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Switch to Forum Live View My Pastor KNOWS better...
8 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2009 - 3:43AM #21
Posts: 3,242

When I was a new convert, I used to spend a lot of time with the missionaries, whom I looked up to.  One Sunday night, we went church hopping and ended up at a Baptist church.  If you know anything about the Baptists, you'll know that those who show up Sunday night are a stalwart crowd.  They know each other fairly well, and any newcomers tend to stand out like a sore thumb.  The preacher, who was in the habit of welcoming newcomers, asked the missionaries to stand and introduce themselves.  They did.  When it came time for the sermon, the preacher spoke of wolves among the flock.

On our way out, as is the custom among baptists, the preacher stood at the door, shaking people's hands as they left.  As we left, the preacher got quite hostile and told one of the elders, "You need to accept the Jesus of the Bible!"  One of the elders took this as his cue to throw back some kind of hot reply.  I don't remember exactly what it was, just that it was lame and pathetic, the kind of thing that would only justify the kind of hostility that would have produced the preacher's original accusation.

So, notwithstanding what I said before, I've wondered - over the years - what that elder might have said that might have had more of an impact than, "We do believe in the Bible!"

I'm reminded of an oldie but a goodie: I'd rather see a sermon preached than hear one any day.  Behind this well-worn chestnut is the reality that talk is cheap.  Less obvious, but no less true, is the fact that affirmations and denials are so easy to make - and easy to reject - but actions and words that teach are as powerful as swords cutting straight to the heart.  This may be why Jesus spoke in parables.  Sermons are easy to write but just as easy to ignore.  Stories about real people allow the audience to participate in discovering the moral.

So, when that preacher said, "You need to accept the Jesus of the Bible," I still wonder what those elders might have said that would have been worth hearing.  Some easy comebacks would have been:

"We do."

"We represent the Jesus of the Bible."

"He's the same Jesus in the Book of Mormon."

But I suspect a more intelligent response might have caught him off guard, something like:

"God bless you, pastor."

"Thank you for letting us worship with you."

"I thought I did but your sermon reminds me of how much further I have to go."

"Pray for me, pastor."

I suspect that the soft answer might well have spun this pastor around.  He was gunning for a fight.  The very sight of two Mormon elders sitting in his congregation made him fear that they had come to draw away his people, who - as we must remember - are his only support.

I, personally, thought it unwise to go "church hopping," but having entered their place of worship, I thought we should be respectful of these baptists.  We didn't go in expecting to pick up people to teach.  I'm not sure why the missionaries wanted to crash this particular party, especially since it would alert the minister to the danger that missionaries were in his neighborhood - a danger that he'd try to deal with from the pulpit.  I suspect, as part of being young and stupid, one or both of them were using the baptists to satisfy their own craving for a personal firewalk.

But I digress, which is part of being old and stupid.

I don't think Mormons need to ask others for permission to be Christian, but if challenged, Mormons would do well to give some thought to their reply.  "Are too" isn't the strongest choice available.  I suspect that if Thomas S. Monson had been there, and some baptist preacher had insinuated that he, President Monson, didn't believe in the Jesus of the Bible, he'd have been both confident and gracious at the same time.

Maybe he'd have said, "May he bless us all."

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2009 - 9:51AM #22
Posts: 12,363

The LDS doctrine of Jesus being the brother of Satan is no "obscure" teaching.  It is at the core of the preexistence and the "plan of happiness." That info is  available in the LDS manual Gospel Principles ch. 3 and others. I've checked the LDS facts.

Take the time to  actually watch the video and you will  see the link to the chat with Catherine and several other LDS missionaries at Browse my YouTube channel.

Thanks and God bless, 



To begin with, I actually taught Gospel Principles for a little over a  year; I have a good idea what is and isn't in the manual. (BTW, there's a new  manual due out next year.)


Likewise, how could I have drafted my response - including a note about  how the audio sounded - unless I had actually seen the video you linked me  to?


As far as sources go, it would appear that you have misunderstood me. Given  this, I shall explain it in even simpler terms.


Let us begin with this example.


