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Mormonism is different, but is it too Christian?

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  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    June 7, 2012 6:02 a.m.

    How ironic it seems to me- that the article indicates lines between those Quoted of what makes LDS beliefs out side of the fold of Christ, when it appears the same limits are not used with others?
    For instance-
    1. believing other written works as scripture besides what is found in the Bible. Isn't the Apographa (sp?) accepted by some Christians and not by others ? ( LDS don't canonize it)
    2. Don't many Christians understand from the Bible that Jesus' mother Mary, went on to be the mother of her husband Josephs
    children - so Jesus had step brothers and sisters but the Catholics say she is still a virgin?
    3. Look at what the Bible itself says that there were so many more things Jesus did that it is impossible to write them all, so why do many deny that he could have done what he said he was going to do -- in visiting "other sheep, not of this fold"? Is tre resurrected Christ limited to where he can visit on the Earth that he created ?
    --- I'm glad I accept only Jesus Christ as the righteous judge of of our hearts, for wether LDS love/obey Him.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 7, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    When the election is over, if Romney loses, those on the left will be painted as anti-LDS.

    The realities are that some of those on the right are as, or more anti LDS. This was easily seen during the run-up to the GOP nomination (and still continues)

    There will be those who cite the poll saying that the Dems are less likely to vote for a Mormon, however, it is mainly because those on the left do not want religion as the main driving force for our president.

    And, you gotta hand it to the LDS. They are as religious as it comes.

  • Bill Buckley Idaho Falls, Idaho
    June 7, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    Great article......it's nice to hear and see the tide move to the right with Mormonism. Perhaps having a Mormon President will calm the national view of our church a little. That would be nice for everybody!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 7, 2012 6:36 a.m.

    The Bible is the kind of book where one can stake out many different religious positions, some of them contradictory, yet all from the Bible. Try as I might, I can't find one LDS position that can't be backed up from the Bible.

    The mistake mainstream Christianity makes is assuming that the doctrinal positions that they settled on (at the insistence of a Roman king) in the year 400 are necessarily correct. Where the Bible contradicts itself, often main stream Christianity often takes one postion and LDS will take an other. Prior to the year 400, Christians, due to the contradictory nature of so many scriptures were doctrinally very diverse.

    I find it ironic, that Jesus himself would not pass the test of Christianity that main stream Christians use to exclude LDS from Christianity. A man came to Jesus and asked how he can enter to the Kingdom. Jesus then proceeded to ask him which of the various commandments he kept, finally Jesus said one thing you lack, sell all you have and give it to the poor. Notice Jesus didn't say, accept me as your Savior and then all is well?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 7, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    ""Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good," wrote J. Spencer Fluhman of the BYU History Department..."

    --

    Persecution anyone?

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    June 7, 2012 6:52 a.m.

    Certainly there is one stark reality which must be faced by detractors of the LDS faith:that being the knowledge that all beings on the planet from it's very beginning are the same species. This includes God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, angels, as well as humans past , present, and future. Prior to our birth on the earth to mortal parents, we all were and are spirit off-spring of the same heavenly parents: God, the Eternal Father being Father of all spirits which quicken each mortal frame.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    June 7, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    The author appears to have impressive academic credentials in his study of Mormonism. However, it is not coupled with the Holy Spirit. His take of the Book of Mormon as "dull" because it speaks too much of Christ entirely misses the point. Rather than talk too much of Christ, we define who He truly is. It would be well if the author reads again the Book of Mormon with a little more humility and faith. I doubt then he would find it "dull".

  • patjan Flower Mound, TX
    June 7, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    It is so true that the Book of Mormon is all about Jesus Christ. He is the central theme, but it is also a book of faith and hope in the saving grace of His Atonement. How anyone can read this book and not be moved is a mystery to me. The Book of Mormon changed my life. The Spirit of the Lord pours forth out of the pages of this book. It seems that a person would have to be determined to not feel it if he/she didn't. A secular mindset could cause this also. A person needs to read this book with real desire to know if it is true. I know that it is true because I have read it many times, have prayed about it many times and received many confirmations from the Holy Spirit. The Book of Mormon offers hope in God's deliverance from trials and adversity through Jesus Christ. By following its precepts, one feels a closeness with God and His Holy Spirit that strengthens them in their personal life.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 7, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    I have always believed and observed that LDS doctrine is an expression of the infinite grace of Christ more than any other Christian faith! Eternal progression is possible only because of the infinite grace of Jesus Christ! Salvation for the dead (temple work) and eternal families is possible only because of the infinite grace of Christ. I have observed that Jesus never restricted His grace, men and religions do that! This Mormon believes the atonement is truly infinite and is only restricted by our choices, not the Lord’s.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 7, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    "the persecution comes from actually taking Christianity to a higher level. What really gripes our detractors is that we are not Christian, but that we are more Christain than they are!"

    Keep up that attitude. That's gonna really help your cause.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 7, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    blah blah blah blah. I'm not sure why everyone can't just realize the semantics driving a wedge between the different christian sects are just semantics. Its silly.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    June 7, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    I do not think it is possible to be "too Christian", whether that be a belief in Jesus Christ as the Promised Messiah, a transformation of character that leads one to always be concerned with blessing lives other than his own, or spending time each day to study the words of prophets of an earlier age. Our problem as a species has always been that we are not Christian enough. We could use more true Christianity in this world.

    It is refreshing, in a way, to see an academic external to this faith classify The Book of Mormon as being all about Jesus Christ, especially in light of the books repeated declaration of being "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations" and that "the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved."

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    June 7, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    "Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good," wrote J. Spencer Fluhman of the BYU History Department in an article published in the New York Times.

    Interesting choice of words from a BYU Professor, considering that the LDS church preaches that it is the ONLY true church on the planet, which, of course, makes all other churches look "bad".

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    Those on the right are anti-LDS, those on the left are generally anti-religion. The left doesn't care that Romney is LDS, it's religion in general they don't take literally.

