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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MORMANISM

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MORMANISM

 

The following FACTS represent teachings that are either openly taught in theMormon Church today, or that have been taught by the highest authorities of the Mormon Church. All quotes given are from official LDS publications or the Bible.

FACT #1 The Mormon Church teaches ALL other Churches are WRONG; ALL their creeds are an ABOMINATION in the sight of God; and ALL their teachers are corrupt.

One of the Mormon Books of Scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, says this about non-LDS churches:

    “… 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;…” (Joseph Smith 2:19).

FACT #2. Mormonism teaches there is no salvation outside the Mormon Church and no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this statement:

    “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670)

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches salvation is in Jesus alone:

    “Neither is there salvation in any other [Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

FACT #3. Mormons are taught to doubt the reliability of the Bible and their leaders have consistently attacked its accuracy.

Joseph Smith claimed:

    ” … it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.10)

The Bible answers this attack:

    “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

FACT #4. A basic tenant in Mormonism today is that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan.

Milton R. Hunter explains it like this:

    “The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer,… this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” (The Gospel Through The Ages, p.15)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that Lucifer attempted to become the Savior: in fact, Jesus created all the angels including Lucifer, so they can’t be brothers. Colossians 1:16 indicates that Jesus created “all things,” whether “in heaven,” or “in earth, visible or invisible.”

FACT #5. Mormonism continues to teach that God the Father is a glorified, resurrected Man, and men and women may become Gods and Goddesses.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this claim:

    “God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man!” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 643)

Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, taught:

    ” …you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…the same as all Gods have done before you,…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346)

The Lord Himself answers this teaching by pronouncing:

    “… I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

FACT #6. Mormons consider Polygamy a righteous principle which will be practiced in heaven.

Although there is nothing in the Bible that will support this thinking, current Mormon Scripture has this to say:

    “. . .if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery . . . . And if he have TEN VIRGINS given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:61, 62)

FACT #7. Mormons today believe God the Father is married and past leaders have taught both God the Father and Jesus Christ are polygamists.

Apostle Orson Pratt makes these unbelievable statements:

    “. . .the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a Polygamist,. . . the Messiah chose to take upon himself his seed; and by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of Wives under the Christian dispensation,. . .God the Father had a plurality of wives,. . . the Son followed the example of his Father,. . . both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time;. . .” (The Seer, p. 172)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that God the Father and Jesus Christ are married or polygamists.

FACT #8. The majority of the activity in the Mormon Temples is work done in behalf of the DEAD.

Joseph Smith offers this explanation:

    “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our DEAD.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 356)

Although many Mormons are attempting to save their dead relatives, the Bible indicates:

    “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psalms 49:7)

FACT #9. To the Mormon, the ultimate test that Mormonism is true is an “inner feeling.”

Mormons often refer to this feeling as a “burning in the bosom.” They believe their scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8) gives the best test for determining truth. This test reads:

    ” . . .study it out in your mind; then you must ask me [the Lord] if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall FEEL that it is right.”

The Bible, on the other hand, tells us:

    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)

FACT #10 Mormon leaders demand total obedience regardless whether they are right or wrong.

The ward teacher’s message for June, 1945, stated:

“When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan it is God’s plan.” (Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354)

Herber C. Kimball, First Councilor to Brigham Young, clarifies further:

    “But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 32)

The Bible warns us in I John 4:l:

    “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

FACT #ll. Mormon leaders have consistently attacked the Biblical doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace through Faith alone.

In Apostle James Talmage’s book, The Articles of Faith, twice he refers to justification by Faith alone as a “pernicious doctrine,” and further declares:

    “The Sectarian Dogma of Justification by Faith alone has exercised an influence for evil.” (pp. 107, 480)

The Bible responds:

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

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FACT #12. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie has warned his people against a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.

McConkie made these shocking statements at a speech given at BYU:

    “… gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous. . . . Now, I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. . . .But you have been warned, and you have heard the true doctrine taught.” (Church News, week ending March 20, 1982, p. 5)

In opposition to this, Jesus gives us a personal invitation:

    “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

FACT #13. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, boasted of doing a greater “work” than the Lord Jesus.

Joseph Smith made this incredible boast:

    “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. . . . Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor JESUS ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of JESUS ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 408, 409)

No true Prophet of God ever spoke such words as these.

FACT #14. In 1835 Joseph Smith prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord.

At a meeting called by Joseph Smith he instructed the Latter-day Saints that it was “the will of God” to go forth and “prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh-even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.” (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182) Eight years later he reinforced this by stating:

    “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written – the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till 1 am eighty-five years old.” (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 336)

These are obvious False Prophesies which would make Joseph Smith a False Prophet.

FACT #15. Mormons are taught to “shake hands” with a messenger to determine if he is from God or if he is the devil.

