10
Nov
11

After all we can do

A passage that many Christians and Mormons have gone round and round on is from the Book of Mormon:  “For we know that it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23) I can’t count how many different ways Mormons have interpreted it.  Recently one interpretation I read said “all we can do” means we can’t do anything!  It doesn’t take a whole lot of research to discover that there is a wide variety of interpretations of this passage among Mormons.

But that is not the case with the official representatives of Mormonism.  In the latest General Conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an LDS apostle, stated:  “It would mock the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for us to expect that He should transform us into angelic beings with no real effort on our part.  Rather, we seek His grace to complement and reward our most diligent efforts (see 2 Nephi 25:23).” (my emphasis) (Ensign, Nov. 2011, p.39)

This is consistent with what the LDS manual True to the Faith says:  “The phrase ‘after all we can’ teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fulness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him.” (p. 77) This is consistent with the LDS Bible Dictionary.  “However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient.  Hence the explanation, ‘It is by grace that we are saved after all we can do.’ (2 Ne 25:23).” (p.697)  Those are just two of many examples.  Official Mormonism is consistent in its explanation of 2 Nephi 25:23.

Why then isn’t there consistency among Mormons?  And if you were in my position, as someone who is sincerely trying to represent Mormonism, who should I listen to as telling me what Mormonism teaches?  A regular LDS member or LDS apostles and church manuals?

Mormonism teaches that it takes effort – “total effort on the part of the recipient” to be saved.  If that is so, what should we conclude about anybody who doesn’t give “total effort”?

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30 Responses to “After all we can do”


  1. 1 Steph
    November 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    If we could pin down what Mormonism teaches there would be no need for your question, that is why we need to look to Jesus not institutions like the Mormon Church to guide us on how to be saved. If we rely on our “total effort” to be saved, we can conclude that we will not be saved because it is not by our efforts that we are saved. If we are to be saved, we must recognize if we have broken so much as 1 of the 10 commandments we are sinners and that separates us from a Holy God, we must repent of our sin and put our faith in Jesus Christ believing that He lived a perfect life, died for our sins on the cross and rose on the 3rd day. Jesus alone takes care of our sins. Beyond that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Put your trust in Christ and be with the Father God for all eternity. Don’t do this and be seperated from God for all eternity in hell.

    “It is always dangerous to tie salvation to the accurate belief and understanding of key doctrines. Salvation is never presented this way in the Bible. It is presented in the most basic way – renounce our own righteousness and cling to Christ’s righteousness instead. Salvation is by trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, not by trust in doctrines about the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christianity ceases… to be a matter of the heart, and begins to be an organized religion, there will always be the danger that the formal profession will be put in the place of the heart reality. That is why we will find a much greater percentage of unsaved “Christians” in institutionalized churches.” ~ Mark S. Ritchie

  2. 2 JBR
    November 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Why then isn’t there consistency among Mormons?

    Because if you’re busy going around making a case that if there is 30,000 different denominations show that the church fell into apostate to justify yourself… one has little time to self examine and hold Mormonism to the same standards.

  3. 3 JBR
    November 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    In other words… ” use the ruler of standards except to thine self “

  4. 4 WWJD
    November 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    ‘It is by grace that we are saved after all we can do.’ (2 Ne 25:23).

    In the OT God outlined the law, the things that must be done to make a person “right” with God. I have not been able to find a complete list of things that I must do in order to be with god in the celestial kingdom according to mormonism. If I am going to rely on being saved “after all I can do”, then why can’t I find a complete list of these things I have to do. If I can’t find this exact list, then how can I ever know if I have done all I ever need to do in order to be with god when I die? I am saved by grace through faith, not of works. I have put my faith in Christ alone. He died for my sins. There is nothing I can do to make myself right with God. I know I will be with God for all eternity when I die. Thank You Jesus!

