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Archive for the category “Apologetics”

Do All Paths Lead to God?

Can you identify these different belief systems?

#1—Our ultimate goal is the extinction of desire—to become nothing. Come join us!
#2—We’re still waiting for our Messiah to appear. Come join us!
#3—Sow in this life, reap in the next, and eventually be reunited with God. Come join us!
#4—The world is an illusion. Reality is spiritual and invisible. Come join us!
#5—God creates both good and evil. God controls all that we do. Come join us!
#6—God is called good because he causes good, but goodness is not part of his essence. Come join us!
#7—”I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” Come join me!

Each one of these belief systems have exclusive claims. That means that they cannot all stand side by side with equal validity.  They all may have an  element of truths, such as basic moral truths. Take the time to examine the core beliefs of these different faiths.

Let’s be honest, to say that each one is the same,.. is to disrespect the teachings of each. By all means do the research and look at the core beliefs of each, laying them side by side. Can they truly all be saying the same thing? No, Not when they each have not only different ways of getting to God, but different concepts of who and what God even is!
The answers are below,..just in case you want to check your answers.

(#1—Buddhism. #2—Judaism. #3—Hinduism. #4—Hinduism or Buddhism. #5—Islam. #6—Islam. #7—Christianity.)

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Making the Most of Mormon Missionary Visits