The following information is found in Mormon scripture:

    “When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. . . . If it were the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.” (Doctrine and Covenants 129:4, 5, 8)

Rather than trusting in “feelings” the Bible commands us to:

    “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (I Thessalonians 5:21)

FACT #16. Brigham Young claimed that those who leave the Mormon Church would turn “wrinkled” and “black.”

The following curse was pronounced by Brigham Young:

    “. . .but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 332)

There have been tens of thousands of people leave the Mormon Church – Where are the “black and wrinkled” ones?

FACT #17. Joseph Smith taught the moon was inhabited by people who dressed like Quakers and lived to be about 1000 years old.

In the Mormon publication, The Young Woman’s Journal, pp. 263 & 264, O.B. Huntington gives this interesting information:

    “As far back as 1837, I know that he [Joseph Smith] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do – that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years. He [Smith] described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.”

Now that man has walked on the Moon, there can be no doubt that there aren’t any 6 foot tall Quakers roaming its surface.

CONCLUSION

If all the FACTS are examined, Mormonism can not be considered a Christian denomination or a divinely led institution. Although Mormons are being deceived by their leaders, why not be concerned enough to share the truth in love? Jesus Himself said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

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22 Comments

  1. I have noticed and commented before that your web page is very useful but also difficult to read because of the colors being so dark, and such tiny fonts. I realize that folks can make the text larger but I suspect that most people don’t know how to do it.

    Your opening paragraph states that all the quotes are from official Mormon publications. Unfortunately, at least one of them, which you relied on heavily, is not an official publication. Most Mormons will reject out of hand the book Mormon Doctrine by McConkie. Even though he was an Apostle, they want the book to be copyrighted by the church in order for it to be official. It can be argued that, since he was an Apostle, he would know more about Mormon doctrine than the run of the mill Mormon, but it’s so much better to stick to unimpeachable sources. I hope this is helpful and constructive as I would like to refer folks to this page from time to time and I’d like to see it be as effective as possible.

  2. Commenting on your second fact up there. I don’t believe what Elder McConkie meant that Joseph Smith is the being by whom Salvation comes. If that’s the case, then I have yet to hear that as Official LDS doctrine, voted on by the Quorum of the 12 Apostles as well as the first presidency; also, I have never seen it or heard in in any Sunday School lesson either. You are right, however in saying that salvation only comes through Jesus.
    The explanation is easy though to why LDS members say that you need to accept Joseph Smith to be saved.
    Take Peter the Apostle for example, the one in New Testament times. He was the Leader of the Church at that time. Well, can you deny or reject Peter’s words, or any of the other Gospels in the New testament, and at the same time accept Christ?
    Well, that’s how Mormons feel about Joseph Smith.

  3. ___________________________________
    TY for your comment Tom. I wish I could fix the problem that your seeing. I have a 17 inch flat screen and everything looks great on it. Over the past few days I got to view the blog from a 15 inch monitor and everything looked good there too. Just out of curiosity, I have changed the theme of this blog but quickly found out that doing so made many of my current post not work right with a white or light color background. So changing themes is out of the question as I don’t have time to rework the post for the white background. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t know what to do to help.

    I remember someone telling me this before, and if I remember correctly you said you could send me a screen snapshot so I could view what your seeing. If that was you can send it to damonw_25@yahoo.com

    Are you the guy that said he was gonna refer this blog to his wife? If so, I have been making sure to keep some Mormon material on the front page.

    As to the content of this post and McConkies Mormon Doctrine, The article is a tract. I did not write it. While Mormon’s may raise the augments that you propose, I do not see as to where they hold any sound logic. The article prefaced the quotes as coming from the bible, Mormon scriptures or Mormon leaders. I actually would invite the argument that they would dismiss their own apostle because the church does not hold copyrights on his works. I have found that Mormons adhere to and discard, at their discretion, certain portions of the bible and their other books. If they want to discredit and discard the teachings of their own apostle, that just goes against them and I would welcome it.

    I took a look at your site and really liked it. I will be adding ya to my blogroll soon and may use some of the Mormon tracts that you have there. Thanks for your visit and comments. If you have any reasonable suggestions as to what I can do to solve the technical problems that your seeing, I would love to make this blog the best it can be for visitors. Damon
    _____________________________________________

  4. I’m sorry Tom, I was wrong, The article does say “All quotes given are from official LDS publications or the Bible”.

    I would have never dreamed that a Mormon apostle would not be considered “official LDS publication” by Mormons.
    _________________

  5. Randal, TY for your comment. But I find it to be pure spin and public image control.

    The truth is that the emphasis on the name Joseph Smith is made in the context of his statement that he had done more for God than any other man to ever live, including Jesus Christ.. That is no kind of man that I would follow. Even Jesus glorified God the Father and not himself. Joseph has noting to boast about. Jesus is the only name that saves.

    You analogy is totally illogical. You stated, “Take Peter the Apostle for example, the one in New Testament times. He was the Leader of the Church at that time. Well, can you deny or reject Peter’s words, or any of the other Gospels in the New testament, and at the same time accept Christ? Well, that’s how Mormons feel about Joseph Smith.”

