Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I've Had Enough With The Anti-Mormons

So I was really enjoying having a cooperative, candid, and constructive conversation with someone not of our faith (named Andrea) who made some statements about Mormons which needed either to be explained and or corrected. I jumped in towards the end of the conversation, but I've never doubted her sincerity. I've also enjoyed reading the explanations of another Latter-day Saint, named Jared. And then comes a drive-by anti-Mormon (named Neil) who I have a somewhat long history with, who makes one last comment that ended up being the final straw that broke the cammel's back:

"[Clean Cut, you are] trying to sucker us now. I and others have shown you again and again how inconsistent your views are and how you worship a different Jesus than Christians do. You are disingenuous in the extreme. Mormons use the same vocabulary as Christians but have a different dictionary. Deception is not a good work."

Here is my response:

Neil, I think Andrea and any reader here can judge for themselves whether I’m trying to sucker you or simply correct what has been erroneously assumed. To be disingenuous means to not be candid or sincere, or to pretend to know less than I actually do. In no case, whatsoever, have I been disingenuous. In fact, I have strived with everything that I know to be just the opposite.

That’s an ad hominem attack. I’ve tried harder than you will ever know to be sincere and candid, and to tell you what is true and what is not based off what you’ve expressed about my faith. I have no agenda but to correct false beliefs about Mormons which you want to perpetuate among your evangelical friends. The only thing you and others like you have shown me is that you don’t really want to understand us–or know the truth. You want to continue to spread lies about Mormonism because you don’t like Mormonism, and you feel the end justifies the means. That, my friend, is not only rude, but deceitful.

And contrary to what you believe, you were unable to show me anything about my views and worship. You did, however, prove to me that you don’t really understand my views and worship, and you don’t care to get it straight either. You will go on in your anti-Mormon efforts, but in no way will I concede to you any uncontested “slam dunks”.

Believe what you will about my faith or how it doesn’t match up to your understanding of Christianity or your views on the Bible, but it doesn’t contradict the Bible or Christianity--[except for your brand of Traditional Christianity]. Well, perhaps your misguided beliefs about what Mormons believe contradict the Bible, but nothing the Mormons actually believe contradict the Bible. You’ve not only said things about us that contradict your views and go against your personal understanding of the Bible, but you’ve said things that contradict OUR views and our understanding. You have no copyright on truth or the correct understanding of the Bible. You don’t even have any authority. And you certainly don’t have a true grasp on Mormonism. You buy into the disrespectful, derogatory and demeaning language ("verbal violence")–and you perpetuate it.

Mormonism can and will stand up to any sincere investigation of anyone truly wanting to seek [the truth, and] understanding, but that doesn’t mean that we should concede to you the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or have you tell us what we are, who we are, or what we believe. I have no interest in conversing with any anti-Mormon who simply wants to mud-sling. You, Neil, have no interest in fairness and letting our message speak for itself. You just want to shoot us down and puff yourself up. I have no interest in arguing or debating your pet points about Mormonism, for you have shown no desire to understand or “get it right”–you just want to be right, and look real good doing it.

I have chosen to have a candid, constructive, and cooperative conversation with Andrea about our beliefs; where they differ, and where evangelicals seem to have gotten things wrong. You’ve validated your ticket to “more of the same”. Sincere dialogue to explore where our views differ is a “good work”. Correcting misunderstanding is a “good work”. Slinging out accusations out of fear, anger, intolerance, or because you’re convinced you’re right is not only a closed minded dismissal, but it puts up walls between us and causes more misunderstanding and confusion. Neil, that is what you have been all about on your blog. And that is not a “good work”.

49 comments:

4simpsons said...

A little context might have helped, CC. You specifically said that we had been "suckered," and I pointed out who was doing the real suckering.

Read all the Mormon threads on my page and you'll find that many of your Mormon friends disagree with you on doctrinal issues. In fact, you are in quite the minority based on all the Mormons I know, which are many.

I encourage others to read them as well. I think you'll find that CC does the same doublespeak I've seen over and over. Mormons use the same vocabulary as Christians but use a different dictionary.

Your definition of Jesus is wildly different than that of the Bible.

Jared said...

Neil said:
“Mormons use the same vocabulary as Christians but have a different dictionary.”

Very good Neil. I believe this to be correct. This is why you need to ask us what we believe and listen well. Your authors use “your dictionary” to describe our doctrine and it doesn’t work. I also think this idea shows that we are not trying to decieve one another.

NOYDMB said...

AntiMormon persuasion tactics.
"I know your lying because you don't believe what my pastor says you believe. My Pastor wouldn't ever be dishonest or wrong, I mean we pay him for his preaching it must be right. And it's not like he has a stake in keeping in his money donation group. Why would my pastor lie?"

4simpsons said...

This is my last comment, because I can see this is already going in circles like CC does at posts on my site and elsewhere.

"This is why you need to ask us what we believe and listen well."

This is called a straw man argument. You have no idea how many Mormons I've talked to and how much of their own writings I've read, yet you make a false statement like that.

I've spent many, many hours listening to Mormons and reading what they write. One of my friends is a Bishop in your religion. I always let him speak first and thoroughly explain what they really believe.

I am very careful not to distort what they say, and I seek to understand it first.

The last Mormons who visited my house spent two hours here. I let them go through their whole routine without interruption. They were really pleased with the dialogue.

Now when you all are done with your sound bites you should do a better job of what you are accusing me of.

If CC and company have something to complain about it is that their Mormon brethren are doing such a thoroughly consistent job of saying the opposite of what he does on key issues.

""I know your lying because you don't believe what my pastor says you believe. My Pastor wouldn't ever be dishonest or wrong, I mean we pay him for his preaching it must be right. And it's not like he has a stake in keeping in his money donation group. Why would my pastor lie?""

This is another straw man tactic. I have NEVER had a pastor who preached on the non-Christian Mormon religion and we have never discussed it. Yet you thought that was a reasoned comeback, didn't you?

