The conundrum faced in describing LDS differences with Evangelicals is that most
of our unique theology can be referenced in non-Canonical works. There were
some 300 inspired books written prior to the Fourth Century, only 66 which were
considered Canonical. The Fourth Century (and subsequent) councils excluded
those which were considered too "esoteric". Some of the excluded
works reference temple worship, baptism of ancestors, theosis, eternal
progression, and the need to obey the Commandments as well as grace for
salvation.How can we convince Evangelicals that these aspects of our
faith are valid, if they only rely on those Scriptures which the Fourth Century
(and subsequent) councils found acceptable?
"Who has the right to decide whether a man or a woman is Christian?"
Millet asked. "Who has the power to gaze into another person's soul and
know their deepest desires, their eternal yearnings, the object and source of
their faith?Who has the right to determine who is "worthy"
to go to the temple?
"Bryan Fischer, claimed that Latter-day Saints are not Christian and are
therefore not entitled to First Amendment protections of religious
freedom."I would think one would be arguing against the above
statement before wanting inclusion in that group.Quite the mental
stretch to justify that the Constitution only applies to Christian faiths.Religions bashing Religions. A very common theme.Mine is RIGHT
and yours is Something Less.And we wonder why religions cause such
discourse in the world.
"From an LDS point of view, if there were no differences, there would have
been no need for the Savior to re-establish his church through Joseph
Smith"My favorite part of this article. Thanks for
a well written, accurate portrayalmany have tried to "Enlighten"
us on. I could never comprehend the Nicene Creed and it's portrayal of the
Godhead which directly defines our relationship with God.
Brother Mouw and Brother Millet, true Christians both of them, set a tone of
discourse so badly needed in all of society.May the Lord bless them
and all other Christian men and women who like them so diligently follow the
example of the Savior and "reason together." (Isaiah 1:18.)I think they both would agree that Nephi never said -- and Latter-day Saints
never say -- we are saved by grace "because" of what we do.Nephi said "after," not "because," and that has, for me,
the sense of "notwithstanding," as in "considering what can
happen in our past, His grace nonetheless saves."
From the Bible you can 'prove anything'. This is why there are so many different
religions. I listen to LDS about people being Gods, and their evidence from the
New Testament and it makes perfect sense.Then I listen to
Evengelicals about there being only one God and their evidence of this from the
Bible, and that too makes perfect sense.Its the Bible that is
flawed. It is not clear from the Bible what is the truth.
As a non-Mormon living in Salt Lake City, my wife and I take walks down to
Temple Square almost daily from the Capitol. We talk to the missionaries and
they are the nicest people. My wife is Hindu. I am Christian. We were a married
in a Hindu Temple in Malaysia and the priest did not even blink an eye about me
being Christian. My whole immediate family saw the ceremony and even
participated.Now if my wife was an adherent Mormon and we wanted to
get married in the Temple, I would have to convert to Mormonism, and on the
wedding day my immediate family would have to wait outside on the lawn while we
get married inside the Temple. Big secretive windowless Temples that
non-Mormons cannot enter make them seem insular. We don't want to participate
in sacred ordinances, but the LDS Church would have 50 million plus members
instead of struggling to maintain 5 million active members on roles of 14
million if they let family of LDS members observe ordinances. Nobody wants to
choose between their family and their faith. Unfortunately, new converts have to
make that choice, hence the stigma of converting.
A bit of the contention comes from LDS wording of doctrines. The author of the
article states that LDS believe they become "like God", however Gospel
Principles states in chapter 47 that exalted men become gods. LDS also say they
are saved by grace, but the Articles of Faith say they are saved by "by
obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel".To an
evangelical, this seems contradictory, possible even misleading. If the LDS want
to be seen as Christian, they need to explain the contradictions in these two
Regarding God's followers-To exclude Mormons based on doctrinal
differences that are not relevant to the fundamental qualifier of the Christian
classification, would be arbitrary, if not also prideful.However, I
do not believe most Evangelicals follow this, but that some simply follow the
few zealous anti-Mormons. Some have also begun to accept Mormons as peaceful
neighbors- acknowledging many mutual social goals and realizing there are more
common beliefs than our differences. I cherish that friendship.The
primary LDS concern with others promulgating "Christian" as a form of
acceptance is not wanting acceptance. We only seek God's acceptance, not other
men. We only categorize ourselves as Christian to proclaim to others what we
believe. To exclude Jesus Christ from that is to lie to your fellow man, for
your own prideful ambition. However, nothing will hinder God's work.The actual title-The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus
ChristAnd while some who haven't even read it may criticize- Every
time I read from it's pages, I am inspired even more to live God's commandments
and do good for others. And that, accept it or not, is most absolutely
characteristic of the true word of God.
The great litmus test on whether or not an individual (or an entire church) is
"Christian" would have to be:1. Do you recognize Jesus
Christ as the Son of God?2. Do you, despite personal imperfection, try
your best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ? (Do you live the Golden
Rule?)3. Do you have a place in your heart to unconditionally love every
human being regardless of their religious affiliation(even Mormons)?If someone cannot live by these simple precepts, I'm not so sure he or she
would feel comfortable in heavenly surroundings.
It is refreshing to see evangelicals and Mormons talking and teaching and
laughing together. Afterall we both want the same thing - to follow Jesus
Christ. It is this ability to stop and talk that leads to better
understanding.Like temple marriage. If you stop long enough to think
about it, and to study the Bible about it, and to ponder what you read there
about those who were admitted into the temple and those who were not, then the
LDS viewpoint has merit. Not everyone is admitted. The temple is a place of
Holiness To the Lord and those designated to keep it that way must therefore
screen for worthiness as best they can. I hope you can see that. As
for being saved by grace versus being saved after all we can do, LDS theology
includes both. Without the atonement of Jesus Christ nothing we can do will save
us, and without conforming our lives to His and doing the things that He has
asked us to do and to turn from our transgressions, then we are not allowing the
atonement to rescue us. It is about doing things we say. Every epistle of Paul
clearly teaches this.
Great article. This helps dispell confusion about the way we should explain our
own doctrine and that of evangelicals.Thank you.
Many different versions of Christianity arose in the time immediately following
Jesus' death. By the fourth century, the group that was to become the Catholic
Church had won the battle between them. After that the Catholics tried to erase
the memory of the competing groups to make it appear that they were tiny
splinter groups of "heretics". They were, in fact, large groups that
could have become the dominant form of Christianity under different
circumstances.Do a little research on the Ebionites, the
Marcionites, and the followers of Valentinus to get a sense of just how
divergent early Christianity actually was.
ThinksIThink; You ask, "Who has the right to determine who is
"worthy" to go to the temple?" Answer: The one answering the
interview questions. John Kateel | 7:13 a.m. Nov. 28, 2011 John, you, being a Christian must remember the passage where Jesus says,
"He who loves Father or Mother more than me is not worthy of me",
right?Megen; You deliberately mislead when you state: "the
Articles of Faith say they are saved by "by obedience to the laws and
ordinances of the gospel"."What it says is, "We believe
that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind MAY be saved by obedience to
the laws and ordinances of the gospel." Or, by grace, after all we can do.
Such drama in the first few sentences of the article! oh my gosh!
What's interesting is that the LDS Church demands to be recognized by the rest
of the Christian world as "Christians," while denying that fringe,
fundamentalist LDS groups be allowed to call themselves or be referred to as
"Mormons." Hypocrisy comes to mind.Theologically, the LDS
Church has a lot more in common with fundamentalist LDS than they do with
mainstream Christian religions. Their basic (not all) tenets are the same, but
the fundamentalists don't accept current LDS leadership. This is similar to
Protestant views regarding the Catholic Church.I suggest that the
LDS Church in its quest for world acceptance (unlike their old zeal for
remaining a "peculiar people") allow others to be viewed as Mormons
just as they want to be viewed as Christian.
Most of the theological conflicts between Mormonism and historical Christianity
seem to boil down to additional rather than fundamentally contradictory
doctrine. We Mormons do not believe that "God" (specifically, our
Heavenly Father and/or the resurrected Jesus) is _only_ an exalted Man, but
rather a composite being. We also apply the term "God" to spirit
beings (e.g. Holy Ghost, premortal Jesus aka Jehovah). We also believe that the
fundamental eternal nature of any who are or can ever become gods includes
"intelligence" or "priesthood" (without beginning of days
and end of years). These more rudimentary definitions of "God" sound a
lot more like the historical Christian view.
ThinksIThink,J-TX,J-TX replied, "ThinksIThink; You ask,
"Who has the right to determine who is "worthy" to go to the
temple?" Answer: The one answering the interview questions."First, to clarify- I'm going to offer a slightly more elongated reply which
does not contend with his answer, but simply adds to it.-------To me the most accurate answer is God and second most accurate is
ourselves. God chooses men to do His work. He always has and always will. He is
an unchanging God. If one things it wrong for an LDS priesthood authority to
deny some access to God's temple- I would reply by saying:1)
Priesthood authority today is no different than it was with Moses. God appoints
men to do his work. Otherwise, our entire Bible would read very differently.2) If one things it's simply wrong to deny access because 'everyone
deserves it' - It's no different than the biblical temples we read of. Plus,
everyone CAN go, conditions (commandments) deny nothing. Choosing not to adhere
to such conditions is willfully denying ones self of God's temple.3)
If I am wrong, would you blame God for denying people into heaven?