  5. November 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Whether a person is a member of the LDS Church or they are someone outside of the LDS Church, the Scriptures of the LDS Church, the words of the LDS Apostles and Prophets, the words written in Church manuals are ALONE what define and dictate what the LDS Church REALLY teaches.

    BECAUSE…

    Any member of any Church (LDS or non LDS) can water down, manipulate or contradict the teachings of their own church. Many do this because they themselves do not want to believe what their church teaches. They are the unrepentant ones. The ones who’s hearts have turned away from their God. They have “Itching ears” and whatever doctrine or teaching they don’t like, can’t live up to, refuse to live up to, they refuse to own it, believe it, do it etc. So they change the clear teachings. These are they who will lead you astray and into apostasy and destroy your soul.

    LDS Apostles, Prophets, manuals, scriptures clearly teach this…

    On page 148 of the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith said…

    “Daily transgression and daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God.”

    That makes perfect sense in light of the following where it is taught that we can do everything God has commanded us, we must keep the commandments continually, the Lord cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance period, we should no longer have the desire or urge to sin and only those who forsake ALL their sins have completely repented. …

    1 Nephi 3:7 “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

    “DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS says you must keep the commandments continually 25:15: “Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.”

    ALMA 45:16: “…for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.”

    DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 1:31-32: “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven

    DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 58:43: “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”

    ALMA 11:37: “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.”

    “There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin….The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. …Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin. …To ‘try’ is weak. To ‘do the best I can’ is not strong. We must always do better than we can. …Discontinuance of the sin must be permanent…. the former transgressor must have reached a ‘point of no return’ to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin — where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, 1969, Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 163-165, 176, 354-355

    “Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness for our sins through sincere and complete repentance. … 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). Maintain an unyielding, permanent resolve that you will never repeat the transgression. When you keep this commitment, you will never experience the pain of that sin again.” —True to the Faith – A Gospel Reference, 2004, pp. 70, 134-135

    It would be absurd and damnable then to listen to a Mormon that waters down, modifies or contradicts what is CLEARLY outlined above. Those who alter the clear teachings presented above are those who don’t follow these teachings because they can’t or because they refuse to do so. They are the unrepentant ones!

    They are the “unbelieving” and the “liars” etc. and we know what happens to them…

    Revelation 21:8 ” But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    And Mormons can’t use the bible to water these teachings down either because according to Mormonism: everything (Apostles, Prophets, The BOM Doctrines and Covenants etc,) they all trump over the Bible! The Bible has been translated incorrectly and is missing many plain and precious truths! You can’t trust it, you can’t depend on it, for these very reasons! Something could be missing! So don’t revert to the Bible! The Bible is for the people who lived back then. YOU have your latter day scriptures!)

    God does not teach these things in the past in one way (example: one must continually keep his commandments) and then change his mind later and water that down or remove it. “God is not the author of confusion” “God is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

    So, if any Mormon wishes to water down these teachings now, go ahead. Be the devil’s little helper and show your face as you attempt to lead others to the same outer darkness you are heading to. Don’t use the devil’s excuse that “Echo doesn’t understand the teachings of Mormonism.” It is YOU who refuses to accept the teachings of Mormonism. It is YOU who refuses to believe all the quotes written above. They speak for themselves! They interpret themselves! It’s got nothing to do with me. It is YOU who refuses to follow your God. It is YOU who refuses and rejects what you call the word of God. It is YOU who is destroying souls for whom Christ died. You are unrepentant! You are an apostate of the LDS Church!

    How can you recognize an unrepentant apostate? They don’t continually keep the commandments.

    Mormons, you don’t have to live like this. You do not need to be a slave to fear. Mormonism has made you a captive in prison through teachings like this. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free, to release the prisoners.

    Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

  6. 6 WWJD
    November 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    ALMA 11:37: “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.”

