Just a few of the many many many things other churches can - and should - learn
from the LDS Church and the Mormons in general.
The comments in this article reinforced what I continually hear from my non-LDS
friends and colleagues. They by and large find us sincere, wholesome,
charitable, community-focused, friendly, etc. In other words, they tend to
appreciate what we DO and the kind of people we generally are. But opinions
change dramatically when discussing what we BELIEVE. Almost unanimously I find
they love who we are but can't buy what we believe. A common theme being - I
love you in our communities but have no interest in attending your church.
They see the fruits being very good, if not excellent, but from a very bad tree.
At the Hill Cumorah Pageant, the UK writer observed antagonistic hostility from
the self-proclaimed "Christians" and experienced benevolent
tranquility from the supposed "non-Christians.""By
this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to
another" (John 13:35).In these two instances, where was the
love best expressed, and therefore the true Christian discipleship?
Keep the numbers quiet. Always manage the brand image. Political power can, and
should, be bought.
@HutteriteWhat are you talking about? Your comment was very vague,
if not bitter.
So what they're interested in learning is advertising strategies?
Most LDS members live their faith and their charity and love shows 24-7
Kouger They see the fruits being very good, if not excellent, but from a very
bad tree. Go figure!I have many Mormon family members and friends
and they are wonderful people, especially temple Mormons. I go to Jazz games,BYU
football games(season tickets) and to dinner with them all the time. And they
know Im a Bible believing Christian. But,Ye shall know them by
their fruits. Fruit can be doctrine and Christians have the right to be fruit
inspectors and Mormon doctrines have produced some bad fruit.
donn, I mean no disrespect, but I find "fruit can be doctrine" to be a
twist on what the Bible teaches. Fruit is very simple, as parables are designed
to be very simple- Does a church bring forth good work or bad? This is the real
meaning of this text. You can certainly apply 'good work or bad' to doctrine so
I can definitely see your point... but the problem I have with it is that
someone could use it to justify saying, "Well Mormons don't believe in the
trinity, and that's just bad fruit."If fruit equals doctrine,
lets simplify by saying 'belief' instead.'Mormons believe in bad
belief.' Such a statement has no logical merit and doesn't stand on its own. No
such 'fruit inspector' could exist under this understanding.Where by
saying that fruit is the work those produce, then the parable is not only
accurate in my opinion, but it actually works functionally as well.Mormons are doing good work for the world, charity, teaching kindness,
promoting family, etc. so that is how ye shall know them. This supports knowing
that what is good is of God, and what does bad is not, etc.
As quoted in the article:"Mainstream Christianity could learn a
lot from Mormons about how to communicate faith, I thought," Tumminio
wrote. "Because, though I didn't buy the religion they sold, it's hard to
argue with a testimony like that."A "testimony like
that" is a real testimony, a real witness of what is true. Whether you
agree with the LDS Church or not, we are proclaiming to the world that we have
the true gospel of Jesus Christ, that he lives, and so on. - With that being
said, I put this in an example.Mormon: I know the Church is true!Other Christian: hmmm... good tactic... I know my Christian church is true
everyone!The problem with this is that suppose for a moment that the
LDS Church actually is the true "Church of Jesus Christ" and is God's
church. If that was the case, no other could 'benefit' or 'learn from' how we,
to others, seem to 'tactically' use our testimony this way. If the LDS Church is
indeed true, it would literally be a bad thing for others to use this 'tactic'
to 'sell' to others.It seems that this would be encouraging false
Kendra Creasy Dean of the Princeton Theological Seminary, who participated in
Christian Smith (of UNC-Chapel Hill) National Study of Teenage Religiousity,
strongly suggested that mainstream Protestant and Catholic churches could attain
the same high level of "religiousity" and Christian discipleship by
following the Mormons' plan for training teenagers.