J-TX | 8:42 a.m. Nov. 28, 2011 Allen, TX ThinksIThink; You ask,
"Who has the right to determine who is "worthy" to go to the
temple?" Answer: The one answering the interview questions.@J-Tx, I'd have to disagree with you. People can lie to get a recommend and
likely do it all the time, but it is the Lord who determines their worthiness.
And I do not doubt that those who lied to be able to put up a false front and
attend the temple will definitely answer for that one day.
I am surprised by Robert L. Millet's table comparing LDS and Evangelical
Christian beliefs.For the topic of "Grace" he writes:"We are saved by grace, which is freely given, the greatest of all
God's gifts. But this gift must be received by faith in Christ, which is
manifest in deeds of faithful discipleship and obedience to the Lord's
commandments."To put it bluntly, there are no LDS scriptures to
support Millet's statement.LDS beliefs distinguish between
"salvation" and "exaltation".Salvation is
"free" to all because "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ
shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22.)In other words,
LDS doctrine is that ALL mankind will be SAVED (but not exalted) by being
resurrected. That has been taught in missionary discussions for decades, and is
supported by the "Scripture Mastery" scriptures learned by the youth
of the Church.There is NO LDS scripture stating that resurrection
"must be received by faith in Christ" nor that it must be
"manifest in... obedience to the Lord's commandments."So
why does Millet make these erroneous statements?
"Historical" Christianity? It's not a matter of truth but of time.When the 4th century councils finished their work had historical
Christianity been reinstated or was it something different than what Jesus and
the early Apostles taught? If the latter, then it was not historic Christianity
but only is bestowed that title today because of intervening centuries.When the reformers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were rejecting the
then-historical Church, were THEY historical Christianity? They wanted to leave
the historical church while still claiming to be the "truer"
historical church that the existing churches had wandered away from. Yet they
wanted to retain the claim to being "Christian". Now what do they
have? Some intervening centuries now make THEM historical.Then
along comes Joseph Smith, claiming that the existing religions in his day had
wandered away from the true historical church set up by Christ and his Apostles.
There is a need for a restoration. And now, this church, known as the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has nearly two centuries of history under
its belt. Seems to be just a matter of time, can we agree?
I wonder what part of "For it is by grace ye are saved, after all your can
do." that Millet can't understand.
Vanka,There is a known difference of interpretation of the term
"salvation". Although normally the term is applied in scripture as
meaning to be saved in God's kingdom (ie. the Celestial), it is also used in
reference to being saved from death (ie. resurrected) or saved to a kingdom of
glory (ie. not cast out to dwell with Satan.Also, it is well known
that Christ's atonement applied universally to all, affording to all the
resurrection and affording to all conditions for repentance (which is different
than being saved from death, but part of Christ's gift nonetheless).There is confusion out there but not among those familiar with the doctrinal
definitions of some otherwise confusing terms.
@VankaNot quite true. Scriptural basis for salvation by grace is
two-fold: salvation from sin and also resurrection, which you're referring to.
Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation from sin, but not for
resurrection. Millet's claim that salvation (not exaltation) is dependent not
only on faith but also obedience is not scripturally sound. The New Testament is
very clear that salvation from sin is dependent solely on faith in Christ and is
granted by Christ's grace--not by anything we do.Exaltation, on the
other hand, reqires not only faith in Christ but obedience and the performance
of deeds. Regarding the commandments, which we are taught we have to
diligently keep, my guess is there is no one within the Church who knows and can
list out all the commandments. There are many found in the Old Testament (not
just the basic 10 alone), many more found in the New Testament, even more in the
Book of Mormon, and a very large quantity found in the Doctrine & Covenants
(originally referred to as the Book of Commandments).Given the large
number of commandments we can possibly break each day, I guess that's why we
thinking someone is so unclean and impure merely because they are not LDS, hence
they cannot enter the Temple, is where the LDS Church may have its biggest
schism with the rest of Christianity.This is akin to indirectly
saying...we are better than you. Yet we want you to accept us as equals although
we will never accept you (meaning all you other Christians as equals) Everybody can enter the Vatican and see the Sistine Chapel. Jesus himself was
not concerned about quirky nuances of the Jewish temples of his time. He even
advocated eating food from the temple if you were hungry. Half of my
family is Hindu and the other half is Catholic from 79 AD. St. Thomas reached
the coast of southern India in Kerala and created a church in my mother's home
town of Kollam. Hindus were allowed in the church and over time a percentage of
them converted. Hindus allow anybody to enter any temple at anytime.
Hindus believe that Jesus Christ is God and there is only one true God. They
believe that there are many manifestations of this one God. They believe that
ALL religions are equal and the same.
A dozen verses in the New Testament say that faith alone will save us; also a
dozen verses in the Book of Mormon say the same thing; Elder Nelson has
taught in the last few years in conference "repentance is conversion and
conversion is repentance."
This confusion over "salvation" extends into confusion over the
question of "original sin". I notice Millet does not contrast the
beliefs of LDS versus Evangelicals on this subject. Why not? It is fundamental
to the notions of salvation!LDS doctrine asserts that "all have
sinned", which is why a "Savior" is required to give men
"salvation".Yet LDS belief teaches against the idea of
"original sin" (see the 2nd Article of Faith), as well as the idea
that children cannot sin (nor be tempted) until they reach the age of
accountability (age 8; see Moroni 8:10-21; D&C 29:46-47). Nevertheless, LDS
baptize (sinless) 8-year old children "for the remission of sins".You teach that humans are not punished for Adam's transgression, but
insist that all mankind is in a "lost and fallen state" (Alma12:22),
but this state is not a "punishment" (?), and you teach that sin
conceives in children's hearts because they are "conceived in sin"
(Moses 6:55). How is this different than "original sin"?And why wouldn't Millet include the fundamental question of original sin in
So, if I have understood the (convoluted and esoteric) explanations, you are all
saying that "salvation from sin" is distinct from "salvation from
death", both of which are also distinct from "exaltation"?Please support these claims with scriptures. I dare say you cannot.But even if you could, you are effectively saying that the
"salvation" that is "free" (by grace) is relatively
meaningless. What Evangelicals call "salvation" is "salvation
from sin AND death". But you LDS are saying (without scriptural support)
that "salvation from death" is free, but "salvation from
sin" is NOT - it must be earned "by obedience to the laws and
ordinances of the gospel".And you assert this in the face of
the clear writings of Paul, who said there is NO salvation FROM SIN by the
"laws and ordinances" (of Torah). This is evidence by Galations 3:17,
which clearly points out that the promise of Salvation to Abraham pre-dated
"the laws and ordinances" (of Torah and the "Law of Moses")
by over 400 years!So why does Millet fail to address these
fundamental and critical distinctions?
To Mr. Kateel: it took Enos in the Book of Mormon less than 24 hours to
receive a remission of sins----for others in the New Testament, it took 5
seconds for Christ to see their faith and declare them clean and forgiven; the
missionaries baptize people in 3 weeks time. And after baptism a person can
enter the temple to perform ordinances and advance in the priesthood. I think
it was Pres. Hunter that said, "God forgives us long before we forgive
I submitted this many hours ago, and I canât for the life of me figure out
why it was denied, except for one word in all caps. Letâs try again. I
donât think it is defamatory, mean spirited, or incoherent. I donât
think it is much different than lots of comments published.Interesting to read that Matt Slick is still at it. Like most Protestants, he
maintains not only that the Bible is the only scripture, but the only possible
book of scripture; there never could be any other scripture. About 10 years ago,
I had a series of email exchanges with him. (I am active LDS). In my first
email, I asked him if Paul's lost epistle to the Corinthians (referred to in 1
Cor 5;9) were to be discovered, authenticated, and shown to contain great
Christian teachings, if he could accept it as scripture. (I knew he wouldn't say
yes, since he claims all scripture is in the Bible, even though it was not
compiled until hundreds of years AD, and was not compiled by prophets. But if he
said no, it would force him to explain why an epistle that happened to get lost
isn't scripture, while those in the Bible are.) He wrote back, âAre you a
Mormonâ I said, yes, and please answer my question. He wrote back that I
was lost and going to hell. I wrote back, please answer my question. After a few
more emails, he said I wouldn't fare well in a debate with him. But he never
could and never even attempted to answer my question. For this reason, I'm not
sure he'd make a great debater either. But of course he missed the point; truth
is not established in debates, including those at Nicea.
"'Is Mormonism Christian?' is a very important question," writes Matt
Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. "The answer is
equally important and simple. No. Mormonism is not Christian."If you are a Mormon," Slick adds, "please realize that CARM is
not trying to attack you, your character or the sincerity of your
belief."-------------------CARM is as anti-Mormon
as they come. Just visit their message board sometime and see. Asking CARM their
opinion of Mormonism is like asking your worst enemy to give an an opinion of
you. They have no incentive to give a fair opinion of Mormonism.
