01
Mar
12

The Book of Mormon’s Critique of Other Churches

That is what is contained in the 2 Nephi 26-30, the section of the Book of Mormon that will be studied this Sunday in the LDS Church.  This critique is set in the context of its supposed prophecy of Joseph Smith finding and translating the Book of Mormon.

These chapters contain quite a few condemnations of Christian churches.  One that is emphasized and the one that I will be focusing on is its condemnation of the position held today by millions of Christians that the Bible alone is God’s revealed Word.  Following are a couple of quotes from these chapters in the Book of Mormon that give a flavor for its position.

     2 Nephi 28:29: Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!

     2 Nephi 29: 3-6  And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.  But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?  O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.  Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

As I said, that is just one of numerous condemnations of Christians and Christian churches in those chapters.  As I reread those chapters this week, the thought that kept coming to mind was why would any Mormon today want to try to identify themselves, in any way, with the Christian church?  These chapters draw a bold and distinct line between Mormonism and Christian churches.  In fact, these chapters connect the actions and beliefs of Christian churches with Satan himself!  That is even brought out in the conclusion of the teacher’s guide for this lesson.  Its conclusion:  “Explain that through studying the Book of Mormon and living the gospel, we will gain the power to avoid Satan’s deceptive illusions and be guided as we strive to stay on the strait and narrow path.”

In his book, Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, faithfully reflects the flavor of these chapters from 2 Nephi in his definition of Christendom.  “The term also applies to the whole body of supposed Christian believers; as now constituted this body is properly termed apostate Christendom.”  Again, I ask, why would any Mormon want to, in any way, identify themselves with apostates?

 

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108 Responses to “The Book of Mormon’s Critique of Other Churches”


  1. 1 Shelby
    March 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    As a faithful Mormon who has immediate family members who are members of other Christian denominations, I would like to share a few thoughts that I have on this topic. First, other churches and Christian denominations frequently do say “we have enough of the word of God, we don’t need anymore. We don’t need prophets or additional scriptures.” I believe that the Bible is the word of God, that it contains the teaching of Christ and wonderful, powerful testimonies of Him. Reading the Bible, I have also found that it testifies of a Restoration to come and that revelation for the entire Church through priesthood leaders will happen again before the coming of Christ. Other Christian churches often claim this is not necessary. I personally believe in a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. My God will proclaim His gospel and guide His children through modern revelation today, as in times of old. He will visit with and reveal truth to His lost sheep, as He declares in the Bible. Perhaps 2 Nephi 28:29 is not so much a condemnation as it is a description or statement of fact. Take is as a condemnation if you want.
    As a Mormon, I identify myself with many of the good, faithful, Christian qualities of other Christian churches. I know people of all different faiths who are charitable, honest, kind, hard-working, faithful, loyal, and giving. I unite with them in my declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and that He gave his life as a sacrifice for my sin and yours. I declare that it is through His grace and His mercy that we are saved, that He will carry us through the good times and the bad, and that we are to learn by His example to love, to serve, and to forgive. I want to identify myself with good people because they live Christlike lives and help make the world a better place. I identify with them because we are all trying to come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ, by walking in His paths.
    I have also learned through personal experience with some of the people who are closest to me, that people often speak with Mormons not in order to come to any kind of understanding, but in order to change their minds. You read the Book of Mormon in order to disagree with it, not because you are seeking truth. People see what they want to see, good, bad or otherwise. Often these people are good Christians who in this area have hard hearts and can’t see past their biases to really look for truth. We should all (myself and Mormons included) be careful of using our biases to justify our position by the “spirit of man” or “spirit of the world” as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2.
    I want to share with you that by the “spirit which is of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12), I have gained a personal witness that Jesus Christ lives, that the Bible is the word of God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is a testament of the Savior and it elucidates and clarifies many of the beautiful doctrines of the Bible that have been corrupted and concealed over centuries of mankind trying to make sense of the gospel using merely reason and logic and disregarding the spirit. I do not justify or rationalize my beliefs. But I will testify that they are sacred to me. I know they are true by the Spirit of God. Refusing to read the Book of Mormon because you have sufficient truth and light in the Bible is what 2 Nephi 29 addresses. That, be it condemnation or otherwise, is what most Christians do today when confronted with this additional witness of Jesus Christ.

  2. March 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Shelby said: “Christian denominations frequently do say “we have enough of the word of God, we don’t need anymore.”

    That is true but for a very good reason…

    Colossians 1:25-26 ” I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you THE WORD OF GOD IN ITS FULLNESS— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, BUT IS NOW DISCLOSED to the saints.” (Caps for emphasis)

    Our current day prophet is Jesus.

  3. 3 markcares
    March 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Shelby:
    Thanks for not only commenting, but also thanks for your tone.
    One reason I called these condemnations is because of the word, “woe”. Woe is commonly used to describe a condemnation. To put it another way, if things are identified as coming from Satan, isn’t that a condemnation?
    I believe that it is an act of love to warn people about dangers. I believe that Mormonism, and also the Book of Mormon, teaches things that will cause people eternal pain. Yes, I believe that Mormonism leads people to an eternity in hell. As I write that, I realize that saying that will hurt you and others – that it might anger some. That, however, is not my motivation. I say that because I am totally convinced of that and I am compelled to warn people of that. I am also thankful that there have been many who have taken such warnings to heart.
    My point of this specific post is to say that the Book of Mormon and also past representatives of Mormonism have presented Mormonism and Christianity as completely different from each other – something I don’t hear much any more from most Mormons.

  4. 4 shematwater
    March 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    ECHO

    Again, I would like to compare the NIV with the KJV

    KJV of Colossians 1: 25-26
    “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:”

    In the NIV, which you quote from, it states that Paul preaches “the word of God in its fullness.” However, the KJV makes no such claim. Instead it states that Paul preaches to fulfill the word of God, or to make what God said happen. He was called so that the mystery that was hidden could be made manifest to the saints, not to preach all things.

    I understand what you are saying, and why you use this verse. However, the meaning of it was not always what you read in the NIV, and when Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon the KJV was still the one in primary use. I find it interesting that it is only after the Book of Mormon that translation of the Bible came out that gave the translation you are using.

    MARK

    We have no desire to identify ourselves with the actual organizations that fall under the umbrella of Christianity. At least I don’t. This is why I like to separate Christianity into three main groups.
    There is the Early divisions, primary among which is the Catholic Church, but which includes the Eastern Orthodox, the Coptic Christians, and any other group that formed within the first few centuries after Christ.
    Then there are the Protestants: Those who formed through protests against the Catholics. This started with Luther an Calvin, and has grown into many thousands of groups.
    Then there are the Mormons. This includes any group that can trace its origin to the church founded by Joseph Smith (of which we are the original).
    All of these have claim on the title of Christian, and thus to associate with Christians is to associate with all of them. However, we do not associate with the Protestants, nor do we wish such an association. We do not associate with the Early divisions, not do we wish to. But we do wish to associate with Christians (as Shelby has explained) and will do so whenever possible.
    As to the difference in approaches, I think the more recent leadership has seen the incredible lack of knowledge regarding our church that characterized the middle part of the last Century, and has worked to correct it. In the sixties there were many who did not know we use the Bible, or thought that we did not believe in Christ. These misconceptions needed to be corrected (though they still exist) and the best way to do so was to emphasize the truth concerning them. This has the appearance of trying to become more mainstream and trying to Identify with other Christian churches, but that is not the real goal.

  5. March 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I recently conversed with my Stake President on this topic. According to Joseph Smith – History 1:19, the founder of the LDS faith, upon enquiring of the Lord as to which church he ought to join was told that he must join “…none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt…” Given that the denominations mentioned in verse 5, the Methodists, Presbyterians, and the Baptists have never altered their core beliefs, why are the LDS now so willing to associate with them as “fellow Christians”? I can almost hear Joseph Smith rolling in his grave!

  6. March 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Shelby, thanks for sharing your testimony . Allow me to share mine, in doing so I will use some of what
    you said, only with my experience added . ” I also believe that the Bible is the word of God, that it
    contains the teachings of Christ and wonderful powerful testimonies of Him . Reading the Bible , I have
    also found that it testifies of false prophets/teachers to come and that we all need to thus Beware of
    such. I believe in a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever . My God did proclaim His gospel
    thru His Son who inaugurated the New Covenant by His shed blood and resurrection and thus paid
    the payment for man’s sins , this good news, His gospel , was preached by faithful followers whom He
    picked . Everyone who heard this good news from these men and trusted by faith in the Savior that they
    introduced received eternal life from Him —Jn 14:6;20:31 . As a Christian, I identify myself with other
    good people including LDS whom I know to be honest and charitable people. I want to share with you
    that by the ‘ spirit which is of God ‘ ( 1 Cor. 2:12 ) I have a personal testimony that Jesus Christ lives,
    that the Bible is the Word of God and that while the Book of Mormon agrees that Jesus is also the
    Eternal God , I had embraced that truth long before I read the Bof M . The truths about God and Jesus
    in the Bible well as the Gospel revealed by Jesus’ apostles in the N.T. are the beautiful doctrines that
    have been available for a long time , long before 1830 . I testify that these beliefs of mine are sacred
    to me, and I know they are true by the Spirit of God. I have’nt refused to read the BofM , I have read it .
    But I must stick with where I have met abundant lasting spiritual nourishment — the good news of
    Jesus in the New Testament. WW

  7. March 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Mark:

    “And because my words shall HISS forth.” Wow! How brazen is that?

    Shelby

    Thanks for posting. I am a Lutheran. I don’t try to rationalize my beliefs either. I use as much scripture (yes, the Bible alone) to make my points. I don’t like to rely on human reason, but on blogs like this, the longer a string gets the harder that seems to become because you start responding to other posters. I use the name “berean” in my name because of this passage that appears in Acts:

    Acts 17:11 (KJV)

    “11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

    This referes to when Paul and Silas went to Berea to start preaching the Word of God there. This passage refers to the noble character of the Bereans for checking even what St. Paul himself taught them to see if it matched what scripture said. No I don’t think I’m some noble person like they were, but I do think it is very important to compare what anyone teaches about God, or proclaims to be the Word of God, and compare it to the BIble. That’s what I do. If anyone teaches something contrary to scripture, they are wrong regardless of the reason. Why do I trust my enternity only on what the Bible says? Because I believe what God says about His Word:

    “11The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” Psalm 33:11

    “35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

    “25But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:25

    “6The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalm 12:6

    I know I can trust God’s word because He says it is eternal and it endures forever, so I take Him at His Word. After all, he had our plan of salvation in mind from, including the times when you and I woud live and where we would live before the creation of the world.

    ” 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” Ephesians 1:4

    “26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” Acts 17:26

    God has carried out His plan of salvation wth flawless perfection. Jesus also warned that there would be false prophets. I can explain why I don’t need to read the Book of Mormon to know it is false, but I won’t go there unless you ask. My intention for everything I write on this blog is to simply speak the truth and compare what others say on this blog with the Word of God that God Himself told EVERYONE they can rely on “through all generations” The BIble.

    I want to quote something you said and respond to it.

    ” It is a testament of the Savior and it elucidates and clarifies many of the beautiful doctrines of the Bible that have been corrupted and concealed over centuries of mankind trying to make sense of the gospel using merely reason and logic and disregarding the spirit. ”

    The branch of Lutheran church I belong to uses the NIV (1984) translation of the Bible. (I always quote King James on this blog) But I’ll tell you something you may not be aware of and its not unique to my specific church. My pastor in preparing for his message every Sunday doesn’t simply rely on the NIV version of the Bible. He, like all other pastors of the Lutheran church I belong, had to learn both Hebrew and Greek. He goes back and looks at the Greek and Hebrew translations on the passages he plans to instruct on. Many times he explains how in Greek or Hebrew a passage could be read with a word haivng a broader or a narrower meaning. The point being is that everything is put in context so that the Lord’s Word is preached in its truth a purity. He knows not only what the NIV version of the Bible says but he also knows what the original Greek and Hebrew texts say in comparison. Every pastor I have every known, has taken that responsibility very seriously. I just thought you might be interested to know that.

    David

  8. March 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Shem said: “Again, I would like to compare the NIV with the KJV”

    I believe the NIV and the KJV are in harmony. They mean the same thing expressed in different words. This is also why context is important. The KJV uses archaic outdated English making the text more difficult to understand in our day. In context, when the text states in verse 26 that the mystery has **now been made manifest**, it makes the NIV Clear. If we read more of the context, we have verse 28 which states: “teaching every man in *ALL* wisdom.” This would be impossible if the word of God was not complete. A few verses after 28 in Verse 2:2-3 it states: “…and unto **all** riches of the **full assurance of understanding**, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Notice in the latter part of these verses it talks about **all** the treasures of wisdom and knowledge being found in Christ.

    Jude 1:3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the **faith** which was **once** delivered unto the saints.”

    Shem said: “I find it interesting that it is only after the Book of Mormon that translation of the Bible came out that gave the translation you are using.”

    Yes, it is interesting. I wonder if that is the reason why God brought the NIV forward. Something to think about.

  9. 9 WWJD
    March 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Echo said, “I believe the NIV and the KJV are in harmony. ”

    I agree. I think an interesting fact about the NIV is that it was derived from older and more numerous Greek manuscripts than the KJV.

    From http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bibleorigin.html:

    The reason the King James version differ from the NASV and the NIV in a number of readings is because it is translated from a different text-type than they are.
    A.The King James Version was translated from Erasmus’ printed Greek New Testament which made use of only five Greek manuscripts the oldest of which dated to the 1,100 A.D. These manuscripts were examples of the Byzantine text-type.
    B.The NASV and the NIV make use of the United Bible Societies 4th Edition 1968 of the New Testament. This edition of the Greek New Testament relies more heavily on the Alexandrian text-type while making use of all 5,664 Greek manuscripts. The reasons that the NASV and NIV find the Alexandrian text-type more reliable are the following: 1.This text-type uses manuscripts date from 175-350 A.D. which includes most of the papyri, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.
    2.The church fathers from 97-350 A.D. used this text-type when they quoted the New Testament.
    3.The early translations of the New Testament used the Alexandrian text-type.

  10. 10 choosethechrist
    March 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    It seems obvious to me that Mormons are trying to appear to be more mainstream in order to gain acceptance for their heretical beliefs so I think it is a very good question as to why Mormons would want to appear to be like the abomination they have said that we are.

    Shelby said, “Often these people are good Christians who in this area have hard hearts and can’t see past their biases to really look for truth. ”

    The Book of Mormon is “Another Testiment of Jesus Christ” and as such can not be accepted as truth because the Bible has warned us about accepting other gospels. It is not that we have hard hearts. It is not that we have not looked for truth. It is about our concern for Mormons being led down the road to eternal destruction.

    Galatians 1:8
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

    2 Corinthians 11:4
    For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    Gordon B Hinkley himself acknowledged that we do not believe in the same Jesus.

    “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

    Shelby said, “I have gained a personal witness that Jesus Christ lives, that the Bible is the word of God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is a testament of the Savior and it elucidates and clarifies many of the beautiful doctrines of the Bible that have been corrupted and concealed over centuries of mankind trying to make sense of the gospel using merely reason and logic and disregarding the spirit.”

    The Bible has not been corrupted or concealed. This is another false teaching of the LDS church.
    We have over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, 8,000 Latin manuscripts, and 1,000 manuscripts in other languages plus we have tens of thousands of citations of New Testament passages by the early church fathers. All of these show that the Bible is accurate with nothing missing. To me it is blasphemous to call the Bible the Word of God and then claim that it is corrupt.

    Shelby said, “Refusing to read the Book of Mormon because you have sufficient truth and light in the Bible is what 2 Nephi 29 addresses. That, be it condemnation or otherwise, is what most Christians do today when confronted with this additional witness of Jesus Christ.”

    We do not accept the BOM. Doing so would be a disobedience to God and what He has told us in the Bible. We do not accept the BOM to be an additional witness of Jesus Christ.

  11. 11 Kent
    March 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Shelby said, “Refusing to read the Book of Mormon because you have sufficient truth and light in the Bible is what 2 Nephi 29 addresses. That, be it condemnation or otherwise, is what most Christians do today when confronted with this additional witness of Jesus Christ.”

    How can we accept the Book of Mormon which can’t be checked for accuracy because the plates it was translated from are not available to check to see what the original language says? So we just have Joseph Smith’s and handful of witnesses that claim he translated it saying he did so.

    But a part of the Mormon canon, the Book of Abraham from Pearl of Great Price, can be checked against the original language and there is very strong evidence that it is merely ancient Eygptian funeral text and not the writings of Abraham at all as Smith claimed.

    So how can we even accept that Joseph Smith is truly a prophet from God and the Book of Mormon is from God if part of the Mormon scripture canon doesn’t even say what he claims it says?

    Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word canon as follows: “an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture:” So that means that The Book of Abraham is supposed to be the word of God and if it isn’t, then Smith loses all credibiltiy that he was speaking for God as either everything he claimed as the word of God or none of it is the word of God.