By Aaron Shafovaloff

Originally posted at Dan Phillips’ blog

Some of us get downright annoyed at Mormon missionaries knocking on our door. But when God sends spiritually needy people right to our homes, we ought ought to make the best of it.
Getting turned down and even having doors slammed in your face isn’t fun. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I know because many Mormons are rude to me on a weekly basis here in Utah on evangelistic outings. No matter how positive and polite I try to be, that I am trying to convert them from their Restoration to our Great Apostasy doesn’t go over well. “Get a job.” “What are you, an anti-Mormon?” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “What did the Mormons ever do to you?” “How much money do you get paid to do this?” “Don’t you have anything better to do?”
All that, but at least I still get to pick up the phone and talk to my mom whenever I want. Mormon missionaries are typically only allowed to send letters/email once a week, and make a phone call twice a year to their family. Once on Christmas, and once on Mother’s Day. They eat lots of Ramen noodles, Mac and Cheese, and anything else cheap that a budget-conscious bachelor pad might serve.
Mormons tell us all the time to take our tough and deep questions to the young missionaries, because surely these guys know the answers. But that is hardly the case. These are a bunch of young 19 and 20-year-olds who are playing the part of a Mormon tradition that is designed to help them plant deep roots of Mormon commitment and belief. Many of them are on their mission to participate in an adventure and figure things out for themselves, not yet having the deep belief in Mormonism that they wish they had. The two-year-mission largely functions in Mormonism to solidify that belief. It’s a spiritually formative time in their life, and it’s our duty to plant seeds of truth in love.
When a new set of missionaries (they usually cycle out to different proximate areas every three months or so) knocks on my door, it’s usually because I have requested a new video resource they have advertised (do this!), because I have filled out a card in one of their Visitor’s Centers or public events (never pass that up!), or because a neighbor feels like I really need to be converted (hey, they care!). I’m more than delighted to have them over. Know that you can practice warm hospitality without welcoming them as fellow believers. Welcome them in, have them sit down, and bring them something to drink (save snacks for a bit later to keep them a bit longer).
Ask them where they are from, about their families, and what their post-mission plans are. They will want to quickly segue to their religious message. They usually ask me, “So how much do you know about the Church?” I am forthright about my knowledge of the Mormon faith. “I have studied it for years, I find it fascinating, but I have some grave concerns.” But what I know about the history and larger movement of Mormonism is inconsequential for the moment, because “I would love to hear what you two individually believe.”
Allow the missionaries to spend some time delivering their message, but look for points at which you can ask questions about the fundamental nature of God. Because I never know how short or long their visit will be, or if they will ever return, I make it a point to quickly get to the heart of the matter. For me that usually entails asking if they believe God once was a mere man who had to progress unto godhood, and whether they believe this mere man was once perhaps a sinner. The responses are varied, but usually heartbreaking and shocking.
The most important passage that I know to share with a Mormon is Isaiah 43:10:
“Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.”
I recommend using this passage even if you only have a few minutes. Ask the missionaries to “share their testimonies”, and patiently listen. They have a series of affirmations they will articulate here, usually something like, “I know the Church is true and has the restored priesthood, I know that Jesus is the Messiah, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know the Thomas S. Monson is a modern-day prophet of God.”
“Thank you for sharing your testimony. Would you mind if I shared a testimony as well?”
“Sure.”
“The testimony I have to share right now isn’t my testimony, it is God’s testimony.” At this point I try to avoid using terms like “Bible” and “scripture” and “word of God”, and instead use the term “testimony of God.” Referring to God’s written revelations as the testimonies of God is perhaps the clearest and strongest way we evangelicals can communicate the nature of scripture to Mormons.
I open up the testimonies of God and put my finger under the passage to help them simultaneously read with their eyes as they listen with their ears: “God bears witness of himself in Isaiah 43:10, testifying, ‘Before me no god was formed [PAUSE], nor shall there be any after me.’ If we trust the testimony of man, how much more should we trust the testimony of God himself.”
This also works great in the beginning of a longer conversation, as it preempts the feelings-oriented Mormon epistemology that they want to promote. Mormon missionaries are taught to foster a kind of atmosphere and attitude among listeners. The next step for them is to help you identify a set of positive emotions with the Holy Spirit. By preemptively referring to scripture as the “testimony of God”, I have made it more difficult for them to appeal to human feelings as the chief, decisive vehicle of God’s authoritative revelation.
Other topics that are great to cover are the unique priesthood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7), the explosively good news of the justification of the ungodly (Romans 4:4-8), and the importance of putting our feelings and thoughts in a system of checks and balances that realistically takes into account our finiteness and depravity and God’s authority and omnipotence (Isaiah 40:8; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). A wonderful list of passages put together by James White for witnessing to Mormons is available here.
You will inevitably be asked to read a section of the Book of Mormon and pray about that. On that issue please see an article by Bill McKeever.
A great way to get them to come back is not to hog the conversation, but to let them have their say. Practice using questions as a way of drawing out the topics you would like to address. Our interactions are not an endless emergent “conversation”, but neither are they an overwhelmingly aggressive monologue (I have learned this the hard way). Keep a mental note of three or so tough questions that went unanswered, and write them down for them.
“Would you guys please research the answers to these questions, and come back another time to share what you found?” Insist on it with a free dinner. In some areas, Mormon missionaries are not allowed to eat meals at the houses of other Mormons. This is designed to encourage them to eat with non-Mormon households or at a Mormon house with non-Mormon guests. The problem is that many missionaries end up eating a lot of those Ramen noodles. Your kitchens are the solution to this wonderful problem.
At the end, they will ask for someone to close in prayer, usually the head of the household. Use the opportunity to pray to our awesome and eternal God. Thank God before everyone in the living room for the free and immediate gift of justification, forgiveness, and eternal life. Thank him for transforming your heart to love and follow Jesus. Thank Jesus that in him we have all the riches of knowledge and wisdom and understanding, and that without him, we have nothing, and that with him we have everything. And beseech the Spirit to help everyone in the room to pursue the truth of the gospel, lest we suffer that awful punishment that the Bible describes as never-ending.
Get their phone number in case you have to reschedule, and use that number to remind them of the dinner appointment that you’re looking forward to. Trust me, this is important. They forget (either literally or sometimes intentionally) to show up and either never come back, or call to apologize, since something came up. Sometimes they are lazy, sometimes they are just busy. Give them the benefit of doubt and stuff them full of more dinner. Serve a dessert twenty minutes after dinner is over so that they feel obliged to stay longer than they would have. Keep inviting them over and over to eat more dinner, discuss more issues, and address more of the outstanding questions. It won’t last forever, so make the best use of your time. Ron Rhodes writes,
“Don’t move forward in a mad rush to discuss spiritual things, especially if you have the opportunity to work toward developing a personal relationship. When the Lord opens the door for witnessing, however, be ready to walk through it.
“The exception to this rule, of course, is if you know for certain that you will never see that particular Mormon again. Then you will want to cover as much doctrinal ground as possible, biblically refuting the most blatant heresies in Mormon theology and giving a strong personal testimony of what Jesus has done in your life.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons [1995], p. 29)

Some of us get downright annoyed at Mormon missionaries knocking on our door. But when God sends spiritually needy people right to our homes, we ought to make the best of it.

Getting turned down and even having doors slammed in your face isn’t fun. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I know because many Mormons are rude to me on a weekly basis here in Utah on evangelistic outings. No matter how positive and polite I try to be, that I am trying to convert them from their Restoration to our Great Apostasy doesn’t go over well. “Get a job.” “What are you, an anti-Mormon?” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “What did the Mormons ever do to you?” “How much money do you get paid to do this?” “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

All that, but at least I still get to pick up the phone and talk to my mom whenever I want. Mormon missionaries are typically only allowed to send letters/email once a week, and make a phone call twice a year to their family. Once on Christmas, and once on Mother’s Day. They eat lots of Ramen noodles, Mac and Cheese, and anything else cheap that a budget-conscious bachelor pad might serve.

Mormons tell us all the time to take our tough and deep questions to the young missionaries, because surely these guys know the answers. But that is hardly the case. These are a bunch of young 19 and 20-year-olds who are playing the part of a Mormon tradition that is designed to help them plant deep roots of Mormon commitment and belief. Many of them are on their mission to participate in an adventure and figure things out for themselves, not yet having the deep belief in Mormonism that they wish they had. The two-year-mission largely functions in Mormonism to solidify that belief. It’s a spiritually formative time in their life, and it’s our duty to plant seeds of truth in love.