Vanka,LDS doctrine is only Christ is perfect, but we reach an age of
accountability.-------Augustine created "Original
Sin", not Christ. Julian of Eclanum, an Italian bishop, was exiled for
disagreeing with Rome's pagan-Christianity. He sent Augustine a letter,
saying:"Babies, you say, carry the burden of another's sin, not
any of their own...Explain to me, then, who this person is who sens the innocent
to punishment. You answer, God...God, you say, the very one who commends his
love to us, who as loved us and not spared his son but handed him over to us, he
judges us in this way; he persecutes new born children; he hands over babies to
eternal flames because of their bad wills, when he knows that they have not so
much formed a will, good or bad... It would show a just and reasonable sense of
propriety to treat you as beneath argument; you have come so far from religious
feeling, from civilized standards, so far indeed from common sense, that you
think your lord capable of committing kinds of crime which are hardly found
among barbarian tribes." (Freeman)That's about how LDS doctrine
(Moroni 8) treats this.
To state that LDS are not Christian is only true if what is really meant is
"LDS are not Evangenlical Christians"That is true -
"Mormon Christians are NOT Evangelical Christians"And that
tautology merely reduces again to "Mormons are not Evangelicals" or
"Evangelicals are not Mormons"Let's not lose sight of
representing ourselves by what is in our hearts (and actions), not by how we
might be defined by the words of others or by the arm of flesh.
Re: Central Texan, Seems to be just a matter of time, can we agree? Noway,The pale of Christianity believes the birth of Jesus was a "Unique
miracle" by the Holy Spirit/Ghost same Greek word. This is how the birth of
Jesus the Messiah came about, His mother Mary was pledged to be married to
Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the
Holy Spirit. (Mt 1:18 NIV). The Virgin Birth. They tell us the BoM
states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge ha statement.
He BoM teaches No Such Thing! Neither does the Bible.(Joseph Fielding Smith,
Doctrines of Salvation v. 1:19) See Alma 7:10. The birth of the
Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of
natural action. He partook of flesh and blood was begotten of His Father, as we
are of our fathers. (JoD 8:115). Another difference, Christians
want to be with God Mormons want to be God.
You know, there is only one who ultimately decides who is Christian enough.
Anytime man gets in the job of judging other peoples hearts and intentions,
trouble follows.Well written piece discussing the issue in what I
feel is an overall balanced perspective. Not bad DN.
Dear RG: Excellent comment. Many of these people are small minded and afraid
of anything that would threaten their livelihood. I'm glad you persisted.
Clearly this man had no intelligent or logical answer to your question. It's
not surprising.As LDS we believe, love and follow the Christ of the
New Testament--not the "Christ" that was invented by the Council of
Nicea. We proclaim the divinity of Christ as the Son of God and the Creator of
the Universe. We proclaim that he has restored his Gospel to the earth in the
Great article. Of course there are those who still wish to increase
misunderstanding, day in and out, but, overall, I can think of no evil that
comes from evangelicals and LDS listening to each other. This is a much better
than, for example, an Agnostic telling everyone that they must interpret
everything in a confused way, because they do, etc ; ), that's just silly.... :
) As I study History my understanding of the importance of Joseph
Smith's apostolic mission is greatly deepened. So much was lost during those
early years of torture and hiding. There were many people, some with good
intentions, others perhaps seeking power, who tried interpret, reform, and
alter. I've attended Church and studied with evangelicals and others, and they
are wonderful people, but the philosophers' creeds and Biblical interpretations
didn't answer teh important questions. The Gospel, as restored by Jesus Christ,
makes perfect sense to me. @Vanka check LDS org, UR a little
confused, as you said : ) (hints- not being punished for Adam transgression
doesnt mean Adam didnt transgress; we look back to Baptism, we can sin at
"about" 8; mankind lost for own sins; we are conceived into a sinful
world but you forgot V54, "grow" etc
Well said, Vanka. You have elucidated the matter well.I've never
spoken with an LDS person who has been able to reconcile 2 Nephi 25:23 with
Ephesians 2:8-9. They are logically contradictory. Smith's choice of words in
the Nephi verse are clearly alluding to the Ephesians passage, but polemicizing
against it.Justification is by grace alone."He
saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his
own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom
he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being
justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal
life." (Titus 3:5-7)Tell me, are Mormons willing to say that
all men have been presently regenerated by the Holy Spirit? If they are not,
then their distinction between salvation and exaltation cannot stand.
To Vanka: when Christ was baptized, was He baptised for the remission of His
sins, or because this was a "commandment from God (His Father)"? John
3:5Is baptism only to obtain a remission of sins, or is it the way to
obtain the Gift of the Holy Ghost? The bestowal of the holy ghost is one of the
greatest gifts of God. Acts 2:38 also Acts 8:12-25So, children at the age
of eight are able to comprehend more clearly right from wrong. Whether they have
sinned or not, can be baptized so they can receive the gift of the holy ghost to
be their constant companion as long as they live worthy to have the holy spirit
to attend them, which spirit is able to assist us in making good decisions as we
remain humble to listen to its guidance.
Extremely mature dialogue throughout this thread. Methinks Dr. Millet knows his
stuff so if unsure just ask him for clarification. I do not have his phone # but
I am certain he would return your call to the faculty at BYU. His on-going
dialogue with Dr. Mouw is highly positive. My own dialogue with Protestants
attempts to find common ground for the better good of everyone. After
everything is said and done we all want the same result=to return to the
presence of our Savior with our families. All very good reasons for spending the
time we do in the nearest temple. In my case the Cardston, Alberta Temple.
I've been having some wonderful conversations with some Baptist Pastors lately,
and I've learned that we agree far more than I thought. I also agree very much
with the statement that we would have no need for a restoration if nothing was
lost. Some Baptists believe that a "recovery" was needed. They do this
like most others, by re-interpreting creeds and scriptures. Some of them
feel LDS are cultists, and often reinterpret LDS Doctrine for us (as some here
do)Others can't accept doctrines that were taught by early Christians,
dating back to the apostles and Jesus including: Deification (you weren't
Christian if you didn't believe God became man so humans can become
"gods" (See FAIR "The Christian Doctrine of Deification"
Jones; "Christ, The firstfruits of Theosis" Cook etc); God incarnate
(see Divine Embodiment: The Earliest Christian Understanding of God, Paulsen);
Creation exmateria (see Mormon view of the creation/Creatio ex nihilo (exnihilo
was a gnostic idea); etc etc@Broken see FAIR "Salvation by
Grace Alone?" etc. LDS accept the Biblical view of repentance, not the
Heaven where we are forced to be good. donn, not sure how you interpret:
check Encyclopedia of Mormonism, FAIR etc "Virgin Birth."
@brokenclay"I've never spoken with an LDS person who has been able to
reconcile 2 Nephi 25:23 with Ephesians 2:8-9. They are logically contradictory.
Smith's choice of words in the Nephi verse are clearly alluding to the Ephesians
passage, but polemicizing against it."I think the way many look
at 2 Nephi 25:23 is incorrect. I think a better understanding is "in spite
of all we can do". Idiomatically it makes sense. "After all we can
do" is often shown to be that we cannot do enough. "After all the
Doctors could do, the patient still died" "After all I could do, my
friend overdosed." There is no act, no one thing I can do to
merit salvation. My salvations is purely dependant on Christ. All I can is have
a heart willing to receive it.
The irony is that the term Christian was never meant to be term of flattery, but
it was originally a derogatory term, coined by non believers. However one would
have to ask what is in a name? If you believe in something, but don't practice
it, then are you really a Christain? Many of the churches today believe in a
creed that was developed out of conference in the 4th Century in Nice. Many
people lost their lives for not agreeing with that creed or teaching. I would
argue that to be a Christian, that you would have to practice the teachings that
the Savior taught us to do. Intolerance or persectution was not apart of the
teachings of the Savior. The irony is that people who like to be called
Christian and engage in persecution and intolerance are not Christian.
Thank you, DN, for highlighting this topic further. There is no more important
issue than in Whom you are trusting for Eternity. Who is Jesus Christ, what is
God's Word and Message, and where do you place your authority- in His Word, a
priesthood, your leaders...?I am banking all on the finished work of
Christ on the Cross. My ordinances and good works/obedience can be a marker of
my true spiritual rebirth, but the Bible warns that even some miracle workers
will be denied entrance to the Father's Kingdom. Their motive was other than
glorifying The Holy One; only His judgment call. All the rest of God's Word is
for living out His plan and designs for my life: how to worship, obey,
understand, share, disciple, teach. It can be helpful for LDS to
understand this vital distinction when they are upset at being denied membership
in the "Christian Club". They want the moniker, but they've redefined
the requirements. Then, as pointed out here, they exclude all other non-LDS
from the only part of their heaven where God resides.I love my
Mormon family, but I left their revisions for Christ's Cross and His blood
Dear Onlythecross: I'm sure your LDS family also loves you a great deal as we
all do. I'm also sure that they are deeply saddened that you have chosen to
give up the fullness of the truth for a partial truth--the philosophies of men
mingled with scripture. These people, no matter how sincere, have
been without the revelations of God for centuries. Now, that communication is
again available--the Heavens are open. I'm so grateful that I have received
personal revelation from God that confirms to me the truth of the Restored
Gospel and the knowledge that we lived before we came here and can return to our
Heavenly Parents with all our earthly families sealed for eternity. So many of
these important truths were lost leading to the darkness of the middle ages and
the confusion that exists among many churches today. Now that truth has been
restored and it is the great stone rolling forth from the mountain.I
hope you will open your heart once again to the fullness of the truth.
