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Joe Smith said : “As man is God was,,, as God is man may become”

I see at least 3 logical dilemmas in this statement. Do you agree?
Logical Dilemma 1: As man is God was

If God was once a man,,, where did man come from? There is no way around the fact that this statement implies that man originated apart from a creator. From my understanding there are only three possibilities for the origin of man.
1. Man was created by God and each kind makes after it‘s own kind. Animals do not evolve from one species to another. This is the biblical model of creation.
2. God created the cosmos and the basic materials for life and set evolution into motion. This is theistic evolution.

Here are 21 ex-Mormons testimonies that I gathered up from http://www.youtube.com/user/aaronshaf2006

I post these because they give hope to me that my Uncle,, who is a Mormon Bishop,,,will one day be saved.

Interview with Adam’s Road, an Ex-Mormon Christian Band

Paige Richardson’s Testimony out of Mormonism into the Arms of Jesus

Mitzi Nelson’s Testimony out of Mormonism Into Christianity

Tara Sivulka’s Testimony Out of Mormonism

Brian Mackert’s Testimony Out of Mormonism into Christianity

Lana Larsen’s Testimony Out of Mormonism into Christianity

Randy Larsen’s Testimony Out of Mormonism into Christianity

Tosh’s Testimony Out of Mormonism into Christianity

Gabriel Williams’ testimony out of Mormonism to Christ

Gene’s Testimony out of Mormonism into Christianity

Dave’s Testimony Out of Mormonism into Christianity

Tricia Lynn Burton’s Testimony Out Of Mormonism to Christ

Mark Champneys’ Testimony out of Mormonism into Christianity

Angela Haisten’s Testimony Out of Mormonism to Christianity

James Dorrough’s Testimony out of Mormonism to Christ

Ginny and Bud Gundersen’s Testimony out of Mormonism

Blaine Hunsaker’s Testimony out of Mormonism to Christ

Judy Hartvigsen’s Testimony out of Mormonism to Christ

Cashae Gibb’s Testimony out of Mormonism into Christianity

LaKan Gibb’s Testimony out of Mormonism intro Christianity

Zach Collier’s Testimony out of Mormonism into Christianity

2008 A year of scrutiny for the LDS Church

If 2002 was Mormonism’s debutante ball, 2008 may go down as its first semester of college.

The Utah-based church made new friends, endured back-stabbing from would-be friends, joined some clubs, got a taste of fame and had a few wrenching exams.

From the possibility of a Mormon in the White House to a stream of Latter-day Saints on reality television, from being attacked as belonging to a cult (or mistaken for a polygamous sect in Texas) to participating in California’s bitter battle for traditional marriage, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would see their faith in the nation’s mirror. To many, such scrutiny was unlike any they had seen in their lifetime.

“The church emerged on the center stage of public consciousness in a way we hadn’t seen before,” says Chase Peterson, former University of Utah president and lifelong Latter-day Saint. “The full consequences of this new public awareness probably will not be understood for some time.”

Indeed, it was a “wild, eventful year for the church,” says Philip Barlow, Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, “quite beyond its perpetual efforts in spreading its message, looking after its members, managing its vast resources, building its facilities and addressing catastrophes at home and abroad.”

The crucial question is: How will the LDS Church and its individual members respond to the year’s events?

For example, Mormons, who in recent decades have been staunchly Republican, were cast as pariahs during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign by controlling sectors of the Republican Party. Though he had won widespread political and financial support across the nation, most Evangelicals in the party bitterly opposed him, and between 37 percent and 43 percent of Americans said they would never vote for a Mormon, any Mormon.

Even after Romney bowed out of the race, many Mormons continued to smart from the accusations and misrepresentations of their faith that flourished during his run. They developed a serious distaste for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who, they believe, fueled anti-Mormon hostility while playing innocent.

Others were more straightforward. The Rev. Robert Jeffress repeatedly called Mormonism a “cult,” and evangelist Bill Keller famously said, “A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Satan.”

Will Latter-day Saints now begin to question their allegiance to the Republican Party, Barlow wonders, or even move into the Democratic Party in the future, especially if Barack Obama is successful in his first term?

Life was changing inside the church as well.

LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley died at the end of January.

At 97, Hinckley was Mormonism’s oldest prophet and the most vigorous to the end. He had transformed the church’s public image, giving interviews to reporters everywhere he went.

 

Hinckley’s longtime associate, Thomas S. Monson, ascended to the LDS presidency, choosing Dieter Uchtdorf, a German member, as a counselor. The leadership focus began to shift.

Where Hinckley met with the media and immediately traveled outside the country, Monson held an awkward, scripted news conference and stayed closer to home, running the church from its Salt Lake City headquarters. He dedicated four temples and announced eight more, while also opening a new welfare services compound and sending humanitarian aid across the globe.

Despite such goodwill efforts, conflicts occasionally erupted.