    Tenth Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith regarding the celestial kingdom: “There will not be such an overwhelming number of the Latter-day Saints who will get there” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:15). Smith agreed with Apostle Francis M. Lyman’s assessment that “if we save one-half of the Latter-day Saints, that is, with an exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God, we will be doing well.”

    If I am LDS, the celestial kingdom is the only place I can be with god and the LDS can’t even be sure that they can get there. If I choose to be LDS, I can work toward the celestial kingdom, but it will still be unlikely that I will even get there.

    If I choose grace through faith in Christ, I get to know right now that I will be with God forever in heaven. If I am wrong and the LDS are right because I am a pretty good person, I will end up in the terrestial kingdom. I will not be with god, but I will get to be with Jesus.

    If the LDS are wrong, and they do not fully accept Christ 100% as their savior, but count on the LDS church to save them, they will end up tormented in hell and separated from God for all eternity.

    Choose the LDS church and gamble with your soul or choose salvation through Christ and save your soul.

  7. November 14, 2011 at 1:12 am

    this was quite entertaining….and I guess I am the “devils little helper” (thanks Echo)….but YOU GUYS DO NOT UNDERSTAND the Gospel as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

    you are spinning circles and it is pretty funny!

    Mark asked: ” If that is so, what should we conclude about anybody who doesn’t give “total effort”?”

    I guess the answer is “if someone doesn’t care enough to give total effort, then they will reap what they sow. It is called the “law of the harvest”.

    Not all Christians will be “saved” and not all LDS will make it to the Celestial Kingdom. Just because someone is baptized doesn’t mean he is in. He must do his part. Just like the Savior taught!

    ~anne

    (i was out of town for the week…what did I miss?)

  8. 8 shematwater
    November 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    MARK

    Just remember that it is not up to you to determine if a person is giving total effort. Not all people have the same capability in all things. As such, you may see a person who is doing less than you, but they may be their “total effort.”

    As to the scripture you reference, it is a commonly misunderstood scripture. It does not mean, as many people want to believe, that there is a list of things to do that, once complete, Christ will come in and finish the job. I will admit that even I talk about it in this way at times, but this is not truly accurate.
    All we can do refers to our efforts in being righteous, not to a specific list of required. We struggle and work for perfection, and as long as we are sincere in our effort the grace of Christ will work in our life to give us the strength we need to do more. We act on this strength and we are given more; and so it continues until through the grace of God we are made perfect and personally strong.
    It is much like an exercise workout. The more you do it the more you are able to do. If you don’t push yourself you will never gain the greater strength. The grace of God is power by which the spiritual muscles are strengthened after an intense workout, making it possible for us to do even more.

    WWJD

    There is a list, if you will, of commandments that are required for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. For instance, baptism is the gate that leads to the kingdom. Faithful fulfillment of ones duties in the church is also on the list. Abstaining from dishonest behavior, immoral actions, or unclean foods is also on that list.
    No, we do not have a single place in which all commands are listed out so that we can go through and check them off as we do them? This is not God’s desire. The truth of the matter is, any person who is truly living his life as directed by the Holy Spirit though personal revelation given directly to them will enter the Celestial Kingdom and be exalted. This is what is taught and what the true Gospel of Christ means.
    Beyond this you give many errors in your last post. First of all, God will be in all levels Heaven, not just the Celestial Kingdom. Christ will be known in the Terrestrial, and the Holy Ghost in the Telestial. As all three are God, we will all be in the presence of God. It is only in the Celestial Kingdom that we will be in the presence of the Father, yes.
    Now, anyone who is faithful and striving to live a righteous life (speaking of members) will be fairly guaranteed a place in the Celestial Kingdom. The quotes you give are speaking of Exaltation, which is only one of three degrees within the Celestial Kingdom. It is truth that not as many members as people like to think will receive exaltation, but many more than what you are portraying will be in the Celestial Kingdom.
    Then you have to go and try to degrade our reliance on Christ by falsely stating that we don’t rely on his as our savior. I know you put the 100% part in there, but it makes little difference. You are wrong. I rely 100% on Christ for my salvation, as does every other faithful member. We also rely 100% on fulfilling his commands. Putting reliance on one does not reduce our reliance on the other. Without Christ there is no way to be saved, and thus salvation is completely dependent on him. However, without our own effort there is no way to be saved, and thus it is completely dependent on us. One does not remove or reduce the need for the other.
    Just as there can be no marriage without the Groom, nor without the Bride, and thus the ceremony is 100% dependent on both; so too do we rely 100% on Christ for our salvation, but also on our own effort, for both are required.

