10
Jul
12

A Loving Witness

Chapter 14 of the Teachings of George Albert Smith encourages LDS members to share Mormonism with non-Mormons with love and kindness and not coercion or criticism.  Here is one of his statements.

     “It is not the purpose of this Church to make statements that would hurt the feelings of those who do not understand things. This Church is not one that goes about criticising and finding fault with others, but in the spirit of loving kindness and the desire to be helpful, its representatives carry the Gospel message to the nations of the earth.

     In all … churches there are good men and good women. It is the good that is in these various denominations that holds them together. It has been my privilege to be with people in many parts of the world and to be in the homes of many people of the various denominations of the world, both Christian and Jew. I have been with the [Muslims]; I have been with those who believe in Confucius; and I might mention a good many others. I have found wonderful people in all these organizations, and I have the tremendous responsibility wherever I go among them, that I shall not offend them, not hurt their feelings, not criticize them, because they do not understand the truth.”

A little bit earlier he relates a conversation he had with a Presbyterian minister.  In that conversation he said, “First of all, we are asking all you fine people over here to keep all the glorious truths that you have acquired in your churches, that you have absorbed from your scriptures, keep all that.”

In many ways, this brings us back to the subject of my last post.  As these quotes indicate, George Albert Smith was not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs – even when he was talking to a believer of Confucius or a Muslim.  By including this in the manual being studied this year, the LDS Church is telling its members to take the same stance.  This approach is labeled as doing mission work with love and kindness.

Is such an approach even realistic?  As has been amply pointed out, there are many major differences between Mormonism and the beliefs of other churches.  Is it true that the LDS Church would accept me if I kept all the glorious truths that I have acquired in my church and absorbed from the scriptures?  How about the most glorious truth of all – that my living with heavenly Father doesn’t depend one iota on what I do, but rests 100% on what Jesus has already done for me – that I don’t have to participate in any temple ordinances or anything else to live eternally with him.  Does the LDS Church truly encourage me to keep that glorious truth?

And is this a loving approach?  Isn’t it loving to point out error?  Isn’t it loving to warn people about the dreadful consequences of error – especially any error that will result in eternal damnation?  I wonder what President Smith would have told Jesus when he vehemently criticized the Pharisees’ false teaching?  I wonder what he would have told the prophets and apostles who denounced false prophets?

One of the most loving things we can do is warn about error and its consequences.  A good example of that is seen in the website, www.beyeperfect.org. I encourage you to check it out.

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42 Responses to “A Loving Witness”


  1. 1 Kent
    July 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    A little bit earlier he (George Albert Smith) relates a conversation he had with a Presbyterian minister. In that conversation he said, “First of all, we are asking all you fine people over here to keep all the glorious truths that you have acquired in your churches, that you have absorbed from your scriptures, keep all that.”

    So George Albert Smith didn’t believe Joseph Smith when Joseph said the Lord told him all of our churches are wrong, all of our creeds are an abonimation in his (God’s) Sight, and all of our professors in our churches are corrupt?

    Because saying all of our churches are wrong and all of our creeds are abominations flat out doesn’t mean they have any glorious truths and all of our professors of our churches, including the Presbyterian minister that George Albert Smith spoke to, couldn’t be teaching any truth if they are all crooked.

    So Mormons, which is it? Do you believe Joseph Smith as he related in his first vision that all of the churches were wrong or do you believe George Albert Smith when he said there are glorious truths that we can keep from our churches?

    From Joseph Smith’s first vision:

    “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)–and which I should join.

    I was answered that I 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; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.””

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  2. 2 Kent
    July 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I am going to make an assumption that the Mormons here, will try to explain why they now say our churches have partial truth, is that Joseph Smith was talking about the churches of his day. However, how can they explain that we have truth if we deny that Smith was a prophet of God, we deny that the gospel needed to be restored and we insist on believing what they call the great apostasy, that we deny the Book of Mormon is true, and that we deny the Mormon Church is true, etc?

    I find it ironic that Mormons will get upset when we say we don’t believe they are true Christians when their church was in effect founded on the premise that none of us are true Chirstians as shown in Joseph Smith’s first vision.

    “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)–and which I should join.

    I was answered that I 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; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.””

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  3. 3 joshtried
    July 11, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Because saying all of our churches are wrong and all of our creeds are abominations flat out doesn’t mean they have any glorious truths and all of our professors of our churches, including the Presbyterian minister that George Albert Smith spoke to, couldn’t be teaching any truth if they are all crooked.

    You can go to prison and find many people that are flat out wrong, but even they have rules. For instances, most prisoners dont tolerate people who have harmed children… You and i both know that harming children is wrong. Does it make it any less wrong because a prisoner says it is wrong?
    Prison is actually a pretty good example. Every prisoner has something in their lives that they hold as correct. Between the lot of them, you could come up with a moral and law abiding citizen (probably many times over). The problem is, they are not all one person, they are many. This same thing applies to all other churches. Yes, you are all wrong. But between the lot of you, you can come up with something very similar to what we have. The “parts” are correct, but your “whole” is wrong. Just as “part” of the prisoner is correct, but the whole of him is convicted, so are your churches.

    People are also a lot more studious when it comes to scripture now than they were 200 years ago. Even 600 years ago you had people TRYING to get it right (ie: Martin Luther, Erasmus). The simple fact is that they didnt. You all now are TRYING to get it right. You havent. Even on what SHOULD be a simple matter (choice in salvation) you cant decide amongst yourselves. Between all of “Christianity,” you cant even decide which books are scripture. There is “generally accepted,” but there are many that still hang in limbo. There are some that say the “missing books” would be crucial, others pay it no mind because they have enough and dont want more. Even as Shem posted recently, what makes you “Christian” eliminates the oldest recognized Christian religion Catholicism. No single branch within Christianity is the same, or there wouldnt be different branches… Im sure if i had the time, or really wanted to i could break this down and show how eventually, they would all come to call each other not Christian, but i have no real intent or want to do this. The question is simply, why are there so many branches that lead to heaven if Christ himself said the way is narrow??? Seems Christianity widens that road every so many years…

  4. 4 Kent
    July 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Josh, it is amazing how blind you truly are to the truth if you even try to explain away an obvious contradiction between George Albert Smith saying our churches have truth to hold on to and Joseph Smith saying all our churches are wrong, all of our creeds are an abomination to God, and all of our professors of our faith are corrupt.