    Christians don't see LDS as Christian because the church added to the requirements for heaven: temple marriage and attendance, works, tithes, etc. The New Testament says for salvation one must accept Jesus, it doesn't add other requirements. That is why Christians don't view LDS as being Christian, just accepting Jesus isn't enough.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    Before Mormons feel persecuted by reading the Deseret News about what Christian leaders say about Mormonism; or watching MSNBC or Bill Maher; please remember this...

    These are the outsiders. "Mormons are not Christian" is certainly not the normal consensus of most mainstream Christians in America.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    Well "DUH" The cover of the Book of Mormon says that it is another testament of Jesus.

    Ernest T. Bass: The church didn't add anything to the requirements for heaven. Those requirements that you mentioned are all over the scriptures.

  • Jared Average, SE
    June 7, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Re: ClarkKent

    Mormons don't try to make other religions people look bad. We accept all truth and all good, regardless the source. That The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church does not diminish the good of other churches and it certainly does not mean they are bad (it is a misunderstand of LDS scripture to believe so). Now I know that some church members at times are less judicious in their choice of words and their actions than they should be towards other religions but thankfully that trend has been squashed by LDS Church leadership.

    Further, Mormons do not derive pleasure from making others feel or look bad (I know a few church members do but they do so in opposition to church teachings). We don't even talk about other churches (anymore - there used to be more of it but we'd never have classes on what Catholics believe or what Baptists believe and so forth). There is so much richness to the doctrine of Christ and so much to learn that there is not time to worry about what other people believe (unless they are teaching falsehoods about Mormonism).

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    Re: cjb I can't find one LDS position that can't be backed up from the Bible.

    Mormon view: Mormonism declares there are 3 Gods in the godhead. God was once a man like us before he became a God. God the Father has a body of flesh and bones.

    Christian view(Catholic,Protestant): God has always been God, There is only one God(Triune). God does not change. God the Father does not have a body of flesh and bones.

    Mormon view; Jesus is our elder brother. Lucifer is the brother of Jesus. Jesus is the firstborn spirit child of the Father. Christ gained exaltation (became a God),All men were born sons of God in the spirit. Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.

    Christian view(Catholic,Protestant): Jesus created angels including Lucifer. Jesus has always been God(Aseity), Jesus was a miraculous conception; a virgin(unique miracle)gave birth by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Jesus of Mormonism was born at Jerusalem. The Jesus of the Bible was born in Bethlehem.

    The Holy Spirit/Ghost, same Greek word(Pneuma) .

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass wrote:

    Christians don't see LDS as Christian because the church added to the requirements for heaven: temple marriage and attendance, works, tithes, etc. The New Testament says for salvation one must accept Jesus, it doesn't add other requirements. That is why Christians don't view LDS as being Christian, just accepting Jesus isn't enough.

    ETB: You make an interesting point about adding to the requirements for salvation...

    I would suggest that a person who truly believes and accepts Christ will follow him by doing the good works you speak of. The person who claims Faith in Jesus Christ but then does not demonstrate that Faith by the life they live, demonstrates that their belief is in word only, and lacks the power of salvation.

    I see no real difference between the traditional Christian, and LDS views that it is Faith and the Grace of Jesus Christ that saves. The difference is that Faith claimed, but not demonstrated by life choices lacks the power to save. Not perfect, but continually trying to show my Faith by how I live.
    The two views are just not as far apart as many would have us believe.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    One major thing that sticks out to me in the New Testament that doesn't seem to be addressed by those of other faiths calling themselves Christian, is that the Savior commanded those listening to him, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Supposedly it is blasphemous to think that we can become like God. But Christ apparently didn't think so. It makes a lot of sense to me, and goes right along with God creating man in His image. When we have those quiet, introspective moments in life, I think most people recognize that they have potential far greater than what they are achieving. As much effort as there is in living the LDS religion, the belief in ultimately divine potential helps me to never stop trying to become an increasingly better person. On top of that, it is fantastic for raising children. What parent doesn't want their children to be the very best they can be? I'm guessing this is the same feeling our Father in Heaven has toward us.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    Check out the excerpt from Stephen Webb's recent book, "Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter," that was published in BYU Studies last year. The excerpt is titled "Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints." Webb came across Joseph Smith when he was researching what he calls "an obscure heretical position on the nature of Jesus Christ" (Heavenly Flesh Christology) and became fascinated with Joseph's teachings.

    Webb's perspective on Mormonism isn't always fully accurate, but it is always insightful, and, interestingly, Mormons could gain many valuable insights into their own religion by reading what this professor or religion and philosophy at Wabash College has to say about their beliefs.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 7, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    Snowman: Those requirements you mention aren't in the New Testament. Nor are they in the Old Testament. The NT says you accept Jesus and you're saved. I realize there is a comment about works but what the intent is, isn't clear. There is no mention of temple work in the bible, not the way LDS view temples. Biblical temples had no ceremony similar to LDS ceremonies.

    I'm just trying to clarify why Christians don't view LDS as being Christian. I'm not sticking up for their views, I'm stating why they see LDS as not being mainstream Christian.
    There are also big differences on how both LDS & Christianity interpret God.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    @Jared
    "That The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church does not diminish the good of other churches"

    Actually it does. The need to proxy baptize people who were baptized Christian is an insult to the faith of others (likewise the churches that don't accept LDS baptisms are insulting to the LDS faith).

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    June 7, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    I have read the Book of Mormon all the way through more than 50 times. I am at the point where there are only very few verse you can read to me without me being able to tell you which book and chapter you are in, and very often I can tell you the verse number as well. Yet every time I read it I realize that the book is deeper than I thought. The book is simple enough that I was able to effectively use it to teach my children to read. Yet that simplicity is misleading, it is like a game of chess against an opponent you think is making weak moves, but try as you might you keep falling into traps while trying to find a way to punish him. To see the depth of the Book of Mormon requires the Holy Ghost, I do not always have it, but when I do I notice the difference.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 7, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    This was a very interesting article. I believe it shows that everyone, including Mormons, are insecure and perhaps pay too much attention to what others think about them.