Suppose, if you will, that someone attempted to write about mainstream  Christianity but leaned heavily on the likes of Marcion of Sinope, Montanus, and  Arius in describing what the theology was like.


Would you come to question the motives and/or research behind the  document?


A number of mainstream Christians would, considering that the three men so  named were written off by the Early Church as heretics.


And so it is with many critics of the church. They'll go out of their way  to avoid citing canonical or commonly accepted works - including the scriptures  - and instead cite the most obscure, heterodox, unorthodox, quasi-canonical,  non-canonical, or even heretical works they can get ahold of and portray  those as if they were the actual representations of what the church  believed. I kid you not when I say that I've seen Pratt's ever-controversial  "The Seer" (which even in its own day received a fair amount of criticism)  quoted about as often as actual LDS scripture.


Additionally, many critics will attempt to buttress their own words by  pointing to themself as living verification; they claim some sort of special  character or credentials, like an advance degree or having been a former member,  in order to justify their arguments. In these case - as put forth by Walter  Martin, a leading critic of the church - one must also check the  credentials. Some critics have been found lacking in regards to these  credentials, causing their arguments to become suspicious by default. For  example, Martin himself utilized the title "Doctor" for about 10 years before  actually earning a P.h.D and there is a dearth of evidence concerning when and  where he received his second ministerial ordination (his first having been  revoked). Likewise, Ed Decker claimed that he left the church because he became  converted to mainstream Christianity when in reality he was staring down  excommunication for serial adultery.


Given this, and the verbal venom many critics display towards members of the  church, it is only natural for members to be wary as to who is speaking and what  sources they are referring to. In fact, if you have not yet read it, I would  refer you to the Mosser-Owen report, which has been mirrored here: . Although the report is now over 10 years old, I have, sadly, come to the  conclusion that their points stil stand.


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8 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2009 - 11:30AM #23
Posts: 1,785

I truly try to edit my comments down to post card size so that they get read rather than scanned. So I simply try to remember Joseph Smiths admonition to “contend not but to pursue a steady course.”

 Also I agree with Bill in that President Monson would simply say "May he bless us all." So should we.

 Jesse F.


"Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it."

- Danny Kaye   


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8 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2009 - 4:17PM #24
Posts: 2,423

Dec 5, 2009 -- 5:52PM, Lavender wrote:

Truman, are you referring to Uwish's comment?


Back on topic...

I can tell you this because at one time, I was strongly anti-Mormon. (Go figure.) Anyway,  they use scare tactics; I'm sure you're aware that most people shut the door on our missionaries because, "If you let them in, you give place to the devil." And, of course, if that one doesn't work (which it usually does; who wants to give place to the devil?) they have at least ten others.

Yeah, I know what you mean.  And I feel such responses area generally rooted in insecurity and/or ignorance.

Though I must stay, the front door of MY home is not friendly to anyone uninvitedand trying to sell me something I'm not interested in (though I do try to be as polite as I am allowed). Wink

But they don't mind being friends with us. What a load of crap! Even though "I'm Mormon" doesn't usually come out at the beginning of a friendship, in the course of time, they find out. AND they still are our friends. (Mostly.)

I'd say that's pretty common among the vast majority of people . . . as long as one is not perceived as a threat of some kind.

It is a sobering thought that a person's first brush with LDS are friends; and even though I'm not "officially" representing the church, I do to that friend, and what I do or don't do now may affect their decision to be taught at a future date.

Yup . . . if one burns their bridge, it makes it tougher to get back to where you were.   And interestingly, for many people to claim to care . . . they want the separation and are willing to burn as many bridges as they can to keep it that way.

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2009 - 10:34PM #25
Posts: 12,363

The bottom line (even simple still, thank you very much) is that the LDS church  would have us believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers.

A Mormon can  explain it in the most flowery sounding terms he wants, but that will never  change the fact that Christians don't believe it. More importantly, Jesus never  taught it. If "Eternal Progression" were really all that important, we would  find at least some mention of God and Mother God and celestial procreation in  our Bibles.

But we don't.

Your religion is therefore aberrant.

Actually, the bottom line is that you continue to willfully distort a concept  by oversimplifying a single point. Again - I've discussed the matter with  atheists and they understood the fully LDS concept after only the first  attempt.