  12. 12 steph
    March 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “In the LDS church, almost imperceptibly ‘faith’ grows to mean faith in the institution, rather than faith in God. Indeed, for many, the institution and God become completely blurred in their thinking, and the church organisation becomes a great Golden Calf to be revered and worshipped. That is the reason, I suspect, that so many who eventually learn the truth about LDS origins, and leave the church, are left either agnostic or atheistic in their beliefs, because their God has been overthrown.”

    “In 1980 my wife Diana and I were married, and ‘sealed for eternity’ in the London Temple. We both found the temple rites emotionally challenging, but accepted verbal assurances given to us by others with more experience, that we would one day understand them, and that this was one of God’s mysteries. Looking back on my own experiences in the temple, I always had a difficulty in equating the God as portrayed there, to the God who had met me on the hilltop, and the Saviour who had witnessed to me in answer to my prayer. I learned to put those concerns to one side however, until I could develop sufficient spirituality to see that connection… but I never did.”

    “Such warped thinking led a friend of ours, who was a fellow victim of these crimes, to question whether such arrogance and ineptitude was endemic at higher levels within the Mormon hierarchy. He soon began to discover a great deal of information about the church and its history, which he had never been taught in Sunday School. Believing that I had a thorough doctrinal grounding, he confided in me his innermost concerns about certain historical issues. Thereafter I spent many late nights attempting to find answers for him in Mormon apologist literature, but the answers frankly fell far short of credibility. It proved deeply unsettling, and during three years of intensifying cognitive dissonance my identity steadily metamorphosed from ‘true believing Mormon’ to ‘would-be Mormon apologist’ to ‘post-Mormon realist’.”

    Kent, I think you will appreciate this:

    “My last defence was breached when I scrutinized evidence concerning the Book of Abraham, and found that there were no honest defences available. That book was demonstrably a fabrication, the product of Joseph Smith’s imagination. If that was the case, then how could anything else he revealed be trusted? It was only then that I finally conceded that one whole side of that old tub “SS Mormonism”, in which I had been sailing since 1971, was completely missing, blasted entirely away by reason, and I had only a thimble to bail out the water which was relentlessly pouring in. By the middle of 2009, I was able to say with a clear conscience and without flinching for the first time in over 37 years, that I knew Joseph Smith had not been a true prophet.”

    “It afterwards became challenging to hear LDS friends ignorantly perpetuating what I knew to be historical untruths. At church I faced a painful choice: counter the many false statements and risk causing general upset, or maintain dishonest silence. My bishop refused point-blank to discuss any of my concerns, told me I was on the brink of apostasy, and urged me to take the latter of these courses, and become, as he put it, ‘a wise old bird’; one who presumably would just sit on his perch in silent suffering; then he warned me not to speak outside of my family about these matters, upon pain of facing church discipline.”

    “We now understand that families, (and friendships), indeed do have the potential to be eternal, not according to the LDS formula, (i.e. because two people once upon a time knelt at an altar in a stone building and had an incantation spoken to them), but because love itself is eternal, and binds us to one another. That is a message found woven throughout the fabric of the true gospel of the New Testament. Failure to understand that this kind of eternal reward is freely available to all followers of Christ, enslaves many LDS who fear they will lose their families by turning away from their temple covenants. The LDS temple is used effectively by the Mormon hierarchy to control the minds and behaviours of those indoctrinated in Mormon fables. When I think of that distorted LDS version of the gospel, and see how people are constantly left fearful and guilt-ridden, over-busy and stressed out in their futile efforts to accomplish perfection through a never ending list of works, I come close to anger. The LDS gospel does not produce the eternal families advertised on its packaging, but often leads instead to family division and disintegration.”

    Chris Ralph and His journey in and recently out of Mormonism: http://networkedblogs.com/uD3pa

  13. 13 steph
    March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    As for Mormons wanting to hang on to only the KJV, it seems to me that there is nothing wrong with using the NIV especially since older and more numerous manuscripts were available at its writing. Plus one of the biggest reasons that the KJV was written was to provide ordinary people with a Bible that they could read and understand for themselves. In this day, we do not speak the same English that was used in the KJV. If we want people to read and understand scripture then we should use a version of the Bible which renders the message in ordinary speech that people can understand. The NIV is written to an 8th grade level and in modern English which makes it easier for more people to read and understand.

    Maybe the LDS church doesn’t want people to read and understand the Bible.

    As for me, I love websites like biblegateway.com which makes it very easy to switch back and forth between different translations of the Bible.

  14. 14 steph
    March 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Anyone who can say they believe the Bible to be the Word of God in one breath and say the Bible has been corrupted and concealed in another is seriously conflicted!

    What are Mormons basing their claims on? What evidence is there that any “plain and precious truths” were removed? Where in any of the ancient manuscript copies of the Bible do we find: that Jesus was the spirit brother of Satan, God the Father was once a man who attained godhood, God the Father was once possibly unholy and a sinner, God the Father had a Father before Him, humans are preexistent intelligences who can become gods of their own planet just like God the Father, God the Father is just the God of this world, and there are other true gods for other people elsewhere to worship, that there is an ordained Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood authority, etc.

    There is zero textual evidence in any manuscript that supports the notion of any of these major doctrines of the Mormon Church. To the Mormon who claims that “plain and precious truths” were removed from the Bible, I say, prove it.

    Anyone who can say they believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God is seriously conflicted! The Word of God is perfect, holy, true, and free from error. The BOM is untrue and full of error.

    There have been about 4000 changes to the BOM.

    Some examples of errors include:

    2 Nephi 5, says when Nephi landed in the New World, things like gold, silver, and all manner of precious gems were too be found everywhere in abundance. Only a short time later, they built a temple much like Solomon’s except that no gold, silver, or precious gems were used “because they were not to be found upon the land”!

    In early editions of the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 21:28 read “King Benjamin”, which is an anachronism because he was long since dead by the time of the events that supposedly occurred in that chapter. It has since been changed to “King Mosiah”.

    In two places in the book of Alma, the word “cherubims” in early editions has since been changed to “cherubim”. If you don’t know why already, saying “cherubims” is like using “mices” as the plural of “mouse.”

    The original Book of Mormon has thousands of grammatical errors, most of which have since been corrected even though it was supposedly dictated by the Holy Spirit. A lot of errors have to do with the Elizabethan language in the original Book of Mormon. Why would the Holy Spirit use KJV language and make errors in that language especially when it was not spoken in New York in the 1820’s? Because Joseph Smith was the author, not God, Joseph made all sorts of mistakes, except in places where the Book of Mormon plagiarizes from the KJV.

    Additional errors include the mention of “the most precious steel” in 1 Nephi 4:9, which supposedly occurred in 600 BC. That couldn’t have been said then, In Alma 46:15, believers are called “Christians” (about 73 BC)which contradicts both common sense and Acts 11:26, and 1 Nephi 22:15 quotes from Malachi 4:1 even though Malachi wasn’t written until about 160 years after the events of that chapter.

    There are also places where Christ supposedly quoted from the OT when he preached to the Nephites following his resurrection, only the quotations used in the Book of Mormon are NT quotations of those same OT passages. The most blatant one is when Jesus is supposedly quoting from Moses, but uses Peter’s words as Moses’, quoting the LXX version of them in Acts 3:22-25 including the part about Samuel and the other prophets! Moses speaking of “Samuel and the rest of the prophets”???????

    I could go on and on…………………………..

  15. 15 shematwater
    March 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I realize that not everyone posting here made comments on the “worshiping logic” thread, but I have to say that I find things rather interesting.

    We have a comparison of the NIV and KJV that claims that the NIV is superior because it has more human reasoning and understanding to back it up. Isn’t this the just the same as relying on human logic?

    ECHO

    I know the context, and I have to say I still do not think the two say the same thing. This is how I see things.
    Colossians 1: 25-28
    “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God;”
    Paul was made a minister of that dispensation so that he could fulfill what God had declared would happen.

    “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:”
    He was to fulfill the making of the mystery manifest. This mystery had been hidden from many throughout the ages, but was now to be made known.

    “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
    God made known to the saints that the mysteries of God were to also be preached to the Gentiles; the mystery being that of salvation through Christ.

    “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”
    Paul preaches Christ, warning man, and does so in a wise manner, showing wisdom in his methods that the message will be carried to all man, his goal being the perfecting of all men. (Note that this verse does not say he is teaching wisdom, but that he is teaching in wisdom, which describes his methods, not his message.)

    Colossians 2: 2-3
    “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, band of the Father, and of Christ;”
    Paul seeks that the men of Colossus and Laodicea will have the assurance that they will understand this mystery. Note that the word ‘full’ describes the assurance, not the understanding.

    “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
    It is only in Christ and the Father that we may find all wisdom and Knowledge.

    What we have here, in context, is Paul fulfilling the declarations of God that the Gospel of Christ was to be taken to the Gentiles; a concept that most of the Israelites did not understand for several hundred years. He strives to teach this in wisdom so that he may bring as many people to the truth as possible, and in so teaching give them a full assurance that they can understand the mysteries of God, which are to be found in Christ and the Father.

    I would also point out the reference to the people in Laodicea in 2: 1. We later read in chapter 4: 16 that an epistle was sent to that city, and that the people of Colossus were expected to read it.
    “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
    As such, it is clear that Paul had something else to tell these people, and he specifically tells them they need to read it. However, we do not have this epistle today. Seeing as Paul himself directs us to more of the Gospel that he preached, it doesn’t seem likely that he ever intended this passage to infer that he had taught everything.

  16. 16 Shelby
    March 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I wish I had more time to contribute to the discussion here. Here’s some of my response, originally to Markcares:

    Markcares, I appreciate when I can have a civil and loving conversation with people on this topic, especially because I know how difficult of a topic can be. I recognize and appreciate your concern for my eternal welfare. I have always tried to keep myself open to the truth, whatever it may be. I do believe that God has witnessed to me that Mormonism, and specifically the Book of Mormon is true. I have prayed and told Him that I want to know the truth, and that if this is not it, please let me know. So far, I have only had people argue with me through the spirit of man that it is not true, and I have not had a spiritual witness.
    I agree that often times as Mormons we do not try to separate ourselves from other Christian churches. Part of that is, we ARE Christian in the sense that we believe in Jesus Christ and follow His teachings. We want people to know that. We also don’t want to be perceived as weird, backward, and cultlike (who does?). We actually DO read the news, we DO use telephones and computers and the internet, and we DO have normal careers and families. We of course, want people to see those things and realize that we are “normal” people doing “normal” things.
    I personally think we could use a little more recognition of our “peculiarness”, in part because I believe that God’s people should be a peculiar people (this I suppose applies to any Christian, but I believe that since the Book of Mormon is true, we need to stand out a little more). Living a Christian, godly life should always set one apart from the world and mainstream society in some ways. Mormonism puts a greater emphasis on commandments such as keeping the Sabbath Day holy by not participating in commercial or recreational activities on the Sabbath. We pay 10% tithing, attend 3 hours of church meetings, dress more modestly than society tells us is necessary. We put an emphasis on chastity and fidelity and do things different from many people around us. We believe that families can be SEALED through a priesthood ordinance so that they may continue after this life. We believe that, like the Bible mentions, saving ordinances may (and must) be done by proxy in temples for the salvation of all souls (Christ himself said that except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.) We believe that there are modern day temples which are the House of the Lord. We perform sacred ordinances and ceremonies there which we believe help us to learn more about our Savior and apply his atonement and teachings in our lives. There are plenty of things that make us different from other Christian denominations. There are plenty of things that separate us from the world. I think that we should embrace that a little more.
    At the same time, I don’t feel the need to separate myself in negative ways from other Christian churches. As I said before, I know lots and lots and lots of good people from all over who have different beliefs. I believe that in some ways they are all wrong. I believe that in some ways they all have elements of truth and goodness, because every good thing comes from the source of light and truth—God himself. I will not condemn them as unchristian. I think that it is a shame that they are not willing to at least look at the Book of Mormon and see what it is about instead of making assumptions based off of years of anti-Mormon rhetoric.

    Additionally, I saw some discussion about the KJV vs. NIV. We use the KJV out of tradition, not because we aren’t allowed to read the NIV. Everyone uses KJV at church and in talks, etc. I have personally read parts of other versions, and I actually find it very enlightening to compare different Bible translations.

    And to Kent–I am not asking you to believe Joseph Smith and a handful of witnesses. In asking others to read the Book of Mormon, I am only asking them to consider it, ponder it, and ask God about it. He is the source of all Truth and it is only through Him that we can really know what is true and of God and what is not. I know that it is possible to know truth, and to know it through the Spirit of God.

    God bless,
    Shelby

  17. March 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Shem said: “We have a comparison of the NIV and KJV that claims that the NIV is superior because it has more human reasoning and understanding to back it up. Isn’t this the just the same as relying on human logic?”

    For the record, I just want to give my personal opinion on this. I don’t believe the NIV is superior to the KJV. I get the same message from both versions. I own both versions. I do prefer the NIV because the KJV has archaic english and some of the words used in the KJV actually have different or altered definitions in our day. I also believe that out of love for our brothers/sisters and neighbors, we ought to always use a Bible translation with today’s language so that everyone of every learning capacity can read and understand the word of God for themselves. This is so vitally important because Mormons and Christians alike are in a war against the devil, false teachers and their deception.

  18. 18 JBR
    March 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Not to be offensive … but in my pov the desire to known associated as “Christian” is done because people today have such a watered down understanding of what the true teaching of Jesus that it’s very easy to be swayed outward appearence of truth … much like a fly into a venus trap plant.

    The wolf in sheep’s clothing is no longer bashful with his deception. But mark this, Mormonism will be exposed for all to see and many will realize then that they fell for his lies.

  19. March 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Steph, thanks for providing that testimony of Chris . I think this is reflects in most cases the
    scenario of the Mormon people , namely that they are decent people who are striving to seek
    God but they have been detoured by prophets /apostles into embracing another gospel .
    This slide away from the truth of a full salvation , a saving relationship with God thru
    a personal relationship with His Son is revealed in the New Testament for all to embrace , this
    slide can start by reading then believing the Book of Mormon . but the slide does’nt stop there .

  20. 20 JBR
    March 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    take two …. (corrections )
    Not to be offensive … but in my pov the desire to (be) associated as a “Christian” is done because people today have such a watered down understanding of what the true teaching of Jesus is. (It’s)very easy to be swayed (by the) outward appearence of ( well groomed\ family orinated message who conludes there is more to be revealed than just the truth of the Bible) … (but) much like a fly (who wanders) into a venus trap plant, (outward appearnce often ensnares beyond excapability)

    The (reality is that today the) wolf in sheep’s clothing is no longer bashful with his deception.

  21. March 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    The truth about the LDS church is that it must continually deny the truth of God’s Word while at the same time try to come across as if they are not denying it. So many truths of the BIble are simply cast aside on the basis of one man’s false testimony with nothing but some sensation of a warm feeling backing it up. Here is the truth about His word (aside from what I posted above):

    “10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

    11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

    “5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

    6Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 35:5-6

    His Word always accomplishes His purpose and whoever adds to his Word is a liar. Restoring trust in God’s Word is so critical to helping Mormons see the truth. I have to keep reminding myself that they have intense pressure to suppress deeply troubling doubts about LDS teachings. Its easy to defend the Bible because it defends itself, but in doing so, I want to be sure to keep my focus on speaking the Word to the person, rather than tyring to outdebate their defense of Mormonism. It gets really easy to lose that focus. Mormonism is indefensible, but it has defenders who need to hear, face and accept the truth. It took Steph 37 years to admit Joseph Smith was a false prophet – but the important thing is – He got there – AMEN – Thanks be to God!

  22. March 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Shem said: “Note that the word ‘full’ describes the assurance, not the understanding”

    “full assurance of understanding,”

    Full cup of water = The cup has been filled to full with water

    Full assurance has been filled to full with understanding

  23. March 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Shem said: ““Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:”
    He was to fulfill the making of the mystery manifest. This mystery had been hidden from many throughout the ages, but was now to be made known.”

    Shem said: “but was now to be made known”

    Compare with the Bible: “but now is made manifest”

    Shem you said: “to be made known” The Bible says: “now is made known”

  24. March 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Shem said: ““Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”
    Paul preaches Christ, warning man, and does so in a wise manner, showing wisdom in his methods that the message will be carried to all man, his goal being the perfecting of all men. (Note that this verse does not say he is teaching wisdom, but that he is teaching in wisdom, which describes his methods, not his message.)”

    Men cannot be perfected without first having all wisdom.

  25. 25 shematwater
    March 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    ECHO

    “Shem said: “to be made known” The Bible says: “now is made known”

    Paul was writing in the present tense, because he was writing about current events. I was writing in the past tense because I was writing about past events. That is the only difference in meaning.

    “Full cup of water = The cup has been filled to full with water”

    Very True. And Paul tells us that he is trying to fill the cup of Assurance to full with assurance.

