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Legislators’ anti-gay sentiments come back to haunt Mormons
Paul Rolly

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 12/05/2008 10:13:14 PM MST

Had the Utah Legislature not balked so vehemently at any hate-crime legislation that included protections for gays and lesbians, the state might now have better tools to prosecute those committing hate crimes against members and property of the LDS Church.

That’s the irony emerging from the ugly aftermath of California’s Proposition 8 vote banning gay marriage in that state. Because members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the urging of their ecclesiastical leaders, played such a prominent role with their money and time in the passing of the proposition, their church is now a target.

Church services have been disrupted by protesters, members have been blocked from entering churches, glue has been poured into the locks of church buildings, glass doors of churches have been shattered by BB guns, LDS temples have received packages containing mysterious white powder that proved harmless, and church buildings and signs have been spray-painted.

But the perpetrators, if caught and charged in Utah, don’t face penalty enhancements for targeting a specific group for harassment. That is because a majority of Utah legislators, not wanting to appear to be coddling people who are gay, refused to include them in hate-crime legislation as a special class.

The best that LDS victims of hate crimes can hope for in Utah is that their suffering be considered an aggravating factor when judges sentence a perpetrator and parole boards determine how much of the guilty party’s sentence must be served before granting parole.

Legislators could have included a penalty enhancement for a hate crime. If, for example, a crime normally would be charged as a third-degree felony, it could be bumped to a second-degree felony if committed against a protected class.

Indeed, that was the model of hate-crimes legislation that proponents tried for a decade to pass. But in order to constitutionally justify a penalty enhancement, which most states include in such laws, protected groups must be defined.

That was always the stumbling block on Capitol Hill. For a hate-crime enhancement, it had to be shown the victim was targeted because of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, disability or — the bill killer — sexual preference.

Rep. David Litvak, D-Salt Lake City, sponsored the bill that finally passed in 2007. He acknowledges it is not as tough as it could have been, but the compromise was necessary to get it through the Legislature. There are no protected groups defined in the marshmallow law and prosecutors must show the crime had a negative effect on a whole class of people before it can be considered an aggravating factor.

Many of the legislators who fought against the hate-crimes bills expressed concern about discrimination against Mormons.

A few years ago, Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Provo, led the move to force a legislative audit of the University of Utah’s medical school because of speculation that male Mormon applicants were being discriminated against. So now, because of the anti-gay sentiments expressed at the Mormon-majority Legislature, when LDS Church members actually are singled out for harassment or discrimination, their tormentors get a pass, pretty much, even if their actions can be proven to be hate crimes.

LDS Church leaders did not oppose including sexual orientation in the earlier versions of the bill. When the church issued a statement to that effect, Gayle Ruzicka, head of the right-wing Eagle Forum, said the church was implicitly opposing the legislation because its statement did not say it supported the language.

That prompted a church spokesman to say that the Eagle Forum does not speak for the LDS Church.

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_11149778

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Dispelling Myths about Christianity

Myth #1. Christians think all you have to do is say a little prayer to go to heaven, then you can live like the devil and still be saved.

Fact: Christians do NOT believe this. There is nothing magic about “the prayer.” People who just a say a little prayer to “cover all the bases” are not demonstrating saving faith. True Christians do not believe in what is referred to as “cheap grace” or “easy-believism;” the concept that one can just say a prayer and then go on living a lifestyle of sin. It is true that Christians believe a person praying from the heart, with real intent, asking for salvation, will indeed be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone, and that good works will not add one iota to his salvation. However, they do not use their salvation as an excuse to do wrong.

There is a difference between justification and sanctification. When a person puts their trust completely in Jesus Christ, praying in faith for salvation, he is immediately justified, or put into right standing before God. He has been washed clean by the blood of Jesus and the righteousness of Jesus is credited to the person’s account. The biblical definition of salvation is being saved from the wrath of God (eternal hell) and living eternally in heaven with God.

Sanctification is a process occurring over time as the Holy Spirit works in the life of a Christian, purging him of the desires of the flesh. We are sinners by nature, so of course Christians stumble and fall in their walk with the Lord, but they do not make sinful actions a pattern of living. For example, a person claiming to have been born-again who year after year lives with his girlfriend, cheats people in business, doesn’t read the Bible or pray, and consistently lives as the world lives, would need to “examine [himself] as to whether [he] is in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). The Holy Spirit equips a Christian for godly living. As a Christian becomes more mature in his walk with the Lord, he begins to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. His sin begins to bother him and doing what pleases God becomes delicious to him.

What is one of the signs that we have been saved? “And hereby do we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3). The Greek word for “keep” in this context is the same one that sailors used for being guided by the stars. Pastor Adrian Rogers—beloved by millions of Christians and who recently passed away—used the following analogy. He said that sailors in ancient times would chart their course at sea by the stars, so they would know where they were going. There might be occasions when the captain fell asleep at the helm and drifted off-course, but it would not be long before he was able to adjust his direction and arrive at his intended destination.

This practice of navigation was called “keeping the stars.” Likewise, keeping the commandments is similar for a Christian. He may “fall asleep at the helml” (sometimes called backsliding) or occasionally go off course, but If his eyes are upon Jesus and the desire of his heart is to please God, he will arrive safely into heaven’s harbor.

Myth #2. Either the Mormon Church is true or the Catholic Church is true. It could not be the Protestants because they broke off from the Catholic Church.

Fact: Not exactly. The church of Jesus Christ was already established long before the Roman Catholic Church came along. Whenever “church” was referred to in the New Testament, it meant “the called out ones;” it is the Greek “ekklesia.” The Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon explains what “church” has meant from New Testament times onward:

[Church] in a Christian sense. An assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting., a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake., those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body., the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth., the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven. (Strong, J. 1996. The exhaustive concordance of the Bible: electronic edition)

Galatians 3:26-29 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

To rephrase that in modern language, “There is neither Baptist nor Lutheran, Calvary Chapel nor Nazarene, Methodist nor Pentecostal, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” Denominations may differ in some regards, but our salvation comes through a saving relationship with Jesus alone. That is what makes us members of His church. The Roman Catholic Church is a man-made institution. It was organized by men and many of its doctrines and practices were made by men. The protestant denominations came out of Catholicism only to get back to what the original church was; the body of believers saved through Christ’s atonement; the priesthood of believers; deriving their authority from the Word of God. (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Ephesians 2:18; Romans 12:1; Revelation 1:6)

Myth #3. All the denominations argue about which one of them is right.

Fact: There is no arguing going on. No single denomination claims to be “The True Church” or “The True Denomination” or “The Only Way” through which a person can come to Jesus Christ. A favorite expression among Christians concerning denominations is; “In essentials unity; in non-essentials diversity; in all things charity.” All the Protestant denominations agree on the nature and character of God, who Jesus is, the means of salvation (grace alone by faith alone through Jesus alone), and the inerrancy of the Bible.

When I left Mormonism and began looking for a church to attend, I was surprised at how well the various churches in the area got along. I had been taught as a Latter-day Saint the myth of fighting denominations each trying to gain more members for themselves. I visited several churches of different denominations. Over the ensuing weeks several people I had met called me and said that they hoped I would start coming to their church, but wherever I decided to go their prayers would be with me. When I found a church that was not too much of a culture shock coming out of the Mormon Church, my pastor often said over the pulpit to visitors that he hoped they would make Shadow Hills Baptist Church their home church, however, there were many other good churches in the area that taught sound biblical doctrine. My pastor met monthly with pastors and ministers from several denominations for lunch where they would discuss important issues, pray together, and be supportive of one another. This is not to say that individual fellowships do not have their share of disagreements on occasion, but the over all attitude among the denominations is one of love.

Myth #4. The Bible is missing a bunch of books and is not translated correctly.

The Old Testament we have now is the same one the Jews had in Jesus’ day. Jesus authenticated the Old Testament by quoting from every part of it. There are books mentioned by Old Testament writers, such as the Book of Jasher and the Books of the Wars of the Lord, but that does not mean they were inspired. Jesus did not quote from any of these so-called missing books. The apostle Paul quoted from Greek poets, yet their writings or complete works are not found in the New Testament. From an LDS perspective the Book of Mormon is missing “the sealed portion” and Brigham Young claimed to have seen wagon loads of metal plates and other writings beneath the Hill Cumorah. Does this mean books are missing from the BoM and therefore make it unreliable? A Mormon would say, “No, of course not.” So why set a double standard for the Bible?

The God Who had the power to call forth the universe into existence is certainly powerful enough to preserve His holy word! Hebrew children were immersed in scripture from a young age. In school, the rabbi would place a bit of honey on the child’s tongue before having him memorize scripture so the child would begin to see God’s word is sweet and precious. Scribes committed their whole lives to carefully preserving the word of God. They would painstakingly copy letter for letter and if anything were amiss they would destroy the page and start all over. Everey time they came to God’s name they would get new ink to write it with—that is how much they revered the word of God. There was no such thing as a careless scribe as LDS leaders want you to think.