I pray that you open your eyes and stop your hypocrisy. You are doing exactly what you falsely accuse me of doing. A false Jesus can't save you. Only the Jesus of the Bible can, and your other Mormon doctrines preach a radically different Jesus than the Bible.

If you claim to believe the Bible, then meditate on this passage for an hour or so. Seriously. Mormonism is either the same Gospel, which means it is redundant, or it is a different Gospel, which means you are heaping judgment on yourself.

Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

P.S. At least the title of this post concedes that we aren't the same.

Clean Cut said...

Neil, did the early Christians think that the book of Matthew was redundant to Mark? Was the book of John a “different gospel” and redundant to Luke? I actually did think and pray about how to respond to your use of that scripture when you brought up Galatians 1:8 on your blog. I prayed that the Spirit would enlighten my understanding. I feel confident God answered my prayer.

It helps to read the whole chapter so as to understand everything in context. I don't think verse 8 is the great stumbling block you think it is. 

As I understand it, in verse 6, Paul "marveled" that they had so quickly fallen into individual apostasy. In verse 7 he warns that there are some out there who "trouble you"--that is, they try to agitate, raise doubts, or perplex you. (That still happens today.) And they "pervert the gospel of Christ". 



The word "gospel" of course means “good news”. The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind. This I too believe.

So in verse 8, to me, Paul basically says: Don't be so easily shaken. Don't worry about those agitators--they'll be taken care of (or at least "accursed"). The gospel we have received, and that we teach, was received "by revelation of Jesus Christ" (verse 12)--not by man. 

Well, I too believe in continued revelation--both personal revelation, as well as revelation for the Church collectively.

In fact, one of the bedrock principles (and one of the major differences between the LDS Church and others) is that the Church claims divine authority by direct revelation. 

I too believe in the gospel--that is, the “good news”--of Christ and his great and marvelous atonement. And I believe that the Book of Mormon is every bit as divine a witness of the Christ as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and all the other writings of the prophets and apostles who all added to each other’s words in the Bible (yes, added to scripture!) And nobody--not even "an angel from heaven" (Galatians 1:8) could persuade me to not believe it.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is so fundamental to all Christians—traditional and non-traditional—those who profess the name of Christ.

That's how I understand it. Take it or leave it. Sorry it's not as sensational as you wanted to believe, but I deeply believe it to be true. 



The Book of Mormon stands as a companion volume of holy scripture, along with the Bible which I too love so much. The Bible is a compilation, or library, of only a few of the prophetic writings that had ever been written in that geographical location. I thank God that so much was ever able to be gathered into one great book. But there were many other inspired writings that were not included when the original "compilers" compiled the current Bible as we know it.



Furthermore, God has always commanded that his prophets write holy scripture. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). But none of those writings, whether from the old world (the Bible) or the new world (the Book of Mormon) have ever been sufficient alone for our salvation. They only point to Christ, the author of our salvation.



Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles recently taught: 
"Continuing revelation does not demean or discredit existing revelation. The Old Testament does not lose its value in our eyes when we are introduced to the New Testament, and the New Testament is only enhanced when we read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In considering the additional scripture accepted by Latter-day Saints, we might ask: Were those early Christians who for decades had access only to the primitive Gospel of Mark (generally considered the first of the New Testament Gospels to be written)—were they offended to receive the more detailed accounts set forth later by Matthew and Luke, to say nothing of the unprecedented passages and revelatory emphasis offered later yet by John? Surely they must have rejoiced that ever more convincing evidence of the divinity of Christ kept coming. And so do we rejoice."

Clean Cut said...

You keep saying that the Latter-day Saints believe in a different Jesus. I’ll be very clear about which Jesus I believe in:

"Latter-day Saints, unlike many other Christian traditions, do not accept the definitions of God as created by the Greek philosophers. Our beliefs about the Godhead "are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]." (Ephesians 2:20)

"Using the apostolic and prophetic teachings as our base, Latter-day Saints believe in the Jesus who was the preexistent Word of the Father; that was the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; that was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; that was the Only Begotten Son of God who was born to the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem; that was baptized by John; that healed the sick and raised the dead, that walked on water, multiplied loaves and fishes, and performed many other miracles; that set a perfect example for mankind to emulate and that all men and women are commanded to follow his teachings and example in all things.

"We believe that Jesus suffered in the garden and on the cross, until he finally died as a willing sacrifice for mankind in order to bring about an infinite atonement through the shedding of his blood. After his death, we believe that he was physically resurrected and that he ascended into the heavens, from which he will come at the end of this world to establish his kingdom upon the earth and eventually to judge both the living and the dead. We believe Jesus is and was the Holy Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer of the world and all those who will follow him. Finally, we believe in the Jesus who is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

Now that we have established the identity of the Jesus Christ in whom Latter-day Saints believe, may I ask who is the Jesus in whom you believe?

djinn said...

Clean Cut, Neil is a troll. He doesn't want to talk to you, he just wants to talk over you, to disrupt. I don't see him in engaging in any sort of back-and-forth, which you are certainly doing. I (ok, admittedly, no one in particular) feel that you've shown great patience. It's your blog. You should be able to tell him to go bye-bye.

Clean Cut said...

Thanks djinn.
For those who don't know what a "troll" is, it means: "To deliberately post false or controversial messages to gain attention for the sake of attention, usually from people who genuinely want to help", or one who "posts messages with the intent of inciting an argument or flame-war."

Clean Cut said...

Relevant article: Robert L. Millet: "Mormons need to get on the same page"

4simpsons said...

Sorry, couldn't resist commenting on this bit of bad reasoning on Djinn's part and the raging hypocrisy on CC's part:

From Djinn: "Clean Cut, Neil is a troll. He doesn't want to talk to you, he just wants to talk over you, to disrupt. I don't see him in engaging in any sort of back-and-forth, which you are certainly doing. I (ok, admittedly, no one in particular) feel that you've shown great patience. It's your blog. You should be able to tell him to go bye-bye."