  • Florien Wineriter Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 7, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    Professor Fulman’s statement, "With politics and religion so inextricably linked in our culture,” upsets me because it is true. The only way that statement should have validity is both religions and politics are deeply divisive but, sadly, it is evident that many political decisions are based on individuals making political decisions based on their religious beliefs. This teaching and practice, to me, violates the basic constitutional restriction ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office…” Constitution, Article v1
    The founding fathers included this because England, 12 of the 13 colonies, and several foreign nations required all public officials to be members of a particular state approved religious doctrine

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    June 7, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    @sharrona
    Hate to nit-pick but Mormons do not believe or teach that Christ was born in Jerusalem. Just wanted to clarify that in my sixty-plus years on the planet, NEVER have I taught or been taught that Christ was born anywhere but Bethlehem. Ten miles is not much but NEVER have we taught that the birthplace was other than Bethlehem.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 7, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    Each person must define their own faith because when other people try to do it for you, they are always wrong or at least very incomplete in the attempt!

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    June 7, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    sharrona "Mormon view;"

    Your view of the "Mormon view" is off base. Mistakes are made when you don't quote from scriptures and add your own interpretations.

    And this whole "God once was" and "Man may become" is not LDS scripture but a beautiful personal interpretation of what is possible in eternity. No beginning and no end...only progression or damnation. I don't believe Heaven is the end, but a step to Christ's message to be more perfect. What lies beyond Heaven is too much to comprehend now and not so important today.

  • Jared Average, SE
    June 7, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Re: sharrona

    "The Jesus of Mormonism was born at Jerusalem" - there's no need to continue spreading tired misconceptions of what that means - it's been answered many times over the years and backed up by other ancient religious documents as a common way to refer to an area. Saying Christ was born at Jerusalem means in the area of Jerusalem (they are only 6 miles apart) - notice that it doesn't say "in Jerusalem". As a modern example people in the Seattle area say they are from Seattle but if you ask them, it's likely that they are from one of the surrounding suburbs.

    Many of your other stated Catholic/Protestant beliefs about God and Christ are not particularly Biblical; they come from Greek influences on Christianity.

    Mormons believe in living prophets who take precedence over past scripture (this does not diminish what's been written but what's most important is what the living prophets teach). This is the case in the Bible - the teachings of Noah were important for Noah's day but they were not sufficient for Moses' day or Isaiah's or Christ's or Peter's or Paul's.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    June 7, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass wrote:

    "Christians don't see LDS as Christian because..."

    Stop right there. That is a very narrow interpretation of Christians. Most Christians don't agree that Mormons are not Christian. And many agree that to call someone "not Christian" is not being Christian.

  • cemab4y Alexandria, VA
    June 7, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    Mormonism is fundamentally different from Traditional Protestant Christianity. Everyone agress on this. Now, let's see about respecting each other's views, and agreeing to practice our particular faiths as we see fit. case Closed.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    June 7, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    I really bristle when I read Mormons claiming that their Church does not attack , speak badly about, or deride other religions.

    "...they were ALL wrong; ...ALL their creeds were an abomination in [God's] sight; that those professors were ALL corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof'"

    (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:19).

    That is a sweeping indictment and condemnation of all other religions and all other preachers, pastors, teachers, and leaders of all other religions, and it is contained in the official, sacred, canonical "scriptures" of the LDS Church.

    And that is just the tip of the iceberg. If we were to count the attacking, critical, demonizing, horrible attacks on other religions and their leaders that are contained in the Journal of Discourses and many other writings, lovers of peace would be/should be aghast!

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    June 7, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    As far as I know, Mormons are the only Christian-based faith who claim they are the only true church. They go farther than that .. they claim that if you are given a real opportunity to learn the gospel (meaning the mormon gospel and also meaning you have to pay 10% of your earnings for the rest of your life to the mormon church) but you reject that mormon gospel you will not get to live with God after you die. How insulting is that to other Christian faiths. For you myopic mormons, try looking at this from an outsider's perspective before you try to convince your audience about how loving and accepting you are. It all comes down to money as far as I'm concerned .... more money for the big corporate church who uses this to scare people half to death about whether or not they will have the opportunity to return to live with God.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    June 7, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    We members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints need to chill a little. We get upset if people say we are not Christians. Now we are upset because someone says we are are too Christian. Not everyone is going to have our beliefs. To condemn someone because they felt the Book of Mormon is dull makes no sense. The person doesn't have to believe it. Be happy that he at least read it. It is a start. We need to live our religion and invite others to learn about our religion. If they don't want to believe it that doesn't mean to turn our back on them. Look at President Hinckley's relationship with Mike Wallace. President Hinckley didn't shut him out, they remained friends.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 7, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    Razzle2: I wasn't attacking anyone. I was referring to the Christians who claims LDS aren't Christian. My intent wasn't to make a blanket statement about all Christians, just those born-agains who makes claims about LDS not being Christian.
    There are obviously theological differences. The Old & New Testament say one thing and LDS theology adds to it. That's my point and it's why some christians don't view LDS as being christian.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    June 7, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Sharrona
    Your view of the LDS is very narrow I see with frequent repetitive answers to any comment you see that doesn't fit your current view

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 7, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    Ernest has some points but here are some things he forgets or that maintline Christians don't know about the temple. One the baptismal font in LDS Temples are the same as the one built in Solomon's temple. The washings and anointings as mentioned in Exodus are alsom done with in the walls of LDS Temples. There is the mention of ordinances done within the walls of Solomon's temple. These ordinances are not spelled out in the Old Testament.

    There is some knowledge that some of the symbolism we use today goes back to the time the Temple of Solomon was built.

    Therefore this leaves the basis that Joseph Smith didn't create anything new but RESTORED what had been lost with the destruction of the temple and the ordinances performed therein.