In March, Mormon leaders were chagrined by news accounts of three Mormon missionaries in Colorado who apparently desecrated a Roman Catholic shrine. Though the Catholics ultimately forgave the missionaries for their vandalism, a month later the Vatican issued an order, blocking LDS access to Catholic parish records because of the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead. The move caused widespread hand-wringing among genealogists everywhere, including Catholics.

Catholics and Mormons later put aside their differences to become allies on a different political issue — gay marriage.

In June, Mormons joined the Preserve Marriage Coalition at the request of Archbishop George Niederauer, the San Francisco Catholic leader who had previously led the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The First Presidency sent a letter to all California Mormons, urging them to support a ballot measure known as Proposition 8, which defined marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

The same Evangelical groups that had demeaned Mormonism as a cult during Romney’s campaign were now the LDS Church’s allies in the California fight.

“These new defenders of the Mormon faith have long been the most prolific Mormon-bashers in the nation,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of the Brooklyn-based gay-rights group Truth Wins Out. “[The two groups] have nothing in common but their anti-gay rhetoric.”

The measure passed on Nov. 4, and in the ensuing days, angry supporters of gay marriage protested outside LDS temples across the nation.

“The church’s support of Proposition 8 created a loud backlash and may make the church a symbol for the constriction of civil rights,” Barlow says. “Will the church dig in on what it sees as a moral and constitutional issue or will common cause help repair or forge new allegiances with Evangelicals?”

Not many years from now, 2008 may be seen as a turning point for the LDS Church in addressing the reality of homosexuality, he says.

The church’s theology was formed at a time when homosexuality could only be construed in biblical terms as “abomination,” he says. “Because of experience and science, today church leaders see the issue in a more complex light. They distinguish between feelings and actions, and they acknowledge that we do not know the originating causes of same-sex attraction.”

LDS founder Joseph Smith once said that ” ‘by proving contraries, truth is made manifest,’ ” Barlow says. “As is the past, this may be a painful but auspicious moment in LDS history.”

By Peggy Fletcher Stack

The Salt Lake Tribune

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Which Mormon group is the “Restored Church”?

Introduction

We will study this question by first (in Part 1) looking at the various divergent Mormon sects, then (in Part 2) examining why this division constitutes further proof that Mormonism can in no way be considered a “restoration” of Christianity.

Part 1: How many Mormon sects are there?

The more important Mormon groups

1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

2. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS)(Independence, Missouri, USA) now renamed to the Community of Christ, under president W. Grant McMurray,

This groups came into existence in the 1850s under the leadership of Joseph Smith’s son, Joseph Smith III. This group believes Joseph Smith II was nominated by the founding Joseph Smith as his successor. The Utah-based LDS group, however, disagrees.

Interestingly this group owns the historical Mormon properties in Kirtland, Ohio; this being the outcome of court case with the LDS group, the courts having decided the then RLDS had more claim (from a doctrinal standpoint) to be the church founded by Joseph Smith Jr. than the Utah–based LDS group.

In the 1970’s the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints began to experience what many lay members considered to be serious problems with the hierarchy of the church trying to change the church. The main changes were “a major shift in the General Church teachings a de-emphasis of the Book of Mormon, the Second Advent and celestial life in favor of more conventional Protestant-like Christianity” (Saints Herald, January 1974, p. 52).

What Is The Difference between the LDS and the RLDS (now Community of Christ)?

Salt-Lake City based LDS uses KJV or Joseph Smith’s Translation (aka the “Inspired Version”); their second President, Brigham Young, taught God the Father was once a man (Adam), a doctrine which has never been revoked; teaches “eternal progression” to godhood; use secret temple rites; practises baptism for the dead; temple marriage is for eternity; God the Father Son and Holy Spirit are three separate “Gods”; accepts the Pearl of Great Price as Scripture.

Independence Missouri- based RLDS (now Community of Christ):uses “Inspired Version”; do not believe God was once a man; does not believe in “eternal progression” claim never to have used secret temple rites; claim Zion is Missouri; does not and never did, condone baptism for the dead; marriage only for earthly life; believes God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit exists in three different “modes” not Persons; rejects the Pearl of Great Price.

Both sects of course claim to be the “restored” church. When the LDS missionaries come knocking, they wil not tell you that the second largest Mormon group (the Community of Christ) believes very much differently from the Utah based LDS group.

3. Church of Christ -Temple Lot (Temple Lot, Independence, Missouri)- one early leader, Granville Hedrick, called Joseph Smith a “fallen prophet”. This group teaches that there has been apostasy from the restored gospel faith. This group was also involved in a lawsuit with the RLDS over ownership of the Temple Lot. By 1869 they purchased the original “temple lot” in Independence Missouri.

How does the Temple Lot church differ doctrinally from the LDS and RLDS?

In contrast to the LDS and RLDS, the Temple Lot group have no first presidency, high priests or patriarchs, and no prophet as leader (having 12 “apostles” instead). In common with the RLDS group, they reject the Pearl of Great Price, the doctrines of celestial marriage and eternal progression, and baptism for the dead.