The Dead Sea scrolls refute the idea that things were taken out and/or added to the Old Testament. For example, the book of Isaiah found in the Dead Sea scrolls was one thousand years older than any manuscript in existence at the time. With only a few variations in spelling, it was correctly transcribed word for word! There are over 5,000 manuscripts in existence today containing all or part of the New Testament. The earliest fragments have been dated to 100-150 A.D.. The manuscripts in other languages combined with the Greek bring the total manuscripts in existence to over a stunning 24,000 in number! The mountain of evidence for the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible is overwhelming. A good book for in-depth information on this topic is The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell.

Myth #5. The Council of Nicea is where a bunch of relgious leaders were locked in a room and told they could not come out until they agreed on their ideas about God. They also voted on which books to include in the Bible.

Fact: This myth is utter nonsense. “The facts of history demonstrate, however, that the New Testament was not formed hastily, nor was it formed by the councils. It was the product of centuries of development, and its official ratification came in response to the practical needs of the churches.”

Developments that forced the Church to Establish a Canon: 1) Need for a Scripture to spell out the message of the Apostles, 2) Need to decide on what should be read in the churches, 3) Need for a true canon to answer heretical ones, 4) Need to establish authoritative truth to answer error, 5) Need to decide which of the many books claiming to be canonical were false, 6) Need to decide which books to die for when possession resulted in martyrdom (Vos, H. F., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1996. Exploring church history.)

Archaeological evidence now proves that the New Testament books were written by the end of the first century. These books were already circulating among the churches to be read in worship services. Within a short period of time, however, heresies began to creep into the church. Writings started to pop up that were claimed to be authored by some of the apostles (such as the book of Thomas) and other writings were introduced into variuous churches as new revelations. To protect the church (the ekklesia; Christians), a standard had to be set to keep the Scriptures pure. Writings thaat could be proven authentic of the apostles and those close to them were kept. Writings that did not have a basis in truth or had no evidence for their origin as apostolic writings were rejected.

As for the creeds, they formalized what the Bible already revealed about God. The LDS Church puts forth its Thirteen Articles of Faith as a statement of what Mormons believe. The Nicene Creed, Apostolic Creed, and other confessions do the same thing. The creeds are nothing more than statements of faith so Christians everywhere could readily share their beliefs with others.

JUST as the New Testament canon developed in response to a need in the church, so did the creeds. In the days before the canon was formulated and when there were few copies of any of the New Testament books in circulation, believers required some standard to keep them in the path of truth. Moreover, they needed a standard by which to test heretical opinions. So very early, possibly near the end of the first century or beginning of the second, a rule of faith came into existence.

Assuming different forms in different churches, it generally taught that Christ, the Son of God, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and died, was buried, rose again, and ascended into Heaven—for the remission of sins. This rule of faith, which has come to be called the Apostles’ Creed, reached its present form about 750. In the early church, candidates for baptism often were asked if they assented to the various clauses of this standard of faith. (Vos, H. F., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1996. Exploring church history, electronic version)

It was creeds such as this—the Apostles’ Creed, which clearly laid out Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—that Joseph Smith said were abominations.

http://www.equippingchristians.com/DispellingMythsAboutChristianity.htm

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mormonismexplained.com

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Reviewed by Patti (Batavia, NY), May 19, 2008

This is a very informative book about what the Latter Day Saints teach and practice. Jackson has certainly done his homework, which is evident as he spells out clearly what Mormon’s believe and why they believe the way they do. While it is full of information, the author has a very easy-to-read style. Mormonism Explained is one of the most thorough books on Mormonism I ever read. It covers their history, beliefs, theology, and their diversity in beliefs. This book clears up some confusion I had about what Mormons really believe. I want to note that Jackson does not put down Mormonism as he explains their beliefs, not as a critic but as a teacher. It is a good book for those who want more insight into this religion.

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QUOTES FROM THE BOOK

1. “As a result, within Mormonism the Bible is functionally subordinate and subject to clarification and revision by the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price” (13).

2. “Early Mormonism reflected many of the common Christian trends of the times: having an authoritarian prophetic leader and being noncreedal, staunchly Arminian, fervently restorationist, evangelistically driven, end-time-focused, and characterized by isolated communal living” (18-19).

3. “Although, many Mormons take pride in rejecting historical Christian creeds, they have creeds themselves” (190f7).

4. “Although LDS authorities have often denied Joseph Smith’s treasure-hunting, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct and treasure-hunting through the use of divination on March 20, 1826 in Bainbridge, New York” (25).

5. “Mormons believe that April 6 is the birthday of Jesus Christ himself and thus connect the incarnation of Jesus Christ with the birth of the first Mormon church” (29).

6. “It is important to understand that early Mormons were not simply interested in building churches and temples within cities; their vision was to become a church that consisted of a large network of Mormon cities, with the city of Zion as their capital. Mormons wanted whole cities, not simply a portion of them. It is no surprise that the Mormon vision of building and dominating cities created significant tension wherever they settled among non-Mormon citizens” (39).

7. “Mormons believe that American Indians are the direct ancestors of the Book of Mormon’s Lamanite people and thus are also direct descendants of Israelites” (191f26).

8. “Numerous Ohio revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants are the direct result of Smith’s revision of the Bible” (40).

9. “Attempting to get a new start, reestablish authority, and obtain badly needed finances, Joseph Smith changed the name of the Mormon Church to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 26, 1838, attributing the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1-10 to himself instead of Jesus Christ” (46).

10. “Although Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith, they do acclaim his status of preexistent greatness and latter-day calling to a level of superiority that is unprecedented in the history of Christianity” (189f1).

11. “Joseph Smith’s death lead to a bitter succession crisis not unlike what had occurred following the death of Muhammad” (50).

12. “Immediately following the appointment of the new Mormon successor, there was a major split between Brigham Young and Joseph Smith’s wife Emma. In fact, it seems rather revealing that Young never even visited Emma after Joseph’s death” (51).

13. “The LDS President and Prophet is the single authorized mediator between God and Mormon leaders and members” (78).

14. “Because not a single person, place, or event unique to the Book of Mormon has been proved to have existed, Mormons emphasize that a subjective heart experience—what they call a burning in the bosom—proves the authenticity and truth of the Book of Mormon” (86-87).

15. “In fact, the worldview constructed and promoted by Mormonism mirrors several aspects of ancient paganism, Egyptian and Greek mythology, Hinduism, and New Age, and is foreign and destructive to a biblical Judeo-Christian worldview” (94).

16. “According to Mormonism . . . The human mind or spirit has no beginning and will have no end” (96)

17. “Although Mormonism does not like the word polytheism because it is too closely reflects a pagan worldview, there is not doubt that Latter-day Saints believe in the eternal reality of a plurality of gods” (97).

18. “In fact, the LDS Church describes the Godhead—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—more as the supreme heavenly presidency of three gods than as the historically and universally accepted Christian doctrine of the eternal triune nature of one God” (113).

19. “Although in my view Mormons are somewhat contradictory in their own writings, Dr. Craig Blomberg told me that many informed Mormons would unequivocally say that their understanding of deification means that one day we will share perfectly God’s communicable attributes only. They do not claim we will ever be omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. They stress that we will always be dependent on and contingent on God. We will never become beings that anyone else worships. All worship for all eternity will be reserved for God, through Christ, in the power of the Holy Ghost. We must ask, then, why spirit-children of the Father worship Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who are themselves other spirit-children who progressed into gods. If it occurs today, why wouldn’t it logically occur in the future? (200-201f52).
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An Interview with Dr. Andrew Jackson, author of “Mormonism Explained”

The Christian Manifesto recently had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jackson about his upcoming book.

First of all, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview with us, Dr. Jackson. I know I said I would call a little later, but class got out earlier than expected. Is this a good time?

It’s no problem. Really. Actually, this is a great time.

I guess we’ll dive right into our questions here, then.

Fire away.

Your new book is titled, Mormonism Explained: What Latter-Day Saints Teach and Practice. Why this subject and why now?

Well, I am one of the pastors at an Evangelical nondenominational church in Mesa, Arizona, a city that was originally founded by the Mormons. One block down from our church is the Arizona [Mormon] Temple. The area still has a very strong Mormon culture; it is very much a part of our social fabric here.

Because of that, it has led me to teach quite a few seminars in the surrounding area called “Mormonism Explained.” Many Christians have no idea what Mormons teach or believe and the seminars were a way of communicating that and fielding questions and reconciling misconceptions. Eventually, Crossway [Books] approached me about adapting the seminar into book form.

The timing also seems correct right now because of Mitt Romney’s bid for president. It has put Mormonism front-and-center for a lot of people and there is a lot of confusion as to what they believe.