The scriptures are clear that a good tree cannot produce bad fruits, neither can
a bad tree produce good fruits. It also says that some will call good evil and
evil good, and that all that are good comes from God while all that are bad
comes from the devil,(I'm paraphrasing scriptures here.) The fruits
of Mormonism are many and unquestionably very good. They are the reason why many
like my family became converts. Just because many don't understand nor want to
learn our doctrines doesn't mean they are necessarily bad or evil either. I'm
thankful and proud to be Mormon and devout follower of Jesus Christ, even if the
world condemns me and tells me I'm not Christian.
We should freely and uncompetitively provide help and assistance and ideas and
solutions to anyone that has a need, or that asks.And if they never
accept Joseph Smith or baptism it shouldn't change what we do at all - we've
still made the world better just be being helpful or by giving someone an
answer.Sometimes I fear that in our congregations we get stuck on
our agenda to baptize, and not the other person's need to just be loved, or
cared for, or helped. And that if they reject our drive to baptism we sort of
turn lukewarm to them or don't know what to do with them.We'll know
we're doing it right when we have tons of people that come to church, that
participate with us in projects, but that don't necessarily want to be baptized
and that may not fully live the word of wisdom, but that just want to be with us
because they feel loved and cared for and safe.My ancestors go back
to Colesville and Kirtland, and let's face it, sometimes even I don't feel fully
safe in our congregations.We have some work still to do.
"O'Loughlin goes on to suggest that "using savvy media and marketing
campaigns to offer inspiration, hope and perhaps even gentle evangelization is a
smart move."---Mormon leaders have always been
brilliant at marketing. Hiring big New York PR firms help too.
They are getting the truth from us, that's what they're getting.
RE: Voice of reason Mormons believe in bad belief.' Such a statement has no
logical merit and doesn't stand on its own. Sorry, I meant the Mormon
leaders. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheeps
clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (MT 7:15) That
seer his name shall be called Joseph(Smith), and it shall be after the name of
his father. (JST 50:33)? JS prophecizes himself,Do you believe this?Brigham Young, Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew
comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a
follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will
apostatize.(JoD V. 2 p. 142)They tell us the BoM states that Jesus
was begotten of the Holy Ghost I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches no
such thing! Neither does that Bible. Joseph Fielding Smith. See(Alma 7:10)and
I met several Mormons in the Navy and they had a lot of "verve" which
Catholics, of which I am one, did not have.
Donn;You have to sample the fruit, that is for sure. But don't confuse
gospel fruit with doctrine. Fruit is the result of the doctrine, not the
doctrine itself. It is the way one lives his life. Obviously there are those
Mormons who don't exemplify Mormons, but many do.The problem with
trying to shape doctrine into fruit is you can only judge it against your
standard. So, if your "standard", or your calibrated "weights and
measures" is misaligned, the judgment you make when comparing others to it
is of no benefit. All you know is that the doctrines that produce the fruit of
Mormonism is different from your doctrine. But what the Savior was saying was
that you should step back and find the best fruit, then follow that back to
locate the true vine. Prophets of another age - people have little
problem with. But there has never been a time of the earths existence when it
was easy to accept a current day prophet of God. So if the fruit is good, it
might pay to examine the source code. I have. It rings true. May you do the
@Donn: What exactly are the Mormon doctrines you find to be producing bad fruit,
and what is that bad fruit? I would also like to know what our
current prophet is doing that demonstrates to you that he is a ferocious wolf in
sheep's clothing, attempting to deceive and harm us?Even though I
believe Brigham Young was a prophet of God and a great leader at a time when the
early saints needed a strong man with strong convictions, etc., every statement
a prophet makes in his entire life isn't necessarily "gospel' and meant to
be the direct word of God. Brigham once said that any man who makes his living
examining women (obstetricians) should be stoned. In hind sight we know that
wasn't a particularly enlightened opinion. Church leaders are just imperfect
people who may hold personal opinions which are not meant to be direct
inspiration from God for the whole world. Clearly we don't know everything
about that statement regarding Jews. I am a convert of 36 years, and with all
my studying I have never witnessed a prophet lead the church astray when he has
been giving direct revelation to church members.