Lesser known groups

The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Independence, Missouri, USA) Founded 6 April 1991 at the Waldo Avenue Church in Independence, Missouri. The RLDS Church was declared “out of order” and the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded in its place. In 1992 and 1994, two small schismatic groups, in their turn, left this group.

There also exist fundamentalist groups that do not accept the revelation which ended the practice of polygamy.

The Church of Christ With the Elijah Message (Blue Springs, Missouri, USA).

The Church of Jesus Christ (based in Pittsburgh, USA).

The Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times (Mexico) now defunct.

The Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerites) (Independence, Missouri) founded by Alpheus Cutler, 1853 – distinguished between church and kingdom

The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (based in Louisiana USA). Rejects the Doctrines and Covenants standard LDS work

The Restored Church of Jesus Christ (Independence, Missouri, USA) – also claims to be founded by Joseph Smith, Jr.

The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (Manti, Utah, USA) these believe “that the fullness that Joseph Smith Jr. restored has been corrupted”. The Manti group split into two groups in late 1994.

Further information on several of these groups can be found at http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dbowie/restore/restoration.html . For a comprehensive list of Mormon sects, please see the book “Divergent Paths of the Restoration” by Steven L. Shields (1990) which discusses more than a hundred different mormon sects.

So we see that there exist many Mormon sects, with even the main groups differing widely on doctrinal points.

Part 2: What do the divisions in Mormonism tell us?

Mormons will point to the apparent unity of their church and say it is proof theirs is the one true church. Mormon missionaries will not tell you, however, that the Utah-based LDS church is one of over a hundred mormon sects, or that there are numerous differences in doctrine between the Utah-based LDS group and the next largest group, the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS).

Do not for one moment, dear reader, believe that the Mormon religion resents a unified faith system that consists in some “restored gospel”. Mormon claims therefore to hold the true “restored” and “everlasting” gospel ring very shallow indeed when we discover that their doctrines are products of the 19th century, and that, like so many other religious sects, divided into multitudinous doctrinally divergent sects after the death of their first leader in 1844 and subsequent decades.

Is it not so much easier to simply conclude that there never was any “restoration” because there never was any apostasy?

This is the obvious answer, and the correct one. (Other pages on this website deal with this subject also.) None of the Mormon sects claiming to be the “restored” church are what they say, precisely because there was no “restoration”!

It is also of no value for LDS to counter that the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism are as great, if not greater, than the divisions betweent the Mormon sects.

(Important to remember: it is not necessary for a Catholic to defend the divisions of Protestantism; Protestantism, in the same way as Mormonism, is divided because it is in error.) This Mormon argument can be a bit confusing when first encountered: in witnessing to the truth, a Catholic only has to point to the unity of Catholicism, not the disunity of Protestantism.

Also, the authority of the Catholic Church had been accepted for the first 15 centuries; the authority of the sect of Joseph Smith’s followers was repudiated as soon as he was dead. The authority of 15 centuries will not be broken by the rebellion of a few Protestant leaders whose teachings themselves subeequently underwent countless divisions.

Remember, the Mormons claim to present the “restored gospel” so any divisions among them is automatic proof they do not have this. In contrast, the sects which left the Catholic Church over the centuries present no proof that the original teaching of the Church has been corrupted, a requirement for the Mormon “restoration” in the first place. (We will not even begin to discuss the glaring absence of Mormon doctrines from the early centuries of the Church)

It is also of no use for Mormons to claim one sect is true, and all other groups broke away from it. This view requires that the original sect be known. But both the RLDS and the LDS claim this title, as well as many other groups! Historically there were many sects after the death of Joseph Smith. The US courts ruled that the RLDS (now Community of Christ) was the closest to Smith’s original church. Where does that leave the Utah-based LDS group? Which was first?

Even more importantly, the Mormon sects cannot show that there was an “apostasy” in the early days of the Church. Without this evidence, of course, all their talk about “restoration of the gospel” is pointless.

So what do we see? The doctrine of the Catholic Church has been maintained a unified whole for 20 centuries, the doctrines of Mormonism split in every direction after the death of its founder Joseph Smith. The doctrines of Protestantism likewise split in every direction after the Protestant revolt established a foothold.

The one true Church has exhibited doctrinal unity through 2,000 years and now has over a billion adherents. That is the Holy Catholic Church. Her source of unity is not the empty boasting of some self-appointed prophet but the Holy Spirit. Those who seek the truth need look no further. Herein is unity as given by the Holy Spirit. Outside is chaos. The sincere Mormon reader is urged to look at the claims of the Catholic Church and to prayerfully seek the true Christ where He may be found.

Conclusion

Mormonism has split into a variety of sects since its foundation less than two centuries ago. Such division bears the hallmark of a religion invented by man. Mormon founder Joseph Smith once boasted:

“Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. 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.” Joseph Smith, Mormon founder, History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409

The followers of the Latter – Day Saints did run away from him, into over a hundred different sects.

