You are basically saying that Jesus is admitting that His critics were correct in their accusation because they were affirmed to be “judges” by Jesus.

    It just does NOT fly.

  14. 14 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Ralph, can you provide the context for each of your quotes please. Thanks.

  15. 15 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    As expected, the continued misrepresentation of this doctrine is shown by Kent above.

    Latter-day Saints do not believe that human beings will ever be independent of God, or that they will ever cease to be subordinate to God. They believe that to become as God means to overcome the world through the atonement of Jesus Christ (see 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:7, 11).

    Thus the faithful become heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ and will inherit all things just as Christ inherits all things (see Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Revelation 21:7).

    They are received into the “church of the firstborn,” meaning they inherit as though they were the firstborn (see Hebrews 12:23).

    There are no limitations on these scriptural declarations; those who become as God shall inherit all things. In that glorified state they will resemble our Savior; they will receive his glory and be one with him and with the Father (see 1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:49; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:21-23; Philippians 3:21).

  16. 16 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I gave you the source.

  17. 17 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    And just for fun, here we have Jesus promising the Philadelphians that they will be WORSHIPPED!!!!!

    GASP!!!

    Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
    8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
    9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; BEHOLD, I WILL MAKE THEM TO COME AND W O R S H I P BEFORE THEY FEET, and to know that I have loved thee.

    The HORROR!!!!

  18. 18 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Here is a thorough refutation of your argument.

    http://lehislibrary.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/maklelan-psalm-82-elohim-as-judges-no/#more-683

    Here is the conclusion.

    ‘In conclusion, “judges” is simply an apologetic translation appealed to by early Rabbinic texts in an attempt to avoid a monolatrous or polytheist outlook. The translation has been shown to be incorrect, has been shown not to have been used prior to the Rabbinic Period (when Hebrew was virtually a dead language), and has been shown to be rejected outright by contemporary scholars, including prominent Evangelical scholars. The word elohim simply cannot mean “judges.” ‘

  19. 19 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Ralph, have you read the context of all these quotes you gave or have you just blindly believed someone else who has taken them all out of context?

  20. 20 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Ralph– have you read the context of all these quotes you gave?

  21. 21 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Have you yourself read the sources and the context?

  22. 22 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    rechtglaubig

    “I can provide you with links to several web resources for the ECF writings if you would like to read them.”

    Can you provide them for me please since Ralph won’t supply the context. Thanks

  23. 23 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Ok, so you guys can’t refute those quotes. I get it.

    Hey, why don’t you try to make this about me. You know, to distract the natives from the fact that you have no refutations.

    Interesting strategy, but will it work?

  24. 24 rechtglaubig
    August 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Ralph,

    Yes, I did misquote at the end when I said “man made divine” that wasn’t intentional. I could see no way to edit my post, but that is irrelevant. The quote by Athanasius is not talking about mankind. He is talking about Jesus, the Word, which ironically is left out from your quote.

  25. 25 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Do any objective, qualified, non-LDS experts agree that early Christians thought that they could be come gods?

    Yes! For example, there is Father Jordan Vajda, who, as a Dominican Catholic Priest, completed his master’s thesis in 1998 at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His thesis, “‘Partakers of the Divine Nature’: A Comparative Analysis of Patristic and Mormon Doctrines of Divinization,” argues that LDS theology is surprisingly consistent with early Christian thought.

    Here are two excerpts cited by Daniel C. Petersen (“Editor’s Introduction: American Apocrypha?”, FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2001, ix-xvi). The first is from the beginning of the thesis:

    Members of the LDS Church will discover that their fundamental belief about human salvation and potential is not unique of a Mormon invention. Latin Catholics and Protestants will learn of a doctrine that, while relatively foreign to their ears, is nevertheless part of the heritage of the undivided Catholic Church of the first millennium. Members of Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches will discover on the American continent an amazing parallel to their own belief that salvation in Christ involves our becoming “partakers of the divine nature.” (p. 14)

    Then, referring to the anti-Mormon propaganda of Ed Decker in the “God Makers,” Father Vajda states:

    [T]he Mormons are truly “godmakers”: as the [LDS] doctrine of exaltation explains, the fullness of human salvation means “becoming a god.” Yet what was meant to be a term of ridicule has turned out to be a term of approbation, for the witness of the Greek Fathers of the Church . . . is that they also believed that salvation meant “becoming a god.” It seems that if one’s soteriology cannot accommodate a doctrine of human divinization, then it has at least implicitly, if not explicitly, rejected the heritage of the early Christian church and departed from the faith of first millennium Christianity. (pp. 94-95)

    Oh, but wait. Can Father Jordan Vajda still be described as “objective”, and “qualified” since he is now Brother Jordan Vajda?

    Intrigued by what he learned of LDS doctrine, after he completed his thesis, he accepted the challenge to meet with the missionaries and made the bold decision to be baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Marvelous news. He has made a big sacrifice to do this, but what a marvelous example and testimony of the divinely restored nature of LDS doctrine.