    Here is my problems with your reasoning. 1. If I accept the words of Peter, and the other gospels and thus accept Christ,,, what do I need Joseph Smiths words for? 2. The bible has 44 different authors and none of them are exemplified as being essential to salvation and none of them give reverence or glory to themselves as Joseph Smith does. 3 The vast differing in the interpretation of “accept Christ” between Christians and Mormons. 4. The difference between the Mormon and Christian definition of Jesus.

    The term “accept Jesus” to a Christian means accepting Jesus’ work of atonement as solely and totally sufficient, and nothing else is needed for salvation but HIS death burial and resurrection. That is a stark contrast to the official Mormon plan of salvation. The differences between the Mormon Jesus and the Christian Jesus is LITERALLY as far apart as God is to a non existent person. Because Jesus is God made flesh and the Mormon Jesus that is Lucifer’s spirit brother is just a figment of a mans imagination, that himself wanted to be a God man; and many have bought into his satanic lie that men can become Gods. There is only one God and his most common known name is Jesus.
    _______________________

  6. The following may take the discussion forward and to further illustrate why Christians regard Mormonism as a cult .
    So called Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt said the following – ” …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 women must have the certificate of Joseph Smith junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are – I with you and you with me . i cannot go there without his consent .” – The second epistle of Orson Pratt

  7. TY for the OP quote Andrew. I really liked your site and will be adding it to my blogroll. And seeing your from England, I would like to ask some questions about the LDS there. I have some things to do first this morning. I hope you will visit again. I am American and curios about Mormonism outside the US.

  8. If this post is really about sharing the truth in love, then perhaps you would consider first asking a Mormon how he/she interprets these quotes in the spirit of mutual understanding, rather than in the spirit of “can you believe this!?”. In fairness, your “facts” could use more of an explanation in order to give a more accurate picture of the truth.

    Even “facts” can have another light, and the truth is more important than the facts. Swedish theologian Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and the former dean of Harvard Divinity School, offers three rules of engagement when trying to understand faiths other than your own. First: When trying to understand a religion, first ask its adherents. Second, don’t compare your best with their worst. And third: Leave room for holy envy.

  9. ___________________

    Well CC, I usually thank all for their comments but fail to see any real point made in your post . All you have done is attempted to construct the appearance of moral superiority from a false premise. I have not stated that anything is about “sharing the truth in love“. While I do have the goal of Mormons (and other cult group members) to find the real Jesus and thus be saved, as motivated by love, the Highest allegiance is to Love for God and his truth, not love for men.

    YOU SAID “Even “facts” can have another light, and the truth is more important than the facts.“

    ARE YOU SAYING FACTS AND TRUTH ARE NOT THE SAME THINGS?

    You act as if your offended that I did not ask you for your interpretation of these quotes, and then you fail to give those interpretations. AND REALLY, We are not dealing with scriptures from another language that needs interpretation.

    But the floor is yours, you can offer your interpretations now so that we don’t have to sit here dumfounded wondering HOW “can you (Mormons) believe this Drivel!?”
    ______________________

  10. I’m quoting Frank Lloyd Wright, “The truth is more important than the facts,” to say that there is more than meets the eye to your take on Mormonism. There is a much more moderate, as well as beautiful take, on Mormonism than the picture you have tried to paint with your 17 points.

    I wasn’t saying I’m necessarily the one you should ask, but I definitely have a passion for interfaith dialogue and seeking mutual understanding. I just think it’s genuinely a good idea to pass your thoughts by an actual adherrant to the faith before publishing your thoughts on “what Mormons really believe”. There are many interpretations possible, and the quotes you share need more of an explanation. Perhaps I’ll take a stab at this when I get more time.

    You stated in your conclusion that you feel you should “speak the truth in love” to Mormons, so that’s what I’m referring to.

    I appreciate the invitation to take the floor. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

  11. __________________

    Hi CC, I’m sorry,,, The article is not mine.

    Here is a couple of illustrations that emphasize the point that words have a face value,, and we must take them words at face value, in their context, to derive at the speakers definition and intent of those words.

    1. God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree least they die. Satan came along and offered an “interpretation” or “explanation” of Gods words,,, and look what it lead to. I know many Mormons interpret and Mormon apostles and scholars have said the fall of Adam was a “good thing” , in that he “fell forward” into Godhood, and that Satan was correct when he said that “your eyes will be open and you will be as like God”. But that is neither here nor there, The point is that if Adam and Eve had taken Gods word at face value,, and not accepted Satan’s “Interpretation” or “explanation”,, they would never have died and been expelled from Gods’ presence.

    2. A few years back, the president of Iran said that he wanted to “wipe Israel clean from the face of the map” (my paraphrase). Just last week he offered his “interpretation” or “explanation” of his words. He said that he ONLY meant that he desired for Palestinians to have a voice through a right to vote, and if that was the case, Israel would become a “Palestinian state”.