    (I will post again soon)

  9. 9 shematwater
    November 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I was planning to make a comment to others who have posted on this thread, but I have decided against it. ECHO and JBR have posted only insulting mockery of our faith, which desires no response, and anything I might say to STEPH would most likely be off topic and thus pointless to this thread. So, I will make no comment concerning their posts at this time.

  10. 10 Bart
    November 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Here is the list you asked for:

    http://www.Afterallwecando.com

  11. 11 JBR
    November 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    What one may see as mockery, another may see a pointing out the obvious double standard … like how Jesus did with the Pharisee’s with their self righteous attempt to being saved. No doubt Jesus made attempts to certian Pharisee’s the error of their misplaced beliefs in a not so blunt of a tone. But then certian Pharisee’s just made it their business to run obstructional arguments and counter points and finally Jesus called it for what it is.

    This may not be my place to do so nor it may not be productive to the larger audience… and could very well be that I run the risk to be asked to stop posting here…. but at some point you move on.

    I bet with some research … that your presence here is approx the same as the time as the Pharisee’s interaction with Jesus. It’s no longer who thinks their pov is correct … being this is Mark’s blog, it’s time for you to move on.

    And with Anne openly admitting why she is here…only shows who has the spirit of mockery and hostility

  12. November 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    JBR, I totally agree with everything you said.

    I also think there comes a time when Mark needs to put the axe to the tree that bears “only thistles” and let new LDS people come here instead.

  13. 13 shematwater
    November 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    JBR

    One can argue and even point out double standards in the beliefs and actions of others without having the spirit of mockery. It is this spirit that portrays the person as arrogant and prideful. I will admit that I have indulged in this at times, but never as the first comment on a thread, and generally only in response to the mockery of others. It is a fault of mine that I am working on.

    Now, for a person to simply use mockery as their primary tactic in discussion makes them a pointless part of the discussion, and thus not worthy responding to.

    Your supposed double standard is a false argument, based on fallacious logic that is used only to twist meaning. The church itself is very clear on the doctrine, and it holds itself to the same standard as it does every other organization.
    If you are going to accuse individuals of a double standard than your point becomes fairly meaningless. Every organization will have members that display a double standard, including every church.

  14. November 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    JBR,

    I think Shem doesn’t understand what mockery is. Neither your post or mine was written with the intent to make a “humorous laughing stock”(mockery) “to make fun of”(mockery) out of Mormons in any way, shape or form. We take LDS teachings seriously. We take Mormons seriously, we take apostate Mormons seriously. WE don’t desire to make a laughing stock out of Mormons or to make fun of them, including apostate Mormons. Not at all. What we do desire is to lead them to repentance.

    In fact we were rebuked by a Mormon posting here for taking things “too seriously” (the very opposite of mockery) and were also condemned for desiring to put an end to their mockery (desire to make a laughing stock out of – make fun of) us.

    Mockery-another word Mormonism has redefined.

  15. November 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    JBR,

    I guess I should be offended….but I am not. The ONLY reason I keep coming back is to post the truth and oppose the mission of the TLM. The TLM, in my humble opinion, is the devils work. (tearing down another’s faith is evil) So that makes me guilty of hostility and mockery? wow….who knew?

    Mark quotes an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ with derision (subtle, but it is there) and I AM THE BAD GUY??

    o kay……..

