13
Jan
12

Eternal Life

This Sunday, in their Gospel Doctrines classes, Mormons around the world will be looking at 1 Nephi 8-11.  This section from the Book of Mormon describes the vision of the tree of life.  The Book of Mormon supplies identification for the various elements in the vision.  I am going to concentrate on the fruit of the tree which, according to it, symbolizes eternal life.

The first point that needs to be made is that Mormonism defines eternal life differently than Christianity does.  It equates it with exaltation.  “Eternal life, or exaltation, is to inherit a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, where we will live in God’s presence and continue as families (see D&C 131:1-4).  Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  However, it requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’ (Articles of Faith 1:3).” (True to the Faith, p. 52)

D&C 131:1-4 referenced in that quote says that celestial marriage (temple marriage for time and eternity) is essential for exaltation.  The next section of D&C (132) is also pertinent because it describes exaltation as nothing less than becoming gods!   In verse 19 it states: “they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things.”  Then in verse 20 it says, “then shall they be gods” not once but twice.

In short, Mormonism defines eternal life as becoming a god.  To obtain it requires “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel”.  One such ordinance is celestial marriage that can only be performed in Mormon temples.  Thus, according to Mormonism, many LDS members, not to mention non-members, will not have eternal life.

What does the Bible say?  John wrote:  “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)  Note that he says “ye may know that ye have eternal life”.   The tense is very important.  It is a present tense, not a future (will have).  They already had it!

They had it through believing.  John is echoing the words of Jesus that he himself recorded.  “That whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)  Eternal life then is the present possession of believers.  It’s the new spiritual life we now have with God through faith.  And most importantly, it is not something that we obtain through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.  It is God’s gift to us.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)

“Through Jesus Christ our Lord” – the key is not my obedience and my work, but Jesus’ obedience and his work.  As my Substitute, he obeyed God perfectly.  As my Substitute, he performed many wonderful works.  He died – as my Substitute.  He did it all – 100% – for me.  Faith is nothing more, or less, than humbly acknowledging that and totally relying on that.  And through faith we have the tremendous joy of having true eternal life – right now!

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58 Responses to “Eternal Life”


  1. 1 shematwater
    January 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Note that in 1 John he is addressing those who have joined to the Church and are faithful members. As such he is addressing those who have already performed the needed ordinances and works required for salvation.

    Also note the passage in John 3: 15 is not an absolute, but is one that indicates condition. It does not say they ‘will not perish’ but that they ‘should not perish.’ This shows that even for those of faith it is possible that they will not gain eternal life, but will perish like those without faith.

    Now, just to explain a few things; it is possible to have eternal life now, or in other words to have such an assurance of it in the life to come that you can lay claim to it now. A person who has performed the required ordinances, who is a man of true faith and is obedient to the commands of God, has an assurance in hope that he will be exalted that he has eternal life now. This what John is talking about in 1 John 5: 13; knowing that your life is approved of God and that you will be exalted when the time comes.

  2. 2 wyomingwilly
    January 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Shem, you’re reading Mormonism into the N.T. record here at the Gospel of John and 1 John. In 1 Jn.
    the apostle was not espousing what you claim at all. Those he addressed knew nothing of the Mormon
    list of “requirements” for eternal life, Temple marriage being one example. The claim by Mormon apostles
    since 1830 that they have been actively directed by Jesus to guide His people into an accurate knowledge
    of a right relationship with Him is far removed from what the Apostle John taught . Mark’s last paragraph
    clearly sums up the truth concerning how eternal life is received and our relationship with the Lord Jesus.
    Christians have an assurance of salvation/eternal life , that assurance rests on what Jesus did, the “works”
    He did as our substitute . Your explanation of possessing eternal now rests on an entirely different
    scenario, as it is based on striving to merit exaltation thru keeping all the ” rules, laws, commands” that
    Mormon apostles have pronounced as being necessary , but which the Apostle John knew nothing of.
    There’s two “ways” to receive eternal life and live with God forever : 1. that which Jesus’ apostles preached
    in the N.T. , or 2. that which has been preached since 1830 by Mormon apostles.

  3. 3 shematwater
    January 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    WILLY

    I am not reading anything into the text. I am interpreting the text based on the assumption that the LDS church is true. You are interpreting the text based on the assumption that your religion is true.

    If we are to take the text as it is we would have no real understanding of what John was talking about, for the simple fact that we were not his audience and thus we do not know why he wrote what he did, or what circumstances the people he wrote it to were in.

    For your interpretation to work the assumption must be made that John is not building on knowledge already had by the people he is addressing. I think this is a faulty assumption. I believe that they have a previous knowledge that John is simply adding to. Can I prove what that knowledge was from the text. No, because it was assumed on the part of John. All I can say is what I believe it was, which is what I have done.

  4. 4 wyomingwilly
    January 14, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Shem, your comments only raise questions rather than answers. I don’t quite understand your reasoning
    here. You said that : ” If we take the text as it is we would have no real understanding of what John was
    talking about, for the simple fact that we were not his audience and thus we do not know why he wrote
    what he did…. ” You felt “we” [ us today] would have no understanding of what he said about gaining
    eternal life because we we’nt his audience? But we are his audience now so we can know what he taught
    about receiving eternal life because we need to know , God wants us to know —-today . Even your Church
    curriculum tells us to consider what John taught in First John , why ? Because , ” The doctrines expounded
    include how to gain fellowship with God, how to know God and Christ, how to…..gain eternal life. ”
    [ Doct.N.T. Commentary , 3:371, by McConkie ]. I am asked by Mormon apostles to consider their testimony
    concerning spiritual truth , and to listen to their teachings concerning how to receive eternal life by
    complying with all the “laws and ordinances of the gospel “, their gospel. I’ve listened to John’s testimony
    about receiving eternal life , and I have to embrace what he preached . Mormon apostles have only
    succeeded in piling their ” precepts of men” on top of Jesus’ gospel as preached by the apostle John.
    Mark has correctly explained how eternal life is received and the liberating knowledge that is possessed
    instantly upon surrender to Jesus. May you embrace the simple truth of knowing Jesus , who to know
    personally is eternal life . 1 Jn 5:13,13,20 are incredible . Thanks .

  5. 5 JBR
    January 14, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Thanks Mark for again showing that Mormonism is indeed a works righteous based religion.

    Apologists of Mormonism response is so much like the evolutionist who starts from the position that the theory is true then make everything fit to it. However, it is the serious and truthful person who intends to find the truth will do just the opposite.

    The Bible dictates what is true according and one who seeks the truth will measure everything to it. All that is needed to know how to have eternal life is what has been reveal in the Bible.

    The good news that God revealed is that hose who will enter eternal life will not do so because of some:

    ….. > ordinance of celestial marriage that can only be performed in Mormon temples
    ….. > God requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’

    Mormonism isn’t good news…it just places a larger millstone around the necks of those who listen. Rather, the gospel that Jesus reveal to Paul is the one that has always been:

    Romans 1:17
    For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

  6. January 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    “Eternal life, or exaltation, is to inherit a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, where we will live in God’s presence and continue as families (see D&C 131:1-4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, it requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’ (Articles of Faith 1:3).” (True to the Faith, p. 52)

    The LDS doctrine of exaltation is no “restoration”. In no way shape or form did the early church ever accept or teach that man can literally become “a god” and is another example of the LDS church taking scripture out of context and using it to fit their new religion. I don’t think the LDS people even realize just how blasphemous the whole idea of exaltation is. God’s plan is to build His kingdom and that has nothing to do with any of us building our own kingdoms with “forever families” which raises the question: Are you clinging to God or your families?

    God stopped requiring “obedience to the laws and ordinances” for our salvation the day He made the new covenant (Jesus) with His people. His people are the Jews and it is only because of His mercy and grace that we, as gentiles, are allowed to be “grafted in” as a part of His plan of salvation for the Jews.

    Jeremiah 11:16 The LORD called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.

    Romans 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,

    I don’t know about you, but the very fact that God allowed this for us makes me feel even more grateful and fortunate to have had this gift given to me. The LDS church would have you believe that God’s plan is all about them, but the Bible does not contain any evidence for their claims. From Genesis to Revelation and all of the books in between, the Bible is clear, God’s plan is all about the Jews, we as Gentiles are a part of that plan. Salvation for us according to the new covenant is simple: we are sinners, sin destroys our relationship with God, Jesus came to provide a way for us to restore our relationship to God. Through Christ’s blood we have been given the opportunity to repent, turn from our sins, and believe that it was the work of Christ that has made it possible for us to be right with God. All you have to do is BELIEVE and you can live with God for all eternity.

    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
    9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
    For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

  7. 7 Martha Golden
    January 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you for the heads up, Mark. It will help with the Sunday afternoon talk with my “celestial” parents.

    It’s a relief to know that I have the assurance that I will live in the presence of God for all eternity. I know that because I already am. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I began a relationship with Him that assures me of eternal life with God. Even though I have had a Mormon baptism and laying on of hands, I was not baptized with the Holy Spirit until I made that profession of faith. I have never had temple ceremony and as a woman I will never hold the Mormon priesthood. However, let me stress again that I know without a doubt that I will be in the precense of God – my Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit – for all eternity. I know that because I already am. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Praise God for taking me out of the bondage of Mormonism and adopting me into His Kingdom!!!