    Now it is possible that one would be foolish enough to believe that he did not mean that he desires the TOTAL Extermination and inhalation of Israel and all Jewish Israelis, BUT only a real fool would believe his explanation considering all the other things he has said about Israel and America (the great Satan) because the US supports Israel.

    Words have face value and only one possible intent from the speaker. One can spin and reframe words apart from their original context and meaning all they want, but that does not change the fact of the meaning of those words in their original context, interpretation and application.

    YOU SAID: “There is a much more moderate, as well as beautiful take, on Mormonism than the picture you have tried to paint with your 17 points.“

    Because my uncle is a Mormon Bishop (Melchizedek Priest), I have studied Mormonism for over 20 yrs as a result of him sending the missionaries to my house dozens of times to tell me that Christianity is wrong and I needed to become a Mormon. And I see your assertion of a “beautiful take on Mormonism” to be the words of a very deluded person. I pray that your eyes will be opened.

    The floor is yours. There is no amount of “interpretation” or explanation” that will change the intent of the quotes in the article. But your welcome to take a “stab at it”.
    ________________________

  12. My whole premise is not to change your mind about Mormonism as much as it is to change your tactics. You may continue to believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the horrible unchristian cult it is purported to be, but you should be able to demonstrate it without resorting to deceptive practices. Using selective research to find quotes from former leaders to lead audiences to believe something incorrect is not an example of what one would expect from rigorous scholarship or from a search of the “truth”.

    Perhaps you can learn to understand other religions–including the LDS–from the rules developed by Krister Stendahl. Maybe not, but that is my hope.

    Fact #1: “The Mormon Church teaches ALL other Churches are WRONG; ALL their creeds are an ABOMINATION in the sight of God; and ALL their teachers are corrupt.”

    The truth about this “fact” is that The LDS Church teaches that all churches have some truth, just not the fullness of the truth. This particular quote refers to the creeds of the churches that we believe are wrong, but not that all the individual Christians who follow them are wrong in their sincere desire to follow Christ the best they know how.

    FACT #2. “Mormonism teaches there is no salvation outside the Mormon Church and no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith.”

    There are many possible interpretations of what salvation means. I fear we may be using the same word and meaning something entirely different. We do, after all, have different theological vocabularies. In this case you fail to adjust your understanding to how Mormons can understand salvation. Bruce R. McConkie’s book “Mormon Doctrine” isn’t actually official Mormon doctrine; only his personal opinions and interpretations of which he wasn’t always right and sometimes he was verged on being polemical.

    However, the Book of Mormon, which is indisputable official LDS doctrine is very clear that there is no salvation save it be through Jesus Christ. “There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8)

    However, Latter-day Saints believe in a further goal beyond salvation, which is exaltation. This is most likely what McConkie was referring to when he used the term exaltation.

    You also need to remember that there is not a single verse of the Bible which Mormons do not agree with. The Bible is officially part of our cannon. So Mormons agree that “Neither is there salvation in any other [Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

    FACT #3. “Mormons are taught to doubt the reliability of the Bible and their leaders have consistently attacked its accuracy.”

    This is actually quite misleading. We believe that the Bible was inerrant as it was originally written by the inspired prophets and apostles, and that it is the word of God, as long as it is translated correctly. We understand the word “translate” more loosely to mean “transmit” or “interpret”. So we actually love the Bible as God’s Word and use it often, but we believe that it must be interpreted correctly. We do believe that there were parts of the gospel which were “plain and precious” that are not now found in the Bible as we know it. More than likely these truths were on completely different books which were lost and therefore didn’t make it into our current cannon. But informed Mormons will tell you that the Bible is very much as close to being accurate in the condition it now is.

    FACT #4. “A basic tenant in Mormonism today is that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan.”

    Again, this is a misleading statement to make. Nor is it a fundamental tenant of Mormon belief. But I admit Mormons have an entirely different framework into which we fit the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve learned a lot from my blogging interactions with people not of our faith, as well as the book “How Wide The Divide?” by Craig Blomberg (an Evangelical scholar) and Stephen Robinson (a Mormon scholar). The biggest thing I realized, and it’s simply huge, is that LDS are unique in their understanding that we are literally God’s offspring, of the same essence or species of God. For Evangelical Christians, that’s only figurative, as they believe we are a different essence entirely than God, who “chose at some point to make creatures distinct from himself–human beings–with the capacity to have a personal relationship with him” (Blomberg).

    Stephen Robinson writes: “The real sticking point is not what the LDS think of Christ and his gospel, but rather the different ontological frame or view of the nature of the universe into which Mormons fit the gospel. For Latter-day Saints also believe in the LITERAL fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of humanity. We believe that God and humans are the same species of being and that all men and women were his spiritual offspring in a premortal existence. The main purpose of the gospel of Christ is therefore not so much to get us to heaven as it is to get us HOME.”

    So there you have it. We all were a part of the family of God in the premortal existence long before God presented his plan for us to come to earth. This family included Lucifer, before he rebelled and was cast out and became the devil.