That’s really interesting. How did you go about researching for Mormonism Explained?
(Laughs)

It was a challenge really. Once you get into the question of “What is Mormon orthodoxy?” and “Who can explain Mormon orthodoxy in a systematic way?” is very difficult to find. I found that Mormon missionaries tended to be some of the worst sources for finding out about Mormon beliefs. The same went for Mormon bishops. I ended up contacting and working with Dr. Steven Robinson, Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University as one of my scholarly sources. One of the problems he cited with many missionaries and bishops is that they have no theological training in Mormonism itself. A lot of them, especially the bishops, don’t actually work for the church. They have full-time work outside the church. Accordingly, when you question them about Mormon orthodoxy, you’re not likely to get a very good answer.

So, I ended up leaning on Steven Robinson, Robert Millet, a few of the new Mormon scholars who have been interacting with evangelicals as of late, and the writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young for source material. I found that there are really two streams of Mormonism, which I explain a little in my book.

What are some of the distinctive features of Mormonism? Are Mormons Christians or do they diverge from Christian orthodoxy?

Of course, Mormonism arose in New York because that’s where Joseph Smith was from. But, it also arose during a time of the revival and restoration movements that were sweeping across the US. In that respect, Mormonism definitely emerged out of a Christian culture. However, Joseph Smith really did create his own thing, excluding himself very early on from accepted Christian orthodoxy.
According to Mormon teaching, Smith received his first vision at the age of fourteen—all of Mormonism is based on this visitation. Mormonism is also regarded as an exclusive movement outside of historical Christianity. This is partially due to the fact Smith believed there was a strong apostasy movement that started as early as the time of the writing of the New Testament documents. Thus, in Smith’s view, even the church that arose out of this time emerged apostate. Mormons believe that Smith was told in his vision to restore the church and now, at their core Mormons believe they are the true and only church on earth.

So, it’s almost like the Catholic teaching that they are the only church that holds the fullness of the Gospel?

I would say that it goes even deeper than that. They believe they’re the only church on earth. Everyone else is apostate.

Do you feel your work is more of an academic endeavor (i.e. more of a textbook) or that the average Christian ought to sit and read your book?

I wrote in a way that the average Christian can read it, but it is heavily footnoted. So, while it’s accessible, if you want to go deeper and check out some of the resources, you have that option, too.
So, what is it you hope people will get out of Mormonism Explained? Who is it written for?

My main purpose is really [to be] educational. A lot of Christians don’t know what Mormons systematically teach. So, I’m really hoping to present something that will introduce them to what Mormons believe. Mormonism Explained isn’t as apologetic as many Christian books about Mormonism. This is more of an explanation of belief than anything else. To often little pieces are presented here or there. I’m trying to present a more comprehensive introduction to the topic.

Though, at various points throughout the book I contrast the teachings of Mormonism with Christian orthodoxy. So, while the primary audience will likely be Christians, I’m hoping that a Mormon or nonbeliever can pick it up and learn something.

You’re hoping Mormons will pick your book up, too?

Yes. I have relationships with a number of Mormons and I hope they read it.

So, a Mormon picks up a copy of Mormonism Explained. Do you think they view it more like a Christian views Dawkins’ The God Delusion, or do they think you handled their beliefs with integrity, whether they agree with your final conclusions or not?

That was actually a concern I had from the beginning. When I first started to write about this subject I contacted an organization called F.A.I.R., a Mormon apologetic organization, and got about 20 or so people from that network to dialogue with me about the topic. That helped to keep things balanced.

So, I think a Mormon reading my book will find it to be very fair and very well-documented. I tried not to follow too many rabbit holes looking for obscure quotes and references to discredit Mormonism. I just tried to show it as it is.

One last question. And we have to ask it. Mitt Romney is running for US President and is open about the fact he is a Mormon. Many Americans have expressed fears about having a Mormon in the White House? Would having a Mormon in the White House, in your opinion, be any different than having a Catholic or a Baptist?

I do believe there is a distinction, between someone running [for president] as a person with Orthodox Christian beliefs and someone running as a Mormon, not that I would fear it. A concern would be that it would give an obvious platform to the Mormon Church. In actuality, it already has. They wouldn’t necessarily control a Mormon president, but the LDS Church would definitely use a Mormon president [to their advantage]. It would help enhance the reality of the Mormon Church in the eyes of the American populace.

Thanks so much for your time, Dr. Jackson. We look forward to reading your book when it releases in March.

No problem. It was great talking with you, too.

http://thechristianmanifesto.wordpress.com/2007/12/07/an-interview-with-dr-andrew-jackson-author-of-mormonism-explained/ 

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ANSWERING MORMON OBJECTIONS TO CHRISTIANITY

There are too many versions of the Bible

The number of Bible versions does not negate the efficacy of God’s word. The purpose of the various versions is to make the original text more readable and increase the reader’s understanding of scripture. This is no different than the Mormon Church publishing the children’s “Book of Mormon Reader” in addition to the standard Book of Mormon.

My grandparents’ native language was Czech. As I was growing up I wanted very much to learn the language and frequently asked them what they were saying. Sometimes they paraphrased in English what they had said and other times they told me word for word. Since some Czech words do not have an English equivalent, my grandparents would have to find the best way to explain what they were saying. ICzech grammar also varies from the English. The literal word for word translation of “I love you” from Czech to English would be “I you love.”

The same principle holds true for translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English. Because of differences in grammar, style, and language, etymology becomes challenging. Nevertheless, there are several ways to convey meaning without diminishing the original message. Whether I say “I am extremely hungry” or “I am famished” it means the same thing. Here are some examples:

John 3:16

King James: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

New American Standard Bible: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

New International Version: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

There are different versions suited for a variety of purposes. For personal, devotional reading, one would use a “paraphrase” translation (thought-for-thought), such as the Living Bible. For in-depth study one would use a word-for-word translation, like the Amplified Bible or the New American Standard Bible. For those who enjoy the beauty and majesty of Old English, the King James Version is a good choice. A very good article on the history of the English Bible can be found here.

Are there problems with the new translations? There are good translations and bad ones, however, this does not mean there is only One True Translation.

…we must be very careful to make intelligent and informed decisions about what translations of the Bible we choose to read. On the liberal extreme, we have people who would give us heretical new translations that attempt to change God’s Word to make it politically correct. One example of this, which has made headlines recently, is the Today’s New International Version (T.N.I.V.) which seeks to remove all gender-specific references in the Bible whenever possible! Not all new translations are good… and some are very bad.

But equally dangerous, is the other extreme… of blindly rejecting ANY English translation that was produced in the four centuries that have come after the 1611 King James. We must remember that the main purpose of the Protestant Reformation was to get the Bible out of the chains of being trapped in an ancient language that few could understand, and into the modern, spoken, conversational language of the present day. William Tyndale fought and died for the right to print the Bible in the common, spoken, modern English tongue of his day… as he boldly told one official who criticized his efforts, “If God spare my life, I will see to it that the boy who drives the plowshare knows more of the scripture than you, Sir!”

Will we now go backwards, and seek to imprison God’s Word once again exclusively in ancient translations? Clearly it is not God’s will that we over-react to SOME of the bad modern translations, by rejecting ALL new translations and “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” (John L. Jeffcoat, http://www.greatsite.com)

Keep in mind that the forty-seven scholars who translated for the King James Bible were working with fewer manuscripts than we have available today. The KJV is certainly an accurate and reliable translation of the Bible, but it is not the only one! There are several excellent English translations of the Bible. Regardless of which translation a person uses, for study and understanding it is wise to keep a concordance handy, as well as an “interlinear Bible,”

an edition in which each line of the original biblical text (OT Hebrew or NT Greek) is followed by a line containing a literal English equivalent directly underneath each Hebrew or Greek word; since the word order of the ancient languages is very different from any modern languages, the English equivalents seem very strange, chopped up, and out of order; thus a smooth English translation is usually also provided in the margins (Web definition, retrieved from Google).

The Dead Sea Scrolls contained a complete copy of Isaiah, dated one thousand years older than the earliest manuscript of the day (1947) and was found to be almost word for word the same; the few variations in the text did not change the meaning of any passage. The New Testament is even more astounding because we have over 5,000 Greek manuscripts to work with!

