02
Dec
11

FAITH IN JESUS’ WHAT?

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

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

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

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

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69 Responses to “FAITH IN JESUS’ WHAT?”


  1. 1 Steph
    December 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    We put our faith in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. He paid the price for our sins so that we, by believing in Him, can go before a Holy God freely forgiven of all of our sins past, present, and future. Faith has nothing to do with our works:

    “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH IN HIS BLOOD,…” (Romans 3:25)

    “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified BY FAITH without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

    “But to him that worketh not, but BELIEVETH ON HIM that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

    “For ye are all the children of God BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.” (Gal. 3:26)

    “Since we heard of YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS,…” (Col. 1:4)

    We must put our faith in the work of Christ 100%. We can not do the things the Lord commands without putting our faith in Christ first because all our “righteous acts are like filthy rags” before God ~Isaiah 64:6. Once we put our faith in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, then it is with the help of the Spirit that we are able to keep the Lords commands.

  2. 2 Kent
    December 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Good points Steph, because if it is at all about what we do, keeping the oridinances (the law), then we are being disobedient because we are establishing our own righteousness and we have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

    Romans 10:1-3

    1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and SEEKING TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, HAVE NOT SUBMITTED TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. 4 FOR CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES.

    Again, the work we are to do is to believe in Him whom He sent and if it isn’t all about having faith in Christ, then we are being disobedient.

    John 6:28-29

    28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
    29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

    I am sure Shem or someone else will post a long list of commands that we are told to do that are in the Bible and while God wants us to do those things, if it isn’t about faith in what Jesus did completely, then we have to keep them 100 percent of the time our whole lives and never falter.

    But thank God it isn’t about what we do but it is about what Jesus did so we are able to follow His commands without the pressure of having to be perfect after His yoke and burden is light and we can rest in the knowledge that Jesus did all of the work for us.

  3. 3 Kent
    December 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

    By the way, for example, I understand that if Mormons don’t tithe to their church that they can’t worship in the temple so I assume it would mean they could never enter the celestial kiingdom. As isn’t tithing one of the so called gospel ordinances that they are to follow?

    But consider that if someone doesn’t tithe to a mainstream Christian church, he or she can enter heaven where Heavenly Father is if he or she believes in who the real Jesus of the Bible is and if they have complete faith in what He did on the cross to save them, sinners who can never save themselves, and by rising again on the third day.

    Again, the bridge that is wider than the ocean between Mormonism and what we believe is whether grace is, as the Mormons say, only after all we can do or if grace is a free gift that we can never ever earn by anything we do.

    I would much rather rest in the arms of my savior with the knowledge that He did all the work for me on the cross and the only yoke on me is His yoke, believing in Him and what He did 2000 years ago. Mormons, it is a free gift so take it and rest from your labor as really if it is at all about what you do, then you will never be able to do enough no matter how hard you try.

    Matthew 11:28-29

    28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

  4. 4 WWJD
    December 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    “Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own poor performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.”

    Horatius Bonar (1809 – 1889)

    “The firm foundation for faith to rest upon is the sure Word of God, and Divine testimony: by it alone is faith supported and established. Frames and feelings have nothing whatever to do with it, nor is spiritual confidence either begotten or nourished by them. Assurance comes from implicitly receiving the Word into the heart and relying upon it.”

    A. W. Pink (1886-1952)

    “Pardon of sin is according to the riches, fulness, and freeness of the grace of God, (Eph. 1:7) the promise of it in the covenant is free, absolute, and unconditional, (Heb. 8:12) the proclamation of it in the gospel, bore witness to by all the prophets, is the same, (Ex. 34:6; Acts 10:43, 13:38) the blood of Christ was shed freely for it; and though it cost him dear, it is all of free grace to sinners, without money and without price. Christ is exalted as a prince to “give” it; and God, for Christ’s sake, frankly forgives all trespasses, (Acts 5:31; Luke 7:41, 42; Col. 2:13) and it is vouchsafed to the worst and chief of sinners, (1 Tim. 1:13) and to great backsliders, ungrateful persons, guilty of sins of omission and commission, (Hosea 14:4; Isa. 43:22-25).”

    John Gill (1697 – 1771)

  5. 5 Kent
    December 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    When I was talking about tithing I wasn’t saying people should not give to their church but that is isn’t a requirement to be in the mansions where Heavenly Father is when we die.

    It is only by the blood of Jesus that we can be there, who Jesus is and what He did, and nothing else.

    Besides, if it is a requirement it becomes a burden so how can anyone truly give with a cheerful heart if they think they won’t be with Heavenly Father if they don’t give?

    So if a Mormon cannot enter the temple if he or she doesn’t tithe and therefore cannot ever be in the Celestial Kingdom where Heavenly Father is, how would anyone know if they tithe or not unless their church keeps records that show who tithes and who doesn’t?

    If that is the case, then their deeds are being done to be seen by men and the Bible says giving is supposed to only be between the individuals and God and although the passage below is regarding charity, I believe it would apply to giving to someone’s church as well.

    Matthew 6:1-4

    1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

  6. 6 shematwater
    December 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    It is beautiful how ignorant people are concerning the LDS doctrine.

    In the original article it is stated that “any mention of Jesus’ works for us is completely absent in James E. Talmage’s words – even though he is describing faith “primarily”

    The problem with this statement is that it is false, showing a lack of understanding regarding Elder Talmage’s words. In the quote given we read “faith as a living, inspiring confidence in God…” This is a direct reference to the works of God. We have a living, inspiring confidence in who God is and what he does, that it will always be for our benefit. We believe completely in his Atonement (as it is one of his works) that saves us, if we also submit to his will and law. To say that we omit faith in his works, or that Elder Talmage does not mention such as part of our faith, is false.

    KENT

    Actually, I thought I would just quote James chapter two in which we are told strait out that without works to prove our faith we cannot be saved, for our faith is then dead.
    We do not believe in works alone, but in this case would agree more with Steph, in that “we put our faith in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, then it is with the help of the Spirit that we are able to keep the Lords commands.” We simply acknowledge that no matter what our faith, if we don’t use the power of his spirit to keep the commands than our faith has done us no good.

    Now, I would just like to say that your posts show that you do not understand LDS doctrine at all. The Temple is not required to enter the Celestial Kingdom. Baptism is the strait and narrow way that leads into the Kingdom of God, or the Celestial Kingdom. Those who are baptized, and believe, can enter the Celestial Kingdom even if they are not worthy to enter the Temple. As such, your statements are confused with ignorance and lack any convincing truth.
    As to your analogy with Tithing, you are in error. It is a requirement, but that does not make it a burden. It is only a burden to those who lack understanding of what it is to be free. The laws of God are not meant to bring a person into captivity, but to free them and open as many opportunities to them as possible.
    I am free to choose to pay tithing or not. Whatever my choice is I must be willing to accept the responsibility of that choice, or I am not free, but in bondage to my own desires.
    So, if I choose not too I am then barred from the Temple, and opportunities have closed. But if I choose to pay that Tithing, not only will I be blessed for doing so, but those same opportunities are now open to me, and I again have a choice of whether to take advantage of them or not. The burden is not in paying tithing, but in not paying tithing; just as the burden of any command is in not following it. If we accept the laws of God and obey them we will find ourselves in total freedom, with no opportunity being denied us. But if we choose to disobey God we bring ourselves into captivity and eventually will find that all opportunity has been closed to us.

    I have never felt a burden from Tithing or any other command, but I have felt the captivity of disobedience.

    As to us establishing our righteousness, this is a common accusation, but it is still false, and is bread by those who are ignorant concerning our doctrine, as well as what is meant by establishing your own righteousness.

    To obey God is not to establish my righteousness, but to establish God’s, for it is his command. If I were to seek to establish my righteousness I would give my own commands and declare that following them is the right path, but would ignore God’s commands. This is not what we teach or what we believe and practice.
    An Analogy: A King sends his servants to work in the vineyard, giving his instructions on how to tend the trees and harvest the fruit. One servant goes and does as he is instructed, bring the fruit to his master’s store house. Another decides to harvest fruit that is not yet ripe (against orders) and tries to store them in his own room, claiming them as his.
    Which of the servants has established the King’s authority and works, and which has established his own?

    In other words, to establish the righteousness of God is to do the righteousness of God. To establish your own righteousness is to do what you declare to be righteous.

    Non-Mormons: Grace is a gift freely given by God to those who know what to do with it. Accept it, and then use.

  7. December 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Shem said: “To obey God is not to establish my righteousness, but to establish God’s, for it is his command. If I were to seek to establish my righteousness I would give my own commands and declare that following them is the right path, but would ignore God’s commands. This is not what we teach or what we believe and practice.
    An Analogy: A King sends his servants to work in the vineyard, giving his instructions on how to tend the trees and harvest the fruit. One servant goes and does as he is instructed, bring the fruit to his master’s store house. Another decides to harvest fruit that is not yet ripe (against orders) and tries to store them in his own room, claiming them as his.
    Which of the servants has established the King’s authority and works, and which has established his own?”

    Mormons establish their own righteousness when “celebrating” Adam and Eve’s disobedience/rebellion to God’s command of: “Do not eat or you shall surely die”

    Everything a Mormon now does is rooted in this rebellion against God in order to become a God.

    Adam and Eve “ignored God’s command”. Something “celebrated” in Mormonism.

    Mormonism declares that Adam and Eve’s path leads to Godhood. “(against orders)”

    (Type in search: Celebrate Eve’s act at http://www.lds.org)

  8. 8 Steph
    December 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Salvation per Mormonism:

    Per Shem: “We believe completely in his Atonement (as it is one of his works) that saves us, if we also submit to his will and law.”