  26. 26 rechtglaubig
    August 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Echo,

    Gladly sir! Here are a few:

    “. . . If the works of the Godhead had not taken place by means of the body, man would not have been made divine. (Athanasius, p. 399.) ”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/28163.htm (chapter 33)

    “But he himself that justifies also defies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. “For he has given them power to become the sons of God” [John 1:12]. If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.” (Augustine, On the psalms, 50.2.)”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801050.htm (chapter 2)

    “and they have received the title of “gods,” since they are destined to be enthroned with the other “gods” who are ranked next below the Saviour. (Clement of Alexandria, p. 244.) ”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02107.htm (chapter 10)

    “the Word, I say, of God, who became man just that you might learn from a man how it may be that man should become God. (Clement of Alexandria, p. 244.)”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/020801.htm (no numbering here. About 2/3 the way down)

    “The Son in his kindness generously imparted deification to others . . . who are transformed through him into gods, as images of the prototype . . . the Word is the archetype of the many images. (Origen, p. 274.) ”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/101502.htm (chapter 2)

    “For the Word was not degraded by receiving a body, so that he should seek to “receive” God’s gift. Rather he deified what he put on; and, more than that, he bestowed this gift upon the race of men.(Athanasius, p. 384.) ”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/28163.htm (closest thing I can find is in chapter 34)

    “Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are the sons of the Most High.” . . . For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality. (Irenaeus, Against Heretics, 4.38.)”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103438.htm (4th paragraph)

    Those are the ones I could find.

  27. 27 rechtglaubig
    August 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Ralph, you posted a couple quotes from Athanasius. All through his third book, Against The Arians, Athanasius explains he what he means. I can pull sentences here and there, but the best route would be to read the work in its entirety paying close attention to paragraphs 19 and 20. This is also consistent with what he say in book 1 of Against the Arians, De Synodis, and Ad Afros Epistola Synodica.

  28. 28 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Ralph said: “Ok, so you guys can’t refute those quotes. I get it. Hey, why don’t you try to make this about me. You know, to distract the natives from the fact that you have no refutations. Interesting strategy, but will it work?”

    Asking you if you have read the context of the quotes does NOT distract anyone away from anything. It’s requires a simple yes or no answer. You are the one who provided the quotes and yes, it is vitally important to know whether or not you have read the context of those quotes that you yourself have provided. So it is about you because if you haven’t read the context for yourself, you are easy prey for being deceived yourself. And it follows that you are now also the easy means that Satan can use to deceive others. Satan loves to deceive people through other people who are themselves easily deceived.

    Ralph, have you read the context of the quotes you gave? Yes or No?
    If you don’t answer the question, I will assume you have NOT read the context of the quotes you have provided.

    Ralph said: “Ok, so you guys can’t refute those quotes. I get it. Hey, why don’t you try to make this about me. You know, to distract the natives from the fact that you have no refutations. Interesting strategy, but will it work?”

    Ralph, we want to find the context in order to discuss the quotes you gave. I am still looking for the context since you refuse to lift one finger to help us in this regard or to at least admit to us that you can’t help us in that regard. What kind of “strategy” is that on our part? It seems it’s more of a “strategy” on your part to come up with quotes, then refuse to admit whether or not you yourself have read the context, then refuse to provide the context and all the while using those things to turn this all around into our laps and then you accuse us as having some sort of “strategy.” It all reeks of malice on your part.

  29. 29 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    “It all reeks of malice on your part.”

    You are still trying to make this about me, I see.

  30. 30 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Lutherans believe both the Catholic and LDS Church have false teachings so the quote you have provided isn’t convincing.

  31. 31 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Ralph has not read the context of the quotes he has provided making him easy prey to be deceived and to be used as a tool to deceive others.

  32. 32 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Still trying to make this about me to distract from the fact that you have no counter argument.

    Repeat.

    NO COUNTER ARGUMENT!!

  33. 33 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    And both Catholics and the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints believe that Lutherans have false teachings. So what?

    Still trying to distract from the fact that you have no counter argument.

    Rather than attack the person (Ad Hominem fallacy) why don’t you attack the argument?

    Oh, that’s right. You DON’T HAVE a counter argument.

  34. 34 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Ralph said: “Still trying to make this about me to distract from the fact that you have no counter argument.

    Repeat. NO COUNTER ARGUMENT!!”

    I am still looking for the context so I can see what the real deal is here, would you like to do the neighborly thing and lift up a finger to help me find it?

    Thanks in advance.

  35. 35 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I am not distracting from the fact that I have no counter argument at this time. I fully admit I have no counter argument at this time because I am still searching for the context of the quotes you have provided.

    Would you like to do the neighborly thing and lift up a finger to help me find them online or provide them yourself from the book you quoted from and hopefully own yourself?

    Thanks in advance.

  36. 36 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    So, you want me to do your research for you?

    What, and deprive you of this wonderful education opportunity?

    Nah, it is time for you to do some of your own work.

  37. 37 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    So, you want me to do your research for you?

    What, and deprive you of this wonderful education opportunity?

    Nah, it is time for you to do some of your own work.

    You’re welcome, in advance.

  38. 38 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Ralph said: “So, you want me to do your research for you?

    What, and deprive you of this wonderful education opportunity?

    Nah, it is time for you to do some of your own work.

    You’re welcome, in advance.”