  8. 8 choosethechrist
    January 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    “If we are to take the text as it is we would have no real understanding of what John was talking about, for the simple fact that we were not his audience and thus we do not know why he wrote what he did, or what circumstances the people he wrote it to were in.” ~ Shem

    Shem, your statement perplexes me especially since John himself told us why he wrote what he did in the Gospel of John: “31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31 and the purpose of the writing is clearly evangelical as seen with the words “that you may believe”. As for 1 John, again John tells us why he is writing as 1 John 2:1-2 and 1 John 2:12-14 indicate John is writing to believers. We understand the context for why 1 John was written because we have historical accounts from that day (history is important Shem) as well as what John tells us in his writing. 1 John was written to expose false teachers (the gnostics) and to give believers assurance of salvation. Have you noticed how many times salvation is linked to the word BELIEVE in the Bible? It’s a lot! No where do we find anything about Mormon laws and ordinances being required for salvation because Mormon laws and ordinances did not exsist until the 1800s.

    You make it sound as if there is no way for us to understand what any of the Apostles wrote in the Bible because we were not there. That’s like telling someone there is no way we can really understand the Gettysberg Address because we were not there. History and Biblical context are important Shem. People who do not understand this end up following new religions because they really have no understanding of what they have accepted and are following.

  9. 9 shematwater
    January 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    WILLY

    We are not John’s audience, and we never will be. He was writing to the people of his day, addressing situations and questions of that time. He was not addressing our day or the problems and questions we have. This does not mean that we cannot learn from what he teaches. It simply means that we cannot make assumptions based on us being the audience.

    1 John 5: 13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
    So, yes they had eternal life, but John never says why. He does not equate believing as having eternal life. In fact he makes the opposite claim; that knowing they have eternal life makes it possible for them to believe in Christ.
    So, the question is, what makes it so they have eternal life? Mark has claimed, and you have agreed, that it is their faith, but that is not what is being said, and thus you have interpreted the meaning of the passage based on your belief in a faith only salvation.
    I, on the other hand, have interpreted the passage as referring to something other than their faith, as their faith is being strengthened by it. Coming from an understanding of the need for our own work I take this to mean that he is talking to those who have done the ordinances that are required, and is simply telling them that because of this they have eternal life, and by knowing this their faith will be strengthened.

    CHOOSE

    “God stopped requiring “obedience to the laws and ordinances” for our salvation the day He made the new covenant (Jesus) with His people.”

    So, God changes. He is not an unchanging being that never varies.
    The simple fact is that the principle on which God gives salvation has been the same from the days of Adam, and will always be the same. If obedience was required at one time it is still required, and always has been or God has changed. If faith is required it still is and always has been, or God has changed. If one thing is required of the Jews the same thing must be required of all people, or God is a partial God and a respecter of persons.

    “From Genesis to Revelation and all of the books in between, the Bible is clear, God’s plan is all about the Jews”

    The problem with this is that the Jews did not even exist until after the Book of Genesis ends. Also, from Exodus to Assyrian captivity the Bible is focused on all the House of Israel, the Jews being only one twelfth of that house. Even after the nation split into the two kingdoms and Israel and Judea the Bible still gave equal emphasis to both, until the ten tribes of Israel were lost, as which point it was not possible for the bible to give equal focus to them.
    Add to this the many times that the none Israelites are dealt directly with by God and his prophets (such as Jonah going to Ninavah; Elijah anointing a king is Syria; as well as the prophecies of Darius and dreams given to Nebuchadnezzar; Moses father in law, Jethro, being a priest; Baalim the prophet; and a host of other examples it seems rather obvious that God is the God of all men, and has direct dealings with all men, and that Bible seeks to teach this truth. While the House of Israel was the covenant line (inheriting the blessings of the Patriarchs) they were far from the only people who had the gospel.

    (Note: There is not a single LDS doctrine that cannot be supported by the Bible.)

  10. 10 wyomingwilly
    January 15, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Shem, I respectfully differ with your statement where you stated that ” We are not John’s audience, and never
    will be…” We are his audience because what he taught is vital for us even today. Mormons are even
    advised to consider what John taught because what he taught his immediate audience much of it is vital
    for them today, why ? because the doctrines he expounds includes how to gain fellowship with God, how to
    abide in the light and love the brethren and HOW to gain eternal life. That’s my whole point here and you
    admitted such when you said, ” This does not mean that we cannot learn from what he teaches.” What we
    learn is that believing in Jesus , completely trusting Him, is how we receive eternal life , and in reading all of
    chapter 5 we can see this truth. It is not through striving to keep all laws , ordinances, rules, obligations of
    the Mormon gospel that we receive eternal life. Our faith is strengthened by believing John’s testimony and
    through the aid of the Holy Spirit . I’m sure you’ll disagree, but that’s how I see it .

  11. 11 choosethechrist
    January 15, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Mal.3:6 ” I the Lord do not change.”

    The principle on which God gives salvation has been the same from the days of Adam, and will always be the same: salvation is by faith (belief and trust) alone. Adam did not believe/trust what God said: “if you eat from it you will die”. You have to have faith in God before you can be obedient to God. It is not our obedience that saves us. The one thing that is required of the Jews is the same thing that is required of all people: belief. After the second coming, the remaining Jews will believe in the new covenant (Jesus) and be saved. The requirement is belief. Mormons who are exalting themselves are showing that they do not believe it is the new covenant (Jesus) that saves them. Mormons who believe in exaltation are no different than the unbelieving Jews or any other unbelieving person and have not been “grafted in”. Exaltation is based on the terms of the LDS church not God’s.

    (Note: The LDS church has taken certain verses from the Bible and changed their meaning in order to make them fit LDS doctrine)

  12. 12 Kent
    January 15, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Martha, thank God that you found out it is all about who Jesus is and what Jesus did to save us and not about what we do. I hope and pray more Mormons come to this saving faith and turn away from the teachings of their church and turn to the true Jesus of the Bible.

  13. 13 Kent
    January 15, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Shem said, “Note: There is not a single LDS doctrine that cannot be supported by the Bible”

    That God was a man first before He was God is not even in the Book of Mormon let alone in the Bible.

    The Bible and the the Book of Mormon also doesn’t teach the following: temple marriage, pre-existence of man, eternal progression, and other key Mormon doctrines.

    So how can the Bible support any of these teachings if the BOM doesn’t teach them either?

    Note: the JST version of the Bible does mention the spiritual creation was before the physical creation but when I am speaking of the Bible I don’t mean the one Joseph Smith came up with that added pre existance to the creation story.

  14. 14 Martha Golden
    January 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    The question I have about Lehi’s dream is that there are people eating of the fruit of the Tree of Life and then falling away. I don’t see how you could eat of the fruit of life and then be ashamed. If you witnessed the salvation of God, why would you be ashamed? How can you be lost? They are eating the fruit of salvation. They can’t be lost after that. That doesn’t make sense. Jesus said, whosoever believe in me (eating the fruit) shall not perish, but have everlasting life. I find this to be a biblical contradiction.

    Anybody have some clarification on that? Maybe I’m just confused.

  15. 15 choosethechrist
    January 16, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Martha, Lehi’s dream does contradict the Bible. Jesus did not lie. I don’t think you’re confused at all.

  16. 16 wyomingwilly
    January 16, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Mark cited a Mormon church manual [ True to the Faith ] , where it stated that to attain Eternal life requires
    our ” obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel ” . One such law is called ” the law of justification”
    by Mormon General authority Bruce McConkie when he states, ” What then is the law of justification? It is
    simply this : ‘ All covenants , contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths,vows, performances, connections,
    associations, or expectations’ ( D&C 132:7 ) , in which men must abide to be saved and exalted, must be
    entered into and performed in righteousness so that the Holy Spirit can justify the candidate for salvation
    in what has been done. ” [ Mormon Doctrine p. 408].
    That’s a truckload of requirements to comply with for eternal life ! Quite a load for a person to handle.
    When I think of this “way” being what is advocated by Mormon leaders in order for a person to receive
    eternal life I am reminded of Prov.14:12 , it talks about how having a “way” that seems right , a way
    to live perhaps , or even a way to be accepted by God and receive eternal life . I’m embracing Jesus as
    the Way , the way to receive eternal life is from Him, believing/trusting in Him. Mark rightly mentioned this
    great truth, the truth advocated by the apostle John. So there’s a choice : comply with the way advocated by
    Mormon leaders , or comply with the way advocated by the Apostle John —- believing in the Lord Jesus .
    I’m siding with John . My prayer for the Mormon people is that they come to see this difference .

  17. 17 markcares
    January 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Martha:
    I’m so glad that you know that Jesus and his work for you is the key to having eternal life – right now. Tragically, that is not what Mormonism teaches. As you well know, everything in Mormonism is conditioned on obedience. The same with eternal life. Therefore, in Mormonism, it has to lie in the future. Rather than possessing eternal life now – they possess the promise of eternal life – which is again conditioned on their obedience.
    This is just one of countless places where there are contradictions between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. They can’t be reconciled. That is why Christian faith is based on the Bible alone.
    Hope this helps. May you have a blessed day knowing that Jesus has done it all for you.