I came from a Lutheran, Baptist and Catholic Family. From exposure to many
Christian faiths I discovered what Joseph Smith realized! To get an answer, one
must seek God directly. Without knowledge of Mormonism or Joseph
Smith and after reading James also, I arrived at the same conclusion. On Dec 10,
1964 at age 14, I sought the Lord in private vocal prayer to confirm my decision
to become a Lutheran. I had an almost identical experience, was
told "...join not with the Lutheran faith or any other earthly faith for
they teach the doctrines of men... Study and expand thy mind and one day I will
be lead to the Household of my true faith wherein thou shalt become for me a
fisher of men." Without knowledge of Mormonism, at age 17 I
entered the Woodland Hills LDS Chapel on a 107F day to get a drink of water.
While alone, staring at a painting in the foyer I was again spoken to,
"...Thou has entered into the household of my true faith. Join ye now
herein and become for me a fisher of men!" Christian or not! I
am LDS now and know the undeniable truth!
Meant to say 1966, not 1964... Sorry. 1964 is a typo.
Having made my statement of faith in an historic context (though I actually
mistyped and meant, 1966, not 1964) the word "Christianity" as it
should apply ALL of us means simply where two or three are gathered together in
the Lord's name. My acceptance of the LDS distillation of Christian
thought by no means negates my love and acceptance of all Christian believers in
the "greater" Christian body (larger church). All believers that
Jesus is the Christ, Savior and Son of God are Christians. Many of our faiths
may disagree on specific nuances of what that means. We all agree that Christ
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. We believe HIS way, light and word especially as expressed in Christian
virtue, are a binding salvation for all Christian believers; be they Catholic,
Lutheran, Baptist, Mormon or Presbyterian, etc. Mormons like other
Christians believe in a loving an benevolent God expressed perfectly in Christ's
own life. So what if everyone's fine print is existential to self. Love of
Christ is still the center to all his believers in common regardless of faith.
Gather in HIS name and rejoice with all.
I'll worship Zeus. Makes more sense.
The Comparison Chart on the Evangelical side needs a lot of work to be
accurate.Most Evangelicals are NOT 'Creedal' in doctrinal orientation.
The Chasm between God and Man has been bridged by Christ in the Evangelical
belief, yet the chart states just the opposite to that. Evangelical believe
that revelations of God is still on going. In nature- God is revealed, in Prayer
God's will is revealed and soforth. So I consider this Comparison Chart to be
Thank you all, for all the wonderful Christian comments. I really enjoyed Louis
above, and several others. One of my friends had a similar experience. He had
studied to become a monk. Salvation seems to be the biggest
misunderstanding today so Ill explain my feelings. I believe that most LDS are
banking all on the finished work of Christ. Salvation, as I understand LDS
doctrine, is by grace alone. (see article and Darrel above). We are rewarded
according to our works, as the Bible teaches, but are saved from death and sin
by grace. Salvation from death is universal, and many who were not LDS will be
saved in the Celestial Kingdom, with God (although many Christians feel LDS will
burn in Hell). In studying Jesus I understand that we are saved from sin, not
in sin. We must repent, have faith etc.Grace doesnt come unjustly,
randomly forcing some to stop sinning, while others burn. Grace leading to
salvation from sin comes by faith. Jesus, and His disciples plainly taught that
we must keep His commandments, repent, be baptized etc to enter, we must
"do" more than call Him "Lord" to receive Salvation FROM
"Latter-day Saints are probably as guilty of misrepresenting traditional
Christian beliefs as Christians are of misrepresenting ours," Millet
said.How guilty are Latter-day Saints of misrepresenting their own
beliefs? Brother Millet has addressed, in his book "More Holiness Give
Me", the issue of Jesus being too casually considered as our big brother in
a family setting rather than being worshiped as God the creator of worlds
without number. Another rather common belief is that each world has its own
Savior when church leaders have clearly taught that Jesus is the Redeemer of
those worlds as ours. Jesus seemed to use his time in teaching, by example and
precept, how to live and be redeemed from our sins. Hopefully we nor the
Evangelicals will not fail to do that because we spend our time looking beyond
I find the idea that Christ prayed to himself ludicrous.
megen posted: but the Articles of Faith say they are saved by "by
obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel".===To
believe or have faith in Christ is a commandment (law). Failure to have faith,
will short circuit Grace. Grace is conditional, upon faith, which is a
Darryl, I've never met a non-LDS person who can reconcile the very real
experiences I had absent any knowledge of all things LDS, at the age of 14 and
17, nor some other beautiful witnesses of the divine acting within our live
since then. I don't fret over little word issues on the English side or the BOM
texts. But I do take seriously the very scholarly and undeniably unexplainable
inclusion of the many then (1830) largely unknown Egyptian names, place-names
and grammatical constructions that appear in a book purporting to be an English
translation of such ancient records as the plates upon which was engraved the
language (culture) of the Hebrew people but utilizing the compact written glyph
structure of the Egyptians. We have since found many such historic
examples of such constructs. Therefore the Book of Mormon is far harder for
critics to explain away as fabrication today after scholarly language analysis.
This isn't 75 years ago. But I didn't need to know any of that to know I had a
similar experience at the ages of 14 and 17 and was lead to the Household of
true faith by God.
"you have chosen to give up the fullness of the truth for a partial
truth""I am LDS now and know the undeniable
truth!""join not with the Lutheran faith or any other
earthly faith"And you wonder why the LDS get dissed by the
others.Can you really not see? It is all over these boards.If people say the same about you, you get all bent out of shape.Let me suggest that you keep your religious superiority comments to
yourselves.Either that, or grow thicker skin.
I am LDS, and I do not believe that "God is an exalted man" -- at
least, not in the sense that there was ever a time when God was not God, or that
God rose from non-divine mortality to Godhood. The Book of Mormon and Doctrine
& Covenants are very clear that God has been God for all time:
"infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same
unchangeable God."When somebody canonizes the King Follett
discourse, so that it stands on an equal footing with the Standard Works -- and
when a prophetic authority clarifies that it actually means that God was once a
mere mortal man -- then it can properly be said that that's what Mormons
believe. Until then, this Mormon, and anyone who believes the Standard Works,
doesn't. Dr. Millet is off base.
Vanka posted: Nevertheless, LDS baptize (sinless) 8-year old children "for
the remission of sins".============They also partake of the
sacrament. But until they are baptized and enter into a covenant, the sacrament
has no effect (simply a training exercise). Like the Savoir, they enter waters
of Baptism to fulfill all righteousness (failure to be baptize would be 1st sin)
. Thereafter, the proper renewal of covenants during sacrament is an incremental
application of Christ's Grace to remove recently accumulated sin. If you have
faith in Christ to repent, his grace will be freely applied.
Mormons *do* believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one
"being," or entity. That entity is "God." The Book of
Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants are clear that there is only one God. That
is, Christ, his Father, and the Holy Ghost are separate individual beings, but
not three separate Gods. God is one being, or entity.An imperfect
analogy is a corporation, which is a distinct entity despite that its
constituent members -- its stockholders, officers, and employees -- also have
their own separate individuality. (Please spare the usual uninformed blather
about corporate personhood -- a corporation's been treated as a separate legal
entity since the Middle Ages.) Classical Trinitarian theology (not
Modalism, which is what most Mormons mistakenly believe Trinitarianism to be) is
actually a lot closer to what Mormons actually teach about the unity of the
Godhead, and the distinctiveness of its constituent persons, than anybody seems
"Brother Millet has addressed, in his book "More Holiness Give
Me", the issue of Jesus being too casually considered as our big brother in
a family setting rather than being worshiped as God the creator of worlds
without number."It's worse than that. The danger in making
Christ too much like us, and not enough like God, is not so much that we'll
treat Him too irreverently, but that we may treat our religious authorities too
much like Christ.If Christ is not fundamentally different from us in
a critical respect -- that is, he's God and we're not -- then, recognizing his
obvious holiness, we might tend to view him, and the people on earth we
associate with "holiness," in mostly the same way. That is, we might
come to see Christ as a kind of glorified General Authority. But He's more than
that, and General Authorities, as good as they are, are less than Christ.
"Put not your trust in princes" includes princes of the Church. They
are to be sustained in the exercise of their calling -- nothing more nor less.
Christ is the ultimate authority, and the ultimate Judge.
When the Nicene Creed speaks of Christ and his Father being "one
Being," it's a translation of a word the Latin version of the Creed
rendered as "consubstantial." That either means "being one
Being," or one entity, or "being of the same substance." There's an obvious difference. One jelly bean is "of the same
substance" as another jelly bean -- but they are not the same jelly bean.