From CC: "For those who don't know what a "troll" is, it means: "To deliberately post false or controversial messages to gain attention for the sake of attention, usually from people who genuinely want to help", or one who "posts messages with the intent of inciting an argument or flame-war.""

CC, please count the total number of comments I've posted on your site and note them here. Do not include the comments on this post, because when you link to my blog and write about me then I think most people wouldn't consider responses by me to meet any definition of trolling.

I await your tabulation.

Now, in comparison, how many comments have you left at my blog? Seventy-seven! Most of them are long copy-and-paste jobs and full of links to Mormon propaganda.

I'll leave it to the middle ground folks to make their assessment on who the troll is.

Every other Mormon I've talked to believes that Jesus was created and is the spirit brother of Lucifer. They do not believe He is the eternal God. Different Jesus from Mormonism. We can't both be right, and we are most definitely not the same. You, like many Mormons, disingenuously shift from the "We're Christians too!" mantra to the "We're right and you're not" message of the door-to-door folks. But then again, Satan doesn't care if he is inconsistent.

Berean said...

Clean Cut,

After having prayer for you this morning I thought I would come back and see how you are doing? I see you have an interesting thread going. I can understand the timing of this thread since you have been asked some very hard questions as of late. Usually when those hard questions come the Mormons get a persecution complex. That's unfortunate. By the way, I understand your need to censor my questions from the LDS brethren so they wouldn't be tempted to look up the references that I was willing to supply that might raise questions.

The title of this thread sounds anti-Christian to me. Is 1 Nephi 14:10 and D&C 1:30 anti-Christian as well? Would these statements be anti-Christian?

"With regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world." (Brigham Young, JOD 8:199)

"The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God." (Brigham Young, JOD 8:171)

"What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast." (John Taylor, JOD 6:25)

"Christians - those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about - some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on earth" (Heber Kimball, JOD 5:89)

Shall I have a persecution complex now as well? No. Christians have no choice but to respond since Joseph Smith started it. The 14 year-old Smith wiped 1820 years of Christianity off the map by his statement in Joseph Smith History 1:18-19.

Berean said...

Neil (4simpsons):

I'm surprised you got this far. When I asked some tough questions and tried to present some facts from LDS publications that I have regarding the Mormon Jesus all of my posts were deleted. I guess what Prophet George Smith said must be true:

"If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if it's preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak." (Journal of Discourses 14:216-217)

Berean said...

Are these authoritative quotes true?

"It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons. Christ followed by the Mormons is NOT the Christ followed by traditional Christianity." (Bernard Brockbank, Elder, First Quorum of the Seventy, 147th General Conference)

In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints do not believe in the traditional Christ. "No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak." (Church News, June 20, 1998, page 7)

"While respecting the divergent views of other people of faith, Church leaders want to be clear about the beliefs that help define Latter-day Saints. Among the most important differences with other Christian churches are those concerning the nature of God and JESUS CHRIST and the Holy Spirit." (LDS Newsroom, "Core Beliefs: Why and How are Mormons Different?")

"The Trinity of traditional Christianity is referred to as the Godhead by members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the same terms are used by Latter-day Saints and other Christians for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Latter-day Saint understanding of the three members of the Godhead is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT from that of traditional Christianity." (LDS Newsroom, "The Godhead")

4simpsons said...

Excellent points, Berean. Sorry to hear you've been blocked from Mormon sites. I copied your quotes for future reference, though I'm sure CC won't delete them here.

Berean said...

I was attending a ward near my house and asked some LDS men at the priesthood meeting if Jesus was God when He was born. They told me, "No". Why is that? Isaiah 9:6 and 2 Nephi 19:6 disagree with their conclusions. Could you clear this up for me? Also, Bruce McConkie said that Jesus became a god in the preexistence. I could give you the reference from Mormon Doctrine, but I guess you wouldn't accept it which appears to be a violation of D&C 1:15 since you won't "heed to the words of the prophets and APOSTLES" which leads you to "be cut off from among the people".

Also, in the March 2008 issue of the Ensign (page 9) Spencer Kimball is quoted and he said:

"We place [Jesus Christ] on a pedestal as no other group I know of. To us he is not only the Son of God, he is also A GOD and we are subject to him"

I thought Jesus wasn't a god?

Berean said...

Neil,

Clean Cut is the one that deleted them. It was on this site. Look at the thread on the topic "repentance". It's okay though. I will keep trying to reason with him from the scriptures (Acts 17:2,16-17)

Anonymous said...

I'm posting under the anonymous label because I don't want to go through the hastle of registering but my handle is "falcon".
Walter Martin called Mormonism a maze because it's really pretty tough to get around in it and come up with any real conclusions regarding doctrine. The Christians I hang with here on the world wide web, aren't Mormon bashers but they ask tough questions and seek to substantiate their opinions with reference materials coming directly from LDS sources. Now here's the deal, Mormonism is a separate religious system from Christianity. The Bible is not viewed the same, the nature of God and of Jesus Christ is different, the atonement and it's meaning are not the same, and on and on. Am I bashing by pointing this out? It's an intellectual exercise. There's no need to get defensive about it. My experience is that Mormons don't ask the next question in regard to their own history, doctrine and practice. They grab a surface level explanation and are content with it. Is it bashing to point that out? Here's a question for you: In the Mormon system, Heavenly father has a wife. Is she a god? Now some Mormons would get all defensive about my question and turn it into some type of bashing. I'm serious I want to know.

Andrea Ludwig said...

Hi, Clean Cut. I wanted to thank you for saying you never doubted my sincerity. I am sorry for those who have come down harshly on you for your beliefs. When you said "suckered," you must have triggered some protective mechanism in Neil because that is when he threw that word right back at you. Even so, we should be gentle. Sigh. I hope you will continue to be open to investigating God's word and truth, and the claims other people make about Mormonism. It reallly is true that Mormonism is a false religion and leads people astray, though I know you do not want to believe it.