  18. 18 shematwater
    January 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    MARTHA

    Why are you even mentioning Lehi’s vision? It has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

    KENT

    Matthew 7: 6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

    I can give biblical support for every doctrine you mention (using the KJV), but I choose not to do so at this time because I prefer to not have what I hold sacred trampled under the feet of your delusions.

    WILLY

    We are not his audience. Just because we can learn from what he said does not mean that the specific words he used are going to apply directly to us. You can disagree all you like, but that is the simple truth of the matter. We can learn great things, but not by assuming a position that is not supported by reason.
    As I pointed out, in the verse sited by Mark John never directly equates faith with Eternal Life. To make the assumption that that is what he meant is not reasonable from the text itself. The text was written to those that believe to let them know they have eternal life, and that they may believe. If faith gave eternal life, and they already believed, why would he be writing with this purpose?
    Simply put, if you take your assumption that this can be directly applied to us, without an understanding of the condition of those it was originally written too, than your explanation is far to simple and does not explain the verse completely.

    As to your objection to all the requirements, it is not a hard thing, for anything done in faith, in the proscribed way, will be justified. Thus a person who is baptized by proper authority and in faith will have that baptism justified. There could be nothing simpler or easier.
    Of course the real question I have is why would you object? Would you have less faith in God if he did require your righteousness? Would you reject a God that actually required effort on your part? This is what I find so illogical and unreasonable about what you profess. Why would you have a problem with being required to actually do something?
    I have no objection to do what God has commanded, nor to having it be required for my salvation. I have no objection because I love God and have faith in him. This is not based on what he has done or what he has promised, though I am grateful for both. It is simply based on what I know of his character. My faith is not as strong as I would like it to be however. I wish I had faith like Abraham, who did not hesitate to obey God in sacrificing his only son when he was commanded.

    CHOOSE

    You have now contradicted yourself. You stated that he stopped requiring obedience, which indicates that he did require it at one time. Now you say the one thing that is required is belief.
    Here it is again;
    “God stopped requiring “obedience to the laws and ordinances” for our salvation the day He made the new covenant (Jesus) with His people.” (January 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm)
    “The one thing that is required of the Jews is the same thing that is required of all people: belief.” (January 15, 2012 at 3:45 am)

    So, which is it? Did he require obedience before Christ, or did he only require belief?

    MARK

    Your understanding of LDS doctrine is not accurate. It is much more than just a promise; it is an assurance, a guarantee.
    To illustrate: My parents purchased several acres of land a few years ago. The land is in their name, but they have promised one acre to all their children, when each is ready and able to use it. So, I have an acre of land that is mine, for it is promised to me. It has even been sectioned off in the map, and surveyed off with markers and everything. If anyone what to use that land for any purpose they have to ask me, for it is mine. However, if I do not prepare and make myself ready I will never be able to use that land.
    In the same way we have eternal life. It is ours with an assurance that no one can take it away. But if we are not prepared we will never get to use that promise. At any time that our lives are in accordance with the will of God and our sins are forgiven we partake of Eternal Life, and in that moment if we were to die we would be exalted in heaven.
    The only real difference between our doctrine and yours is that we acknowledge that we can loose that Eternal Life, while, from all I can tell, you do not believe this is possible.

  19. 19 wyomingwilly
    January 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Shem, the fact that we were not John’s immediate audience back then is a given. You admit that we can
    learn from what he taught , and when it comes to the topic at hand ( eternal life) what he taught
    is directly applicable to us today. I think the problem with your line of reasoning is that you are trying to
    confine the discussion to a verse in 1 Jn 5 . When it comes believing in Jesus Christ for eternal
    life to be received, according to John , we need to consider the verse Mark referenced ( Jn.3:15) and
    other verses in 1Jn 5 . I tried to mention that in my first post. Perhaps I could have stressed it more.
    John was indeed reminding his flock that they could know they have eternal life —vr 13, before that he taught
    his audiences how eternal life was attained, and it is by believing in Jesus, not by striving to keep the long
    list of “requirements ” espoused by Mormon apostles. As for your defending the way to being right with God
    unto eternal life through striving to keep a myriad of laws , as proscribed by Mormon apostles, all I can say
    is that’s an impossible gospel. You asked this question : ” Would you have less faith in God if He did require
    your righteousness ? Would you reject a God that actually required effort on you part? This is what I find so
    illogical and unreasonable about what you profess. Why would you have a problem with being required to
    actually do something? ” You seem to embrace a very inaccurate view of what “I profess”. Concerning how
    a person receives eternal life there absolutely is something they MUST DO, something that IS REQUIRED :
    must ask for forgiveness , must trust/believe in Jesus, that He died for us in our place . Rom 10:9-13 and
    other scriptures proclaim this truth. THEN we get to live a life that daily shows are appreciation to Him because
    we are forgiven and saved. This is not”unreasonable” at all.

  20. 20 choosethechrist
    January 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Shem, what I am saying is that God does not require obedience to laws (mosaic law or LDS law) for salvation. I believe we have gone over this before, God requires our obedience, but obedience is not what saves us. You seem to be missing my point, so I will clarify it for you: because of Jesus, we are not under any form of law (mosaic or LDS) for our salvation. My other point is that Mormons think it’s all about them, but Mormonism is a new religion that doesn’t fit with what has been revealed in the Bible. Biblical prophecy reveals Christ, not the LDS church. Becoming a Mormon is like taking a step backward into Judaism except the LDS church has established a whole new set of laws and ordinances to go along with it’s new religion. Like I said, God has always required belief (faith and trust) in Him. Belief is what has to happen before we can have faith and trust in what God says. Belief leads to salvation. Belief is what shows us that we were wrong and God was right. Belief is what causes us to repent. Belief is what keeps us walking the walk. Christ has come, it’s all about Jesus and nothing about the LDS church.

    John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

  21. 21 wyomingwilly
    January 17, 2012 at 6:46 am

    I was reflecting on what Mormon apostles /Church curriculum has promoted as the way to receive Eternal
    life and live with God in heaven and remembered this way was called a ladder, the rungs or steps of which
    were what was deemed necessary to attain Eternal life(exaltation). Concerning ladders, years ago I was on
    a member of a rural fire dept . It was small and we had a huge ladder on the Pumper. This ladder was very
    tall, and on practice climbs , loaded down with all my gear it was a lot of work stepping all the way up to the
    top. Well, several Mormon apostles have taught that the way to eternal life is like a ladder, one apostle even
    called it the “Gospel ladder”. The rungs on this ladder represent the steps necessary to keep in order to
    climb up to God and eternal life. Some Mormon apostles , like LeGrand Richards were unabashed to call
    these steps by a more familiar term —works : ” Exaltation dependent upon good works. ” This is quite
    unfortunate because the apostle Paul taught the opposite in verses like Eph.2:8-9 . Mormon apostles
    promote the way to eternal life, their gospel ladder . They’ve created the rungs attached on it but it seems
    they can’t agree on the number of rungs , adding some and discarding others that their predecessors had
    worked to attach to it. With all the laws, rules, commands , that define the Mormon gospel this ladder is huge
    and sincere LDS work to keep stepping up onward to the top because of their trust in their apostles to
    be accurate in how they have constructed the rungs of this ladder. Will this ladder safely get LDS to the top,
    to eternal life? They are promised such safety by their apostles. But the apostles that Jesus’ picked to lead
    His church 2000 years ago built no huge ladder . His apostles spread over the land teaching that eternal
    life is through a person, this person is Jesus, He is the Way. What is necessary to receive eternal life is
    believing in Him, a trusting that involves a surrender of our will , and asking for forgiveness of sins and a
    faith that relies on His grace and mercy alone , now completely forgiven and possessing the gift of eternal
    life we can now do good things that enrich our lives and bring glory to Him . Thank you Father for reaching
    down to us with the Way to eternal life, we could never have climbed up the works ladder to you .

  22. 22 shematwater
    January 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    CHOOSE

    This is not what you said. You said “God stopped requiring “obedience to the laws and ordinances” for our salvation.” If he stopped requiring it for salvation than he did require it at one time for salvation. You have here taught a contradiction, and are now saying you haven’t.

    But, let us accept your latest statement, one that we have gone over before; it still leaves a large gap in understanding and is thus not reasonable. If works are required, what are they required for? If it is not salvation than it has to be something else. Of course, Echo would disagree with you, as he claims works are not required for anything, which is a much clearer idea than what you have espoused.

    WILLY

    “when it comes to the topic at hand ( eternal life) what he taught is directly applicable to us today.”

    The topic is, but not the actual words used, as they were specifically chosen for that day and age. This is my point. You are confusing the topic with the wording, and this will cause errors in interpretation. We cannot directly apply the words to us, but must seek an understanding of why those words were chosen, learn what circumstances prompted that phrasing, and then compare that to us to learn exactly how the topic applies to us. This is what I have attempted to do in my analysis of the audience he was addressing and the circumstances which they were in. It is what other people here have failed to do, but rather have simply assumed that the words themselves are directly applicable and have not sought an understanding as to why they were given.
    Now, I am not taking just the one verse. I am focusing on it, yes; because it is the verse that was quoted. However, if you read my first post (the first one on this thread) you will notice that I did address John 3: 15. But, let us look at other verses.