    NOT one of you guys “get” what Shem and other LDS have to say. NOT ONE….not even Steph…the supposed ex-member (still doubting that one).

    Why the negativity? If our religion is so false…then why is it flourishing? Why didn’t God strike it down?

    If it is false, it will not matter in the end, will it? But it is not false. It is the restoration of Christ’s original Church. It has been carved out of a mountain without hands! no puny arm can stop it!

    so….why can’t we discuss the Gospel and not get so huffy? i.e.: “I believe this….but i think you believe that, gee that is interesting”

    In the long run we are all brothers and sisters. I am speaking for Shem here (hope that is OK), but we get tired of the tirades and the snottiness. ENOUGH!

    “lovingly”,

    anne

  16. November 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Echo,

    re-read the cracks about polygamy and spirit wifery in the last topic and that will refresh your memory about mockery. I don’t think it strays from its definition in the least.

    ~anne

  17. 17 shematwater
    November 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    ECHO

    From Dictionary.com
    mock·er·y
    noun, plural -er·ies.
    1. ridicule, contempt, or derision.
    2. a derisive, imitative action or speech.
    3. a subject or occasion of derision.
    4. an imitation, especially of a ridiculous or unsatisfactory kind.

    mock
    verb (used with object)
    1. to attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision.
    2. to ridicule by mimicry of action or speech; mimic derisively.
    3. to mimic, imitate, or counterfeit.

    Now, if you care to examine yours and JBR’s various posts, both here and in past threads, you will notice a common theme of imitating our beliefs in a manner of ridicule that displays a contempt for them. Thus, you are mocking us. Mockery is not about making someone a laughing stock, or using humor to ridicule. It is any form of contempt and derision shown in word or action towards another person, group, or idea. You mock us, and now you try to weasel your way out of admitting it by claiming a false definition to the word and accusing us of changing it (just another mockery by the way).

    Example: JBR uses our statements and beliefs that the division among Christianity are evidence of it’s error to attempt to create a double standard in us. In so doing he has mocked our doctrine; or has imitated what we believe for the purpose of ridiculing us.
    Then there is your first post, in which you quote and misuse the words of great men to ridicule our doctrine. You imitate the scriptures to show your contempt for them.

    You are mocking us, and it is your own arrogance and pride that blinds you from seeing it.

  18. November 15, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    JBR.

    As I said, Shem doesn’t understand what Mockery means even after he has looked up and provided the definition.

    He (Shem) said: ” Mockery is not about making someone a laughing stock, or using humor to ridicule.”

    mock·er·y

    Web definitions

    jeer: showing your contempt by derision

    parody: a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody’s style, usually in a humorous way

    parody: humorous or satirical mimicry
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    (mocking) derisive: abusing vocally; expressing contempt or ridicule; “derisive laughter”; “a jeering crowd“; “her mocking smile“; “taunting shouts of `coward’ and `sissy'”

    (mocking) playfully vexing (especially by ridicule); “his face wore a somewhat quizzical almost impertinent air”- Lawrence Durrell
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    The action of mocking; ridicule, derision; Something so lacking in necessary qualities as to inspire ridicule; a laughing-stock; Something insultingly imitative; an offensively futile action, gesture etc; Mimicry, imitation, now usually in a derogatory sense; a travesty, a ridiculous simulacrum
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mockery

    (mocking) action of the verb to mock; derisive or contemptuous; teasing or taunting
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mocking

    A specific act of ridicule or derision; sarcasm; making fun of
    http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading60/vocabulary_for_weasel.htm

  19. November 16, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Shem and Anne, I fully admit I have contempt for LDS teachings. Why?

    Psalm 119:163 “I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.”

    Proverbs 13:5 “The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked bring shame and disgrace.”

    So I am not going to apologize for that.

    Does my hatred and contempt for LDS teachings mean I hate and have contempt for Mormons themselves?