4simpsons said...

Hi Andrea,

I deeply appreciate your tone and content but I really don't see anyone coming down harshly on CC because of his beliefs.

If anyone "comes down harshly" on him it is because of the way he shares his beliefs - the disingenuousness, going in circles and the trolling (such as the 77 comments with copy-and-paste and Mormon links on my blog).

Sometimes it isn't just about converting people like CC, though that would of course be wonderful. It is also about protecting others from his false teachings.

4simpsons said...

"Continuing revelation does not demean or discredit existing revelation."

That whole theme that you keep repeating doesn't prove your point. Even if additional written revelation were possible it doesn't mean the Book of Mormon and all the other Mormon doctrines are inspired.

The errors in the BoM are legion - http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=HPIA,HPIA:2005-21,HPIA:en&q=errors+book+of+mormon

And most of your false doctrines don't even come from the BoM, even though that is what the missionaries always point to.

P.S. Remember to respond to my question about how many times I have "trolled" on your site relative to your posts on my site before answering any of my other comments.

Clean Cut said...

I certainly wasn't seeking it, but I'm flattered by all the attention! :) No, really, this sure has been a lesson in communication and listening hasn't it?

I really enjoyed watching the Olympics last night and visiting with family. My mom flew in from Oregon last night. Who would have thought that while the computer was turned off, a whole new conversation took place without me.

Okay--take a deep breath. First things first, I don't hate anyone here. I have your best interests at heart as well as my own.

Neil, we apparently not only have different definitions of what makes a Christian, but also of what makes a troll. (And remember I never actually called you a troll. I just clarified for readers what a troll is.) Those 77 comments were not inflammatory, controversial, or trying to start an argument. I was really trying to respectfully clear up some misconceptions, and the conversation kept going in so many directions from other commenters, that it turned into quite a long conversation. I didn't feel the same from you. Having said that, I was unaware that I had been offending you the whole time. If I would have known that, I would have stopped my participation.

To everyone else, I feel we each want the truth to be known. We disagree on what is truth and how to make it known. But hopefully we don't disagree on how we ought to treat one another. We need not be offensive. We all would do well to better follow the example of our Lord and Savior.

There was a question in there somewhere about our Heavenly Mother. Nothing has been revealed about her of which I know, so I'm sorry I cannot offer a response. I can't speak about things which we just don't know. I can speak, and I'm more than willing to speak, about those things which have ALREADY been revealed to the Church. I can be forgiven for expressing my opinions from time to time, I hope, as long as I make it clear they are only my opinions. But any NEW information or ADDITIONAL revelation would have to come through the proper channels. Is this disingenuousness?

I appreciate sincere interfaith dialogue, when all parties are seeking mutual understanding. I condemn thread-jacking and trolling.

I understand that Evangelicals feel very strongly that Mormonism is a false religion. As Andrea said: "I hope you will continue to be open to investigating God's word and truth, and the claims other people make about Mormonism." I would say the same thing, except change the words "other people" to "Mormons themselves". We'd still disagree, but at least Mormons would be allowed a fair trial.

Perhaps then we could move on to a more intriguing conversation.

PS: Just for the record, I will not try to convince you against your will when it comes to your life, faith, or your personal relationship with God. As was once said: "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still". Furthermore, I hope you are just as happy in your church as I am in mine--warts and all. :)

I have found so much incredible goodness, peace, and joy because of my faith. I don't know if it's possible, but I hope you find as much peace and joy in your faith as I have in mine. My best wishes to you all...

4simpsons said...

"Neil, we apparently not only have different definitions of what makes a Christian, but also of what makes a troll. (And remember I never actually called you a troll. I just clarified for readers what a troll is.)"

CC, this is what I mean by your disingenuousness. Djinn's comment was 100% about me allegedly being a troll, and you responded with, "Thanks djinn.
For those who don't know what a "troll" is, it means . . ."

Then you play dumb and say you never actually called me a troll. Sure. I don't care what you call me, but I just point this out as the kind of doublespeak you do so reflexively.

Now go back to my original quote which prompted your whole post. I pointed out that we weren't suckered and that you were trying to sucker us and are disingenuous. And you just proved my point once again.

I was not trying to convince you of anything against your will. I am just defending the truth - mostly at my blog and not with copy-and-paste jobs on your blog.

Clean Cut said...

Whoa, cool down Neil. The "thanks djinn" was expressing thanks for her supportive recognition that I was being patient. Patience is a virtue I strive to have in greater quantity, and it was gratifying to have someone actually acknowledge that I have some.

Separately, I then clarified for future readers what a "troll" is/means because I myself didn't know and I had to look it up.

Moreover, I don't "play dumb". You might think I actually AM dumb, but I sure try hard not to be. If I ever offended you on your blog, or mine, I apologize.

Berean said...

Clean Cut said that the doctrine of heavenly mother hasn't been revealed yet to the LDS Church. However, he's incorrect about that. Bruce McConkie explains further on this doctrine and references the First Presidency in which "this docrtrine...was affirmed in plainness."

"Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are ths spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:7) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother. The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state.

"This DOCTRINE that there is a Mother in Heaven was affirmed in plainness by the First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund) when, in speaking of preexistence and the origin of many they said that 'man, as a spirit was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father,' that man is the 'offspring of celestial parentage,' and that 'all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.' (Man: His Origins and Destiny, pp.348-355)

"Mortal persons who overcome all things and gain and ultimate exaltation will live eternally in the family unit and have spirit children, thus becoming Eternal Fathers and Eternal Mothers. (D&C 132:19-32.) Indeed, the formal pronouncement of the Church, issued by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve states: 'So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring.' (Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 129)." (Mormon Doctrine, pp.516-517).