    “Full assurance has been filled to full with understanding”

    Full assurance has been filled to full with assurance, so that we are able to gain the understanding. Just as one fills the cup to full with water so that they are able to quench their thirst.

    DAVID

    The truth about mainstream Christianity is that it must continually deny the truth of God’s Word while at the same time try to come across as if they are not denying it.
    So many truths of the Bible are simply cast aside on the basis of one man’s false testimony with nothing but their personal belief to back it up.

    The truth is that, while the word of God will never return void, but will always accomplish its purpose, the man made record of that word does not carry the same guarantee. Simply put, if God spoke something that was not contained in the Bible it will still happen, regardless of whether people acknowledge it or not. There are many things that no one has a record of (such as the Visions of Iddo the Seer – 2 Chronicles 9: 29) but that will still be fulfilled.

  26. 26 Kent
    March 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Shelby, I did pray to God and I asked Him if the Book of Mormon was true and the answer from Him I got was that it was contrived with the phrase “it came to pass” said over and over again, especially in the early part of the book, that seemed to me to be an attempt to makie it sound biblical. The other ‘feeling’ I got was that none of the people and none of the events in the stories seemed real to me so, so much for praying and asking God if it was true as I never got the warm feeling that I was supposed to get if it was true.

    Shelby, I hope you have the time to answer what I said about the Book of Abraham from the Pearl of Great Price. There is strong evidence that it is not the writings of Abraham at all but ancient Egyptian funeral text. It is supposed to be the word of God but if it isn’t, then Smith loses all credibiltiy that he was speaking for God as either everything he claimed as the word of God, with of course the Bible being the exception, is in fact God’s word or none of it is the word of God.

    Mormon Egyptologist John Gee in Church News on August 11, 2009 in Church News, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said the following below:

    http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/57738/The-Book-of-Abraham-The-larger-issue.html

    “While critics of the Church often challenge the authenticity of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, they attach more importance to it than Church members do themselves, a Latter-day Saint Egyptologist said Aug. 6 at the annual conference of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR).He offered a few rules for “apologists,” a word that in this context means defenders:”

    So the Book of Abraham isn’t really that important in the scheme of things? Yes it is if it supposed to be the word of God!

    Mr. Gee also said below:

    “First, it is not necessary to refute every statement by a critic. “The critic may be wrong about a point, but if it is not central to the argument, one can often let it slide.”
    Second, not every argument or point is worth defending. “Even widely held opinions do not need to be defended if they are mistaken,” he said.
    Third, truth is not well-served by a bad argument. “We apologists make no claims to perfection, either in ourselves or our arguments, so it is simply better to let go of bad arguments.”
    Fourth, though God knows everything, “we do not and cannot,””

    Yes, even widely held opinions and every single point does need to be defended and shown to be true especially if they are supposed to be the word of God and if the Book of Abraham is not saying what Joseph Smith claimed it says, then it follows that everything else he claims came from God is a fraud.

    The cornerstone of the Mormon religion is not really Christ but whether Joseph Smith was a prophet from God so the LDS Church stands or falls on whether this is true or not but a true prophet from God would not say something is the word of God if it isn’t the word of God.

  27. March 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Shem

    Its against my better judgment but I’ll reply. There are many other references to other writings in the Bible, especially in Chronicles. Those other writings are not God’s Word. You missed one that is frequenty sited by Mormons:

    ” 30And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:” John 30.

    But all those other things were not included. The decision not to include them and even (as interesting as you might think they might be) the visions of Iddo, was God’s decision. It is His Word that the writers of the Bible were writing which includes what NOT to write about. What matters is what is in the Bible not what is outside of it.

    “31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 30-31.

    Instead of worrying about Iddo and what never made it in the BIble, I would encourage you to look at what is IN the BIble and at what it warns about false prophets and false angels. Somewhere else you said you read the BIble twice. Then I’m sure you read this:

    “.13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
    14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    ” 2 Corinthians 11:13:15

    I don’t know how you can read that and not have the hair stand up on the back of your neck. But you apparently can read that, and read Galatians and not feel like Paul is writing to the LDS church directly. Paul’s warning couldn’t be any stronger –

    “8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any OTHER GOSPEL UNTO YOU THAN THAT WE HAVE PREACHED unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

    He even repeats it:

    “9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. ” Galatians 1:9

    I don’t know how you can ignore the warnings of Paul. Nephi 25:23 and other LDS articulations of the gospel are surely another gospel than what Paul preached. LDS members are instructed to pay more attention to whatever “gospel” living prophets proclaim over what Paul taught. Certainly God knows all things, the Bible is the inspired Word of God. If there was going to be yet another testimony of Jesus Christ wouldn’t Paul have told the Galatians and future generations to watch for it and describe what to look for? Would Paul have warned against ANY OTHER GOSPEL when Jesus knew there would yet be another one in the future? Instead Jesus warns against believing false prophets and, through Paul , warns against following ANY gospel “OTHER THAN THE THEY taught.

    There are no false prophets in the Bible. Not ONE prophet of God in the Bible EVER made a single error in their prophecies. You can’t say that about Joseph Smith. Just ONE mistake makes a prophet a false prophet. I can’t count how many times over Joseph’s Smith prophecies have been proven absoluately positively false. You know full well that the entire Mormon faith hangs on the veracity of this one man. Your eternity (not mine) hangs on the veracity of one prophet who has made mistakes and lots of them.

  28. 28 joshtried
    March 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    (no comment, just wanted to be updated.. comments later, time allowing :P )

  29. 29 choosethechrist
    March 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Here is the thing, Mormons want you to be confused by the way they are explaining things and the terms they are using. However, we need to compare what they are saying with Biblical truth.

    I found a good article that sums all of this up very clearly:

    “As already mentioned, LDS general salvation by grace through Christ’s atonement is merely resurrection and does not include forgiveness of personal sins or eternal life. This is a travesty of what the Bible teaches and it belittles what Christ achieved for us on the cross (c/f John 3:14,15; 5:39; Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:11,13). It also flies in the face of the picture of salvation from sin provided for us in the Levitical substitutionary sacrifice under the Old Covenant (see Leviticus 4:29-41). Furthermore, it makes null and void the entire biblical record concerning salvation from personal sins through faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice that is given to us in the New Testament, and which was taught by Christ, His apostles and the primitive church: ”

    http://bibtruth.com/msalv.html (Mormonism and Biblical Truth)

  30. 30 choosethechrist
    March 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Romans 11:6
    6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

  31. 31 choosethechrist
    March 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    “Redemption from personal sins can only be obtained through obedience to the requirements of the gospel, and a life of good works ….. The Sectarian Dogma of Justification by Faith Alone has exercised an influence for evil” (Mormon Apostle James Talmage, Articles of Faith, pages 478-479).

    “There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 670).

    “There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God,” (Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, page 188.)

    “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation.” (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie, page 670.)

    “… No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…. every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are …..” (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, page 289)

  32. 32 choosethechrist
    March 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Colossians 1:13-14 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    Ephesians 1:7 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

    Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

    Galatians 4:5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

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

  33. 33 choosethechrist
    March 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Benefits of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled. See also Psalm 130:7-8; Luke 2:38; and Acts 20:28.
    ~ http://www.gotquestions.org/redemption.html

  34. March 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    To add to Choose’s post re: Joseph Smith at 8:46

    Joseph Smith has no authority for what the LDS church claims he has:

    “18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18.

    The church Jesus established will never be destroyed and the authority given to Peter and later to the other apostles stays with the church as it was instituted through them.

  35. 35 joshtried
    March 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

    1st.) Lets discuss the bible shall we :)
    The branch of Lutheran church I belong to uses the NIV (1984) translation of the Bible.
    David
    I agree. I think an interesting fact about the NIV is that it was derived from older and more numerous Greek manuscripts than the KJV.
    The Bible has not been corrupted or concealed. This is another false teaching of the LDS church.
    We have over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, 8,000 Latin manuscripts, and 1,000 manuscripts in other languages plus we have tens of thousands of citations of New Testament passages by the early church fathers. All of these show that the Bible is accurate with nothing missing. To me it is blasphemous to call the Bible the Word of God and then claim that it is corrupt.
    Instead of worrying about Iddo and what never made it in the Bible, I would encourage you to look at what is IN the Bible and at what it warns about false prophets and false angels.

    How did the “Bible” come into being, and why? Most would say divine intervention, and i “mostly” agree with this. To create the Bible, a group of guys sat around and prayed for “inspiration”. Catholics got a hold of it, Lutherans said Catholics corrupted it, and now everybody has their take on the Bible. Tell me this, you wont accept “new books” but you will accept a completely reworded Bible? how about the books that DIDNT make it into the Bible. really, i want to know why they didnt… you know why? CONTROL. The Bible only says THIS ladies and Gentlemen. (remember the days when people couldnt read their own Bible and search this stuff out?) As to the manuscripts, you think that stuff cant be faked? we have people reporting 100million year old bones, and get away with it everyday. you dont think that Churches that have been around forever havent hidden some thing? you dont think they like their cushy lives, and want to make sure the status quo is maintained? ( i am not saying we are being lied to now, so much as the people lying dont know they are doing it. it IS the truth to them)
    The Bible hasnt been corrupted… then why cant you and I even agree on whether God and Christ are separate or the same? This should be such a simple truth, 1 way or the other.. to the Lutheran (David?) your preacher knows Greek, and can go back and read the “original” text, right? I want to know very openly if you have ever asked if there is a different word/name for God and Gods, for God and Christ. If there is, this will clarify our point instantly. I have a very strong feeling, without knowing any Greek, that there will be a difference, and as such, they are all different. Wanna play? :)

    2.)
    The Book of Mormon is “Another Testiment of Jesus Christ” and as such can not be accepted as truth because the Bible has warned us about accepting other gospels.
    The truth about the LDS church is that it must continually deny the truth of God’s Word while at the same time try to come across as if they are not denying it.
    5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    6Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 35:5-6

    This is NOT saying nothing can be added to MY Bible, This is saying if YOU try to add to MY Bible WITHOUT ME, you will be found a liar.
    EVERY word of God is Pure, what is unpure about the BoM? I have listed our teachings, as have others. we teach truth and righteousness. We teach of Christ’s love for us. We dont deny the Bible, we understand that man has had his hands on every page of it for a very long time, and that man is very sneaky, and can jack with stuff at very inoportune times.

  36. 36 joshtried
    March 3, 2012 at 7:23 am

    3.)
    The (reality is that today the) wolf in sheep’s clothing is no longer bashful with his deception.
    To add to Choose’s post re: Joseph Smith at 8:46
    Joseph Smith has no authority for what the LDS church claims he has:
    “18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18.
    The church Jesus established will never be destroyed and the authority given to Peter and later to the other apostles stays with the church as it was instituted through them.

    Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
    Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people
    (so, this angel has the everlasting Gospel to preach, but it is already on earth…..)
    The fullness of the restored Gospel includes baptism by immersion (Romans 6), the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Heb. 6:1-2), modern prophets and apostles (Ephesians 2:18-20; 4:11-14), priesthood authority from God (Heb. 5:8,9), and so forth. A discussion of how these things were lost is provided in useful on-line articles on the Apostasy in general and on the loss of truth and authority for baptism in specific.
    Apostasy link: http://www.boap.org/LDS/Apostasy.pt1.html
    Authority for Baptism: http://www.boap.org/LDS/Apostasy.pt2.html
    One of many signs that an apostasy had occurred was the emergence of Mary as Mediatrix – the mediator between God and man – to whom prayers were directed.
    Likewise, other saints became viewed as mediators and prayers were directed to (or through) them.

    You know what, here is the whole website:
    http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Restoration.shtml#Bible

  37. 37 joshtried
    March 3, 2012 at 7:27 am

    You want to claim an Apostasy never happened? Go ahead and continue to live in ignorace… for even the Bible says Ignorance is Bliss…

    At the age of 13, i began to realize that there are many religions that still use “mediators” other than Christ. Yet NONE of these are on trial here… LDS who claim to speak to God through Christ is on trial.. I want you to think really long, and really hard on which might be correct..

  38. 38 joshtried
    March 3, 2012 at 7:28 am

    2 posts above this, my post is awaiting moderation.. anyone know why?

  39. 39 steph
    March 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Josh, I think if you post multiple links it goes to awaiting moderation.

    Again, your statments show your ignorance to what historical evidence we have regarding your claims to corruption and apostasy.

    I can assure you that I am not the one living in ignorance. I have investigated and done my research. You can’t just believe what you are told and you can’t trust the LDS church, the History channel, or skeptics to be the source of your information.

    You have been deceived and have bought into lies.

  40. 40 choosethechrist
    March 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Josh-

    History is important. I agree with Steph, you do not have your “facts” straight.

    My Testimony to the LDS People
    I know that Joseph Smith was a man who decided to start his own new religion during a time of restoration movement culture which was influenced by men such as Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone and Sidney Rigdon. I know that Smith’s Book of Mormon represents his answer to major religious controversies of that time and is no prophecy. I know that there was no apostasy as taught by the LDS church and that early church history reveals that this did not happen. I know that Jesus did not need to restore His church to the Earth because Jesus said per Matthew 16:18 “18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” and that Jesus was not a liar. I know that Jesus is “I AM” and that “I AM” is Eternal and I believe the Word of God: John 8:14 “If you do not believe “I Am” you will die in your sins; Exodus 3:14 “14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”; John 8:58 “58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”; Isaiah 43:10 “10Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”. I know that Jesus is Eternal. Therefore, Jesus can’t be the 1st spirit child of a Mormon god who has a beginning and is thus not Eternal. I know that Grace is simple and not a complicated system of laws and ordinances. We work from our salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit because we are thankful for what Jesus did for us. We do not work for our salvation as if it were a reward for our good deeds i.e. Ephesians 3:8-10, Galatians 2:16, Titus 3:5. I know that satan is the father of lies, masquerades as “an angel of light” “tries to hide the actual truth about our God” “offers counterfeit promises he can’t fulfill” “twists Scriptures to fit his purposes” and “defies God and despises truth”. I know that the LDS church does not hold the truth, but that the LDS people can know the truth and that the truth can set them free John 8:32.

    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

  41. 41 Kent
    March 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Joshtried, Martin Luther main argument wasn’t that the Catholics corrupted the Bible but that they were not following it by doing things like selling indulgences.

    I guess none of the Mormons want to answer a major challelenge to the legitimacy of Joseph Smith being a true prophet of God. Again, there is strong evidence that the Book of Abraham from the Pearl of Great Price, part of the Mormon sriptural canon, is not what he claimed it is, the writings of Abraham, but instead it is ancient Egyptian furneral text and if doesn’t say what he claims it says, then it isn’t the word of God, and that makes him a fraud.

    The whole Mormon religion centers on whether Smith is a a prophet of God so, yes, it all unravels on this one point as if we can’t believe what he said about the Book of Abraham, we can’t believe anything he said.

  42. 42 choosethechrist
    March 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Josh said “To create the Bible, a group of guys sat around and prayed for “inspiration”. Catholics got a hold of it, Lutherans said Catholics corrupted it, and now everybody has their take on the Bible”

    All of the NT writings existed as individual books way before Nicea and way before the Bible was canonized.

    Here are some historical, proven facts for you to chew on:

    30 AD Death of Jesus
    45-95 AD NT was written in Greek
    95 AD John and Revelation written
    125 AD NT manuscript was copied (note that this was done within 35 yrs of the original)

    1st council of Nicea 325 AD *Note-NT writings in use by the early church well before this date.

    The early church fathers were disciples of the Apostles i.e. Clement of Rome, Ignatious of Antioch, Polycarp, etc

    Irenaeus (202 AD) was on of the 1st theologans and was a disciple of Polycarp, is famous for his book: Against Heresies. *NOTE- Irenaeus quoted almost all 27 books of the NT and this was well before Nicea.

    Heresy- Constantine and the council of Nicea decided on what books to put in the Bible for political reasons.
    Fact- The council of Nicea’s primary purpose was to address divisions that were arising in the church especially the teachings of Arius. Philip Schaff comments on the Arian movement stating, “Arianism was a religious political war against the spirit of the Christian revelation by the spirit of the world, which, after, having persecuted the church three hundred years from without, sought under the Christian name to reduce her by degrading Christ to the category of the temporal and the created, and Christianity to the level of natural religion” (Schaff and Wace, Nicene and post Nicene fathers, vol.4 p.385, Against the Arians ii 70).
    For more on this see: http://www.letusreason.org/Trin13.htm

    In 380, mainstream Christianity–as opposed to Arianism–became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
    During this period, the Bible as it has come down to the 21st century was first officially laid out in Church Councils or Synods through the process of official ‘canonization’. Prior to these Councils or Synods, the Bible had already reached a form that was nearly identical to the form in which it is now found. ~Wikipedia

    Are there other writings that could be in the Bible that support the Bible, yes, but there is a reason as to why they are not there and they really do not add to what is in the Bible and they specifically do not support Mormon beliefs or doctrine. The NT books that are in the Bible are there because they meet this criteria:
    1.Apostolic Origin — attributed to and based upon the preaching/teaching of the first-generation apostles (or their close companions).
    2.Universal Acceptance — acknowledged by all major Christian communities in the ancient world (by the end of the 4th century) as well as accepted canon by Jewish authorities (for the Old Testament).
    3.Liturgical Use — read publicly when early Christian communities gathered for the Lord’s Supper (their weekly worship services).
    4.Consistent Message — containing a theological outlook similar to or complementary to other accepted Christian writings.