Interestingly, the Athanasian Creed refers to Christ as being
"consubstantial" with the Father, as touching his Godhood, and
likewise consubstantial with his Mother (Mary), as touching his Manhood.
Nobody's arguing that Christ and Mary are "one Being." That argues
for the "of the same substance" understanding of what
"consubstantial" means.The whole point of the Council of
Nicaea was to refute Arius's heresy that Christ was less than fully divine --
that he was a different *kind* of being from God the Father. That is, it was to
establish that the Father and the Son are "of the same substance."
LDS and Trinitarian theology are not as far apart as either side
brokenclay,"washing of regeneration" is Baptism. Hence an
ordnance (works)interwoven with grace. Renewal of the Holy Ghost is a
separate incident from Baptism. "all men" have not been
baptized (regenerated).No faith or action is required for salvation
(resurrection, live forever). Faith and all it entails is required to have
eternal life (exaltation, live with God).
Members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints completely reject The
Nicene Creed which all protestant churches are based upon. This confusing
document attempts to describe the incomprehensible nature of God and the only
thing they do succeed in doing is creating a document that is completely
incomprehensible and absurd to the human intellect...and most importantly this
document is NOT based on the New Testament but instead on centuries later
traditions and falsehoods. So yes - differences do matter.
Just one question....Why did Roger Williams, one of the founders of
the Baptist Church, leave what is now considered Christianity and become a
"Seeker" of the restoration of the original Church of Jesus Christ,
with Apostles, Prophets, and Authority brought back to Earth by Angels? Who are
the real Christians? Read some history.
@Cats"As LDS we believe, love and follow the Christ of the New
Testament--not the "Christ" that was invented by the Council of
Nicea."Sounds just like those other Christians that say the LDS
church doesn't worship the Jesus in the Bible.
RE:RG, I asked him if Paul's lost epistle to the Corinthians (referred to in 1
Cor 5;9)were to be discovered.Not everything Pau wrote was inspired
like his laundry list. Even if something was found it should not contradict the
Bible.That seer his name shall be called Joseph(Smith), and it shall
be after the name of his father. ( Genesis 50:33 JST)? JS prophecy about
himself. Not found in the Septuagint(Apostles Bible) or Dead Sea scrollsand
Massoretic texts.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 ).(Religious truth defined by J F Smith,
p.256-257). For ALL the prophets were until John(the Baptist)(Mt
11:13) In past times He spoke by the prophets but in these Latter Days by His
Son.(Heb 1:1,2 paraphrase)The office of prophet is done.Re: JM. I
said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that
I(ego)am(eimi)...(John 8:24) The Jews understand,= Jesus is saying He is God.
Not to confuse things, but in terms of authenticity, there is a group of
Christians in southwest India who belong to a church founded by the Apostle
Thomas. As such, they have a strong historical claim to being
authentic Christians, as well, but do no lie under the four umbrellas of
traditional Christianity: Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestantism and
"Restorationism" (ie, Mormonism).Who can prove that this
group is not more authentic than any other Christian group? Their lineage to
Jesus is unbroken.
"LDS apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks refers to what we call the Standard
Works the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl
of Great Price as 'the Royal Family of scripture.' I say, 'I don't love one
family member more than another. I love all four of them, equally.'"Elder Oaks seems to be saying that the book of mormon is equivalent to
the bible. There is no book equal to the bible for christians.
The word "Christian" to most people in the world means that a person
is a believer of and follower of Jesus Christ and that He is their Savior. If the word "Christian" were to be redefined as a person who
(#1) must believe in the Trinity, (#2) that God is a nebulous personality and
not a being, and (#3) the Bible is the only work inspired by God in the whole
world, then I'm pretty sure Mormons wouldn't have any problem not being called
"Christian". So until the word "Christian"
means something other than just a believer of and follower of Jesus Christ, then
we need to accept that Mormons are Christians.
So I read the linked "paper" by Matt Slick. Much baffles me; but,
three things here. First, if you meet a Buddhist he'll tell you that perhaps
Jesus was a wise prophet and taught good things, while not accepting Him as
deity. He might even live a life one would consider Christian, but wouldn't
consider himself a Christian nor would we. If you meet someone who believes God
either came Himself or sent His Son, and that Jesus Christ died for/atoned for
our sins and is the instrument through which our salvation and destiny after
this life depends, seems that makes you a Christian. Second, Jesus walks around
and teaches things -- the purpose of which is to at least attempt to live by.
That has to matter; otherwise, if one can choose to deliberately ignore these,
we act in our own interest and mock His teachings. And third, between the lines
and forgetting the twists of translation and interpretation, He prays in
Gethsemane for His Father to remove the cup, on the cross He asks His Father to
forgive his executioners and commends His Spirit to His Father -- is he talking
to Himself? Why?
The discussion prompted by this article is vitally needed. There are
misconceptions, assumptions and heresies, some preening and proud ducking, my
testimony Upmanship, etc. But I feel that scripture should be the defining
issue over the smorgasbord of opinions.That includes the article's
final quote by Orem's Rev. Lower. I agree that compassion and joint-ministry
are great endeavors. But when the Reverend is quoted as saying that "we
need to work together to share Christ's love...in a world that needs our
ministry", I would ask him if neglecting to share Christ's true salvation
message with the spiritually-dead, eternally lost soul is showing him Christ's
love or mandate?Jesus said that He was the Bread of Life and he had
living water. He told the Samaritan woman that her people worshipped that which
they did not know. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true
worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the
Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit and those who worship Him must
worship in spirit and truth.". John 4:23,24What did Christ tell
Peter to feed to His sheep?
The LDS church has been trying to minimize the distance between Evangelists and
themselves for quite a while now. Yet back in the day, Joseph Smith, the man who
founded the church, and Brigham Young made it quite clear that they were
different. Besides that, you're talking about a newspaper that publishes the
MORMON TIMES and is talking about differences when the leaders of the Mormon
Church are so pointedly trying to close the gap. There's no way you could count
that as a reliable source. Being an Evangelist myself, I don't think I have a
completely fair view myself. The only way to truly analyze the differences is to
have a 3rd party come in and look at it, which will probably never happen. But
in the meantime, when there are fundamental differences in what Mormons and
Evangelists believe about the Holy Trinity and God Himself, we will never be
able to sit quietly in peace for a very long period of time.
donn: You really need to read the entire Chapter 8 to gain a greater
understanding. Jesus was not saying he was God, but that he was the Son of God.
That is what he had said from the beginning. As you read further, the Jews
refused to accept that as he called him a Samaritan even though he was from
Galilee.The problem is that I accept Joseph Smith translation of the
Bible because I accept him as a prophet of God. You do not. That doesn't make
it false. That is an opinion.Members of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints do place equal importance to both the Bible and the Book of
Mormon. As Ezekiel said the Book of Judah, the Old Testament, and the Book of
Joseph, The Book of Mormon equals the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Book
of Mormon doesn't contradict the Bible nor does the Bible contradict the Book of
Mormon. These are theological differences. Neither one makes one more
Christian than the other.When the Lord comes again the wicked shall
be destroyed, Satan shall be bound and Jesus shall reign on the Earth for a
During the time the Goverment of the World will be one government reigned over
by Jesus Christ. Those left on earth will be the MOST righteous of all the
people on earth. In the end every knew shall bow and every tongue confess that
Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the World. After a thousand
years Satan will be loosed once more and then will come the final judgement.It is time for us to prepare ourselves to receive our Lord.
I like this article. It is simple. These are the same conclusions that were
generally accepted from my meeting with many Catholics, Anglicans, and some
evangelicals from my mission for the LDS church in Canada. I also
like the reactions to this article. They are for the most part very civil. It
is important for people to understand one another without misconceptions. I for
one like to know what someone really thinks and not just what I believe they
I love the way Bro Millet and Dr. Mouw can find a way to be civil and respectful
of each other even though they don't always agree. They offer a good example for
the rest of us. I don't think Dr. Mouw goes around telling Mormons what they
believe and I know Bob Millet doesn't tell Dr, Mouw what evangelicals believe.
May the rest of us take an example from that.
It's clear from reading these responses that most of those commenting are doing
so to express their own beliefs and not to seek actual answers to their
questions. That's fine and it's unlikely that this forum be the place for those
with a strong belief against another's to somehow suddenly see the light and
change their own beliefs. All I ask is that you be up front about your
intentions if you are asking a question. Some purport to ask as if they are
confused but a really trying to say, "I know how wrong you are and this
proves it," and the go on to reveal that they wouldn't think differently
even if the received an answer contradictory to their beliefs.