    Per http://lds.org/new-era/2005/03/tough-topics-are-you-saved-by-grace-or-works?lang=eng&query=grace

    “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”—A of F 1:3

    “Besides repentance, our works also include receiving ordinances, keeping covenants, and serving others. While these works are necessary for salvation, they aren’t sufficient. They are not enough because we can’t live perfect lives, but we can do our best to live righteously. By doing so, we invite the Lord’s grace into our lives and qualify for the gift of salvation.”

    “We believe that we are saved by grace after all we can do (see 2 Ne. 25:23). ”

    The issue at hand is whether or not this salvation, this justification, is attained by faith or by faith and something else.

    God’s testimony in the Bible says it is by faith and nothing else:

    1.John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
    2.Rom. 3:22, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”
    3.Rom. 3:24, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”
    4.Rom. 3:26, “for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
    5.Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
    6.Rom. 4:3, “For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
    7.Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”
    8.Rom. 4:11, “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,”
    9.Rom. 4:16, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.”
    10.Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
    11.Rom. 5:9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”
    12.Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”
    13.Rom. 9:33, “just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
    14.Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
    15.Rom. 10:9-10, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
    16.Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
    17.Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
    18.Gal. 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
    19.Gal.3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
    20.Gal. 3:8, “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.”
    21.Gal. 3:14, “in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
    22.Gal. 3:22, “But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”
    23.Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”
    24.Eph. 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
    25.Eph. 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
    26.Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
    27.1 Tim. 1:16, “And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

  9. 9 Steph
    December 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    As for James 2:24 “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”

    We would have to dicount all of the other verses I have listed in order to accept this verse as it stands. God does not contradict Himself in His Biblical testimony to us. We have to take this verse in context.

    From http://carm.org/verses-showing-justification-by-faith:

    The scriptures clearly teach that we are saved (justified) by faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross. This faith alone saves us. However, we cannot stop here without addressing what James says in James 2:24, “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”

    There is no contradiction. All you need to do is look at the context. James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us to not show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law. Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.

    James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith but has no works, “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14). In other words, James is addressing the issue of a dead faith; that is nothing more than a verbal pronouncement. It is empty of life and action. He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17, words without actions). Then he shows that that type of faith isn’t much different from the faith of demons (verse 19). Finally, he gives examples of living faith that is words followed by actions. He writes of Abraham and Rahab as examples of people who demonstrated their faith by their deeds.

    In brief, James is examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2:20).

    Also, notice that James actually quotes the same verse that Paul uses to support the teaching of justification by faith in Rom. 4:3. James 2:23 says, “and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'” If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example.

  10. 10 shematwater
    December 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    ECHO

    First of all, Adam and Eve could not establish their own righteousness because they had no clue what that meant. They did not have an understanding of good and evil, and therefore could establish no one’s righteousness.
    One must know what it is to be good before one can choose to do so. Without understanding there is no real choice.

    STEPH

    The issue has nothing to do with “whether or not this salvation, this justification, is attained by faith or by faith and something else.”
    the issue at hand is do we believe in the works of God. When we speak of faith are we speaking to the works that God has performed for us or not. That is what the original article is addressing, and that is what I addressed.

    The difference between the LDS and the rest of Christianity is this: The rest of Christianity, when they speak of faith, speak to Christ’s work for them, and then leave it at that. The LDS, on the other hand, when we speak of faith we speak to Christ’s work for us, and what that inspires us to do in submitting to him and accepting his law.
    It is not as Mark implies, that we ignore the first, but that we never speak of faith without including the later.

    Speaking of Faith, if you had any understanding of the LDS doctrine you would know that it is faith that saves us, or it is faith, and only faith, that carries that power to gain the approval of God and thus salvation. It is the first ruling principle on which all things are based.
    It is by faith that miracles are wrought and by faith that repentance is achieved. It is by faith that we are saved, for without faith nothing will please God. It is true ignorance to claim that this is not part of our doctrine.

    However, we make no distinction between “Saving” or “Living” faith and “dead” faith. Faith is faith. Either you believe in God or you don’t. it is a simple thing. But one who has faith must choose to act on that faith or it will soon die and he will be left without faith. That is the message of James.
    Actually, what you say concerning James is almost in perfect agreement with LDS doctrine. There is no contradiction, as it is faith that saves. But faith can only save once it has been tested and proven by works. Thus our faith is counted unto us for righteousness (Romans 4: 3) but only after it has been proven by our works (James 2: 20). And thus both are required.

  11. 11 Steph
    December 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Shem, I believe we are addressing faith according to the Bible vs faith according to Mormonism. To me, the issue is the difference in saving faith.

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

    For Bible believing Christians, it is our faith alone that leads to our salvation. We put our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for our salvation and nothing else (works, ordinances, covenants).

    Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

    Gal. 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

    This is very different in comparison to LDS saving faith which is faith in the work of Jesus + LDS ordinances + LDS covenants.

    Per LDS.org: In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:10-12; Mosiah 3:17; Moroni 7:24-26; Articles of Faith 1:4). We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.

    If you take a look at the verses I listed previously, God did not say that we are saved by “striving to live according to His will.”

    Salvation is given through the work of Christ alone.

  12. December 5, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Shem said: “One must know what it is to be good before one can choose to do so. Without understanding there is no real choice.”

    Adam and Eve were created good, so they knew what it is to be good. Genesis 1:31 ” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

    Then God said: “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

    Adam and Eve had complete understanding.

    Adam and Eve ate anyways.

    Mormonism “celebrates” this SIN.

    Therefore Mormonism “celebrates” evil.

    Mormonism calls evil good and good evil.

    Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

  13. December 6, 2011 at 3:55 am

    I loved this post…thanks!

  14. 14 shematwater
    December 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Can we stop the stupidity?

    STEPH

    Our saving faith has very little to do with our works or any ordinance. You are truly ignorant of our doctrine. Even the quote you give shows that you have no understanding.
    It is faith that saves, and nothing else. I have no faith in my works, or in the fulfilling of any ordinance, except to the extent that I have faith in Christ and he has commanded it. If it were not for Christ it would all be vain.

    Analogy: I was driving to my father’s house, but I did not know the way. So I called him and asked for directions. I have faith in my father, faith that the directions he gives me will lead me to his house; and so I follow his directions and I make it to my destination.
    Was my faith in my ability to turn the wheel, or operate the accelerator and break? Was my faith in the car that I am driving? No, because if my faith was in these things I would not have sought my father’s assistance, or would have ignored it after receiving it. My faith was in him to know what I must do, and then to follow his directions to do it.
    In the same way, my faith is not in anything I do, or in any ordinance of the gospel. My faith is in Jesus Christ and his Father; and it is that faith in them that causes me to do the works and complete the ordinances, because that is the directions they have given, and I have enough faith in them to follow them.

    No matter how much you want to try and falsely portray the doctrine the church, this is the truth: Faith is what saves men, and nothing else; but faith will only save after it has been tested, just as Abraham was tested.

    ECHO

    I have seen a very good computer, a masterful machine that is justly pronounced to be ‘good’ when it is fully created. But it has no power of choice; no understanding.

    Adam and Eve were created ‘good’ which simply means that the physical state they were in was approved by God; that He found the final product of His work to be satisfying. It means absolutely nothing concerning their powers of discernment or understanding.
    We read in Genesis 2: 25 that they had no shame in being naked, which shows that they had no understanding of modesty; no grip as to the appropriateness of covering ones body.
    We also read that it was the fruits ability to give one an understanding of Good and Evil that made it so tempting to Eve. This was the great temptation in Genesis 3, the understanding of Good and Evil.
    Both of these facts are confirmed, as we read that after eating the fruit their eyes were open and they became ashamed of their nakedness (3: 7), as well as the pronouncement of God that they had gained a knowledge of Good and Evil (3: 22).

    Adam and Eve had no understanding of what good and evil were before they ate of the fruit; as such they had no real power of agency as not knowing is no choice. As such, they could not establish anyone’s righteousness, as such requires a conscious and discerning thought.

  15. 15 shematwater
    December 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I apologize for my outburst at the beginning of my last post. It was uncalled for.

  16. December 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Steph,

    It’s interesting how Shem often accuses us of not knowing LDS Doctrine and of having no understanding.

    The thing that strikes me most is that I believe that you and I have a far greater understanding of LDS doctrine than Shem does because he has never said anything to me that I didn’t already know.

    Especially when he says that to you Steph. You were once LDS were you not?

    The Apostle Paul once was a Pharisee and he understood the doctrine of the Pharisees much better than those who remained as Pharisees because God had opened his eyes. The Apostle Paul knew what was wrong with the teachings of the Pharisees and he knew how destructive those teachings were. But the Pharisees were so stiff necked and deaf, they would never be able to understand how this could be true.

    I can just picture the Pharisees saying to the Apostle Paul: ” You are truly ignorant of our doctrine. Even the quote you give shows that you have no understanding.” But the truth of the matter is the Pharisees were dead wrong and so is Shem.

  17. December 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Shem,

    God alone has the knowledge of Good and Evil. God is the creator, we are his creation. All things were created by him therefore God is self-governing. That is to say…God is the Government over all his creation or all that he has created.

    The tree that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is to say…Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from the tree of self-governance.

    This is self-governance…

    **Self-Government rather than God governing over us.

    **It is freedom from God’s external control and influence

    **It is “independence” from God

    **It is immunity from God’s authority

    **It is the freedom to act or function independently from God, despite what God says.

    NOW you can understand exactly why God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of self-governance! Self-governance destroys us. It brings sin, suffering, physical death and spiritual death!