    Also, Did Lutherans say that Catholics corrupted the Bible or did Lutherans say that what the Bible says needed to be revealed/made available to the people?

    Roman Catholic theology stated that faith alone, whether fiduciary or dogmatic, cannot justify man;[27] justification rather depends only on such faith as is active in charity and good works (fides caritate formata) can justify man.[28] The benefits of good works could be obtained by donating money to the church. ~Wikipedia

    *Kinda sounds like Mormonism doesn’t it.

    From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms, the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as penance and righteousness by the Catholic Church in new ways. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity. The most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification – God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous – by faith alone through God’s grace. He began to teach that salvation or redemption is a gift of God’s grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus as the Messiah.[38] “This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification,” he wrote, “is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness.”[39]

    Seems to me, Luther claimed NOT that the Bible was corrupt, but that the Catholic church was corrupt.

    So, as we can see, it is not the Bibles, from God that is corrupt, but churches that teach falsehoods not found in the Bible are the source of corruption.

  43. 43 choosethechrist
    March 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Josh-

    History is important, lets look at some of the facts regarding the LDS church that are not commonly revealed to LDS church members, from an LDS perspective:

  44. 44 shematwater
    March 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    DAVID

    “The decision not to include them and even (as interesting as you might think they might be) the visions of Iddo, was God’s decision.”

    Then why does the Bible direct us to read them to gain a fuller understanding.
    Colossians 4: 16 “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
    So, where is this epistle that we might read it as Paul directs? What of all the other books?

    Chronicles 9: 29 “Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?”
    What is the prophecy of Ahijah? What did Nathan record?

    Your arguments make no sense. I agree that we should not be worrying about them, as we don’t them. It is useless to do so. However, what is written in them is still the word of God.
    So, I guess the question is this: If these books were found would you accept them or would you reject them? This is my point. From what you said I think you would be far more likely to reject them because they are not part of the collection that you cling to.
    This is the whole point of 2 Nephi 29. He is not condemning people for believing in the Bible, but for being so strict in that belief that they will not allow God to give anything else. You say “A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible” and in doing so you close yourself to anything else that God may choose to deliver to you. And then you lecture us for saying, “A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible” but we welcome all that God choose to send to us.

    “Nephi 25:23 and other LDS articulations of the gospel are surely another gospel than what Paul preached.”

    As I have pointed out more than once, when I read the Bible I see no new gospel, but the very same gospel that was preached by Paul once again preached in glorious fullness and simplicity.

    KENT

    I will make one comment on the Book of Abraham.
    We have today 22 fragments of parchment from the scrolls that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham. From these 22 fragments stem the majority of all so called evidence against Joseph Smith.

    According to eye witness accounts the scrolls that Joseph Smith possessed were several dozen feet in total length. The fragments we have are only a small fraction of what was available to Joseph Smith.
    Also, according to Joseph Smith there were other writings contained within the scrolls that were not written by Abraham.
    So, simply put, the fragments we have, though had by Joseph Smith, and not very likely to actually be from the scroll that Joseph Smith translated into the Book of Abraham. This is sufficient for me to dismiss all the comparisons made between the two.

  45. 45 Shelby
    March 4, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Kent,
    As much as I would like to, I don’t have time to respond to or even read every comment on here. There are plenty of things that I have thoughts and comments on, so let me address a couple:

    You said:
    “Shelby, I hope you have the time to answer what I said about the Book of Abraham from the Pearl of Great Price. There is strong evidence that it is not the writings of Abraham at all but ancient Egyptian funeral text. It is supposed to be the word of God but if it isn’t, then Smith loses all credibiltiy that he was speaking for God as either everything he claimed as the word of God, with of course the Bible being the exception, is in fact God’s word or none of it is the word of God.”

    Response (although I see there already was one): you have “strong evidence” that it is not the writings of Abraham. Okay… You don’t have proof either. It’s a very very ancient document either way. I have seen over and over and over again how both sides can play a game of logic and evidence to prove their doctrinal points. I don’t know the historical details of the Book of Abraham, not because those scriptures are not important to me, but because thus far my studies have not led me there and because I have read the text and have seen good fruits in my life because of the teachings of Christ contained therein. I believe through personal trial of the teachings of the Book of Abraham and spiritual confirmation that it is truly the word of God.

    Also, how do you want to prove or disprove that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God? I suspect that your point in having this discussion is not to come to an understanding of truth (because everyone thinks they have it), but to change my mind. I will not be so easily swayed. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and of His gospel that is anchored in my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I am not ignorant or uneducated or intellectually dishonest. I have read and researched and pondered and prayed. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It does not teach a different gospel than what is found in the New Testament, but it does teach a restored gospel of Jesus Christ, with the same Savior as the head. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true, because I have tasted of its goodness and witnessed its fruits and felt its Spirit directing me to God, encouraging me to love and serve others, to repent and change and be transformed by the Savior’s grace, I also know that Joseph Smith was indeed the man he claimed to be–a true prophet of God, and I know that the fullness of the gospel including priesthood power has been restored to earth again. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s true and living church on the earth today. Above all I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, my strength and my song. By him and through him I am saved and transformed. I am cleansed and sanctified and I can return to Heavenly Father after my time on this earth. I appreciate the good intentions of you of other faiths, but know that your reasoning and arguing will not change my testimony or my beliefs.

  46. March 4, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Shem

    You said:
    “Your arguments make no sense.”

    My reply: :)

    You said: “I agree that we should not be worrying about them, as we don’t [need?] them. It is useless to do so. However, what is written in them is still the word of God.”

    I’m glad we agree we should not worry about them. I don’t agree, however that simply a reference to another writing means 1) that the other writing is the inerrant inspired Word of God and 2) that they were ever intemded to serve as God’s Word to any or all generations. For me this is no different to the reference John made to other miracles of Jesus that were not written about.

    I appreciate you trying to tone dowm Nephi and his treatemnt of those who rely solely on the Bible but I think its tone speaks otherwise.
    What strikes me about your and my interpretation of the LDS gospel and Biblical gospel is that you don’t see a difference. You say 2 Nephi 25-23 ““it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” and Ephesians 2:8-9 ” 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.” say the same thing. That is impossible for me to see. Would you have the same answer if 2 Nephi 25:23 was never written or the LDS church ever came into existence? Would you read Ephesians 2:8-9 as still requiring works?

  47. 47 SBGTF
    March 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Shelby has a beautiful testimony that made me feel good reading it. The thing is that pretty much everyone has a testimony to what they believe. I’m pretty sure any Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, Hari Krishna, Buddhist, etc, could give a very similar testimony regarding what they believe as well. The question is, do all these paths lead to God? If not, how do we determine what the true path to God is? Should I become a Mormon because Shelby has a beautiful testimony regarding what she believes to be true or should I base my decision on truth and what is my basis for defining what that truth is? If I am a Mormon, can I really claim to have the truth? If so, what am I basing my claims on? If I am a Mormon, can I really claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God if I believe the Bible is corrupt? If the Bible has been tampered with how do I know that the Book of Mormon has not been tampered with? Hasn’t the Book of Mormon undergone around 4000 changes by the hands of men? How do I know that many plain and precious truths were not removed from the Book of Mormon during any of those 4000 changes? Is the Book of Abraham from God or is it an Egyptian funeral text and how can I know?

    2 Nephi 25-23 ““it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

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

    Do these things mean the same thing?

    Maybe the answer to that question can be found in Galatians which is the Book that inspired Luther to bring about the reformation. Is the Book of Galatians corrupt? Can we trust the basic message of Galatians that man is justified by faith in Christ and nothing else? If Luther was wrong, does that imply the Roman Catholic church had it right and we should all be Roman Catholic?

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

    If I can’t trust Ephesians or Galatians to be true, then how can I believe anything the Apostle Paul said? Can I believe that Paul was accepted by the Apostles and if so how can I know? Paul had a strong testimony of Christ too as recorded in the book of Acts. How do I know the true meaning of Ephesians 2:8-9 or Galatians 2:16? Did someone tamper with these 2 books or are they the true teachings of Paul? If Paul was accepted by the Apostles, can I then know that what Paul said in Ephesians and Galatians was accepted by the Apostles? Do we have any historical documentation to back up the books of Ephesians and Galatians to support that justification is not of works, but of faith in Christ? If Luther or the Catholic Church changed the books of Ephesians and Galatians would that be evident when compared to Greek Manuscripts that date back to before 325 AD?

    Would Christ have given Paul and the Apostles the message of saved by grace through faith and then given the message of saved by grace after all we can do to the Nephites? Why would Christ do that? Do we believe Paul and the Apostles or do we believe the Nephites? If we believe the Nephites what are we basing this on?

    Paul said there was no other gospel than the one he presented:
    Galatians 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

    If we believe the gospel of the Nephites, how can we say we believe the gospel of Paul?

  48. 48 SBGTF
    March 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    My previous questions can be considered to be rhetorical.

    What I really want to know is: Do Mormons believe the gospel of Paul or not?

    Gal. 2:21: I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

    Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    And, Why would God place man back under the law (Mormon law), through new revelation, as the way to obtain justification and righteousness when that did not work in the first place?

  49. 49 Kent
    March 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Shem said, “I will make one comment on the Book of Abraham.
    We have today 22 fragments of parchment from the scrolls that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham. From these 22 fragments stem the majority of all so called evidence against Joseph Smith.

    According to eye witness accounts the scrolls that Joseph Smith possessed were several dozen feet in total length. The fragments we have are only a small fraction of what was available to Joseph Smith.
    Also, according to Joseph Smith there were other writings contained within the scrolls that were not written by Abraham.
    So, simply put, the fragments we have, though had by Joseph Smith, and not very likely to actually be from the scroll that Joseph Smith translated into the Book of Abraham. This is sufficient for me to dismiss all the comparisons made between the two.”

    So if the fragments available are not the part that Smith reportedly translated, then we are back to not being able to verify it, like the Book of Mormon, against the original language. So the best argument for the Book of Abraham is we can’t verify it says what Smith claims it says?

    Also, the fragments have been dated to the late Ptolemaic or early Roman period, about 1500 years after Abraham’s lifetime, so they couldn’t have been written in Abraham’s own hand, as Smith claimed.

  50. 50 joshtried
    March 4, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Lets discuss for a minute apostasy and Restoration, and the names of those things which have followed…

    Matt. 24: 9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
    Many (Christians) shall be offended, Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you (Didnt joseph offend people, and they killed him?)

    Acts 20: 29. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
    Many grievous wolves entered into the Church, and did not spare the flock. Men did arise of their own selves, and did speak perverse things, and did draw away others.

    Jude verse18. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
    Many people decide to go to a church based on what it is the preacher is teaching his flock. sounds like at least a few of you are “walking after their own ungodly lusts” to me.. I know for a fact the Bible says you shall know by their works, and i KNOW that the church my grandparents go to has no new growth. they dont go out and preach repentance to their city. and if the preacher decided to start preaching something else than what he is currently teaching, my grandparents would simply go and find another church. Yet you would be willing to accept that my grandparents are christian, based on the fact that they accept only the Bible… sounds to me like my grandparents are not listening to Christ’s counsel, and are therefore, not really being very “Christian”

    How many “Christian” churches nowadays accept Gays and Lesbians. i understand accepting them initially, but Christ said come as you are, and he said Go your way and sin no more.. He did not say come as you are and continue to wallow in that sin

    How many “Christian” churches have “Paul’s” episcopalian, our “Peter’s” Evangelical, our “Jude’s” Catholic written on them. Every one of you has seen at least one. And yet, you allow these to be called Christian without hesitation, because it uses the same book as you.. what a very sad statement.

    Why is one person on here Lutheran, and another Evangelical, and they are not fighting over which is right? If you believe “Luther’s” Teaching of the bible, then by definition, you believe him to be right, and all the others must be wrong, or why would you separate yourself by the name you choose to denote your belief system? again, same book, so the others must be okay….. BUT, you claim to be different, and ALSO claim that the other person is correct? Why then does it matter whether or not you are Lutheran? Why not call yourself Catholic? BECAUSE, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. you clearly recognize this, and yet you also choose to allow the other person to think they are right? how is that living in love, when you “know” the other person should be wrong for their beliefs? I will flat out tell you right now, that every other church IS wrong.

    You say you believe in the “Lutheran” system of beliefs, and see absolutely nothing wrong with that??
    I say I believe in the “Jesus Christ” system of beliefs, and you see absolutely EVERYTHING wrong with that??

    You ask why i believe there was apostasy, and thus the need for restoration. I say look around you. How do you see corruption in almost every church in some way or another, and not accept that this is wrong? (i say see in almost, because some are very good at hiding things. while obviously these are not hide from God, they are very capably hid from you and me).

    Kent:
    Also, the fragments have been dated to the late Ptolemaic or early Roman period, about 1500 years after Abraham’s lifetime, so they couldn’t have been written in Abraham’s own hand, as Smith claimed.

    I dont know which dating method was chosen, but i do know this about a large amount of dating practices:
    First of, you must decide what “layer” of ground something is found in.. (i think there are 12, and each have their own time period… no matter how many, they do all have their time period). Once THIS is determined, THEN the dating method is chosen. No where on earth are all “12” layers in order, one after the other.
    obviously there are other ways, like saying the first know papyrus was not until XXXX AD. I have not seen the dating evidence, so i comment no more on THIS.
    To say that ALL the scroll were of the exact same time frame, when Shem said “Also, according to Joseph Smith there were other writings contained within the scrolls that were not written by Abraham” would be very presumptuous.. Shem DID NOT SAY that ALL the parts where written by Abraham, as your statement suggests that they are..

  51. 51 joshtried
    March 4, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    SBGTF:
    Galatians 2:16
    16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
    Works ALONE do not justify… (whole other discussion on this 2 “blogs” back….)
    Faith WITHOUT works is dead… Faith must have works, ergo works is still a part of the message, whether you accept that or not is up to you.

  52. 52 choosethechrist
    March 5, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Josh said “i KNOW that the church my grandparents go to has no new growth”

    I don’t know where you’re grandparents are, but in Northern Utah, God is moving in MIRACULOUS ways within my church. We have now grown to 4 campuses from Layton to Logan. Attendance at our Logan campus has grown from 80 to near 400 and that is just since December of last year. And, we are looking to add a fifth campus in Brigham City. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who knows how hard it is to advance the gospel in Utah can truly appreciate how hard this is to do, but our God is an AMAZING God!

    Josh said “Why is one person on here Lutheran, and another Evangelical, and they are not fighting over which is right?”

    Because, we all believe the same thing about God, Jesus, The Bible, and how we are saved.

    Josh said “Faith WITHOUT works is dead… Faith must have works, ergo works is still a part of the message, whether you accept that or not is up to you.”

    Faith is the conviction of truth without tangible proof.

    Justification is what makes a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

    I have faith in God. I am justified and made righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. As per the gospel as taught in the Bible, I am saved by grace through faith, not of works. I have a faith that lives because my works are evident and show that I have a saving faith, but my works do not justify me before God, my works do not save me. I put my faith in Christ for my salvation, and then good works began to flow from that faith.

    Why do we not accept Mormon teachings? Because you teach a salvation that is dependant on works, laws, ordinances, a church, etc. You are earning your way. This is not the gospel. In fact, the Mormon gospel is very similar to what Paul fought against in his day. You are making yourselves righteous before God whether you want to believe it or not.

    BTW, I know people who are gay. I do not condone their choice to live in the sin of homosexuality, but I love them and treat them with love. I would love it if they would come to church with me! They need God just as much as I do.

  53. 53 choosethechrist
    March 5, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Josh said “I say I believe in the “Jesus Christ” system of beliefs, and you see absolutely EVERYTHING wrong with that??”

    The reality is that we believe in the Jesus Christ system of beliefs, you believe in the LDS system of beliefs.

    We have Jesus for our individual salvation, we are going to spend eternity in the presence of God. Your individual salvation is dependant on the LDS church and what you are able to achieve. I have no idea where you are going to spend eternity.