A few existing fragments date back to within 25-50 years of the original writing. New Testament textual scholars have generally concluded that 1) 99.99 percent of the original writings have been reclaimed, and 2) of the remaining one hundredth of one percent, there are no variants substantially affecting any Christian doctrine. With this wealth of biblical manuscripts in the original languages and with the disciplined activity of textual critics to establish with almost perfect accuracy the content of the autographs, any errors which have been introduced and/or perpetuated by the thousands of translations over the centuries can be identified and corrected by comparing the translation or copy with the reassembled original. By this providential means, God has made good His promise to preserve the Scriptures. We can rest assured that there are translations available today which are indeed worthy of the title, The Word of God. (John MacArthur, The John MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Inc. 2006, p. xxi)

Let me ask this; if, as Joseph Smith stated, “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1976 Deseret Book, p. 327) then why doesn’t the First Presidency—with the wealth of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts available today—make an accurate translation of the Bible for the use of the Latter-day Saints, or indeed, for the world? The Joseph Smith Translation (copyright held by the Reorganized LDS Church; now known as Community of Christ) is not really a translation at all by definition. Smith did not have any manuscripts at his disposal; rather, he read from the King James Bible, dictating changes to his scribe. So, with all the ancient manuscripts available, thanks to archaeological discoveries, why does the LDS Church not “fix” the alleged errors and come out with its corrected edition of the Bible? Could it be because we already have an accurate and reliable Bible?

Allow me to pose another question; why is it that the LDS Church casts doubt on the reliability of the Bible despite all the historical, archaeological, and textual evidence supporting its accuracy, yet wholeheartedly accept the authenticity of The Book of Mormon with NO manuscript, archaeological, or historical evidence at all?

There are too many denominations

Yes, there are many denominations of Christianity, but that is no different from the many denominations of Mormonism. There have been many splinter groups off Mormonism since its inception; in fact, the LDS Church split into several branches after Joseph Smith’s death. It is doubtful that Mormons would consider this proof that Mormonism is not true, so why the double standard? Why would many Christian denominations be one “proof” that Christianity is not true?

The mainstream Christian denominations differ more in style and ritual than in doctrine. Furthermore, each denomination is not claiming to be the “only true denomination,” as individual LDS denominations assert. I have personally visited dozens of Christian churches from California to Washington, D.C. and never witnessed any “fighting” or contention over denominational issues. The statements of faith for each of the major denominations all agree on the essentials; Who God is, Who Jesus is, the Trinity, and salvation. In Las Vegas, NV and other cities across the country, pastors of various denominations meet on a monthly basis to pray for one another, encourage each other, and discuss issues facing the church corporately. The “church” (the “body of Christ”) consists of those who have received Jesus of the Bible as personal Lord and Savior, regardless of the denomination they attend for worship services.

There are too many arguments over doctrine

There are no more arguments over doctrinal issues in Christianity than there are in the Mormon Church among its members! Is caffeine soda against the Word of Wisdom or is it all right to drink Dr. Pepper? What constitutes Sabbath-breaking; going on a family picnic on Sunday or watching a football game? Or should there be absolutely no TV or outdoor activities? Can a person be temple-worthy if they watch R-rated movies? What if it’s only rated R for violence and not nudity? Is it a sin to turn down a calling? Some say yes, others say no. I’ve heard arguments among LDS over personal revelation versus revelation given to Church leaders; which should be given greater weight? Should a person do what the Bishop or Stake president tells you or what the spirit tells you? I know someone who was excommunicated over his view on that issue! Which doctrines should be followed and/or believed; those given by deceased LDS prophets or those given by living leaders that contradicts past doctrines and teachings? The strongest arguments are between the mainline LDS Church and the Fundamentalist LDS Church; for example, which one is practicing authentic Mormonism? Those who live as conventional Mormons or those who practice Mormonism “Joseph Smith / Brigham Young style?”

Whenever people with strongly held beliefs get together there are going to be disagreements, regardless of what denomination they belong to. Among mainline Protestant denominations the disagreements do not affect soteriology (salvation). The point isn’t if there is a right or wrong answer for each of the above questions among LDS; the point is that arguments do exist among Mormons, so why is there a double standard? Why are doctrinal arguments among Christians considered “proof” that Christianity has been corrupted, but doctrinal arguments among Mormons is not “proof” that Mormonism has become corrupted?

There is no priesthood authority among Christians

There is no need for centralized or controlled priesthood authority. In Old Testament times, priests acted as intercessors between Israel and God. They offered sacrifices on behalf of themselves and the people. Only the Levites could hold the priesthood and officiate for Israel. In addition, there was only one High Priest at a time that was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies inside the temple to make offerings. The blood sacrifice made on the altar was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ, who was the True Lamb sacrificed as a propitiation for our sins. Once His blood was shed, there was no longer a need for priests because Jesus Himself became our High Priest!

Hebrews 7:23-28 tells us that Jesus is the only and final “high priest” we need!

23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing,

24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.

25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;

27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (NASB)

Old Testament Cities of Refuge provides a perfect illustration of Jesus being the final high priest. There were six “cities of refuge” appointed by God for Israel (Numbers 35:1-34). If a person accidentally killed someone (manslaughter) the victim’s family had a legal right to avenge the blood of their slain relative. The perpetrator could take his chances, so to speak, or flee to a City of Refuge for safety. If he could convince the high priest that he was innocent of murder—that the death he caused was unintentional—he could remain in that city under protection from the “avenger of blood” until the death of the high priest.

Jesus is a “type” of a city of refuge. Because of Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden, we inherit a sin nature, which, in combination with our personal sins, qualifies us for physical and spiritual death. In a very real sense each of us is guilty of manslaughter because our sins put Jesus on the cross! God’s wrath can “legally” be poured out on us, however, we have recourse; fleeing to Jesus Christ, Who is our “city of refuge.” Since Jesus is the high priest Who never dies, we have asylum in Him forever!

Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross, made the final atonement for sin, thus ending the need for the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament. At the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, this veil was 40 cubits high (about 60 feet) and four inches thick! The significance of this event is monumental. The veil separated the Holy of Holies (where God dwelt) from the rest of the temple. Only once a year was the high priest permitted to enter to make atonement for Israel’s sins. The high priest then, acted as intercessor between God and man. When Jesus gave His life as the perfect Sacrifice, the veil between God and man was torn and individuals could now come “boldly before the throne of God.”

Peter speaks of the priesthood of believers, which, by implication, includes women and children.

You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Peter 2:5-9).

Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the priesthood is a power or force through which healings, blessings, prophecies, or miracles are performed. These things are done in the power of Jesus’ name, not by a special ability or right bestowed on an individual by “one holding proper authority.” Those who belong to Christ become “priests” in the sense that they offer themselves as “living sacrifices.” Two excellent articles on the priesthood of believers can be found here (gotquestions.org) and here (hismin.com)

It’s all about money

There are literally thousands of pastors throughout the United States and tens of thousands or more throughout the world. Very few of them are “in it for the money.” Countless pastors and ministers labor 24/7 at minimal pay, if any pay at all. They are leading, teaching, visiting the sick in hospitals or nursing homes, preparing in-depth sermons based on examination of Scripture, praying over their congregations, and spending time in community service. Many ministers have side jobs in addition to pastoring in order to provide for their families. They sacrifice long, exhausting hours at the expense of their own comfort to carry on the work of God. Therefore, is it wrong that they should receive compensation for their time and effort?

1 Timothy 5:17-18: The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

1 Corinthians 9:14: In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

Numbers 18:21-24: To the Levites, however, I hereby assign all tithes in Israel as their heritage in recompense for the service they perform in the meeting tent. The Israelites may no longer approach the meeting tent; else they will incur guilt deserving death. Only the Levites are to perform the service of the meeting tent, and they alone shall be held responsible; this is a perpetual ordinance for all your generations. The Levites, therefore, shall not have any heritage among the Israelites, for I have assigned to them as their heritage the tithes which the Israelites give as a contribution to the LORD. That is why I have ordered that they are not to have any heritage among the Israelites…(v. 31) Your families, as well as you, may eat them anywhere, since they are your recompense for service at the meeting tent.

LDS members are not the only ones who serve without pay! Most Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, Bible study leaders, ushers, and a host of others in Christian ministry serve by volunteering their time and talent without compensation. The Mormon Church may brag about its “unpaid ministry,” but it is only the “rank and file members” who are not paid. LDS Institute teachers and directors get salaries. The General Authorities, LDS apostles, and the LDS Church president “receive a modest living allowance” (Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2. [Macmillan, 1992], 508 and 510). Note that the Mormon prophet lives in a multi-million dollar home provided by the Church;

The $1.2 million condominium at 40 N. State that is home to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be exempt from property taxes, Salt Lake County commissioners ruled Tuesday. (Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 8, 1988) Editor’s note: The property has substantially increased in value since 1988!

The Mormon Church employs public relations people, lawyers, secretaries, body guards…and by the way, why does the Mormon prophet need a body guard? Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, and a host of other prophets of the Bible did not need body guards–God protected them until their time was up…but I digress.

Are there abuses by some so-called Christian ministries? Are there some “Televangelists” getting rich? Sadly, yes. We usually hear about the few that take money shamelessly or prey on the gullible. We rarely hear about the countless Christian pastors and ministers of the gospel who selflessly and tirelessly serve their congregations and their communities. They don’t make the headlines, but they exist in great numbers!