The Catholic Church, in contrast, has preserved a supernatural unity throughout 2000 years, a unity promised not by man, but by the Holy Spirit.

http://www.angelfire.com/ms/seanie/mormon/mormonsects.html 

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The Pattern of the Double-Bind in Mormonism 

In the fall of 1997, my son, Matt, and I discovered Eric Kettunen’s internet site, Recovery from Mormonism. Matt replied to Eric and posted his letter (#70); soon after, Matt started his own Higher Mormon site.

Until that time, we thought that we were alone in our discoveries about Mormonism and in leaving the church. As I read each Post, I was impressed with the similarities of personal experiences … and how they coincided with my own. I could see aspects of The Pattern in each Post and some explicitly contained all aspects. They filled in, and clarified more fully the stages of this Pattern in Mormonism for me.

Stage 1 Problem – Anxiety – Question – Fear
Stage 2-3 Agreement – Ambiguity 
Stage 4 Double-Bind – Reversal – Guilt/Fear
Stage 5 Denial – Humiliation – Dehumanized 
Stage 6 Accusation – Demonized – Guilt/Shame
Stage 7 Punishment – Compulsion/Subjection – “Black is White”
Stage 8 Bound – Love/Hate – “Voluntary” Union
Stage 9 Psychological Cannibalism – Suicide

 

 

Stage 4 Double-Bind – Reversal – Guilt/Fear

THE MAZE OF MORMONISM

Prologue to Stage 4. This stage is built upon stages 2 and 3. A promise was made and then not fulfilled. A “but” was then inserted as the reason for not receiving what was promised. The “but”-excuse then becomes a replacement for the promise; something was not done “right” by the would-be recipient who is now blamed for not being able to receive. Obedience to the “but” is now required to become worthy to receive.

Stage 4: The Double-Bind – “Guilty, Guilty” – Reversals – Rape of Mind
“You are damned if you do a thing,” and “You are damned if you don’t do it.”

Reversal: “Guilty, Guilty” – Rape of the Mind

One classic Double-Bind in Mormonism is in regards to receiving the “burning in the bosom,” the manifestation of the Holy Ghost, as a requirement for a testimony and sanctification. The promise is that if you pray sincerely you will receive a “burning in the bosom,” which is the manifestation that the Book of Mormon is true. If you don’t receive a “burning in the bosom,” you were not “sincere,” or there are other things you must do to be “worthy” of receiving it. This is the “Yes, but” stage; “Yes, you prayed, but……” The “but” then, becomes the focal point, the “hook.” It becomes “the carrot on the end of a stick” that can never be reached and becomes the means for your being judged “guilty” for your inability to work hard enough to “get it.” This leads into the blatant Double-Bind, which says:

If you don’t obey the “But-things,” you will be “guilty” of not being “sincere,” not trying hard enough.

If you do obey the “But-things,” you are “guilty” because you still haven’t received the “burning in the bosom,” which you would have received had you done them properly.

At this point many other suggestions are given to help you “earn,” through work, what was promised you if you were only “sincere” and had worked hard enough. You now need “help” in order to prepare yourself to be made “worthy” of receiving this “gift.” More “buts” are issued, as “helps,” and the fact that you are outnumbered makes you feel that “I am the only one who doesn’t get it” … you think that “if I work hard enough I will not be the only one who can’t ‘get it.'” The truth is, the many others, also, “don’t get it,” i.e., they have been caught in the same maze. The irony is that the ones who “can’t get it” are the ones who are sincere, and authentic … the ones who are earnestly trying to keep the integrity of their own minds. (See Post #19 below.)

This leads to another Dilemma:

We are told we must live by faith alone, in a non-physical, i.e., a non-brain, non-rational, mental state. At the same time, we are told that the sign of the physical “burning in the bosom” is proof of the Book of Mormon, the necessary confirmation of its being true. The irony is the reverse. A “burning in the bosom” only happens in the real world as an extension of a true, physical brain-perception leading to a rational result. It does not occur when our individual perceptions and our brain are not involved.

This is a Double-Bind:

If you do have faith and relinquish your brain, you cannot, in reality, reach a confirmation of a truth. The means have been taken away.

If you don’t have faith, and rely on your brain, you will not find the confirmation of the truth of something that is false.

In both cases, you will be judged “guilty” of not receiving the “burning in the bosom.” Again, Momonism juxtaposes opposites, pits them against each other, and then, subtly uses the opposite (reason) for the proof of faith … which is doomed to fail.

The Binder divides, pitting faith and reason against each other, and by that means, conquers. Reason has to be the enemy of faith, which in the Double-Bind is necessary, but not to be seen … it becomes the Satan that is there, yet … is not there. The Mormon Apostle, Boyd P. Packer said that reason is the enemy of God, and a state of war has been declared against it. He says, “In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary… In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it.” (From his talk: Do not spread disease germs!) The Closed System is “one-sided” (only non-brain faith is allowed). On the one hand, it turns its back on reason, the Open System; on the other hand, it claims “reason” in “lip service.” The dual personality in Mormonism is the “Yes,” reason, “But,” at the same time, it is “non-reason.”