  54. March 5, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Josh, you seem to be on roll against other churches . Was there “a ” apostasy ? Yes
    That’s very clear in the scriptures you sighted, but several Mormon authorities have taught
    that there was a complete/universal apostasy , and that is just plain ridiculous . You said :
    ” I say look around you . How do you see corruption in almost every other church in someway
    or another , and not accept that this is wrong ? ( i say see in almost, because some are very good
    at hiding things, while obviously these are not hide from God , they are very capably hid from you
    and me ) . ” Now I’m not sure what you mean by “corruption” here , but it seems that you want sorely
    to make your case for the Mormon gospel that maybe you forgot that your own church might have
    some ” corruption ” also. WW

  55. March 5, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Choose said, ” Why do we not accept Mormon teachings? Because you teach a salvation that is
    dependant on works, laws, ordinances, a church , etc. You are earning your way . This is not the
    gospel. In fact the Mormon gospel is very similar to what Paul fought against in his day .”

    In a nutshell that about says it .

  56. 56 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Choose:
    “Because you teach a salvation that is dependant on works, laws, ordinances, a church, etc.”
    Honestly, im just not going to debate this here.. we have, and still are, doing so on the other blog/post thing..

    Choose #2:
    “Your individual salvation is dependent on the LDS church and what you are able to achieve”
    My exaltation (degree…) is dependent on the laws passed to our church. My salvation is based on Christ. This is made very clear in everything we teach. Without Christ, there is no exaltation…

    WW:
    “but several Mormon authorities have taught that there was a complete/universal apostasy , and that is just plain ridiculous”
    How many different churches are teaching corruptness. To worship “idols” (or apostles) is wrong.
    To accept Gays without requiring change is wrong.
    To call yourself “of Christ” and do nothing in Christ’s name is wrong.
    To pick your church based on the closest thing YOU want to believe is wrong..
    To pray to anyone other that God through Christ (or Christ if you believe he is God.. more on that a few posts back. either way…………) is wrong.
    Having listed just these 5 things, i have covered ONLY 5 types of apostasy.. “a” apostasy is drastically understating the way things are, and probably the way things were back in the 1800’s, and probably even more so before then…

    I am listing faults, so as to openly compare. If you have faults that would declare an apostasy of the LDS church, please list them. (and NO we do NOT worship Joseph Smith, we accept him as a prophet and are thankful for his conviction. we do not believe that Joseph has the power to “save”, as you Christians put it, our souls.)

    To those that say we are no longer under the law, Christ HIMSELF said this:
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”
    The Law IS in effect.. the PAYMENT has changed.

  57. 57 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 2:43 am

    As to this:
    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
    We believe this:
    Peter, James and John, who restored the power and authority of the Apostles.

    interesting….. Peter, who is the rock of the Church, of which Satan couldnt prevail, came back and delivered said church to this last “dispensation”…

    Acts 3:19-21 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: WHOM THE HEAVEN MUST RECEIVE UNTIL THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

    restitution: The restoration of SOMETHING LOST OR STOLEN to its proper owner.
    The act of restoring to the rightful owner something that has been TAKEN AWAY, LOST OR SURRENDERED.

    So, in ACTS we see that SOMETHING must be RESTORED…. Gee, if only a church HAD that restoration….. oh wait……

  58. 58 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Just because you LOGICALLY say that “oh noes, the church cant be destroyed” DOESNT MEAN IT CANT BE SAVED IN A DIFFERENT WAY.. as ALL of you have been so apt to point out, God works in mysterious ways… I DONT CARE IF IT IS LOGICAL TO YOU.

    have a nice day :)

  59. March 5, 2012 at 4:11 am

    Josh

    You have summed up a lot of this discussion in your latest words:
    “The restoration of SOMETHING LOST OR STOLEN to its proper owner.
    The act of restoring to the rightful owner something that has been TAKEN AWAY, LOST OR SURRENDERED.
    So, in ACTS we see that SOMETHING must be RESTORED…. Gee, if only a church HAD that restoration….. oh wait……”
    Lets look at the section in context.
    14But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
    18But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
    20And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 25Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
    This is the whole section in context. This is not pointing to a new church or a reformed church. This refers to the restored relationship believers have with God through faith in the right relationship with God that Jesus restored through His saving work in our place – His perfect life, His innocent suffering and death and His resurrection from the dead that was all done for us as a free gift of HIs grace . Jesus’ saving work is what reconciled us to God – His sacrifice restored us. That is the restoration being discussed here. This has nothing to do with claiming Christ’s church ever was lost, stolen, or taken away, or surrendered and in need of a remodeling job. The prophecies spoken of here are not anything new . This is a summary of prior prophecies, what they mean and how Jesus fulfilled them.
    Jesus, said the gates of Hades will not overcome” His church. I believe Him. You, a mere man, and the LDS church, thinks Jesus is wrong here and can’t defend His own church. My Jesus is all powerful and has been given all power over everything in Heaven and Earth , Is seated and the right hand of God the Father Almighty and can CERTAINLY – ABSOLUUTELY – PROTECT HIS CHURCH FROM ANYTHING!!!!! Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He never fails . JOSH – He never fails!!! The prophecies foretold here are those spoken of by all the prophets up to that time and they mention nothing of later prophets predicting the destruction and restoration of Christ’s church. Joseph Smith is a false prophet and has no clue how powerful Jesus is or what HE did to save us. You asked me earlier if I thought this “can’t be faked,” I almost fell over in my chair when you asked me that question – the fake is Joseph Smith and every single LDS brand of “latter day” saint. IT is LDS doctrine, prophecies, history and traditions that is wrought with error, inconsistency, contradiction, and not one shred of historical proof of anything supporting it’s foundation. The difference BTW between pastors of Christian churches (one’s actually faithfully following the Bible not merely claiming to do so) is that they don’t purport to proclaim new doctrine that supersedes the Bible. They apply the Bible’s teachings, they don’t invent it. THAT is Christ’s church that the gates of Hades will never overcome.

  60. March 5, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Josh, some of your reasoning is unclear . You certainly didn’t make a case why I should embrace Mormonism as the true gospel. The Bible does talk about apostasy even a wide spread apostasy, but from Mormon authorities we hear of a complete apostasy, as it has been said that since 1830 salvation is ” once again available ” to mankind . That is simply not true. For me, when it comes to what a person must do to
    receive eternal life with God is recorded in the New Testament , therefore I have no need for Mormon
    apostles .

  61. 61 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

    David:
    “This refers to the restored relationship believers have with God That is the restoration being discussed here.”
    So, people lost ability to have a relationship with God? even in the VERY worst times, there has always been someone that can have relationship with God. so, you mean to tell me here that when God only had a relationship with one person on this earth, and decided to wipe all mankind off of the face of it, that now, in the time, when, prior to Jesus?, that NO man had this relationship and God did not wipe them off the face of this earth? how does that make any sense? to me, God gets pretty upset when no one hears him.. he says this several times… he lets the people be ransacked, and run through the desert, and all but completely annihilated… and then :
    And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
    This is talking about a relationship? I see this as pointing to the second coming, especially with my above drawn out segment.. (yes i concede that it COULD be describing spiritual death, but even then, that is after the second coming… because we will ALL be resurrected).

    lets separate from this for just a second and read it again though…
    “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of ALL things”
    so, the ALL here is referring ONLY to ONE thing, a relationship?? When i read things like this, i truly hope that 2 persons (God and Man) understood the difference of ALL and ONE when writing… I am pretty sure that both did before… but this is no new disagreement between us. plurality seems to cause a few people great trouble…

    Wyoming:
    1st: The Bible does talk about apostasy even a wide spread apostasy
    Glad to see we have moved from “a” apostasy, to “a wide spread” apostasy… There are only so many different “types” of Christian churches.. To go through each would be ridiculously tedious. I CAN, given time and patience.. but to be honest, i really dont want to. They all “stemmed” from one belief… from there are few divisions, and then many, many more… Why would a division happen? because one group THINKS/FEELS that the workings of the first are corrupt (Calvin/Luther)… or because THEY are corrupt, and want to twist the scriptures so as to fit their corrupt lives(not pointing at anyone, cause i dont know the lives of every individual that claimed to be of God, though to say this didnt happen would be to deny the prophecies of the scriptures).. Branches broke off both ways though, so, someone thought the church was corrupt, and someone had even more corrupt feelings that they want to teach others..

    2nd: salvation includes repentance, baptism…. If no one had authority to do baptisms, because of said apostasy, then yes, you need to find someone that has the proper authority. Jesus did not just go to “some guy”, he went to someone who had the authority to baptize.
    Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
    Matthew 3: 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented

  62. 62 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 8:33 am

    as to my reasoning… people rejected Peter eventually… Kings OUTLAWED Christianity.. even if people DID want to hear about it, there were those who were to afraid (probably more for family than themselves..) Eventually Peter died, as did his disciples, and so on… once you get to far from the “start” you generally have an apostasy of one sort or another… how many times did the Jews go into bondage??? over, and over, and OVER… yet they never got it..
    There are even apostate “branches” of LDS origin, from those that would corrupt our teachings to fit their lives.. does this mean the LDS church is wrong? NO, this means people broke away because the Church wouldnt let them do what they wanted, the church stuck to their guns whether people liked it or not, because our revelation was, and is, of God.

  63. 63 choosethechrist
    March 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Josh said “How many different churches are teaching corruptness. To worship “idols” (or apostles) is wrong.
    To accept Gays without requiring change is wrong.
    To call yourself “of Christ” and do nothing in Christ’s name is wrong.
    To pick your church based on the closest thing YOU want to believe is wrong..
    To pray to anyone other that God through Christ (or Christ if you believe he is God.. more on that a few posts back. either way…………) is wrong.”

    Plenty of churches are teaching corruptness that’s why we measure everything against Biblical truth. Why are churches corrupt? Because they are made up of imperfect men! The LDS church is as corrupt as any other.

    Josh seems to be under the delusion that Christians don’t follow Christ, keep his commands, or do anything in his name. We do, however it’s not the doing that saves us. The difference is that Christians are more likely to admit and share their sins in order to be helped and to help others overcome their sins. Where as the LDS system encourages people to hide their sins in order to keep up the appearances of looking good. God doesn’t care about your white washed exterior. He cares about your interior.

    I have already stated the things we as Christians agree on. These are the things that create our solid foundation in Christ as Christians, who God is, who Jesus is, how we are saved. The other things that make us all different in our denominations do not matter. for we are all part of the body of Christ These are the things that create our diversity because God did not make us all to be the same. We have unity through our diversity. It does us no good for everyone to be the same. We use our individual strengths to come together to create a stong body. What one lacks, another provides. It does not matter how many songs are sung, how often communion is held, what color the carpet is in the sanctuary, etc. We choose our church based on how that church will fit our individual needs in fellowship and worship and discipleship. The LDS, on the other hand, seem to pride themselves on everyone being absolutely the same and respond to differences with ostracism. There’s not much diversity, but there are plenty of sheeples.

    Your comment on gays makes me want to puke! Christ came for sinners not the righteous. How else is a gay person going to be brought to Christ if we don’t bring them into the body of believers for help in learning who God is, who Christ is, and what God wants from us. A sinner can not overcome sin without Christ. We need to encourage and help ALL sinners to overcome their sins even gays! We don’t leave gays outside the church, expect them to overcome on their own, and then let them in when they have gotten their act together. By your statement no one should be in any church because we ALL sin! In no way would we teach a gay that once they knew Christ that it would be OK for them to continue in their sin.

    Jesus is I AM! Jesus is God. We pray to God.

    And, It’s always been about relationship! Another problem with the LDS church, you have no clue that God could care less about your religion, he wants your relationship. Adam and Eve had no religion, they did however have relationship with God before they destroyed that relationship with God with their sin. We have to maintain a right relationship with God and part of that includes keeping sin out of our lives.

    Christ DID fulfill the law! He did not ABOLISH the law. He fulfilled the law, therefore it is NOT the law that saves us, Christ saves us! He did not abolish the law, we follow his commands, but following his commands does not save us, he saved us.

    In case you missed it it Ephesians and Galatians:

    Romans 3:20-22 By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.

    Romans 3:28 We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

    Romans 4:4-5 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

    Our fulfilling the law in loving others is not the ground of our justification. The ground of justification is the obedience and blood-shedding of Christ alone, appropriated through faith alone before any other acts are performed. Our fulfilling the law is the fruit and evidence of being justified by faith. ~ John Piper

  64. 64 shematwater
    March 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    DAVID

    Sorry, it should have said “I agree that we should not be worrying about them, as we don’t have them.” It can be argued that since we don’t have them than we don’t need them; but then I would say that if God revealed them at anytime in the future they would then be needed, for we would then have them.

    “Would you have the same answer if 2 Nephi 25:23 was never written or the LDS church ever came into existence? Would you read Ephesians 2:8-9 as still requiring works?”

    Most likely not, as I would not have the Spirit of God directing my thoughts and opening my mind to understanding. Without the Book of Mormon and the work Joseph Smith did we would all still be in the darkness of apostasy.
    However, I can say with confidence that I would still reject your doctrine, as it is self-contradictory and contradicts the Bible. I would be one of those many who were dissatisfied with the religions in existence, and would have turned away from all of them as being corrupt mockeries of the truth. I would be earnestly seeking for God to clarify his word and lead me to the truth, which was sorely lacking in Christianity before the restoration.

    CHOOSE

    “We need to encourage and help ALL sinners to overcome their sins even gays!”

    We couldn’t agree more, and we strive to help all people overcome their weaknesses. The difference is that we require this before they enter the church, while you just think it is a good idea, but isn’t a requirement.

    WILLY

    This is my evidence for a complete and total apostasy.

    Mark 3: 14
    “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.”

    Luke 6: 13
    “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.”

    Luke 10: 1
    “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”

    Ephesians 4: 11-13
    “And he agave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”

    1 Corinthians 12: 28
    “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”

    The true church or Christ will be organized in the same way as it was by Christ when he ministered in the flesh. He does not change how he operates. Thus, the true church has prophets, apostles, the seventy, teachers, pastors, evangelists, and all the gifts of the spirit to work great miracles. They are to be had until we come to a unity of the faith. With all the divisions that exist in Christianity no one can honestly claim we have a unity of faith, and thus anyone denying the need for even one of these things is in a state of apostasy.
    Thus, when a person says that we have no need for a modern prophet, because we have the Bible, they are in a state of apostasy; how many Christians believe this?
    Thus, anyone who denies miracles in this day is in a state of apostasy; how many Christians deny these things?
    Thus, any church that is not lead by Apostles and prophets is in a state of apostasy; How many can claim such a leadership?

    If there are those that do have these things, then I would ask by what authority, for Paul tells us in Hebrews 5: 4 that “man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” So, proper authority must be given in the proper way, without which none of these things can exist.

    SBGTF

    “What I really want to know is: Do Mormons believe the gospel of Paul or not?”

    No, we do not believe in the gospel of Paul. We do, however, believe in the Gospel of Christ as taught by Paul. This does not mean we believe in the interpretations of the rest of Christianity. These things we reject, accepting instead the true meaning of the words of Paul as taught to us by God himself.

    You list of questions was fun, and this is my answer: We can never know the truth if we rely solely on the Bible. Such is impossible. We can only know the truth is we rely on the Spirit of God, and through him receive of the Spirit of Prophecy, which is the spirit by which the Bible was written, and the only spirit by which it can be truly understood.
    If we rely on God himself we will never go wrong. It is when we rely on men that we fall away, including the men who wrote and preserved the Bible.

  65. 65 SBGTF
    March 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Shem, the “Gospel”, is also defined as the “Word” that comes from God. God spoke through Paul.

    If you believe in the Gospel of Christ as taught by Paul, why are you adding works, laws, and LDS ordinances to a persons individual salvation? Paul clearly taught salvation by grace through faith alone in many of his Epistles and he was not refering to a “general” salvation as taught by the LDS church. The gospel as taught by Paul is clearly new “revelation” since Paul lived after the Nephites, yet the LDS church is living by “saved by grace after all we can do” which is old “revelation”.

  66. 66 shematwater
    March 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    SBGTF

    As I said, we do not believe in your interpretations of Paul’s words. I read the very same passages, and I see the need for works, ordinances and all the rest of the Gospel as restored through the prophets of this day.

    It was Paul who wrote to the Philippians to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2: 12) He also wrote to the Romans that it is not “the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Romans 2: 13) To the Corinthians he wrote that at the final judgment all men will “receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5: 10) To the Galatians he said to “let every man prove his own work.” (Galatians 6: 4) He tells Titus to make sure that the faithful “be careful to maintain good works.” (Titus 3: 8)

    Paul was no stranger to the need for us to live righteously and obey the laws of God. He acknowledged the need for such action on our part, but clearly taught that without faith this action is of no use. This is the message of Paul: We cannot be saved by our own actions, as salvation is a gift of God. However, we cannot be saved without our own actions either, as those who do not obey are not justified.

    This is what the LDS teach, and thus we are in perfect agreement with Paul, as is Nephi.

  67. 67 choosethechrist
    March 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Shem said “The difference is that we require this before they enter the church, while you just think it is a good idea, but isn’t a requirement.”

    Seriously?

    When did the LDS church start asking 8 year olds their sexual orientation? They were not let in, they were born in. I even know of some who served missions, married in the temple, and led double lives in order to be socially accepted. Why would they tell when they knew they would be shunned and invited to leave? How did the LDS church help them overcome their sin? Instead they left on their own and became atheist.