    Matthew 19: 16-17 (Mark 10: 17-21; Luke 18: 18-20) “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

    Matthew 25: 46 “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

    Mark 10: 29-30 “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
    But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”

    Luke 10: 25-28 “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
    And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

    Christ clearly taught that it is through obedience that one gains Eternal Life. Even Paul agrees with this, as he writes in Romans 2: 6-7 “Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:”

    The Bible is clear: Faith is the power of salvation, but it will only be effective in the lives of those who are obedient and follow the commands of God, performing all duties and ordinances by the proper authority.

    And by the way, my questions were not talking about a requirement of faith, but of works. Why can you not accept that, say baptism is required for your salvation?

  23. 23 shematwater
    January 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I didn’t have time to say this before, so I will add it on now.

    The gospel of Christ is never impossible. The required commandments are, in truth, easy to fulfill if one has sufficient faith. The only reason it looks impossible is because people lack the needed faith, but “If thou canst believe, all things are possible” (Mark 9: 23) for Christ has taught that “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26)

  24. 24 choosethechrist
    January 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    This is not what you said. You said “God stopped requiring “obedience to the laws and ordinances” for our salvation.” If he stopped requiring it for salvation than he did require it at one time for salvation. You have here taught a contradiction, and are now saying you haven’t.

    Shem, Sorry if what I said confused you. Here is the quote in context:
    “Eternal life, or exaltation, is to inherit a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, where we will live in God’s presence and continue as families (see D&C 131:1-4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, it requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’ (Articles of Faith 1:3).” (True to the Faith, p. 52)

    Notice that this quote “obedience to the laws and ordinances” comes from this: However, it requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’ from above.

    I was thinking of Mormonism when I wrote that, because Mormonism teaches ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances’ for exaltation/salvation and I was thinking of how Jesus put an end to the need for the law in Judaism. In my mind, I have been relating Mormonism to Judaism in regards to laws and ordinances. I can see now how my statement sounds when read without the thoughts I was thinking at the time. I’m afraid I didn’t really do a very good job of writing what I was trying to say. I can see that it makes it sound as if I were saying that obedience to laws and ordinances was at one time required for salvation which was not what I was trying to do. The laws and ordinances were required as part of the old covenant that God made with His choosen people, they were conditional, and were not ever required for salvation. Sorry if I have totally confused everyone. I have a very analytical mind and sometimes I forget that no one else knows what I am really thinking and my writing is not perfect. I sometimes err in my attempts to get others to think critically :(

    As for your other concern regarding works being required, works/obedience/submission are what we do because we believe and trust in what God says we are to do. Obedience is required to have a right relationship with God. Adam and Eve had a personal relationship with God, but they broke it when they sinned. The Jews had a conditional relationship with God through covenants. I have a personal relationship with God through Christ. My relationship with God was broken at one time because I was living according to my own will and a part of that included sin. Sin breaks our relationship with God. The day that I put my faith in Jesus Christ for my salvation, I repented, God forgave me, the Holy Spirit came to live in me, and my relationship with God was restored. I am saved and will go to live with God for all eternity when I die. Now I am a Christian and must be obedient/submissive to God in order to maintain my relationship with Him. I do the things He wants me to do to show my love for Him. The things/works that I do or don’t do, do not affect my salvation. My salvation was secured the day I put my faith in Christ. If and when I sin, my relationship with God suffers. I have to repent and turn away from the sins I commit in order to keep my relationship with God from suffering. I believe God. I believe what He has said in the Bible. What God said in the Bible is nothing like LDS exaltation.

  25. 25 choosethechrist
    January 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Willy, your thoughts bring this to mind:

    Religion is man trying to climb up the ladder of his own self-righteousness, with the hope of meeting God on the topmost rung; the gospel is God coming down the ladder in the incarnation of Jesus Christ and meeting us sinners at the lowest rung.

    “What is necessary to receive eternal life is believing in Him, a trusting that involves a surrender of our will , and asking for forgiveness of sins and a faith that relies on His grace and mercy alone , now completely forgiven and possessing the gift of eternal life we can now do good things that enrich our lives and bring glory to Him . Thank you Father for reaching down to us with the Way to eternal life, we could never have climbed up the works ladder to you .”

    ….and bring glory to Him!!!!! AMEN!

    Exaltation brings glory to man which is blasphemous. We are to bring Glory to the Father, not to ourselves.

  26. 26 choosethechrist
    January 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    With God all things are possible. The gospel of Christ is not impossible. If keeping the commandments were easy, we would be in no need of a Savior. If you have ever told a lie, you have not kept the commandments and are in need of a Savior. Jesus is the Savior, Jesus is the high priest, Jesus is the atonement, Jesus is the authority. The LDS church can not give you anything. Jesus has already given you all of the things that the LDS church claims to provide for you. All you have to do is believe what God said.

    God is the exalted one. We can not exalt ourselves to godhood.

  27. 27 shematwater
    January 18, 2012 at 12:44 am

    CHOOSE

    But what is the need to have a relationship with God? Is there a need? If I do not have a proper relationship with God but I still believe am I still saved? What does having a relationship with God get me in terms of Heaven and eternity?

    What I think is truly funny is that what you have explained here is almost exactly what the LDS teach. This is the basis for the degrees of glory. If you truly understood LDS doctrine would see that our similarities are much more common and more striking than you would think, and more so than our differences.

    You also make two rather interesting statements which show that you do not understand our doctrine.
    “Exaltation brings glory to man which is blasphemous. We are to bring Glory to the Father, not to ourselves.”

    What you do not understand is that God is the one being glorified when we are exalted. Yes, we receive a measure of glory, but his glory is increased by it. The greatest way to glorify the Father is to glorify ourselves.
    Compare this relationship to a family here on earth. What makes a man more proud than to see the success of his children; and what makes people praise a man more than to have a happy family and successful children. When I was baptized I was bringing myself into church of God, and thus I had honored my parents who had taught me the gospel as a child. My father is always proud that his sons served missions, that his children are married in the temple, that all of us are still faithful in the gospel. All these acts bring us honor, but they also bring him honor, for he is our father. Thus, when I go baptized I received the honor of that one baptism. But he has received the honor of a few dozen baptisms, as all his children and many of his grandchildren have been baptized.

    In the same way, when we are exalted we receive the glory of only one person being exalted, but our Heavenly Father receives the glory of all his children who are exalted, and in this way the more that he can bring to exaltation the greater his glory becomes. This is why our scriptures that “this is [his] work and [his] glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

    “God is the exalted one. We can not exalt ourselves to godhood.”

    I couldn’t agree more, but since all things are possible with God he can exalt us to godhood, which he has promised to the faithful. He is able to do this through Christ, who is our savior. Without this savior such would not be possible.

  28. 28 wyomingwilly
    January 18, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Shem, Mark cited 1 Jn.5:13 ; John 3:15 . Concerning 1 Jn John 5:13 you stated concerning the actual
    words used that ” …they were specifically chosen for that day and age. ….we cannot directly apply the
    words to us….” I think these words would be great to memorize , just like those in 1:9, what they say is
    timeless truth, the words of encouragement and life even today in our modern world. I think that I figured out
    why you are reasoning this as you are. It’s that you don’t like us to stand on these very words because
    they teach a simple truth— belief/faith in Jesus = eternal life , i.e. this verse ( and 5:1 and Jn 3:15,16
    3:36,5:24 , 20:31 ) are what John relays to us today that is enough for us to receive eternal life by etc.
    Mormons are so accustomed to looking up the steps of their huge gospel ladder of laws, rules, commands,
    obligations , ordinances, oaths all necessary to attain eternal life through, that the simple dynamic truth
    expressed by John in Chapter 5 of his epistle just does’nt compute in their minds as being sufficient. There’s
    no list of , as you said , ” works required for salvation ” , from John. In short, you assume that John is
    preaching to a Mormon Ward and he is a Mormon apostle so these words in 5:13 were chosen by him
    for his congregation who had already performed the religious works needed to be added to what vr 13
    states about eternal life. This scenario allows you to easily dismiss the words John uses in vr. 13 to
    directly apply to us today . So in an effort to prove Mormon doctrine relative to receiving eternal life thru
    doing good works to earn/merit it , you can’t let vr 13 and it’s sister verses (above) stand as we claim.
    Whew ! Glad I got that all out . Now the other verses you cited do not teach what you claim at all. Of the
    verses you cited from the gospels I like Luke 10:25-28 , it is close to the others in where Jesus points them
    to the law to receive eternal life , why ? Answer: Gal.2:16. His whole point was that they would find out
    the futility of trying to consistently keep all the law/commandments that this working would drive them to faith
    as the means to be completely forgiven and saved etc. Rom. 2 :6-7 simply looks at those who seek for ….
    …..eternal life , but the specifics of how to find this is spelled out by Paul in 3:22-24,28; by faith not works.
    You said, ” Christ clearly taught that it is through obedience that one gains eternal life.” You’re right.
    This obedience is : for us to come. Come to Him, believe/trust in Him, have to ask Him to forgive, have to
    believe He rose from the dead. We obey His call to come. What we don’t need to obey is the counsel from
    Mormon apostles to try and climb their huge ladder of religious works in order to try and earn eternal life .
    Baptism ? Being baptized is vital as a way to give public testimony illustrating our new life in Christ— going
    down into the water(death) then rising to new life in Christ etc. Absolutely required for eternal life ? No.
    I like what former Mormon Mike Tea says : ” Where Biblical apostles have the law leading us to Christ,
    Mormon apostles have Christ leading us to the law. “

  29. 29 Martha Golden
    January 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Shem, The original post was concerning 1 Nephi 8-11. In that piece of Mormon scripture, it talks about Lehi’s dream which was studied last Sunday in Mormon church. The dream talks about a rod of iron leading to the Tree of Life. So I went and actually read 1 Nephi 8-11 and was appalled at the contradiction of the Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon and the Tree of Life in the Bible.