    If having the knowledge of good and evil meant what you and the devil think it means, why didn’t God just go ahead and tell them to eat from it?

  18. 18 Steph
    December 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Shem, if I die today I know for sure that because I am saved by the blood of Christ alone, I am going to be with God the Father in heaven.

    If you die today, do you know for sure and certain without any doubt in your mind where you are going to go? If so, how do you know because it is my understanding you will not know the answer to my question until you are dead because that is based on your works. Please keep in mind that Joseph F. Smith once stated that only about 50% of LDS followers will make it to the celestial kingdom.

    Does anyone else here believe that LDS “saving faith has very little to do with our works or any ordinance”? I really don’t think I have misunderstood this: “We believe that we are saved by grace after all we can do (see 2 Ne. 25:23). ”

    If I am understanding Shem correctly, there is no need for anyone to be a member of the LDS church since anyone who has a “saving faith” and believes in God is going to be with God when they die. I know who Jesus is, what he taught, I put my faith in him, I am following the example of Jesus. I am no longer LDS. So Shem, please tell me what I need the LDS church for?

  19. 19 Steph
    December 7, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Echo, I pulled my info from LDS.org so I am confident that I am understanding what they are teaching. The question really is do the LDS know what their church is really teaching? What Shem has said is a good example because it is contrary to the information published by the LDS church. I figure he is either ignorant of the teachings of his church, he really believes what he is saying, or he is tyring to cause confusion. And yes, I was LDS which is probably why I seem to make him so angry. LDS church members are especially harsh with those of us who have left the lie.

    I would encourage people to do their own investigating.

  20. 20 shematwater
    December 7, 2011 at 2:27 am

    ECHO

    So what you are saying is that we have no agency to act for ourselves.

    Your definition of self-governing is skewed (and you complain that we have different definitions). Self-governing is the power to govern oneself, or to make rational informed choices. I am self-governing, because I am capable of making rational, informed choices.

    You also miss the fact that Genesis states that “the man is become as [God], to know good and evil” (3: 25). God himself has declared that the effect of eating the fruit was to give man an understanding of Good and Evil. As such your declaration that only God has this knowledge is in direct contradiction with the Bible, which you claim to believe.

    As to understanding LDS doctrine, neither you nor Steph has any understanding. You can claim to know everything I say all you want, but if that is true than you are intentionally lying almost every time you claim to state LDS doctrine, as you rarely get anything right.

    STEPH

    Your history in the church means almost nothing. Having spent so much time out of the light the mind naturally forgets what it once knew; just as a blind person soon looses the understanding of what their family looks like, so you have lost any understanding you might have once had, as you have spiritually blinded yourself to the greatest truth and light that was ever on the earth.

    Yes, you quote LDS sources, but merely quoting them does not mean you understand them; and your continual misinterpretation and explanation of them testifies to your lack of understanding.
    Example: you quote “Per LDS.org: In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:10-12; Mosiah 3:17; Moroni 7:24-26; Articles of Faith 1:4). We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.”
    You then state “God did not say that we are saved by “striving to live according to His will.”

    Your error is that this quote from LDS.org is not saying we are saved by striving to do his will, but that our faith is strengthened by so doing. In truth this quote you give makes no direct statement concerning salvation at all.
    So, what is it say? It is saying simply that you need three things to have faith: the first is an assurance that the object of your faith is real, the second is an understanding of that object, and the third is an understanding that it approves of you.
    So, it is faith that saves, but in order to have faith in Christ we must first believe that he exists; we must understand his character (it is hard to believe in someone when you don’t know how they will act); and we must have an understanding that our lives are approved by him, or are in accordance with his will. Once we have these things we can exercise the faith necessary for salvation, but until then.
    Still, it is faith that saves.

    Now, to conclude I will state clearly that I am assured of where I would go if I died right now, and it would be the presence of my Father. I know what President Smith said, and it changes nothing. You are again misunderstanding the words of great men. I have an assurance, a witness from the spirit, of where I would be at this time, and all men can have that same witness; it is just that not all men seek it.

    As to your understanding of my words, it is about as accurate as your understanding of any LDS doctrine. As you have stated, a “saving faith” will lead into good works, the first of which is baptism into Christ’s church by the authority of his appointed servants (Mark 16: 16).
    Simply put, how can anyone claim to have true faith in Christ and then refuse to follow his directions concerning our salvation. If you asked a man for directions on the street, and then ignored him you would be a liar to say you believed him. Just so, those who claim faith in Christ, and then refuse to follow his directions have made themselves liars.
    1 John 2: 3-6
    “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are bin him.
    He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

  21. December 7, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Shem, can you answer my question?

  22. 22 Steph
    December 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Per Shem: “Your error is that this quote from LDS.org is not saying we are saved by striving to do his will, but that our faith is strengthened by so doing. In truth this quote you give makes no direct statement concerning salvation at all.”

    My quote: “In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:10-12; Mosiah 3:17; Moroni 7:24-26; Articles of Faith 1:4). We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.”

    “In order for faith to lead to salvation” Is this not a direct statement concerning salvation? I don’t see the word strengthened here.

    Per Bruce McKonkie:

    Unconditional or general salvation.

    This salvation is immortality. It means to be resurrected and go to any of the kingdoms of glory. It refers to being saved from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment. And it comes to all men except the sons of perdition

    Conditional or individual salvation.

    By this is sometimes meant salvation in the celestial kingdom, which is reserved for those who obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel, although in the full sense it is limited to those who gain exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world.

  23. 23 Steph
    December 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Bottom Line:
    The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
    Galatians 1:8
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Galatians 1:9
    As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    Mormonism is another gospel that the Bible warns about. The apostles were with Christ, they knew Him, they taught us that all we need to do is believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ; that we are sinners in need of a savior and that the blood of Christ was attonement for our sins. If we believe and proclaim this, we will be in heaven with God when we die. If we don’t do this, we go to hell when we die which is eternal and from which there is no escape. These are the teachings of the Christian faith as established by the apostles and accepted for thousands of years. The Bible and historical Christianity say nothing of Mormon teachings regarding having to obey the ordinances and laws to be with God when you die nor does it say that hell is only for the sons of perdition nor does it teach that general salvation comes to all men.

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Christian faith as taught in the Bible is faith in the work of Jesus alone for salvation and has nothing to do with obeying laws, ordinances, or what church you belong to.

  24. 24 Steph
    December 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Romans 5:1
    Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Romans 9:32
    Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

  25. 25 WWJD
    December 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    —2 Corinthians 11:3-4. Paul warns us about ‘another Jesus’, which is not of the Bible; this other ‘Jesus’ is the one worshipped by the LDS church, according to Gordon B. Hinckley, “President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.’ “—LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7. This ‘Jesus’ of the LDS church cannot bring salvation or eternal life because, “…We cannot obtain salvation and eternal life by worshipping fake Christs…” — Elder Bernard P. Brockbank, The Ensign, May 1977, pp. 26-27

    As a true believer in Jesus Christ, I know that I:

    ■Am delivered from the power of darkness…Col. 1:13
    ■Am redeemed…Col. 1:14
    ■Have eternal, everlasting life…John 3:15-16, 1 John 5:13
    ■Am in Christ…Col. 3:1
    ■Am a son of God…John 1:12-13; 1John 3:1
    ■Am passed from death into life…John 5:24
    ■Am reconciled to God by the death of His Son…Rom 5:10
    ■Am justified by the blood of Christ…Rom 5:9
    ■Am holy and without blame…Eph 1:4; 1Cor 1:8
    ■Have no condemnation…Rom 8:1
    ■Have forgiveness of sins through His blood…Eph 1:7
    ■Have Christ in me…Col. 1:27
    ■Am complete in Christ…Col. 2:10
    ■Have heavenly citizenship…Phil 3:20
    ■Am sealed with the Holy Spirit…Eph 1:13
    ■Am in the church (body of Christ)…Acts2:47; 1Cor12:18
    ■Am baptized by the Holy Spirit…John7:39; 1Cor12:13
    ■Have all my needs supplied…Phil 4:19; 1 Peter 5:7
    ■Have constant availability of God our Father, because of the priesthood of Jesus Christ Himself…Hebrews 4:15-16
    ■Am already seated in heaven, in Christ…Col. 3:1-4; Eph 1:3
    ■Am thoroughly furnished unto all good works by the Bible…2 Timothy 3:16-17
    ■Have a wonderful Saviour, Who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think…Eph 3:20

    From: Testimony of a Christian @ http://networkedblogs.com/rckiH

  26. 26 shematwater
    December 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    WWJD

    I agree with President Hinkley. We do believe in different Christs. So why don’t you leave the false Christ as taught by traditional Christianity and embrace the Biblical Christ that is being proclaimed anew by the prophets of our day?

    STEPH

    The bottom line is that you are wrong, and so far have said nothing that is true.
    Concerning the quote, I missed the beginning, but that is simply because you were commenting on the last part, which I still hold to my explanation of.

    As the quote says, for our faith to lead to salvation it must be centered on Christ. In other words, it is faith in Christ that saves.
    The rest of the quote simply explains how e gain that faith in Christ, and yet you tried to make it say that is how we are saved, and thus you were wrong.