When a new set of missionaries (they usually cycle out to different proximate areas every three months or so) knocks on my door, it’s usually because I have requested a new video resource they have advertised (do this!), because I have filled out a card in one of their Visitor’s Centers or public events (never pass that up!), or because a neighbor feels like I really need to be converted (hey, they care!). I’m more than delighted to have them over. Know that you can practice warm hospitality without welcoming them as fellow believers. Welcome them in, have them sit down, and bring them something to drink (save snacks for a bit later to keep them a bit longer).

Ask them where they are from, about their families, and what their post-mission plans are. They will want to quickly segue to their religious message. They usually ask me, “So how much do you know about the Church?” I am forthright about my knowledge of the Mormon faith. “I have studied it for years, I find it fascinating, but I have some grave concerns.” But what I know about the history and larger movement of Mormonism is inconsequential for the moment, because “I would love to hear what you two individually believe.”

Allow the missionaries to spend some time delivering their message, but look for points at which you can ask questions about the fundamental nature of God. Because I never know how short or long their visit will be, or if they will ever return, I make it a point to quickly get to the heart of the matter. For me that usually entails asking if they believe God once was a mere man who had to progress unto godhood, and whether they believe this mere man was once perhaps a sinner. The responses are varied, but usually heartbreaking and shocking.

The most important passage that I know to share with a Mormon is Isaiah 43:10:

“Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.”

I recommend using this passage even if you only have a few minutes. Ask the missionaries to “share their testimonies”, and patiently listen. They have a series of affirmations they will articulate here, usually something like, “I know the Church is true and has the restored priesthood, I know that Jesus is the Messiah, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know the Thomas S. Monson is a modern-day prophet of God.”

“Thank you for sharing your testimony. Would you mind if I shared a testimony as well?”

“Sure.”

“The testimony I have to share right now isn’t my testimony, it is God’s testimony.” At this point I try to avoid using terms like “Bible” and “scripture” and “word of God”, and instead use the term “testimony of God.” Referring to God’s written revelations as the testimonies of God is perhaps the clearest and strongest way we evangelicals can communicate the nature of scripture to Mormons.

I open up the testimonies of God and put my finger under the passage to help them simultaneously read with their eyes as they listen with their ears: “God bears witness of himself in Isaiah 43:10, testifying, ‘Before me no god was formed [PAUSE], nor shall there be any after me.’ If we trust the testimony of man, how much more should we trust the testimony of God himself.”

This also works great in the beginning of a longer conversation, as it preempts the feelings-oriented Mormon epistemology that they want to promote. Mormon missionaries are taught to foster a kind of atmosphere and attitude among listeners. The next step for them is to help you identify a set of positive emotions with the Holy Spirit. By preemptively referring to scripture as the “testimony of God”, I have made it more difficult for them to appeal to human feelings as the chief, decisive vehicle of God’s authoritative revelation.

Other topics that are great to cover are the unique priesthood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7), the explosively good news of the justification of the ungodly (Romans 4:4-8), and the importance of putting our feelings and thoughts in a system of checks and balances that realistically takes into account our finiteness and depravity and God’s authority and omnipotence (Isaiah 40:8; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). A wonderful list of passages put together by James White for witnessing to Mormons is available here.

You will inevitably be asked to read a section of the Book of Mormon and pray about that. On that issue please see an article by Bill McKeever. [Also see WeAgreeWith818.com.]

A great way to get them to come back is not to hog the conversation, but to let them have their say. Practice using questions as a way of drawing out the topics you would like to address. Our interactions are not an endless emergent “conversation”, but neither are they an overwhelmingly aggressive monologue (I have learned this the hard way). Keep a mental note of three or so tough questions that went unanswered, and write them down for them.

“Would you guys please research the answers to these questions, and come back another time to share what you found?” Insist on it with a free dinner. In some areas, Mormon missionaries are not allowed to eat meals at the houses of other Mormons. This is designed to encourage them to eat with non-Mormon households or at a Mormon house with non-Mormon guests. The problem is that many missionaries end up eating a lot of those Ramen noodles. Your kitchens are the solution to this wonderful problem.

At the end, they will ask for someone to close in prayer, usually the head of the household. Use the opportunity to pray to our awesome and eternal God. Thank God before everyone in the living room for the free and immediate gift of justification, forgiveness, and eternal life. Thank him for transforming your heart to love and follow Jesus. Thank Jesus that in him we have all the riches of knowledge and wisdom and understanding, and that without him, we have nothing, and that with him we have everything. And beseech the Spirit to help everyone in the room to pursue the truth of the gospel, lest we suffer that awful punishment that the Bible describes as never-ending.