Why do LDS find it objectionable for Christian leaders to be compensated for full-time ministry, yet they don’t seem to have a problem with their own leaders receiving pay? Again, why a double standard?

In Conclusion

Mormons have been taught that there must be a single church that has central authority and power. The Bible does not teach this. Being a member of Christ’s true church is a matter of being “called out” from the world as individuals. Jesus becomes the head of the believer and all power and authority is given by Him directly. Remember, “Religion” is man’s attempt to reconcile himself to God. True salvation is God reconciling man through Jesus Christ alone.

http://www.equippingchristians.com/ObjectionstoChristianity.htm

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A Few Troublesome Questions
by Kathleen Baldwin

Have you ever had a niggling question? One that plagues you for years. As a Mormon I had a few. When I became a Christian those questions and inconsistencies went away. However, I’d like to share some of them with you because they are still relevant questions for anyone still in the LDS Church.

1. If God was once a man like us, lived righteously, married, died and became a God, who was His God? Who was God before Him? Who was the very first God? Where did He come from? And how come He didn’t have to be a man first?

2. Why are children sealed to their parents? If they do things right, and make it to the Celestial Kingdom, aren’t they going to go off and be Gods someplace else? Is it just so that parents and children can visit each other? If so, can’t they visit each other without being sealed? After all, they’ll all be Gods, right? or can’t God do that–visit His children?

3. Speaking of fathers and children, why won’t God, the Father, visit His children in the Terrestrial Kingdom? Doesn’t He love them? These are supposedly the millions of devoted church goers, Christians and Mormons, who lived good lives but didn’t quite cut the mustard. Don’t they count? Sure, it’s a nice place, but why won’t He visit?

4. If the temple and its ceremonies were revealed to Joseph Smith by God, why is it so different from the temple and its ceremonies as revealed to Solomon? Or the tabernacle and ceremonies as they were revealed to Moses? God gave very detailed instructions to Moses and Solomon. How come LDS temple layouts aren’t like those? Why are the ceremonies so different? How come the details aren’t similar? For instance, God commanded Moses to make the veil in Exodus five layers thick, woven of blue and purple and scarlet. The LDS temple veils are made of normal white cloth, available for purchase in almost any material store. Doesn’t the LDS Church teach that God revealed the temple as it had originally been established?

5. While we are on the subject of the veil, that thick veil tore in half when Jesus Christ completed His sacrifice. God opened the Holy of Holies. He exposed it to mankind. We were given access to the throne of God, the mercy seat. Why did Joseph Smith hang up a new barrier (veil) between God and man?

6. Now that the government is so liberal, gays are being married, etc., shouldn’t the LDS Church be trying to legalize polygamy? They teach that it is part of the “new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage.” Shouldn’t they be pushing for the right to exercise their religious freedom? Or would that be a politically incorrect move? Why would they care about social acceptance if it meant compromising their beliefs?

Questions are good things. They make people think. Try asking your friend some ‘to the point’ questions. Maybe when he or she goes searching for the answers she’ll find the truth.

I constantly thank God for answering my questions with the true Gospel–the good news. God is truth, and His ways are never convoluted. May He bless you and your LDS friends with the peace that comes from only Him.

http://www.answeringlds.org/index.html?insTroubleQuestions.html

 

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Dr. Ironside Meets With Two Mormon Missionaries
(Originally published in 1932)

What Is the Gospel?
by Dr. H. A. Ironside

A Mormon gentleman introduced himself as a “minister of the gospel, doing missionary work among the mountain towns” of California, and stated that he would be pleased to put before me some of “the principles of the gospel.” Intimating that I myself was also seeking to give forth God’s good news to poor sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), he was told that if such was indeed his object, I would be glad to converse with him; so asked him to be seated.

The Mormon Gospel Stated

“And now, sir,” he was asked, “would you kindly favor us” (a number were present) “with a short statement of what the gospel really is?”

“Certainly,” he replied. “The gospel consists of four first principles. The first is repentance; the second, faith; the third, baptism for the remission of sins by one duly qualified; while the forth is the laying on of the hands of a man having authority, for the reception of the Holy Ghost.”

“Well, and supposing one has gone through all this, is he then saved?”

“Oh, of course, no one can know that, in this life. If one goes onto the end, he will be exalted in the kingdom.” Thereupon he proceeded to open a little Testament, with which, however, he was but slightly familiar, and pointed us to proof texts showing conclusively that the Lord and the apostles preached repentance and faith, as also that Peter spoke of “baptism for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; let the reader carefully note the verse and its context), and that in at least two instances (Acts 8:14-17; 19:1-6) apostles laid their hands on people in order to their receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. An effort was also made to find a verse to prove that no one can know he is saved now; but in the face of Ephesians 2:4-8; 1 Peter. 1:9; 1 Corinthians. 1:8; 2 Corinthians 2:15; and 2 Timothy 1:9, this was an utter absurdity, though he pointed to Matthew 24:13, “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved;” in defense of his position.

As to this, one need only say that endurance certainly is a proof of reality. One who said he was saved, yet did not endure, would thereby prove the emptiness of his profession.

“I quite agree with you,” I said, “as to the fact that Scripture speaks of the four points you mention; but, possibly, you did not understand my query. I asked you for a statement of the gospel. If these so-called ‘four principles’ be indeed the gospel, then you have a gospel without Christ; in other words, a gospel with the Gospel omitted. And if you are correct, then surely the apostle Paul, at least, labored under a most serious delusion, for he gives us a clear statement of his Gospel, and actually says nothing of either one or other of the various points upon which you have dwelt. No doubt you will recollect the passage?” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

He did not, however. He was not aware of any such direct statement on the subject. In fact, it was soon evident that, with the exception of a few verses on his favorite themes, his Bible was practically a sealed book. He turned, however, at my direction, to the fifteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians, to which I would invite the reader’s careful attention.

Paul’s Statement of the Real Gospel

Commencing at the first verse of this precious and wondrous portion of Scripture, we read: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, with also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (see Isaiah 53:5-6) “and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

“Now,” I said, turning to the Mormon, “we have here a statement of the Gospel — the Gospel which Paul preached; and it is dangerous to preach any other, as we find from Galatians 1:8-9 that the person who does so, even though it be an angel from heaven, is under a curse, or devoted to judgment. I understand that you teach that your gospel was revealed to Joseph Smith by an angel. If true, that would prove nothing, if it be found, upon examination, to be other than that proclaimed by the apostle to the Gentiles. His gospel had been received by the Corinthians; in it they stood; by it they were saved, if real believers. It was not, you will notice, a careful obedience to certain ordinances or a walking according to certain rules, such as you mentioned a few minutes ago, that would insure their salvation, however blessed such might be, if properly understood; but it was keeping in memory this gospel.

Two Gospels Contrasted

“I noticed, then, to begin with, that the Biblical Gospel is concerning a Person, and quite a different person the person you brought before us. Paul’s Gospel message is ‘concerning the Son of God,’ as Romans 1:3 tells us. Your gospel did not have a word about Jesus in all its four points. The subject of Paul’s gospel has not a word about anyone or anything except Christ. Perhaps we might say it also could be divided into four points, though more properly three; but even divided into four (to go as far with you as we can), what marked differences do we find!

Your four points are all concerning the poor sinner, and might be put this way:

1. The sinner repents;
2. The sinner has faith;
3. The sinner is baptized;
4. The sinner has hands laid on him.

“Now, in contrast to this, see how the true Gospel can be put:

1. Christ died;
2. Christ was buried;
3. Christ has been raised again;
4. Christ is the object for the hearts of His own.

“Surely the two gospels have nothing in common. You teach, I believe, that Christ died for Adam’s transgression, not for ours; but you maintain that while Adamic sin is met by the Cross, our sins as individuals must be washed away by baptism. Paul’s gospel tells us that He died for our sins; and if that be so, and ‘the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin,’ where does baptism in your sense apply? If all my sins are met by His precious blood, if they were borne ‘in His own body on the tree’ (1 Peter 2:24), how many are left to be cleansed by baptism? Assuredly none. But, alas, this is but one instance in which the false gospel of Mormonism is opposed to the precious Gospel of grace of God as revealed in the Bible.

“But I go on to the second point. Christ not only died, but ‘was buried’; yet it was written of Him, ‘Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption’ (Acts 2:27; Psalm 16:10). His burial declares the reality of His death, and surely speaks of His being forever through with the place He took on earth. It is the end of all the relationships in which He previously stood, and tells us He is dead to the law — having paid my penalty — and to sin — not his own, but mine — which He bore, and I am ‘buried with Him by baptism unto death’ (Romans 6:4); so that I am not left where Mormonism would leave me, as a poor, struggling soul on earth, striving to continue to the end in order to be saved, but I am accounted as one who, with Him, has been buried to it all: thus I am brought to the third point:

“Christ was raised from the dead, and I am raised with Him (Ephesians 2:6). His place is now mine as to acceptance with God. ‘He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification’ (Romans 4:25); His resurrection being God’s open declaration that the believer is cleared from all charge of sin, because our Substitute, Christ, is raised from the dead.