  68. March 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Just a quick clarification: Shem said “The difference is that we require this before they enter the church, while you just think it is a good idea, but isn’t a requirement.” I think Shem meant chastity is required to enter.

    This article by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland should help you understand how the church handles this.

    A pleasant young man in his early 20s sat across from me. He had an engaging smile, although he didn’t smile often during our talk. What drew me in was the pain in his eyes.

    “I don’t know if I should remain a member of the Church,” he said. “I don’t think I’m worthy.”

    “Why wouldn’t you be worthy?” I asked.

    “I’m gay.”

    I suppose he thought I would be startled. I wasn’t. “And … ?” I inquired.

    A flicker of relief crossed his face as he sensed my continued interest. “I’m not attracted to women. I’m attracted to men. I’ve tried to ignore these feelings or change them, but …”

    He sighed. “Why am I this way? The feelings are very real.”

    I paused, then said, “I need a little more information before advising you. You see, same-gender attraction is not a sin, but acting on those feelings is—just as it would be with heterosexual feelings. Do you violate the law of chastity?”

    He shook his head. “No, I don’t.”

    This time I was relieved. “Thank you for wanting to deal with this,” I said. “It takes courage to talk about it, and I honor you for keeping yourself clean.

    “As for why you feel as you do, I can’t answer that question. A number of factors may be involved, and they can be as different as people are different. Some things, including the cause of your feelings, we may never know in this life. But knowing why you feel as you do isn’t as important as knowing you have not transgressed. If your life is in harmony with the commandments, then you are worthy to serve in the Church, enjoy full fellowship with the members, attend the temple, and receive all the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement.”

    He sat up a little straighter. I continued, “You serve yourself poorly when you identify yourself primarily by your sexual feelings. That isn’t your only characteristic, so don’t give it disproportionate attention. You are first and foremost a son of God, and He loves you.

    “What’s more, I love you. My Brethren among the General Authorities love you. I’m reminded of a comment President Boyd K. Packer made in speaking to those with same-gender attraction. ‘We do not reject you,’ he said. ‘… We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you.’” 1

    We talked for another 30 minutes or so. Knowing I could not be a personal counselor to him, I directed him to his local priesthood leaders. Then we parted. I thought I detected a look of hope in his eyes that had not been there before. Although he yet faced challenges to work through—or simply endure—I had a feeling he would handle them well.
    God Loveth His Children

    When an angel asked Nephi a question about God, Nephi answered, “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things” (1 Nephi 11:17). I too affirm that God loves all His children and acknowledge that many questions, including some related to same-gender attraction, must await a future answer, perhaps in the next life.

    Unfortunately, some people believe they have all the answers now and declare their opinions far and wide. Fortunately, such people do not speak for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Although I believe members are eager to extend compassion to those different from themselves, it is human nature that when confronted with a situation we don’t understand, we tend to withdraw. This is particularly true of same-gender attraction. We have so little reliable information about it that those wanting to help are left feeling a bit unsteady. Admitting my own inadequacy in this regard but wanting to assist, let me offer some suggestions to help those who have loved ones or friends who are attracted to the same gender.
    Our Father’s Plan of Happiness

    First, let’s be absolutely clear on what God wants for each of us. He wants us to have all of the blessings of eternal life. He wants us to become like Him. To help us do that, He has given us a plan. This plan is based on eternal truths and is not altered according to the social trends of the day.

    At the heart of this plan is the begetting of children, one of the crucial reasons Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden (see 2 Nephi 2:19–25; Moses 5:10–12). They were commanded to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Moses 2:28), and they chose to keep that commandment. We are to follow them in marrying and providing physical bodies for Heavenly Father’s spirit children. Obviously, a same-gender relationship is inconsistent with this plan.

    For various reasons, marriage and children are not immediately available to all. Perhaps no offer of marriage is forthcoming. Perhaps even after marriage there is an inability to have children. Or perhaps there is no present attraction to the opposite gender. Whatever the reason, God’s richest blessings will eventually be available to all of His children if they are clean and faithful.

    Through the exercise of faith, individual effort, and reliance upon the power of the Atonement, some may resolve same-gender attraction in mortality and marry. Others, however, may never be free of same-gender attraction in this life.

    As fellow Church members, families, and friends, we need to recognize that those attracted to the same gender face some unique restrictions regarding expression of their feelings. While same-gender attraction is real, there must be no physical expression of this attraction. The desire for physical gratification does not authorize immorality by anyone. Such feelings can be powerful, but they are never so strong as to deprive anyone of the freedom to choose worthy conduct.

    In saying this, let me make it clear that attractions alone, troublesome as they may be, do not make one unworthy. The First Presidency has stated, “There is a distinction between immoral thoughts and feelings and participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior.” 2 If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed.

    The failure to see that distinction sometimes leads to despair. I ache for those who do not understand that every blessing offered by God is available to anyone who obeys the laws upon which those blessings are predicated (see D&C 130:20–21). No one who lives the gospel should despair. Hope and peace come from the Comforter, and the answer to despair is to invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.
    Ways to Help

    Let’s assume you are the family member or friend of someone with same-gender attraction who comes to you for help. What do you say? What do you do?

    I’d begin by recognizing the courage that brought your son, daughter, sibling, or friend to you. I’d recognize the trust that person has extended. Discussing the issue with someone of trust is a healthy first step to dealing with confusing feelings, and it is imperative that these first steps be met with compassion.

    Next, if you are a parent of one with same-gender attraction, don’t assume you are the reason for those feelings. No one, including the one struggling, should try to shoulder blame. Nor should anyone place blame on another—including God. Walk by faith, and help your loved one deal the best he or she can with this challenge.

    In doing so, recognize that marriage is not an all-purpose solution. Same-gender attractions run deep, and trying to force a heterosexual relationship is not likely to change them. We are all thrilled when some who struggle with these feelings are able to marry, raise children, and achieve family happiness. But other attempts have resulted in broken hearts and broken homes.

    Above all, keep your lines of communication open. Open communication between parents and children is a clear expression of love, and pure love, generously expressed, can transform family ties. But love for a family member does not extend to condoning unrighteous behavior. Your children are welcome to stay in your home, of course, but you have every right to exclude from your dwelling any behavior that offends the Spirit of the Lord.
    The Garden Principle

    Next, consider a principle learned in gardening. Someone said that if we plant a garden with good seed, there will not be so much need of the hoe. Likewise, if we fill our lives with spiritual nourishment, we can more easily gain control over inclinations. This means creating a positive environment in our homes in which the Spirit is abundantly evident. A positive environment includes consistent private and public worship, prayer, fasting, scripture reading, service, and exposure to uplifting conversation, music, literature, and other media.

    This same environment extends to experiences at church. Some with same-gender attractions have unresolved fears and are offended at church when no offense is intended. On the other hand, some members exclude from their circle of fellowship those who are different. When our actions or words discourage someone from taking full advantage of Church membership, we fail them—and the Lord. The Church is made stronger as we include every member and strengthen one another in service and love (see D&C 84:110).

    You may feel prompted to encourage the one you are trying to help to visit with a priesthood leader who holds the keys of inspired counsel. Please do so, knowing that the First Presidency has asked Church leaders to discuss these matters confidentially and in a spirit of Christlike love. 3
    In the Lord’s Hands

    Not long ago I received a letter from a man in his early 30s who struggles with same-gender attraction. His struggle has not been easy, and he has not yet married. But, he wrote, “the Lord has helped me face my current circumstances, and I am content to do my best and leave my life in His hands.”

    I weep with admiration and respect at the faith and courage of such a man who is living with a challenge I have never faced. I love him and the thousands like him, male or female, who “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12). I commend his attitude to all who struggle with—or who are helping others who struggle with—same-gender attraction.
    Additional Information

    Some of the ideas and language in this article come from a booklet prepared by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for those attracted to the same gender. It is titled God Loveth His Children (item no. 04824). If the booklet is available in your language, you can obtain a copy from your local distribution center or download it from http://www.lds.org/same-gender-attraction.

  69. 69 JBR
    March 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Josh,
    I think it should be worth noting that if you’re going to claim that “We believe this:
    Peter, James and John, who restored the power and authority of the Apostles.”

    then the LDS church is probably more corrupt than you think and you should concern yourself with the plank in your eye first.

    For Jesus also revealed this about Peter (2 verses later)

    (KJV)
    23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

    (NIV)
    Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

    Say all you want… the greatest opponent to Mormonism is Jesus of the Bible. That is why other “scriptures” are needed and virtually usurp the Bible in importance and relevence.

    btw…… anger is not being worthy.

  70. March 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Shem

    My question to you from above was – “Would you have the same answer if 2 Nephi 25:23 was never written or the LDS church ever came into existence? Would you read Ephesians 2:8-9 as still requiring works?”

    You answered – “Most likely not, as I would not have the Spirit of God directing my thoughts and opening my mind to understanding. Without the Book of Mormon and the work Joseph Smith did we would all still be in the darkness of apostasy.”

    You think the Holy Sprit lost His power to guide or direct the thoughts of people to lead them to the truth? When do you think that happened?

  71. 71 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Choose:
    Josh seems to be under the delusion that Christians don’t follow Christ, keep his commands, or do anything in his name
    Just because you do it in his name, does not mean you have the authority to do so

    The difference is that Christians are more likely to admit and share their sins in order to be helped and to help others overcome their sins.
    How many times have i admitted my shortcomings here? and you?

    The other things that make us all different in our denominations do not matter.
    The REASONS do matter. There is a REASON one branch separated from the other.. understand THIS REASON helps to explain said apostasy..

    It does us no good for everyone to be the same.
    This is a half truth.. are we preaching the Gospel on “no kid gets left behind”? obviously everyone is at a different stage in the “Christ likeness”. Does that mean that we will not all one day be under God, as one?

    We choose our church based on how that church will fit our individual needs in fellowship and worship and discipleship.
    2 Timothy 4:3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their OWN LUSTS shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    In no way would we teach a gay that once they knew Christ that it would be OK for them to continue in their sin.
    This is in YOUR church, there are many that do preach it as acceptable, and THAT is my point.

    Christ DID fulfill the law! He did not ABOLISH the law. He fulfilled the law, therefore it is NOT the law that saves us, Christ saves us!
    Glad to see THIS is finally admitted, AFTER i point to Christ himself saying such…..

    I still dont see how you are missing this… “Our fulfilling the law in loving others is not the ground of our justification. The ground of justification is the obedience and blood-shedding of Christ alone, appropriated through faith alone before any other acts are performed. Our fulfilling the law is the fruit and evidence of being justified by faith. ”
    FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. work without faith is what the scriptures you referenced is talking about. My DEEDS ALONE will NOT get me to heaven.. I have said this like 100x already… (yes that is exaggerated)

  72. 72 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Choose:
    Instead they left on their own and became atheist.
    This is THEIR choice. They new what was taught since they were little, and it is taught that you marry someone of the opposite sex. Even said person KNEW this, as they “lead a double life”. they were though, lying to themselves, and not willing to accept that God meant for man and women to be together… not man and man, or woman and woman.

  73. 73 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    JBR
    then the LDS church is probably more corrupt than you think and you should concern yourself with the plank in your eye first.
    18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    20Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    I dont know about you, but i dont see where Peter STOPPED being an apostle, or where his keys of the kingdom of heaven were taken away… I see he was rebuked for not UNDERSTANDING that Christ must die… The Apostles were ALL constantly rebuked.. even just before this happened, they were ALL rebuked for worrying about bread, and Christ says did you not remember the 5 loaves that feed 5000, and the 7 & 4000.
    Just because they were rebuked, does not mean they were no longer to officiate. BUT they were NOT TEACHING these things to others. they simply did not yet UNDERSTAND.

  74. March 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Josh

    You asked : “So, people lost ability to have a relationship with God?”

    ABSOLUTELY YES!!!!! EVER SINCE THE FALL.
    “12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
    You said:
    “even in the VERY worst times, there has always been someone that can have relationship with God. so, you mean to tell me here that when God only had a relationship with one person on this earth, and decided to wipe all mankind off of the face of it, that now, in the time, when, prior to Jesus?, that NO man had this relationship and God did not wipe them off the face of this earth?
    “10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12
    how does that make any sense?
    “18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. ” 1 Corinthians 1:18
    “21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:21-24
    You said:
    to me, God gets pretty upset when no one hears him.. he says this several times… he lets the people be ransacked, and run through the desert, and all but completely annihilated… and then :”

    “15But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15.
    ” 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ” 2 Peter 3 :9
    ” 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. ” Romans 3: 25-28
    “16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:16-21
    You quoted this and said:
    “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. This is talking about a relationship? I see this as pointing to the second coming,”
    Absolutely this is talking about the relationship people have with God. The final outcome of which will be brought to conclusion at the final judgment. But it is certainly all about the relationship with God and his people.
    16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3: 16:18.
    “35And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” Luke 9:35.
    10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”. Romans 5:10-11.
    That Josh is the restoration won by Jesus and which will come to its conclusion at the final judgment.

  75. March 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I need to make one thing clear here Josh. Yes we lost our right relationship with God because of sin. And the final judgment will be the conclusion of this but please understand that BECAUSE of JESUS saving work, and ONLY because of JESUS saving work, we ARE standing in a right relationship ( a restored relationship) with God right now.

    “10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
    11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” Hebrews 10:10-18

    At the final judgment those have already died and are residing in Heaven with God will be reunited with their bodies at the resurrection. That is the “final conclusion. But our right relationship with God has been perfected by Jesus by His perfect life, suffering, death and resurrection whcih was all done for us in our place. HE took the punishment for out sin and restored our relationship with God right now.

  76. 76 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    so, it is okay to believe in Original Sin, and that Adam sinned, and that he continued to have a relationship with God.. And that Noah had a relationship with God, and that all the Prophets throughout time have had a relationship with God, and each of them sinning at least once.. yet NOW sin makes it impossible for us to have a relationship with God?
    Maybe you are trying to say that there was a “universal apostasy” before Christ?
    This is in fact impossible if John the Baptist is out performing Baptisms as was ordained of God… SO, John is out here doing correct, BEFORE Christ comes to him, and yet you say that NO ONE has a relationship with God? Then by default, John’s work is null and void and Christ did not receive the Baptism that he needed, and none of us get to return to heaven.

  77. 77 joshtried
    March 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I forget who said and where they said “the differences of each “Christian” church dont matter, because they teach the same thing about “God”.
    1st: no they dont. some teach the trinity as one being, others teach them as 3 separate beings (this is JUST Christianity i am talking about)
    2nd: if it REALLY doesnt matter, then stop being “Lutheran” and go to another church from this point forward… maybe an “Evangelical” one… Please, be sure to come back and let us know how that works out for you, and what, if anything, are the difference you learn in each.

  78. March 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I understand the scripture in 2 Nephi 25:23 that reads “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,” to mean that even after everything I could possibly do on my own, even if I try to do every possible thing to be a good person, even after great works show my faith that is not enough. Christ saves me by grace, not by merits. I am saved by grace, and I am changed by grace. I try to show my faith by my works and my life. I try to live my life in praise of my Savior, but my works do not save me, my acceptance of Christ as Savior and Redeemer does. His grace also changes me and inspires me to live better, to live by faith and do good works.

  79. March 5, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Josh

    you said:

    “so, it is okay to believe in Original Sin, and that Adam sinned, and that he continued to have a relationship with God.. And that Noah had a relationship with God, and that all the Prophets throughout time have had a relationship with God, and each of them sinning at least once.. yet NOW sin makes it impossible for us to have a relationship with God?”

    Josh – I really don’t believe your disgreement is with me. What part of “NONE” or “NOT ONE” is not clear?

    “10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12 See also Psalm 14:3

    We are born sinful. That’s why we all die. “The wages of sin is death.”

    “5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5

    “4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 2:4-6

    We were dead in sins. So was Noah and all the prophets. We need rescue from the moment we are born.

    You said:

    “Maybe you are trying to say that there was a “universal apostasy” before Christ? ”

    No. I’m not talking about a “universal apostacy” I’m simply talking about sin. Sin is sin not apostasy. Although clearly apostates sin. There was no “universal apostasy” that resulted in the destruction of Christ’s Church. That is impossible as Matthew 16:18 makes very clear. “18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” People do fall away from faith through false prophets, which is why I typing this to you right now. Herecies can pollute what a church teaches from the BIble, but the Word remains true and inerrant, Churches which endeaver to keep His Word preached in its truth and purity are where the true church resides. People who fall away from faith, fall away from the true faith, but that does not destroy the true church. Prophecies about a falling away does not equate to destruction Christ’s church, it means some people fell away from it and nothing more.

  80. March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Shelby

    What does Ephesians 2:8-10 mean to you.

    “8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

  81. 81 JBR
    March 6, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Josh,
    Jesus didn’t build his true Church based on the apostles themselves, but on their confession of Jesus.