    Absolutely not! I don’t hate Mormons, I love them. But you refuse to believe me. That’s your fault, not mine. That’s the animosity in your own heart, not mine. JBR and others here love Mormons also but you refuse to believe them also. We show our love by attempting to show you what is wrong with LDS teachings and how it is unbiblical so that you can be rescued from them. But you refuse to listen.

    Nothing we say to Mormons is intended to harm you as individuals. It’s all intended to rescue you from all the false teaching you believe in that is destroying your soul. If you ask me….the very thing that we are doing by doing all of this, is the most loving thing we can do for you. We are trying to rescue you from going to outer darkness, don’t you understand that? That is a good thing!

    But there comes a time when “love” will let go. When hearts remain too hard to believe we really do care and really do love the LDS people there is no longer any point in having a discussion. The animosity or hatred in your own hearts is what prevents us from being friends. And we have tried countless times to turn you away from those sins that were made apparent in all you said and did, but you were unwilling and instead turned all those efforts intended to create peace between us, back on us. You claimed those efforts of ours were “personal attacks” when all along they were not “personal attacks” they were efforts to stop all the “personal attacks” coming from you. Why do we need to stop your “personal attacks”? Because when you continue in them, you show that you still have animosity in your hearts against us and by it, you continually harden your hearts. Your animosity keeps you from listening to us and believing we love Mormons.

    Love never penetrates hard hearts. You have hardened your own hearts against us. There is nothing we can do for you. Sadly, we must let you go. For even though we desire to be your friends, you don’t desire to be our friends and ultimately, out of love for you, we must let you have what you desire.

  20. November 16, 2011 at 12:58 am

    They weren’t cracks Anne. I was deadly serious. Polygamy is a destructive doctrine and brings great harm and suffering to women such as yourself. That breaks my heart.

  21. November 16, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Anne said: “I guess I should be offended….but I am not. The ONLY reason I keep coming back is to post the truth and oppose the mission of the TLM. The TLM, in my humble opinion, is the devils work. (tearing down another’s faith is evil) So that makes me guilty of hostility and mockery? wow….who knew?”

    The thing is Anne, if you truly believed that tearing down another’s faith is evil and the devil’s work, why are you tearing down our beliefs then? I don’t mean to sound mean or anything but isn’t that a little hypocritical? What I mean is, it’s fine when you do it, but it’s the devil’s work when we do it. JBR is right, you hold us to much higher standards than you hold yourself up to.

    The fact of the matter is that the Bible is filled with people who tore down the false beliefs of others in efforts to save them.

  22. November 16, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Your contempt is “love”. My contempt for your mission is a personal attack, hard heartedness and animosity.

    So, am I banished? Do you speak for Mark? (or are you Mark?) Am I not welcome here anymore?

    Maybe, just maybe WE know something YOU DO NOT KNOW…..actually there is NO MAYBE about it!

    Why is YOUR heart hard against OUR attempts to teach you the TRUTH???? hmmmmmmmmm?

    as usual…you can sure dish it out, but you can’t take your own medicine!

    ~anne

    waiting breathlessly to see if i am banished!

  23. November 16, 2011 at 4:25 am

    a little heads up……our Church does not practice polygamy. God’s true Church has had polygamy in the past….(see the Holy Bible). But it is not sanctioned at this time.

    PS was it destructive to Jacob? Abraham? Nope! Not when it is practiced under the authority of God.

  24. November 16, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Anne said: “Do you speak for Mark? (or are you Mark?) ”

    I do not speak for Mark. I am not Mark.

    I really would love to learn more about Mormonism and therefore I will continue to do so because maybe there is something in Mormonism that I do not yet know, just like you said.

    God Bless you Anne.