Get their phone number in case you have to reschedule, and use that number to remind them of the dinner appointment that you’re looking forward to. Trust me, this is important. They forget (either literally or sometimes intentionally) to show up and either never come back, or call to apologize, since something came up. Sometimes they are lazy, sometimes they are just busy. Give them the benefit of doubt and stuff them full of more dinner. Serve a dessert twenty minutes after dinner is over so that they feel obliged to stay longer than they would have. Keep inviting them over and over to eat more dinner, discuss more issues, and address more of the outstanding questions. It won’t last forever, so make the best use of your time. Ron Rhodes writes,

“Don’t move forward in a mad rush to discuss spiritual things, especially if you have the opportunity to work toward developing a personal relationship. When the Lord opens the door for witnessing, however, be ready to walk through it.

“The exception to this rule, of course, is if you know for certain that you will never see that particular Mormon again. Then you will want to cover as much doctrinal ground as possible, biblically refuting the most blatant heresies in Mormon theology and giving a strong personal testimony of what Jesus has done in your life.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons [1995], p. 29)

Tolerance AKA You can’t think for Yourself!

Image

Challenge Those Who Value Tolerance to in Fact Be Tolerant

Today the word “Tolerance” reigns supreme. We live in a world that houses a double standard. Tolerance is placed above all things, including truth. However those who claim to be so very high-minded and supremely tolerant often prove to be absolutely intolerant when you do not fit into their camp and holding to their worldview. As Randy Alcorn says,  “In particular, they are intolerant toward every person and idea that they, confident in their own appraisal, judge to be intolerant.”

Gregory Koukl with Stand to Reason shares this from his blog post…

Ask for Tolerance

If you’re placed in a situation where you suspect your convictions will be labeled intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded, and judgmental, turn the tables.  When someone asks for your personal views about a moral issue—homosexuality, for example—preface your remarks with a question.
You say: “You know, this is actually a very personal question you’re asking, and I’d be glad to answer.  But before I do, I want to know if you consider yourself a tolerant person or an intolerant person.  Is it safe to give my opinion, or are you going to judge me for my point of view?  Do you respect diverse ideas, or do you condemn others for convictions that differ from yours?”  Let them answer.  If they say they’re tolerant (which they probably will), then when you give your point of view it’s going to be very difficult for them to call you intolerant or judgmental without looking guilty, too.
This response capitalizes on the fact that there’s no morally neutral ground.  Everybody has a point of view they think is right and everybody judges at some point or another.  The Christian gets pigeon-holed as the judgmental one, but everyone else is judging, too.  It’s an inescapable consequence of believing in any kind of morality. 

Tolerance 5

Planned Parenthood by the Numbers

Planned Parenthood  Click on the Link to get more info at ABORT 73.com

Did you know this about Planned Parenthood

 

902 That ’s the number of innocent human beings who were aborted at planned parenthood in 2010… every day.

329,445 abortions for the year. Why do they call themselves Planned Parenthood when they leave so many childless?

876,000

That’s the number of dollars planned parenthood made in clinic revenue in 2010… every day.

$320 million for the year

1,335,342

That’s the number of tax dollars planned parenthood received in 2010… every day.

$487 million for the year

46%

That’s the percentage of Planned Parenthood revenue paid by U.S. taxpayers.

Which raises some disturbing questions

Why are tax-payers funding an organization whose practices are offensive to half the population?

Why are tax-payers footing the bill for a non-profit with more than $1 billion in net assets?

Why are tax-payers subsidizing ad campaigns for “pro-choice” politicians?

Doesn’t that seem a bit dubious?

Planned Parenthood has made billions of dollars destroying helpless human beings.

If they want to spend millions of dollars to elect a pro-abortion president, it should be on their own dime?

Abort73.com

Educate Yourself. Educate Your World.

The figures in this video were taken from Planned Parenthood’s 2009-2010 annual report. Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a 501(c)3 organization. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is a 501(c)4 organization. Planned Parenthood’s 2010 form 990 shows that $6.5 million in 501(c)3 funds were allocated for 501(c)4 use.

Yet one more reason I will be voting for LIFE during this election.

Clashing Problems in Mormon Doctrine PT 2

The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition ...

The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition Soft Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DEMONSTRATED IGNORANCE

2 Nephi 10:3 says that Christ “should be his name”. Christ is a title with the Hebrew word Messiah. It is not a name. God would not make that mistake in helping Joseph translate the plates.

Kenn- Joseph could not translate real much less imaginary languages, so it was just ignorance that demonstrates that Jesus Christ is his actual name. I will add that many Christians too are far to ignorant. That doesn’t excuse “Nephi” for his mistake however.

Leno, The President and Missing the Point

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments that pregnancies caused by rape are “something God intended to happen” echoed across the U.S. media and sent ripples through political circles ahead of the November 6 election.

I didn’t see it but recently the President was on Jay Leno and the conversation got around to a comment by Senator Richard Murdock concerning rape. Now I have to say I understand his sentiment, but would change at least one word. I would change “INTENDED” to “ALLOWED“.