    I don’t know why you think that just because ELCA holds to false teachings makes all Lutheran Church bodies false. Seems you got a chip on your shoulder or an ax to grind.

  82. 82 Joshtried
    March 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I dont have an axe to grind with Lutherans. I wish to spread God’s word as I understand it. If I believe anything to be untrue, I give examples of why I think I untrue. My point with “picking on Lutherans” is to establish that Lutheran is not ALL Christianity, and to project it as though it is is misleading at best. There are many different CHRISTIAN beliefs. If LDS is under scrutinity and ALL christianity is correct, then the differences they teach are completely meaningless. I conject that the differences are VERY meaningful. Such as God vs Trinity, praying through saints, is free will ours….. All of these are very important, and not ALL christianity teaches the same thing. As such, I will defend my position as I see it as correct, just as you are defending ALL Christianity to be correct.
    If you day that ALL of it is not correct, then I have made at least a little progress, and will continue to teach through the power God has graced me with

  83. March 6, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Shem, I’m glad that you cited those scriptures because 1. they don’t prove that a complete apostasy
    was to occur , and 2. they do show how Jesus set up the early church. These however do not offer
    the proof Mormons seek to prove that the Mormon Church today is the one true Church of Jesus. You
    quoted Eph. 4:11-13 and 1 Cor 12:28 and said , ” Thus , the true church has prophets, apostles, the
    seventy, teachers , pastors, evangelists …..” These verses are fine , but I don’t see “the seventy”
    mentioned in them . Neither do I see the ” assistent to the President/prophet,” or the ” Presiding
    Patriarch ” , these it seems were offices in the “restored” church but were later discarded (?) While
    there is similarity in some things recorded in the N.T. about Jesus’ church and the Mormon Church,
    the problem comes into play when the Mormon “restored” gospel is claimed to be the same gospel of
    Jesus’ apostles but reestablished by modern apostles. As for unity there’s more unity between Christians
    than is often portrayed by Mormon authorities. You also said, ” …when a person says that we have no
    need for a modern prophet, because we have the Bible, they are in a state of apostasy…” I could’nt
    disagree more . The New Testament church Jesus established led by one mortal man , THE earthly
    king over the earthly kingdom ? No thanks . True followers of Jesus recognize the one man who is the
    prophet directing them , this one man is THE ultimate prophet and THE ultimate King —–Jesus Christ.
    This King has protected His gospel , the saving truths therein were available long before 1830 . There
    was no extermination of all His followers as one Mormon apostle proudly proclaimed ( Orson Pratt
    JofD.v18p.44) , and there was no apostasy from His gospel of salvation as other Mormon leaders have
    announced . So I’m sticking with the Bible. As you have said more than once, ” it’s a matter of
    interpretation” etc. so we’ll disagree on this issue.

  84. March 6, 2012 at 2:58 am

    One of the last sentences in the above post should have read : ” and there was no apostasy that rendered
    the gospel of salvation completely un-accessible until 1830 ; despite what some Mormon leaders have
    announced. “

  85. 85 Kent
    March 6, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Joshtried, funny you should say for someone to stop being a Lutheran and go to an evangelical church as that sums up what I have done as I was baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran but I no longer attend a Lutheran church.

    And while there are some differences in the teachings at both churches on most matters, especially the core beliefs of Christianity, both churches are in complete agreement. Such issues as the trinity, we are saved soley by grace and not by works, and who Jesus is and always has been.

    One interesting thing that my pastor at my former Lutheran church used to say is that he is a Christian first and a Lutheran second and my current pastor at a non denominational couldn’t agree more.

  86. 86 shematwater
    March 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    DAVID

    “You think the Holy Spirit lost His power to guide or direct the thoughts of people to lead them to the truth?”

    When did I ever say this? I made no such claim. What I did say is that the people had lost the ability to hear and understand his guidance. I also said that he had chosen not to use his power for a time. These things are far different than loosing it.

    “Josh You asked : “So, people lost ability to have a relationship with God?” ABSOLUTELY YES!!!!! EVER SINCE THE FALL”

    So, from what you said you believe that from the time of Adam until the time of Christ no one had a personal relationship with God, or at least not in the right way. As such, like Josh says, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and all the other prophets did not have a right relationship with Christ.

    CHOOSE

    Kate is right in that I am talking about those who act, not those who feel. There is a difference, and one that God knows well. No, we do not allow people living in a homosexual relationship into the church with first changing their life style. However, we do not allow people living together in a heterosexual relationship into the church either, without first changing (usually getting married). God requires one to be worthy through their own actions, and we comply with these requirements.

    JBR

    If we are corrupt for believing that Peter was involved in the restoration, than all of Christianity is corrupt, for he lead the church after Christ. It was to Peter that Paul took the question of circumcision, and is was Peter who spoke the will of the Lord concerning it (at which point all discussion ended). It was also Peter who first preached to the gentiles after receiving his glorious vision. It was Peter who directed the missionary efforts of all the apostles.
    Also note that it was through ordination by Peter that the Bishop of Rome claimed authority in the church after the apostles were all dead.
    Having played such a major role in the establishment and spread of the Christian religion then the whole thing must be corrupt, just like the LDS church.

    WILLY

    “but I don’t see “the seventy” mentioned in them”

    That is because they were mentioned in Luke.10: 1, as having been ordained directly by Christ. They were not mentioned in the Epistles of Paul (though one might say they are the ‘elders’ that are frequently referred to).

    As to the other positions, no they are not mentioned in the New Testament. Now, the Patriarch is in the Old Testament, as that was part of the organization of the church before the time of Moses. Adam was the first patriarch, then Seth and the line continued to Enoch, then to Noah, and then to Abraham. It passed from the eldest son to the eldest son (if such was worthy). Thus, in the last days, it was established with the eldest worthy male who was a direct descendant of the covenant line (Ephraim, the son of Joseph) and thus Joseph Smith Sr. received the right, which then passed to his oldest living son on his death (Hiram).

    The other positions are not specifically mentioned, but they are simply adaptations to the needs of the times. I am fine with that. Paul does not say we need an assistant to the president, so it is not a requirement for the church to have it. However, if God chooses to appoint one who am I to question it.
    My point was that Paul gives a very specific list of callings that he says are needed to bring us to perfection, and thus any church that does not have them does not have what is needed to do the job that Christ has given to his church.

    “The New Testament church Jesus established led by one mortal man , THE earthly king over the earthly kingdom ? No thanks”

    The president is not a king, he is a steward, as we all are. Christ is the King of this earth, and anyone who serves in any capacity (including civil ones) does so through his permission. The president of the church is merely a steward, given authority to act in the name of Christ in directing the affairs of the kingdom. He cannot act outside the will of Christ or he will be removed from his place.
    This is the position held by many throughout the ages. Moses was the president of Israel, and past this to Joshua. During the reign of the Judges the president was the High Priest of the Aaronic Priesthood. Then came Samuel who became president. Elijah was president for a time, as was Elisha. Isaiah and Jeremiah both filled this role. All these men lead the affairs of the church of God in their day. After Jeremiah this authority was lost for a time until it was restored by Christ and given to Peter. It is this line of authority that I see taught in the Bible, and one thing that is necessary for any church to rightly claim to be the true church of God.

  87. 87 Shelby
    March 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    In response to:

    “Shelby

    What does Ephesians 2:8-10 mean to you.

    “8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” ”

    It means exactly what I’ve repeated multiple times: We are saved by GRACE not by works. As recipients of grace, as the workmanship of God’s hand we have been created unto good works, meaning I believe I should wear out my life in service to God. But that service, and those works, will not save me–only his grace will. I’ve repeated that multiple times. Sometimes I wonder if people listen to what I say, or they simply impose their expectations on my words.

  88. March 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Shem
    Alright, you don’t think the Holy Spirit lost His power but let’s look at this: “I also said that he [the Holy Spirit] had chosen not to use his power for a time. These things are far different than loosing it.”

    ” 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
    29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29.

    Faith is a gift from God which comes through hearing the Word. “17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”Romans 10:17. “10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11.

    When people are denied hearing the Word of God in its truth and purity the Holy Spirit does not have that means of grace to work faith in their heart. That is not the Holy Spirit withholding anything or deciding to deny to generation after generation the truth of God’s Word which is the means by which we are given faith in Jesus.

    “So, from what you said you believe that from the time of Adam until the time of Christ no one had a personal relationship with God, or at least not in the right way. As such, like Josh says, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and all the other prophets did not have a right relationship with Christ.”

    I’m not saying no one had a relationship with God, I’m saying they all still needed to be reconciled to God through Christ for their sins. That’s the whole reason Jesus came down from heaven and suffered as He did. This was no minor sacrifice that merely paid an entrance fee to enter eternal life. He paid the entire debt everyone of all time owed and ever would owe for their sins.

    “3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5.

    The whole load of sin was on His shoulders and it was brutal: “14As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Isaiah 52:14-15.

    “18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” Romans 5:18:20

    “18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

    ” 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
    10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Hebrews 10:10-18.

  89. 89 shematwater
    March 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    DAVID

    “When people are denied hearing the Word of God in its truth and purity the Holy Spirit does not have that means of grace to work faith in their heart”

    That is very true. And when the corrupt leaders of the early Christian church began teaching false doctrine the people were no longer hearing the true gospel and thus were not able to gain true faith in Christ. As such they did not have the power of the Holy Ghost with them, and thus if I were to have lived in that time I would not have had it either, for I would also not have been taught the truth.

    “That is not the Holy Spirit withholding anything”

    That is the Holy Ghost withholding his influence. Moses did not have the truth taught to him until God appeared to him personally to deliver the gospel. Thus, if people went for generations without having the truth taught to them it would require the direct intervention of the Spirit (through vision) to declare the truth, and thus make that grace once again available. God could have sent a vision and his spirit in this manner at any time, but he chose not to for several hundred years.

    “I’m not saying no one had a relationship with God”

    But you claimed it was that relationship that was restored in Christ. Something that was not lost cannot be restored, and thus the power to have a relationship must have been lost if that is what is being restored.
    I agree that all these people needed Christ to reconcile them to God and make salvation possible. What I do not agree with is that this is synonymous with what was to be restored in the last days, as you have suggested (post 59).

  90. March 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Shelby

    “Sometimes I wonder if people listen to what I say, or they simply impose their expectations on my words.”

    Believe me. I can relate.

    Here is the fundamental difference:

    You and I have a very different definition of what “grace” is. For you, grace requires those works. “Grace is the enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation AFTER THEY HAVE EXPENDED THEIR BEST OWN EFFORTS.” (LDS Bible dictionary) Your “grace” must be earned by your efforts. You say that “We are saved by GRACE not by works” but under LDS doctrine you recieve no grace unless and until you do your best efforts (works). Ephesians 2:8-10 makes clear that grace, is a free, unearned, gift from God that has nothing to do with our works or our own best efforts. Works are the result of faith and are done BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN SAVED, and not IN ORDER TO OBTAIN GRACE.

    What is the difference? – Nephi places works and a prequisite for grace in order to be perfect. Ephesians says that we are already saved (made perfect) by grace through faith alone which is not dependant on works. Works just happen when faith is real and they are evidence that one’s faith is alive, but the works themselves do not save us or contribute to our saving grace. Does any other scripture from the Bible back that up? Yes.

    “16Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16

    “21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21.

    “19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21But NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;” Romans 3:19-21.

    Jesus suffering and death on the cross and his resurrection has made you perfect in God’s eyes right now!

    “10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
    11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering HE HATH PERFECTED FORVER them that are sanctified. 15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

    Grace that has to be earned is not grace at all. “4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4-5

    In short

    2 Nephi 25:23 – Works (required) -then – Grace – then – Perfection at some point in the future through your efforts.

    2 Ephesians 8-10 – Grace – through faith = Perfection (by Christ) right now – not by works – but works (are present as evidence of faith, faith that produces no works is dead faith)

    I have heard other LDS members use works a way to prove faith or maintain faith. God creates faith through His Word and He maintains it. our works don’t create or maintain faith.

  91. 91 shematwater
    March 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    DAVID

    Again I will tell you that works is not a prerequisite for grace, which I have said several times. Grace comes first, then works. Once those works have been done to the best of our ability then grace comes again, followed by more works. In this way we are enabled to take hold of eternal life and exaltation after we have expended our own efforts.
    Please stop trying to claim to understand our doctrine. You do not understand it.

  92. March 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Shem

    I understand what you are saying above, but that is not what 2 Nephi 25:23 says, nor the LDS dictionary I quoted says. But just to make the point further that I am not mistaken in what is taught here is yet another explanation of “grace” in “True to the Faith.” It says on page 77 “The phrase “after all we can do” teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fullness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him.” In three different places I have cited grace is after works. Words mean what they say. After means after. Please stop saying that LDS doctrine doesn’t teach what it says in their publications and “scripture.”

  93. March 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Once again, I don’t think that my comment was actually read. I believe in salvation by grace not by works. My “grace” is not different in the way you so adamantly insist. My works do not come first. I already commented on my interpretation of 2 Nephi 25:23, and you don’t seem to have understood that comment if you read it. Before you tell me what I believe about that again, please take the time to review what I already said. Here is a GREAT article that basically summarized my beliefs on the issue (and the beliefs of latter-day saints generally): http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2968. I hope you take the time to read it before you give me the same argument over and over again without listening to what I am saying.

    Bereandave–I recognize that the quotes you put forth from LDS sources suggest that grace requires works in some way. I honestly think we need a bigger emphasis and explanation in the LDS church on the doctrine of grace. I also think that the article I linked to provides a good explanation of why we talk about works so much. Here’s the thing–I am saved by grace even if I did every good work in the world and never messed up. I am still nowhere near worthy of entering my Father’s presence after this life. That is only possible through the grace of Christ. However, I believe that Christ’s death and resurrection, his suffering and his sacrifice means that I should do something about it. I should show my faith by my works, as James says. That doesn’t mean that I am saved by those works, but that because of grace, because of Christ, I must act upon my faith and do good works. Otherwise my faith in him (through which I ultimately recieve his grace) is vain.

    One of my favorite scriptures is the testimony of a prophet named Ether in the Book of Mormon. It reads: “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” (Ether 12:4)
    I think that this verse illustrates the principle of good works as it relates to faith in God. I come to God through the grace of Christ, and through faith on him. I have hope that he can change me, that he can heal me and cleanse me. But that faith and that hope in the grace and mercy of Christ doesn’t allow me to sit around and not change the way I act. That faith and that hope in a better world leads me to ACT to create a better world, to become more like Christ, to be more “worthy”, however you take that. Christ’s Atonement is an investment in me, not a blank check.

    I believe in Christ. I stand all amazed at the love that he offers me. I can do nothing without him, as we read in John. I am saved by his grace and not by my merits and not by my works. But I intend to waste and wear out my life in his service. I intend to be sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works which glorify God. I hope that my life will be a testament to him and his glory in some small way.

  94. 94 shematwater
    March 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    DAVID

    Read your quote again.
    ““The phrase “after all we can do” teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fullness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him.”

    Notice that a fullness is what comes after works, which is exactly what I said. We are given grace, which we then must act on. Once we have acted we are given more grace, which we then must act on. And so on until we receive a fullness of Christ and are saved in his Kingdom. A fullness comes only after we do all we can, but that does not mean that grace is not active in our lives from the beginning. It merely means that we are capable of receiving more grace if we act on what we have been given.

    To use an old Analogy: It is on fuel that the car runs, after you turn the ignition to ignite it. However, if there is no fuel to begin with then no turning of the ignition is ever going to get the car moving.
    To receive a fullness of grace simply means that we are driving this car a long ways and must fill up more than once to reach the destination.

  95. March 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Shelby (You too Shem)

    I have read what you say. As a Christian, what Ephesians 2:8-9 ( Hebrews 10:10-18) means for me is that if I died today, I have already been made perfect in Christ to live with God in Heaven right now, purely by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus’ perfect life and death in my place, and not based at all on any of my own works or merits. Let me ask it this way: If you were to die today, has Jesus done everything necessary for you to be with Heavenly Father right now? If not could you say why?

  96. March 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Shem, I appreciate the fact that you saw my point on church offices . Mormons simply cannot cite
    Eph. 4 and 1 Cor. 12 as proof that since Mormon church is organized with those same offices then
    that means the Mormon church is the only true Church of Jesus Christ. Not good enough.Concerning
    the President of the your Church as the one mortal man who LDS submit to as the king over the
    earthly kingdom : ” The Church is a kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal King, and the
    President of the Church , the mouthpiece of God on earth, is the earthly king . ” [ McConkie ,M.D.
    p.416] . Now perhaps you refuse to submit to him as such but he is the king over the earthly kingdom
    according to a Mormon theologian . That’s was the point I wished to make. The N.T. church did not
    have one mortal man in this office , or position . Remember we’re talking about the N.T. Church that
    Jesus directed after His resurrection , of which His apostles taught about . Let me mention that since
    the Mormon Church claims to be organized the same as the N.T. church described by Paul in Eph.4
    and 1Cor 12 , and if there are other offices in the Mormon church , then that is one thing that might raise
    a red flag as to their claim of being the true church of Jesus. But it gets real serious when the Mormon
    men in those offices add to the gospel of salvation as it is recorded in the N.T. and call it Jesus’ gospel .
    Concerning this situation I think that David Whitmer ( a witness to the BofM ) might have been onto
    something as he shared later experiences about Joseph Smith : ” You have altered the revelations to
    support you in going beyond the plain teachings of Christ in the new covenant part of the Book of Mormon”.