    How can you just automatically toe the line to what your church is saying now, about how our churches have some truth in them when the statements of Joseph Smith and George Albert Smith are diametrically opposed to each other? After all Joseph Smith claimed the Lord told him all of our churches are wrong?

    So we can try it this way, what if someone said about the Mormon Church what Joseph Smith said about all of the other churches would you take it as someone saying that there is some truth to hang onto or would you take it as saying it is wrong, its creeds are an abomination to God, and that all of its professors are corrupt?

    “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know IF THE MORMON CHURCH WAS RIGHT, that I might know IF I SHOULD JOIN. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, IF THE MORMON CHURCH WAS RIGHT (FOR AT THIS TIME IT HAD NEVER ENTERED INTO MY HEART THAT IT WAS WRONG)–and if I should join.

    I was answered that I MUST NOT JOIN THE MORMON CHURCH FOR IT IS WRONG; and the Personage who addressed me said that ITS CREEDS ARE AN ABOMINATION IN HIS SIGHT; THAT ITS PROFESSORS ARE ALL CORRUPT; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, IT TEACHES for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof”

    in closing again:

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  5. 5 Kent
    July 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

    in my last post, the last sentence of should read, “After all Joseph Smith claimed the Lord told him all of our churches are wrong,” without a question mark.

  6. 6 JBR
    July 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Is such an approach even realistic?…….

    A: IMHO, no. The more the masquerading of falsehoods for the truth, the more dangereous spiritually.
    ————————————-

    Does the LDS Church truly encourage me to keep that glorious truth?

    A: IHMO, Yes for the same bewitched mentality happened in Galations 3:1-3

    …O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? …..

    This is the arsenic the “bewitched” are so foolishly claiming as the truth

    —————————————-
    Isn’t it loving to point out error?

    A: …… You think?
    Paul certianly thought so, or it wouldn’t have been revealed. (Galations 3:1-3)

  7. 7 Kent
    July 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    George Albert Smith said that our churches should keep all the glorious truths that we have acquired in our churches while Joseph Smith said the creeds taught in our churches are an abonimation in God’s sight, which is something that God finds extremely disgusting and is something He hates. Joseph Smith also said all of our churches are wrong, and all of our professers of our faith are crooked.

    Joseph Smith did not claim, based on his first vision in which the Lord told him those things, that any of the churches had any glorious truth in them.

    Can any objective analysis show that the words abominaiton, wrong, and crooked are saying something as any glorious truth at all?

    Again, Joseph Smith’s statements, which he said the Lord told him, and George Albert Smith’s statements are oppposites and are diametrically opposed to each other.

    Definition of ABOMINATION

    1: something abominable

    2: extreme disgust and hatred : LOATHING

    Definition of WRONG

    1a: an injurious, unfair, or unjust act : action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause b: a violation or invasion of the legal rights of another; especially: TORT

    2: something wrong, immoral, or unethical; especially: principles, practices, or conduct contrary to justice, goodness, equity, or law

    3: the state, position, or fact of being or doing wrong: as a: the state of being mistaken or incorrect b: the state of being guilty

    Definition of CROOKED

    1: not straight

    2: DISHONEST

    in closing again:

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  8. 8 choosethechrist
    July 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Josh said, The question is simply, why are there so many branches that lead to heaven if Christ himself said the way is narrow??? Seems Christianity widens that road every so many years…

    The problem with your statement is that there are not any “branches that lead to heaven” because churches do not get us into heaven. The church is not a requirement for salvation and enterance to heaven. Jesus is the only way to heaven which is why he himself describes the way as narrow. I think this is a difficult concept for mormons to understand because they have made their salvation/exaltation dependant on the LDS church. Churches are made up of imperfect, sinful, men and as such all churches will always have some degree of imperfection within them. The church was never designed to save us, it was designed to support us in our walk with Christ. The church provides us with fellowship, worship, spiritual learning, growth, support, etc. The church has it’s place in the life of a Christian, but we do not get our salvation from it and we are responsible for knowing the truth and not being led astray with any false teaching that might come through any church. Once again Josh, you are showing how you have made church and religion a stumbling block for you. Are you following a church or are you following Jesus?

  9. 9 Kent
    July 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    correction to my last post, Joseph Smith said that the Lord told him that all of the professors of our churches are corrupt, not crooked, but it still conveys the meaning that there is no truth in our churches, not some glorious truths like George Albert Smith said.

  10. 10 shematwater
    July 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    KENT

    You ask: “Can any objective analysis show that the words abominaiton, wrong, and crooked are saying something as any glorious truth at all?”

    Sure.
    Let us take for example my high school algebra teacher. When he gave us a test it would consist of ten questions, each worth ten points. The first time I took a test I wrote only the answer, as I am good at working math in my head. I got an 80%. After this my teacher told me that if I had shown my work, worked out each step on the test paper, then even if I got the wrong answer he would be able to go back and see at what point I make the error, and thus be able to give me partial credit for the work I did right. So, I started showing my work.
    On the second test I got one answer wrong, but I received a 95%. The reason is that half way through the problem I forget the negative sign. Now, my answer was wrong, and nothing could change that. But, I had some parts of my work that was right.
    So, to say that the end product, or the the whole is wrong does not mean that all the parts are wrong. It means that there is some error (maybe more than one, maybe not) that results in the end product being wrong.

    So, to say that a church is wrong means only that its end product is wrong, and thus cannot bring a soul to salvation and eternal life. However, it is still possible that there is truth contained within it.

    As to abomination, you need to read things more carefully. The creeds are an abomination, not the churchs and denominations. In other words God is saying that the churchs are wrong, and they are wrong because they have such abominable creeds. So, nothing in this precludes there being truth found in the church.