  25. November 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    there is a whole wealth of information that you have probably never heard of…..including the importance of covenants and having the Holy Ghost bestowed upon you by authority.

    ask away….or better yet, contact the local LDS congregation for a missionary visit by a Ward Missionary.

    believe me when I say that the stuff you read on the internet from anti-Mormon sources (any source that is not official LDS could be tainted….including “Steph”) is not accurate. It is designed to deceive. go to mormon.org or lds.org for the facts.

    ~anne

    our church is loaded…..i mean LOADED with bright, articulate professionals. It is NOT a hick religion. We are not all “fooled”. There REALLY is something to this! I used to be a Christian like you. The Gospel makes COMPLETE sense, it matches up perfectly with the Bible and is fulfilling and rewarding.

    thanks for the blessing….right back at ya!

  26. 26 markcares
    November 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Anne:
    You are not banished. But it truly saddens me how such serious topics like salvation are so easily cheapened by flippant comments. For example, you said I quoted an LDS apostle with derision. You are dead wrong. In fact, if you would truly read what I wrote, you would see that I was saying he was speaking consistently with official Mormonism – something that I appreciate. What I don’t appreciate is when LDS members don’t speak consistently with official Mormonism and then tell me that they are right. I also don’t appreciate you speaking lies about me.
    Again I hesitate to banish people. But I would ask you to have your words reflect the serious nature of the discussion. If that is something beyond you, please refrain from commenting.

  27. 27 shematwater
    November 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    ECHO

    I understand the word Mock and Mockery, and that is what you have engaged in, whether you want to admit it or not.

    Since you want to bring into the conversation my perceptions of things and your declared motivation, I will explain to you exactly what your words lead me to believe. Please don’t try and claim that it is all my hatred (which I don’t have) or arrogance (which I will admit to a little). It my be my perception, but it is my perception of your words; if you chose your words more carefully my perception would be different.

    So, I will get to it.

    You and JBR have the same basic attitude. Now, from what I can see you both have what is a genuine love for the ‘LDS members,’ as long as they remain in that abstract description, and are not person people. Once a member becomes known as an individual, and not a part of the abstract collective, that love breaks down very fast, especially if they refuse to swallow everything you try to ram down their throats.
    You both show a contempt, not only for the doctrine, but for any individual who believes and actively defends it. You are arrogant and prideful, constantly raising yourselves up as the perfect examples of love towards others, while at the same time cursing any LDS member who opposes you as hate filled and vile. This pride blinds your minds to any error or fault that may be in you, and forces you to assume that the error is in those that see yours. After all, it must be their perception, as you couldn’t possibly be the way they describe.
    The only real difference between you two is your tactics. JBR will give various quotes and discuss a topic up until the point that he is unable to actually address the opposition, at which point he will simply list off as many doctrines as he can that are unique to the LDS church, and word them in a way as to mock and ridicule, in the hopes of diverting the conversation away from that point which he failed to address.
    You, on the other hand, never fail to resort to personal accusations of sin to try and block a person who is actually trying to discuss a subject, and then lecture us on personal attacks assumptions. This shows your use of double standards and hypocrisy, which you then try to twist around onto us. You also frequently admonish us to thoughtfully consider what you say, as you just may be right; but then you refuse to thoughtfully consider what we say, even though you ceremoniously admit you may be wrong. A tactic meant only to ingratiate yourself in the eyes of those who read your words.
    When it comes to your profession that you want to learn of the LDS church, because of everything else, I am forced to conclude that you have no real desire to learn about us, but to learn what you can to use against us and strengthen your own resolve that we have to be wrong.

    This is my perception of you are JBR, and despite this I still have great fun discussing almost anything with you.

  28. 28 shematwater
    November 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Since I am on the subject, I would like to say a few words regarding other people posting on this blog.