    Sharrona we have gone back and forth pertaining to what Joseph Smith has said of the nature of our Heavenly Father and what mainline Christians believe. The problem is that there are modern day Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the earth today just as there were before the birth of Jesus. Contradictions between LDS is between theology and the creeds.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    June 7, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Scientist
    going back to any prophet of the church in the last 100 yrs find even one quote where he attacks another religion? Listened to President Hinckley or Monson lately? No attacks there only advise to respect everyone and service by the church is provided to everyone regardless of believe
    Get with the current you wont have to bristle so much

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 7, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    Dear Joseph Walker: Thanks again for keeping us aware of what others are saying about the LDS Church and its members.

    The lack of animosity of Mormons toward other religions has been documented by the authors of the book American Grace, based on extensive surveys of American religious believers. They found specifically that Mormons have a very positive view of people in other denominations and religions, more than any other church toward another church, while members of most other religions view Mormons very negatively, just a little better than they view Muslims.

    Essentially, most Americans are so ignorant of Mormonism that many of them are willing to believe any accusation, since they have nothing to compare it against and are totally unwilling to invest any effort to find out what is true. Since Mormonism is a blank slate in their minds, they project onto Mormons all sorts of negative characteristics they find in other churches.

  • Twigie Tooele, UT
    June 7, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    How can one be too Christlike? That's what Christ wants us to be!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 7, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    traditional Christianity is all based on the 4th century Nicene creed... a series of documents hatched some 400 years after Christ's death meant to unify a divided Christian world. The doctrines from the creed are NOT scriptural - not based on the New Testament but rather the ideas, perceptions and opinions of 4th century theologians. When people today read and study the Book of Mormon with an open heart and mind they are VERY surprised to find a series of books that agreed completely with the New Testament and reinforce the absolute divinity of Jesus Christ as the son of God and creator of this world as well as the one person on whom which our complete salvation depends. Mormonism isn't a rehash of the 4th century Nicene creed but instead is a fresh writing of scripture which testifies of Jesus as the redeemer. Those who are open and honest of heart enough to read it are convinced simply by their own personal experience.

    So NO - Mormonism isn't traditional Christianity because traditional Christianity is NOT based on the New Testament. Don't take my word for it - find out for yourself.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 7, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    @patjan
    "It seems that a person would have to be determined to not feel it if he/she didn't. A secular mindset could cause this also." - I agree.

    "A person needs to read this book with real desire to know if it is true." - I agree.

    So in essence we've learned that when it comes to reading the BOM, you've already made up your mind whether it's going to be true or not before starting. It's not the book that does it .... it's the constant repetition that it's true (or not) that convinces.

    Life rule of thumb: Just because you want something to be true, doesn't mean it really is.

    @Ms Molli

    Wow you get it! Marry me? : )

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 7, 2012 2:16 p.m.

    @patriot

    "Those who are open and honest of heart enough to read it are convinced simply by their own personal experience."

    You always have to be open, want it to be true, praying for it, listening to others testimonies, feel the burning in your bossom, etc for this to work. Why is that? What do you have to be so 'open' about to find this book truthful?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 7, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    RE: Just an Observer, Be ye therefore perfect(Mt 5:48), even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Supposedly it is blasphemous to think that we can become like God,. Christ’s use of the law, Perfect ion of love, see vv 43-47. See Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes of God.

    RE: Jared,(Jesus)…born of Mary at *Jersusalem … who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost*(Spirit) and bring forth a son yea, even the Son of God. ( Alma 7:10).

    “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, ”which means “God with us”(Mt 1:23 NIV). Fulfills the prophecy of the virgin birth, Isaiah 7:14).

    "In *Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet(Malachi) has written:"'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"( MT 2:6)

    Fulfilled Prophecy is what separates the Holy Bible from all other books.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    @patriot
    "traditional Christianity is all based on the 4th century Nicene creed... a series of documents hatched some 400 years after Christ's death meant to unify a divided Christian world. The doctrines from the creed are NOT scriptural - not based on the New Testament but rather the ideas, perceptions and opinions of 4th century theologians."

    Let's try a little thought experiment... consider this paragraph...

    Mormonism is all based on the 19th century creeds of Joseph Smith... a series of documents hatched 1800 years after Christ's death meant to restore a divided Christian world. The doctrines from Smith's creeds are NOT scriptural - not based on the New Testament but rather the ideas, perceptions and opinions of the 19th century theologian.

    would that be an attack on Mormonism? If so then are you really helping your cause by directly attacking Catholicism and more implicitly other Christian denominations?

    "So NO - Mormonism isn't traditional Christianity because traditional Christianity is NOT based on the New Testament."

    You know, I consider the LDS church Christian, but saying my faith isn't based on the New Testament... always makes me question, for a moment, why I defend your faith's Christian status.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 7, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    Ms Molli,

    My recollection of the Catholic Church is that they claim primacy and believe the Pope to be the Vicar of Christ and the only person on earth who can interpret Christian doctrine (and that he does so infallibly). Though there has been a detente of late, Protestants were considered to be heretics – excommunicants.

    As to Protestants - isn't that the whole issue now about whether Mormons are Christians? It is an issue of certain Protestant groups claiming that the LDS are not Christian and hence, not saved.

    Reference tithing. Many Christian sects believe in the practice. The real purpose of tithing is outlined in Malachi 3:7 where it is shown to be in answer to the question of how we return our hearts to God. Also, Christ reminded us that "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also".

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 7, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    Chistian enough, perhpas...

    "Christ-Like" enough, not by a long shot.

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    "I've talked to hundreds of Mormons and I’ve learned something: they don’t argue."

    Oh, yeah. You apparently haven't talked to Senator Harry Reed.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    June 7, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    Many if not most Christians would say Mormons are not "too" Christian because they are not Christian at all. Here is the argument: "Jesus is God. Not a separate god with similar but lesser powers, but the one and only God Himself. Being God is what Jesus is ALL about, not some minor detail about which we can disagree. Remove God from the identity of Jesus and you are talking about somebody ENTIRELY different. The Mormon Jesus, then, is some other Jesus; he is not "our" Jesus. If they don't worship the same Jesus that other Christians do, how can they also be Christian?"

    If Jesus is God (and I am not saying he is) then doesn't this argument make sense? For those who do believe Jesus is God, they see an immense divide with no fellowship of common belief, so how can they see Mormons as fellow Christians?