    The same analysis can be made of the term crooked. Actually, in the quote it says corrupt, which carries a very different meaning. Cheese that is corrupted through mold is easily preserved by cutting away the part that has been corrupted, while preserving that part that is untouched. So, to say that the ministers of religion are corrupt is not to say they have no truth, but that there is enough error that they fail to teach the true gospel in its fulness, and cling to the abominable creeds that were set up by men, and through them leading the churches to the wrong conclusion.

    Nothing in any of this mandates that no truth is found, and that is not what God ever intended by his statement. I don’t care how much you rail on this point, you are wrong.

    CHOOSE

    “The church was never designed to save us, it was designed to support us in our walk with Christ. The church provides us with fellowship, worship, spiritual learning, growth, support, etc.”

    But if the church teaching false doctrine than how can it support you in walking with Christ? That is the point. A church cannot support you in this walk if it holds fundamentally flawed doctrine. Yet you are claiming that none of this matters, which makes no sense.
    Take, for example, the Catholic church. They pray to their various saints as well as to God. Is this just another church support people in walking with Christ?

    MARK

    You know, you have criticized me for commenting on what I perceive others motivations and intentions to be, and then you design a thread that is based on your perceptions of what President Smith said (which you get wrong). I find that a very interesting thing.

    As to your comments, they mean nothing, as you are not accurately portraying his words. He is not saying that we do not point out error and correct false ideas when they are presented. He is saying that we do not mock or belittle others for believing these false ideas. He is saying that we act in a kind and loving manner when converse with a person and explain to them the errors in their doctrine.
    He is also saying that we do not approach the situation with the assumption that everything they believe is wrong. Most Christians are great people, and they do not need us to re-teach them the Ten Commandments, or the importance of faith. These things they understand.
    Another example: When a person is interested in geneology we say “Great. So are we, and we have centers for such research all over the world. Bring your curiosity and we will try to help you find your ancestors.”
    We do not accept the false doctrines of others, or try to hide the differences. We proclaim the differences when the time is right, and in a loving manner. But we do not try to destroy everything they believe in because much of it is good.

    Note: You do need to discard your false understandings of the part we play in our own salvation and the literal effects of the atonement. President Smith never advocated people hanging onto false doctrine. It was truth that he wanted them to hold to.

  11. 11 joshtried
    July 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Choose, i understand why you think i have trouble, but each church teaches different things about Christ. For instance, i believe a christian church with over 2 million members just voted 80% in favor of allowing gay unions (not marriage, but it is essentially the same thing). When you make these kinds of concessions you are “widening the way” and allowing things the Bible does not. You are not requireing members to actually understand what the Bible says. To “be” gay is one thing. To make it an acceptable practice spits on the Bible.

  12. 12 markcares
    July 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Shem:
    In that whole chapter, President Smith not once even hinted at pointing out errors. Please don’t say that I am basing my post on my perceptions of what he said. Look at that chapter. You are the one who is basing claims on what you perceive he says. Show me from the chapter I was talking about that I misrepresented what that chapter says.
    This brings me to a larger issue of how you submit answers. You often don’t stick to the facts. I am getting pretty tired of it. If I see that continuing, I will quit approving your comments.

  13. 13 choosethechrist
    July 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    We have a standard from which we should be taking our measure of what God has said is right and what God has said is wrong. We are responsible for knowing what that standard is. If we do not know what to use as our standard, we will be at risk for being led astray which I stated in my previous post. I have made no concessions for anyone who is teaching falsehoods. With that said, this blog is specific to mormonism and its falshoods as compared to God’s standard not what other “Christians” are doing to pervert the word of God. We would need to start a whole different blog to address all of the other Christian heresies out there. We can’t “widen the way” when God has defined “the way”. We can change God’s rules to fit what we want to believe, but in the end, God’s rules are still going to stand.

    Josh, you seem to have a lot of animosity regarding Christian religions which probably stems from your mormon belief that a one true “church/religion” exists. You want to focus on the problems of religion, but can’t see the problems within your own choosen religion. Religion is messed up. If you strip religion away, we are left with God, Jesus, and man. If you want a standard of right and wrong, God has revealed that standard in the Bible. We have 10 commanments we can follow and live by. If we really want to break it down, Jesus said the 2 greatest commandments are to love God and to love everyone else. If religion were important to Jesus, why did he leave that part out and not add a 3rd greatest commandment to belong to the “right” church especially if our salvation is dependant on being a part of that “one true church”? Do we need religion and church to love God and to love others? Jesus did not send the disciples out to start churches and religions, he sent them out to spread and deliver the gospel message of salvation. He sent them out to tell people about his life, death, resurrection and salvation through him. Mormon missionaries DO NOT share this gospel message of salvation. Mormon missionaries come to your door with a message of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. When men start to add their own 2 cents into all of this we end up with religious systems that teach people that there are other things required that take the emphasis off of everything that Jesus was about. Religion complicates a very simple gospel message: Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the grave. He died for our sins. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the sins of those who believe are forgiven. Those who are forgiven will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. SIMPLE!

  14. 14 JBR
    July 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Shem says:
    “we act in a kind and loving manner when converse with a person and explain to them the errors in their doctrine…..But we do not try to destroy everything they believe in because much of it is good.”

    Really .. ?

    Joseph Smith says when asked:
    .
    “Will all be damned but Mormons?” Smith replied, “Yes, and a great portion of them unless they repent and work righteousness”
    (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 119)
    .
    “Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” ……….. (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10)

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Brigham Young:
    .
    “The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God” (Journal of Discourses 8:171)
    .
    “Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth” (Journal of Discourses 6:176)
    .
    “… the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans” (Journal of Discourses 22:44).
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    John Taylor (Mormonism’s 3rd President)
    .
    We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense …the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century” (Journal of Discourses 6:167)
    .
    “What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.” (Journal of Discourses 6:25)
    .
    “What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God” (Journal of Discourses 13:225)
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Orson Pratt (Mormon Apostle)
    “Q. After the Church of Christ fled from the earth to heaven, what was left?

