Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anti-Mormon Tactic: Deliberately Creating Confusion

Mormanity gets plenty of comments from critics with tactics that I sometimes consider to be "anti-Mormon" (e.g., off-topic posting of a long-list of alleged beliefs mischaracterized in ways meant to shock and confuse). Disagreeing with us and having objections to LDS beliefs does not necessarily make one "anti-Mormon," but when the goal is simply to attack and to throw out numerous objections without engaging in real dialog, then "anti-Mormon" begins to be more apt. And when a critic appears to be creating deliberate confusion about our beliefs, I tend to find the effort worthy of the "anti-Mormon" moniker that is, admittedly, often abused - but also often deserved. There is rarely any value in attempting dialog with those employing such tactics.

The tactic of creating confusion about LDS beliefs is often done by contrasting "Christian" belief with some mischaracterized LDS belief. This can be done in lengthy diatribes, but it can also be done in a short drive-by postings or list of bullet points, like the "Mormonism vs. Christianity" list at the disreputable MormonCult.org.

One critic who has come on this blog recently to post a lot of standard anti-Mormon stuff recently gave us an interesting example of a brief attack aimed at creating confusion. It came in response to another person's comment that mentioned the Holy Spirit. Here is the attack:
What do you mean when you say "Holy Spirit"?

LDS - "A spirit man. He can only be at one place at one time... " (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, p. 359.)

or,

according to the Bible, the third person of the Trinity/Triune God (Acts 5:3-4).
Ah, sweet dichotomy. In typical anti-Mormon style, LDS doctrine is succinctly misrepresented and then "contrasted" with "Christian" doctrine. This person, who has "studied" the Church for a long time and has had numerous encounters with Mormons, surely knows that we believe that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. He surely knows that we fully accept Acts 5:3,4 and every other biblical statement about the Holy Ghost. And he surely knows that we believe that the power and influence of the Holy Ghost can be everywhere and fill the immensity of space. True, we have difficulty with some aspects of the post-biblical doctrine of the Trinity, for which some man-made formulations offer imponderable metaphysics that go far beyond the Bible (or in our view, clearly contradict the Bible and earliest Christian belief), including the concept of all members of the Godhead being utterly immaterial and not being located in any one place. So we think in terms of the Holy Ghost having power and influence that can be everywhere at once, while our critic thinks that the Person himself must be everywhere at once. Fine - I can accept the difference. It's a distinction in metaphysics and interpretation of scripture, but he presents it as if it is slam-dunk evidence that we reject the Bible. He does it in a way that I feel is aimed at deliberately creating confusion. It is looking for an argument rather than looking to understand, which I find to be essential anti-Mormonism (but in a relatively gentle form).

This person surely knows that we believe that the Holy Ghost is the 3rd Person of the Godhead. The "question" he asks is not intended to understand more or engage in discussion, but simply to attack. Further, his misleading and sloppy quotation from Bruce R. McConkie excises information to create a bone of contention. McConkie clearly explains that the Holy Ghost is the 3rd person of the Godhead and that His influence and power can be everywhere. Here is the beginning of McConkie's actual entry on the Holy Ghost: "The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Personage of Spirit, a Spirit Person, a Spirit Man, a Spirit Entity. He can be in only one place at one time . . . though his power and influence can be manifest at one and the same time throughout all immensity.

"He is the Comforter, Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit of Promise, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of the Lord, and Messenger of the Father and the Son, and his companionship is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy. . . . "(Mormon Doctrine, p. 359)

We may differ on metaphysics, but there is no real basis for claiming that our beliefs regarding the Holy Ghost are non-Christian or non-biblical, in spite of the deceptive appearance he creates. This little lecture won't change the behavior of this critic, of course, but I hope it will remind us that some of the questions we get are offered by people with no interest in understanding the answer. And answering would be a complete waste of - oops, what have I done??

74 comments:

Mormanity said...

The forms of "anti-Mormonism" experienced on this or any blog are actually benign and gentle, in contrast to the kind experienced in the 19th century or that we could experience in the future. So someone gets annoying on a blog in their efforts to spook everywhere about the Church - hey, we can deal with that. It's the people with lawyers and public officials on their team that scare me!

Anonymous said...

Gentle: no underwear was waved in anybody's face, no windows broken, no authorities hauled away any children. That's all good.

Halibut said...

I can see the problem with saying that we are not Christian. Christians believe in One God. We believe in three Gods. Multiple Gods verses one God.

Mormanity said...