    Fine. I have just ordered the book. It cost me $59.00 and I am scheduled to recieve it in 1 to 6 weeks. I will respond to your quotes when it arrives in the mail.

    Which doctrine in Mormonism is it that teaches you not to help your neighbor if it is within your capacity to do so?

  39. 39 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    In the mean time while we are waiting for the book to arrive…

    Have you read the context of the quotes you gave?

    If so, did you read the context online or do you own the book yourself?

  40. 40 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry, I don’t practice “Moronism”.

    I AM helping you. Helping you educate yourself. Some people call it “tough love”.

    You are welcome in advance.

  41. 41 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I see you have the ability to edit your posts.

    Could you help a neighbor out and teach me how to do it?

  42. 42 Ralph Peterson
    August 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    More quotes for which Echo can question the context.

    C.S. Lewis, The Grand Miracle (Ballantine Books, New York, 1970), p. 85 (on the last page of the essay, “Man or Rabbit?” in Chapter 11):

    The people who keep on asking if they can’t lead a good life without Christ, don’t know what life is about; if they did they would know that “a decent life” is mere machinery compared with the thing we men are really made for. Morality is indispensable: but the Divine Life, which gives itself to us and which calls us to be gods, intends for us something in which morality will be swallowed up. We are to be remade. All the rabbit in us will be swallowed up – the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy. [emphasis mine]

    And from the same book, p. 65 (the last page of Chapter 8):

    Christ has risen, and so we shall rise. St. Peter for a few seconds walked on the water, and the day will come when there will be a remade universe, infinitely obedient to the will of glorified and obedient men, when we can do all things, when we shall be those gods that we are described as being in Scripture.

    C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Collier Books, MacMillan Publ. Co., New York, 1943; paperback edition, 1960; p. 160 – the last paragraph of Chapter 9, “Counting the Cost,” in Book IV):

    “The command Be ye perfect [Matt. 5:48] is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and he is going to make good His words. If we let Him – for we can prevent Him, if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what he said.”

  43. 43 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I don’t know of any way you can edit your posts. I personally have access to Mark’s blog.

  44. 44 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    “C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity ”

    I think I have that book, let me look…

    But remember that “gods” is not the same thing as “God’s” (big G little g).

  45. 45 Echo
    August 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    ” Christ is begotten, not created. What does this mean?…to beget is to become the Father of: to create is to make. And the difference is this. When you beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds. But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set…NOW THAT IS THE FIRST THING TO GET CLEAR. What God begets is God: just as what man begets is man. What God creates IS NOT GOD; just as what man makes is not man. That is why men are not Sons of God in the sense that Christ is. They may be like God in certain ways, but they are not things of the same kind. ” (CS LEWIS; Mere Christianity)(emphasis mine)

    Ralph, you are the victim of deception, your quotes are deceptive because they are taken out of context and by misinterpreting the author’s intent, they are misleading and false. Since you have not read the context, how easily you have been deceived. I asked you whether or not you have read the context. You refuse to answer. I ask you to help me find the context, you refuse to help me and reply with a despicable “you’re welcome”. And then you charge us with the inability to refute your claims. In the process hinting that since we can’t refute your claims, your claim is the right one and ours is the wrong one.

    Just because I am not willing to purchase every book you quote, that does not mean your position is the one true and accurate position. People who believe this stuff have to research this stuff for themselves by reading the context because if they just believe it without doing their homework, they are prime and easy targets for being deceived.

    Yet, I just happened to have one book you quoted from and that alone has already shown your interpretation to be misleading, misinterpreted, deceptive and false.

    Ralph, have you read Mere Christianity or The Grand Miracle?
    Ralph, have you read the context of anything you have quoted?

  46. 46 Echo
    August 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Brigham Young said, “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy”. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, page 269)

  47. 47 rechtglaubig
    August 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Good morning Echo,

    Would you like to see the full context of your quote just in case it is called into question?

    “Now, we as Christians desire to be saved in the kingdom of God. We desire to attain to the possession of all the blessings there are for the most faithful man or people that ever lived upon the face of the earth, even him who is said to be the father of the faithful, Abraham of old. We wish to obtain all that father Abraham obtained. I wish here to say to the Elders of Israel, and to all the members of this Church and kingdom, that it is in the hearts of many of them to wish that the doctrine of polygamy was not taught and practiced by us. It may be hard for many, and especially for the ladies, yet it is no harder for them than it is for the gentlemen. It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at lest in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. This is as true as that God lives. You who wish that there were no such thing in existence, if you have in your hearts to say: “We will pass along in the Church without obeying or submitting to it in our faith or believing this order, because, for aught that we know, this community may be broken up yet, and we may have lucrative offices offered to us; we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,” – the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, page 269)

    http://www.journalofdiscourses.org/volume-11/

  48. 48 Echo
    August 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    rechtglaubig,

    Yes, I have read the context but it’s a great idea that you have shared it for others to see. Thanks.

  49. 49 shematwater
    August 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    The whole thing is rather silly. Ralph gives quotes, and then Echo gets angry because Ralph won’t simply hand over context.
    I would like to say that Ralph is a much better debater, and thus he is more convincing. Echo just seems to complain that Ralph is actually being a good debater rather than trying to debate the issue.