Donn, consider the following post that I posted on recent "The Lionheart of
Brigham Young" article.-------In all respect to
those individuals who claim that Brigham Young made 'this' mistake or 'that'
mistake and feel that such things validate their claims or feelings towards the
the man, the Church, or anything other than that men are not perfect, please
consider the following principle:From the Book of Mormon title
page-"And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of
men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at
the judgment-seat of Christ."-------The point-
Despite any imperfections one can find in members of the LDS Church, their work
stands apart from that. No other man on this Earth is perfect, so why judge our
mistakes?Only Jesus Christ was perfect. Peter was not- we don't have
an account of his every move to know the little mistakes he made- we simply know
the work he did. Holding an LDS prophet to a different standard is illogical.
This is why we are commanded to not judge.Permitting, I would insert
tyndale1's 3rd paragraph here- it is the truth many today ignore.
The substance of all of this is: We believe, we teach and testify, we live it
and you choose. That is the reason God gave us agency. If you choose to not
believe, it is okay. We don't like you any the less nor will we spend one less
dollar or moment helping you when you are in need. It is a joy and privilege to
be of service when we can. Making friends is so much better than becoming
enemies simply because we see things a bit differently.
@ A voice of Reason & JRJ: Right on! Thanks for you cogent and well
thought out statements. It is people like you who keep me coming back to these
forums when I get discouraged; not discouraged by people I feel are sincerely
seeking to find greater truth and seeking to find good in others despite of
their differences in church memberships, but discouraged by those who appear to
just be looking to find fault with everybody and everything relating to the LDS
church. I would never consider getting online and reading newspaper articles
from a newspaper owned by the Catholic church with articles aimed primarily to
members of their church and then slamming Catholics in every article I read and
responded to in that paper. If I had questions about Catholic doctrine I would
sit down and share ideas with a Catholic friend in an open and friendly
discussion. My husband and I travel a lot and I have had many opportunities to
sit on airplanes or in airports and have meaningful, positive discussions with
people who are interested in learning more about the doctrines of my church.
Not once have I had a negative experience under these conditions.
A Voice of reason: Brigham Young said, I never yet preached a sermon and sent
it out to the children of men, that they may not call it SCRIPTURE, Let me have
the privilege of correcting a sermon and it is a good as Scripture as they
deserve .(JoD v 13 p. 95 also see v. 13. P 264).Maryquiter, What
exactly are the Mormon doctrines you find to be producing bad fruit? A
Marvelous Work and Wonder(1 Nephi 22:8),JS false prophecy:Therefore
behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: and I will
destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent.
(Is 29:14) I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to
nothing the understanding of the prudent(1 Corinthians 1:19) Paul quotes
the Septuagint, from where God denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking
an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. A paraphrase gives the true
meaning of Isaiahs prophecy. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these
hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB).
Maryquilter:Your comment regarding "slamming" LDS beliefs
is spot on! Of course, not everyone does but the principle is true- We should
focus on promoting what is good.I find hypocritical logic the most
frustrating; I've met many self-proclaimed 'only we are Christians', who condemn
LDS doctrine in the Bible, which they ignore. 1 Cor 15, Isaiah 2:2-3, Matthew
3:16-17, Genesis 32:30, and so on. I've been called blasphemous multiple times
when ONLY quoting exactly what is in the Bible. It's utterly incongruous.-------donn:My last allowed comment- so I will
not be able to further this discussion. I want to express a few things-1) That in my attempts to convince you to reconsider how you feel, I say in
kindness.2) What the Bible actually teaches is being misused. a) Taking the word of God, quotations from scripture- to condemn
someone else using God's words is saying that "God condemns..." them
also', which puts words in God's mouth that were never there. b) The
Bible DOES command us not to judge others. No twisting can reverse this
doctrine.---I'd post the Articles of Faith now if
permitted, please consider reading them.