    Kent
    At first I found him kind of annoying. No matter what the topic of the thread was he would always seem to bring up the JST and get hung up on Genesis 50. He did not seem arrogant, only narrow visioned. However, in more recent threads I have found him to be one of the most genuine people on this blog. His desire to understand doctrine seems honest, as does his rather direct position that it will never convert him, as he is right. I do sense some pride in him, but then we all have that problem to some extent.

    rechtglaubig
    In many ways he is like Kent, but seems to have more learning. Arrogance does not appear in his words, and he is always willing to discuss in a civil manner. I cannot recall any time in which his posts contained any attacks, whether against people on this blog, or against leaders of the church. He is one who is genuinely here to discuss and teach what he sees at the truth, having no enmity against the people or the doctrine of the LDS church, despite the fact that he believe we are all misguided by false doctrine. I wish he would post more often, as I think he is the one that would generate the most beneficial discussions.

    Mark
    He is a good man seeking to teach those who cares about. I don’t see a lot or arrogance or pride in anything he says, though on occasion his articles seem to ridicule without understanding. However, from everything he has said and posted I think to be an honest mistake, or simple fault that many are guilty of (including me). He does his best to honestly address the various topics that he sees as important, and generally succeeds. His only failing that I would comment on is his hand off approach to governing the comments and discussions on the blog. It is a small matter, however, and in all I think he does a good job.

    Anne
    She seems to be a woman who, though she has love for all people in the abstract sense (like Echo and JBR), she is easily irritated and quickly looses her cool. She believes strongly in the doctrine of her church, but does not always have the wisdom or control to defend it effectively. She is also one to carry a grudge, in that she seems to bring all the animosity and hostility from one thread to the next. She is brazen in her tactics, forward in her posts, and not afraid to be aggressive (actually preferring to be so). These things frequently lead to rash comments that should not be made, and serve to only escalate the tensions that exist. She is very perceptive as to meaning and purpose, but this is to frequently lost in her posts. However, I do think she believes she is in the right, and that she would cease her aggressiveness if the frequent posters would actually show her some respect, something that is generally lacking.

    Shem
    He is a man who is well versed in the scriptures and knowledgeable regarding LDS doctrine (more so than any non-member posting here). However, he does tend to be annoyed easily, especially by the double standards, assumptions, and personal attacks made by others. At times he is arrogant, though he tries hard not to be. His understanding of the scriptures does tend to lead to an attitude of pride, though his sincere desire for civil discussion does lessen the effects of this. He is one that will not be aggressive in his posts until pushed to the edge by the comments of others, at which point he will reply viciously and without mercy. Once on agitated to this point the thread will mostly likely end before he does. However, he generally does not carry this to the next thread.

  29. November 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Shem said: “You are arrogant and prideful, constantly raising yourselves up as the perfect examples of love towards others”

    If I thought of myself as the perfect example Shem, would I have made an apology in the thread about winning the person like I did?

    Thank you so much Shem for your dishonest comments. You are lying about me.

  30. 30 shematwater
    November 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    ECHO

    How is giving my opinion and perception dishonest? If this is the way I see things it is not dishonest to state that I see them in this way. The dishonest thing would be to say I saw them in a different way.
    So, once again you have to twist my meaning and intent in order to make it me who is at fault.

    I have no wish to cause hard feelings. I wish to discuss doctrine, compare interpretations, and learn from each other. It is not me who starts the accusations and attacks.

    Such comments as “The animosity or hatred in your own hearts is what prevents us from being friends.” and “Because when you continue in them, you show that you still have animosity in your hearts against us and by it, you continually harden your hearts” shows your own animosity and hatred for me.

    Let us go back through the threads and see who has spoken the first personal attack in each. I will admit that in the previous thread I did, which was a mistake that should not have been made. But in all the others it has been you, with your constant cry of us being sinners. Yes, this is a personal attack, especially when it accuses us of a sin that is not ours.
    Of course, you have to try and turn this around in the guise of “rescuing” us. Your entire comment made November 16, 2011 at 12:41 am shows a contempt for me as an individual. It is full of personal attacks and accusations, displaying your own double standards.

    Don’t make personal accusations against me and then complain when I return the same to you.


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