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Living the gospel effectively counters anti-Mormonism

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  • User41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Great article.

    I would just say, though, that even for us members who have spent our whole lives here in the heart of Utah, we sometimes find ourselves "in the wilderness" as well, when it comes to the attacks of anti-Mormons. I have found it interesting that their main tool in most situations is deception, a clear characteristic of someone not following Christ. If they were to approach me with sincere honesty and love as someone trying to be a real Christian, it would probably be much harder to dismiss their drivel. But, understanding their goals and motivation -- honesty, love, and Christianity are clearly out of their reach.

    I've always been glad to have so many amazingly good examples of pure Christianity all around me -- their example is of great value. Their example may never change the minds of the antagonists, but they are of great help to those of us who one day would like to become true Christians.

  • bstratford AURORA, IL
    Sept. 3, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    I have found that there is a difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and the culture of Mormonism. With a the church receiving increased attention in the press, the media seems to have a knack for finding people who were raised in a Mormon culture but do not have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.

    Thank you for this article. It is true that living the gospel is much more important than the culture. The gospel changes life. Cultural dogma and discrimination is a barrier to those who would honestly accept the gospel.

    The next time you deride someone for their appearance or for living their life the way they've been taught, ask yourself if it is really based on the doctrines of the gospel or if it is based only on cultural angst.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 3, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    So User41, LDS are "true Christians"? Does that mean other Christians aren't "true"? How does this differ from people saying LDS are not Christian?

  • American man WOODS CROSS, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    Docter: It differs because User41 refered to himself as a true Christian. He did not say you were not a true Christian. You have every right to call your self a true Christian.

    If you care to pursue this, please explain "what is a true Christian".

  • Tim Rollins Oklahoma City, OK
    Sept. 3, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    @Doctor: There is a difference between claiming to be a Christian and actually BEING one. The first is a declaration of faith; the latter is a life well-lived in actual practice. There is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk, and that is what separates an everyday Christian from a peaceable follower of Christ.

    Something to keep in mind is this: When a man makes fun of and/or ridicules the faith of another, he makes fun of and ridicules all religions, particularly his own, as in doing so, he shows his own lack of faith as well as his infidelity to beliefs he has covenanted to hold dear and sacred both to himself and to his Maker.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 3, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    My apologies I read it wrong.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    Tim Rollins said ,Something to keep in mind is this: When a man makes fun of and/or ridicules the faith of another, he makes fun of and ridicules all religions, particularly his own.
    all their creeds were an abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt(Joseph Smith)

    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20). Fruit can be doctrine and Christians have the right to be fruit/doctrine inspectors.

    God[is]spirit(pneuma,)(John 4:24 Greek N.T.).No one has ever seen God, but God the One ad Only who is at the Fathers side has made him known (John 1:18 NIV), Moses saw Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27) Moses saw Gods shekinah glory.
    Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.(Mt 16:17).
    Christians do not beleive God is an exaltedman.(Aseity)

  • American man WOODS CROSS, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    sharrona:

    If you would please, post back to me the source of the statement " all their creeds were an abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt(Joseph Smith)". Thank you.

  • Brother Paul Livermore, CA
    Sept. 3, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    Sharrona:

    Joseph Smith did Not say "all their creeds were an abomination...."
    Joseph Smith said it was JESUS who made that statement. It's important
    to give credit where credit is due. Joseph was only "Quoting" Jesus!!

    I know you were were not there in the Grove of trees in Spring 1820,
    neither was I to witness the actual experience of Joseph Smith. But I
    do know the story well enough to know that Joseph claims that is what
    Jesus said.

    I know there's Anti-LDS literature out there that says that Joseph
    made the statement (all by himself), but...

    Anyone who really wants to know the Truth should go to the "Original"
    sources to learn what's actually claimed. It also doesn't hurt to Pray
    about things After going to the "Original" sources and doing some serious contemplation.

    Lord Bless You, Sharrona.

  • American man WOODS CROSS, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    Brother Paul:

    Thanks for the input. I suspect Sharrona does not know the true source, someone told her that and she believed it.

    Now I will not have to explain it to her, you did a good job.

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    Sept. 4, 2011 5:29 a.m.

    Something else to consider in this discussion. Christ may have been speaking of the specific congregations which Joseph was considering joining.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 4, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    The author of the article described his situation, where most of the ward were new converts, as "unique." Those Mormons who have lived their whole lives in Utah may not have noticed this statement, but actually more and more it is Utah that is unique. In other words, Alabama isn't the only place with mostly converts, and where LDS people are minorities. I was born (LDS) in Utah, but lived my whole life outside of Utah, except my first 4 years, and my 4 college years. (Going to USU was a culture shock for me, being surrounded by so many Mormons!) There are great benefits being in the majority, but as I have discovered, there are also great benefits living in the minority.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 4, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    Joseph Smith said the quote, he attributed it to jesus. Either way it is a belief of LDS followers. Why quibble with it?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 4, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    It depends on what version of the first vision you believe. They are all slightly different, and we aren't just talking about the small details here. So, brother Paul, what version of the "original" first vision are you talking about?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Brother Paul : Anyone who really wants to know the Truth should go to the "Original"sources to learn what's actually claimed. I Did.

    From LDS revelation, we learn that Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known ANCIETLY, p.788 MormonDoctrine). In (D&C 110:3 ,Jehovah appears to JS),( Abra 2:8 ,My is name is Jehovah) S/B YHWH,JS was unaware of the poor KJV and didnt know the Personal name of God(LORD)YHWH. Google Tetragrammaton.

    Jehovah(YHWH) the eternal judge(Moroni 10:34), But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under Gods curse.(Galatians 1:8).