    Now, I love the quote from Brother McConkie, but it does not mean that it is not faith that saves. As I have pointed out, faith must be tested, and one who claims faith in Christ and yet does not obey him is a liar. So, yes the full salvation of the Celestial Kingdom or exaltation is given on condition of obedience; but that is because it is our obedience that proves our faith.
    The judgment of God is very much like a court here on earth. In court a man is tried based on his guilt or innocence. But the court does not simply declare him to be innocent or guilty; it calls forth the evidence to prove one or the other. And so witnesses are questioned, physical evidence is examined, and experts testify. When it is all hashed out a ruling is made.
    So too, in the courts of heaven a man is tried based on his faith or lack there of. But God is not going to simply declare a man to have faith or not. He is going to call forth the evidence to prove that faith. And so witnesses will be called, lives will be examined, and after all has been revealed a man’s reward will be determined by the level of his faith, as proven by his works.
    Only the righteous will enter exaltation, because they are the ones will faith sufficient to guide their actions into righteousness. The disobedient will not inherit this glory, because their faith was not sufficient to guide them into this righteousness.

    We talk about the obedient, and at times I can see people becoming confused. But the simple fact is that it the Grace of God that saves, working on the faithful to exalt them in heaven. Our works have no power of salvation in themselves, but are simply the evidence of how pure our faith is.

    (Speaking of Galatians 1: 8-9; why do insist on following a different gospel than the one Paul and the Apostles taught? Why must you follow an apostate faith that so far removed from the truths of the Bible?)

  27. 27 shematwater
    December 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    ECHO

    Yes I can, but I don’t feel the inclination too at this time.

  28. December 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Shem said: “So what you are saying is that we have no agency to act for ourselves.”

    Adam and Eve had the agency to obey God or disobey God. They disobeyed God. The rebelled against God. They sinned against God.

    By partaking of the fruit they were in fact self-governing. They decided, in their self governance,…

    ** That eating the fruit was good even though God told them not to eat it.
    ** They declared themselves immune to God’s authority.
    ** They freed themselves from God’s external control and influence.
    ** They made a decision independent from God, in fact opposed to God.
    ** They acted independently from God despite what he said.
    ** They governed themselves rather than let God govern over them.

    Those are in line with the definitions of self-governance that I gave.

    Your definition of self-governing is skewed (and you complain that we have different definitions). Self-governing is the power to govern oneself, or to make rational informed choices. I am self-governing, because I am capable of making rational, informed choices.

    My definition is fine. Yours is skewed. Anyone can Look it up online under “autonomy”.

    Shem said: “You also miss the fact that Genesis states that “the man is become as [God], to know good and evil” (3: 25). God himself has declared that the effect of eating the fruit was to give man an understanding of Good and Evil. As such your declaration that only God has this knowledge is in direct contradiction with the Bible, which you claim to believe.”

    In Genesis 3:22-24 God said: “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
    So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

    Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were perfect (sinless). God created them to live forever. In the Fall, Adam and Eve sinned and were no longer perfect. They now became sinners because of this one single sin.

    When God says: “the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” he is saying that Adam and Eve, like God himself, have become self-governing.

    Notice then that God said: ” and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever…and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”

    To keep the way means to guard the way. Adam and Eve can no longer eat from the tree of life and live forever.
    Now it is simply impossible for Adam and Eve to do anything that will enable them to live forever.

    One sin, one single sin is all it took to damn Adam and Eve to outer darkness. So don’t think that doing all you can do will benefit you either Shem.

    James 2:10 says that one sin is enough to make you guilty of breaking God’s whole entire law. God’s whole law, everything he commands us to do and not to do is THE law, THE law is like a balloon. It only takes one small pin prick to pop the entire balloon. It only takes one small sin to make you a law breaker and a breaker of all of the law…

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

  29. December 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Shem said: “Yes I can, but I don’t feel the inclination too at this time.”

    Answer the question please?

  30. 30 shematwater
    December 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    ECHO

    Why should I answer the question? You have given me no reason to.

    As to everything else you have said, let us review; these are things you have said.

    “God alone has the knowledge of Good and Evil.”

    “By partaking of the fruit they were in fact self-governing. They decided, in their self governance… (list provided) …Those are in line with the definitions of self-governance that I gave.”

    “When God says: “the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” he is saying that Adam and Eve, like God himself, have become self-governing. ”

    (from the above mentioned list)
    “That eating the fruit was good even though God told them not to eat it.”
    “They made a decision independent from God”
    “They acted independently from God despite what he said.”
    “They governed themselves rather than let God govern over them.”

    I think this shows things rather well.
    First you have stated that only God has the knowledge of good and evil; then you state that Adam and Eve concluded that eating the fruit was a good thing.
    You also state that the act of eating the fruit was an act of self-governance; and then say that it was the act that gave them the power of self-governance.
    These are just two contradictions you have made in your stated belief concerning Adam and Eve and the Fall.

    Only God knows good and evil, but Adam and Eve were still able to tell one from the other; and it took self-governance to eat of the fruit, but it took the fruit to give self-governance.
    Please to not be too alarmed when I reject such confusion and contradiction.

    Either God is the only one with the knowledge, and thus Adam and Eve could not sin, as they had not understanding; or they always had understanding, and God is not the only one to have such knowledge.
    Also, either eating the fruit was self-governance or it caused self-governance; both cannot be true.

    And on a final note, you stated also that “God is self-governing. That is to say…God is the Government over all his creation or all that he has created. ”

    This is not in line with the definition of Self-Government, as it take the autonomy of everything away and gives it to God. As such you have made a third contradiction in your words.

    Please try to keep things strait.

  31. 31 WWJD
    December 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Shem said, “I agree with President Hinkley. We do believe in different Christs. So why don’t you leave the false Christ as taught by traditional Christianity and embrace the Biblical Christ that is being proclaimed anew by the prophets of our day?”

    Because the LDS Christ is NOT Biblical. The Bible, not the changed version or JST, tells me who Christ is and that is what traditional Christianity has been based on for thousands of years. We had the Bible first as the accepted word of God and in that word of God, God warned us against following different gospels and false prophets. Joseph Smith changed God’s word in order to present another gospel and Joseph Smith does not pass the Biblical test of a prophet due to his false prophecies.

    Sorry Shem, I am going with what God said, heeding His warnings, and will not follow you over the cliff.

    Shem said, “(Speaking of Galatians 1: 8-9; why do insist on following a different gospel than the one Paul and the Apostles taught? Why must you follow an apostate faith that so far removed from the truths of the Bible?)”

    First you try to tell us your faith does not include works and now you try to tell us you believe the Bible to be true when we all know the LDS church teaches that the Bible is corrupt.

    I don’t think anyone is buying what you are twisting. If you keep misrepresenting Mormonism with the things you are saying, I seriously doubt anyone is going to keep reading your posts.

  32. 32 shematwater
    December 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    WWJD

    Joseph Smith changed nothing. He simply corrected what others had previously changed, restoring the Bible to its original form.
    It is all in perspective, and as such to use things like this in a discussion of doctrine is simply a cop-out; a way of avoiding actually discussing the doctrine.
    I am all for admitting that we have different gospels, but to try and close out the discussion based on this is ridiculous.

    (And Joseph Smith never had a false prophecy, but I am not going to discuss it here.)

    Now, I have to say I am a little disappointed that you would join in the twisting of words that Echo and Steph are so fond of. I was hoping you wouldn’t stoop to that.

    You said “First you try to tell us your faith does not include works and now you try to tell us you believe the Bible to be true when we all know the LDS church teaches that the Bible is corrupt.”

    If you care to read what I have said you will see that I very much embrace works, and have freely admitted that the LDS church teaches the necessity of them. What I have stated is that it is not the works that save, which is LDS doctrine.
    Simply put: You could take all the good works and ordinances that are required of us by God, and a man who has done them all, but has done them without faith, will not be saved. It is impossible.
    It is faith that saves us, but it is after that faith has been proven by our works; for if a man says he believes in Christ, and yet does not obey him, he is a liar (1 John 2: 3-6) and will also not be saved.
    I have never denied our works are needed, but I have simply explained that it is on Faith that everything hinges; for it is by faith that the Atonement becomes active in our lives unto salvation.

    Concerning the Bible, you really have to be ignorant to think that a belief in some translational errors mandates a rejection of a work. No, the Bible as it stands has not been perfectly preserved, but that means nothing to a man of faith. The great majority of it has, and one who truly has faith can rely on God to reveal to him those that have not, as well as their original intent.
    Honestly, this is just another tactic that is used to try and shut down the discussion, and has no place in honest discussion.

  33. December 8, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Shem said: “As to everything else you have said, let us review; these are things you have said. “God alone has the knowledge of Good and Evil.””

    The context of my words were these..

    “God alone has the knowledge of Good and Evil. God is the creator, we are his creation. All things were created by him therefore God is self-governing. That is to say…God is the Government over all his creation or all that he has created. The tree that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is to say…Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from the tree of self-governance.”

    In context, what I am attempting to convey to you is that God is the Government over all that he created. Therefore he alone has the “right” to decide what is good and what is evil. He governs the heavens and the earth and everything in it. So when I say that God alone has the knowledge of Good and Evil, I mean that he alone has the right to choose what is good and evil because he alone is in the position of self-governance over all that he created.

    Adam and Eve do not have the “right” to choose what is good and evil as if they were in a position of self-governance over themselves and/or others.

    Adam and Eve certainly knew what was good because they were created good. God also told them what was good to eat so they knew that as well. When God told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they knew right then that eating from the tree wasn’t good.