    This is the biggest contradiction I see:

    1 Nephi 8:25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.

    How can someone partake of eternal salvation and be ashamed?

    Romans 1:16 states: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    I believe this is a pretty strong contradiction.

    It explains why the Mormon people have a persecution complex thinking people are mocking them.

    Shem, this is the topic started by this blog, please don’t mock me from your high temple. I have eaten of the Tree of Life and consider it joy. How can that be when I’m an apostate according to the Mormon doctrine? Once again, two different Tree of Life doctrines.

  30. 30 Kent
    January 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    A major danger of Mormon doctrine is the belief that if they don’t measure up and climb all of the way up the ladder to eternal life that at least they will get to be in a lower level of heaven.

    Because someone can get complacent. But the Bible teaches there are two choices, believing in who Jesus is and what He did in our place to save us, sinners who cannot save ourselves by His dying on the cross and rising again from the dead on the third day, or Hell.

    There are no lower levels of heaven to go to as there are just the mansions where God is and if you don’t get there Hell is where you will be.

  31. 31 shematwater
    January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    WILLY

    I fully admitted what my perspective was, and why I was giving the interpretation that I gave. My point is that you are making the same assumptions based on your own belief. You assume you are right, and therefore you interpret it to fit your belief. I do the same. That is my point. To deny that you do this is foolishness.

    As I said, if you take the text as it is, by itself, he never once equates faith with eternal life, and truly makes the opposite assertion, that having eternal life gives faith. Read it again. In fact, read the entire epistle and you might actually see a different picture than what you are claiming.
    Note that in 5: 20 he states that “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
    Thus eternal life is to know God, know that he is true and that we are in him. How do we know God? John tells us in the same epistle that “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.” (2: 3-4)
    So, to have eternal life we must know God and Jesus Christ. In order to know them we must keep their commandments. Since anyone who does not keep their commandments does not know them then it follows that those who do not keep the commandments do not have eternal life.

    As to your reasoning in explaining away the many times that Christ states directly that it is the obedient who gain eternal life, your explanation reads more into the bible than I ever did, and it truly contradicts the very idea of a loving and kind God.
    I am sorry, but I cannot believe in a God who would give a command that cannot be followed for the sole purpose of proving that it cannot be followed. This is not love, and it is not what I see in the Bible.

    KENT

    So, it is impossible for someone to get complacent with your doctrine. “Believe and you will spend eternity with God, regardless of what you do.” No chance of someone saying, “I believe” and then just doing whatever they want since they are assured eternal life for simply believing.
    Like it or not the basic concept is the same. The only difference is that we believe there is a consequence for being complacent, while you don’t. For you one who is complacent receives the same reward as one who is truly zealous in the work. Thus, the idler who sits on his hands all day doing nothing will receive the same reward as Abraham or Moses, or Peter or Paul, all because they believed.
    For us the idler will loose the full reward he could have otherwise had, and thus there is a much greater incentive to not be complacent, but to do all one can to please God and make their lives right with him.

    Of course, you would likely reply that one who truly believes would never become complacent, as their faith and love of God would motivate them. The problem with this is that the same argument applies to LDS doctrine. No one who truly has faith will become complacent, but will strive for the highest reward that God can give. It is those who do not have sufficient faith that become complacent and loose that reward.
    But, just like with your doctrine, they will still enter into heaven.

  32. 32 wyomingwilly
    January 19, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Shem, you said, ” You assume you are right, and therefore you interpret it to fit your belief. I do the same.
    That is my point. To deny that you do this is foolishness . ” I think when it comes to who’s interpretation
    “fits” the best concerning the topic of Eternal life and what Mark has posted concerning it, is not yours
    simply because John was’nt preaching like a Mormon apostle would. He did’nt offer any list of requirements
    necessary for eternal life he certainly never even knew of the one Mark mentioned ( Temple marriage) ,
    which has been called in Church curriculum : the most important thing that any LDS does in this life . It is
    called a command and all commands must be kept : ” no one can enter into eternal life other than by
    the correct door—Jesus Christ AND His commandments ” [ Spencer Kimball ] . Is’nt that the point you
    tried to make with John First Epistle ? Seeing as this command is absent from John ( and it’s not the only
    one ) , that would infer that your interpretation does’nt fit what John preached as the gospel
    of Jesus Christ. So many of the laws, commands, necessities , of what Mormon apostles have
    called as part of Jesus’ gospel is absent from John and the other apostles Jesus sent out .
    As for your statement that by itself 1 Jn 5:13 does’nt equate faith with eternal life, I can see your point,
    and you may be right . In I John 5: 9-13 he is saying , in my opinion, that by believing
    in Jesus you know you have eternal life. He removes all doubt about how eternal life is received in his
    gospel , and when all is said and done that’s the bottom line here. You asked to read the whole Epistle.
    I think the theme of his Epistle is that his readers be living their faith out consistently each day , this
    would confirm and assure them that they were saved, they were God’s children , the Holy Spirit would
    aid them in this confirmation. This is an inner “knowing” that happens after we have received complete
    forgiveness and the gift of eternal life from Him , we want to live a life that is obedient to Him. If there’s
    no desire to do as He asks us then we have not been delivered from death to life. These “commandments”
    that he refers to are not what Mormon apostles would call them —-requirements to be kept in order to
    earn or merit eternal life. John talks in a similar way about commandments as James does “works” in
    James chapter 2 . Commandment keeping to receive eternal life was never God’s plan . Even in the O.T.
    they were to regulate Jewish lifestyle , but salvation( forgiveness) came thru shed blood. We today trust
    in Jesus’ shed blood , shed as our substitute. It’s the righteous of Jesus that merits acceptance from God
    and eternal life for us. We are credited with Jesus’ righteous to stand before God clean. No amount of
    commandment keeping could make us worthy enough to receive eternal life. Faith, a surrender of our will
    and trusting that Jesus “works” are the only thing that qualifies us to stand before God is how eternal life
    is obtained, and it is given by God instantly upon our asking to be forgiven. Thanks for your patience in
    reading all this . WW

  33. 33 Kent
    January 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Shem has said that LDS doctrine can be backed up by the Bible but temple marriage is not only not talked about in the writings of John, it is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible either.

    Ironic also that temple marriage isn’t even talked about in the Book of Mormon as well.

    One would think if the BOM really is the most correct book on earth, and it contains the fullness of the gospel, that something as important as temple marriage would be in there.

    Also, a lot of other key doctrines of the Mormon Church are not in the BOM such as eternal progression, God was a man first before He was God, and others. Sounds like the BOM is incomplete if indeed what the LDS church now teaches is the gospel.

    Another Irony? Even the Book of Mormon teaches that God doesn’t change so He has always been God and couldn’t have been a man first if He doesn’t change.

    Mormon 9:9-10

    9 “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

    10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.”

  34. 34 choosethechrist
    January 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    WW said: “Even in the O.T. they were to regulate Jewish lifestyle , but salvation( forgiveness) came thru shed blood. We today trust in Jesus’ shed blood , shed as our substitute. It’s the righteous of Jesus that merits acceptance from God and eternal life for us.”

    Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

  35. 35 choosethechrist
    January 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Shem said, “What does having a relationship with God get me in terms of Heaven and eternity?”

    God has always wanted a relationship with us, it started in the garden. Belief, trust, Jesus, repentance, and forgiveness gives us a salvation that we do not deserve. We get heaven and a place with God for all eternity because of the gift of salvation.

    Romans 10:9-10
    9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

    What you have said fits your Mormon beliefs. Mormons are earning exaltation by keeping the laws and ordinances of the Mormon church which is not from God, it is from man, is not taught in the Bible, and was never handed down from the Apostles or Apostolic Fathers, or practiced in the early Church.
    We were given a gift that we do not deserve because that’s how much God loves us. I don’t have a relationship with God in order to “get” anything. The thought of earning eternal rewards does not even enter my mind. I am so humbled and thankful for my salvation and satisfied in my relationship with God that “getting” anything is not even a part of the picture. I am totally amazed everytime God blesses me with something. Relationships are about giving not about getting.

    Mark 10:45
    45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

    1 Peter 4:10
    10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

    We may have some similarities, but the differences are important and VERY significant. For us, Jesus is the way to salvation, sanctification is the way to obtain a Christlike character, Jesus is the High Priest, Jesus is the Authority, we are the Church. For you, the church is the way to exaltation, the church is the way to godhood, the church is the authority, the church holds the priesthood. Where is Jesus in Mormonism? Jesus showed up in order to secure a resurrected body for you, pave the way to godhood, and to be an example to follow. I’ve been to LDS sacrament meetings. Mormons don’t even give Jesus glory in giving their testimony. It’s all about “knowing the church is true” and “believing Joseph Smith”.

    Shem said, “What you do not understand is that God is the one being glorified when we are exalted. Yes, we receive a measure of glory, but his glory is increased by it. The greatest way to glorify the Father is to glorify ourselves.”