For my part, I'm LDS, and having read the canon of books we consider scripture,
there is no clearer book to me regarding the nature of Christ and God than the
New Testament (except perhaps Joseph Smith's account of his first vision). The
NT is replete with references to Christ and his father as separate beings. God
is referred to as the one to whom Christ prayed and even begged to remove the
bitter cup from him, to whom Christ commended his Spirit on the cross, who
Stephen saw to the left of Christ, whose voice came from heaven at Christ's
baptism by John declaring God's relationship to Christ as His son, and on and on
and on. there are comparatively few scriptures in the NT that refer to God and
Christ as one (though they certainly exist, and often referring to us as one
with Christ simultaneously).As one who has done quite a bit of
textual analysis in my employment, I would be hard pressed to think anything
other than that Christ and His father were anything but two separate beings,
using the New Testament alone.
I had some poignant discussion in my post. I guess I exceeded 200 words.
I have always wondered why Jesus ascended to heaven with His resurrected body.
If God has no body parts, what did He do with it? Why was it that He ascended
to heaven with His whole body if not to show us that He is intending to keep it?
The Father and the Son were manifest in the New Testament as
separate beings several times. For instance, were not all three (Father, Son
and Holy Spirit) at the transfiguration and at the baptism of our Savior? Were
they not manifested separately?When Jesus prayed the "Lord's
Prayer" or the great intercessory prayer, He prayed to His Father. Was He
praying to Himself? Why did He tell us to call the Father "Our
Father"; did He mean I am the Father, pray to Me? The LDS
Church might be different in beliefs, but they are the ones who are more
scriptural in their teachings if you believe the Bible.
I feel your pain, but you cannot always be explicit, staypuffinpc, due to
frequent disapproved posts here. That's why this article was refreshing in its
openness with altered texts, revisions, new revelations and priesthood, and the
true doctrines with which I grew up in the 50's-'80's. The one
subject which was not covered, however, are the reversals on doctrines and
practices. That is why many are leary of the Mitt camp. Will there be a new
revelation that Pres. Romney will be bound to, which may be anathema to Biblical
Christians? That may not give LDS pause, but I guarantee it does to non-LDS.
While a papal encyclical might only affect the worship of a Catholic leader,
Mormons can have changes with string social implications: Blacks barred from
priesthood positions, plural marriage reinstated, new social orders, etc.
Anyone who has studied early Mormonism knows the possibities.These
are questions that should be asked of the current prophet. Why Dr. Millet
fields these seminars is interesting. If true understanding and clarification
is the goal, send the man who hears from God to share His message. If a Mormon
wins the nomination, that will be Q&A number 1.
Those who promote the claim that LDS are not Christian share an agenda that is
I am always puzzled in these types of articles that someone always says Mormons
do (or don't) believe in or worship "the Jesus I do" or "the same
Jesus as evangelical Christians or Protestant Christians". Clearly, there is only one Jesus. What is different is the beliefs
about him, or the worship of him. I've yet to read or hear this stated
At the end of an extended doctrinal discussion with a good friend who is a
pastor, I understood what defined for evangelicals what a "Christian"
was. It was a much narrower definition than I had ever considered. It was (among
other things) limited to people who had voluntarily given control of their lives
and decisions to Christ and trusting Him completely to guide. I asked him what
percentage of his congregation would qualify under his definition. He said
"about 15 to 20 percent". He also stated that he wasn't sure if
Mormon's were Christians, but "I think you probably are." I have
always appreciated his candor and openness. What percent of your local ward do
you think are Christians under this definition? The answer may surprise.
I dont need to look beyond my own family to see great diversity in Christian
beliefs. I have 2 siblings that believe baptism is not necessary for salvation
but is a worthy gesture to make public if one so chooses. Another sibling
believes that baptism by immersion is necessary but not the laying on of hands
to receive the Holy Ghost. All accept that we must believe that Jesus is our
Savior and that we must change from any sinful practices. I believe that the
first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission
of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.Surprising to me, is the confidence that we each have in our positions.
Scientists now debating the speed of light vs. the speed of a neutrino dont seem
to be that confident about the answer. And yet the answer probably wont affect
our eternal salvation.
I think a good way to understand LDS views of scripture is to consider scripture
as writings and communications of individuals who knew their creator, who knew
of the coming of the Messiah in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and who were
moved upon by the Holy Ghost to write what they did for the benefit of those who
would come after. These writings help us today to better understand He whom we
worship, who is Jesus Christ, and to help us come to KNOW Him. Moses
obviously wasn't the first to know of, or to write of, the creation, of the
tower of Babel, of the flood, or of the great patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, or of the blessings to Judah and Joseph and to their brothers. He did not
ever even meet these great individuals. Other prophets both preceded as well as
followed Moses in being moved upon by the Holy Ghost to write of their KNOWLEDGE
of God. We wish we had all of their writings, all of their speeches, all of
their understanding, but we don't. What we do have is marvelous, but no existing
book contains even a hundredth part.
Saint John noted, that even the world itself could not contain the books that
should be written if we had all the words and teachings of even the Savior,
Jesus Christ, let alone His Prophets. Not all of Pauls significant letters to
the saints who lived in the various Churches have been located, but we love what
we do have of them. The Dead Sea scrolls give us hope that more of these
records may one day be uncovered. So when the LDS talk of having access to
ancient inspired records kept by holy men of God who migrated anciently to the
Americas, and that those records are now available in our language, and every
man and woman can access them, and can read them and can ponder their words, it
is worth our personal discovery. The fact is, the prophets wrote
individually what they KNEW of Jesus Christ, but they were not the ones engaged
in compiling their writings into the Bible. That was done later by others who
loved God, but not by prophets. So if additional histories and inspired
teachings of these ancients come to light, we cannot disregard them without
Paul taught that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, yet
we do not even have access today to what Paul had in his day. How did he know
all those things about the great High Priest Melchizedek? How about the other
records referenced in the Bible compilation that are now lost to us? These
include the Books of Enoch, Jasher, Nathan, Shemaiah, Abijah, Iddo and others.
Or where are scriptural record that fortold that Christ would be born a Nazerene
as Matthew noted? I would love to have all the inspired words of prophets of
God, but I do not. But what I do have, I value highly.Unless every
preserved scriptural record is used, our understanding of Deity can be skewed.
That is why Mormons use the writings of Book of Mormon prophets to clarify
Biblical truths. These are not books that war against each other. These
accumulated records of fallen nations and inspired prophets help us better know
He whom we worship, which is life eternal. They totally compliment and enforce
each other, and bring us to Christ.
Bill in Nebraska : Jesus was not saying he was God?God said to
Moses, I AM WHO I AM(Exodus 3:14 Greek Septuagint).The Jews understood,
Jesus made himself equal to God.Jesus answered, before Abraham was
born,I Am! At this, they picked up stones to stone him,(John 8:58-59 NIV)In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God.(John 1:1) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us..(1:4).
God becomes man not man becomes God. See(Mosiah 7:27)And we are in
him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal
life.( 1 John 5:20 NIV) @Bill When the Lord comes again the wicked
shall be destroyed, true.I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God,
who Is(The Being), and who Was, and who is to come, the ALMIGHTY( G. 3841* ).
(Rev 1:8)*Used of God only. Jesus has always been God.(Jesus)ye
shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I(ego) AM(eimi)(John 8:24)
@onlythecross and donn:Why have neither of you answered the
questions of serenity at the top of this page?What does it mean to
be resurrected?Was Jesus resurrected? If so, why?Does Jesus
still have His resurrected body? If not, where did it go and why was he
resurrected in the first place?Are you and I going to be
resurrected? If so, why do we get to keep our resurrected body forever?What's the purpose of having a body in the afterlife? Why can't we just exist
as spirits forever?
How can Christians understand ancient Christianity when the source they use came
from manuscripts which can only be dated to the third century A.D.?
My friend Brad and I recently made a documentary about the differences between
Biblical Christianity and Mormonism. We thought it would be useful to go and
interview Mormons in UT and hear from them about their beliefs instead of
relying on experts/theologians opinions. We hope the documentary
reaches both Christians and the LDS with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can view the Documentary "Religion and Redemption" on Youtube
for a limited time. Would love to hear your thoughts!
Concerning baptism of children at age eight, etc. in case the question has not
been answered. It is never said that children prior to age eight
are sinless, just that Christ has said he will cover their sins should they die
before the age of accountability. Often it is difficult to move
forward when people are locked into misconceptions. I think that's one of the
reasons for the Mormon / Evangelical dialog in the first place.
Although not perfect, an in-depth look into members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter - day Saints finds good fruit (Matthew 7:17, 7:20 and Luke 6:43
- 44). I am LDS. The LDS people I know and I believe that Jesus
Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of mankind, the God of the Old and New
Testaments, and the Creator of this world and the universe. We also believe that
the only way people can be saved is by coming unto and accepting Jesus Christ,
and that He was resurrected and will come again in the Second Coming. We worship Jesus Christ as the Lord God Almighty Who is omnipotent and
omniscient and is the Son of God the Father. Mormons are typically a strong
force for traditional family values, work hard and are strong patriots. These
beliefs and qualities do not equate to a cult.
It is especially ironic that Evangelicals are so parsimonious in applying the
label "Christian", since many of them have a very minimalist set of
requirements to claim salvation through Christ, consisting mainly of declaring
Jesus to be one's Savior, even without baptism or any change in life patterns.