    “A. A set of wicked Apostates, murderers, and idolaters, who …left to follow the wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up churches by human authority…” (The Seer, pg.205).
    .
    The sooner the present generation loses all reverence and respect for modern Christianity, with all its powerless forms and solemn mockeries, the sooner they will be prepared to receive the kingdom of God” (Parley P. Pratt, The Key to the Science of Theology, 1978, p.68)
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Heber C. Kimball (First Counselor to Brigham Young)

    “Christians – those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about – some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth …”
    (Journal of Discourses 5:89).

  15. 15 choosethechrist
    July 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Shem said, But if the church teaching false doctrine than how can it support you in walking with Christ? That is the point. A church cannot support you in this walk if it holds fundamentally flawed doctrine. Yet you are claiming that none of this matters, which makes no sense.
    Take, for example, the Catholic church. They pray to their various saints as well as to God. Is this just another church support people in walking with Christ?

    From my post 8 above:
    we are responsible for knowing the truth and not being led astray with any false teaching that might come through any church.

    Part of being responsible is picking a church that does not lead us astray with false teachings.

  16. 16 shematwater
    July 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    CHOOSE

    “Part of being responsible is picking a church that does not lead us astray with false teachings.”

    Exactly. And as long as a church teaches even one false doctrine then they will lead you astray. As such any church that does not have all the truth, and no false doctrine can lead you to Christ, and thus there must either be one that is true, or all are false.
    Yet you deny this simple fact.

    JBR

    I couldn’t agree more with all the quotes you give, but they do nothing to contradict what I said. The churches are wrong, and thus anyone adhering to them is damned. They were all influenced by Satan as a means of hiding the truth. They must be discarded if man is to truly gain the salvation of God.

    None of this mandates that some truth is not contained within them. The very best lie is the one that is mixed with truth. Satan is crafty, not stupid. When he influences the rise of a church he lets just enough truth remain so as to convince the well intentioned that the errors are also true.

  17. 17 choosethechrist
    July 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Shem, you missed what I said earlier. You, like Josh, are hanging everything on the church. The truth is in the message of the gospel. See post 13.

    1 false doctrine: LDS 3rd Article of Faith.

    You are being led astray.

  18. 18 joshtried
    July 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Shem, you missed what I said earlier. You, like Josh, are hanging everything on the church.

    Choose, it is near impossible to say that everything you know about God you know of your own thought processes. Someone taught you what you know. That person or group of people is your “church.” From what i have been reading of what you post, you are taught better than most. This is great to hear, but it does not mean everything you are taught is correct. It does not mean everything you come up with is correct. To quote a movie: “It doesnt matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.” The converse is also true: it doesnt matter if you lose by an inch or a mile… You still lose. ANY Christian faith teaches that we are to be careful who we believe. Just because someone is professing this warning does not mean they are any less wrong than any other preacher/priest/person. The worst of dilemmas comes in here… You and I both say the spirit has spoken to us and told us we are on the right path. I was willing to accept that some of what Christian churches had was good. They do for the most part still teach high moral standards (minus what i posted above). You can see the corruption sneaking its way in though.. A long time ago, i had a teacher ask me the best question i have ever been asked. Are you willing to die for what you believe in? I can honestly tell you right here and right now I would be willing to die for everything the LDS Church stands for. Christ has given us this wonderful resource, and i would do anything to make sure people throughout the world have the same opportunity to hear this glorious message.

  19. 19 choosethechrist
    July 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Josh said, Choose, it is near impossible to say that everything you know about God you know of your own thought processes. Someone taught you what you know. That person or group of people is your “church.” From what i have been reading of what you post, you are taught better than most.

    The Holy Spirit is an incredible teacher. You and I both know that you can’t possibly learn everything the Bible teaches from attending a 1 hour church service once a week. Most of what I know has come from reading, cross referencing, reasearching and listening to what the Spirit is telling me that day. Most people don’t get anywhere near as deep into study as I do.

    From where I stand, I don’t really see the LDS message as glorious. I see what it does to people. Jesus said, his yoke is easy and his burden light. The LDS way is heavy, burdensome, and hard. Even Shem has said it is hard. What I see is the reality of what it does to the LDS people. I see LDS people who can’t understand why I would look forward to church on Sunday because they don’t. I see LDS people who are worn out from feeling obligated to take that calling and do so because they feel like they have to and not from a willing heart. I see people who are so worn out from trying to keep up the facade of living a perfect life that they are popping Prozac for the depression, Xanax for the anxiety, and their kid’s Adderall to keep up with their overscheduled lives (UT is the most mormon state and the most depressed state in the country). If the LDS gospel is so glorious, why are so many LDS people struggling with living happy, joy filled lives? Why is it so common for me to hear the complaints from the LDS people regarding how they really feel about all that the church requires? I see LDS people stop attending church because of all of the church obligations, but yet they still insist it is a good church and that they still believe. How is it they can believe, but can’t live it? That is a serious conflict. I have seen LDS people from outside of UT be rejected by UT LDS church members and they stop going to LDS church because of it. The majority of my coworkers who have been the most bitter, angry, resentful, and miserable people have been LDS. I watched the negativity of some of these people destroy the morale of an entire workplace. Christians should have joy in their hearts. I don’t see much joy in the lives of the Utah LDS and it does not look one bit glorious to me.

  20. 20 JBR
    July 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Shem…
    On the one hand you are quick to accuse anyone of ineptness (or worse) if they happen to show from the Bible how in opposition the doctrines of Mormonism are to the truth or place the LDS Church outside the parameters of the Christian faith.

    Then you play the victim card in order to get sympathy to attempt to stop the scrutiny of your circular arguments.. rabbit hole distractions…..all the while overlookeding how LDS leaders have characterized Christianity.

    What you think “we” (LDS church) do is not what “we” (LDS church) have done.

  21. 21 joshtried
    July 15, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Choose, you are right that we should be happy. I have also seen Christians with the exact attitude you are attributing to LDS. Regarding the prozac… You are right that there are those who feel they are pressured, and there are those that do pressure their children. My in-laws were and still are part of that. When you know something is right, you sometimes try and make others choose that. With children, i force my kids to have manners because it is right. They may reject it later, but i am instilling it as strongly as i can while i can. It is a delicate balance all parents play with their kids. Push them to harvard, or let them choose it themselves? There are definitely kids who choose harvard themselves, and there are kids who only go because they were pushed. There are kids who fail on there own and kids who fail that were pushed. I am one who loves going to church. I look forward to it. I do take callings, but i also explain that i work to the point that my family is taken care of, and church comes after that. Your experience with Mormons is somewhat regretable. It would be nice if everyone you met was as enthusiastic as I, and if everyone i met actually took the time to understand scripture the way you do.