    Degrees of glory and glorification of men are extra Biblical concepts that do not fit with God’s Biblical word because you are the ones performing certain acts that you think will earn you glory and glorification:

    John 8:54
    Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

    Glory from a Biblical perspective is about giving to God not getting from God:

    Psalm 34:3
    Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.

    Psalm 63:3
    Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

    Psalm 86:12
    I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

    Daniel 4:37
    Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

    Mormon exaltation is a heretical twist of theosis or sanctification:

    The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches a doctrine of theosis in which man takes on divine characteristics. Man does not become divine, but in Christ can partake of divine nature. This Church’s version of salvation restores God’s image in man.

    In the Protestant Church, we use the term sanctification rather than the term theosis and we understand this to be the power of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts that enables us to be like Christ.

    The LDS Church teaches a doctrine of exaltation which is a very literal divinization where humanity may not only achieve God’s holiness and perfection but also his essential divinity or godhood.

    God is the one doing the sanctifying, this is not something we can obtain by keeping the laws and ordinances of any church.

    When I see Mormonsim, I don’t see anything that resembles the early church, but I do see things that resemble heresy during the times of the early church.

    “Gnosticism is the philosophy that says, “only God’s elite can understand the deepest things of God, and once a person has reached that lofty standing, he receives deeper insights into the mind of God than what is revealed in His word.” ~C. W. Booth

    Mormonism: Only Mormons can understand the things of God and once a person has reached that lofty standing, he receives deeper insights into the mind of God than what is revealed in His word and has the ability to grow in knowledge and glory.

  36. 36 wyomingwilly
    January 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Choosethechrist, that was a great verse you shared about Jesus’ shed blood. I’ve come realize in
    reading Mormon publications and talking with Mormons that the whole problem is not the Mormon
    people , the problem is the plan . (The Mormon “plan” of salvation) . May God help these decent
    people with the strength to dismiss their apostles plan and embrace Jesus completely as their way
    to eternal life.

  37. 37 choosethechrist
    January 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    WW, that is so true! The Mormon people are good, decent, moral people who have been deceived. Unfortunately, being a good person is not what saves us. The mormon plan of salvation is not what saves us. Jesus saves us!

  38. 38 shematwater
    January 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    WW

    I am glad you admit that it is your opinion that the passage carries the meaning you claim. This is really the only point I was making.

    As to all the commandments, why would John feel such to be necessary if he was writing to those who already had the gospel, and thus already knew the commandments? He does not give a list of commands because that list was already given and is assumed to be understood by his audience. He does make reference to them, as I have point out form the second chapter of the Epistle, but he has no need to remind the people of what they are, as that is not his purpose in writing.
    This was the second point I was trying to make. You assume that because he does not give a direct list of all the commandments that he obviously does not teach their necessity. Why do you assume this? Because you assume that you are right, and thus his audience of that day held the same beliefs as you do. With this assumption what you believes seems to work. I have simply made the same assumption (that his audience of that day held the same beliefs as we do) and the passage still easily fits. As such, to argue we are wrong based on your reasoning is a flawed argument because it is only true if your assumption is true, which cannot be proven.

    Speaking of your understanding of 1 John 5: 9-13, it only really fits if you do not look at the rest of the epistle. In these verses we are told that God gave us eternal life in His Son. To have the Son is to have eternal life. But, as I pointed out, in verse 20 it tells us that to have eternal life is to know God and his Son, and thus we may make the connection that to have the Son is to know him. Taking all this I can still see your understanding, but we must refer back to chapter 2, verses 3-4, where we are told that in order to know the Son (or to have the Son) we must keep his commandments. Even in the first part of chapter five John speaks to keeping the commandments as the way to know we love God and even states that “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (verse 3)
    I am glad you brought up James 2, as it does teach the exact same thing. Faith is not sufficient, but must be tested and proved by our works. So John teaches us that we know we have eternal life when we know God by keeping his commandments. Both are in perfect agreement that it is in keeping the commandments that we receive an assurance of eternal life.

    KENT

    As I said, I can support all these from the Bible. I never once said they are directly stated, but their is sufficient evidence that a case can be made that they were taught. I have no doubt that you would never believe this, and since you can just as easily give varying interpretations of the several verses I could site, there is little point in doing so. The topic of this thread is not eternal marriage or the temples, or any of the many doctrines you seek to use to divert attention from the focus. The topic is the definition of the term Eternal Life and how it is gained. The two opposing arguments are that it is gained solely through faith, which I have opposed with the LDS understanding of required obedience. I am not seeking, nor do I think anyone else here is seeking, to go through every single command and dissect it for biblical support or anything else. It is the general idea that is being discussed, and until all agrees to one side or the other the details of each don’t matter.

    Speaking of the Book of Mormon, it contains the fullness of the Gospel, meaning that everything a person needs to attain the Celestial Kingdom is contained within it. As temple marriage is not required to attain that kingdom it does not need to be in the Book of Mormon for this statement to be true.
    Also, the Book of Mormon is the most correct book. It has never been said that it is the most complete book. The Book of Mormon has fewer errors in it, and teaches things in a clearer and simpler way than any other book. It does not contain all truth, but what truth it does contain is correct.

    CHOOSE

    You lack of understanding concerning LDS doctrine is almost astounding.
    To put the record strait, as I don’t like the false ideas that you have asserted here to go out to too many people, the name of our church is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” Anyone who claims that Christ is not in our church or doctrine is, quite simply, a fool and knows nothing of what they are speaking. Christ is the only way to salvation, and without him we are all condemned to Hell. He did not just come to assure resurrection and be an example. His sacrifice, both in the garden and on the cross, is what held the power necessary for our salvation, without which we could not be saved. It is through this sacrifice that we are able to gain forgiveness of sins. It is through this sacrifice that we are empowered by his spirit. He is the center of our faith, the chief cornerstone on which all that we believe is founded. Without him our church is nothing.

    Now, you have made some rather ridiculous and truly annoying claims that amount to little more than slander (or libel in this case). The church is not the way to exaltation. Christ is the way. He is stands at the head of this church, and it is by his command that anything is done. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that any ordinance is made effective, without which nothing would be of any benefit. Your claims are made ignorantly, based on your preconceived assumptions that you associate with anyone who teaches what you do not agree with.
    (Note: I have yet to attend any testimony meeting where at least one person does not mention Christ directly, and all mention him indirectly when they state a belief in his church.)

    As to us gaining glory, read again 2 Corinthians 3: 18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

    We are to be changed from glory to glory until we are in the same image or glory as Christ. It is not by our works that we gain this glory, but by the power of the Spirit of the Lord. We will be glorified with the same glory as Christ, for we are joint-heirs with him (Romans 8: 17).

    PS You never answered my question. What does a relationship with God get us? All you said was that it is what God wants. This does not tell us what we get.

  39. 39 wyomingwilly
    January 21, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Shem, I did see the point you were making about 1 Jn 5:13 , and while I feel that the words ” you that believe
    on the name of the Son of God ” is connected to how a person receives eternal , which John succinctly
    explains in his gospel account, still I think he is stressing to his flock who already had the gospel on how
    to know this was true . So you made a valid point with this verse. Concerning John’s statements on the
    keeping of the commandments , you asked , ” …why would John feel such to be necessary if he was
    writing to those who already had the gospel, and thus knew the commandments ” ? Why would’nt John
    mention this ? There were those among his flock who had misconceptions in this area ( 2:4) he
    always needed to stress that joy and blessings come to those who do what Jesus asked —- keep His
    commandments. In First John the apostle tells his flock how they may know that they have /possess
    eternal life, not as much on HOW TO GET eternal life . ( that he does more clearly in his gospel account).
    I think you fail to see this difference. John tells his people that a deep desire to please Jesus is a valid
    way TO KNOW that indeed they have been given eternal life by God. There is a similarity here with faith
    and works in James 2 . Faith is sufficient for salvation ( in respect to God) , works justifies us before
    men. I cited Mormon apostle Spencer Kimball earlier where he taught : ” none can enter into eternal life
    other than by the correct door—-Jesus Christ and His commandments.?” Mr. Kimball was half right, so
    sadly by going thru the wrong door he leads to the wrong way. Trying to keep the many laws, commands ,
    rules, obligations, etc of the Mormon gospel in order to earn eternal life is the wrong door, it’s the
    wrong way. Jesus is is the right door, the right way ( Jn 14 :6, 10:9). Believing in Him by a heart trust in His
    righteousness , His worthiness , credited to us , thus allowing God to completely pardon us and instantly
    give the right to live with Him in heaven —-eternal life. John taught about such believing in Jesus in his
    gospel. He knew how to obtain eternal life, apparently Mormon apostles don’t—Gal.1:8-9.

  40. 40 shematwater
    January 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    WW

    As I have stated many times on these threads, it is a matter of interpretation. I am glad that you see my point. But I must ask, which one. The specific point regarding 1 John 5: 13, or the more general point on interpretation?

    Either way I think you are beginning to see where I am coming from. As I have said, because of my perspective I can see evidence of every LDS doctrine contained within the Bible. I am not surprised that others cannot, for they do not have the same perspective as I (or the LDS) do. But that does not mean it is not there.
    Now, on these threads I actually rarely make any statement as to whether or not we are right and you are wrong (meaning our religions). My main purpose, and the one I try to stick to, is correcting false understandings regarding LDS doctrine, and showing how we can believe what we do and still accept the Bible.