Intended indicates that God wanted to bring about life in this manner. I do not believe that this is the case and it is not consistent with the nature of God as he has revealed himself.

Allowed indicates that although, it is not what God intended, due to the sinful and fallen world we live in, rape is a way children are brought into our world and God does indeed for know each child who is born REGARDLESS of HOW they are conceived.

Let’s see the Senators comment in context:

“Richard Murdock said: “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”

— Mourdock’s position and struggle is basic, how could a good God allow this horrible situation of rape to happen? Can a gift and triumph come from trauma? He seems to have struggled and decided that it indeed can happen, although he may not understand how or why it happens this way, only that it did. Did God ORIGINALLY intend for violent rape to be the method for our children to come into the world? Of course not, he is not saying that. The President and others are simply looking for a platform to gain a standing during the final moments of an election.

Here is what the President stated:

“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition: rape is rape. It is a crime,” Obama said on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”

— Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Yes it is a Crime. So why are we Punishing the Child?

— Abortion is Abortion. It is murder and SHOULD BE A CRIME! It ends and Life and creates at the LEAST two victims!

He goes on to state that:

“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s healthcare.”

— Last I checked, it takes two to create a child, how is it only a woman has a right to decide the fate of THEIR child in matters regarding the life of the child?

Sadly, Obama shows he has NO concept of God, Theology or Doctrine, I don’t like the wording “something God intended to happen” as if God is an accessory to the crime, however, this child was going to be a product of these to people. Was this God’s intended method, I don’t think so, but this child WAS meant to be.

— Then for him to even talk about Planned Parenthood as if it is an organization that HELPS women. Really? It is the biggest provider of legally sanctioned execution of women! Really sad!

Senator Richard Mourdock

Just Saw This!!!

Last night on the Jay Leno show, Obama claimed AGAIN that PP provides mammograms (this is the third time he’s lied about this).  Perhaps between the debate last week and now, they started providing them?  Let’s call and find out! TOMORROW, we will once again call Planned Parenthood and ask about their mammogram services.  We had over 2,000 people make calls last time.  Let’s get more this time!  Here is the link to our event: http://www.facebook.com/events/374786825937001/

 

Clashing Problems in Mormon Doctrine Pt 1.

Christ Mormon

Christ Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

JUST THE FACTS MAM’…

These are some inconsistencies that were posted by another who gets the credit for some great arguements, however, since I do not know them nor have their permission to give their name, I will not.

If you are an LDS,… how would you tackle these questions?

 

CONTRADICTORY ORIGINS

Alma 45:13-15 states that the believers began to be called Christians before the birth of Christ (73 B.C.) Acts 11:26 says the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Which is it, it cannot be both.

What Mormons Get Right

Although I completely disagree with the Theology and Doctrines of the LDS Church due to far too many reasons to recount here although the chief of them resides around the Person of Jesus Christ, the way of Salvation and the mountain of evidence, or lack of it regarding LDS claims.

However, I do see that there are many things about the LDS people that are certainly worth noting. For all my criticism about the Mormon church as an entity,.. they do not extend to the Mormon people as individuals. Here are some things that the Mormons not only get right, but things that Christians should aspire to as well.

FAMILY-They are deeply invested in the family- The LDS Church has worked hard to be a family friendly environment. More than that it is the backbone of the church. Few churches are as concerned with the importance of the family like the Mormons are. They set aside time weekly for Family Home Evenings to play games, talk, do devotions, etc. This is fantastic! As Christians, we should take note!

CHURCH-They are highly active in the church- Mormons are engaged in church life throughout the week. They devote significant time too all kinds of ministry- Most young men in the LDS church spend a 2 year stint in as missionaries in the church to share about their church and their beliefs. There are numerous opportunities to serve and become involved and it is expected, and although I don’t think the motivation the best, the outcome can be very positive.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION-The church begins teaching its children from an early age and it is consistent regardless of where you go. The Ward in California will be taught the same lessons and Doctrine as the Ward in Utah. As a teenager, youth are encouraged to attend “seminary” every day BEFORE School. They are classes at the local ward or stake center. They study the Book of Mormon, the Bible, church history, and doctrine and they are rotated over a four-year period. When an LDS teen graduates from high school they are fully immersed in a systematic overview of the faith’s basic beliefs.

EVANGELISM-They care enough about you and me to send people around town, and to our door to share what they sincerely believe is the true word of God. We may not agree with their doctrine, but I cannot fault their conviction! Christians should take note. They do it in part for their “after all they can do” good works beliefs, but they are doing it. Slammed doors, rejections and all! Tens of thousands of Mormon missionaries serve each year in pairs all over the world. I do not think that Christians need to be legalistic about this, however as Christians each of us should be active in sharing our faith. The world is our mission field? Is it being harvested?

TAKING CARE OF THEIR OWN– The LDS Church is known to provide for their members in times of need and crisis. They have set up food pantries providing welfare for their members, especially when they lose a job or some other loss in their family. In turn, those receiving care volunteer time to others and are expected to continue to help when they get back on their feet.