So what have we learned? There is a "Mother in Heaven". The LDS Church capitalizes her name which signifies deity. The teaching of her is labeled "doctrine". The First Presidency of Joseph F. Smith "affirmed in plainness" that doctrine. A formal pronouncement was made and that included not only the First Presidency but also the Council of the Twelve. We've learned that Jesus was brought into existence by these heavenly parents and that was done through sexual procreation (Mormon Doctrine, p. 547). Males and Females will become gods and continue on with the same process of procreation of spirit children. D&C 132:19-20 states that "Then shall they [male & female] be gods" also uniformly fits with this doctrine as well.

The LDS Church however does not call "Mother in Heaven" a goddess. Why is that? If they did it would sound to the world a lot like Mormon mythology and paganism and once again, the LDS Church wouldn't be able to try to blend itself in with mainstream anything. In reality, this is what it is - paganism. Instead the LDS Church calls the woman a god. What is a female god? A goddess...another example of Mormon double-speak.

That is one of the many problems with the LDS thinking of God. If they can't understand and comprehend who and what God is they simply reject the idea. Their god has to be someone they can relate to - just like them. That is why the Mormon god is an exalted man. He wasn't always god. He evolved into it through eternal progression. That makes him at one time a sinner just like us. How did He purify himself of sin? Who were his heavenly parents? Who did he pray to? Who was the god before that and before that and so on? Who was the very first god and mother in heaven? Mormons will answer "It hasn't been revealed yet". However, the Bible clearly states who God is and where he came from. It just isn't something that is comprehensible to the Mormons so they reject. Somehow they think that us mere mortal humans are supposed to be able to grasp and all-powerful, omnipresent and omniscient being. We can't! That is what makes God who is and what we are.

The Bible does not teach God is an exalted man nor does it say anything about him being married to some heavenly mother. Mormons assume this so they can understand it. The Bible also states that there are no other gods besides Him and no Mormon or anyone else is going to become a god (Isaiah 43:10-12).

Anonymous said...

This is falcon.

Thank you Berean for explaining that doctrine regarding the Mormon mother god. Does this doctrine appear in the BoM or was it "revealed" to the prophet? It's quite plain that this is not Chrisitan doctrine and doesn't appear in the Bible. It is definitely like paganism. Mormons have a clear choice. They can compare doctrines like this with Christian doctrine. Paul would call something like this "another gospel". The Bible is quite clear regarding the end effect of following false prophets and false prophesy. Sincerity and good intentions won't count for anything on that final day.

Clean Cut said...

Alright guys, this is getting really old and cliche. I'd prefer that you not play your game on my blog. Berean, you've already proven to me that you don't sincerely want to have a conversation because you never took up the offer to email. You just want to be seen in public.

I already told you what I am willing to talk about. The fringe doctrines which really have to importance to my salvation I just don't delve into. I don't because there's nothing there. I didn't deny that we have a Heavenly Mother. I don't believe that Heavenly Father is a single parent. I did, however, acknowledge that we know nothing more about her, therefore, we just don't really speak about it. I'm beginning to sense that you can't respect that.

You can believe whatever you want to believe and I couldn't care less. But I do care if all you want to do is bring your approach onto my blog. So I'll be very clear, so that you can't misunderstand. You're no longer welcome here. Please refrain from posting. I choose to have constructive and respectful conversations with those of other faiths--preferably those who know what propriety means. When that doesn't happen, my patience wears thin (hence the original post).

Indeed, I've had enough.

PS: If you're going to be an Anti-Mormon, at least learn How To Be A Good Anti-Mormon

Berean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This is Falcon.

WOW, Berean got the boot. That's got to be a badge of honor. I really didn't see anything objectionable about his posts with the exception that the owner of the blog doesn't like to confront hard questions. See the problem is, a person has got to be willing to ask the next question. Let me be frank, it doesn't take long when confronting any doctrine of the Mormon church, or the history of the religion for that matter,if you go to the second or third level of questioning, that it all falls a part. That's when the Mormon has to go to the fall back position of the "testimony" or pull something out of the persecution bag. The real God is out there ready and willing to welcome you into the Body of Christ.

Clean Cut said...

Not at all. I felt his last post was geared towards me; I got his email address and that's all I needed, so I deleted it.

Furthermore, Mormonism isn't on trial here. You can ask whatever questions you like if you're sincerely wanting to understand. But you don't want to better understand. You want to argue your points and debate. I don't. It's as simple as that.

I don't differentiate between hard questions or easy questions. Just good questions and sincere questions. There are a multitude of online forums where you can join in discussions if you want to debate or be antagonistic. I just choose not to get sucked into it here on my blog. It has nothing to do with being persecuted. I don't, nor have I felt, persecuted. This is a matter of civility.

You assume that my blog is a courtroom where I need to go into 2nd and 3rd tier questioning or cross-examination. Somehow if I don't desire to play that game, you assume I can't take the heat. Not so. I just think it would be a complete waste of my time and your time. You've already made up your mind. No need for me to try to change it.

I also do not, like you, underestimate a testimony. My testimony is an accumulation of spiritual promptings and direct revelation through the Spirit of God. I know what I know. And I know in Whom I have trusted. My testimony is very dear to me. I don't need to cast pearls before swine.

Kelli W. said...