Other Evangelicals regard those who do not reflect a change of heart as having
not actually been touched by God's Grace, and criticize it as "cheap
grace" which does not save. A Catholic scholar recently visiting BYU was
told of one conversation by a BYU professor with an Evangelical minister:
"So a saved Christian can commit murder or adultery and still be
saved?" "Yes" "What if a saved Christian becomes a
Mormon?" "I will have to think about that." Surely,
if the requirements to receive Grace are minimal, any Christian who later joins
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still a saved Christian. By
the same token, the embrace of Christ by Mormons in their worship, Bible study
and prayer surely meets those minimal requirements for salvation. After all,
Evangelicals do not question your theological understanding before they accept
you as saved.
If open dialogue were allowed here, all questions would be answered, Outdoor
Charles. But it's like trying to smuggle Bibles into China. The truth will set
you free, not an opinion.No one answered my question back on p.3
about what Jesus told Peter to "feed My sheep". That answer is THE
reason why it matters what you believe. I don't care what Millet or Mouw agree
on. The Bible is God's Word, and we are mandated to beware of and expose false
teachers and teachings: Jude, 2Peter, Galations 1, Romans 10. We can all join
hands at food banks, but man isn't saved by bread. Nor does giving bread to the
needy get you a key to the Biblical Kingdom of God. D&C 132 is another
gospel. Dr. Millet says he agrees that LDS are not Biblical
Christians. He was honest about it and can explain why he disagrees with the
doctrine of a Triune God. That doesn't change that Jesus said, "I and the
Father are one." Neither can you dismiss your prophet's speech at King
Folette's funeral, which changed the essence and characteristics of God. Seek and you will find Him. I did.
I don't see where anyone answered my questions.Millet's statement is
clearly a misrepresentation of LDS doctrine/belief. LDS doctrines of
"salvation" are complex (and in my opinion, internally inconsistent).
As such, comparing LDS beliefs about "salvation" with Evangelical
Christian beliefs about salvation is misleading. We can only suppose a former
Dean of Religious Education understand this fact and, therefore, he must have
done it deliberately.Deliberate misrepresentation? That is not a
good thing to do.
It's interesting to think how much Mormon Doctrine has changed in just the last
40 years or so. When I was a boy I distinctly recall hearing many church
leaders, including many General Authorities, proclaim the Book of Mormon
(quoting the Prophet Joseph Smith) was "the most correct of any book on
earth" and was widely considered by members as superior to the Bible. Also,
it was a widely held belief among the broad membership of the church that our
primarily objective on earth was to pursue a path in life that would allow us to
become like God, our Heavenly Father. When the LDS Church stopped being a sleepy
little group in Utah, these type of beliefs become a bit more controversial.
OnlytheCross The Bible is God's Word, and we are mandated to beware of and
expose false teachers and teachings: Jude, 2Peter, Galations 1, Romans 10. LDS4I agree 100%. The biggest false teachings come from the
Creeds trying to explain the nature of God and Jesus. These Creeds are filled
with pagan/Greek philosophy and attempt to fit the square peg of the Bible into
the round hole of Greek philosophy. They are incomprehensible.One
clear example is how Christ is described as being eternally begotten and the
Holy Ghost is said to eternally proceed from the Father. Google those terms and
look for Christian discussion boards and follow discussions on this. Five
people end up expressing eight different opinions. 1 Tim. 1:7 describes such
perfectly Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they
say, nor whereof they affirm. I lurked and followed one such conversation where
they tried to differentiate between eternally begotten and eternally proceed.
It was amazing.The Creeds describe another Jesus and another Gospel
when compared to the plain truths of the Bible. When creedal
Christians doubt whether LDS are Christian, I think of the above and laugh.
LDS4,Perhaps you should cease snickering.You wrote:
"The biggest false teachings come from the Creeds trying to explain the
nature of God and Jesus. These Creeds are filled with pagan/Greek philosophy and
attempt to fit the square peg of the Bible into the round hole of Greek
philosophy. They are incomprehensible."This is a common
misrepresentation by LDS apologists. It is not true.The truth is the
Creeds were articulations of beliefs extant at the time, and that had been
extant since Jesus walked the earth. The Creeds were articulated in a number of
different languages and cultures for hundreds of years, and those languages and
cultures embodied certain worldviews that were extant in what we now call
"Greek philosophy" and "paganism".But that is no
different than the truth that Joseph Smith's "restoration" and
"translation" of the Book of Mormon into King James English means his
"gospel" is unavoidably infused with the philosophies and language of
his day and the legacy of the King James translators.In short, we
are equally justified to fault Joseph Smith's translations and writings for
being "false" and corrupted with 19th century and King James
philosophy as we are to fault the Creeds for being "false" and
corrupted with "Greek philosophy".The Greek philosophy
corruption myth is a popular one among LDS apologists, but it is not an accurate
representation of history, philosophy, reality, or religion.
Vanka,Say for a moment that no one addressed your points.You did say this..."We can only suppose a former Dean of
Religious Education understand this fact and, therefore, he must have done it
deliberately."And that is most certainly an accusation. You
accuse without any substance or reasonable argument. The only support you give
is that "we can only suppose". You can't suppose ANYTHING about the
intentions of another human being.While you often criticize the LDS
Church, claiming inconsistencies, and so on. I don't really care
what anyone claims about their own beliefs, or about objectivity... but the
feelings, experiences, or ideas of another human being exist within the
subjective. That inherently and self-evidently is something that you nor I can
examine, make claim regarding, or even discuss intelligibly.Even if
every statement I made included "let the catholic church fall and be
destroyed" would that inherently mean that I am anti-catholic and all
statements reflect an intend to attack the catholic church? While the
likelihood, by inductive reason, would say that it is most probable- there is no
deductive or provable way to reveal such intent. Therefore, such judgement
rarely offers anything productive.
The differences matter to people trying to control society according to their
@JHA0033"Would love to hear your thoughts!"Just
another anti-Mormon production. No thanks.
John Kateel on the first page did make an interesting point that has merit. In
England, where I was a missionary, the law says that all weddings have to be
public events. So what the LDS Church does is have the couple married in the
Chapel by the Bishop in a public ceremony, then the couple goes to the Temple to
be sealed. The result is that all family and friends can see the couple married
regardless of membership or temple status. I really think that would be good
for the church to allow here or anywhere. I think that part member families may
be very negative toward the Church by being excluded from marriages that they
cannot attend. And I'm assuming it isn't doctrine that the couple couldn't get
married and sealed seperately or how could the Church justify the double
standard for countrys like England? I think it should be an allowable choice
for a marrying couple to make.
VankaThe Greek philosophy corruption myth is a popular one among LDS
apologists, but it is not an accurate representation of history, philosophy,
reality, or religion. LDS4Sorry, but a quick search of google
and even YouTube will provide MANY non-LDS who recognize the role of Greek
philosophy in the development in historic Christianity. Many of those admitting
it are other trinitarians who believe that God used the Greeks to help setlle
the issues.I noticed that you failed to answer my question about the
difference between "eternally begotten" and "proceeding
forth". i'd love to know. please reference scripture. Thanks.
m.g. scott I really think that would be good for the church to allow here
or anywhere. I think that part member families may be very negative toward the
Church by being excluded from marriages that they cannot attend. And I'm
assuming it isn't doctrine that the couple couldn't get married and sealed
seperately or how could the Church justify the double standard for countrys like
England? I think it should be an allowable choice for a marrying couple to make.
LDS4You are correct. I think that the US and Canada are the
only places where LEGAL marriages are done in the temple. All other places
require the LEGAL marriage be done in public. Non-LDS family don't want to go
into the temple. They want to see their loved one married, even if it's in a
Cultural Hall. There is NO doctrinal requirement for the 1 year probation
penalty requiring couples to wait the year if not initially married in the
temple. It's a POLICY. It harms member missionary work and fractures families.
I have a hard time believing it's from God.Those marrying people
with non-LDS family should wait the year to avoid contention.
lds4gaymarriage wrote:"Sorry, but a quick search of google and
even YouTube will provide MANY non-LDS who recognize the role of Greek
philosophy in the development in historic Christianity. Many of those admitting
it are other trinitarians who believe that God used the Greeks to help setlle
the issues.""I noticed that you failed to answer my
question about the difference between "eternally begotten" and
"proceeding forth". i'd love to know. please reference scripture.
Thanks."I did not say Greek philosophy did not play a role. I
said it was not "corrupting" and the cause of "false"
doctrine in Christianity. Please read my original comment and address the
implications for the "false doctrine" and "corruption" of
Joseph Smith's "revelations" if you take your mythical stand
seriously. You can't have it both ways.As for your question about
"eternally begotten" and "proceeding forth," hopefully you
realize I am an atheist. I couldn't care less how believers try to justify the
ontological, metaphysical, and epistemological absurdities of their fictions.
But if I have enough comments and words left, I will use my Greek prowess to
take a swing at it.
@LDS4,"eternally begotten" and "proceeding forth". i'd love
to know. please reference scripture. Google filique.This is a Christian
debate. Christians,Jews and Muslims believe that God created all
that exists ex- nihilo (out of nothing). Mormonism is quite different in its
cosmology, claiming that God fashioned the universe out of preexisting material.