  22. 22 joshtried
    July 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    George Albert Smith never advocated concealing or masking our differences. The problem here is that you are commenting on one chapter from a lesson manual, which provides only brief quotes from the man; and then you are claiming to know his intention in these quotes by ignoring everything else he said in other places. It is you are ignoring the facts, not me; and now you are upset that I have pointed that out. Actually, even in the chapter that you quote it is very obvious that he never intended anything like what you are suggesting. He states “Our ministry is one of love and forbearance, and we desire to do good to all, and to assist all to understand the plan of life and salvation that the Lord revealed in this latter day.” Obviously he is talking about the degrees of Glory, the required ordinances, and the possibility of godhood, as that is the plan of life and salvation that the Lord has revealed in these last days. To say that he want to conceal these differences is ignorant at best. Again he says “Let us who know…go forth day by day and with love and kindness unfeigned go among these men and women…and find a way to touch their hearts and lead them into that pathway that will insure them a knowledge of the truth.” Again, he is obviously talking about correcting error in a loving way. We have yet again “How I pray that we as the servants of the Lord may have charity for mankind, may have patience with those who err, and in kindness and love go forward teaching the simple principles of the gospel of our Lord to the blessing of every soul with whom we come in contact.” Once again he speaks to correcting those who are in error in love and kindness. Then in the section titles WE NEED NOT BE ASHAMED IN SHARING WHAT WE KNOW TO BE TRUE he makes this comment “I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. I have never been anywhere that I have been ashamed to testify to these truths. I do not know why a man should be ashamed of knowing the truth because somebody else does not know it, especially when it pertains to the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.” Obviously, if he is testifying of Joseph Smith, he is not intended to conceal anything, but is glad to share this truth with everyone that he meets. In the next section he gives his understanding of missionaries. “Thousands upon thousands of missionaries … have gone out into the world, and in love and kindness they have gone from door to door saying to our Father’s other children: “Let us reason with you; let us explain to you something that we are sure will make you happy as it has made us happy!” That is the history of the missionary work of the Church with which we are identified.” Again, this so obviously speaks to sharing what is different as the message and purpose of the missionaries. He then tells a story about a conversation he once had, in which he said the following “If the Church I represent here is not of more importance to the children of men than any other church, then I am mistaken in my duty here. We have come not to take away from you the truth and virtue you possess…Keep all the good that you have, and let us bring to you more good, in order that you may be happier and in order that you may be prepared to enter into the presence of our Heavenly Father.” Actually, you quoted part of this in your opening comments, but failed to understand what he is actually saying. He is saying that you are missing something, and that we can provide it. Nothing is hidden or concealed, but is presented directly as what it is. In describing the ministry of Christ he states, very accurately “When he appeared among them it was not to condemn them, but it was to call them to repentance, it was to call them from their error and to encourage them to retain all the truth that they possessed.” Again, the obvious reference to correcting error is so plain. Of course he gives a great summery of the entire point in this paragraph: “When we proclaim to the human family, as we do, that man has apostatized from the gospel, we are not proclaiming something that has not occurred in the world before. When we say good men and women have been led to do and believe things that are not correct, we do not say that in condemnation, we do not speak with a desire to wound, but we speak with a desire that men may pause sufficiently long to examine themselves, to see where they are going and what will be their final destiny.” Do not tell me that I ignore the facts. What I have posted and stated concerning the meaning and intention of President George Albert Smith is the truth, and it doesn’t really matter how much you disagree. Anyone reading his words in this chapter, or anywhere else, should realize his desire to correct any false understandings that people have because he wants them to be exalted in heaven, and knows this cannot happen if they cling to false doctrine.

  23. 23 joshtried
    July 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    the above comment was taken from Shem, who was accused of not being accurate. In return, this post showed how another person was less than accurate. Shem has thus been banned.. I do not know the reason for the ban, but the information contained in the post seemed well researched (if not a bit harsh). So, i took the liberty of reposting.

  24. July 17, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Re post 22 author: Shem…

    quote: “The problem here is that you are commenting on one chapter from a lesson manual, which provides only brief quotes from the man; and then you are claiming to know his intention in these quotes by ignoring everything else he said in other places.”

    The chapter itself gives us the ”intentions”, Mark hasn’t gone beyond what is written there. It is the authors responsibility to make his intentions clear. Saying that Mark ignores everything else he said in other places is a ridiculous and absurd charge. (Note: you didn’t provide a stitch of evidence as usual – not that it matters in this case because the charge you make is absurd…) You should be blaming the author of this book, not Mark. It’s not Mark’s responsibility to read EVERYTHING ever written in order to be able to discuss one particular book. That’s like me demanding that you to read every single LDS book and article ever written before you come here and say anything about LDS beliefs.

    quote: ”He states “Our ministry is one of love and forbearance, and we desire to do good to all, and to assist all to understand the plan of life and salvation that the Lord revealed in this latter day.”~~ Obviously he is talking about the degrees of Glory, the required ordinances, and the possibility of godhood, as that is the plan of life and salvation that the Lord has revealed in these last days. To say that he want to conceal these differences is ignorant at best. ”

    Here you are charging Mark with ”ignoring everything else he said in other places” and calling him ”ignorant” yet you are guilty of ignoring everything Mark said in his original post. You have misjudged Mark’s intention and meaning and you have the audacity to call him ignorant when in fact it is you. You then attempt to discredit him when all the while you are discrediting him based on your incompetent reading of his post. Mark didn’t say that he wanted to conceal these differences. Learn to read carefully before you write responses and bear false testimony against your neighbor!

    quote: ”Again he says “Let us who know…go forth day by day and with love and kindness unfeigned go among these men and women…and find a way to touch their hearts and lead them into that pathway that will insure them a knowledge of the truth.” ~~Again, he is obviously talking about correcting error in a loving way”

    You are reading things into this statement that aren’t there. Context! This is why you always misinterpret the scriptures as well. And to your own peril.

    quote: ”“How I pray that we as the servants of the Lord may have charity for mankind, may have patience with those who err, and in kindness and love go forward teaching the simple principles of the gospel of our Lord to the blessing of every soul with whom we come in contact.” ~~Once again he speaks to correcting those who are in error in love and kindness.”