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 3:56 p.m.

    @coleman51:

    "His take of the Book of Mormon as "dull" because it speaks too much of Christ entirely misses the point."

    If the book is dull it's because of the many, many wars portrayed. And the cause is always the same... moving from religious to ir-religious.... happening over and over again.

    "Rather than talk too much of Christ, we define who He truly is."

    The reason it 'talks too much of Christ' is because the author, Mormon, had that as his main theme and purpose for putting the book together.

    Would that we had the other record as well (large plates).

    @sharrona: "Mormon view: Jesus is the firstborn spirit child of the Father."

    OK. Then what of the second, third, fourth, etc., spirit-born of the father? Is Jesus the only one of the spirit-born that could qualify as a God with the Father? What of the seemingly billions of other spirit-born? One would have to wonder about their lesser station and fate in the scheme of things.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Re: LValfre:
    "So in essence we've learned that when it comes to reading the BOM, you've already made up your mind whether it's going to be true or not before starting. It's not the book that does it .... it's the constant repetition that it's true (or not) that convinces."

    I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one. I know of far too many people with nothing other than a partially open mind who have come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon was true--even among many that initially had a negative view of Mormonism or were looking to disprove it from the start, all throughout the church's history (and, in case it isn't clear, I know of several people personally who have had this experience). Does that mean it is true? No, it doesn't. But it does mean that your assertion is incorrect.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 7, 2012 4:08 p.m.

    HotGlobe,

    We see Jesus as a separate being from the Father but not with lesser powers.

    I agree (mostly) with your depiction of how many other Christians view Christ. But it is not the only view either. The point is the dominant Christian voices are trying to silence alternate voices (the Nicene Council persists).

    As to the Trinity. I would call it a relatively difficult doctrine that Christ himself only vaguely referenced (and just once that I can recall right now). In virtually all other discussions he was quite clear about his being separate from the Father and subject to him.

    If anyone could have provided a simple, clear explanation of the Trinity it would have been Christ. But instead it fell to Christians three centuries removed from him and at the behest of a pagan Emperor. That does not sound Biblical to me.

    Have you ever read the Athanasian Creed which attempts to explain the Trinity?

  • handshaker17 Centerville, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    Brother...first Mormons are a cult and not Christians at all. Now they are TOO Christian. Just another proof that there will always be opposition, even if that opposition says that believing in Christ "too much" is wrong as well.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    Twin Lights,

    Have you read the Lectures on Faith, which were canonized, official doctrine and contained in the Doctrine and Covenants for over 85 years, and which try to explain the "Godhead"? Lectures on Faith makes the ancient Christian Creeds seem wonderfully clear by comparison!

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:37 p.m.

    RE: atl134

    YOu make one mistake in your comparison of the Nicene creed to Joseph Smith.

    When they created the Ncence creed they di NOT aske God what is right, they just decide amonst them selves waht they wantto belive.

    Joseph Smith, when he lacked wisdon asked God for the more enlightment. Jospeh Smiths "creed" comes from God, not from a committee of men.

    I am pretty sure that when Joseph Smith and was told not to join any other religion becasue they are an abomination, that any religion that teaches fales doctrine and not God's full and true doctrine is not square with God.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:40 p.m.

    It's like asking how many angels can dance on a pinhead. It's subjective down to a person. Everyone claims truth, everyone argues from the same script, and no one has any more proof than anyone else. That's how religion so successfully divides us, and why it needs to be kept personal.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:42 p.m.

    HotGlobe - SAN RAFAEL, CA

    Here is the argument: "Jesus is God. Not a separate god with similar but lesser powers, but the one and only God Himself. Being God is what Jesus is ALL about"

    That is NOT an argument, that is an agreement. Mormonism is to be Christ-centered not Heavenly Father centered, although they are the same in purpose, one God.

    I am so glad we finally got that cleared up. No more argument.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:52 p.m.

    HotGlobe

    I can see your point that the Son could not be equal to the Father. Therefore the Mormon Christ is not God. However, I believe that we are only saved through the Atonement of Christ. Therefore, I could also argue that Christ is greater than the Father.

    Actually, it takes both to be The one God of this earth.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    June 7, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    patriot wrote:

    "traditional Christianity is all based on the 4th century Nicene creed... a series of documents hatched some 400 years after Christ's death meant to unify a divided Christian world."

    Not true. This is the biased, Talmagesque re-write of history you are rehearsing. The truth is just the opposite. The Nicene Creed is "based on" and is an expression of 400 years of Christianity, passed intimately among Apostolic eye witnesses and their close students and followers.

    The theology of Mormonism was varied, self-contradictory, and unclear in its early years. The Lectures on Faith were official doctrine (in the Doctrine and Covenants) for over 85 years before the Correlation Committee removed it. In the same way the Mormon Church appointed a "Correlation Committee" (BH Roberts, Talmage, etc) and currently has a Correlation Department to "correlate" the doctrines of the LDS Church, the Ecumenical Councils of Christianity simply convened to articulate in the Creeds what Christians believed.

    Faulting "Creedal Christianity" for that is shooting your own Church and its history squarely in the foot. You are hoist with your own petard with that argument.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    June 7, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    An artilce about peoples blogs does not qualify as journalism. This is just another sensation people to get people all stired up. The dnews is losing credibilty as fast as it is losing readership. Nice job in baiting for readership and comments but as you are aware it is becoming a losing battle.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    June 7, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    To Ms. Molli and all others who are offended when the LDS say they are the only true church: We say this not because we are pompous, arrogant, or think we are better. In fact I know many nonMormons who live better lives than many Mormons. Rather, God himself chose to restore His Church; he called a prophet (Joseph Smith), and sent angels straight from heaven to this prophet. He explained to his prophet how his church should be organized. He revealed many hidden truths to J.S. and his successors, just as he had done with ancient prophets. Therefore, it is God’s church in a very literal way, and not man’s church. Its members are not better; they are just lucky and blessed to have found this truth. This does not mean Joseph Smith or any of his successors are perfect; God lets us make mistakes. The mistakes of church members and leaders do not mean it isn’t God’s church. The miracle of it all is that God can do such a great work in his Church by using fallible mortals.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 7, 2012 8:00 p.m.