God is eternal in some forms of LDS theology, but so is preexisting matter,
including the material used by God to create human beings. Mormonism has
more in common with ancient pagan religions and ancient Greek
philosophy(polytheism) than it does with the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
belief in creation ex nihilo. The issue of creation relates to other
significant world view issues, such as the source of moral values, the problem
of evil, and Gods power. It is important to note that ones belief in creation
has significant consequences and, in the case of Mormonism, the solutions are
inadequate. For instance, is the Mormon God too weak to create ex nihilo?
If so, then is he less than omnipotent? In contrast, the Christian explanations
of creation ex nihilo, the fall, and redemption offer better explanations of the
observable universe and of moral values.
@LDS4I think that is the point. It is a policy which, as we know,
change from time to time. It would be different if it were considered
revelation. As a policy I don't understand why the Church requires the one year
wait here whereas it doesn't in other countries. I'd like to know. Anyone who
has the reasoning behind it please comment. My feelings are that the Church
misses golden missionary opportunities in America by doing this. I could
imagine the Bishop or someone talking to the non-members at the wedding about
how after this "till death do you part" marriage ceremony, the couple
is then in the next day or so going to go to this beautiful temple to be sealed
"for time and all eternity". With maybe a picture of the temple on
display. I think many people who'd never heard much about Mormons would be
interested to look further.
From my conversations with my fellow Christians Ive learned that we arent that
different. True, the philosophers corrupting influence entered, quite early long
before Jesus (note Pharisees to Jesus John10 etc, Paul on science and those who
have not BOTH Father and Son, Alexandrians etc to Stephens vision of BOTH) and
philosophers were trying to make God into one of Platos Forms long before Chris.
Many early Fathers understood Biblical Christianity at first, and asserted that
Father and Son were separate, men could be called gods, and God is
anthropomorphic etc, but they eventually came to worship the God of the
Philosophers as Tertullian admits:Plato: The Divine, The One, The Form.
Xenophanes: One God, unborn, eternal, infinite, not movingbeyond
imagination.Empedocles: does not possess limbs, is an inexpressible
Spirit.Non-Biblical philosophers ideas were adopted by Schools and led to
conflict over Christ. Some caved to the scientific arguments and mocking and
conformed, and then lost some truths about Jesus.Still , we share many
beliefs: both accept doctrines and texts in addition to the Bible (Nicene creed
(although the Coptic Pope penned it, and Copts were heretical after Chalcedon),
some Baptists believe God has a body continued
Can someone explain why Mormons, who believe in Christ, deserve to be called
"Christians" while members of local fundamentalist LDS churches, who
believe in the Book of Mormon, do NOT deserve to be called "Mormons?"
(Part 1 of 2)Donn: Not sure what your trouble is with Alma 7:10.
"He shall be born of Mary...who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the
power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of
God."Compare this to Matthew 1:18, 20. "...She was found
with child of the Holy Ghost." "...For that which is conceived in her
is of the Holy Ghost." Luke 1:35, "...The Holy Ghost shall come upon
thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that
holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."Joseph Fielding Smiths quote in Doctrines of Salvation, 1:19 is about
the "Reorganites claim that he was begotten of the Holy Ghost." To
which, President Smith is quoted saying, "They tell us the Book of Mormon
states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost" and for which he
"challenged the statement" above. "Our Father in
Heaven is the Father of Jesus Christ, both in the spirit and in the flesh. Our
Savior is the Firstborn in the spirit, the Only Begotten in the flesh."
(Part 2 of 2)Not sure what the problem is with the statement in
Journal of Discourses 8:115? Brigham Young was reflecting on the thought that
"The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children;
it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was
begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." Not sure
whats wrong with believing we can become like God. Psalms 82:6 "Ye are
gods; and all of you are children of the most High." Romans 8:16-17,
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God: And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
Brokenclay:2 Nephi 25:23, "...it is by grace that we are saved,
after all we can do."Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace ye are saved
through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."Could it be that "through faith" is part of "after all we can
do?"Titus 3:5-7, "...According to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Compare
to John 3:5, "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God." So then, along with faith we must also be
baptized and have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.1 Corinthians
15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made
alive."To be saved at all is a gift from God and it is by His
grace that we are redeemed from physical death to be resurrected and to be
redeemed from spiritual death (sin) through faith on Him who is able to save,
repentance, and to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Merry
Continued...some accepted Christians believe God Jesus lived on earth, still has
His body etc, LDS agree; LDS believe in salvation by grace through faith, but
mainstream Christians did, and some still believe in Temple works (Armenians,
Copts etc) and Baptism works (even for infants) and going up in Church and
accepting Jesus works etc; LDS believe apostles/prophets such as Peter Joseph
Smith etc receive revelation and are inspired but fallible humans, other
Christians believe the creeds, Pope, etc are infallible, etc etcFor
more on Greek influence search Greek Philosophers on Maxwell, FAIR etc (check
articles referenced JM comment pg3 and: Restoring the Ancient Church; Creatio
ex nihilo (nihilo is Gnostic idea that makes God responsible for all evil etc,
some non-LDS scholars even say Mohammed studied with Gnostics, who believed in
the exnihilo, Companionless, undying, unborn, incorporeal God)) etc etc.however,
as we can see here, its not easy to find truth by study alone, but by faith
also..but, even without faith, writing in Greek or KJV language is quite
different than teaching for doctrine the philosophies of men.but keep studying
yall Critics : ) ill keep lovinOldGuy see pg3 CounterIntelligence
Did anyone notice that the photographs connected with this has three books, the
Qu'ran, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and the Book of Mormon?
Where did the Qu'ran come from in this story? And, why the NRSV? Neither one
of those are Church approved, yet the Deseret News used it as support for thier
Great article. Most of these types of societal disagreements are simply differnt
people looking at life through different lenses.
I think its fair for people to have their own standards. The LDS Church has
standards for who can enter its temple. If you cannot get in, you're doing
Puzzling. They say we are not Christian for failing to accept old non-Biblical
traditions. Yet if the acceptance of non-Biblical tradition is so important,
then the Protestant Reformation was the greatest catastrophe in Christian
history. How dare Luther, Calvin and others reject hundreds of long-standing
traditional Christian doctrines? But if questioning traditional
teachings and rejecting the non-Biblical ones is right, why do Evangelical
Christians put the Nicean Trinity into a special category? The category:
"Non-Biblical Traditions that must never be questioned." Why can the
Trinity NEVER be questioned?? The Protestant Reformation was quite happy to
question everything else. What exempts the Nicean Trinity?When
Evangelical Christians say, "Mormons aren't Christians" what they are
really doing (without realizing it) is hypocrisy. A Christian is supposed to,
"Take the Bible as your guide and reject the unauthorized doctrines
invented by humankind." But at the same time, "You can never doubt nor
reject the post-Biblical teaching of the Trinity. On this matter and this
matter only, the Council of Nicea is infallible and unquestionable." So you
must question and doubt, but you can never question and doubt.
It's puzzling. They say we are not Christian for failing to accept longstanding
non-Biblical traditions. Yet if the acceptance of non-Biblical tradition is so
important, then the Protestant Reformation was the greatest catastrophe in
Christian history. How dare Luther, Calvin and others reject hundreds of
long-standing traditional Christian doctrines? But if questioning
traditional teachings and rejecting the non-Biblical ones (aka Protestantism) is
right, why do Evangelical Christians put the Trinity in a special category:
"Non-Biblical Traditions that can never be questioned." Why can the
Trinity NEVER be questioned?? The Protestant Reformation questions almost
everything else. Why not the Trinty?When Evangelical Christians say,
"Mormons aren't Christians" what they unwitting hypocrites.
Apparently, a true Christian is supposed to, "Take the Bible as your guide
and reject the unauthorized doctrines invented by humankind." But at the
same time, "You can never reject the post-Biblical teaching of the Trinity.
On this issue the Council of Nicea is infallible. To question it is damnable
heresy." So while you must question and doubt, but you can never question
and doubt. Makes no sense to me.
@The VankaThe idea that Greek Philosophy corrupts modern day
understanding of the God of Israel is not an invention of the Church of Jesus
Christ. I've found many non-LDS sources making this case. To say that the Creeds
are explicitly what Jesus and His apostles taught and believed -- this is pure
speculation and unprovable. Calling Joseph Smith "likewise
corrupted by King James English" is ultimately just saying, "I know
you are but am I?" What's your point? Book of Mormon English is
considerably more modern than King James English, and that really was the formal
English of Joseph Smith's time. Go read the Constitution or the Gettysburg
Address some time and tell me I'm wrong.Ultimately, Latter Day
Saints are not calling Evangelicals Non-Christians. Evangelicals are the ones
leveling that accusation at us. We might be contradicting your long-held
beliefs, but you are trying to divorce me the Latter Day Saint from my Savior
Jesus Christ. Natural conclusion: "Is not Christian." = "Is not
of saved by Jesus Christ." If you were told the same thing, don't you think
you'd be offended?