“And now the One who is alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18) is presented as an object for the hearts of His own. ‘He was seen’; and the same apostle exclaims, in another place, ‘We see Jesus!’ (Hebrews 2:9). Poor sinners are first led to see the utter impossibility of improving or rendering themselves more fit for God’s presence. The eye of faith is then directed to the One who died, in whom believing, they are justified from all things (Acts 13:38-39). Now they have also an object for the heart, even Christ in glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). How different this is from what you have presented! Here, we have Jesus first, Jesus last, and Jesus all the way; while you are cast entirely on yourself.”

Mormon Doctrine of Authority

“But now, another question. You spoke of men with authority to baptize and lay on hands. Where do you get that in Scripture?”

For an answer, he turned to Hebrews 5:4, and read, “And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”

“What ‘honor’ is here referred to?” I asked.

“The honor of the priesthood giving authority to baptize and confer the Holy Ghost.”

“No,” I answered, “the first verse (of Hebrews 5) contradicts this. It is not a question of the ‘priesthood’ at all. As all believers now are priests (1 Peter 2:5), there is not special priestly class in Christianity, as is clearly shown by referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, called of God, as noted in Hebrews 5:6. Nor is there a word (in Hebrews 5:1) about baptism or imposition of hands; but it is a question of ‘offering gifts and sacrifices for sins’ (cf., Hebrews 2:17), and then of succoring His people in this world of trial. To apply such a Scripture to human ministry is simply ‘handling the Word of God deceitfully’ (2 Corinthians 4:2), and deserves the severest censure.”

Such was, in substance, what I sought to put before the misguided young man; but, alas, so deceitful is the human heart, that man would rather be occupied with his repentance, his faith, or his anything, than with God’s Christ; and I found this preacher of “a different gospel, which is not another” (Galatians 1:6-7, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4), to be of the same class as thousands of others. The Scriptures brought before him had but little weight compared with “present-day revelation,” despite the word of Paul in Romans 15:19 that he was made a minister “to fully preach the Word of God;” so he went on his way, trusting to his fleshy religion and ignoring the “Gospel of God.”

Before dismissing the subject, I might remind the reader that neither faith or repentance is ever presented in Scripture as the ground of salvation. The Cross alone is that. Brought to it by the Spirit of God, the sinner will indeed repent. In its Biblical sense, repentance is self-judgment; the owning that one is lost and guilty, righteously deserving the wrath of a Holy God. Faith is trusting in Christ, whose finished work puts away sins forever. It is not simply crediting the statement that God exists, or that the historical Jesus was the Son of God. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

Christ, and Christ alone, is your only way of salvation. Discarding all else, turn, then, to Him alone. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

http://www.answeringlds.org/

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How Does the Mormon Church Really View other Churches?

© Spotlight Ministries, Vincent McCann, 2004
www.spotlightministries.org.uk

Many Mormons often give the initial impression that Christian churches are viewed with a certain level of favouritism by the Mormon faith. Zealous young Mormon missionaries, when encountering potential proselytites into the Church, will often side step what Mormonism really thinks of other churches by saying something like: “there is truth in all religions”. However, the truth is that Mormonism views other churches as false religions void of all authority. In fairness to individual Mormons, it must be said that some do not really realise the extent to which the Mormon Church disagrees with Christian denominations, or, at the very least, not really thought through the implications of what they do know. The quotes in this article are all from Mormon sources.

The first reference is very important as it is from the Book of Mormon itself:

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the Church of the Lamb of God [i.e.. the Mormon Church] and the other is the church of the devil [i.e.. the Christian Church]; wherefore whosoever 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.” (The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).
The following source is also very important as it is a key belief of the Mormon Church and is one of the first things that the Mormon missionaries will teach prospective converts. In the first vision, when Joseph Smith went out into the woods to pray to ask God which Christian denomination he should join, he explains that God allegedly commanded him:

“…I must join none of them [Christian Churches], for they were all wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).
The popular Mormon book A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, by LeGrand Richards contains many derogatory remarks against the churches and their beliefs. Some of these are found in chapter 4 headed: “False Doctrines and Universal Apostasy”. Excerpts from this chapter follow below:

“Erroneous Teachings of Christian Churches…One erroneous teaching of many Christian churches is: By faith alone we are saved. This false doctrine would relieve man of the responsibility of his acts…” (p. 24).

“Again, there is the erroneous doctrine of predestination…In his effort to destroy truth, Satan could hardly have hoped to deceive men more effectively and completely than to take from them, through the teaching of such doctrines, a consciousness of their own responsibilities.” (p. 25).

“There is a also the false teaching of one heaven and one hell…” (p. 25).
In chapter 2 of the same book, the God of the Christian Church is mocked under the heading “The Strange Gods of Christendom”. Page 13 likens the Christian God to the pagan ‘gods’ (plural!) that Moses and the Israelites met in the desert:

“These are but typical examples of the gods worshipped by Christian churches in the nineteenth century. Here are gods that Moses told the Israelites they would encounter as they scattered among the nations – gods “which neither see, not hear, not eat, or smell.” (p. 13).
Other similar quotes from Mormon sources follow below:

“…orthodox Christian views of God are Pagan rather than Christian.” (Mormon Doctrine of Deity by B.H. Roberts, p.116).

“…the God whom the ‘Christians’ worship is a being of their own creation…” (Apostle Charles W. Penrose, Journal of Discourses 23:243).

“The Christian world, so called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171).

“The Christian world, I discovered, was like the captain and crew of a vessel on the ocean without a compass, and tossed to and fro whithersoever the wind listed to blow them. When the light came to me, I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:73).

“What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute best.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.177).

“…brother Joseph B. Nobles once told a Methodist priest, after hearing him describe his god, that the god they worshiped was the “Mormon’s” Devil-a being without a body, whereas our God has a body, parts and passions.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:331).

“The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church, is the great corrupt, ecclesiastical power, represented by great Babylon….” (Orson Pratt, Orson Pratt, Writings of an Apostle, “Divine Authenticity,” no.6, p.84).

“…all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels.” (The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith Jr., editor, vol.1, no.4, p.60).

“…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands will highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt people.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255).

“Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the “whore of Babylon” whom the lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornication’s and wickedness.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p.255).

“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 then kicked on to the earth.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176).
The Only True Church?


The next few quotes demonstrate how the Mormon Church sees itself as the “only true Church”, with membership being essential to salvation. By implication, in the eyes of Mormonism, all other churches must therefore be false:

“We must come unto Christ by being baptized into his Church. Only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can we find all the truths that will help us return to our Father in Heaven. Only in the true Church of Christ can we find the authority to perform the necessary gospel ordinances.” (The Restoration: Study Guide, p. 5).

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foudation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth…” (Doctrines and Covenants 1:30)

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

“The Lord provided that salvation should come through his gospel, functioning through his church…But is there such a church?…Is there such a church upon the earth? Until 1830 there was not. It had been lost through the falling away we have described in this pamphlet. In 1830 the Almighty restored his church to earth again.” (Which Church is Right?, p. 17).

“This is the only true church …This is not a church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. There are churches of men all over the land and they have great cathedrals, synagogues, and other houses of worship running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. They are churches of men. They teach the doctrines of men, combined with the philosophies and ethics and other ideas and ideals that men have partly developed and partly found in sacred places and interpreted for themselves” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.421)

 
Attack on the Bible

 
Another way that the Mormon Churchs seeks to undermine the beliefs of Christianity is to attempt to take away its authority by spreading doubt about the Bible, the source of doctrine for the Church:

“The Bible of the Old World has come to us from the manuscripts of antiquity – manuscripts which passed through the hands of uninspired men who changed many parts to suit their own doctrinal ideas. Deletions were common, and, as it now stands, many plain and precious portions and many covenants of the Lord have been lost. As a consequence, those who rely upon it alone stumble and are confused…” (Bruce R. McConkie, “Come: Hear the Voice of the Lord,” The Ensign, December 1985, p 55).

“What shall we say then, concerning the Bible’s being a sufficient guide? Can we rely upon it in its present known corrupted state, as being a faithful record of God’s word? We all know that but a few of the inspired writings have descended to our times,… What few have come down to our day have been mutilated, changed, and corrupted, in such a shameful manner that no two manuscripts agree….Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, in his right mind, could, for one moment , suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 47).

“The Church [the LDS Church] reveres and respects the Bible, but recognises that it is not a complete nor entirely accurate record…” (Holy Bible, King James Version. Located at the back of the LDS KJV of the Bible, p. 624).

“the various versions of the Bible do not accurately record or perfectly preserve the words, thoughts, and interests of the original inspired authors.” (B.R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p.383.).