    A Scientist,

    Yes, I've read them (though it's been awhile). I don't recall them being as contradictory as you indicate. By contrast, I have never forgotten how confusing I found the Athanasian Creed.

    The issue with the Nicene Creed is not from Talmage. From the Wiki folks:

    "The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea . . . by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Trinitarian issue of the nature of The Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea . . . "

    Also, look up Arianism. It is not strictly the LDS view, but it shows that non-Trinitarian views were present anciently and were at issue.

    As to the Nicene Creed being "an expression of 400 years of Christianity, passed intimately among Apostolic eye witnesses and their close students . . ." Please. We are closer to the Founding Fathers than the Council of Nicaea was to the apostles.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 7, 2012 11:04 p.m.

    To Scientist and others. Sit down again and reread what you wrote about the creeds. The fact is that it was Charlamagne that called a series of Bishops together. This group of Bishops who were not apostles had already started apostizing the word of the Apostles as evidenced by the writings of Paul, Peter and John. Why? Because the Apostles were slowly being killed off. Reason, because it was felt that by killing the leaders, this new religion would die.

    However, Charlamagne became intrigued with this new religion and then wanted to join. However, he wanted it under his terms and only his terms. He helped determine what was and isn't scripture. If it didn't fit his feelings of God, it was basically abolished. The creeds were used to determine what Charlamagne wanted. There is no office of Pope in the Bible. There is Apostles, Prophets, Priests, evanglists, elders, seventies and etc. No other church has this in its entireity thus the same organization of the Church established by Jesus Christ is back on the earth.

    The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ testifies of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    June 7, 2012 11:28 p.m.

    Scientist, If you've read to this point, you've seen a couple solid arguments that counter yours already.

    However, I would like to add that the passage you quoted was spoken by the resurrected Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith in the year 1820 speaking specifically of the ministers working in upstate New York at THAT particular time in history, several of whom had an impact on young Joseph, bringing him to inquire of the Lord which of their churches he should join. Every minister within Joseph's sphere was not teaching the Bible, purely, but was teaching the bible THROUGH an interpretation of the creeds (Nicene, Apostles' or Athanasian).

    In addition, this particular passage of scripture has NEVER been applied to anyone else at any time since. We revere it as direct revelation from the one who created this world; the same one who loves all and desires all to come unto Him.

    How grateful I am to have this guidemap, spoken by my Savior, which has brought me and my family to truth.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 8, 2012 2:03 a.m.

    @ sharrona
    "God the Father does not have a body of flesh and bones."

    Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
    And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. Ex 24:9-10

    And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
    Ex 33:23

    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Phil 2:5-6

    Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then Shew us the Father? John 14:9

    Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. Luke 24:39

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 8, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    A Scientist,

    Yes, I've read them (though it's been awhile). I don't recall them being as contradictory as you indicate. By contrast, I have never forgotten how confusing I found the Athanasian Creed.

    The issue with the Nicene Creed is not from Talmage. From the Wiki folks:

    "The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea . . . by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Trinitarian issue of the nature of The Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea . . . "

    Also, look up Arianism. It is not strictly the LDS view, but it shows that non-Trinitarian views were present anciently and were at issue.

    As to the Nicene Creed being "an expression of 400 years of Christianity, passed intimately among Apostolic eye witnesses and their close students . . ." Please. We are closer to the Founding Fathers than the Council of Nicaea was to the apostles.

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    June 8, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    Interesting points. Thanks you all for the insights. Together may we gain a better understanding of our origins and our destiny.

    Here is some more food for thought -since many comments focus on what we know of God.

    What if the name "God" we toss around were actually a title? What if the title of "God" were an office in the priesthood much like priest or high priest or Apostle? Then, like the description of the "dread pirate Roberts", perhaps God is not a single entity but is a succession of individuals (or collection) who have rooted imperfections out of their lives in days long since past?

    We know the priesthood is eternal, as is God. We also know we (mankind) were created in the very image of God, so we share His attributes in embryo. We know we are called to be heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ. "Come follow Me." What if the reason "God" is often used in singular is because it represents total unity, like joining the collective?

    What feels right to me is that God wants us to emulate Him. Only then will we truly be Christian. Lets seek to be like Him.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    June 8, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    Twin Lights,

    Let me help you get a start:

    In Lectures on Faith God, the Father (Elohim according to Mormons) is described as "a personage of spirit", distinguished from the Son (Jehovah) as "a personage of tabernacle" and the Holy Ghost is "the shared mind between the Father and the Son" (Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 Edition, page 53).

    In the dedicatory prayer for the Nauvoo temple, Joseph Smith prayed to "O Lord God of Israel", by which he meant the Father: "...we ask thee, Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ". So Joseph thought Jesus' FATHER's name was "Jehovah", but then Joseph calls him "Holy Father" and "O Jehovah" (D&C 109:34, 42, 56). In verse 68 Joseph seems confused between who is "Jehovah" and who is the "Mighty God of Jacob".

    Even the best LDS scholars have agreed Joseph's theology morphed over time, and that he was often confused about the identities of the "Godhead", and that he even embraced Trinitarian notions at times. That is why a "correlation committee" had to fix the confusion and the only solution was to rip the Lectures on Faith out of the D&C.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    June 8, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    LasvegasPam,

    There have been NO arguments to "counter" what I have presented, much less "solid" ones.

    Twin Lights quotes from "the Wiki folks" - now there is true scholarship and research! Not!

    Moreover, nothing she quoted "counters" the facts and the history of Christianity, which documents and testifies how God guided the ecumenical Councils in their "Correlation" work - just as LDS claim happened with your much smaller, much less erudite "Correlation Committee". Nobody has countered that at all.

    Then you, Lasvegaspam, insist that "the passage [I] quoted was spoken by the resurrected Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith..."