    Claiming the same offices as the N.T. but then going beyond what the N.T. records as the gospel of
    salvation , is very troubling , especially when in order to buttress that position the erroneous teaching
    of a complete apostasy is utilized . So the Mormon church , while consisting of many good aspects
    related to a Christian life , unfortunately offers another gospel of salvation— Gal. 1:8-9 .

  97. March 7, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Shelby

    Here is yet another look at grace from the standpoint of “forgiveness.” It is after all the forgiveness of sins that makes grace the precious gift that it is. Regarding Forgiveness, the LDS church teaches:

    “It depends upon YOU whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, YOUR WORK, your attitudes. (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 324f.)”

    According to the Bible our sins are freely forgiven by grace through faith solely in Jesus’ saving work. We are forgiven and right before God NOW. Romans 3:20-24 says

    “20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

    Romans 5:1-2 says “1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace WHEREIN WE STAND, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

  98. March 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Shem

    I need to go back and respond to something a little further up in our discussion.

    I said:

    “When people are denied hearing the Word of God in its truth and purity the Holy Spirit does not have that means of grace to work faith in their heart”

    You said:

    “That is very true. And when the corrupt leaders of the early Christian church began teaching false doctrine the people were no longer hearing the true gospel and thus were not able to gain true faith in Christ. As such they did not have the power of the Holy Ghost with them, and thus if I were to have lived in that time I would not have had it either, for I would also not have been taught the truth.

    “That is the Holy Ghost withholding his influence.”

    That is NOT – I REPEAT NOT – the Holy Spirit “withholding” His influence. You should seriously reconsider what you accuse the Holy Spirit of doing. PLEASE SHEM – THINK THROUGH WHAT YOU ARE SAYING! Joseph Smith claims that all Christian churches were corrupted which is the backdrop of what you are saying when you made the above statement about “early Christian churches . . .teaching false doctrine.” Satan has been attacking the true church from the very beginning with false doctrine, but you believe that this was “the Holy Ghost withholding his influence” and that the Holy Spirit was simply allowing generations of people to be lost without benefit of the Word and Christ’s Church. That completely contradicts what Jesus said about the church He established and everything we know about the loving God we have. 2 Peter 3:9 -” The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that all should come to repentance.” I would also strongly encourage you to read Psalm 136 and note especially how many times it says “His mercy endureth for ever.” Forever means forever. It does not have huge gaps in it. When God (Jesus) says “18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18. That means ONLY one thing – that the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail against it! Not ever, not for one instant – never – never – never! ” 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout ALL ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21 Neither Jesus nor the Holy Spirit (GOD) simply stood by and let His church be defeated. God doesn’t make promises He does not intend to keep. “25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27.

    False doctrine did not, does not, and never will destroy Christ’s true church – it has been here from the moment Christ instituted it and will endure forever. False doctrine however, does cause people to lose their way, follow false teachings, lead people away from Christ’s church, and it can lead entire churches to lose their way or go off course which is why Paul writes so much about the importance of steering clear of all forms of false doctrines, “other gospels” even if they appear to come from angels in heaven, It is why it is described as “noble” when the Bereans checked what Paul preached against what scripture said. Christian churches must always staunchly guard themselves from the influence of any false doctrine, which of course includes any notion that the Bible is not the true and inerrant Word of God and any notion that God doesn’t mean what He says.

  99. 99 shematwater
    March 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    WILLY

    The church offices are not enough, and I never claimed they were. However, they are part, and any church not having that part is not the true church of God.
    Honestly nothing short of the Holy Spirit testifying personally to a person is enough to prove the LDS church as the true church of Christ, and anyone claiming anything else is simply being foolish.

    As to adding to the New Testament, I have no problem with this, as long as the additions do not contradict what those ancient apostles taught. I know you see contradictions, but I don’t see any. I even see these men teaching the apostasy, and so I am fine with accepting it. Beyond this is the testimony of the Spirit that I mentioned.
    As to David Whitmer, a quote like this needs to have the response of Joseph Smith for it to be understood, as well as as the circumstances that surrounded the event. Without these things such a statement becomes meaningless.

    As to the king reference, I would need to see the full entry of the book to make a comment. I cannot do that at this time, but when I get home I will.
    I will say this: In the New Testament it seems clear, at least to us, that Peter filled this role, with James and John as his counselors in the First Presidency. Every question was brought to Peter, and he presided over every meeting. It was too him that God sent the vision concerning the Gentiles, and it was too him that Christ promised to give the keys of the Kingdom.

    DAVID

    “If you were to die today, has Jesus done everything necessary for you to be with Heavenly Father right now?”

    Yes. Jesus has done everything necessary for me to be with Heavenly Father. I can also say that I would be with Heavenly Father for I have also done everything necessary.
    In essence, Christ has blazed the trail, and I have followed it.
    However, if I had not followed it that would do nothing to diminish the work he did. It would only result in me not arriving at the desired destination.

    Speaking of Romans, just remember that Paul was writing to those who had already received the Gospel and had been baptized. He is not writing to those who have not partaken of this ordinance.

  100. March 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Shem:

    Like I have said in the past – sometimes I don’t think you know what you believe.

    You quoted my question:

    “If you were to die today, has Jesus done everything necessary for you to be with Heavenly Father right now?”

    You replied”

    “Yes. Jesus has done everything necessary for me to be with Heavenly Father.” But then by the end of your reply your answer changes because it is not really “yes” because YOU still have more to do. You say this:

    “In essence, Christ has blazed the trail, and I have followed it.
    However, if I had not followed it that would do nothing to diminish the work he did. It would only result in me not arriving at the desired destination.”

    Since that desired destination is to be with Heavenly Father (unless of course your desired destination is the Telestial Kingdom) your answer is really “No” Because Mormons believe that the atonement of Jesus only got them so far (saved from physical death), You must do the rest to be with Heavenly Father.” I would also remind you of what you said in post 27 at the 2 Nephi 25:23 posting. There you said:

    “Grace is given first, then we must do all we can. If we do this Grace is given again, allowing us to do more, and so on until we are perfected in Christ.”

    You know Shem, I’ve known quite a few Mormons in my lifetime, and NONE of them thought they were already so worthy as to have achieved perfection on this earth to be with Heavenly Father. Not one – until You.

  101. March 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Shem, sorry but you’re not convincing . You said, ” My point was that Paul gives a very specific list
    of callings that he says are needed to bring us to perfection …” I agree, and this is why the other offices
    that Mormon leaders have added to this list is not necessary . You were correct when you said that Paul
    does not say we need an assistant to the president,( and that applies to the other offices I mentioned ) .
    So do we need them to bring us to perfection ? ( Eph.4:12 ) and are they a sign of the true church? No.
    Peter, James and John were not the First Presidency of the Church. Peter was an apostle as were the
    others and they certainly did not teach a complete apostasy where the gospel would not be unavailable
    to man for 1700 yrs. Mormon leaders have crafted a huge corporate organization that has only some
    similarities of Jesus’ church that He established in the N.T. What they have added to this church in the
    way of offices pails in severity compared to what they have added to His gospel of salvation. The simple
    gospel of salvation that Jesus’ apostles preached in their travels is there in the N.T. and it has been
    available to mankind for a long time, long before 1830 . A restoration of this gospel ? Hardly . Thank God.
    You mentioned that ultimately the Holy Spirit’s testifying personally to a person is how one knows if the
    LDS church is the only true church or not. Well , I certainly won’t judge your convictions concerning this.
    But I have a confirmation from the Holy Spirit as well and together with what the N.T. scriptures reveal
    concerning Jesus’ church and gospel, I have to dismiss the Mormon church’s claim to be the only true
    organization of true Christians today . That’s about it for me on this thread . WW

  102. 102 shematwater
    March 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    WILLY

    I understand the differences in interpretation, and I am fine with that. I personally see the Bible (both old and new) to be filled with prophecies of a complete and total apostasy. I understand that you don’t, but that doesn’t matter in terms of what I believe and what I see.
    As to the list, I might agree that the positions not listed by Paul are not needed to bring us to perfection. However, that does not mean that having them is wrong and is evidence that the church is false. Paul does not say “These are the positions we need, and these are the ones we shouldn’t have.” He only lists those that are required. Anything else that God wants to add is up to him. In the modern day these positions become necessary, not for our perfection per say, but for order and direction in the church. If the church was still a localized organization having only a few thousand members in a geographically confined space then we would likely not have them. But this is no longer the case. The church is an international organization with millions of members. Such position are created as needed to keep things ordered and unified.

    DAVID

    “your answer is really “No” Because Mormons believe that the atonement of Jesus only got them so far (saved from physical death)”

    Stop trying to tell me what I mean and what I believe. It is you that has no understanding of LDS doctrine.
    I meant what I said. Christ did a lot more than just saved us from physical death. He saved us from eternity in Hell. He has lifted us up. Because of Christ, from the time we are born we are perfect and are brought back into the presence of the Father. Then we grow up and we rebel in committing sin, which causes us to fall.
    So, Christ did everything necessary for us to live with Heavenly Father. It is just our responsibility to remain their, to take advantage of it. If we do not than he has still done his work, and we have not diminished from it.

    Don’t try to preach LDS doctrine when you have no clue what you are talking about.

    “Not one – until You.”

    I find this rather insulting. I have never claimed perfection, and you know this full well. I am far from perfect. But I know that through the grace of God I can become perfect.
    Stop twisting my words and try to actually understand LDS doctrine.

  103. March 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Shem

    “So, Christ did everything necessary for us to live with Heavenly Father.”

    I have more of a clue than you think. I have also seen how frequently you throw that accusation around. But that’s OK, I’m sort of getting use to you now. You have made it clear on numerous other posts that you believe Jesus only made it “possible” for you to be with Heavenly Father. Without your own works you will not get to be with Heavenly Father which is why you made the comment about not getting to the level you desrired. You keep trying to wriggle out of what you believe. I wish you believed Hebrews 10:10-18, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 3 but I have not seen anything from you that reflects that. You only get to be with Heavenly Father AFTER (yes AFTER) you “do all you can do.” If you tell me you don’t believe that, then maybe its time for you to finally leave the LDS church. What a day that would be!!! Please take a breath before you respond. I’m not trying to trick you, just trying to get you to think hard about what you believe.

  104. 104 Joshtried
    March 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    To say Christ did everything is a slight twist. Christ cannot accept himself for us, we must accept him. AFTER THAT, we are worthy. The question here is how do you accept him? Do I accept him and go commit adultery, and fornication? Is that accepting Christ? OR, do I go out and show.love and kindness to people? You should not care whether I think you have accepted Christ, you should care whether Christ thinks, and knows you have accepted him. I am not the judge of your life, he is. I personally am not willing to gamble with somthing so precious given freely to me. I will embrace it with everything I am, I will never let go of it, and neither should you. If you think Christ doesnt care what you do in this life, then I truly feel sorry for you. Christ loves you so much, and HE gave you something so wonderful, and you would say its okay to drag it through the mud willfully, that it wont shine forth out of every orifice you have. Instead you would throw it into your closet until the day you die, all because you think so little of it. I tell you there is no way I would consider asking God for a gift that I would not share with others. To be blessed is such a great thing, to keep something like that to yourself…. I dont even know what that is, except I know it is not what Christ would have me do

  105. 105 shematwater
    March 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    DAVID

    Maybe I am not explaining this properly.

    Christ did everything necessary for me to return to Heavenly Father. I will explain it a little differently.

    We are all born into this mortal world, and we all sin (yes, even children violate the law). Now, without the atonement of Christ we would all be condemned to Hell (even children) for these violation.

    The effects of Christ’s atonement are these (not including resurrection).
    First, children, who truly have no knowledge of good and evil, are purified in him. Thus all who die before the age of accountability will return to Heavenly Father and be exalted in Heaven.
    Second, all men who were ever born on this earth will be brought back into the presence of Heavenly Father. This will happen at the final judgment when all men will stand to be judged.

    So, Christ did everything necessary to bring me back into the presence of the Father. However, once I am there it will be my actions that determine whether I remain in his presence, or if I am cast out of his presence.

    Now, we also have to make one other clarification.
    For you Heavenly Father is just one third of a three part beings, and thus no matter where you are in heaven you are in his presence. In this way Heavenly Father is basically synonymous with God (including all members of the Godhead) and thus to be in his presence is to be in heaven.
    However, for us Heavenly Father is a very separate and distinct individual, and it is possible to be in the presence of the Holy Ghost and not be in the presence of the Father. In this case we are still in Heaven, but we are not in his presence.

    If we approach your question with your basic understanding (presence of God synonymous with Heaven) then yes, Christ has done everything and nothing I do (excepting blaspheming the Holy Ghost) has any real effect.
    However, if we approach your question from our basic understanding, than I would say that Christ has done everything to get me into Heaven, but my actions determine what reward I get there, and thus has an effect on whether or not I am in the presence of the Father for eternity (though everyone will be at one point).

  106. 106 shematwater
    March 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    WILLY

    I have finally managed to read the entire entry that you quote from Mormon Doctrine. This is what I would like to say.

    In no way does it actually contradict what I said. You are misunderstanding Brother McConkie. The president is a steward, but one with the final word and absolute authority given him by God. It may be more appropriate to call him the regent, an office in many Kingdoms held by one man to act as King while the King himself was absent. For all intents and purposes this man is the King, but he still bows to the authority of the real king and can be removed out of his place by the King if he abuses his power.
    So, for brother McConkie to call the president the earthly King is simply to say that he is acting as a steward or regent with complete authority given him by Christ, who is the true King, to guide the Kingdom according to the will of Christ until Christ returns.

  107. 107 wyomingwilly
    March 19, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Shem, I was’nt going to respond any further on this thread , but seeing how you replied in your last
    comment I feel led to do so. Honestly I find your reasoning on how you replied to my comment about
    the Mormon prophet /president being the king over the earthly kingdom , rather strange. I quoted
    Bruce McConkie , what I quoted was clear . I never denied that he ( or you ) believed that your
    prophet was’nt serving under the direction of Jesus the Eternal King , the King of Kings . What I
    quoted from McConkie even said this . I stated right off that your president was the earthly king over the
    earthly kingdom , yet you stated ” The president is not a king “. Yet McConkie said : ” ….he is the
    earthly king.” So I really don’t care if you ( or he ) feels that your prophet/president is also a “steward”,
    I simply stated he is the king over the earthly kingdom , and yet you proceeded to try and explain
    away and down-play that very thing . The silly part of all this is that if you read carefully what you said
    in your last response , you’ll notice that what you said varifies that I was correct all along , i.e. that this
    one mortal man is the earthly King. Now I realize you were busy and therefore perhaps rushed your reply
    so I won’t make this an issue . I’ll close by reaffirming the clear truth of the New Testament ministry of
    those apostles that Jesus did direct to spread His gospel of salvation. There men knew nothing of the
    office whereby one mortal man among them is ruling as earthly King over all other believers , nor of one
    mortal man occupying the sole position as the mouthpiece of God for all other believers. This may be the
    Mormon church system, but it’s not the New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and while there
    may be many similarities , and good ones, between these two entities , the differences are to serious to
    ignore. You have your interpretation as do I , and I’m sticking with the New Testament , instead of
    the “restored church ” of Mormonism . Thanks. WW

  108. 108 shematwater
    March 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    WILLY

    I admit he has the authority to act as a king, but he is not a king. Which is why I said that it was more appropriate to call him a regent.
    The difference being that an actual king has complete authority to do what he wants, changing laws to suit his fancy and doling out the punishment at him whim. A regent, on the other hand, has the authority to act as if he were the king in dealing with matters of state and law, but he does not have the authority to change the laws of the true king, nor to use his personal judgment in meeting out justice.
    I have no desire to deny the power and authority held by the president. I am thankful that he holds that power, and it ensures unity and order. However, the connotations associated with a king I do want to avoid, as they do not apply.

    As to the New Testament, I know that you don’t see it, but every time I read it I see this same power and authority in Peter.
    I recall the dispute over circumcision recorded in Acts 15, when, after much heated debate, Peter stood and declared that it is not required. After this the discussion ended. (verses 6-12)
    I also am reminded that it was to Peter that God first opened the missionary work to the gentiles. Paul, having been called through a vision, still did not go to the gentiles until after Peter had had his vision, and he went under the direction of Peter. He deferred to Peter in all matters.
    Peter was the earthly head of the church in his day, and thus held the same power and authority as did Moses, or Abraham, or Joseph Smith.


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