    FACT #5. “Mormonism continues to teach that God the Father is a glorified, resurrected Man, and men and women may become Gods and Goddesses.”

    This is closely related to that quote by Stephen Robinson. Since we believe we are literally God’s children, we believe we will grow up to become like Him, similar to how children grow up to be like their parents. Obviously we have a different understanding of the nature of God than Trinitarians. But we believe our understanding is biblical. We believe in God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We also believe the biblical statements that all three are three and also one. But we reject any post-biblical creeds or councils or statements that attempted to reconcile those two truths.

    Therefore, you won’t hear LDS speak much of the Trinity, but of the Godhead. We believe each person of the Godhead is his own being, but that they are one God, or Godhead, as they are one in purpose and intent and glory.

    We also hold that it is possible that the Father once had a mortal experience as did the Son, but Jesus was no mere man while he dwelt on earth. He was fully divine and God himself in human form. We’re different in that we are very much mortal, but Christ shows us to way back to the Father. Through Christ’s atonement we believe we can literally be made one again (“at-one-ment”) with the Father as well as the Son. This is the kind of oneness Christ prayed for in his intercessory prayer in John 17.

    If we can become “joint heirs” with Them and “one” with Them, than a case can be made that we could also be called gods since we belong to the family of God. But the biggest mistake that critics of the LDS church make is in taking that too far and saying that we believe that we can one day replace God as the supreme ruler of the universe and become objects of worship ourselves. In reality, the goal is to become like them, in attributes and so forth, but we will always reverence and worship the true and eternal God, or Godhead, for eternity.

    One helpful clarification about the idea that we can become like God was given by the Church in response to an interview by Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317272,00.html

    “We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being ‘joint heirs with Christ’ reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.”

    I think that’s enough for now. I’ll try to get back to you with the remaining clarifications as soon as possible.

  13. ____________________

    TY CC for taking all the time to comment so much. I will return the gesture and find time soon to counter respond to each of your “interpretations” or “explanations”. My premise will be of course that Mormonism is 1. nether Christian or a religion. It is an aberrant/ pseudo Christian Cult. 2. There is no divine command for “interfaith dialogue” but rather the word of God is for Doctrine, Reproof and Correction. We are command to test the spirits and see if they be of God. Paul tells us three times to not accept “another gospel” even if it comes from him or “Angels”. As one account of Joseph smiths First vision claims.

    TY for your time and comments. Damon
    ____________________________

  14. CC Please remember this. Your the first I have allowed to post an official Mormon document from the Mormon church. THAT IS NOT ALLOWED HERE. If you want to dialogued, I welcome it, but it is not my Job or place to refute official Mormon material.

    And further post with like references will not be approved. I would like for this to play out before the readers for their benefits, so please honor my rule. Your words and only your words.
    _____________________

  15. I appreciate that you’re allowing this to be a level playing field, as you allow me to explain myself and not to be defined by misunderstandings. I’d of course prefer not to have to play defense, as I would much rather have a more productive conversation about your beliefs and how they may be similar or different to mine. But these facts still need to be clarified:

    FACT #6. “Mormons consider Polygamy a righteous principle which will be practiced in heaven.”

    Actually this is quite a debate in Mormonism since we generally don’t like the idea of polygamy, and gave it up in 1890. Yet it is true that we allow that those who were authorized to practice polygamy while on earth will continue to have their families in tact in the hereafter. But nothing is taught about the rest of us “normal” couples having to live polygamy in the hereafter. We won’t be forced to do anything that wouldn’t allow us to have the promised “fullness of joy”. I’d like to note here that monogamy has always been the rule and Polygamy has only been the exception, not only among the 19th century LDS, but even when God commanded Abraham in the Old Testament to have multiple wives.

    FACT #7. “Mormons today believe God the Father is married and past leaders have taught both God the Father and Jesus Christ are polygamists.”

    We don’t talk much about it, but since we believe that we are literally children of a Heavenly Father, that it would follow that He is not a single parent, and therefore that we have a Heavenly Mother. But we know absolutely nothing about her, as nothing as been revealed about her. Likewise, there is no revelation about God or Jesus being polygamists, so any past leaders teaching about that was based solely on personal opinion and speculation and is certainly not representative of the general church membership and is not official Mormon doctrine.

    Orson Pratt was known to make some pretty outrageous statements in the 19th century which conflicted even with the views of some of the other church leaders of the time. He was constantly needing to be reigned in, especially with his personal views about the above.

    FACT #8. “The majority of the activity in the Mormon Temples is work done in behalf of the DEAD.”

    This is a true statement. We believe that baptism is essential to forming a saving covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as signify that our old life is buried and that we are born again as sons and daughters of Christ. Naturally we believe that many of God’s children have died without having had a proper baptism, let alone any baptism. Therefore, temple work is dedicated to doing vicarious ordinances for those who have passed on. In the Spirit World those people will have the chance to accept or reject that baptism, as well as other ordinances, for themselves. We believe this shows both the justice and mercy of God.
    FACT #9. “To the Mormon, the ultimate test that Mormonism is true is an “inner feeling.”’