“The gathering together of the few scattered manuscripts which compose what is now termed the Bible, was the work of uninspired man…Among the vast number of professedly inspired manuscripts, scattered through the world, man, poor, weak, ignorant man, assumed the authority to select a few, which, according to his frail judgment, he believed or conjectured were of God, but the balance not agreeing, perhaps, with his peculiar notions of divine inspiration, were rejected as spurious. The few, selected from the abundance, were finally arranged into one volume, divided into chapter and verse, and named the Bible.” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 3).

“Through the Prophet Joseph Smith,…we learn that the Bible does not contain all that God revealed anciently, nor did it arrive in our day without inaccuracies.” (Kent P. Jackson, Ensign, 2/95, p. 63).

“…the Book of Mormon remains secure, unchanged and unchangeable, …But with the Bible it was not and is not so….it was once in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an abominable organization, founded by the devil himself, likened prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion. In these hands it ceased to be the book it once was.” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Joseph Smith Translation, pp. 12, 13).

http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk/morm&churches.htm

 

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DEBATE Van Hale and Dr. Walter martin. Two defenders, debating the question. Is Mormonism Christianity? These videos and about 10 others are on the H2bac.info Mormon video vodpod at http://h2bacinfomormonvideo.vodpod.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If all Mormons are Christians, then all Christians are Mormon

Mormons claim to be Christian yet deny the essentials of Christianity; namely, that there is one God, that forgiveness of sins is by grace alone, that there is a trinity, that Jesus is God, etc.

 
Mormonism teaches that there are many many gods but that Mormons should serve and worship only one of them, the one of this world. It teaches that forgiveness of sins is not by grace alone. It denies the Trinity doctrine which says there is one God in three persons and instead says that there are three separate gods. It does not proclaim that Jesus is God, but that Jesus is “a” god…. etc. Additionally, Mormons have secret temple rituals, even though the rituals have been done away with with the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.

 
Now, Mormons deny these basic Christian doctrines, yet they want to be called Christian because they say they believe in the same Jesus of the Bible, among other things. But when they speak of Jesus, they mean that Jesus is the brother of Satan, and you and I. They teach that we have all been born from god and his goddess wife who both have physical bodies of flesh and bones.

 
None of this is in the Bible and none of this is believed by Christians. But that has not stopped them from wanting to be called Christian.

 
So, since the Mormons deny basic Christian doctrine and claim to be Christian, then I can deny basic Mormon doctrine and be a Mormon. For example, I deny the following Mormon doctrines.

 

I deny that there are many many gods (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, page 163).

 
I deny that the trinity is three separate gods (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith page 370).

 
I deny that god is a man from another planet (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, page 3).

 
I deny that there is a goddess mother (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, page 443).

 
I deny that god is married to his goddess wife (Mormon Doctrine p. 516.).

 
I deny that god and his goddess wife have bodies of flesh and bones (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22; Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 3.)

 
I deny that we were all born in the pre-existence (Journal of Discourse, Vol. 4, page 218; Articles of Faith, page 174).

 
I deny that Satan is my spirit brother (Mormon Doctrine, page 163).

 
I deny that I need a temple (Articles of Faith, page 138).

 
I deny that I have the potential of becoming a god (Articles of Faith, page 424).

 
I deny that the book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible (History of the Church, 4:461).

 
I deny that good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, pages 81, 92).

 
I deny that my own blood must atone for any of my sins ((Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, page 247; see also, Vol. 4, pp. 53-54, 219-220).

 
Therefore, since the Mormons deny basic Christian doctrines and call them selves Christian, is it okay for me to deny basic Mormon doctrines and call myself a Mormon?

http://www.carm.org/lds/ldschristian.htm

 

PART TWO OF THIS VIDEO IS HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ipeeqr5qoI&feature=related

 

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WE’RE CHRISTIANS TOO by LetUsReason.org

The state of Utah is known to be a majority of Mormons, where around 70% of the population and 95% of the legislature claims to be LDS. (Las Vegas Review Journal, 3/6/88, p. 6c).

The Mormon state is not without their problems. The suicide rate of the elderly (age 75+) for the nation is 19.2 per 100,000. For Utah it is 57 per 100,000, surpassed only by Nevada. (Deseret News, 12/29-30/86, p.2B).

70% of Salt Lake County’s high school seniors and 35% of the 5th and 6th graders used alcohol. 4% of the 5th and 6th graders have used heroin and cocaine. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 21, 1990, p.B9). “Utahns… lead the nation in the use of prescription drugs…,” (Salt Lake Tribune April 1, 1989 p. E3). The American Medical Association reported in 1986 that Utah ranked 3rd in the nation in the use of Amphetamines and jumped to 2nd in 1988. (Salt Lake Tribune, 8/31/89, p.B1).

“Sexual harassment in Utah is high for its population when compared to other states.” (Vernal Express, Nov. 13, 1991) Rape increased 30% between 1989 and 1990, the 3rd highest increase in the nation (The Washington Post, March 22, 1991, p. A3). Utah’s prisons rank fourth in the nation in prison population increase. (Provo Herald, May 24, 1990).”…the increase in premarital sex has been greater among Mormon women than any other religious group.” (Provo Hearld, 8/9/91, p.B3)

“Statewide, 4,218 children were born out of wedlock for a rate of 117 per thousand live births. 50% of all Utah births are to teenage girls. 7 out of 10 of these are illegitimate.” (Dallas Morning News, 7/26/83; Salt Lake Tribune, 11/20/81, p.B9; Ogden Standard Examiner, 12/15/79). In 1978, 70% of Utah’s teenage brides were pregnant at their weddings. (Sonia From Housewife to Heretic, Johnson, Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1981).

Consequently it has been reported “Salt Lake County’s divorce rate is almost 50 percent higher than the national average.” (Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 11, 1990 p.1-E). The increase in martial instability among Mormons is higher than for most other religious groups. (Dialogue, Fall 1992, p. 26-27, a LDS pub.). “Utah’s divorce rate is 5.4 per 1,000 persons, compared to 4.8 nationally.” (Latter Day Sentinel, 3/5/88, p.24).

The Utah murder rate for children is 5 times higher than the national average. (The Denver Post, Empire Magazine, 11/21/82, p.30). “The State Division of Family Services reported a 343 percent increase in child sexual abuse referrals from 1982 through 1987,”(KSL Radio, Salt Lake City, May 18, 1989, p.1 transcript).
Granted there are many problems with all religions. As people we are not exempt. but for a state that is almost completely Mormon this is not advantageous for those who claim to have wonderful family values. It appears it is not working for them. But his does not stop them from having an enormous missionary effort that comes to your door and mine presenting the clean wonderful life of Mormons.

They currently have about 58,000 missionaries going to peoples doors in 110 nations teaching in 69 languages. There are currently 53,000 LDS members in the Hawaiian Islands that is 1/10 The the adult population of this Island alone. Although there might be as much as 5% that are inactive never leaving the church officially. This is something they ask people to do even if they disagree giving them time to reconsider and of course keep them in their membership books.

Their growth has continued steadily upward here in the US, and experiencing phenomenal growth in 3rd world and non English speaking countries. In the Philippines membership has gone from 43,000 to 280,000 in Mexico 248,000 to 670,000 in Brazil it went from 99,000 to 400,000. (Elkinton manager of management information center, Beehive newspaper, may 1993 p.3)

Despite all that is on paper , reality is not as wonderful as in print. In 1988, they had a missionary force of 36,123, the church registering 256,515 convert baptisms. But 10 years later, in 1998, with a missionary force of 57,853 it only baptised 299,134 converts. Which is an increase of only 16 percent in the number of converts in the face of its missionary force boasting a sizeable 60-percent growth.

Their estimates are 12 million members by the year 2,000, 35 million by 2020, and 157 million by middle of the next cent. (the beehive). I would think they could reach these numbers by their own family’s alone. Remember it is requirement to have as many children as possible for the celestial kingdom.

Someone joins this church every minute and 55 seconds. Who sat down to calculate those figures ? (Larry Elkinton Beehive Newspaper, may 1993) But the truth is they have trouble keeping the converts. While the church releases impressive growth statistics, they are misleading. Yet even if they are half of what they say it is one too many.

Although efforts from the true historic Church of Jesus have stepped up. there is more information now than there has ever been on what Mormonism really teaches and practices. They still are converting mass numbers, and they coming from the Christian denominations.

Believe it or not half the new converts are from Christian denominations 100,000 from Baptists each year, next in line are Catholic’s, then Presbyterians, very few Jewish people enter for good reason. The pluralistic teaching of God. The Church’s major audience is not to unbelievers but among Christian believers. They come to remove the ungrounded, those who are nominal or new.

Maybe you have noticed their change of advertisements on TV, Instead of putting the book of Mormon next to the bible as another testament, they now just advertise the Bible so they can come to your house as being representatives of Christianity. Recently the LDS Church has carried its bait and switch campaign to new heights. The New television ads offer listeners a free copy of a King James Bible. This too will be hand-delivered simply by calling a toll-free number.