Okay, I'm so bugged at this thread I can't stand it anymore! I read this conversation a few days ago and it just won't leave my mind. Can no one see the hypocracy going on here? Clean Cut...I get you and what you are doing. You are sharing YOUR thoughts about YOUR religion. You venture out to other blogs to try to converse and clarify the "mistakes" being spread about Mormanism, and I use "mistakes" here very loosly giving the author making them the benefit of the doubt that thay are not maliciously spreading false truths about Mormonism of which they are not associated with. Has anyone noticed that Clean Cut does not write about other religions, cutting them down or trying to prove why they are false or wrong or mistaken in any way? He writes about HIS OWN faith and why it brings him so much joy. It is his passion. He loves what he feels is HIS TRUTH. It works for him and it works for millions of other Mormons throughout the world.
What I am having such a hard time with is the people writing either on his blog, or their own about a religion they are not apart of and seem to feel antagonistic toward. You can't hide the negative feelings you have for Mormanism in your writing and it is obvious you are not looking for understanding as to why someone could get so much fulfillment from it and feel so close to Jesus Christ. You won't accept what Clean Cut explains what he believes as truth or even as his truth. You believe you know the "true" truth and can be rude enough to tell him his religion is false and leads people astray. He would never tell you your own religion is false. This is not a competition for him. He doesn't have to win. He is seeking unity and understanging. Can all of you participating in this dialog really not see this? Do you have to really know Clean Cut personally to feel of his genuinity? I don't think so. I can feel it through his writing loud and clear.
Why on earth would you feel it God-like, or productive to argue over religion? What do you feel you have to prove? That you are right? I can tell it is not for Clean Cuts own personal salvation you are worried about. It is okay to disagree over what you consider your own truth, I just wish it could be done with more tact and respect for the individual you are communicating with.

Clifford said...

Learning how to lovingly discuss differences, in things about which we feel very passionate, is perhaps the hardest thing in the world.

When we struggle, perhaps we should remember that others, better than we, have also struggled.

Paul, the same who wrote "the servant of God must not strive," when goaded to absolute frustration, told the high priest Ananias, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall!"

When we are trying to have a blog discussion about another's religion, perhaps it would help to think how we would feel if their church's name was erased from the text we are preparing to submit, and replaced with ours.

For example, a fellow tried to talk with me recently on my blog about how he believed that God could only give visions to sleeping prophets. A discussion about that would have been fine.

But then he made the rude and hurtful leap of faith that that "proves Joe Smith and the Morman (sic) religion was false."

Clifford said...

For the record, Jesus is God and continued to be God even during His condescension.

Some of you may have met some Mormons who didn't realize that, but does every "traditional" Christian fully understand every facet of his or her faith? I think not or there wouldn't be twenty pages of Christian churches in the average Yellow Pages.

"Traditional" Christians concede that Jesus' mortal body was created, do they not? Latter-Day Saints believe that His spirit body was also created, by the same Father who created His flesh and bone tabernacle, which the Bible clearly states that He, still a God, still possesses, unless He died a second time.

As for the Lucifer-brother shocker, it wouldn't have been news to the author of Job, who counted Satan as one of the sons of God, unless Old Scratch somehow slipped past heavenly security (Job 2:1).

In no way, shape or form does that diminish from the glory or perfection of Jesus, any more than having a fallen brother would diminish from any of the good of any other being.

Sariah said...

Hi Clean Cut -- I read the conversation you and Andrea and Jared had on Andrea's blog and I thought I'd pop over here to let you know that I really appreciated all that you wrote. It's so hard to have a "civilized" conversation about the LDS church and what is or isn't Mormon doctrine, but I think over all you guys succeeded. (If only it could happen in these comments, too, right?? heh) I have such a strong testimony of the Church, but I'm afraid I don't speak as clearly as you or jared, and by trying to jump in to the conversation would have just muddied things up a bit more. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all you said and the references you gave (wow! you really did your homework!!). Keep on keeping on!! :)

Clean Cut said...

Thanks Clifford and Sariah for dropping by. Nice to get some fresh and friendly perspectives! And thanks to Kelli for your thoughtful and very relevant comment. Amen!

Athanasius said...

Clifford:

"Latter-Day Saints believe that His spirit body was also created"

Where is this supported by the Bible. Rather the Bible declares Jesus "the Alpha and Omega", the "I am," and the Logos that was in the beginning with the Father. It is clear that Jesus was always there and never created.

"it wouldn't have been news to the author of Job"

Son's of God is a reference to angels and men. Jesus had a very "special" Father Son relationship. This is evident when he would refer to the Father as "My Father" instead of "our Father" like he told the disciples to pray. Also note Matthew 28:19 which says "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" if they were separate beings as the LDS dogma teaches, it should say names of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

"In no way, shape or form does that diminish from the glory or perfection of Jesus"

Do you Mormon's worship Jesus as you would worship God the Father? Or do you just merely thank Jesus for his sacrifice? I've heard from lips of Mormon's, that you guys do not give Jesus the worship that you would give God the Father. Is this true?

NM said...

Hello CC,

This is an interesting post with an even interesting discussion. I think what has struck me most is:

A Heavenly Mother?! I didn't know this was official LDS doctrine.

I hope you and family are well =)

Clean Cut said...

Hi NM. Interesting discussion indeed. :) I just wanted to say that you need to be careful about learning LDS doctrine from an Anti-Mormon. Anti-Mormons don't seem to understand what is doctrine and what is not. I posted about what constitutes "Official Mormon Doctrine" here.

Joseph Fielding Smith as an Apostle offered many views and theories and wrote an influential book, which Berean above quoted from: "Man, His Origin and Destiny". Some LDS people may have even mistaken this for LDS doctrine and not just one man's views. Not all of his views were representative of all leaders of the Church.

I already talked about my views about our Heavenly Mother, and with all leaders of the Church, I believe the doctrine found in the official proclamation to the world on the family issued by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles. It states, in part: "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

PS: Thank you Athanasius for providing me a better understanding of your way of thinking, understanding, and manner of interpreting the scriptures. I'm always thrilled when my education or understanding grows, whether of my own beliefs or of others. Whether that was your intent or not, I have to respectfully thank you.

Athanasius said...

CC:
Well, your welcome as far as passing on the knowledge. I recommend understanding the scripture through Jewish eyes, which will make it much more easier to understand "Traditionalist theology." Also, I'd like you or another Mormon to answer my question, which is "Do Mormon's worship Jesus the same as God? Or do they merely just thank him for his sacrifice? This leads me to another, how does Mormonism view the Atonement in light of belief that Jesus is not eternal but created?