This is why members “fail” to receive the “gift” of confirmation: they are sincere! They are relying on their own true perceptions, the means to reason and Self-control, which is a brain related activity. The reason more “work” is demanded of individuals who “fail” is that their minds have not yet been “converted” to the upside-down world of programmed “Yes, but”-thinking and the feelings that are attached to that view. When this is not seen, the means of survival in the real world are gradually eroded making us totally dependent and compliant to a fabricated idea that is designed, step by step, to dehumanize those who are enticed into it unknowingly.

It will be helpful to know that each step, or stage, is connected by a “hook;” the transitions between each is very subtle. In this case, the “hook” is the “but.” In each stage, once the “hook” is accepted, it becomes the connecting link to the next one. This is the insidious nature of The Pattern.

The Double-Bind as Experienced by Women in Mormonism

Guilt – Reversal
(A very common Double-Bind is when it is used to coerce the bearing of testimonies.)

“The last straw was drawn when they expected me to offer my testimony. The missionaries had taught me that a person should create their own prayers, as opposed to repeating prayers as the catholics do. ….That Sunday, however, after a few members had recited their chorus line (using the same set of words), it appeared everybody’s eyes were on me. I did not get up. Immediately following the closing prayer, the missionary came to shake my hand and said, very loudly, ‘we need our friend here to give her testimony.’

Her Double-Bind:
If she did bear her testimony, she would be labeled “good.” She would, however, in reality, be guilty of going against herself.

If she didn’t bear her testimony, she would be labeled “bad.”

She would be going against the church and her “voluntary” commitment that must be confirmed over and over again … “guilty.”

Post #16. See: Stage 1, Stages 2-3, Post #16.

(The Double-Bind is always FOR the BINDER, and AGAINST the BOUND, the individual Self. It is reinforced through repetition until there is no longer a Self to go against; the mind then is silenced into obedience and is labeled “good.”)

Double-Bind – Guilt/Fear
“After baptism I continued to ask questions …. Being an orphan, “I asked them (the missionaries) about illegitimate orphans. They said that orphans were less valiant in the pre-existence. They were not born into homes where they would have parents and it was because of how they lived in the pre-existence. I felt sick to my stomach. I knew that if I had been taught that belief before baptism I would never have joined the church. Now that I was a member I figured that if I became the very best Mormon I could be I would win God’s favor and He would forgive me for being less valiant in the pre-existence. I hoped I could clean the slate for I never wanted to come face to face with God and feel His disappointment because I had been less valiant in the pre-existence. I was always afraid to ask if God had forgiven me for what I had done in the pre-existence and how I could ask for forgiveness when I didn’t know what it was I did. Or, was I suppose to be asking for forgiveness for not being valiant but valiant in what? How could I know? So I just kept trying to be a good Mormon.” (Italics, mine.)

Her Double-Bind: Guilt/Fear.
She would be damned if she did remain a Mormon.
It would be against herself, her own perceptions. (“Guilty)

She would be damned if she didn’t remain a Mormon.

She would (1) not be valiant in this life; (2) she would forfeit her chance to work out her “repentence” for not being “valiant” in the pre-existence, plus, (3) she would then be denied entrance into the Celestial Kingdom in the next life. (She would have failed in her past life, her present life and therefore, her future life: “Guilty, Guilty, Guilty.”)
Post #22-1, #37. See Stage 1, 2-3. #22-1, #37.

Double-Bind – Guilt
“Right after we were married, our stake president wanted to discuss sex with us. He told us that rather than continue the old approach of inquiring into every prurient thought, the church would leave it to our discretion what sexual practices were permissible. …This …coming from an old guy we hardly knew who had but weeks before been asking my husband about masturbation. It was also too little, too late, for resurrecting the idea that sex between married people is okay. Being told to be fruitful and multiply is one thing, but after years of being told that sex is forbidden, evil, unclean, and transforms the woman into some revolting thing like “used gum” or a “half-eaten cookie,” it is unrealistic to think that normal sexual functioning could result from such constant negative conditioning.”

The Double-Bind:
You are damned if you do have sex.

Sex is forbidden, evil, and unclean; the woman is like a gardenia, once it has been touched it turns brown, and can never return to its white purity. “Evil”

You are damned if you don’t have sex.

You are commanded to have sex … to have as many children as you can; this is “Good.” At the same time you are “Evil,” because you break the first forbidden sex-commandment.
Post #43, See: Stage 1, #43.

Rape of the Mind and Body – Double-Bind – Guilt and Fear

(The following is the cruelest use of the Double-Bind of all these posts … not with an adult, but with a totally defenseless child.)

“My father was in jail for domestic abuse against my mother. My mother turned to the church for financial help because she was trying to raise me, my sister, and my brother on her own. She did have a job at a nursing home, but it wasn’t enough to cover food. The Bishop agreed to help her, providing that she would clean the church. Just a few light duties: washing the windows and vacuuming, mostly. I was in charge of vacuuming. My mom had a key to the church and I would go over there when she was at work and make sure that it was all vacuumed every Saturday so that it would be ready for Sunday. (She was only 7 years old.)