    That is your biased opinion. What we do know is that Joseph Smith CLAIMED that is what Jesus said. There were no other witnesses. It is Joseph Smith's word, and his documented history with the Law suggests his testimony cannot be trusted.

    Then Bill in Nebraska gives us more hokey pokey Talmage-ish twisted history. Bah, humbug. That is nonsense. Check out real historians and real sources, not your biased bunk.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    June 8, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    The Scientist: Why wpuld a 14 yearold(who could barely read and write) write something like that wasn't true. Joseph was persecuted for what he saw and for what he said not for things he did. why would a young boy do that?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    @the truth
    "When they created the Ncence creed they di NOT aske God what is right, they just decide amonst them selves waht they wantto belive."

    You want me to seriously believe that a group of religious leaders didn't ever pray for knowledge?

    " Jospeh Smiths "creed" comes from God, not from a committee of men."

    Allegedly.

    "I am pretty sure that when Joseph Smith and was told not to join any other religion becasue they are an abomination, that any religion that teaches fales doctrine and not God's full and true doctrine is not square with God."

    If he actually was told that.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 8, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    RE: Zoar (Luke 24:39) Jesus has a body of flesh and bones, but God(the Father) is spirit…”(John 4:24). JS agrees: Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). Lectures on Faith.

    O.T. Theophanies and Christophanies. Biblical hermenuetics, The use of the N.T to interpret the OT.
    … the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.(Acts 7;38) (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.(Hebrews 11:27)

    ("No man hath seen God(Elohim) at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared Him." John 1:18 NIV)-
    No man hath seen God at anytime, except[JS] he hath born record of his Son… .(John 1:19 JST)

    Philippians 2:5-6, see verse 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to dead even death on a cross. Kenosis doctrine,taught in the BoM.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    June 8, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    snowman,

    I am shocked by your question. Apparently, you don't know and have never met a 14 year old?

    More importantly, Joseph not only had a reputation for being a great "storyteller" even at a very young age, but he did not write any accounts of "The First Vision" (so-called) until around Ten Years AFTER the event allegedly took place, and he had already organized a Church for over two years (1832 are the earliest versions of the "First Vision" account, and none of them were even published until the 1840's).

    So there really is only Joseph's word - a long time after the fact - that he saw anything at all, much less that he was "persecuted" for it by anyone.

    If you believe what teenagers say simply because you cannot fathom teenagers making things up, then you have bigger problems to deal with than convincing me or anyone else about your Church.

    The fact still remains: Jesus did NOT say all Churches other than the Mormon Church are "wrong" and their creeds "an abomination" and their preachers "all corrupt" anymore than Jesus (as God, or Allah) told Fundamentalists to kill the Infidels!

    Gullibility is bad.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 8, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    The LDS Church professes to be the restored church of Jesus. I don’t share that view, Joseph Smith’s claims to divine revelations notwithstanding. Mormons have no more idea of than do Catholics and Protestants of the intent of Jesus’ original message proclaiming the kingdom to be at hand.

    The teachings of Jesus must be closer to what Jesus envisioned than the theologies of salvation developed by the early church fathers in the early centuries of the Christian era. And what are those teachings? Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Show kindness, love, tolerance, and forbearance. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Is Mormonism too Christian? Such a silly question.

  • Cephas The Wilds of, NH
    June 8, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    I have known many 14 year old boys including some who were truly great storytellers. Most weren't much at writing and they certainly didn't make up stories that would get them into trouble.

    Of course Joseph’s understanding of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost increased over time. The same is true for Peter and the other apostles. Each had a far greater understanding of God, Christ, and the gospel at the end of their ministries than at the beginning.

    When Joseph began he was very young (he never lived to be old). His understanding was based in the prevailing religious doctrines around him. New understanding came over a period of years and via successive revelations. We see this with the apostles and Christ in the NT. Were we to be afforded the opportunity to listen to Peter at the beginning of his apostleship and again at the end, we would notice significant doctrinal evolution.

    In the days of the apostles they were railed against for being unlettered adults and traitors to Judaism. Today, we rail against Joseph for being young and inexperienced and mounting a challenge to traditional (vs. historic) Christianity.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    June 8, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    When I read the pseudo-intellectual drivel here offered by 'scientists' and those who worship 'reason and logic' I am more and more convinced that Joseph was telling the truth, and that the BoM is what it purports to be.

    Jonathan Swift was right ... ""When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."

    Critics share one common trait in their comments - anger. That is more telling than anything they write.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    June 8, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    I don't think it's so much that Mormons are obsessed with Jesus Christ per se, as they are obsessed with gaining the approval of other Christians, particularly conservative Christians. That's why you see so many attempts to form alliances with other (conservative) Christian organizations. That's why when you hear about all the negative PR that Prop 8 generated, the response from members of the church is "But look at all the alliances we formed with other (conservative) Christians!"

    The gospel has just as much to offer to secularists, to Muslims, to Jews, to Scientologists, and members of any other religion in the world. If we focus too much on making ourselves look "Christian," we will have the unintended consequence of alienating ourselves from anyone who doesn't identify as Christian.

    Plus, it does diminish our uniqueness. We have a lot that is unique to our faith, and we should not be ashamed of that uniqueness. If we were just the same as every other Christian church, what motivation would other Christians have to accept the true gospel?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    June 8, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    Moontan,

    The only one "angry" here seems to be you, just as the only one avoiding substantive argument and instead casting aspersions and name-calling seems to be you.

    I wonder why that is?

    And if your "logic" and "reasoning" is to believe those things that "scientists" argue AGAINST, then, again, you have bigger problems than trying to evangelize your religion.

    Good luck with that.

    Now for those who actually want to discuss the substance of my arguments, I look forward to your replies.

  • KTC John Wetumpka, AL
    June 8, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    The article mentions that Tal Davis recommends not calling Mormonism a cult. Twenty five years ago Tal Davis was making a living calling Mormonism a cult. I see that he is still making a living attacking Mormonism, but has at least discarded one of his weapons. Pehaps he will make a little more progress over the next 25 years. Since mainstream Christianity deviated from original Christianity over 1600 years ago,those Nicean Christians who are "ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth" are unable to recognize orginal Christianity when they see it.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    June 8, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    @The Scientist - you seem like a pretty smart guy, but being smart is only half of the wisdom equation. I think KTC John is onto something with you and sharrona when he quotes 2 Timothy 3:7.