I was taking a look at those sites you linked discussing "Holy Mother." I noticed something, " worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain," God is singular and just known as the Eternal Father. If God is an office made up by three separate beings(as LDS dogma states), why is it referencing God as a singular being who is solely just the Father?

NM said...

Thanks CC.

This is probably a little off-topic, but it may be worth mentioning that the dichotomy is not necessarily between Evangelical Christianity and LDS, but rather: those who know Him personally against those who think they know Him but do not + those who do not know Him at all...

I know many people who are not Evangelicals but I know them by their fruits - having been transformed by who Jesus is and what He has done for us who have committed insurrection against Him. I am BTW an Evangelical...

I have been part of the Evangelicalism for the most part of my life, but it wasn't until 3 years ago that I truly came to know Him =) All the time before, I had MISSED the point, I MISSED what the gospel message truly, partly because I MISSED the fact of who I really am in my standing against a holy and just God =) I don't recommend this to anyone, but it seems most people who come to know Him (as Jesus said in the gospel of Mark/Matthew) that to gain life for the sake of Him, one must first lose it...for which I almost did; mine and also my family =/

But God is gracious, everything that He has ever done for me and continue to do is motivated out of MERCY and to boast of His glory in saving me =)

In the same way that there are many Evangelicals who have MISSED the point of who Jesus really is (and therefore not saved), I think there are others who are not part of Evangelicalism (like LDS folk) who also: DO NOT KNOW HIM =)

This is just a shot in the dark, but I think that those who are LDS and have been transformed by His saving grace are probably those who HAVE FAILED; those who have failed to get temple recommends, those who have been rejected by the LDS community, those who truly know that they are NOT WORTHY - and in their acknowledgement, cling to Him who IS worthy...therefore, their identity as all others who know Him, is found in Him =) The message of the gospel is SO ABSURD, that by His grace alone and through faith alone, God counts it as RIGHTEOUS!?!?

If it's ok with CC, can I do some web-pointin'? Here is a 'short' video (half-hour long) of what constitutes as BASIC christianity...well, for evangelicals and those who subscribe to Sola Scriptura... It's a video made by an Australian company, 'Matthias Media' and more specifically: 'Two Ways To Live'

CC, please feel free to delete this comment as I admit just how off-topic it is!

Rick said...

CC,

I am admittedly a Mormon critic, but I would really like to ask an honest question:

What part of the Mormon Gospel is the "Restored" part?

Mormons talk about this all the time, but what IS the restoration that you speak of?

Clean Cut said...

So many questions, so little time.

First off, I LOVE your testimony NM. I feel in your words how much your life as been changed by Christ Jesus. I rejoice with you. Maybe there could be something worth exploring in thinking of me as a Mormon Evangelical. :) Perhaps it's not quite the paradox most on both sides would tend to believe. There are many things in evangelicalism I can whole heartedly agree with. Alas, sola scriptura is not one of them. :)

Good question Rick about what exactly was restored. I'll get back to you on that as soon as I can, perhaps on a new post. But I've already spent all my free time on preparing a "short" (in the sense that NM's video is short) response to Athanasius.

He asked: "Do Mormon's worship Jesus the same as God? Or do they merely just thank him for his sacrifice?"

I worship Jesus as God AND I thank Him for His sacrifice. I’m unfamiliar with any educated Latter-day Saint who would ever minimize or diminish Jesus in anyway. On the contrary, we worship Him. We love Him. He is our Lord and Master. He has a whole ton of other applicable names, which I could rightfully list and appropriately believe in/on. He is the Shepherd of our Souls. Since He really means everything to us, it should come as no surprise that “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ…that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:20). The Book of Mormon really has an unparalleled focus on the messianic message of the Savior of the world.

I personally feel that what I do know about the Father, I know because I've come to know the Son. After all, he said "if you have seen me, you have seen the Father." I tend to think that means that they are so alike, so one, that I can know the Father better by knowing Christ. I don't think that scripture means that by seeing Jesus, you're also looking physically at our Father in Heaven, as Trinitarians would tend to believe. I just think it means that you can know a lot about a persons dad by looking at their children. Many people could say the same thing about me and my dad. But I'll comment about how I can also believe in Christ as Father in just a minute.

I must admit that feel like I know more about Jesus than I do of the Father. We have several paintings hanging up in our house of Jesus, and the scriptures too are a constant reminder of the preeminence that Christ has in my life. There are less physically reminders of the my Heavenly Father. But remembering the forgoing statement, that to see Him is to see the Father brings peace to my soul, for to worship one is to worship the other. To glorify Christ brings glory to the Father.

I pray to the Father (my Father in Heaven) in the name of Christ, since Christ taught that we should do so. But I depend on Christ to be reconciled to the Father. So it should also come as no surprise if I tell you that it is Jesus who occupies the majority of my thoughts, as well as my adoration.

Your second question was:
"How does Mormonism view the Atonement in light of belief that Jesus is not eternal but created?

"

That's kind of a leading question. I'll start with the beginning, and most important part of it--how we Mormons view the Atonement.

Latter-day Saints view the Atonement as the central act of all history—“the central fact, the crucial foundation, and the chief doctrine of the great and eternal plan of salvation”, as one apostle has put it. This is the source of our doctrine and everything else is secondary. There may be many important things, but none is more important than the infinite and eternal Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything else pails in comparison. If you don't believe me, just read the The Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants.

As for the comment about “eternal” and “created”—I really don’t think any LDS person is going to say they know much about that. Time is measured only by men. For God, eternity is one eternal “now”. So Latter-day Saints really don’t think of Christ in terms like “created” or “eternal”. Who is to say when “eternity begins” or who can comprehend how far back it stretches? Kind of mind boggling. Like my wedding ring, I can’t perceive a beginning or an end.