    Again, making false assumptions and reading into it what isn’t written there. In fact, this quote says to go forward teaching the simple principles of the gospel. No more, no less. Take it in context. Nothing more or less is intended. If more is intended, then it is the author’s fault for mot mentioning it.

    quote: ”Then in the section titles WE NEED NOT BE ASHAMED IN SHARING WHAT WE KNOW TO BE TRUE he makes this comment “I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. I have never been anywhere that I have been ashamed to testify to these truths. I do not know why a man should be ashamed of knowing the truth because somebody else does not know it, especially when it pertains to the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.” ~~Obviously, if he is testifying of Joseph Smith, he is not intended to conceal anything, but is glad to share this truth with everyone that he meets.”

    Again, incompetence in reading Mark’s post and intentions.

    quote: ”Actually, you quoted part of this in your opening comments, but failed to understand what he is actually saying. He is saying that you are missing something, and that we can provide it. Nothing is hidden or concealed, but is presented directly as what it is.”

    Again, you failed to understand what Mark has actually said.

    To sum it all up. Shem completely fails to understand what Mark has written and intended, then as a direct result of his own ignorance in doing that, he bears false testimony against Mark once again.

  25. July 17, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Josh, try re-reading Mark’s original post and KNOW or find out what his intent is first before believing folks like Shem. Shem’s post are good for one thing….they lead people astray. The blind leading the blind.

  26. 26 choosethechrist
    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 am

    “Thousands upon thousands of missionaries … have gone out into the world, and in love and kindness they have gone from door to door saying to our Father’s other children: “Let us reason with you; let us explain to you something that we are sure will make you happy as it has made us happy!”

    Happiness is not derived from a bottle of prozac.

    Happiness is what lives in your heart when you accept the true gospel message:

    Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the grave. He died for our sins. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sins of those who believe are forgiven. Those who are forgiven will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

    A loving witness will have joy in their heart because of what Jesus did for them and this will be evident in their lives. A loving witness will present the gospel and let people come to a decision of faith without pushing them to that decision.

    Josh said, When you know something is right, you sometimes try and make others choose that.

    Kind of sounds like Lucifer’s plan according to mormonism doesn’t it? Take away their free will so that they will have to choose. Put pressure on them and push them so that they will follow the mormon plan.

    The Bible does not say to push our children to God.

    The Bible says:

    Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

    Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

    Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

    Thank God my Father rebelled against all of that “pushing” by his LDS parents. Otherwise, I may have been brought up in a false religion and fallen prey to the deception.

    Thank God for my Bible believing Southern spouse and in-laws who shared the gospel message and their love of the Lord with me!

    Thank God I did not “push” my children into a relationship with their Lord and Savior!

    Thank God all of my children are saved by grace through faith!

    Ephesians 2: 8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    Thank You Jesus!

  27. 27 Kent
    July 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Echo and Choose, one of the things I notice that some of the Mormons do, Shem especially, is that they will qoute only part of what we say for example, somebody here claimed on one of the threads that Mark had said, I believe it was on the topic of who Jesus is, that God the Father was older than Jesus the Son but he left out the part at the end of the statement where Mark said this isn’t biblical. So Mark’s meaning was that despite it seeming logical that the Father is older, it isn’t biblical so Mark was not saying that he believes the father is older at all. But by leaving out the part where Mark said it isn’t biblical, it makes it sound like Mark was saying the Father is older than the Son.

    I know Shem has misquoted me by leaving out part of what I have said and then he complains about someone making a statement on a whole quote from some Mormon leader?

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

    BY NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!

  28. 28 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Kent, you are right that Shem has done this. Mark is the “leader” of this blog. There are people that will only read what he writes. In that respect it is very important to get what he has right. He doesnt always. It is impossible to verify if this is on purpose, but with how much it happens it is more than simple coincidence. I do not know who first started this trend, but it would be great if ALL parties involved got their quotes right. Since Shem has been banned, i believe he wont be a source of this anymore. Perhaps our “leader” will make a better effort to put all of the quotes he uses into proper context.

  29. 29 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Echo asked: Josh, try re-reading Mark’s original post and KNOW or find out what his intent is

    Marks original post: In many ways, this brings us back to the subject of my last post. As these quotes indicate, George Albert Smith was not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs

    now.. the intention is plain and simple. Mark THINKS that we are trying to conceal or hide our true intentions, to hide the differences. This is simply not true. Shem’s post was well directed at this comment. Your tearing apart his post doesnt make it untrue. Mark said that GAS was trying to hide things. Shem showed how this was not the point of anything he was saying. He even used the same place that Mark got his information from to show he was wrong. He was also saying this was not part of anything else he taught. Just as was just discussed above, getting a quote wrong can be bad, but taking a quote horribly out of context is just as bad. A great example of this is “saved after all you can do.” You lack a basic understanding of this quote with regard to LDS theology, and then use it to try and tear down LDS theology based on your Christian theology.

  30. 30 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    The chapter itself gives us the ”intentions”, Mark hasn’t gone beyond what is written there.

    Mark also has gone to the fullest extent of what IS written there. It is okay for Mark to go lax on his reading of this chapter, but is wrong for Shem to go in depth into what is written there?

  31. 31 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Happiness is not derived from a bottle of prozac.
    Happiness is what lives in your heart when you accept the true gospel message:

    I am a Mormon. I am happy. I do not take prozac. Therefore, your whole argument is invalid. There are Christians that take prozac, that does not make them any less Christian. America in general takes more pills that the rest of the world (in some cases the rest of the world combined….) To act like this is a “Mormon only” problem is horrible near sighted. This is an AMERICA problem.