    However, speaking of the topic at hand, I want to know how a belief in man’s potential to become gods (little g) in any way takes the focus off of Christ for us. I really don’t care to argue who taught it in the past, who agrees that they taught it, or anything else of that kind. The original blog asserted that the reason for bringing it up was as an example of how the LDS church focuses on men rather Christ, and I just don’t see it.

  50. 50 jbr
    August 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Shem,
    And just as silly is that simply because you the usual LDS amigos that rubber stamp each other doesn’t mean that Ralph is correct because you would no more than to prove yourself correct by gopher hole arguments.

    The way God views it is there is only one “G”od …. the Godhead i.e. the trinity.
    Anything else is a false “g”od and will not be tolerated, eventually exalted or what ever.

    The thing about LDS belief is that “g”od is all about progression on your proving yourself. There is no Jesus in that other than being a cheerleader.

    And what is the purpose of being a “g”od …other than to be “like” heavenly Father.

    Now if that is the way Heavenly Father came to be …. would you mind telling the audience who your spiritual “grand parents” are?

  51. 51 jbr
    August 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    .For some reason the wording typed on two different computers are in grey
    ……….Should have read……..
    .
    And just as silly is that simply because you two are the usual LDS amigos that rubber stamp each other doesn’t mean that Ralph is correct. THere is nothing to brag about thinking that you can prove yourself correct by gopher hole arguments.

  52. 52 Kent
    August 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

    JBR said, “Now if that is the way Heavenly Father came to be …. would you mind telling the audience who your spiritual “grand parents” are?”

    Yes, and please tell us who your Heavenly Mother is too as isn’t Heavenly Father supposed to be married?

    As isn’t it true that you folks believe that you have to be married to progress to the highest level of exaltation?

    So without a wife, God the Father could not have progressed to be who He is today.

    Sorry, but Heavenly Mother does not exist in any way, shape, or form.

  53. 53 Kent
    August 7, 2011 at 4:48 am

    I have a feeling that one day Ralph will see the light and his eyes will be opened and when he does, he will make a great ally for us in spreading the true gospel with his writing skills.

    I know the Mormons who come here, for now, will think I am mocking the idea that there is a Heavenly Mother but really I am a little astonished that they could think she even exists that God is bound by human biology, If in fact they believe that He could have sexual relations

  54. 54 rechtglaubig
    August 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Hello Shematwater,

    You had said, “he original blog asserted that the reason for bringing it up was as an example of how the LDS church focuses on men rather Christ, and I just don’t see it.”

    The following quote is from “Gospel Principles” chapter 47 “Exaltation”. It is giving a list of requirements for exaltation:

    “To be exalted, we first must place our faith in Jesus Christ and then
    endure in that faith to the end of our lives. Our faith in Him must be
    such that we repent of our sins and obey His commandments.
    He commands us all to receive certain ordinances:
    1. We must be baptized.
    2. We must receive the laying on of hands to be confirmed a member
    of the Church of Jesus Christ and to receive the gift of the
    Holy Ghost.
    3. Brethren must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and magnify
    their callings in the priesthood.
    4. We must receive the temple endowment.
    5. We must be married for eternity, either in this life or in the next.
    In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands
    all of us to:
    1. Love God and our neighbors.
    2. Keep the commandments.
    3. Repent of our wrongdoings.
    4. Search out our kindred dead and receive the saving ordinances
    of the gospel for them.
    5. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can
    renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament.
    6. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of
    the Lord.
    7. Have family and individual prayers every day.
    8. Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
    9. Study the scriptures.
    10. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.

    Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow
    His direction in our individual lives.” http://lds.org/languages/pdf/gospelprinciples/GP_2010__00_00_CompleteManual__eng_.pdf (Gospel Principles 2009 pg 278-279)

    We must…we must…we must… can you see how the focus is on man now? Focus on Christ would sound more like this:

    “I, for one, am so comforted by the fact that my standing before God and my eternal destiny doesn’t depend on what I do or how good I am, but rests entirely on what Jesus has done for me and his perfect righteousness. As Paul states, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (Philippians 3:9) That also is my desire. To Jesus, not to myself, be all the glory.” -Mark Cares

  55. 55 Echo
    August 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Shem said: “The original blog asserted that the reason for bringing it up was as an example of how the LDS church focuses on men rather Christ, and I just don’t see it.”

    “The law says, ‘do this,’ and it is never done. Grace says, ‘believe in this,’ and everything is already done.”~Martin Luther

    The law here focuses on men, Grace here focuses on Christ.

  56. 56 Echo
    August 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Shem, Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).