    It has ben fun.

  41. 41 wyomingwilly
    January 23, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Shem, I did get a chance to see where you’re coming from . Unfortunately your interpretation of the
    whole picture does’nt fit with the Biblical record concerning how a person can receive eternal life,
    and that’s really all that counts . As for your contention that you see evidence of every Mormon
    doctrine in the Bible . That means little to me as I’ve had a Mormon Missionary tell me there’s not
    enough truth in the Bible to embrace for eternal life. Apostle LeGrand Richards stated it more
    clearly : the everlasting gospel could not be discovered through reading the Bible alone…”
    So it sounds like you might have a very creative mind. I’m glad that you read the Bible. It’s my prayer
    that God will enable you to see the simple gospel therein . It’s all about Jesus and what He did for us ,
    not about trying to climb up a huge ladder of commandments to earn exaltation/eternal life. Take care.
    WW

  42. 42 shematwater
    January 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    WW

    Again, it is a matter of perspective and interpretation. Quite honestly, the whole picture of the Bible clearly shows that it is through our obedience that we gain eternal life, and not by faith alone. This is what I see every time I read the Bible, in every chapter from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.

    And just so you know, I agree with Brother Richards. The gospel in its fullness cannot be found in the Bible alone, at least not in how it currently stands. But then I am not relying only on the Bible, but on all scripture that God has reveal to us in these latter days. It is not my imagination that allows me to see this evidence in the Bible. It is the fact that I know the doctrine and thus I understand the truth and what to look for.
    Example (though I really don’t want to get into a deep discussion):
    Eternal Marriage – We read in 1 Peter 3: 7 that man and wife are heirs together of the grace of life. We read in 1 Corinthians 11: 11 that a man cannot be with God without the woman, nor can the woman without the man. These two passages both speak to man and woman needing each other in order to be with God, both in the context of marriage.
    In Matthew 16: 19 (and 18: 18) the Lord gives the apostles the power that what they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven (which would include marriage). In Ecclesiastes 3: 14 we are told that whatever God does will be forever, which would also include marriage. These verses show that marriage can be eternal, lasting forever if they are joined by the power of God.
    Of course the greatest evidence for this doctrine is the story of Adam and Eve. As all Christians that I know will agree that the state in which they lived while in the Garden was an eternal one, I would point out that part of this eternal existence is the fact that they were married (Genesis 2: 25) which proves that marriage was intended to be an eternal union. This is reaffirmed by Christ when he tells the pharisees “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
    And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
    Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19: 4-6)

    Now, I will agree that one who does not believe in the doctrine of eternal marriage would likely not see the connections that I have pointed out in these verses. But I know the doctrine and so I can see them. The same is true of every other doctrine of the LDS church. Because I know the doctrines I can see them in the Bible.
    Now, one could argue that I am seeing what I want to see, and there is some merit to that argument. But I would simply point out that the mere fact that such can be seen shows that the Bible is not truly sufficient by itself, for if it was it would not facilitate such confusion.

  43. January 24, 2012 at 12:24 am

    The definition of prooftexting from theopedia: Proof texting is the method by which a person appeals to a biblical text to prove or justify a theological position without regard for the context of the passage they are citing. ……..But in one’s interpretation of a text, the genre and context should never be ignored.

    The LDS church is notorious for taking passages out of Biblical context and using them to support their doctrines. Matthew 16:19 is commonly used in Mormonism to support their beliefs on eternal marriage and is a good example of what can happen when context is ignored.

    The Biblical cross reference for Matthew 16:19 is John 20:23 and the subject is forgiveness of sins not marriage. Also, in the Bible we have 3 Apostles who tell us in Matthew 22:29-30, Mark 12:24-25, and Luke 20:34-36 that Jesus said there will be no marriage in heaven. Paul also tells us that marriage ends for a woman with the death of her husband in Romans 7:2.

    I trust what Jesus said. There will be no marriage in heaven. Marriage is not eternal.

  44. 44 Kent
    January 24, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Shem said, “And just so you know, I agree with Brother Richards. The gospel in its fullness cannot be found in the Bible alone, at least not in how it currently stands”

    It is interesting that in earlier editions of the Book of Mormon that its introdcution says that both the BOM and the Bible contain the fullness of the gospel but the current editions say that the BOM contains the fullness of the gospel but leaves out that the Bible also contains the fullness of the gospel.

    Also, the older editions say the Lamanites are the principal ancestors of the American Indians but the newer editions say the Lamanites are among the ancestors of the American Indians.

    I realized that the intro to the BOM isn’t considered scripture but It sounds like they just make it up as they go.

    1981 (Salt Lake City, UT: Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

    The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. IT IS A RECORD OF GOD’S DEALINGS WITH THE ANCIENT INHABITANTS OF THE AMERICAS AND CONTAINS, AS DOES THE BIBLE, THE FULNESS OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL.
    The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites.

    The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. AFTER THOUSANDS OF YEARS, ALL WERE DESTROYED EXCEPT THE LAMANITES, AND THEY ARE THE PRINCIPAL ANCESTORS OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS.

    2006 (New York: New Doubleday Edition)

    The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. IT IS A RECORD OF GOD’S DEALINGS WITH THE ANCIENT INHABITANTS OF THE AMERICAS AND CONTAINS THE FULNESS OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL.
    The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites.

    The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. AFTER THOUSANDS OF YEARS, ALL WERE DESTROYED EXCEPT THE LAMANITES, AND THEY ARE AMONG THE ANCESTORS OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS.

  45. 45 shematwater
    January 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    CHOOSE

    I am not going to discuss the eternal marriage and all the verses I sited. It was given as a courtesy to willy for the courtesy he has shown to me. Its purpose was to illustrate a point, which I have done. I am going to leave it at that. I will not discuss it further on this thread,

    KENT

    The introduction that you reference was actually first written and published in 1981, so to say that earlier editions made the same statements is inaccurate.
    Speaking of the change, it is interesting to note that Elder Richard L. Evans, a former apostle, described the Book of Mormon as “part of a record both sacred and secular of prophets and people, who (with supplementary groups), were among the ancestors of the American Indians.” This description was approved by the First Presidency, and was subsequently published in the book “Reliogions of America” written by Leo Rosten, published in 1957, again in1963, and again in 1975. All three of these printings were before the Introduction that was introduced in 1981.
    As you point out, the Introduction is not scripture. This wording was choosen carelessly by the one who wrote it, and as it was not inspired it managed to slip through the cracks of editing. As it was not sufficient a reason to reprint the entire edition it was not changed until the time for a new edition came, at which time the change was specifically requested by the church to return to the original understanding given by Elder Richard L. Evans previously.

    So it is a correction, not a change. It is fixing a minor error in an uninspired writing that had been missed in the original printing.

    Speaking more specifically to the removal of the inclusion of the Bible, it also seems to be an error that managed to slip through the editing and is now being corrected.

  46. 46 wyomingwilly
    January 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Shem, I’m glad that you admit what I stated about your seeing various Mormon doctrines in the Bible .
    ” You said, ” Now one could argue that I am seeing what I want to see, and there is some merit to that
    argument .” As for your seeing “connections” with various verses that proves some of your important
    doctrines, ( like eternal Marriage) . I too might use this behavior to prove or validate a important
    issue for me, though it’s not a salvation issue, it is important to me. It’s Rodeo. There are those who
    hate this sport, so to prove to them it is true I merely show that the Bible mentions horses, ropes,
    Bridles, as well as the terms “shod” etc. I explain to them that there was more evidence in the Bible for
    this sport but evil men took it out long ago, but thank God He restored this sport in the 19th Century
    for us. Those that do’nt believe it is a good activity to engage in are thus not in tune with God because
    He restored it :) . I hope you get my point here. If Mormon leaders would simply say that the Bible does
    not teach the “unique” doctrines of Mormonism , but simply say that they have new revelation for them etc,
    I could respect that more. But to resort to the kind of “connections” they do is wrong. But I understand you
    are merely submitting to your apostles as required . To call celestial marriage the crowning gospel ordinance,
    to teach that a person can’t gain eternal life (exaltation) as a single person , to teach that it is only through
    Temple marriage that a person can gain eternal life and live with God , is such egregious behavior by
    those who claim to be directed personally by Jesus as His apostles to preach His gospel. Marriage for eternity
    was created by Mormon apostles. It was only part of their “gospel” law of celestial marriage, polygamy being the
    other part. You cited what Jesus said in Matt 19. , yet that was’nt enough for Mormon leaders as they
    attempted to preach their own gospel, the “restored gospel” . A new “gospel ordinance ” on marriage was
    available for those who felt that God was telling them personally —polygamy . A bigger Kingdom and glory
    through more progeny in the hereafter was a benefit of this new truth from Jesus . It was accompanied by
    still another ordinance, a married woman could be “sealed” to her husband for this life only but also be
    sealed to another man for eternity, this second marriage would take place after death. Then there was
    the law permitted by Jesus thru Brigham Young where a LDS woman , with her husbands permission, could
    leave him and join a man with a higher Priesthood position— no divorce necessary. There is more examples
    of spiritual guidance from Mormon apostles on marriage but this should remind us all that these men are not
    reliable spiritual guides on some very vital doctrines. They’re actually guilty of the same behavior they accuse
    other religions of , namely they’ve changed Jesus’ gospel, they’ve altered gospel ordinances . No doubt this
    was by good intentions , but either they heard from Jesus or not , and that’s all the difference in the world.
    Bottom line here: the gospel of Jesus Christ is recorded in the New Testament for us all. It is sufficient to
    get us to heaven to live with God . Mormon apostles since 1830 have offered a unstable gospel because it
    is composed of their human ideas mixed with some scriptural truth . The Mormon people deserve the truth.