RESPECT SUNDAYS – The practicing LDS family guards their time of worship. They are discouraged from allowing work, sports or other events from distracting them from their activities at church.

MORALITY– Generally speaking, LDS are well-known for having a high moral standard and staying away from a secular lifestyle. Members who keep a “Temple Recommend” (are in good standing with the LDS) do not to partake in drugs, alcohol, coffee or tobacco. They work to remain modest, live honest and fulfill the commandments to the quintessential LDS lifestyle.

More often than not you would be privileged to have a Mormon as a neighbor, boss, teacher, and friend. Again, the fact that I disagree with the theology and doctrine of the LDS Church does not mean that the people of the LDS Church are in any way bad, in fact they put many Christians to shame by the commitment to their works (which I believe is misplaced). Christian, we can learn a lot from the LDS People, they have a great love and commitment for God.

But it comes down to this,.. you are going to follow the Jesus of the Bible or the LDS Church. You will trust Jesus and Grace to save you or Law and Grace… you can’t have it both ways.

Here is what Joseph Smith claimed:

Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of

the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and

otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter−day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their

prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons

under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the

Latter−day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them − something that, to say the

least, is a matter of deep regret to them − namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter

into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was

taken from the earth to the winding−up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of

Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are − I with you

and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last

dispensation − the keys to rule in the spirit−world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power

and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion

and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit−world. He reigns there as

supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim − “Oh, that is

very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!” But it is true.

JD 7:289, Brigham Young, October 9, 1859

This is what Jesus claimed:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Only one can be right! I know I am going with the guy who actually CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD!

And paid the price for me!

2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.Rom 10:2-4

LDS Church Adam God?

This is an excerpt from an ongoing dialogue with an LDS. I find it interesting that doctrines given by LDS prophets / presidents are often changed later. Called myth, unofficial, theory, or unauthorized years later.“There was Brigham Young’s Adam God Doctrine,.. that is now refute and looked down upon.” It was never fully accepted to begin with, which is why it never became doctrine. Brigham Young never attained the 100% consensus in the Twelve that he had to have for the teaching to take the next step to becoming doctrine. Over time, it lost what support it had at the beginning, and in 1904 (after Brigham Young, Jr., the last surviving member of the Twelve who supported the theory as doctrine) passed away, Adam-God Theory was officially repudiated.

MY Statement-“There was Brigham Young’s Adam God Doctrine,.. that is now refuted and looked down upon.”

HOSTS Response -It was never fully accepted to begin with, which is why it never became doctrine. Brigham Young never attained the 100% consensus in the Twelve that he had to have for the teaching to take the next step to becoming doctrine. Over time, it lost what support it had at the beginning, and in 1904 (after Brigham Young, Jr., the last surviving member of the Twelve who supported the theory as doctrine) passed away, Adam-God Theory was officially repudiated.

So when a Prophet of the LDS Church speaks for God in this manner… they vote on whether or not it is truth? Now even Israel may have heard a Prophet and rejected it that is certain,, but they didn’t get an opportunity to VETO it or alter its truth. Lucky the LDS gets the option on whether or not to accept Gods truth.

 

Let’s look at some background on this issue…

There are some things you need to know.

  • Brigham Young was the Second President and Prophet of the LDS Church.
  • Biblical standards for a prophet are high: Deut 18:17-22 17 The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.” 21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

 

Let’s look at this. Vs 18a- God raises him up. 18b- God gives him the words to speak. 18c- He will speak to the people the words of God. 19a- God will hold account anyone who ignores the words of the Prophet (the words of God). 20- If a prophets speaks out of turn, Israel was to END HIS LIFE. 21- How to identify if a prophet is speaking for God? 22- If his the words of the prophet fail to come true. It isn’t from God! Now see verse 20.’

  • Rock and a hard Place-If the LDS want to claim Young as a true prophet, he must also accept his Adam-God teaching since a true prophet must have a correct theology concerning God (Deut. 13:1-3 and Deut. 18:17-22).OR….. If Young’s teaching is not accepted, then the Mormon must conclude that Brigham Young was a false prophet. The Mormon can’t have it both ways.
  • ·         HOWEVER,….Young had a high opinion of his sermons- Apparently Young was confident with his message for on January 2, 1870, he said, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture” (Journal of Discourses 13:95). Brigham would repeat this again in October of the same year (Journal of Discourses 13:264).

Now compare this to what the Host has written once again? Do you see any inconsistencies?

Following a long one-paragraph introduction, Young proclaimed that Adam was Michael the Archangel, and that he was also the Ancient of Days. Young went on to conclude that Adam was, in fact, “our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.

Please also know that in Mormonism,… Living Prophets hold more authority than dead prophets due to the fact that they are receiving New Revelation.