    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)

  57. 57 rechtglaubig
    August 8, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Just like Athanasius, Augustine has qualifiers, which are missing from his quote from his “Exposition on Psalm 50”:

    “For He does justify, who is just through His own self, and not of another; and He does deify who is God through Himself, not by the partaking of another. But He that justifies does Himself deify, in that by justifying He does make sons of God. “For He has given them power to become the sons of God.” John 1:12 If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods: but this is the effect of Grace adopting, not of nature generating. For the only Son of God, God, and one God with the Father, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, was in the beginning the Word, and the Word with God, the Word God. The rest that are made gods, are made by His own Grace, are not born of His Substance, that they should be the same as He, but that by favour they should come to Him, and be fellow-heirs with Christ. For so great is the love in Him the Heir, that He has willed to have fellow-heirs. (Augustine, On the psalms, 50.2.)
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801050.htm

    What Augustine (and Athanasius) said is nothing like:

    “They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus
    Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (see
    D&C 132:19–20). President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The
    Father has promised through the Son that all that he has shall be
    given to those who are obedient to His commandments. They
    shall increase in knowledge, wisdom, and power, going from
    grace to grace, until the fulness of the perfect day shall burst
    upon them” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie,
    3 vols. [1954–56], 2:36; italics in original).” (Gospel Principles p 277)
    http://lds.org/languages/pdf/gospelprinciples/GP_2010__00_00_CompleteManual__eng_.pdf

  58. 58 shematwater
    August 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    rechtglaubig

    No, I don’t see how all the commands and the “check list” takes focus off of Christ. The problem is that you are focusing on this list, and not what is behind it. Read your own quote again.
    “To be exalted, we FIRST MUST PLACE OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST and then ENDURE IN THAT FAITH to
    the end of our lives. OUR FAITH IN HIM must be such that we repent of our sins and OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS.
    HE COMMANDS US all to receive certain ordinances
    …..
    In addition to receiving the required ordinances, THE LORD COMMANDS ALL OF US to
    …..
    Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow
    His direction in our individual lives.”

    The entire focus is still on Christ. We believe in him, we obey him; he directs us in our lives and brings us back to the Father.
    You give the focus as “We must…We must…We must…” but the true focus is “He commands…He commands…He commands.”
    Now, I agree that the focus is not the same as it is for you, but it is still on Christ.

    ECHO

    You said “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).
    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)”

    This is so blatantly false that I am surprised you can say this and still claim to understand LDS doctrine. Christ did not come into the world to save the righteous, for the whole have no need of a physician, but the sick (Mark 2: 17). Christ cam into the world not to save the righteous, but to make the sinners righteous so that they could be saved.
    Salvation will go only to the righteous, and so without the atonement no man could be saved for all have sinned. However, because of the atonement the sinner can become righteous and thus gain salvation.

    Please try to stop passing off false concepts as LDS doctrine.

    JBR

    I never once said I agreed with Ralph. What I said is that he was more convincing, and as a debater was doing a better job, while Echo seemed to simply complain. As such, if they were opposite each other in a debate tournament I would vote for Ralph, because he did a better job. This does not mean I agree with him, or believe what he says. It only means he is a better debater.

    As to God, I make no comment. I am sorry, but I am going to refuse to respond to a statement that is only made to openly mock that which I hold sacred. As Christ says, cast not your pearls before swine.

  59. 59 Echo
    August 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Shem said:

    ” ECHO You said “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).
    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)”

    “This is so blatantly false that I am surprised you can say this and still claim to understand LDS doctrine. Christ did not come into the world to save the righteous, for the whole have no need of a physician, but the sick (Mark 2: 17). Christ cam into the world not to save the righteous, but to make the sinners righteous so that they could be saved.
    Salvation will go only to the righteous, and so without the atonement no man could be saved for all have sinned. However, because of the atonement the sinner can become righteous and thus gain salvation.”

    Shem, that is exactly how I understand LDS doctrine, but listen to your own words because your own words agree 100% with what I said…

    “but to make the sinners righteous so that they could be saved.”

    “Salvation will go only to the righteous”

    Now compare your words with these words of mine: ““Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).”

    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV

  60. 60 shematwater
    August 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    ECHO

    It is not the same thing in the slightest.

    According to LDS doctrine Christ came into the world to save the sinner. The righteous have no need to be saved, but the sinner does.
    How does he save the sinner? By making him righteous.

    I wonder if you will ever see the difference in this?

  61. 61 Echo
    August 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I see the difference Shem. Let me explain some more or find out what you are thinking…

    “How does he save the sinner? By making him righteous.”

    Yes. That is how I understand what you believe also. But only the righteous can be saved(exalted) right?

  62. 62 rechtglaubig
    August 9, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Another quote was from the Church Father Irenaeus. Again, in full context he explains exactly what he means:

    “For after His great kindness He graciously conferred good [upon us], and made men like to Himself, [that is] in their own power; while at the same time by His prescience He knew the infirmity of human beings, and the consequences which would flow from it; but through [His] love and [His] power, He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil.” (Irenaeus, Against Heretics, 4.38.)

    What these ECFs that you have quoted are expressing, is how certain divine characteristics will be applied to those Christian believers after death. Characteristics like immortality, incorruptibility, and the restoration of the image of God. They are just as clear about the limitations, but these you leave out as well: “to become as the Father, is impossible for us creatures” (Athanasius), “For the one God was not made, and He is Himself alone truly God. But Himself the only God, Father and Son and Holy Ghost, is one God.” (Augustine), “As, then, there are many gods, but to us there is but one God the Father, and many Lords, but to us there is one Lord, Jesus Christ” (Origen).