When the missionaries come to your door they don’t tell people about their real view of the bible that its corrupted.

What they also don’t tell people is what the Mormon leaders and the Mormon Scriptures actually say? And for good reason, most who read the bible would throw them right out. You see they want to be accepted today as Christians without adhering to any Christian doctrine. Instead they want to replace it all with new revelation from their modern prophets.

In its general public statements about the Bible today The Mormon Church cites its own Articles of Faith, found in its Scripture, the Pearl of Great Price. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly;… (Articles of Faith, #8) When it comes down to it, the bible is never translated right. If there is a choice between what their book says and Gods Holy word, there’s not much guesswork which will be chosen.

The Mormons most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations. (Church News, June 20, 1992, page 3, a letter from the First Presidency (Presidents Benson, Hinckley, and Monson) dated May 22, 1992, to all members of the Church)

So instead of using the Bible to appraise Mormonism they reverse this and use Mormonism (the book of Mormon) to judge the Bible. When speaking honestly, Mormon leaders view the Book of Mormon as more reliable than the Bible because of its inferiority.

” Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists, translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text, the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation. (“The Keystone of Our Religion”, Ensign, by President Ezra Taft Benson, January 1992, page 5).

I [Joseph Smith] believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.327) Mr. Smith wrote his own translation to correct the errors, not by looking at the manuscripts, but by his own subjective leading which he thought was God.

The Book of Mormon itself claims important parts of the Bible have been removed such as the gospel. That it was needed to restore the full and true gospel.

…It was after a conference in Amherst, Ohio, February 16, 1832, that Joseph said it was apparent to him, “from sundry revelations which had been received, “that “many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Preface to D&C 76.)

But if the book of Mormon is the fullness of the gospel as claimed then why are there so many other essential doctrines for salvation found outside it , in their other books?

God

“…orthodox Christian views of God are Pagan rather than Christian.” (Mormon Doctrine of Deity by B.H. Roberts, p.116)

“…the God whom the ‘Christians’ worship is a being of their own creation…” (Apostle Charles W. Penrose, JD 23:243)

How anyone can say these things and publish them with a straight face is beyond me. The pagan concept is multiple Gods exactly what they believe, also they have in their writings that Adam was God and god was once a man who progressed to be god and that is the God they worship, that is worshipping a god of their own creation , god made in the image of man, a creature who is not god at all.

When a Mormon speaks about the Gospel it is not the Christian Gospel but the restored one of J. Smith, you can join the Mormon church and not believe Jesus is the Son of God but you cannot join unless you accept J. Smith as a prophet of God. “If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is-Joseph Smith, junior, the prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them.” (Discourses of Brigham young p.116)

[Joseph Smith speaking] I have more to boast of than any man ever had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. 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. (HOTC, vol.6, p.78. Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 6, Page 408-409) Not true many have ran away just not the whole church, yet.

“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.”(Bruce R.McConkie Mormon doctrine p.670)

Bible teaches there is no salvation outside the person and work of Jesus Christ. Its not membership in the Church that saves.

“If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him, if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him” (Pres. George Q. Cannon 1988 melchezedik guide p.142)

I have read the Bible a number of times and have not found Mr. Smiths name in it. Can you help me find it? What makes him more important than all the apostles, sounds like the sainthood or the primacy of Peter in the Catholic church.

“….and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti Christ.” (J & D vol.9 p.312) Here they change the Bibles words and definition of 1 Jn.4:1, this is blatant and intentional.

God so loved, that he made provision for a 2nd chance and all will receive that opportunity.

Elder and apostle of The Church Bruce R. McConkie, called the doctrine of salvation by grace without works, “the second greatest heresy” of Christianity during Brigham Young University’s opening devotional Tuesday. The first great heresy, he said, pertains to the nature of God, the doctrine of the trinity” (Staff Report, The Herald, Provo Utah, 1/12/1984)

The nature of god in Christianity and the persons involved also have to do with salvation.

For Salvation, the Mormon church has always upheld mans own obedience merits him right standing with God, whoever that god is, I still haven’t figured out which one (since Brigham young said it was Adam). The Gospel of Mormonism is “faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, morality, loyalty, tithing, word of wisdom, duty, celestial marriage (Articles of faith).

They try to sound Christian to replace what has been here for 2,000 years they consistently attack Christianity but are repulsed when we defend ourselves by showing them their own quotes. “What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (John Taylor, JD 13:225)

Or when we are called by them”…the great apostate church as the anti-christ…This great antichrist…is the church of the devil.” (Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine p.40)

“After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They belong to Babylon.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, p.324)

Despite this accusing of Gods church they want to be called Christian. to do this they have made some changes. They have changed the church’s logo featuring “JESUS CHRIST” in large, uppercase type, and the rest of the movement’s naive in smaller type.( designed in 1995 by a secular marketing firm.)

James Talmage, who many considered Mormonism’s greatest theologian, explained Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. Talmage wrote, “We believe that through the sufferings, death and atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely and fully redeemed… [of] Adam’s transgression…” (Articles of Faith, p. 477).

Thus, the atonement and death of Jesus on the cross actually only forgives mankind of Adam’s original sin (which they do not believe in). How then is man forgiven of his own personal sin? In the Improvement Era, an official periodical of the LDS Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet, explained the solution. “Our Eternal Father would have every soul saved if that were feasible. Salvation, however, is based on merit and obedience to divine law and therefore is only obtained through compliance with divine commandments” (Nov. 1965, p. 962).

“Men have work to do if they would obtain salvation” (Doctrines of salvation vol.3 p.91)

“Individual (salvation) that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Doctrines of salvation vol.1 p.134)

The forsaking of sin must be a permanent one. True repentance does NOT permit making the same mistake again (Spencer W. Kimball, Repentance Brings Forgiveness, Page 7)

“We also have to forsake the sin and never to repeat it not even in our minds, in order to remain forgiven we must never commit the sin again (Mormon Missionary Discussion F, Uniform systems for teaching families p.35-36)

11 Nephi 25:23 says that in order to be saved you must do all that you can do. Are you doing all that you can do? Have you repeated your sin? The idea of perfection in this life has been proposed by numerous people over the centuries, and while our weakness is not a legitimate excuse for practicing sin in reality no one has the ability not even monks to rid themselves of sin or not repeat it. Doctrines like this operate from pride. As soon as one thinks they have become humble walking in perfect obedience they have pride which is the basis of operation from almost all sins especially false doctrine.

Joseph Fielding Smith Under the sub-heading “Misinterpretation of Texts,” Smith discussed Ephesians 2:8-10 in this way: “There are various opinions concerning the virtue and requirements of salvation. Misinterpretation of Paul’s words has led to much confusion and rejection of the full gospel plan.

“Failure to comprehend the two-fold purpose of the atonement has caused many to believe that all that is essential for salvation is to confess the name of Jesus Christ.” “Those who teach the doctrine of `faith alone’ are searching for an `easy road to heaven.’ … Someone has referred to them as Bible Christians – their religion is in the Bible and not very much in themselves,” (Religious Truths Defined, 1961 ed., p. 267).

Smith is correct. As Biblical Christians we do put our faith in the teachings of the Bible and not in our own works. But it was not an easy road, because Christ had to suffer through his life and especially on the cross to obtain it for us. They practice a cross-less Christianity. And we are to walk in his footsteps by denying self. Mormonism operates on the very opposite basis that all is done so one can obtain the right to be a god on their own planet just as all other gods before them. So they are striving for an illusive butterfly. You can say their prophets over promises and their religion falls way short of its delivery.

What can one say to a Mormon who comes to their door without it taking hours having only one chance to challenge them.

When I’m in a discussion I have them commit to saying they are a Christian. Then I pose a question to them in this manner.

What if I said I was a Mormon and that I can join any church that teaches the Bible. I also don’t believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, or that their are modern day prophets and apostles. I don’t believe Jesus is an angel in the Spirit family of the Devil, nor that God gives new revelation adding to scripture nor that I can progress to be god of my own world by following the ordinances of the Mormon church with its priesthood.

They would answer, then you are not a Mormon.

I would then ask why not? Their reply would be- because you do not believe what Mormons believe, our priesthood our prophet, you don’t believe in eternal progression, or new revelation in scripture!

My reply would then be, This is exactly why you are not a Christian. You don’t believe in one God, the finished revelation written by the true prophets, that Jesus is the one true God and that man is a sinner, in need of redemption and we can never to progress to be God!

We do want Mormons to be included in Christianity but they need to come the same way we all did by a new spiritual birth, not by the laws and ordinances of the church. One is born into the kingdom (Jn.1:12) not by working they’re way.

http://www.letusreason.org/LDS6.htm

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