For years Mormon authorities have attempted to downplay the severity of Young’s statements. It is not uncommon to hear Latter-day Saints excuse Young’s conclusions by saying he was either misunderstood or even misquoted.

LDS Presidents Joseph Fielding Smith and Spencer W. Kimball attributed their predecessor’s ideas to being merely a “theory.” In his book Doctrines of Salvation, Smith discounted Young’s message by saying, “in all probability the sermon was erroneously transcribed!” (1:96).

SPIN and EXCUSES                                                                                                                            

It would be difficult for the Mormon to prove Young was only theorizing by the simple fact that Young, in this sermon, clearly claims his teachings to be “doctrine.”

In his journal dated February 19, 1854, Wilford Woodruff, who would later become Mormonism’s fourth president, wrote that Brigham Young “said that our God was Father Adam. He was the Father of the Savior Jesus Christ — Our God was no more or less than ADAM, Michael the Arkangel (sic).”

Apparently Young’s position on the matter was still an issue with some LDS members; otherwise he would not have had to ask, “How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which is revealed to them, and which God revealed to me — namely that Adam is our father and God…Our Father Adam is the man who stands at the gate and holds the keys of everlasting life and salvation to all his children who have or ever will come upon the earth” (Sermon delivered on June 8, 1873.

Printed in the Deseret Weekly News, June 18, 1873.)

How can a Latter-day Saint maintain this was just Brigham’s opinion when he insisted God gave him the teaching?

 CANT we all just get along?

12th President Spencer W. Kimball

“We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Adam-God Theory Denounced,” Church News, October 9, 1976, p. 11).

— Note that just 10 presidents later,… 103 years later,…. It went from words spoken by a Prophet of God,.. to words “allegedly” spoken, and yet in the same quote,.. a false doctrine. So tell me who is it that speaks false doctrines. A false prophet. So yet again,…

If the LDS want to claim Young as a true prophet, he must also accept his Adam-God teaching since a true prophet must have a correct theology concerning God (Deut. 13:1-3 and Deut. 18:17-22).OR….. If Young’s teaching is not accepted, then the Mormon must conclude that Brigham Young was a false prophet. The Mormon can’t have it both ways.

But Adam is not only God,.. he is also Michael the Arch Angel it would seem… man I need a tour guide to keep this stuff straight.

Basically there is no agreement or consensus on what is or is not scripture, doctrine, official or authoritative, and this is just one of many examples!

 This sermon can be found in the Journal of Discourses 1:50-51.

 My next sermon will be to both Saint and sinner. One thing has remained a mystery in this kingdom up to this day. It is in regard to the character of the well-beloved Son of God, upon which subject the Elders of Israel have conflicting views. Our God and Father in heaven, is a being of tabernacle, or, in other words, He has a body, with parts the same as you and I have; and is capable of showing forth His works to organized beings, as, for instance, in the world in which we live, it is the result of the knowledge and infinite wisdom that dwell in His organized body. His son Jesus Christ has become a personage of tabernacle, and has a body like his father. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Lord, and issues forth from Himself, and may properly be called God’s minister to execute His will in immensity; being called to govern by His influence and power; but He is not a person of tabernacle as we are, and as our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ are. The question has been, and is often, asked, who it was that begat the Son of the Virgin Mary. The infidel world have concluded that if what the Apostles wrote about his father and mother be true, and the present marriage discipline acknowledged by Christendom be correct, then Christians must believe that God is the father of an illegitimate son, in the person of Jesus Christ! The infidel fraternity teach that to their disciples. I will tell you how it is. Our Father in Heaven begat all the spirits that ever were, or ever will be, upon this earth; and they were born spirits in the eternal world. Then the Lord by His power and wisdom organized the mortal tabernacle of man. We were made first spiritual, and afterwards temporal.

 Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken–HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later. They came here, organized the raw material, and arranged in their order the herbs of the field, the trees, the apple, the peach, the plum, the pear, and every other fruit that is desirable and good for man; the seed was brought from another sphere, and planted in this earth. The thistle, and thorn, the brier, and the obnoxious weed did not appear until after the earth was cursed. When Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, their bodies became mortal from its effects, and therefore their offspring were mortal. When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so on in succession. I could tell you much more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy would be nothing to it, in the estimation of the superstitious and over-righteous of mankind. However, I have told you the truth as far as I have gone. I have heard men preach upon the divinity of Christ, and exhaust all the wisdom they possessed. All Scripturalists, and approved theologians who were considered exemplary for piety and education, have undertaken to expound on this subject, in every age of the Christian era; and after they have done all, they are obliged to conclude by exclaiming “great is the mystery of godliness,” and tell nothing.

 It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 Again, they will try to tell how the divinity of Jesus is joined to his humanity, and exhaust all their mental faculties, and wind up with this profound language, as describing the soul of man, “it is an immaterial substance!” What a learned idea! Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation.