  63. 63 rechtglaubig
    August 9, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Shematwater,
    Yes I read the quote. I read the entire chapter before posting it. I think the language used is pretty clear in who the actual focus is on. Calling the list I quoted “commands” doesn’t change the fact that the focus rests on the person that those commands are for. It rests on the person doing the actual work. The person that must question, “have I done enough, have I successfully completed all my tasks to become exalted?”

    You mention receiving the Holy Spirit. Page 122-123 lists the requirements for this, again placing the focus and burden on man.

    I agree that the focus is not the same as the Christian, but disagree that Christ is the focal point.

  64. 64 jbr
    August 9, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Shem….
    But what good is being a percieved better debater ..only other than to boast?

    Ralph is not going to debate anybody into Mormonism when it’s is clear that he has no interest here other than being antagonistic \ argumentative.

    Not telling who your spiritual grandparents isn’t what Jesus meant when reveal the “don’t give the pearls to the swine”. I do admit that even for you that was a good indication of this doctrine being downplayed.

    Oh shucks…….. woe is me…………Hewavenly Father runs a “good ol’ boy club”

    I can’t find out who the spiritual granparents are, so I guess we’ll just have to wait till we’re club members. :(

  65. 65 shematwater
    August 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    ECHO

    Yes, only the righteous can be saved, but that is not what you claimed LDS doctrine to be. Your statement is a false representation, as I have explained, and as you have subtly agreed with.

    JBR

    Not casting your pearls before swine was given as counsel to reserve the mysteries of the kingdom for those with the spiritual eyes and capacity to understand and embrace them. The knowledge of our Father’s Father, and our Heavenly Mother, most definitely are mysteries of the kingdom and thus I will not discuss such with the spiritually blind as they cannot truly appreciate nor understand the glory of such knowledge.

  66. 66 Echo
    August 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Shem said: “Yes, only the righteous can be saved, but that is not what you claimed LDS doctrine to be. Your statement is a false representation, as I have explained, and as you have subtly agreed with.”

    I said it like it is Shem…

    ““Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).”

    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV

  67. 67 shematwater
    August 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    ECHO

    And so you are wrong.

    “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).”

    What is this saying? This statement is implying that Christ does nothing for the sinner. It implies that we teach that some people are righteous in themselves and it is these people whom Christ saves. It implies that we have no doctrine of repentance in which the sinner can become righteous.
    Because of the implied lies that this statement brings with it it becomes a false statement that can only deceive those who lack true understanding.

    Added to this is the statement “Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)”

    Thus we add to the implied doctrine that Christ does nothing for the sinner, but we twist it even farther so that those lacking understanding are given a false comparison between the two.

    Your statement is false for it is deceptive and cannot teach the truth of the doctrine.

    The LDS believe that Christ came into the world to save the sinner by making him righteous.
    The rest of Christianity believes that Christ came into the world to save the sinner by being righteous.

    This would be a much better statement and cannot truly deceive the reader into any false ideas concerning the doctrine.

  68. 68 Echo
    August 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Shem, you have stated what you believe, that you believe that Christ came to make people righteous so that they can be saved. And I agreed that that is what you believe. You clarified your doctrine in that area now. And I still agree that that is what Mormonism teaches. So the readers will not be decieved. Nothing has been twisted.

    The point I was bringing up here is “exaltation”

    I was talking about being ‘exalted’ from the first time I made the point.

    The fact remains that in order to be exalted, as I stated before…

    “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).

    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)”

  69. 69 Kent
    August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Who is worthy to be saved? No one is worthy, I am not worthy, no one here is worthy, Moses isn’t worthy, the Aposltle Paul isn’t worthy, the Mormon living prohpet isn’t worthy, and Joseph Smith isn’t worthy.

    But the good news, the gospel, is that Jesus Christ is worthy and if we trust and believe in Him and what He did in our place on the cross, sinners who cannot save ourselves, He has already saved us by dying and rising again from the dead on the third day and we can be assured now, and not later, that we will be with Him and Heavenly Father forever.

    Below is the gospel:

    Corinthians 15:1-4

    1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures

  70. 70 Kent
    August 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Who is righteous? No one is righteous, I am not righteous, no one here is righteous, Moses isn’t righteous, the Aposltle Paul isn’t righteous, the Mormon living prohpet isn’t righteous, and Joseph Smith isn’t righteous.

    Romans 3:10

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”

    But, thank God, if we believe and trust in what Jesus Christ did in our place, sinners who cannot ever save ourselves, by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day, God sees His righteousness in place of our unrighteousness.

    Does repentance have anything to do with being seen as righteous in God’s eyes? Yes I believe it does but I believe true repentance is dying to ourselves and letting go of the notion that there is anything we could possibly do to save ourselves and so it is all about Jesus and the cross and not about us at all and there is nothing we can ever do to top what He already did for us.

    Our debt is paid in full and as Jesus said as He died on the cross, “it is finished!”

  71. 71 Kent
    August 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    As far as how I understand the the Mormon concept of repentance, that we are to conquer our sins. Well for the men out there how many of you, if you are honest with yourselves, don’t ever lust? I know I do at times, how about you?

    So if I was a Mormon and I went to my bishop and I told him I was having a problem with lusting and I went back and I still was having this problem, would he say that I had not repented because I hadn’t conquered this sin?