    So Adam and Eve already had knowledge of “GOD’S knowledge of good and evil”. Did you catch that? (GOD’S Knowledge of good and evil) But eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in attempt to become like God mean’s that GOD’s knowledge of good and evil is erased from the picture and it becomes “Adam and Eve’s own knowledge of good and evil”, Adam and Eve’s own self-governance in which they decide for themselves what is good and what is evil regardless of what God has to say on the matter. This self-governance that they were reaching for was the freedom from God’s external influence or control. It’s an independence from God.

    Shem said: “Please to not be too alarmed when I reject such confusion and contradiction.”

    Don’t worry Shem, I am not alarmed at all. Nothing I have said is confusing or contradicting. It’s just very unfortunate that every attempt I make to simplify things for you just never is enough to enable you to grasp what I am saying. I will keep trying to simplify it even more for you. Give me some time and thank you for your patience in this.

    Shem said: “And on a final note, you stated also that “God is self-governing. That is to say…God is the Government over all his creation or all that he has created. ”

    This is not in line with the definition of Self-Government, as it take the autonomy of everything away and gives it to God. As such you have made a third contradiction in your words.

    au•ton•o•my = A self-governing country or region; Freedom from external control or influence; independence.

    Shem said: “Please try to keep things strait [sic].”

    Yes Shem please try to keep things straight.

  34. 34 WWJD
    December 8, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Shem said: “Now, I have to say I am a little disappointed that you would join in the twisting of words that Echo and Steph are so fond of. I was hoping you wouldn’t stoop to that.”

    Shem, Just a thought, if there are 3 of us that are not understanding what you are trying to convey, then maybe it is you who is not being clear? I don’t believe I twisted your words, but expressed my understanding of what you posted.

    Shem said: “What I have stated is that it is not the works that save, which is LDS doctrine.”

    Are you now saying that Mormonism is not a works based religion? What does “works” mean to you?

    What about this statement that was posted earlier:

    Conditional or individual salvation.

    By this is sometimes meant salvation in the celestial kingdom, which is reserved for those who obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel, although in the full sense it is limited to those who gain exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world.

    Are obeying laws and ordinances considered to be works?

  35. December 8, 2011 at 3:26 am

    WWJD,

    When Shem says stuff like: “Now, I have to say I am a little disappointed that you would join in the twisting of words that Echo and Steph are so fond of. I was hoping you wouldn’t stoop to that.”

    It’s because he is using the: “poisoning the well fallacy”

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

  36. December 8, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Here are some quotes from Mormonism where they claim that Adam and Eve did not sin…

    “The Fall of man became a blessing in disguise…I never speak of the part Eve took in this Fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of sin…it is not always a sin to transgress the law” (Joseph F Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pp.114)

    “The decision of Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit was not a sin, as it is sometimes considered in other Christian Churches.

    (Preparing for Exaltation (Mormon Sunday school Material)

    Here are some quotes from GOD’s word where it clearly states that Adam and Eve sinned…

    Hosea 6:7 “7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant— they were unfaithful to me there.”

    Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as SIN entered the world through one man[Adam], and death through SIN, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—”

    Romans 5:14 “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not SIN by breaking a command, AS DID ADAM, who was a pattern of the one to come.”

    1 Timothy 2:14-15 “ For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived;

    it was the woman[Eve] who was deceived and BECAME A SINNER’

  37. 37 Steph
    December 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    “As Christ’s righteousness is the only merit that can exalt us to the presence and to the kingdom of God; so that doctrine alone is to be considered as evangelical which depresses the righteousness of man, and exalts the righteousness of Christ: leading us to trust, not on what we do, but singly on what He has done and suffered for us. The business of the Law is to knock us down from the pedestal of self-confidence, and to grind us small; as Moses ground to power, and dispersed, the materials of the Israelitish idol. The business of Grace is to lift us from the dust, to settle us upon Christ the rock of ages, to put a new song of free salvation into our mouths.”

    Augustus M. Toplady (1740 -1778)

    The answer is: Faith in Christ ALONE!

  38. 38 Steph
    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    blas·phe·my (blsf-m)
    n. pl. blas·phe·mies
    1.
    a. A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity.
    b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God.

    How blasphemous it is for a group of people to believe they can exalt themselves to godhood.

    “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” (D&C 132:20.)

    Shem, you can try to sugar coat the LDS definition of faith to your very dying breath, but you are not fooling me or anyone else. LDS faith is faith in a different Christ, faith in the LDS church and faith in your own works. You are trying to make your faith sound very Christian, but you can’t deceive me.

    Be careful Shem because the quote from D&C above sounds very much like this:

    Isaiah 14:12-15
    12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    Luke 10:18
    18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

    The LDS would like to have us believe that Lucifer was cast out for rejecting God’s plan, but God’s word is clear: He was cast out of heaven for his sin of pride and his desire to be God.

    Ephesians 2:8-9

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

    Mormons, Christ is the only one who can exalt you to the presence and kingdom of God through His righteousness, please don’t be deceived.

  39. 39 shematwater
    December 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    ECHO

    You are still very confusing. The Knowledge of God’s knowledge? Do you really expect me to take this seriously?
    You also have still retained your contradiction on Adam and Eve’s self-governance. If they gained the power by eating of the fruit than how could they have had the power in order to eat it in the first place.
    Simple Question: If they did not have the power of self-governance that allowed them to eat the fruit than what power allowed them to do so?

    As to God deciding what is Good and what is Evil, this is a concept that I will always reject, and one that is not in the Bible. Your interpretation that the “knowledge” or good and evil is the power to “decide” what is good and evil is itself confusing, as it alters the meaning of the word Knowledge. God does not choose what is good and what is evil; but he knows what is good and what is evil, and he chooses the good. The word knowledge allows for no other meaning. You might as well say that to have knowledge of physics means you have the power to choose what is a law of physics and what isn’t.
    I find it funny that we are accused of altering definitions, but you can do so without fault.

    As to your definition of self-governance, when you say this means God governs his creations this is not the definition. The definition of Autonomy, and thus self-governance, is the power to regulate yourself. The power to regulate anything else does not fall into this definition, and thus to insist that it does again shows your contradiction.
    To actually have this mean what you want it to you would have to say that God is Self-governing and he is the government over his creations; it is not true that one is synonymous with the other, which is what you have claimed.

    By the way, Adam never sinned, and none of the verses you quote from the Bible says he did.
    Hosea 6: 7 – A transgression is not always a sin; a transgression made in ignorance for example.
    Romans 5: 12 – does not say the act of Adam was a sin; it merely states that the result of that act was sin entering the world.
    Romans 4: 14 (I have to prefer the KJV) “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” – a transgression is not always a sin.
    1 Timothy 2: 14 (Again, I use the KJV) “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – A transgression is not always a sin. Also note, in this translation Adam is actually absolved of sin, for it was Eve that was in the transgression, not Adam.

  40. 40 shematwater
    December 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    WWJD

    If you were just giving your impression of my words than I have to assume you either didn’t read them, or you just simply ignored them. Such comments as:
    “As you have stated, a “saving faith” will lead into good works, the first of which is baptism into Christ’s church by the authority of his appointed servants (Mark 16: 16).
    Simply put, how can anyone claim to have true faith in Christ and then refuse to follow his directions concerning our salvation. If you asked a man for directions on the street, and then ignored him you would be a liar to say you believed him. Just so, those who claim faith in Christ, and then refuse to follow his directions have made themselves liars.” (December 7, 2011 at 2:27 am)

    “faith will only save after it has been tested, just as Abraham was tested.” (December 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm)

    “But one who has faith must choose to act on that faith or it will soon die and he will be left without faith. That is the message of James.
    Actually, what you say concerning James is almost in perfect agreement with LDS doctrine. There is no contradiction, as it is faith that saves. But faith can only save once it has been tested and proven by works. Thus our faith is counted unto us for righteousness (Romans 4: 3) but only after it has been proven by our works (James 2: 20). And thus both are required.” (December 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm)

    I repeat, one of three things happened: You didn’t read what I said; you ignored it; or you twisted it to make it say what you wanted it to. One of these three things happened. You figure out which one.

    Now, in the April 2007 General Conference, President Utchdorf stated “It is not repentance per se that saves man. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that saves us…True repentance, however, is the condition required so that God’s forgiveness can come into our lives.”
    I repeat, and I will continue to say it, for it is the truth: Our works have no power of salvation in them. It is our faith that leads us to Christ, who is the only one with the power to save. It is our faith that brings the approval of God and thus his justification and his sanctification. It is not our works. But, I will also join my voice with James in declaring that faith that has not be tried and proven by our works is not sufficient and will not save.
    This is the doctrine of the LDS church, and it doesn’t matter that three ignorant people claim otherwise.

    Concerning the quote from Elder McConkie, this is what he is saying. Exaltation is given only to those whose faith has been tried, who have been refined by the power of God as was Abraham when he offered Isaac. We must have the same faith in us that Abraham had; a faith so strong that we will do anything that is commanded of us, not just confess a belief and leave it at that.

  41. 41 shematwater
    December 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    STEPH

    You are already deceived, fooling yourself that you are so wise and intelligent that you twist everything you may once have known to fit your ideas and justify yourself in your own eyes.

    We do not exalt ourselves to godhood, and such a claim only shows your ignorance once again.

    We acknowledge that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19: 26). We believe his words when he tells us we will be like him (1 John 3: 2), transformed into the same glory as God (2 Corinthians 3: 18). And we gladly accept his invitation to sit with him in his throne (Revelations 3: 21).