We have no narrative about Jesus being "created". This word only comes up when I'm in conversation with critics of the Church. "Created" is a word that never seems to come up with Latter-day Saints themselves. We have a narrative that states that He was with the Father from the beginning—and that’s about the extent of our thoughts. Our focus is more on making and keeping covenants than on theology.

Whether I’m thinking of God as an “office” of some sort, like the Godhead, or whether I’m thinking of each member of the Godhead individually, but fully God, it really matters not, as I believe that they are infinitely more one than they are separate. I believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in almost every conceivable way—except physically. Whether I can explain it or not--they are “one eternal God”. So when I read “God” in the scriptures, or think of making covenants “with God”—I tend to explore all aspects of what that means; I think of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and how interrelated they are. And I reverence and respect and deeply appreciate all three of them in their unified purpose and eternal plan of salvation, as well as their unique roles.

Some confusion might understandably come from not understanding how The Book of Mormon properly teaches of Christ as "the Father", and that “God himself” condescended, when teaching of Christ, to come into the world to bring salvation to the world. Trinitarians might be surprised to know that Latter-day Saints also consider Christ as “the Father” in certain regards, just as I can be both a father to my daughters and a son to my dad—but it’s still just me.

Jesus is the Father of our spiritual rebirth, as we are born again and take His name upon us. He is also the Father of this earth, since He created this earth under the direction of His Father. A case could appropriately be made that I have three dads! My earthly father, my Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ as Father. Likewise a case can be made about Christ being “eternal”, as part of the eternal Godhead, as well as “created” because he was a Son, and the Firstborn. Most Latter-day Saints don’t tend to get caught up in the semantics, which is probably a cause of frustration to many critics of the Church.

Hebrews chapter 1, verses 1 to about verse 10, seem to appropriately explain what I feel in my heart.

Athanasius said...

CC:

"I really don’t think any LDS person is going to say they know much about that."

I think Mormons have plenty to say on that(I've read Mormon literature). Is it not Mormon doctrine that God the Father was a man, born to heavenly parents just as Mormon dogma holds we were born from the Father? Is it not also held Jesus is the first born Son to the Father? Thus Christ is a created being, born from the Father and this "Holy Mother." I think its safe to assume Mormon dogma holds Christ as created, born from the Father, unless I'm reading it wrong. If I am give me some information that shows my error.

"I believe that they are infinitely more one than they are separate. I believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in almost every conceivable way—except physically."

Your beginning to sound like a Trinitarian. However, I think the Mormon website defines the Godhead different then how you have defined it, "Although the members of the Godhead are distinct beings with distinct roles, they are one in purpose and doctrine." The Mormon Godhead sounds more like a cause, no different then a political party or organization. If I take the official Mormon position on this, then they are more separate then what you are seeming to state.

Clean Cut said...

Well, you asked. I gave my answer. I said what I truly believe, not what I thought was pleasing to you. My answer stands on its own.

Athanasius said...

CC:

"Well, you asked. I gave my answer. I said what I truly believe, not what I thought was pleasing to you. My answer stands on its own."

It does, but then I wonder since that is your answer, why do you give such a bad rap to Trinitarians? Why have you spoken against the Nicean Creed and the doctrine of the Trinity?

Clean Cut said...

When and where have I ever given a bad rap to Trinitarians? I respect Trinitarians, and I can learn a lot from them, but I do not share in their belief of the Nicean Creed. When I speak against the Nicean Creed or the doctrine of the Trinity, as Trinitarians understand it, it's not to give a bad rap or offend Trinitarians. It's an acknowledgment that I do not believe them to be true, or biblical for that matter.

Yes I believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are distinct beings, and yes, they have their distinct roles. But as I said earlier, they are infinitely more one than they are separate. They are so one in almost every way, that I tend to focus more on their oneness and togetherness than I do on their distinctness and physical separateness.

Kelli W. said...

Hi again. Clean Cut, your patience and kindness inspire me. I admire your desire to share and understand. I feel such a difference in communication between you and the anti-Mormon writers or the Mormon critics because they usually tend to sound like they are interrogating you and say things like you believe this or that like you are on trial. They don't ask your opinion or respect your differences or ask what are your thoughts on this or that? They just demand an answer to their questions almost like they want to set you up in some kind of trap to prove how wrong and foolish you are. I don't understand this form of communication when the topic is of Jesus Christ. This is not how Christ himself communicated. I don't understand why people devote their time in negativity and fault finding instead of rejoicing in their own beliefs of truth and sharing their own message of love and salvation. This is not, or should not be a conversation of well I'm right and your wrong so na na na na. I hope people can open their hearts and minds a little more and be more humble and kind. Once again...this is not a competition. If you are trying to prove how wrong and deceitful the Mormon religion is...well, you just can't. Just as no one can prove your own individual religion is wrong. You can not prove anything in spiritual matters. And who is on trial here anyway? It's frustrating to read a beautiful answer from Clean Cut that probably expresses what so many of us also believe just to have you come back and say NO that's not what you really believe! Just think about it.
Anyway, I hope the conversation continues. There is so much good to be had in mutual understanding and respect.

Athanasius said...

CC:

"They are so one in almost every way, that I tend to focus more on their oneness and togetherness than I do on their distinctness and physical separateness."

Since they are so close to being one, why not accept them as being one being in three person's, like they are? The Trinity is more Biblical then God being an office of three beings sharing the same religious agenda. I think Mormon's should take a lesson in Jewish theology, since they first received a personal revelation and knowledge of God from God; God is not an office, but a being.

Clean Cut said...

Thanks for the invitation. :)
I do except them as one God in three persons--just not one being.

Clean Cut said...

I just noticed that Jeff Lindsay has also answered the question Neil brought up in the fourth comment. I really like his response: "Doesn't the Bible warn against angels bringing another Gospel?"