    But, chances are, if he was honest, he hasn’t conquered the sin of lust either and he probably, like the rest of us, never will while he is on this earth.

    I fine it interesting that hearing the testimony of an ex Mormon how he would go to his friends and say he was struggling with a particular sin, he didn’t specify what that sin is but I will assume here it was lust, but his friends would say, “really, you are stuggling with that?” As if they didn’t have the same thoughts and feelings he was going through.

    it seems that there is some hiding of people’s true thoughts and feelings going on in the Mormon world to make it appear to others that everything is going great in their thoughts and in their hearts.

    Matthew 5:28

    “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

  72. 72 shematwater
    August 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    ECHO

    Yes, there is deception as long as you continue to use that phrase. You again twist it with your little introduction sentence of “The fact remains that in order to be exalted, as I stated before…”

    As you stated it before was deceptive, and so if you are just returning to it you are returning to the deception. You may have admitted that I am right in words, but until you admit this phrase is not accurate your continual use of it shows a lack of sincerity in such an admission. As such I, nor the reader, am convinced, and thus the deception remains.

  73. 73 rechtglaubig
    August 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Shematwater,

    I do not know if this will help the discussion between you and Echo or not, but could you tell us what it means to you to be “righteous”?

    Thank you in advance!

  74. 74 Echo
    August 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Shem,

    This thread contains all the information you want the readers to be aware of because you have provided the information. I have no problem with you providing that information. That erases the so-called “deception” .

    I have not argued against any LDS doctrine that you have posted here on the matter, I have agreed with you entirely that you have provided accurate LDS doctrine. that too erases the so-called “deception”

    What is deceptive here is Mormonism itself.

    That… in spite of all the information provided by you and in spite of my complete agreement that all of what you have said is exactly what the LDS believes, you won’t admit that my statement is in fact true, when even by your own words it is proven true. But instead you are avoiding the statement by attempting to accuse me of being deceptive. It is Mormonism that is the deceptive one here. And you don’t see the deception in it. And you won’t see it until you lay down your pride and listen carefully. I encourage you to stop pointing your finger at me and instead think about the possibility that Mormonism itself might be the author of deception in this.

    The fact remains….

    “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).

    Christians believe the opposite: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)”

    You said: “Yes, only the righteous can be saved”

    That is exactly what I said in my statement.

  75. 75 shematwater
    August 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    rechtglaubig

    The righteous are those who keep the commandments and believe in God.

    ECHO

    “You said: “Yes, only the righteous can be saved”
    That is exactly what I said in my statement.”

    That is not what you said in your statement, which is why it is deceptive.
    Your statement does not agree with LDS doctrine, as I have explained.
    Simply put, in using this statement you want people to believe that the LDS doctrine does not contain mercy or forgiveness, but that yours does. It is false and the continued use of it reflects very poorly on your.

    As I said before, we do not think that Christ came into the world to save the righteous, but to save the sinner by making them righteous. This is very different than what you have said.

  76. 76 Echo
    August 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Shem said: “That is not what you said in your statement,”

    Shem, you stated that “only the righteous can be saved”. I stated “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).”

    How is your statement any different from mine?

    Shem said: “Simply put, in using this statement you want people to believe that the LDS doctrine does not contain mercy or forgiveness, but that yours does. It is false and the continued use of it reflects very poorly on your.”

    Only in your own mind Shem. Only in your own mind. You have always been free to post your beliefs here and you know it. We welcome it, and you know this too. I don’t deny that Mormonism believes in mercy and forgiveness. You have made these points very clear on this blog. I have never denied that you believe in mercy and forgiveness. So for you to say that I want people to believe that the LDS doctrine does not contain mercy or forgiveness is a false statement about me. I encourage you to make assumptions based on facts and not on fiction.

    Granted, the mercy and forgiveness that Mormonism believes in is very different from the mercy and forgiveness that Christians believe in. However, I don’t mind at all when you want to clarify your doctrines if you feel concerned about what others are thinking. And that is exactly what you have been doing. That’s perfectly fine. That’s welcome here on this blog. Keep up the great job of clarifying your beliefs for everyone.

    That said, why won’t you own up to the fact that my statement is true?

    Shem said: “As I said before, we do not think that Christ came into the world to save the righteous, but to save the sinner by making them righteous. This is very different than what you have said.”

    You contradict yourself, you have said: “only the righteous can be saved”.

    I do understand that the LDS Church would say: “Christ came into the world to save the sinner by making them righteous” However, I personally think that statement is deceptive. It implies that Christ saves the sinner. But that isn’t factual. That statement tells me that Christ did not come to save the sinner, what he really did is that he came to make the sinner righteous. He only saves the righteous. He does not save sinners.

  77. 77 rechtglaubig
    August 11, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Shematwater,

    Thank you. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, as my intent isn’t to put words into your mouth, but using your definition, would it be fair to say that when you said:

    “The LDS believe that Christ came into the world to save the sinner by making him righteous”

    …you also mean?

    “The LDS believe that Christ came into the world to save the sinner by helping them keep the commandments and believe in God”?