Furthermore, I am still waiting for you to cite the two passages that you  claim Catherine referred you to. As I have explained in some length, owing to  the many falsehoods I have seen critics employ in the past, I become rather  suspicious regarding such things.


As for "eternal progression not being taught," I shall start by referring you  to the topical guide entry Mankind: Potential to Become Like Heavenly Father - .  Pay special attention to Psalms 82:6 and John 10:34, as the two interrelate in a  fashion that I've not seen many non-Mormons pick up on.


Now that I have cited a source for you to view, would it be such a burden to  cite your own?


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8 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 12:04AM #26
Posts: 12,363

After being a student of Mormonism for over 10 years, I'm sure that I understand  the concept of eternal progression. I teach it in a class designed to educate  others re: understanding their Mormon neighbor and how to witness to them:

Your links  mention nothing of the details of God becoming God by obedience to eternal laws,  the preexistence, mortal probation and Mormon men becoming Gods over their own  planets where they will populate said planets with their offspring born of  celestial, polygamous wives (D&C 132).

The point remains: Jesus  knows nothing of it.


I'm currently skimming the link you've given me, and already I'm noting some  issues. In no particular order:


*The rendering of John 4:24 which reads "God is a spirit" is  seemingly exclusive to the KJV. My RSV, for example, deletes the  article a, rendering the verse instead as "God is Spirit." If one goes  by the RSV rendering, then, an argument can be made that the verse is meant to  be metaphorical and not literal. Yes, you read that right - I have an RSV. It  used to be in the ward's library, until the librarian decided to replace it  owing to the spine being severely damaged; at that point it came into my  posession.


*For your bit about the "plurality" of Gods, a reasonably competent Mormon  will point out that the KJV rendering of Genesis 1:26 has God saying "Let  us make man in our image" and so for anyone who uses a KJV  there's room to raise questions as to just who the plural represents.


*CARM? You'd do well to find another source; I've yet to meet anyone outside  of Evangelical Christian circles who takes them seriously, and in fact among  non-Christians the organization is held up to ridicule and scorn due to many of  the antics that have taken place there (such as the moderators for their message  boards confessing that they used to read the private messages users could  send directly between each other).


*You cite references that should be available via the LDS website, yet give  no actual links.


*As another point about the "plurality" of Gods bit, have you ever looked  into the concept of henotheism ( You  should, as it encompasses such little details as the veneration of saints as  practiced by Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.


*For John 17, I would refer you to verses 20-23, which I will copy here:


..."return toggleMarked(event, this)">  20 Neither pray  I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their  word;

..."return toggleMarked(event, this)">  21 That they all  may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may  be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

..."return toggleMarked(event, this)">  22 And the glory  which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are  one:

..."return toggleMarked(event, this)">  23 I in them,  and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may  know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Note that Jesus is praying for his followers to have the exact form of unity that he shares with God the Father. If one holds to the notion  that Jesus and God are literally the same, however, that raises  some questions about exactly what Jesus was asking for, no?  


*Luke 24:39, KJV, reads:


39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for  a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.


Unless you mean for it to be used in conjunction with the KJV-exclusive  rendering of John 4:24 (see above), this verse actually contradicts your arguments.  


*Again, consider Psalm 82 in light of John 10. Jesus uses that particular  passage of Psalms in such a fashion as to indicate that the term "gods" also  suggested a sort of proto-deity status.


*The Miracle of Forgiveness, while a common read, is not an  established instructional work. That you rely heavily on it for your third  sermon distorts its place within the church, and is thus highly misleading. 


*Tell me, have you heard of the concept of Cheap Grace? Or how about Once  Saved, Always Saved? Both of these are mentalities that exist among some  mainstream Christians, mainly Evangelical Protestants, which effectively holds  that once a person receives "salvation" they have a free ticket to Heaven  regardless of what they did before being "saved" or what they do afterwords;  adding insult to injury, for many Evangelical Christians salvation is as simple  as making a lone declaration of belief, with no other actions required. This, to  a Mormon, is as utterly abhorrent and abberant as you seemingly regard the LDS  concept of having one's actions manifest one's faith. As such, one should not be  pointing fingers so readily.