    Maybe you could educate us all with some knowledge that would really improve our online debating experience - how do you bypass the 4-comment limit?

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 8, 2012 5:42 p.m.

    Sharrona

    All we have both managed to prove is that any belief can be justified by the bible. I cannot sway you and you cannot sway me. It men did not interpret the scriptures according to their own understanding then there would not be so many Christian denominations in existence. If the Catholic church’s claim to divine authority originating from the Apostle Peter is correct than all the other Christian churches that sprang up later on resulted from apostasy from the mother church. If on the other hand the Church was corrupted after the apostles had all died then the Mormons claim of a restoration is the only way that condition could have been remedied. Otherwise why are we not all Catholics?

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 8, 2012 6:16 p.m.

    @The Scientist

    "In Lectures on Faith God, the Father (Elohim according to Mormons) is described as "a personage of spirit", distinguished from the Son (Jehovah) as "a personage of tabernacle" and the Holy Ghost is "the shared mind between the Father and the Son" (Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 Edition, page 53)."

    The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. D&C 130:22


    Date:April 2, 1843
    Place:Ramus, Illinois

    Apparently 8 years later Joseph learned the true nature of the trinity and the Mormon Church to this day still teaches it.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    June 9, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    Ever go to a Fast and Testimony meeting?

    Who is revered more in those testimony talks?

    Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ?

    I encourage every one who does attend Fast and Testimony meeting to pay close on July 1 to whom is revered more.

    The LDS church is too Joseph Smith and temple oriented and not "too Christian."

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 9, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Thinkman: Evidentky you miss points of fast and testimony meeting that others already understand. Just as the Hebrews of old talked of Moses and reverred him, so do the Latter-Day Saints of today. Still Christ is in the forefront of everyones testimony. Testimonies grow stronger and more vibrant and closer to the Master as one learns line upon line, precept upon precept. As such testimonies continue to revolve as one learns and gains knowledge. The Scientist mentioned this of Joseph Smith and we can see that from President Monson as well.

    Without a testimony of the restoration which includes the Book of Mormon, ones testimony is incomplete. I hear it quite often to what you refer to but their testimonies are growing and that is all the Savior asks. They continue to prosper in their testimonies and as such for you to say what you said is misleading and WRONG.

    Learn to listen with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then the Holy Ghost will speak once more to you. Until then continue in the spirit of defiance and hatred to the truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

  • SteveAngell53 Salisbury, MD
    June 9, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    Thanks for the tip to Godbodied. All should read this it is rather deep but most should understand it the link is http://byustudies.byu.edu /PDFLibrary/50.3Webb Godbodied-a31ea084-327e-467b-bedc- 4fa6c6f7d0c4.pdf. Remove spaces for link.

    Knowing modern science it is really amazing that Joseph Smith understood this so well. Atoms are made of particles that are made of something we are still trying to understand.

    But Joseph Smith taught God controlled all Matter. Matter obeyed his will. Thus to move the continents he needed only to command them to move and they did. To walk on water he needed to only command the water to hold his weight and it did. Stop a storm just a command.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    June 9, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    The Scientist: I have and have met many 14 yearolds as there are several in my family but how does this relate to Joseph Smith? His only book was the Bible. He only went as high as the 3rd grade in school.His account of the 1st vision is in every Book of Mormon that has ever been printed. He was persecuted for evverything he said and did. He was tarred and feather more than once.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    June 10, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    Recently, a minister of another denomination stopped at my door. He was looking for people to attend his meetings. I invited him in. It was hot out. I offered him a drink of ice-water. He drank gladly and took a seat.

    A friendly conversation ensued. I suggested there was much more that united us than separated us doctrinally. That we gain more by focusing on those similarities.

    He wanted to talk about the differences. So we did. He pointed out many of the same things mentioned in Sharrona's comment. I explained how his views and our views were mostly the same (and respectfully corrected misconceptions - also promulgated in Sharrona's post). Unfortunately, the DesNews 200-word limit does not allow me to do so here.

    As he left he said, "You are very unusual. I think you are almost a Christian," and smiled. I laughed and said, "I think we are both Christians. Little separates us. I hope we will 'see eye to eye' and sing the same song together one day." (He caught the Isaiah reference and grinned.) "So," I continued, "I'll take it as a compliment."

    We built a little bridge. We both benefited.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 11, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    @terra nova,"I think we are both Christians. Little separates us? OK, Do you believe,…the love of ‘God’, because He laid down his life for us…(1John 3:16).

    An early Baptismal creed,found in(Romans 10:9). “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord(Yahweh),” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    Lord (Greek Kyrios) is used over 6,000 time in the LXX(Greek O.T.)to translate the name of Israel’s God((Yahweh). See, Tetragrammaton.

    . … no one can say Jesus is Lord(Yahweh)except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3) Paul ascribes deity to Jesus.
    … God said unto Moses,” I am( Ego eimi ,*the BEING)… LXX Exodus 3:14.

    Jesus knew Jews would consider it blasphemy to answer this question by declaring his own deity.… , Are you then the Son of God? And he said unto them, You say that ”I am”(Ego eimi= *the Being.(Luke 22:70 Greek N.T..

    The word "Trinity" first used by Tertullian (c.155-230)well before the creeds.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 12, 2012 6:07 a.m.

    I love the way members talk themselves into "believing" understand fully that if they don't "believe" they'll be chastised and ignored. The culture is very powerful in Mormonism and reading your responses of "testimony" "it's true" etc. etc. are mind boggling.

  • debra.jo Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 13, 2016 9:17 a.m.

    Sharrona -

    Just to clarify - Mormons believe that Mary was a virgin both before AND AFTER she conceived Jesus. Mormons do not teach that "Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers." Like all Christians, we believe that it was a miracle!

    Take care!

    - Debra Jo