    Josh said, When you know something is right, you sometimes try and make others choose that.
    Kind of sounds like Lucifer’s plan according to mormonism doesn’t it? Take away their free will so that they will have to choose. Put pressure on them and push them so that they will follow the mormon plan.

    I did not say that those people were right in all circumstances. It is right to make your child not stick a fork in an electric socket. It is right perform an intervention on a 16y/o who is on crack. Some people do take things to far. But they also know there are instances where they will be held accountable for another persons actions (those of a child for instance). God himself made it so that people could not make their states worse than it already was by making sure we could die. We could have partaken of the tree of life and lived forever in our sin and had NO chance of salvation. Parents try and take this same action, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. How children take those persuadings is up to them. For instance: a father is willing to pay for an LDS wedding, but not for a “regular” wedding by itself. There is a form of pressure on the bride-to-be, but not really. There is no law requiring a dad to pay for diddly. He is offering to pay for a certain type of wedding. The bride wants things paid for because life is expensive, and this would greatly help. She chooses based on her perception. There is no really “pressure” by dad. Dad has given a choice, and the bride chose to do what she wanted. It is not dads fault if she is unhappy with her choice, but dad believes in a certain way of life. To add a person experience here: my father-in-law was willing to allow his son to marry on his property (very beautiful place for a marriage). The one caveat was that there could be no drinking on the property. His son chose to have the wedding elsewhere. He could not afford anywhere as beautiful, but in the end settled (his words not mine) on what he could afford. There was “pressure” not to drink, but the son chose to do what he wanted. The dad merely offered the choice to the son.
    Perhaps the problem here is that the rest of the world is so ready to compromise what they believe so others can be happy. Children get used to that way of life and are unhappy with the uncompromising values of the LDS.

  32. July 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Josh said: “Mark THINKS that we are trying to conceal or hide our true intentions, to hide the differences. ”

    We can’t say for sure that this is what Mark thinks unless Mark comes right out and says that he thinks “Mormons are trying to conceal or hide their true intentions”

    So you have made an assumption that is not based on fact (on what is written).

    Let me show you what I mean using your quote…

    Mark said: “George Albert Smith was not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs”

    Nowhere there did Mark say: “the LDS are trying to conceal or hide their true intentions”

    You therefore have “assumed” that this is what Mark is thinking. Though you present it to everyone as “fact” when it is not a “fact”

    Before saying: “Mark thinks…” you need to have the facts first. How do you get the facts? By asking Mark what he is thinking or by sticking to what Mark wrote to begin with. You should have asked him…: “Mark, do you think we are trying to conceal or hide our true intentions?” If he responded with: “Yes” , then you can rightfully testify that Mark is thinking the LDS is trying to conceal or hide thier true intentions. But when you make statements like you have here, based on assumptions, you are bearing false testimony against your neighbor. Assumptions can be wrong, they aren’t “fact”.

    If you want to make assumptions, assume the best about someone rather than the worst, these kinds of assumptions are acceptable because they don’t harm or bring harm to our neighbor or his integrity or ruin his good reputation.

    For example….

    Fact: Mark thinks GAS was not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs.

    Assumption: Mark thinks the LDS are not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs because the LDS believe this is best way to show true and heartfelt love to our neighbor.

    Josh, when people make false negative assumptions, that is judging. This kind of judging is considered a sin. Not all judging is a sin. But this kind of judging is a sin and it always ends in bearing false testimony against our neighbors. If you are going to make assumptions, make only positive assumptions. Those don’t harm our neighbor. And that is advice for all of us, not just you or Mormons.

    Mark hasn’t said what Shem or you imply. So now start over and re-read Mark’s post without making negative assumptions. Nothing Shem argued even fits with what Mark said. Try and figure out how what I am saying is true. It’s a good exercise in learning how to avoid bearing false testimony against our neighbor.

    Josh said: “Mark also has gone to the fullest extent of what IS written there. It is okay for Mark to go lax on his reading of this chapter, but is wrong for Shem to go in depth into what is written there?”

    Again, another negative assumption. Ask Mark if he read the whole chapter first! Assumptions aren’t “fact”
    I personally have read the whole chapter and I believe Mark has also. Have you?

  33. 33 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Josh said: “Mark THINKS that we are trying to conceal or hide our true intentions, to hide the differences. ”
    Echo said: We can’t say for sure that this is what Mark thinks unless Mark comes right out and says that he thinks “Mormons are trying to conceal or hide their true intentions”

    From Mark:
    Chapter 14 of the Teachings of George Albert Smith encourages LDS members to share Mormonism with non-Mormons with love and kindness and not coercion or criticism.
    In many ways, this brings us back to the subject of my last post. As these quotes indicate, George Albert Smith WAS NOT INCLINED TO HIGHLIGHT THE DIFFERENCES IN PEOPLE’S BELIEFS
    By including this in the manual being studied this year, the LDS Church IS TELLING ITS MEMBERS TO TAKE THE SAME STANCE
    Echo said: Nowhere there did Mark say: “the LDS are trying to conceal or hide their true intentions”
    again.. Mark Said: WAS NOT INCLINED TO
    indicating an attempt to put aside or not truly reveal that which is truth.

    Shem went on to prove this assertion was wrong, and he was banned for it.

  34. 34 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    From Echo:
    Fact: Mark thinks GAS was not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs.
    Assumption: Mark thinks the LDS are not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs because the LDS believe this is best way to show true and heartfelt love to our neighbor.

    FACT: Mark said: By including this in the manual being studied this year, the LDS Church IS TELLING ITS MEMBERS TO TAKE THE SAME STANCE

    Again.. from echo:
    Fact: Mark thinks GAS was not inclined to highlight the differences in people’s beliefs.
    Fact: MARK THOUGHT WRONG.

  35. 35 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I personally have read the whole chapter

    And if you have, and are getting out of it that we are trying to hide some truth, or leave you with glorious “wrong” truths, you have gotten the WRONG meaning out of this whole lesson.