  47. 47 wyomingwilly
    January 25, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Shem, allow me to add a few more comments on what Mormon apostles have endorsed as spiritual truths
    concerning celestial/eternal marriage. For many years Mormon leaders have taught over the pulpit
    the following : they felt so strongly about their restored gospel truth of polygamy being endorsed
    by Jesus that the Deseret News stated : ” this monogamous system of marriage so esteemed by modern
    Christendom as a holy sacrament and divine Institution is nothing but a system established by a set of
    robbers …” . That was’nt enough so some resorted to using “evidence” from the New Testament : Jesus
    was persecuted because He was a polygamist , He merely followed in His Father’s tracks ! Polygamy
    as part of the gospel law of celestial marriage was taught to be a necessary gospel truth as important
    as Baptism , as one apostle so boldly proclaimed to Latter-Day Saints. These men claimed to be faithful
    to the direction and guidance given them by Jesus. When we look at what these men have offered as
    spiritual guidance since 1830 we see that they are similar to those who they point the finger at and accuse
    of altering Jesus’ gospel, and changing His ordinances ( dumping some ,adding others) . The teachings that
    Mormon apostles have produced on celestial/Temple marriage are foreign to what Jesus gave His apostles to teach His church in the N.T. In the light of warnings such as recorded in 2Jn 9 and 2Cor 11: 4 I have to
    dismiss them for what they are—- the precepts of men being proclaimed as the doctrines of God [ 2Nephi
    28:31 ; Mk 7:7 ] . I have the utmost respect for the Mormon people as I believe they are striving to follow
    God, but they have been detoured by their apostles into embracing false doctrine on significant issues,
    issues that can have a direct bearing on their relationship with God . I hope that one day soon you can
    see this detour. Thanks . WW

  48. 48 shematwater
    January 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    WILLY

    I am not getting into a argument on Polygamy. I had respect for you, because you were respectful to me and my beliefs. These last two posts are devoid of any respect, and are simply you venting on something that you personally don’t like. It is geared for contention and deserves no further response. This is not to say that I agree with you or that I acknowledge what you say is true. It is simply to say that I made the mistake of casting my pearls before swine, and now that I see the mistake I will not make it worse.

    Speaking of your point, I have never once denied that my perspective influences how I read the scriptures. However, every connection I have made in every verse I have sited is a reasonable understanding of the verse. Thus your analogy with rodeo is little more than a bible joke (like Baseball being in Genesis 1: 1 – the Big Inning) as it can have no logical connection to any verse of the Bible.

    Now, I have to say that if you do understand my point, as you have claimed, then you are ignoring it, which would imply that you disagree. My point, to be very simple, is that no one reads the Bible without being influenced by their own perspective on life and their preconceived ideas and desires. It is impossible to do so, and anyone who claims to read it without this influence is either an idiot or a liar. So stop with the pointless accusations.

  49. January 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Excellent posts wyomingwilly – Very respectfully written.

    Shem always goes for the personal attacks when people make good points that he doesn’t like. It is his only defence mechanism.

  50. 50 wyomingwilly
    January 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Shem, you either had a very bad day or else you failed to understand some of my my comments . My
    respect for you as a person will never vacillate . As far as what I said in way of a analogy with Rodeo,
    that was off the top of my head , in a small way it did remind me of how you see ” evidence” through
    “connections” of verses. It was meant to inject a tiny bit of humor into the discussion , because to many
    Mormons , sooner or later, seem to resort to personal attacks with someone who questions a doctrine they
    hold to be sacred ( like celestial/Temple marriage) as being only the precepts of the men . There was
    no contention in my mind at all , and as far as only ” venting ” on something I personally don’t like goes,
    you’re making a personal judgement that implies much more than I intended. It does though bring
    up the question of should I like it when someone who claims to be an apostle of Jesus tells me that Jesus
    told him that the gospel could’nt be discovered by reading the Bible alone? That salvation was “once again
    available ” to mankind after 1800 years of be not available ? Is that contention and “venting” ?
    Do you notice I always try and separate Mormons from their their leaders? That’s because YOU do not
    establish Mormon doctrine, you merely follow those that do . ( That’s unfortunate and can have severe
    consequences Matt.7:15). I mentioned some examples of what Mormon apostles have promoted as
    gospel truth on marriage/celestial marriage , and since they claim to be directed by Jesus to feed this
    type of spiritual food to their followers then we have to evaluate it , why ? Because believe it or not there
    are actually false prophets around today just as Jesus said there would be, and not all false prophets are
    immoral , devious men , some can be very kind and moral individuals and preach about living such , that’s
    one way they fool sincere people. WW

  51. 51 shematwater
    January 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    WILLY

    I have no doubt that you have respect for the people. But the people is a very abstract concept, one that is easy to be respectful of. It is when you are faced with individuals that that respect doesn’t hold up. Of course it rarely does with anyone, myself included.

    To explain things more simply: You do not respect my opinions and thus you do not respect me. It is as simple as that. You try to claim such when you try to separate the members from the leaders, but it is a delusion to think that such is possible. It is like saying you believe the Bible is a true history but that Christ never actually existed.

    If you respect me you will respect my beliefs, whether you agree with them or not.

  52. January 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Note to the readers…

    Shem said: “You do not respect my opinions and thus you do not respect me.”

    It’s the other way around. Shem has no respect for people’s opinions or the people with those opinions.

  53. 53 wyomingwilly
    January 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Shem , you said : ” If you respect me you will respect my beliefs, whether you agree with them or not.”
    I’m to respect the belief of “apostles” who said that I belong to the Church of the devil ? I’ don’t respect
    that belief . I do respect them as fellow human beings who have been deceived into embracing that belief.
    Your opinion of anyone who does’nt agree with your point on reading the Bible without preconceived ideas
    is to call them ” idiots ” or ” liars ” . Interesting . WW

  54. January 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Shem my comments are intended to point people in the direction of Biblical truth. I do not expect a response from anyone and you are certainly under no obligation to respond to anything I have to say.

  55. January 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I too would have to agree that wyomingwilly has shown a great deal of respect, care, and consideration. I can see that Shem is getting frustrated. I think Shem needs to remember that he is playing on an evangelical playground.

  56. 56 shematwater
    January 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    WILLY

    “I’m to respect the belief of “apostles” who said that I belong to the Church of the devil?”

    Yes. Just as I respect your belief that the LDS church is a false church that is lead by false prophets. I can respect that belief. I have no problem with you believing it. I know your wrong, and that you are deceived by a very crafty Devil into believing it. But I can respect it and you for believing it.
    On the other hand, you claim respect for a person but show a blatant disrespect for their beliefs, for everything that they stand for. It is incompatible.

    As to my opinions you have chosen to misrepresent what I have said. I have caused some hard feelings it seems, and I am sorry for that. However, I still must clarify what I said as you twisted it from its original intent.

    You said “Your opinion of anyone who doesn’t agree with your point on reading the Bible without preconceived ideas is to call them ” idiots ” or ” liars ”

    This is not what I said. My point is that anyone, whether they agree with me or not (and I include myself in this), who claims to read the Bible without preconceived ideas and prejudices is either an idiot or a liar. I don’t care who they are. President Monson would be either an idiot or a liar if he made this claim. This is my opinion, and one that is amply supported by the very nature of our existence. To say that I claim this only of those who disagree with me is a lie in itself, as I have admitted that I do this myself on several occasions. Thus, your statement concerning my opinion is a false statement.

  57. 57 wyomingwilly
    January 27, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Shem, this is morphing into something way beyond what it should so I’m going to say one more thing
    on this thread. There are beliefs that I do not respect pure and simple. They might involve something
    said about my beliefs or my Savior, I realize that people can be deceived into embracing some terrible beliefs,
    and so I see them as spiritually blind. I certainly don’t disrespected ” everything” they stand for as you
    stated. ( a few posts back you called some things I said were devoid of any respect ). You felt that I
    twisted your comment on the point of preconceived ideas influencing our Bible interpretation.
    It was not my intent to purposely give a false statement. My thoughts were on the terms you
    chose ( liars/idiots ) . I think calling someone an idiot whether they agree with us or not would’nt make for a
    fruitful discussion , so I’m sorry for the way that may have come across to you. WW

  58. 58 shematwater
    January 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    WILLY

    This has gone in the wrong direction, and I think it was largely my fault. I have reflected back on what you said and what I said, and I have to admit that I over reacted. This is a personal failing that I have been dealing with for a while, and I apologize.

    Now I admit that there are some beliefs that I do not respect, but these are generally what people believe about others and are usually based on false information and ignorance. These things I do not respect and those who approach any topic with these I do not respect.

    It has been fun talking with you.


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