    We do have a different gospel, for ours is the pure gospel of Christ as revealed by him to the prophets; while yours is a corrupted apostate gospel, inspired by the devil and twisted over many centuries.
    We believe in a different Christ, for ours is the true and living God, a personal being that we can know who loves us all and seeks only that which is right for us; while you worship a false being of spirit that cannot be known by man, and whose only goal is his own glory.
    We have a different faith than you, for our faith is strengthened by our own deeds and our lives are brought ever closer to the divine through our faith; while your faith denies everything that you are and is destroyed if you so much as think you are good, and thus drives you farther from the divine.

    I freely admit all of this, for I know that God is my witness that it is all true; and you will know it as well when you stand at the judgment and are require to declare and defend your actions before that just and merciful God. Just remember what I have said at that time.

  42. December 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Shem, if you share with me your knowledge about LDS doctrine, could I not say that I have knowledge of Shem’s knowledge?

    Shem said: “Simple Question: If they did not have the power of self-governance that allowed them to eat the fruit than what power allowed them to do so?”

    They had free will before the fall Shem. They could choose to obey God or disobey God. They knew what trees were good to eat from and they knew what tree they were not to eat from because God had told them. So yes, they fully knew God’s perspective on which trees were good and which tree they were not to eat from. So they had the knowledge of God’s knowledge of good and evil.

    They were then tempted to think that the forbidden fruit was good and in the moment they believed Satan, they made themselves autonomous. That is…they acted independantly from God. In that moment they became self-governing.

    Free will is knowing what God declares is good and evil and choosing the good and choosing to avoid the evil.
    Autonomy is choosing the evil.

  43. 44 JBR
    December 9, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Once again … it is proving itself to be true that best way to stop chasing the white rabbit is to leave him drinking tea with the mad hatter.

    I thank God for Steph coming to the knowledge of the truth, which is:

    ….” Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. ”

    We all know the LDS’ opinion on being saved on the single act of Christ alone
    We all know the LDS’ view of repentence being dependent on you (the person)
    We all know the LDS’ belief that the assurdance of forgiveness could take centuries
    We all know the LDS’ opinion on God being a “triune” God
    We all know what the LDS’ view of the Bible’s accuracy
    We all know that LDS admits “Jesus” in the LDS isn’t the same as “Jesus” for Christians

    …………….

    And that is all I need to know…..

    As Jesus revealed: there are two types of children: of the devil or of God.
    Jesus claims he is clear to those who are of God … but not to the children of the devil.

    When I read the Bible, Jesus is very clear to me ….either you get it or you don’t.

    If you don’t, then there is a need for other revlations from other so-called prophets, or big brother in my home once a month checking up on my family, or other “scriptures”.

  44. 45 Kent
    December 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Mormons are exalting themselves and not exalting God by saying they can become gods and that they will have spirit children who will worship them as no one is supposed to worship anyone except God.

    Exodus 34:14

    14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

    Besides, believers don’t become gods ever in the afterlife, they will not be sinning like we do here on earth, that is what is meant by them becoming like god but not gods themselves, but they will be as the angels in heaven who worship god but are not gods themselves and who always have been created beings ever since god created them.

    Mark 12:25

    25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

    When believers rise from the dead they will already be with Heavenly Father and they don’t need to progress to be in the mansions where He is because they gained entrance by trusting and believing completely only in what Jesus did by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day 2000 years ago and not by anything they do.

  45. 46 Kent
    December 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Is it true that the Mormon church asks for people’s financial records so that they can check if they are tithing or not or what they are giving to the church?

    If that is true, then that really contrasts with something a pastor told me from a church I used to attend. He told me he doesn’t even want to know how much money I make or how much I give as it is between God and me.

    Which fits in with what the Bible says about not letting the left hand know that the right hand is doing and how our giving is not to be seen by men.

  46. 47 shematwater
    December 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    KENT

    It is not true, and I really don’t know where you would get such an idea.

    As to the rest of what you say, I will repeat that we are not exalting ourselves, for it was God, not us who declared our divine potential. Now, you can refuse to accept this as being true or not, but it is true.

    ECHO

    I know you will likely not respond to this, but I have to point something out.
    You said that Adam and Eve had free agency, or the free will to choose to partake of the fruit. You also said that Self-governance is synonymous with autonomy, which is the power to make your own choices, and is thus synonymous with Free Will. You then declare that Self-Governance was what Adam and Eve gained in eating the fruit (which is what is meant by the Knowledge of Good and Evil).
    Your attempt to explain your contradictions has only reinforced them. Free will is self-governance; and thus you have once again stated that it took self-governance to make a choice in which self-governance was acquired.

    As to having knowledge of my knowledge, you are again wrong. You have knowledge of my knowledge whether I share it with you or not. A knowledge of another person’s knowledge can be gained through a study of the person without ever gaining the same knowledge they have.
    For example: I can study the life of, say Stephen Hawkings. In so studying I would gain a knowledge of what he had a knowledge of (mainly physics) but that would not give me actual knowledge of physics, only the understanding that he understood physics.
    In the same way, a knowledge in God’s Knowledge of Good and Evil does not mean that Adam and Eve had a knowledge of Good and Evil. As such they did not have an understanding. They were much like children who can be told that something is bad, but still have no real understanding as to what Bad is.
    It is like explaining the colors to a person who is blind. They may know that you know, but they still have no understanding themselves.
    Your explanation is contradicted by the very nature of our existence and how our minds work.

    To the reads not posting

    As it usually does, the conversation has been ended with a declarative statement that since the LDS believe differently than the rest of Christianity it has to be wrong. This is the common close to these discussions. Since the discussion generally hinges on what LDS believe, and since those who are not LDS fail to prove their false conceptions time and time again, they are forced to simply end the discussion by saying that it really doesn’t matter because we have different beliefs anyway.
    That is fine, and I have no disagreement with this. We do have different beliefs, for which I am eternally grateful, for I will always have a greater hope than anyone else on this thread could ever imagine. For I have a literal Father in Heaven who loves me, not merely as something he created, but as his literal son; and as a loving Father has promised me that if I prepare myself He is willing to give me everything that it is and set me on a throne to rule, not only to worship, with the promise that my wife will not only remain my wife but will be an eternal companion as we raise an eternal family. What greater hope can anyone have?

    So, I am content to let them shut down the discussion, for I know the truth.

  47. 48 Steph
    December 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Is it true that the Mormon church asks for people’s financial records so that they can check if they are tithing or not or what they are giving to the church?

    Kent, I can confirm that this is very much true. People are called in for meetings in which financial records are looked at in order to check tithing.

    I think either Shem’s credibility is questionable or he is in serious denial.

  48. 49 shematwater
    December 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    We have here a complete fabrication. Of course Steph will claim this, as it strengthens here hatred of the church.

    The truth of the matter is this: A record is kept of the tithing paid; both by the church and individual. At the end of each year each person is brought into a meeting known as Tithing Settlement. The records of the church are compared to the records of the individual and any discrepancies are dealt with (such as my tithing being put on my son’s record instead of mine). Once the two records are in agreement with each other the Bishop asks “Does this make you a full tithe payer.” The person than answers yes or no. If he answers yes, he is recorded as being a full tithe payer and it is dropped. If he says no he is recorded as not being a full tithe payer, and the meeting again ends.

    The only record checked in these meetings is the record of the actual amount paid to tithing. The only reason it is checked is to make sure no error was make in the records of the church (like the one I mentioned with my son).
    No financial record beyond this checked, and as long as your record matches the church record than your word satisfies the meeting. No one will be asked to provide W2’s or payroll receipts, or anything else to verify that the amount paid is actually 10% of what they earned. It is not done, and anyone saying it is has spoken slanderous against the church (or written libelous) and is a liar at heart.

  49. 50 Steph
    December 11, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Shem said: “A record is kept of the tithing paid”. Seriously Shem, what difference does it make if we call it a check of “financial records”, or a “tithing settlement”? why in the world would the church need you to go in every year to make sure they have an accurate record of what you paid them and why do they need to know if you have paid a “full tithe”?

    “Tithing is an important test of our personal righteousness. President Joseph F. Smith (1838-1918) said: “By this principle it shall be known who is for the kingdom of God and who is against it. … By it it shall be known whether we are faithful or unfaithful” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 276).”

    http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Liahona/2000.htm/liahona%20december%202000.htm/the%20significance%20of%20tithing%20settlement.htm

    “Another important aspect of celestial law is participation in the temple endowment ceremony. But herein lies the catch. In order to enter an LDS temple, it is necessary to obtain a temple recommend. A recommend is granted only when the Mormon has been found faithful in numerous categories, including tithe-paying. If a Mormon does not pay his tithes, he cannot get a recommend. If he cannot get a recommend, he cannot go to the temple. If he cannot go to the temple, he cannot go to the celestial kingdom; hence he receives damnation in the next life. Consequently, if the Mormon wants to escape damnation, he is compelled to pay up, whether he likes it or not. This is tithing by coercion, not the biblical method prescribed in the Bible.” ~http://www.mrm.org/tithing

    My pastor has no idea what my income is, or if I pay a “full tithe” or not. It is none of his business and of no importance for his records. The matter is entirely between God and me.

  50. 51 Kent
    December 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I said, “Mormons are exalting themselves and not exalting God by saying they can become gods and that they will have spirit children who will worship them as no one is supposed to worship anyone except God.”

    Exodus 34:14

    “14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”

    Shem answered, “As to the rest of what you say, I will repeat that we are not exalting ourselves, for it was God, not us who declared our divine potential. Now, you can refuse to accept this as being true or not, but it is true.”

    But, again, by saying they can become gods and will be worshipped by their spirit children is wrong as God says no one is supposed to worship anyone except God.

