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LDS Christianity: Differences that matter

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  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:51 a.m.

    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?

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:26 a.m.

    "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?

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Nov. 28, 2011 4:15 a.m.

    "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.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 5:01 a.m.

    "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 portrayal
    many 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.

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 5:55 a.m.

    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."

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 6:29 a.m.

    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.

  • John Kateel Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 7:13 a.m.

    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.

  • megen Truth or Consequences, NM
    Nov. 28, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    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 issues.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    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 Christ

    And 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.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    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.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    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.

  • twelvestringsam Orem, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    Great article. This helps dispell confusion about the way we should explain our own doctrine and that of evangelicals.

    Thank you.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    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.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    Such drama in the first few sentences of the article! oh my gosh!

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    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.

  • Ron Hilton Holladay, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    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?

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    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?

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    "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?

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    I wonder what part of "For it is by grace ye are saved, after all your can do." that Millet can't understand.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    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.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    @Vanka

    Not 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 need repentance.

  • John Kateel Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    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.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    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."

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:58 a.m.

    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 his comparison?

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    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?

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    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 ourselves."

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    "'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.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    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.

  • NT Springville, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    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.

  • radically_independent Orem, Utah
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:55 a.m.

    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.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    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 latter days.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    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

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    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.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    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 3:5
    Is 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 8:12-25
    So, 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.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    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.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    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."

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    @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.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    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.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 28, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    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 alone.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    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.

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 28, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    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!

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 28, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    Meant to say 1966, not 1964... Sorry. 1964 is a typo.

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 28, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    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.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Nov. 28, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    I'll worship Zeus. Makes more sense.

  • Steve R EUGENE, OR
    Nov. 28, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    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 very inaccurate.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    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 sin.

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Nov. 28, 2011 1:58 p.m.

    "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 the mark.

  • Sigfried Payson, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    I find the idea that Christ prayed to himself ludicrous.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    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 commandment.

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:35 p.m.

    "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.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    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.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    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.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Nov. 28, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    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 to think.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    "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.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    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 thinks.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    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).

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Che Payson, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    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.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    @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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    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.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    "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.

  • dsd1218 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    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.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Nov. 28, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    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?

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:15 p.m.

    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 4:23,24

    What did Christ tell Peter to feed to His sheep?

  • JHSbd95 DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    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.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    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 thousand years.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Chris from Rose Park PROVO, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    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 think.

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    Nov. 28, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    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.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    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.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    I had some poignant discussion in my post. I guess I exceeded 200 words.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Nov. 28, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    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.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 29, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    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.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 5:55 a.m.

    Those who promote the claim that LDS are not Christian share an agenda that is decidely unChristian.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Nov. 29, 2011 5:57 a.m.

    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 correctly.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    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.

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Nov. 29, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    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.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Nov. 29, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    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.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Nov. 29, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    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 investigating them.

  • Wyclif OREM, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    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)

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    @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?

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 29, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    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.?

  • JHA0033 BURLESON, TX
    Nov. 29, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    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!

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Nov. 29, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    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.

  • IDShore REXBURG, ID
    Nov. 29, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    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.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    Nov. 29, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    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.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    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.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    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.

  • paperboy111 Lindon, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    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.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    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.

    LDS4
    I 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.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    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.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    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.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 7:48 p.m.

    The differences matter to people trying to control society according to their own religion.

  • Midway Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    @JHA0033
    "Would love to hear your thoughts!"

    Just another anti-Mormon production. No thanks.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    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.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    Vanka
    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.

    LDS4
    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.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    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.

    LDS4
    You 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.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    @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.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    @LDS4

    I 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.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    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

  • Oldguy Kearns, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    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?"

  • ? SLC, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    (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." 1:18

  • ? SLC, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    (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 Christ..."

    Merry Christmas!

  • ? SLC, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    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 Christmas!

  • JoeMormon Lehi, UT
    Dec. 2, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    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 etc

    For 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 lovin

    OldGuy see pg3 CounterIntelligence on FLDS

  • GoodThinking LAS VEGAS, NV
    Dec. 2, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    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 story.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Dec. 3, 2011 5:22 a.m.

    Great article. Most of these types of societal disagreements are simply differnt people looking at life through different lenses.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Dec. 3, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    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 something right.

  • BonkersTheClown GRAYSLAKE, IL
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    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.

  • BonkersTheClown GRAYSLAKE, IL
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    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.

  • BonkersTheClown GRAYSLAKE, IL
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    @The Vanka

    The 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?