 I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. I will repeat a little anecdote. I was in conversation with a certain learned professor upon this subject, when I replied, to this idea–“if the Son was begotten by the Holy Ghost, it would be very dangerous to baptize and confirm females, and give the Holy Ghost to them, lest he should beget children, to be palmed upon the Elders by the people, bringing the Elders into great difficulties.”

 Treasure up these things in your hearts. In the Bible, you have read the things I have told you to-night; but you have not known what you did read. I have told you no more than you are conversant with; but what do the people in Christendom, with the Bible in their hands, know about this subject? Comparatively nothing.

Questions to ask Mormons Pt 7: Which Teachings are “Official”?

UNOFFICIALLY OFFICIAL?

In a Nut Shell, too often when talking with Mormons a topic comes up on doctrine or some issue and when it conflicts with the Bible or even the teachings of their leaders or “Standard Works” they say that it is “Not Official”. This plausible deniability gets them out of many things and it is important to get LDS to pinpoint where a CONSISTENT standard of truth, such as we have in the Bible. With Mormonism it is ever-changing feeling, vote or opinion.

Another critical question to ask members of the LDS when you engage in conversation with them lies in the area of what they hold to be authoritative? When a Mormon establishes their foundation of truth they hold to three sources truth by revelation: (1) Past Leaders, (2) Current Leaders, and (3) the “Standard Works.”

PAST LEADERS

In considering past leaders, they hold to “Open Revelation”, basically each president speaks for God. Although att their general conference they “Speak for God” what they speak about must be voted on for it to be “official”. However such past presidents such as Brigham Young said that anytime he taught it was directly from God and inspired by God.

BRIGHAM YOUNG

Brigham Young said every Sermon he gave was scripture.

I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. ” (Source – Journal of Discourses, Vol.13, p.95, Brigham Young, January 2, 1870)  I would assume if I were a LDS member that Youngs teaching, would be “Scripture” and therefore be counted the same as the “Standard Works”, but they are not. For example, the Adam God Doctrine that the LDS Church has rejected (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:50-51).

Think it is a fluke here is the tip of the iceberg:

Brigham Young said you are “Damned” if you deny polygamy. “Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

Brigham Young said he had never given any counsel that was wrong. “I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

Brigham Young said you can’t get to Celestial heaven unless Joseph Smith’s allows it. “…no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

Brigham Young said that there were inhabitants on the the Moon. Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. (Journal of Discourses/Volume 13/The Gospel—The One-man Power)

Brigham Young said that there were inhabitants on the Sun. (The History of Oliver B. Huntington, p. 10, typed copy, Marriott Library, University of Utah)

And he is just one of sixteen prophets who “speak” for God. I hope that puts it in perspective. 

CURRENT LEADERS

However today “Living Prophets” trump dead ones. You can find this on The LDS website cited below with more explanation and detail. So whatever Brigham Young said,.. you can forget it,.. if the LDS Church no longer chooses to hold to it for whatever reason, be it political, cultural, legal, historical, genetic or other reasons, they just throw it out, but they cannot really completely throw the Prophet, under the bus, as this becomes a sticky issue for the LDS Church. Neither do the consider him a false prophet,… perplexing! Here are the facts.

Living Prophets trump dead ones

The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet. The living prophet has the power of TNT. By that I mean “Today’s News Today.” God’s revelations to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore, the most important prophet so far as you and I are concerned is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us…Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.”

(Okay, can I ask the obvious question here,…if today’s living prophet Thomas S. Monson says so, say can we ignore Ezra Taft Benson?,… okay sorry for the interruption now back to the citations)

Where does this come from? 

The 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet  / 13th President of the LDS Church (As Stated by Ezra Taft Benson Feb 26, 1980)

  1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
  2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works. (This means their SCRIPTURE!)
  3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
  4. The prophet will never lead the Church astray.
  5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
  6. The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.
  7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
  8. The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.
  9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
  10. The prophet may be involved in civic matters.
  11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
  12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
  13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency — the highest quorum in the Church.
  14. The prophet and the presidency — the living prophet and the First Presidency — follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.

(Taken from: http://lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng&noLang=true&path=/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet)

STANDARD WORKS

The Standard works are Scripture. That would imply that they are inspired, Holy and from God. Here is what Joseph Smith believed about these “inspired” works.

  • Joseph Smith – Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also” Doctrine and Covenants 20:8-9 (April 1830)
  • Joseph Smith – “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461 (1841)
  • Joseph Smith – “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; … but all shall be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” Doctrine and Covenants 1:37-38 (November 1, 1831)
  • What Scriptures Do We Have Today — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts four books as scripture: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These books are called the standard works of the Church. The inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as scripture.” Gospel Principles, p. 52 (1992)

Want to see spin in action check out the post on Adam God out soon!

In short, when the LDS Church does not want to deal with a real issue,.. they dodge it with plausible deniability. If they do not want to “own” a teaching they simply say it is not Official and feel that this lets them off the hook. It’s easy its common its standard and,…. well truth be told,.. it ROCKS!!!

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