    Besides, again, when they die believers become as the angels are who are not gods, never have been gods, and never will be gods so believers also will not be gods but worship the one true God for eternity. That means, even if anyone had spirit children, they would have to worship God and not their spirit parents.

    Mark 12:25

    “25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

    Shem, you haven’t answered how anyone can become gods if believers are as the angels in heaven and why it wouldn’t be wrong if they were worshipped by anyone if we are to only worship the one true God. So are believers frist like the angels and then progress to become gods? But angels don’t progress as they are what they are, angels.

    I believe people are being disobidient to God if they even want to become gods and not submit to the will of God that He is God and they are not and never will be. Besides, why would they want to be as isn’t it a glorious future to be with Heavenly Father forever and to be able to worship Him?

  51. 52 shematwater
    December 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    KENT

    God has commanded us to have no other God before him. This command does not extend to our children. It is a command given by him to his children, and one all the faithful obey and will obey.
    Just as my children call me father, but call my father grandfather; so to we call God our Father, but our children will call us Father. Our Father will still be our Father, and it will be by his word that we rule and direct our children. But he will not be their Father, and so they will not call him such.

    As to the quote from Mark 12, I have actually addressed this exact story in previous threads, but I will do so briefly here.
    In asking about resurrection the Sadducees are using an actually case; the family of seven brothers they talk about were a literal family that actually experienced what is described. What Christ says in verse 25 is in reference to this family, and only to this family. It has no bearing on anyone else.
    We know this from verse 26 when he states “And as touching the dead, that they rise” indicating that he is addressing the topic of resurrection now, where as he was not in the previous statement.
    This same pattern is given in the account of Matthew, 30-31, again indicating that two different responses were given to two different, though related topics.

    In more modern speech; the Sadducees, not believing in the resurrection, sought to trick Christ.
    “Considering the command for a man to marry his brother’s widow, what do you say about this case:
    We know a family that had seven brothers. The oldest married and died without children, so the next married his wife according to the commandment. He also died without children, and so the next married her and so on until all had married her. Lastly she died without children. So, when they are resurrected whose husband will she be?”
    Christ then answers; “You do not understand the scriptures. In regards to this family they will neither marry, nor will they be given in marriage, but will be as the angels in heaven. However, as regards the resurrection, is it not taught that God is the God of you ancestors? He is a God of the living, and so they must be alive, and thus the resurrection must be true.”

    Now, don’t ask me why he said this about the family, as we are not given sufficient information to make any kind of determination. It was, evidently, a well known case at the time, which is why little detail is given

    STEPH

    Financial records are not looked at; you are simply twisting the truth to fit the lies you want to tell people.

    When I pay tithing I keep a record of what I paid, and the church keeps a record. These are the only records kept or looked at, and the only reason they are looked at is to make sure that they are in agreement with each other.
    The way that paying tithing is verified is a simple question: Are you a full tithe payer? It requires only a simple answer: Yes or no. The answer given is completely dependent on the person answering, and has nothing to do with the one asking.
    However, lying on such a matter is lying to God, or attempting to defraud him. This is more a test of honesty than a test of tithing.
    As to the bishop’s right to ask the question, I would refer you to the story of Ananias and Sapphire in the book of Acts. Ananias tried to keep back part of what he had gained in selling his property, and was killed for attempting to pass himself off as giving all. He wife was then questioned concerning it (a tithing settlement if you will) and was also killed for not disclosing the fraud.
    Also consider Malachi, who said the Israelites were robbing God for not paying a full tithe.

    You can complain all you want, but the leaders have the right to ask if you have given a full and accurate accounting, and there are consequences if you do not. This is biblical.
    But, as much as you want to spread lies, there is no financial check to see if you are accurate or honest.

  52. 53 JBR
    December 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    So Shem yes or no…. your children are goint you worship you and your wife(ves) on some planet of your own because you will be just like God.

  53. 54 JBR
    December 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    should read:

    So Shem yes or no…. your children are going to worship you and your wife(ves) on some planet of your own because you will be just like God.

  54. December 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Readers, please note when comments like this are made: “Financial records are not looked at; you are simply twisting the truth to fit the lies you want to tell people.” and ” But, as much as you want to spread lies, there is no financial check to see if you are accurate or honest.”

    That is called: “Poisoning the Well” Read up on that here…

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

  55. 56 shematwater
    December 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    ECHO

    The “Poisoning the Well” fallacy is the attempt to discredit any and all claims made by a person based on unfavorable information. That is to say the reasoning that “Because he is … you can’t trust a thing he says.”

    I have not done this. What I have done is shown that Steph has knowingly given false information in this thread. As a former member she knows perfectly well that the records that are looked at in the tithing settlement carry no proof of financial situation, as well as the fact that the church has never asked any member to verify how much they made in a year to prove they have paid tithing. As such, for her to make the claims she does is a deliberate attempt to mislead those reading her posts, and is thus a dishonest and false statement.
    Of course, we can always look at it the other way and say that she actually thinks such does happen; in which case she would prove at least that she never attended such a meeting and so to make any kind of declaration concerning its procedures is to speak in ignorance, and is once again misleading. Either way she had deliberately tried to mislead the reader.
    I have not “poisoned the well,” but have simply pointed out the poison that was already there. It is not “Poisoning the Well” to point out errors in what a person says, or even to acknowledge the fact that they know the errors are there.
    Your attempt to label my words as following this reasoning does you no credit, and is simply another ploy to try and shut me out of the conversation.

    JBR

    My children will worship Jesus Christ, for he is our Eldest Brother, and thus he will be the “Head of the Gods” of our generation; just as his Father is the “Head of the Gods” of the previous generation.

  56. 57 JBR
    December 15, 2011 at 12:48 am

    the Biblical Christ never once said or implied this (in its entirety)….

    ” God has commanded us to have no other God before him. This command does not extend to our children. It is a command given by him to his children, and one all the faithful obey and will obey. Just as my children call me father, but call my father grandfather; so to we call God our Father, but our children will call us Father. Our Father will still be our Father, and it will be by his word that we rule and direct our children. But he will not be their Father, and so they will not call him such. ………. My children will worship Jesus Christ, for he is our Eldest Brother, and thus he will be the “Head of the Gods” of our generation; just as his Father is the “Head of the Gods” of the previous generation.”

    Polytheism is a satanical lie.

  57. 58 Steph
    December 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Shem are going to tell us all that a record of your tithing is not a part of your financial records? Be careful about what you are implying I have said. In my opinion, you are trying to divert attention away from the fact that those tithing settlement meetings intimidate members and that temple rights are dependant upon a person being a full tithe payer.

    Here are some statements from former LDS members regarding this (from ex-mormon.org):

    “I can’t think of any other religion that shakes down members for contributions the way the Mormons do. Yes, other churche pass around baskets. But the Mormons require (yes, it is required) that members attending a meeting with the bishop at the end of the year to state, on the record, if they have paid a full tithe. If you have not, for any reason, you will be lectured on the need to repent and come back into compliance with the law of tithing.
    I spoke with my wife about how odd tithing settlement is when you think about it. She said it is largely to get tax records and so the bishop can socialize with you for a few minutes. That is so obviously silly that it is not worth the effort to refute. The church has way too many personal worthiness interviews. Tithing settlement, temple recommends (which have a big tithing component) and PPIs. I think tithing settlement is the worst.”

    “I think tithing settlement is a complete invasion. I bristled every time I had to do it. It just reinforces the fact that you have to pay your way into the temple and into the “celestial kingdom”. Back when I was a member, my bishop once withheld my recommend because I was a month behind on paying my tithing. I was working in ward and stake callings, taking my kids to church every week by myself, doing my visiting teaching, etc., but he felt I wasn’t worthy to go to the temple, that I was “stealing from the lord.” I missed my cousin’s wedding because I didn’t have the recommend. I was devastated and completely embarrassed to miss the wedding. I was so ashamed because of the things the bishop said to me.
    I am so relieved to be out of that mental, emotional, financial trap. ”

    “To think, according to the Mormon church, your faith and righteousness/worthiness depends upon how many sheckles you divvy over to God. How utterly absurd!”

    “Yikes, Tithing settlements. What a scary blast from my past. I hated them. Even when I walked in knowing I was…or at least feeling I was a full tithe payer. I was always a bit nervous, as if they were going to find something that I should have tithed and blow my temple chances.
    Actually this is not for tax records, it is your temple audit. It is where the BofCG (Bank of Celestial Glory) compiles your yearly statement and you find out if you made all of your temple payments on time.”

  58. 59 Kent
    December 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    JBR, the Bible also doesn’t teach, as the Mormons do, that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, that God accepted Jesus’ plan of salvation over Lucifer’s plan which caused Lucifer to turn to evil because if Jesus is Lucifer’s brother, that would mean Jesus is a created being instead of the creator of everything there is and ever will be.

    The Bible teaches that Jesus is God, has always been God, and always will be God but who did become the only perfect sinless man while He was on earth so He could take the sins of the world in our place sinners who can never save themselves.

    John 1:1-3, 14

    “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

    14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

    Mormons say we are the literal children of God but the Bible teaches that we aren’t children of God unless we are believers and if we are the literal children of God, then why is Jesus called the only begotten of the Father?

    Also, if we are become as Jesus is, then how can we progress and be God like Him if He was God first who then humbled Himself to come to earth as a man?

    Because we are men and we would be going about it backwards so it is impossible to follow His example in that regard.