  78. 78 shematwater
    August 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    rechtglaubig

    In part, yes. But also to complete whatever they are unable to complete themselves. Even with Christ assisting us we are still sinful, as we have sins in our past. Christ helps us to progress so there will be no sins in our future, and then he completes our righteousness by erasing all previous sins. At the end of it all the righteous, through the grace of Christ, will truly become perfect.

    ECHO

    You said “That said, why won’t you own up to the fact that my statement is true?”

    Because it isn’t true, for the reasons I have given. I will not give any credibility to a deceptive statement.
    As to assuming things, my point is not that you actually desire this, but that your portray yourself as desiring this, which is not a good thing.

    As to the supposed deception, you again show a lack of understanding of the English language.

    Your statement says “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save(exalt) the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).”
    This is not true. I think I have been a little confusing before, so I will try a different approach.
    What makes this statement false and deceptive is the phrase “came into the world.” This implies that his purpose in coming here and performing the atonement was to save the righteous.
    The statement that “Mormons believe that Christ Jesus saves (exalt) only the righteous – those who are the best (those who are worthy).” Is a true statement, but it does not speak to the purpose of his coming to earth and performing the atonement.
    This is why I gave the statement as I did. His purpose in coming was not to save anyone, but to make salvation possible. He came to take the sinner and make him righteous. That was why he came to earth. He did this because only the righteous can be saved, and loves all sinners and desires their salvation. The sinner will be saved, but only if he yields himself to Christ and is made righteous through grace.

    Let us compare this to school, as I am so fond of doing.
    You stated that “Mormons believe that the teacher took the job to pass smart student – those who do the work.
    Christians believe just the opposite: the teacher took the job to pass the ignorant students— of whom I am the worst.”

    I correct that to “Mormons believe that the teacher took the job teach pass ignorant students by teaching them and making them smart.
    Christians believe just the opposite: the teacher took the job to pass the ignorant students by taking the test for them.”

    See the difference?

  79. 79 rechtglaubig
    August 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Shematwater,

    I am trying really hard not to make assumptions about what you believe, so I hope you continue to have patience with me if my questions sound redundant or silly.

    You said, “we have sins in our past”. When you say past, what point in time do you mean? Before conversion? Are you also saying that Christ’s Atonement doesn’t cleanse us from sin?

  80. 80 shematwater
    August 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Past is any time previous to the moment you are living in right now. At conversion all sins are forgiven, but that does not prevent the committing of sins after conversion.

    We sin, as it is in the nature of mortal man to succumb to the enticing of the flesh. To clarify, we are not born sinful, for a sin is a willful act, which had not yet committed. However, in the course of our lives sins will be committed and thus it can be said that all men are sinners.
    When we are converted and baptized our sins are washed from us in the water. At that moment we are truly perfect, for we are truly sinless. However, as we are still mortal, we will sin again. It is inevitable. And so we are granted the chance to repent and become perfect once more. This perfection is achieved every Sunday when we worthily partake of the sacrament. Thus, every Sunday we again are made perfect and sinless.

    What Christ does for us is work with our spirit and our will to bring our flesh into subjection to us. Yes, we sin, but as long as each day we sin a little less than the day before we are progressing towards perfection. This progression is made possible through the grace of Christ as he gives us the power to overcome all things.

    However, even if we were to progress to the point where we would no longer sin, we are still guilty of sin, for we have all committed it in the past. It is just like any legal system. A lifetime of good cannot nullify the justice against one crime. A person can be the greatest citizen, but if it s found that he committed a crime, even if it was years ago, he can still be punished for it. The same is true of Eternal Law and justice. It does not matter if we progress to the point of never sinning again; if there is a single sin in our past we are still unclean and cannot enter into the kingdom.
    Christ’s atonement makes it possible for every sin in our past to be washed clean, making us perfect and truly sinless.

    In effect it would be more accurate to say that Christ saves the sinner, for even after we have progressed we are still sinners and always will be. It is true that only the righteous are saved, but the righteous as not without sin. They are simply those who progress to have no more sin in the future. But because of past sins they are still sinners until the grace of God washes their past sins clean and makes them perfect.

  81. 81 Ralph Peterson
    August 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Again, Echo doesn’t understand LDS theology. Christ is unique among the sons of God, so we will never be a Son of God as He is, BUT as Paul taught we are sons of God.

    Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

  82. 82 Ralph Peterson
    August 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Sorry, but the doctrine of the trinity cannot be found in the Bible.

    http://student631.tripod.com/id16.html

  83. 83 Ralph Peterson
    August 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    But He said “it is finished” BEFORE He died. If it was finished before He died, why did He still need to die and be resurrected?

    Answer. Only the suffering was finished, NOT His work of salvation.

  84. 84 Ralph Peterson
    August 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Well said, Shem.

    Repentance from sin brings forgiveness of that sin.

    Matt. 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and RIGHTEOUS MEN have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

    Were those “righteous men” without sin? Or had they repented from sin and were now living in a state of righteousness?

    John the Baptist was righteous.
    Matt. 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

    Was he without sin?

    Matt. 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    • • •
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    Were these righteous without sin? Or were they living in a state of obedience?

    Luke 1:5 ¶ THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
    6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

    Were these righteous without sin? Or were they living in a state of obedience?


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