    We believe that God answers prayers. (See James 1:5). We believe that he speaks to us through His Spirit, which testifies of truth both in our minds and in our hearts. We believe that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We have faith, and sometimes that faith can grow into certain knowledge. Similar to how we first have faith, before planting a seed, that it will grow. Then if we nourish the seed and it actually begins to grow, then we know was a good seed. And before long, if you haven’t given up on the seed because of unbelief, you’ll be able to taste the fruit for yourself and know if the fruit is bad or good. I planted that seed of faith long ago, and it has grown into a marvelous tree which bears delicious fruit, therefore, I know that the seed of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is a good seed and bears good fruit. But I also acknowledge that you and your faith can bear good fruit as well. I think the Holy Spirit testifies of all truth according to our individual understanding.

    FACT #10 “Mormon leaders demand total obedience regardless whether they are right or wrong.”

    The following quote is a very controversial quote in Mormon circles: “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan it is God’s plan.” (Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354)

    Visit any Mormon blogs and you’ll see for yourself that we do plenty of thinking for ourselves. If I remember correctly, that quote was an opinion piece and I don’t even know who wrote it, but it doesn’t accurately portray the truth. It makes it sound like we just blindly follow our leaders. It also contradicts what our leaders are always teaching us—that we should gain a testimony of whether what they teach is true or not. Ultimately our “prophets and apostles” teach that we should obey God because of our love for Him. Just as Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.

    FACT #ll. “Mormon leaders have consistently attacked the Biblical doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace through Faith alone.”

    I’m not sure at all why this “fact” is still being brought up by Mormon critics. Anyone who reads the text of the Book of Mormon themselves can see how compatible it is with the Bible and that no matter what works we manage to do, they do not save us. We are ultimately saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I’ve written on this topic multiple times on my own blog because people who I tried to explain this to didn’t believe me. And I’m just not buying this fact one bit.

    Mormon leaders have never attacked Biblical doctrine, since we believe every single verse in the Bible. However, they may have disagreed with the erroneous belief that we are saved without any effort or commitment on our part. We believe that we actually have to respond appropriately to Christ’s grace so that we can be saved, and that we respond appropriately by having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins throughout our life, entering into a covenant with Him by baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, which purifies and sanctifies us and changes our nature.

    FACT #12. “Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie has warned his people against a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.”

    That’s actually taken out of context. In that particular speech Elder McConkie was warning against emphasizing a special relationship with one particular member of the Godhead while neglecting the other two. Apparently there were some BYU students who were teaching that those with a special or advanced relationship with Jesus can pray directly to Him, but Jesus commanded that we pray directly to our Father, and His Father, but in the name of Jesus Christ.

    FACT #13. “Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, boasted of doing a greater “work” than the Lord Jesus.”

    The quote in which Joseph Smith seems to boast is an interesting one. To understand the issues, we must remember:
    1. It is not based on Joseph’s own writing; it is an account written after his death
    2. Joseph was using a scriptural passage by Paul, and applying it to his own situation–the idea of “boasting” was Paul’s, not Joseph’s.

    What was Joseph’s intent, and why did he use this approach? As it turns out, he was drawing from the Bible and applying its lessons to his own situation.

    In the original context, Joseph was facing intense persecution by many people, including some he had previously considered to be his friends. The statement about “boasting” was supposedly made about a month before he was killed. He made it after reading 2 Corinthians 11 to the congregation. Note the following statement by Paul, in this scripture:
    “Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, that I also may boast a little. That which I am speaking, I am not speaking it as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. For you, being so wise, bear the foolish gladly.” (2 Cor. 11:16-19, NASB)

    Paul then launches into a literary tirade where he claims many things to make himself look the fool, to contrast himself with those who the Corinthians were listening to for their words of salvation, instead of to him. His words were meant to compare and contrast what the Saints at Corinth were doing against what he was offering.

    In short, Joseph is using the scripture in Paul as a counter-argument (or a rhetorical device)–he is responding to his critics, and demonstrating that (as with Paul) true messengers from God are often persecuted by those who should listen, while the false and apostate are praised.

    Well, that’s probably enough for now. I’ll try to get to the remaining “facts” or attributed “quotes” soon. Where did you get these “facts” anyhow? Just curious.

  16. I’ve made a final attempt to make an explanation of the final few “facts” in the list. Perhaps from there we can move on to have a more productive conversation, if you wish. Parenthetically, I’ve noticed that several other evangelicals have put this “list of facts” up on their blogs but I still haven’t been able to locate where the list originates from.

    FACT #14. “In 1835 Joseph Smith prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord.”

    Nobody is sure if Joseph actually said this particular quote, because there is no other evidence that he did. But even if he did, it still does not qualify as a prophecy. There’s a big difference between the word “should” and “would”, as there is between “perhaps” and “will”.