My experience all started when I ran into a counselor in the bishopric. On that particular day, I remember being very upset because I was constantly being teased by the other kids because my dad was in jail. The counselor sat me down on his lap in the chapel and asked me to tell him why I was crying. He was so kind! So wonderful! This was a man of God wanting to know about ME! I told him everything. I trusted him and was really happy for the attention! I went home that day very happy and grateful for my new friend.”

(Gradually, each Saturday, this counselor began subtly to molest her. She was confused, but really didn’t understand or question it) “because, after all — he was a member of the bishopric. I was extremely uncomfortable with this behavior, but he always told me that I was “special.” And that he loved me like I was his own little girl. I should never tell, because that would break the promises we had made to each other in the church. ….Once I told my mom that I didn’t want to clean the church anymore, she told me that if I didn’t then I would be responsible for the church taking food away from our family. Did I really want to do that? NO. I couldn’t handle it.” (The molestation increased until eventually there were more than three penetrations by this counselor.) “I just kept thinking it MUST be okay because come Sunday, he would be sitting up there on the stand and wink at me once in awhile, or lead the opening remarks and after all, this was a man called of God. If God thought that it was okay, then it must be okay.” ….(After her baptism and in the chapel for her confirmation, this counselor stood nearby with his eyes closed, and his head bowed. She was very disturbed. The next Saturday, she tried to resist him and he roughly forced her. Fortunately, her family moved shortly after that.)

This 7 year-old child had not only to contend with one Double-Bind, but two.

Double-Bind #1.
If she did tell anyone: The counselor had told her that she would be breaking the promise that they had made in God’s church.

If she didn’t tell anyone: He would be free to continue his molestation of her.

Double-Bind #2.
If she didn’t go to the church every Saturday to vacuum: Her family wouldn’t have enough food to eat.

If she did go to the church: She would be subject to more abuse from the counselor.
Post #61.

* * *

The Double-Bind every member encounters in the Temple is:

You will be damned if you do speak of the “sacred” oaths and penalties …. (made without prior knowledge) …. outside the temple.

You go against your “voluntary” oath, and against the Binder.

You are damned if you don’t speak of them.

You go against yourself; you are silenced through Fear of punishment
and “Guilt.”

* * *

“I didn’t say anything to anyone because your not supposed to discuss those things outside the temple, and I felt strange bringing up the question in the celestial room. That was not the time to question anyone. ….I was never prepared for that (the penalties), but my mom and dad were there, so I thought they understood everything and it was something they did all the time.”Post #33.

Double-Bind – Guilt/Fear.
Another way to express the Double-Bind in Mormonism, is described by this Post.

“Their (Mormonism) treatment of homosexuals seeking help is appalling. While I am not gay, I was involved with a gay member of the church, and the hell he was put through–even as he begged for help–was appalling. Instead of self-acceptance for EVERY member, the church teaches conditional love:

“If you do this and this and this, the church/God will love you and find you worthy.”

(If it is in the interest of the Binder, it will be against the self, the individual … then, it is “good.”)

“If you do not do this and this, you are damned for all time–starting here and starting now.”
(If it is for your Self, or an individual, it is against the Binder; you are then, “evil.”)
Post #69 See: Stage 2-3, #69.

Note:
The Mormon Apostle, Boyd K. Packer says, “We must be one-sided, all facing one-way.” … towards the organization (the Closed System), not towards the individual. “It is critical that all of us work together and put aside personal interests.” He refers to individuals as exceptions that take the church away from the many others who are in more need than the few. The church’s plan for the membership is simplication and reduction, for the general welfare of all, not the particular; all members are to be reduced to the lowest common denominator; individuals not keeping up with the herd are expendable. The other word for them is pariah, an outcast.

The Double-Bind as Experienced by Men in Mormonism

Double-Bind – Fear
“I’ve removed my web page. I’ve chosen an alias because I’m still trying to find a way to bring my page back. (He had left the church and was stating his opinion on his web site.) It was my mistake for using my real name. I felt that to do otherwise would be cowardly. I guess the joke’s on me. …… the members (of the church) in my parents area started to mobilize. My parents were harrassed by people they’ve gone to church with for over 20 years. Instead of exhibiting Christian-type values such as comforting them for the loss of a son from Mormonism, they received emotional blackmail instead. My father’s health started to suffer as a result of it.”

If he did use his real name, his family (who were still members of the church) would be harrassed to the point of injury.

If he didn’t use his real name, he would be false to himself by concealing his identity.
Post #2 See: Stages 2-3, #2

Double-Bind – Fear/Guilt
“My earliest memories of the church, while not necessarily negative, are not really positive either. They are sort of bland; null, if you will. What I do remember are impressions of not seeing what everyone else seemed to be seeing, and feeling left out as a result. I would sit through the meetings, wondering if there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t get up in front of the whole congregation and spout the same platitudes that my peers did. What prevented me from thinking and speaking as the others around me?