    In(D&C 110: 1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person. The KJV translators of the KJV attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there isnt a Greek character for the English letter J.
    To avoid confusion, modern translations: NIV, NJKV, NASB and the Catholic Bible have Elijah instead of Elias in(Mt 11:14,17; Luke 1:17)

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    Sept. 4, 2011 3:01 p.m.

    The more I read and study the scriptures, the more I realize how many people who deride The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have no real understanding of the scriptures. I have heard many people make general statements as to WHY they KNOW the Church is NOT true and they quote Biblical scriptures totally out of context when often if they would read the very next verse they would find that their original assumption is false. It has also been my observation that those who deride the Church WANT to deride the Church. It makes them feel superior in some way. They aren't really interested in the TRUTH, just in what THEY WANT the Truth to be. I have also learned that Truth is Truth and you can't change it. The more I study the tenets of The Church, the more I gain a STRONG testimony of its truthfulness. Joshua 24:15 says: ".....but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." That pretty much sums up how I feel and I find the LDS Church the place I CHOOSE to serve in. Couldn't quote the whole scripture because of space constraints.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Sept. 4, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Doctor: We aren't quibbling with it and no it isn't a belief. We take it as fact that Jesus Christ stated such. It is nothing more than having Paul make a comment similar to that in his writtings or Peter. The thing is all of the Gospels were written 60-100 years after the death and resurrection of our Lord. In such, they also attribute the sayings to Christ but yet are written by meer men. So, there is no difference from what we say or what they say.

  • will7370 LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    An interesting consideration for most non-LDS is the following question:

    Noah was the prophet called of God to warn the people a few hundred years before the earth's baptism by water (the Great Flood).

    Joseph Smith was the prophet called of God to warn the people a few hundred years before the earth's baptism by fire (during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ).

    If Joseph Smith was not the prophet to fulfill this divine role, then who is? We're quickly running out of time.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Sept. 4, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    @will7370:

    Then who is?

    The Choice Seer - The American Indian Moses. A full-blooded Indian to come forth in the not too distant future of this land.

    JS was NOT the Choice Seer, and JS was only a Prophet when his prophecies and/or teachings were in complete agreement with the KJV and the BOM.

  • American man WOODS CROSS, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    Michigander:

    Would you please give us a source of "The Choice Seer-The American Indian Moses". Thank you.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 9:06 p.m.

    John, Congratulations for holding onto the iron rod and being an example to all around you. Great story!

    Some bloggers got way off track of what this article was really about.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Sept. 4, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    @American Man:
    2nd Nephi, Chapter 3 -

    [6] For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.

    [7] Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.

    [9] And he shall be great like unto Moses, ...

    [11] But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins -- and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 4, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    Bill, so it's a fact but not a belief? Wow. I'll follow your logic now.

  • KTC John Wetumpka, AL
    Sept. 5, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    I am the author of the article.
    There can at times, indeed, be a difference between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Mormon (or any Christian) culture as lived by its members. Ever watched an all-Mormon basketball game between two wards? Or two Baptist congregations?
    In my mind, you certainly dont have to live within or abide by Mormon cultural customs in order to be a true Christian, although I dont believe there are very many Mormon cultural customs that violate or run contrary to the commandments.
    The basic point of my article is this: Christian is, is Christian does. Anti-Christians and anti-Mormons mount attacks against the LDS understanding of Christian history and against the LDS understanding of Christian doctrines. But the grand test of a pure Christian religion is the presence or absence of an exemplary Christ-like lifestyle as relected by the lives of the adherents to that religion, judged on the whole. Thats the point.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 6, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    KTC,But the grand test of a pure Christian religion is the presence or absence of an exemplary Christ-like lifestyle as reflected by the lives of the adherents to that religion, judged on the whole. True,
    But speaking the truth(*Alētheuō,226) in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ(not an exalted man). Ephesians 4:15. *Greek verb ,to profess the truth(true doctrine)like truthing in love.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GodAnd the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14). God becomes man not man become God.

    In(D&C 84: 11-13) JS said he saw Esaias S/B Isaiah. JS needed a modern translation,they have Isaiah instead of Esaias see (Romans 9:27,29.)

    For ALL the *prophets were until John (the Baptist)(Mt 11:13). In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,..(Hebrews 1:1,2).*the office of a prophet

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 7, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Actual anti-Mormons make up a very small proportion of Christians, but unfortunately this writer seems to characterize anyone who does not believe or disagrees with the LDS Church as "anti-Mormon". Simply expressing a disagreeing opinion, presenting opposing information, or stating one's different beliefs without an agenda, motive, or goal to sway or change the established belief is not "anti". Being "anti-" something may be a positive or negative thing, depending upon one's perspective. Almost everyone would be happy to be considered "anti-child abuse." Few people would want to be known as "anti-Semitic." The term can stop, rather than facilitate discussion and the broad use of the term by this writer is hypocritical since he could be said to be "anti" as well. Way too many Mormons use the label for simply disagreeing with their faith, but don't seem to consider it "anti" if they disagree with your faith or beliefs. You can disagree with the church and be opposed to it without being anti-Mormon. I believe most Mormons oppose atheism....or disagree with certain aspects of mainstream Christianity....so should they be called anti-this or that? Stop the labels! They do little good!

  • KTC John Wetumpka, AL
    Sept. 8, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    I am the author of the article. The intended basic point of my article was this: Christian is, is Christian does. Anti-Christians and anti-Mormons mount attacks against the LDS understanding of Christian history and against the LDS understanding of Christian doctrine. But the grand test of a pure Christian religion is the presence or absence of an exemplary Christ-like lifestyle in the adherents to that religion, judged on the whole. It is what the members of any religion do that should count most in the measuring of their Christianity. Thats the point.