*In continuance with the above, Mormons regard salvation as a life-long  process, much like learning and growing. As such, even when a Mormon does sin,  the focus is not condemnation but rather "getting them back where they need to  be." In that sense, you're warping matters with your presentation.


*When explaining "after all we can do," there is a rather commonly-used  parable. I shall paraphrase it below:


A child finds himself wanting a new bicycle. However, at the moment neither  the parent nor the child have enough money to afford it outright. The parent  instructs the child to save his money, and that they will see what happens  afterwords. The child does as told, eventually filling an entire jar with loose  change. Unfortunately, after counting the money it becomes apparent that the  child has nowheres near enough to meet the required sum. But rather than concede  defeat, the parent - in recognition of the child's efforts - takes the child  down to the store; once the child has paid using what money he had saved, the  parent produces the difference.


In this, what was most important was not whether or not the child actually  succeeded in raising the needed amount; it was that the child put forth a  good-faith effort to do so.


Likewise, if you have not done so I would recommend brushing up on your  business law, particularly in the area of contracts. I say this as depending  upon specfic laws and other requirements, a contract may under certain  circumstances be regarded as fulfilled even if one party doesn't meet 100% of  the requirements so long as they have demonstrated a good-faith effort to meet  their obligations.


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8 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 12:28AM #27
Posts: 12,363

"The Miracle of Forgiveness, while a  common read, is not an established instructional work." 

You mean it was just Kimball's "opinion?" :-)

Last I checked, it  remains memorialized under glass in the history museum in downtown SLC.


We have discussed this before, and I am disappointed that you still do not  grasp it.


In short?


If the copyright on a work reads "Intellectual Reserve" or "Church of Jesus  Christ of Latter-Day Saints," then it is something that was officially put out  by the church and can officially be used as an instructional tool.


If not, then while it may be a significant cultural element in regards to the  church, the best a work can hope for is pseudo-canonical status. 


As a mainstream Christian example, take Strong's Concordence; many a  mainstream Christian swears by it as a study tool, but I have yet to see an  actual minister who devotes an entire Sunday School class to it.



While we're at it, how about responding to the other points I raised?


In fact, I'm still waiting for you to post the verses that "Catherine"  referred you to.


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8 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 9:39AM #28
Posts: 12,363

We'll never convince each other, Mr. Blair.

It's my hope that you'll  repent of LDSism and turn to Jesus.

Take care,


P.S.  If you're genuinely interested in the verses that Catherine provided, there is a  link to the chat contained within the video itself... towards the end. As I told  you, she linked me to a search in LDS scripture at having to do with  "creation." No mention of Jesus and Satan as brothers there.

Did I ever say that it was my goal to convince you?




My goal was to point out places where you had information and/or arguments  that were either outdated, factually inaccurate, misinformed, or some  combination of the two. The least that you could do is acknowledge what I've  pointed out to you and not simply dismiss it.


As for "Catherine," do you have any idea how many different searches one  could get from "creation" depending upon the established search fields and how  one set up the search criteria? Actual verses, please.


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8 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 5:28PM #29
Posts: 1,069

What's the "Taxi hoax"?

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 5:52PM #30
Posts: 1,069

I finished the rest of the post, Iron. "Repent of your LDSism and turn to Jesus"?

This is also one of my pet peeves. I want to scream: WHAT PART OF OUR NAME DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?

What a load of crap. I think (and these are just my musings) that

1.) The so-called clergy are going to have a lot to answer for on judgement day

2.) People are happy with one-day a week religion

I mean, we wouldn't want something like religion to interfere with their lives, would we? Go to church on Sunday (which they really don't care what the pastor says; wife wants to show off her new dress and jewelry and hubby wants to show off his new car; and, after the service, they can't get out of there fast enough; after all, they want to beat the Sunday rush at the restaurants. Why don't they just dispense with the preaching and have a fashion show already!

And, yes, it does bother me. Christianity is supposed to be a day-to-day walk with the Savior, not tip your hat to him on Sunday and forget him the rest of the week. What a bunch of bull.

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