    I will post in my next entry some more scripture that shows Jesus is God and always has been God

  59. 60 Kent
    December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Jesus Himself said in John 8 He is God by telling the Jews that “before Abraham was I AM” as God had told Moses in Exodus 3 to tell the people that I AM sent him to them.

    The Jews did not take up stones to kill Jesus in the account in John 8 because he had said He is Lucifer’s brother but because He said He is God.

    John 8:56-60

    56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
    57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
    58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
    59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

    Exodus 3:13-14

    13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
    14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

    Mormons do teach a different Jesus so it is important who we are talking about when we talk about who we have faith in. The Jesus of the Bible or the Mormon Jesus.

  60. 61 shematwater
    December 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    STEPH

    I will explain your dishonest, and I will try to use small words.

    You said “Is it true that the Mormon church asks for people’s financial records so that they can check if they are tithing or not or what they are giving to the church?”

    Meaning of this statement is that the church demands each person shows how much they made compared with how much they paid in tithing to verify that it was truly 10%. Note two aspects: First, you say it is people’s financial records, plural. Meaning that they are demanding an account of all records in regards to their finances. Second, you make the claim that they are checking to make sure it is a full tithe, which can only be done if a record of income is examined in the meeting.

    In your last comment you said “Shem are [you] going to tell us all that a record of your tithing is not a part of your financial records?”

    Seeing as I stated in a previous statement “No financial record beyond this [is] checked” thus showing that it is a financial record, we again see that you either don’t read or don’t understand what I say. But this brings us back to the little pluralization you put into your original comment. The Tithing record is a record, or a single record among the many that constitute a person’s financial records. I have admitted such; but you have implied that this record is not the only one looked at in these meetings, and as such have mislead the reader.

    And since we are giving opinions, I will state that in my opinion you did this purposely so that you could mislead the reader, but then try to deny it later, as you have done. You knew perfectly well that your statement would be interpreted by the reader as an auditing of yearly income to tithing paid (like the tax return of the IRS), but tried to leave yourself a way out just in case I called you on it.

    Now, you can quote a number of ex-members who had problems, and that really doesn’t mean a thing. I have the several million current members (speaking of the active ones) who have never felt anything intimidating or negative concerning these meetings. I personally have always looked forward to the meetings and have enjoyed them thoroughly. It is a chance to get things strait, to know if my records are in order, and to complete anything not done. When I was young I loved paying tithing. It was a privilege to give to the Lord, and the meetings were the kind of pat on the back saying “well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I still feel this way, even though I do not always pay a full tithe and have to tell the Bishop that I have not. Even this I find uplifting. It is a great time and an enjoyable meeting that I will always look forward to each year.

    JBR

    It is all in perspective and interpretation. This is exactly what I see the Bible teaching, though it is indirect rather than directly stated.

    KENT

    As I said to JBR, it is all in interpretation.
    John 1: 1-3
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    He was in the beginning with God.
    All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

    What was the beginning. We are told in Genesis 1 that the beginning was formation of the planet itself, or the start of Creation. So, Christ was with God, and he was also God in the beginning, or when the Earth was created. So, what was he before the creation? What happened before the beginning?
    We also read that “All things were made through Him.” Does this literally mean all things? If it does than that means that Christ created his Father and himself, which I think we will agree is an absurd idea. However, the rest of the verse does clarify a little: “without Him nothing was made that was made.” From this we can see that there are some things that were not made. He made all things that were made; this distinction would only have been used if there were some things that were not made, but have always existed.

    So, taking this reasoning we can see that the Bible is dealing with this Earth, as it states the beginning of its record is the creation of this earth. It is not dealing with things that do not pertain to this Earth.
    We can also know that there are things that Christ did not make, as there are those things that are not made. But this must also be understood in the context of the first point, that the Bible deals only with this Earth.

    So, this is the conclusion: Christ, from the time of the creation, has been the God of this Earth. Through him all created things were created.
    However, this does not mean there was nothing created before this Earth, nor does it mean that there will be nothing created after it.

    As I said, it is all in interpretation. Everything you claim to be unbiblical is Biblical, if you have the correct interpretation.

  61. 62 Steph
    December 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Shem you certainly are entitled to your wrong opinion.

    Kent said: Is it true that the Mormon church asks for people’s financial records so that they can check if they are tithing or not or what they are giving to the church?

    I said: Kent, I can confirm that this is very much true. People are called in for meetings in which financial records are looked at in order to check tithing.

    Using Kent’s phrasing in my answer does not make me dishonest. Was the link to the LDS site explaining tithing settlement misleading to you or did you not read the information I provided?

    Shem said: It was a privilege to give to the Lord, and the meetings were the kind of pat on the back saying “well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I still feel this way

    Do you realize how prideful that sounds?

    Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

    Matthew 23:12 “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Matthew 6:4 “so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

  62. 63 Kent
    December 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Shem said, “What was the beginning. We are told in Genesis 1 that the beginning was formation of the planet itself, or the start of Creation. So, Christ was with God, and he was also God in the beginning, or when the Earth was created. So, what was he before the creation? What happened before the beginning?
    We also read that “All things were made through Him.” Does this literally mean all things? If it does than that means that Christ created his Father and himself”

    Jesus Christ was God before the creation, He is God now, and He will always be God.

    Genesis 1:1
    “1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

    It is clear from the passage directly above that nothing existed, the heavens or the earth, before God created them so it was the start of creation not just the creation of the earth.

    God is the creator and He is not a thing so no, Jesus did not create Himself or the Father and yes it does mean He (God) created all things.

    Also there is no such thing as a spritural creation before the physical creation as that is something that was added on in the Mormon Book of Moses to the creation story so, no, there were no pre existing spirits before the creation of Genesis 1:1. Also, there is so such thing as any physical creation before Genesis 1:1 so there were no planets in existance for God to have been on as a man first before He was God. The Bible is complete so we don’t need to add to it.

    1 Corinthians 15:46
    “46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.”

    Before the creation there was only one God who is three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and there was nothing or no one else.

  63. 64 Kent
    December 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I said, “Also, there is so such thing as any physical creation before Genesis 1:1”

    I meant to say there is no such thing as any physical creation before Genesis 1:1.

  64. 65 shematwater
    December 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    KENT

    As I said, it is a matter of interpretation, and all the explaining you do, or I do, will not convince the other. You give your interpretation, I give mine. The only one who can prove either right is God himself, and he does so only on an individual basis (for the time being). As such, no amount of arguing is going to really matter.

    Now, I can give around a dozen verses of scripture that prove the spiritual creation, including one in the second chapter of Genesis. You, or course, will reject anything I say, which is your right.
    I can do the same with physical creation before this Earth, which you will again reject.
    In truth, I can use the Bible to support 99% of all LDS doctrine, including the JST and the Book of Mormon; but you will simply reject all of it. As such, I am always willing to discuss what I believe, but I am not willing to get into a lengthy bible bashing session over the internet.

    Question Kent, to clarify things: When you asked “Is it true that the Mormon church asks for people’s financial records so that they can check if they are tithing or not or what they are giving to the church?” what kind of financial records were you referring to?
    Also, what was your understanding of Steph’s post that these records are used?

    STEPH

    Notice that you only gave the link after I had declared your original deception and had given a full explanation of what was actually done. Your link was not to clarify the records looked at, but to support your view that such a meeting is an invasion of privacy.

    As to your accusation of pride, please look in the mirror; or as Christ said it, remove the beam from your own eye before you go looking for a mote in mine.
    You entire accusation is based on the assumption that it is the praise of man, more specifically the Bishop, that I seek and feel in these meetings, and as such is a misguided attack on my character. It is not the Bishop’s approval I seek, nor is it his approval that I get. It is God’s, for he has commanded us not only to pay tithing, but to keep an accurate record of doing so. When I go to this settlement and find that the records are in order, and that I am a full tithe payer, I can feel the Lord’s approval of my actions; as it were patting me on the back, saying “Well done.”

  65. 66 steph
    December 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    “the meetings were the kind of pat on the back saying “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

    “I can feel the Lord’s approval of my actions; as it were patting me on the back, saying “Well done.”

    The person who BOASTS has faith in himself; the person who is SAVED has faith in Christ alone.

    48.1 Corinthians 1:31
    Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

    Isaiah 64:6
    6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

    I am a mere steward of all God has given me. It is not my money that I give when I tithe, it is God’s money that I give when I tithe. Praise God for all He has given me and blessed me with!

  66. 67 shematwater
    December 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Really Steph. This is the best you can do? I am boasting because I say that I feel the Spirit’s approval of my actions? So I guess claiming to have a testimony of the truth is boasting?

    This is just a sorry attempt to evade the real point; changing the topic so that you don’t have to deal with the issue at hand.

    Please let me know when you actually want to have a serious conversation.

  67. 68 steph
    December 19, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Shem, the best I can do is point out that my previous posts have clearly pointed out the problems with tithing per the LDS church. There has been no need for me to be deceptive about anything relating to the LDS church as the LDS church has enough problems of it’s own without me having to make up things about it.

    I don’t think you and I will ever be able to have a serious conversation because of my being an ex-mormon so I am going to wish you well and hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  68. 69 shematwater
    December 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    STEPH

    What you have done is to clearly point out what you don’t like about it. This has nothing to do with what is wrong with it.
    the way it is done is divinely inspired and regulated, and thus you are saying that God got it wrong when you make the claim you do.

    And just for the record, you being a former member means very little to me, and has not influenced very much of what I said. All it really did was to high light the fact that you should have known better than to make the comments you did.
    I am perfectly willing to have a discussion with anyone, as long as they are going to discuss; but when they choose to rant and rave I choose to back out.


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