donn, thank you for your respectful discussion.However, maybe I'm
just slow but I don't understand your 1:35 p.m. July 28, 2011 post at all. Was
there supposed to be a false prophecy of Joseph Smith in there?One
time I received a list of around 100 "false" prophecies of Joseph
Smith (many taken from the Doctrine and Covenants). Every last one was either a
misrepresentation of what was actually said, were declared false because they
didn't happen in Joseph's lifetime, or declared false because have not happened
yet. Many of the "false" prophecies weren't even supposed to take
place until the Second Coming (or afterward); it was dishonest to call them
false when they weren't supposed to happen yet. Also, sometimes prophecies are
fulfilled but we just don't recognize it. Trying to point out some false
prophecies of Joseph Smith also completely ignores the hundreds of documented
prophecies he made that have come to pass.Prophecies are also
sometimes conditional - check out Jonah and Ninevah. There were prophecies that
Ninevah would be destroyed ("Jonah...said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh
shall be overthrown" Jon. 3:4) but it wasn't in that timeframe because the
donn,"They tell us the BoM states that Jesus was begotten of
the Holy Ghost I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches no such thing!
Neither does that Bible. Joseph Fielding Smith. See(Alma 7:10)and (Luke
1:34,35)"Both of those scriptures teach that Christ is begotten
of the Father, through the power of the Holy Ghost. That's a huge difference
from what you're claiming. President Smith said that neither the Bible nor the
Book of Mormon teaches that Christ is the son of the Holy Ghost. He's right, no
scripture teaches that. We don't know how that conception process
worked, just that it was somehow possible through the Holy Ghost. Both of those
scriptures reiterate that thought, and both proclaim Christ to be the Son of God
the Father. Nowhere does it say that Christ is the son of the Holy Ghost.
@ Sarah, Jared and Voice of Reason: thank you for your comments.@
Donn: Sorry, but this seems to be going nowhere. Think we are not understanding
each other at all. I must say (and hope nobody shoots me for this), but A
Marvelous Work and A Wonder isn't one of my all-time favorite books written by
an LDS author either. Do I think this makes the doctrines of Christ I have
learned since joining the LDS church wrong? No. When I read about good trees not
producing 'bad fruit' I suppose I am thinking that as a whole I find most Latter
day Saints to be spiritual, honest, kind, giving, hard-working people who strive
to follow the Savior, serve others, and live good lives. I don't consider that
bad fruit. As I have studied, prayed, and tried to follow all that I have
learned in both the Bible and BOM I feel I have served the Lord well and don't
consider myself to be evil or to have been lead astray.As to the
bulk of the statements you made in your posting yesterday, I am sorry but I
cannot decipher what you are talking about.
JARED: (Joseph Smith Jr) Joseph son of Jacob, prophesied of the future mission
of the Prophet JS twenty-four hundred years before the LDS prophet was
born(50:33 JST ) Joseph Fielding Smith. Not found in the Apostles Bible
(Septuagin) ,Dead sea Scrolls. NO MS support for this false prophecy. Sarah Nicole: but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant
through the Holy Spirit).(Mt 1:18 NIV. Let it be". The words are those of
[google] Mary's fiat to the angel Gabriel in Luke. Maryquiter:
Christians believe in the miracle of the virgin birth by the Holy Spirit/Ghost
same word in Greek. Mormons believe it was a natural act(Mormon doctrine
p.742) Voice of reason said, The Bible DOES command us not to judge
others, In John 7:24, Jesus said "Do not judge according to appearance,
but judge with righteous judgment" Here we are clearly commanded to judge
with righteous judgment(doctrine). In Mt 7:1-5 Christ is warning about
being hypercritical, After all there is a book called Judges in Bible.
donn,"Sarah Nicole: but before they came together, she was
found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit).(Mt 1:18 NIV"The
"they" in the reference is Mary and Joseph. Meaning, before they
consummated their marriage, Mary became pregnant through the Holy Ghost. Yet
again, it does NOT say that she became pregnant BY the Holy Ghost. The
scriptures teach, over and over and over again, that Christ is the Son of God
the Father, and that this process happened through the power of the Holy Ghost.
They do not ever, even once, teach that Christ is the son of the Holy Ghost. He
is begotten of the Father.