“My father always called me “Mister Blunt” because I was unfailingly honest in my appraisals of people and situations. This got me into trouble more than once over the years. But, in this context, I could not testify to something which I did not really feel.

“The years passed, …. The same lack of feeling was present at my ordination, and so on through my teen years….I did the things that I was told to do, for to disobey my dad would bring swift retribution. I was always the “dutiful son.” I just figured that I didn’t feel anything because I wasn’t “worthy” for some strange reason or other.”
Post #19. See Stages 2-3. #19.

The 13th Article of Faith in Mormonism says:: “We believe in being honest, true …..” However,

This young man was damned if he was honest.
His honest appraisals were construed to be false; he was “bad” if he told the truth.

He was damned if he wasn’t honest;
He would be going against his own integrity; he would be “good” only if he lied.

Because Mormonism is a Closed System,”one-sided,” there can only be one view, that of the Binder, which leaves out reason, choice and universal principles. Lip service only is given to the words “honest” and “true,” as if they were being applied in the universal, rational sense. New converts are attracted by the label “truth” and “universal principles” … the “Yes,” we believe in being honest, true ….” Later, the “meat,” i.e., the church’s true definitions replace the universal. The universal principle of being true has to do with the individual being true to himself and with his fellowman. In Mormonism, the Church replaces the individual’s identity, converting the possession of “truth” to the Church, i.e., the individual disappears into the Body Politic of the Church which contains all “truth.” The thinking has already been done for all its members.

Double-Bind – Guilt/Fear
“Charles, a teen ager, … mentally retarded … who clearly didn’t know right from wrong … had been baptized … his family were not Mormons. I didn’t understand how he could have made a rational decision to be baptized into the Mormon Church, but there he was-an Aaronic priesthood holder. One day Charles told me something I will never forget. Something that really sums up Mormonism. He said that he had read some “anti-Mormon” literature which caused a lot of doubts to enter his mind. He then visited and sought counsel with the bishop. Surprisingly, the bishop did not tell Charles to stop reading “anti-Mormon” material. Instead he told Charles to read 15 minutes of “anti-Mormon” material, and then read 15 minutes of the Book of Mormon or other church approved material. After having read both,

Charles was to determine which of the two made him “feel” good.

Since the “anti-Mormon” material would obviously cause doubt and bad feelings, it was false.

Since the “pro-Mormon” material would make Charles feel good, it was true.

This was an exercise in “truth detection” as given by our bishop…. discern truth with your feelings, not your mind.”
Post #28. See: Stage 1, 2-3, #28.

(The means by which this Double-Bind could be seen, or by which a rational choice could be made, was not there for Charles, nor is it there for any member who can’t, or does not, use reason.)

Double-Bind – Guilt/Fear
(The following is the Double-Bind experienced by members when they consider leaving the church. Most have members of their family who are still active participants in Mormonism and have all been staunch members from birth.)

“I will probably receive harsh criticism from your other readers for not “being true to myself and others,” explaining to those I love my current beliefs. However, it’s just not that easy when almost everyone I know … is and has been a faithful LDS member and proponent their entire life.” Post # 34

The Double-Bind:
To stay in Mormonism, aids the Binder, and is against your Self … and your family.
To leave Mormonism, divorces you from your family, and you become an “outcast.”

Double-Bind #1 – Guilt/Fear
“About seven years ago, there was a PBS documentary done on the LDS Church and its missionaries. Several returned missionaries admitted that they did not “know” the church was true, even while they had said they did as a missionary. ….one of the LDS secrets is that there is a great deal of peer pressure on missionaries to say “I know,” whether or not they do. I would note that while I lied, I did so while feeling caught by my obligation to serve God. I had been taught that it was my duty to serve God as missionary, that “every worthy young man should serve a mission.” I had been taught those who prayed sincerely and in righteousness would receive a testimony and if they had not, one chief reason would be that they were not recognizing the answer God was giving.”

Double-Bind:
If you lie, you are “good.”
You go against yourself.

If you tell the truth, you are “bad.”
You go against the Binder.

Double-Bind #2 “Mental Illness” – “Delusions of Grandeur”

“Further, some suggest that I was emotionally ill. There is no doubt that I was. The only question is what was the cause and the exact nature of my “mental illness.” They suggest that, in a mild form, I was suffering delusions of grandeur, caused by my close association with that other fellow, Brad Thompson, who happened to be my EQ president when I first came to BYU. He also, in his own way, suffered delusions of grandeur. In a way, this suggestion is no doubt true. The only question is as to whether Mormonism itself feeds such delusions.”
Post #38 See: Stage 2-3, #38

(This is another version of the promise that you “will receive …..” (fill in any blessings “given” you), then when it isn’t fulfilled you are accused of wanting to be “the center of the world.”)

Double-Bind:
If he didn’t have faith that his blessings would be fulfilled, he would be faithless and “guilty.”