    Joseph’s belief was not that the Lord would come by the time of his 85th birthday, but rather that the Lord would not come before that time, which of course was a correct prophecy.

    The Savior while here on earth told us that no one on earth knows when the Lord will return: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Because we do not know, we need to constantly be ready for his return, for “in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh” (Matt. 24:44). Joseph was very familiar with the Bible.

    However, Joseph Smith did make several interesting statements about seeing the Savior. One of them is a favorite of our detractors. They have misquoted it, misreported it, misinterpreted it and misexplained it. Most often they simply do not complete the quote, making it appear that the prophet said something he didn’t.

    The passage in question is found in Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is reported in abbreviated form, and Joseph acknowledged as he recorded it that he didn’t understand the meaning or intent of the revelation. Joseph Smith recorded:
    “I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.” (D&C 130:14-15).

    Many of our detractors end the quote at this point, and then they assume that the statement is a prophecy that the Savior would come in the year 1890 or 1891, since the prophet Joseph was born in 1805. However, if the reader will continue further in that passage, he will see that Joseph Smith himself stated:

    “I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face” (D & C 130:16).

    We only learn what the prophet did prophesy by reading verse 17: “I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.” Without a doubt, that prophecy came true. The Lord did not return to the earth for His Second Coming before that time.
    Joseph made reference to the incident on at least two other occasions, and indicated that his belief was not that the Lord would come by the time of his 85th birthday, but rather that the Lord would not come before that time, which of course was a correct prophecy. And Joseph felt very strongly that he wouldn’t live that long, and that his life would be taken, which, of course, it was.

    FACT #15. “Mormons are taught to “shake hands” with a messenger to determine if he is from God or if he is the devil.”

    This seems kind of amusing, if not somewhat hypocritical, that critics will claim to be experts on what Mormons are taught and believe. I feel safe in saying that I am the world’s authority on what I personally believe and what I have been taught as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The scripture referred to in the Doctrine and Covenants speaks for itself. We also believe the quoted Bible scripture as well. Perhaps this “fact” is brought up, like so many others, for some “shock value”?

    FACT #16. “Brigham Young claimed that those who leave the Mormon Church would turn ‘wrinkled’ and ‘black’.”

    I have tried and tried and have not been able to locate this particular quote by Brigham Young, but I can comment on Brigham Young’s homilies in “Journal of Discourses”. He said a lot of things that are useful and sound, but he also said a few things that would raise eyebrows of a modern reader. Even prophets are products of their times, and Brigham Young was certainly no exception. Naturally, he was not perfect. Only Christ lived a life of perfection.

    Brigham Young, like the majority of American Christians of the time, even seemed to believe in racial inequality. That is to be understood. Latter-day Saints do not expect their leaders to be infallible. Moreover, “Journal of Discourses” is not official doctrine of the LDS church. It’s a collection of sermons and homilies from and for a very different time period than today.

    FACT #17. “Joseph Smith taught the moon was inhabited by people who dressed like Quakers and lived to be about 1000 years old.”

    It’s almost laughable isn’t it? I actually think Joseph intended it to be that way.

    Critics claim that Joseph Smith taught that the moon was inhabited, and that this is proof he was a false prophet. They’ll also fail to tell you about all of his real and fulfilled prophecies too.

    Nevertheless, the source for this particular claim is not Joseph Smith himself; the first mention comes in 1881 in Oliver B. Huntington’s journal, who claimed that he had the information from Philo Dibble. So, we have a late, third-hand account of something Joseph is supposed to have said. Hyrum Smith and Brigham Young apparently both expressed their view that the moon was inhabited, but we allow all men to have their own views/opinions. To say that if they were truly “prophets” they should have known better than the science of the day would also condemn many prophets in the Bible too.

    Prominent scientists of Joseph Smith’s day had published their views of the possibility of people living on the moon. I’m not trying to beg the question; only wanting to keep this brief and in my “own words”. But I could provide references if desired. Suffice it to say that LDS doctrine was not provincial, since it provided for “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33) created by Christ. These worlds held those who would require the gospel, since by Christ “the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:24).

    As always, prophets and believers are products of their time. Biblical authors, for example, clearly accepted a geocentric (earth centered) cosmos, with a flat earth and heavens supported by four pillars. Like the authors of the Bible, modern prophets are generally beholden to their era’s scientific concepts. I personally think that if Joseph Smith actually said something about the appearance of people on the moon, he was doing it in jest; making a wise-crack about the common speculation. He often used humor to make a point. And Brigham Young was known to often use hyperbole.

  17. TY CC, I will post some responses to your Interpretations“ and “explanations” of the “17facts” soon. I am in Houston and have much stuff to do after the storm, so it may be a day or two. BTW I was up around your part of the Lone Star State during evacuation, in San Marcos. I love the rivers around there. As shown at your site, they are beautiful.