  36. 36 joshtried
    July 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Lets go back to answer a question that i dont think has been answered before…
    Mark asked:
    How about the most glorious truth of all – that my living with heavenly Father doesn’t depend one iota on what I do, but rests 100% on what Jesus has already done for me – that I don’t have to participate in any temple ordinances or anything else to live eternally with him. Does the LDS Church truly encourage me to keep that glorious truth?

    “that my living with heavenly Father doesn’t depend one iota on what I do”
    This is a false statement and it would not be allowed to continue forward with you. Even Kent disagrees with you, but he wont come out and say it because of the book you use. If you dont choose to accept what Christ has done for you, you are damned to hell forever. This simple choice is one iota that YOU MUST DO. Now, with how much you speak of Christ, it is apparent that this is most likely the choice you have made. However, assumptions being what they are, until you admit that you have made this choice then neither I nor any other good coinscioused person can allow you to continue thinking you dont have to make a choice. The choice is there. It always has been, it always will be.
    “but rests 100% on what Jesus has already done for me”
    This statement is technically correct, but you dont understand it. He has already given you the choice of salvation before the foundation of this world. You are trying to eliminate a crucial part of who he is and what he has done for you.
    “that I don’t have to participate in any temple ordinances or anything else to live eternally with him”
    That is your interpretation of the scriptures, and it is wrong. Christ himself lists several things that EVERYONE needs to return to heaven, such as baptism.

  37. July 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Josh,

    Shem has really led you astray with his post. See if you can figure out how. Like I said, it’s a good exercise for you in learning how not to be led astray by others. Especially those who are wrong.

    You don’t want to stand in the judgment and find out then that Shem was wrong and that you believed him and then find out that the consequence of being led astray by Shem is outer darkness for the both of you because of that, do you? The blind leading the blind right into the pit of Outer Darkness…

    Mathew 15:14 “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit”

    Learn how to avoid this now.

  38. July 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Josh said: “The choice is there. It always has been, it always will be.
    “but rests 100% on what Jesus has already done for me”
    This statement is technically correct, but you dont understand it. He has already given you the choice of salvation before the foundation of this world. You are trying to eliminate a crucial part of who he is and what he has done for you.”

    You must be born again. Can you decide to be born again?…

    John 1:13 “children born not of … human decision …, but born of God.”

    Josh said: “In many ways, this brings us back to the subject of my last post. As these quotes indicate, George Albert Smith WAS NOT INCLINED TO HIGHLIGHT THE DIFFERENCES IN PEOPLE’S BELIEFS
    By including this in the manual being studied this year, the LDS Church IS TELLING ITS MEMBERS TO TAKE THE SAME STANCE“~~indicating an attempt to put aside or not truly reveal that which is truth.”

    Again, you have made a false negative assumption. Stop that. Where did Mark say that this was “an attempt to put aside or not truly reveal that which is true”? He didn’t. You are putting up walls that just aren’t there. And those walls keep you from hearing what Mark is truly saying.

    Mark said: “WAS NOT INCLINED TO HIGHLIGHT THE DIFFERENCES IN PEOPLE’S BELIEFS”

    Read the context of what Mark wrote and find a quote/quotes from the book, that Mark gave in his post, that indicates what Mark is talking about here. Don’t go beyond what Mark has written or what is written in the quotes.

    Josh said: “Shem went on to prove this assertion was wrong, and he was banned for it.”

    Shem wasn’t banned for this. For several years Shem has misquoted people, he has put words in people’s mouth that they didn’t say, he judges motives, he makes frequent use of personal attacks, he continually makes false assumptions/assertions, he continually bears false testimony against his neighbor. Shem has received several years of instruction as to how he might avoid these things but it has proven to fall on his deaf unrepentant ears, so he has finally been banned. He hasn’t proven anything.

  39. 39 choosethechrist
    July 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I said, Happiness is not derived from a bottle of prozac.
    Happiness is what lives in your heart when you accept the true gospel message:

    Josh said, I am a Mormon. I am happy. I do not take prozac. Therefore, your whole argument is invalid. There are Christians that take prozac, that does not make them any less Christian. America in general takes more pills that the rest of the world (in some cases the rest of the world combined….) To act like this is a “Mormon only” problem is horrible near sighted. This is an AMERICA problem.

    I am in Utah, Utah has the highest number of LDS people in America, and Utah has the highest usage of antidepressant use in America. This is a Utah problem and therefore it is a mormon problem. My argument is invalid because you are a happy mormon who does not take antidepressants? Do the math, the numbers don’t lie.

    My argument has more to do with the fact that if you are going to claim to have something better than the rest of us, then it sure ought to look better than what the rest of us have and like I said, it sure doesn’t look better to me. It looks worse. If you are going to try to convert people by telling them you want to offer them the happiness that mormonism brings when the majority of mormons are depressed, then that deceptive.

  40. 40 choosethechrist
    July 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Josh said, Christ himself lists several things that EVERYONE needs to return to heaven, such as baptism.

    Bible verses to support this statement please?

  41. 41 choosethechrist
    July 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Josh said,
    For instance: a father is willing to pay for an LDS wedding, but not for a “regular” wedding by itself. There is a form of pressure on the bride-to-be, but not really. There is no law requiring a dad to pay for diddly. He is offering to pay for a certain type of wedding. The bride wants things paid for because life is expensive, and this would greatly help. She chooses based on her perception. There is no really “pressure” by dad. Dad has given a choice, and the bride chose to do what she wanted. It is not dads fault if she is unhappy with her choice, but dad believes in a certain way of life.

    Great example of the LDS need to control.

    Luke 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?

    So, when Daughter’s heart is judged by a perfect judge, will Daughter’s coerced LDS temple wedding count or will it not count since Daughter did it to get the wedding paid for by Dad? Is she really sealed to her husband if it meant nothing to her in her heart? Does a person have to mean it when they are sealed in the temple or is it just the act of going through the motions that count?

  42. 42 choosethechrist
    July 18, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Kent said, Echo and Choose, one of the things I notice that some of the Mormons do, Shem especially, is that they will qoute only part of what we say….

    Yes, I have noticed that and there has been quite a bit of word twisting as well. It makes it difficult to stay on topic and not get diverted down the rabbit trails that get created out of this at times.


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