If he did believe they would be fulfilled, but they were not … he was guilty of “suffering delusions of grandeur” in thinking that he could expect what others had not yet received.

Double-Bind – Guilt
“Free Agency as taught by the church: “I am free to choose good or evil.” In practice, Mormon free agency is a sort of bondage. It amounts to:

“If I obey authority and do not think for myself then I have “chosen” Good.”
“If I do not obey authority and think for myself then I have chosen Evil.”
Post #70.

http://www.exmormon.org/pattern/stage4.htm

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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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mormon-questions3

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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LDS, of course, is short for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. The LDS church is making a concerted effort to dominate the Internet search engines. As the LDS Church knows, there is a line of anti-Mormon material out there. So, Mormon missionaries, Mormon colleges, Mormon blogs, etc. are being urged to write as much as they can on the Internet so that terms such as LDS, Mormon, Mormonism, Joseph Smith, etc. when searched on, will list websites favorable to Mormonism.

In other words, they’re trying to flood the Internet with pro-Mormon information. Of course, the problem with this is that the truth will not be told.

The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, the LDS Church, is not Christian. It uses Christian words and Christian ideas, but it changes the meaning of the words and alters those ideas. So, instead of God being the eternal God, and Mormonism God is an exalted man from another planet.

Instead of Jesus being the creator of the universe (Col. 1:15-17), Jesus is the product of sexual relations between God and his goddess wife. Of course, when the LDS Church represents itself, it does not represent these “deeper” truths. Instead, he tries to appear evangelical all the while hiding beneath the surface these unbiblical, and false teachings.

So, Christians need to do the same thing. Christians need to flood the Internet with anti-Mormon material. We need to make sure that when the terms LDS, Mormon, Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, are put into search engines that a fair representation of information is presented — not just the pro-Mormon propaganda produced by the LDS Church.

On the other hand, this is a good thing because it means the Internet is doing damage to the Mormon church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not want a full disclosure of its history, its altered Scriptures, its false prophecies, the dubious character of Joseph Smith, or the wacko quotes and teachings from so many of its prophets to be exposed on the Internet. So, the LDS Church is now trying to dominate the Internet with pro-Mormon material.

But don’t be misled. When the Mormon missionaries come to your door and tell you that they are the restored church, don’t believe them. All the non-Christian cults say that the truth was lost and that their profit, profit is, or person organization is the restoration of true biblical Christianity. But, the truth is they are not restoring anything. They are furthering the lies of the enemy and teaching a false gospel.

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

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Joe Smith said : “As man is God was,,, as God is man may become”

I see at least 3 logical dilemmas in this statement. Do you agree?
Logical Dilemma 1: As man is God was
If God was once a man,,, where did man come from? There is no way around the fact that this statement implies that man originated apart from a creator. From my understanding there are only three possibilities for the origin of man.
1. Man was created by God and each kind makes after it‘s own kind. Animals do not evolve from one species to another. This is the biblical model of creation.
2. God created the cosmos and the basic materials for life and set evolution into motion. This is theistic evolution.
3. There was nothing and it went bang and eventually evolved into everything. Over billions of years simple life (if ya can call it that) arose and evolved into what we now call mankind without the influence of a God. This is what most people call evolution. Most do not even realize that this implies that one day (probably through a quantum leap, as evolutionist have proposed) that mankind will evolve spiritually into gods.
4. It is not really a logical possibility but some people believe that life on our planet was planted or seeded by alien beings. This idea is called the starseed theory or panspermia. Most who hold this belief do not ask themselves where did the aliens come from? This idea does not circumvent the necessity of a creator and/or evolution with or without a God.
The logical absurdity of, As man is God was, is that it naturally requires pure evolution. It would require that nothing became everything all by itself and eventually became a God (all by itself).
Logical Dilemma 2: as God is man may become

If man became a God before there was a God,,, why do we need a God or the Mormon teaching about becoming Gods to actually become a God. Doesn’t that imply that eventually all men should have or will become Gods? Or is the Mormon position that only one man evolved into a God and then said no other man could become a God unless he followed his rules and then he started the Mormon church and laid out all the does’ and don’ts about how to become a God?

Logical Dilemma 3: The book of Mormon

The book of Mormon is in agreement with the Holy Bible that there is only one God (and there where none before and there will be none after him), he is a spirit and he does not change. The bible even says that God is not a man (Num23:19).

Can’t you see the logical dilemma of Mormonism by initially saying that there is only one God and that he is unchangeable,,,,, and then going on to say that God was once a man?
Logical Dilemma 4: The book of Mormon
“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461)
If the Book of Mormon is the “most correct book on earth”,,Why has it been changed so many times? Please tell me how many times has the Book of Mormon been revised since Joseph Smith translated it from the golden plates?

Mormon Dilemmas by Damon Whitsell is licensed(for your free use) under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at http://www.how2becomeachristian.info/mormonism.htm.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Spectrumofrights_Comic1.

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