    You asked where I got the facts. There is a link at the bottom that will take you to the materials origin site. The article is clear,,, that the “Facts” come from the Bible and Official Mormon material, and apparently some quotes (from Mormon leaders) that Mormons will say are not so official and shrug them off for various semantical and emotional pleading (public image) reasons. Saying they need “interpreting” or “explaining“, they should NOT be taken at face value, and you should NOT use your own judgment to determine the authors original meaning. But you should “always” confer with a Mormon apologist before you form your conclusions about Mormonism.

    Hitler had a religion, many falsely believe it was Christianity or Catholicism. But it was really occultism and the revived pagan mystery religions through, mostly, Theosophy and the OTO.

    According to a premise you stated earlier, and promote by saying,,,,,,,,,,

    YOU SAID: “ Swedish theologian Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and the former dean of Harvard Divinity School, offers three rules of engagement when trying to understand faiths other than your own. First: When trying to understand a religion, first ask its adherents. Second, don’t compare your best with their worst. And third: Leave room for holy envy.”

    ,,,, I have to say this man is a fool. Words have a face value and meaning. To NOT use the brains that God gave us, and to NOT appeal to his spirit for guidance and discernment, to arrive at our own conclusions, is just pure Fallacious FOLLY. As the Brits say,,, PURE RUBBISH!

    What happened to those who believed Hitler and his propaganda machines “interpretations” and “explanations” his words, intents and actions????

    The word of God is clear,,,,, TEST (Discern) ALL THINGS,,,,, and hold fast to that which is of God, for many are deceived and many are deceiving.
    _____________________________________

  18. Thanks for the reply. I noticed that you said that Joseph Smith took the Glory onto himself, but you didn’t give any references to actually saying that about himself. You also Misquoted the verse speaking of Joseph Smith from John Taylor. You said that Joseph Smith did more for mankind then even Jesus Christ. That, however is a misrepresentation. It actually says the Following:
    “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.”
    Please note that this is not saying that he did more, on the contrary, it states that Christ did do more.
    Lastly, I merely gave the Peter example, not to prove you wrong, but to give you a picture of the way that Mormons believe. You can’t deny the testimony of Peter concerning Jesus Christ and still accept Christ; Mormons feel the same way. They also feel that they cannot deny the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and still accept Christ.

  19. My hope that we could have a rational conversation is waning. You lost some credibility when you dismissed the wise and respected Stendahl as the fool. That actually is what comes across to me as more foolish. And to make a comparison to Hitler is hardly a fair and productive comparison. Unfortunately you do not seem to share in my conviction that we need more real dialogue and less the perpetuations of stereotypes and religious polemic.

    A friend of mine, and fellow blogger, recently noted that “one of the main problems is that there are many people who don’t want to understand each other, or they feel they already understand the religious other because some book told them what others believed or some member of their religious community did all the research for them so they wouldn’t have to do it themselves and told them what others believed. The attitude is “What’s to understand? They are wrong. End of story.” This kind of method is the very method that has lulled people into believing they actually know about others without even communicating with them and engaging them in civil discourse. However, more and more people are realizing that this hasn’t worked.”

    I wish you well in your journey of faith. I have no feelings of animosity or expectations that you’ll change your mind. My main desire is to seek mutual understanding and to build friendships that are more beneficial to our mutual desire to follow Christ by perhaps walking in each others shoes for a time, as opposed to flat out dismissals or debates.

  20. _________________

    Hi CC,,,, I just wanted to let you know I have not forgotten about you. I got sidetracked a little bit, I am doing an eposes on a guy that is starting a UFO cult, and has written about 10 books since the early 90’s. I found some things out about him that I had to do some research on and that was one of the distractions.

    I got my most of the hurricane clean up done and they moved a renters trailer and left me about another days work to do on the mess they left. So it will be another day or two before I get to your responses.

    I thank you for the comments. I may take all the 17 facts, with your responses and my counter responses, and make a new post. I will allow you to offer a counter rebut and will amend it to the post,,, if you wish. TY again.
    _______________________________

    • Charles W.
    • Posted October 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm
    • Permalink

    I think it strange that any religion would constantly say that their leaders and founders didn’t mean what they said.

    Its funny how so many false religions have the same creed
    “You are a good but ignorant person, and you need our help in understanding what God has to say.

    Here is one to explain? How is it the LDS teach that men will remain married in heaven and their wives will be eternally pregnant when Jesus himself said that we will not remained married in heaven.
    Matthew 22:23-30

    Just because you put yourself in a building that looks like a church and dress yourselves up with a Cross doesn’t make you a Christian. Just like putting yourself in a garage and sitting on a tire makes you a car.

  21. ==================================

    Hi Charles, Thank you for you comments and I agree with everything you said. Wearing a cross and doing Christian things does not make one a Christian. BUT mormons do not like the cross. Here is an article I am soon to post. TY for visiting.

    MORMON OPPOSITION TO THE CROSS

    http://www.bibtruth.com/cross.html

    =====================================


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