Christians believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, three persons who are also, in some way, "one." Christians have different views on what that "oneness" means. Is it oneness of immaterial substance without body, parts, or passion, or is it the kind of oneness that Christ taught in his great intercessory prayer of John 17, where Christians are asked to be one in the same way that He and the Father are One? Mormons lean toward the latter and reject the Trinitarian formulations rooted in Neoplatonism and other elements of Greek philisophy. We have no difficulty in believing that Christ and the Father could be seen by Joseph Smith as two separate Beings, one on the right hand of the other, and still be "one." That's outrageous to some of our critics, who may be overlooking, though, the fact that Stephen provided the same witness when he saw Christ standing on the right hand of the Father in Acts 7:55,56. Two Beings, both with tangible,. physically real bodies, not the Trinitarian single Being of 3 immaterial persons - and yet God and the Father are One, as in one in heart, mind, will, etc. Perfect unity.

Trinitarian or not, Christian notions of the Godhead of three persons are still hopelessly polytheistic to Muslims and other pure monotheists, no matter how you slice it.

April said...

To me, this is just six of one, and a half dozen of the other. We literally just see God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as three separate beings, but one in purpose. Others see them as one being, but with three different "jobs." People could argue about this all day! In the Bible you could find almost as many scriptures to support one as the other. It just depends on how you want to interpret it.

We always say to "ask in faithful prayer" but I find that non-Mormon Christians are hesitant to do so, especially if they are certain that they're "right." I prayed and got an overwhelming answer. But my dad, who's not a member, basically refuses to. How is anyone supposed to get an answer if they refuse to ask God?

Doesn't make sense to me...

Tracy Keeney said...

I've gotten to the point where antis just make me yawn.
It used to really bother me. It drove me nuts to see/hear them mischaracterizing our beliefs, even completely making up beliefs that aren't just mischaracterizations of real beliefs, but claims that we believe in things that are entirely and completely out of the ballpark.
But honestly, now I just completely ignore them. The second I can tell it's an anti babbling on about nothing, I skip right over it as if nothing was said at all.
As you said, it's very obvious when it's someone with sincere questions. And even if they adamantly disagree with our beliefs-- that's fine. Honest dialogue, even in complete disagreement is still honest dialogue.
Antis don't have dialogue-- they just blather on and on and on and have no interest whatsoever in any real discussion.
An insurance seminar or time share speech would be more interesting... (no offense to those in insurance or time shares...:)

Nate said...

Before a few weeks ago, I would've eaten up anything an anti-mormon told me.

Currently, I'm searching. I see truth in the LDS church, but I am a 17 year old evangelical Christian. I havn't read the Book of Mormon, or D&C, and I know that I need to.

This site and others has helped me see through many of the vicious anti-mormon arguments.

So I really just wanted to say thank you, because I think without the help of Mormons defending their faith, I'd be fine believing every word coming from an anti.

Anonymous said...

Being anti-Mormon is about behavior not theology. Cerainly other Christian denominations have their own theological ideas. That is expected and understood. Focusing on what people do in expressing their theologial differences with us how one guages. Those who express their notions respectfully and acknowledge other's views respectfully can not be considered anti. Refusing to accept the correct version of our theology and insinuating we are liars is a behavior marker.

Anonymous said...

Protesting LDS events, dragging a Book of Mormon on the side walk while "street preaching" and insulting our leadership are behaviors. They are not theological expressions. One group finds the term anti-Mormon analogous to a racial slur however their behavior fits snuggly in the militant anti-Mormon category. These folks want to be known as "critics" which is a term usually reserved for legitimate reviewers of research submitted for peer review and elsewhere. However their marching and protesting at LDS events seems to this observer to be a mockery of legitimate criticism techniques. Whoever coined the term “anti-Mormon” had people these people in mind. No matter what kind of a flower one puts behind this pig’s ear it is still a porker.


JLFuller http://mormonthing.wordpress.com/

Hans said...

"It's the people with lawyers and public officials on their team that scare me!"

Jeff, I resemble that remark! Why do people always slam laywers?

Like any other circumstance in life, people take the facts that are presented to them and use them to conform to their world view. That is why you can have so many different groups (us included) who believe in the Bible and yet have different intepretations. I am always willing to listen to one who would like honest dialogue, and seeks for to understand and then to be understood. If we show the same respect, which I hope we do, then we can really get into finding common ground and expressing ourselves in a brotherly way.

Anonymous said...

april said: "We always say to "ask in faithful prayer" but I find that non-Mormon Christians are hesitant to do so, especially if they are certain that they're "right." I prayed and got an overwhelming answer. But my dad, who's not a member, basically refuses to. How is anyone supposed to get an answer if they refuse to ask God?

Doesn't make sense to me..."

Mormons ask, "Have you ever prayed concerning the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon?" To that I say (as I said on the thread, Ammon and the Waters of Sebus) Christians are to test the spirits, not pray over them. I John 4:1 states: "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

The Bible presents several tests for prophets. One of them is that a true prophet of God is 100% accurate (not 99.9% accurate or 83%accurate) whenever he makes predictions in the name of God(see Deuteronomy 18: 20-22)

David Buckna

Glo said...

gotta love the trump card. it all leads to a playground argument about who is more spiritual, and who is more sincer.

as for the trinity, and the god head these things are only as confusing as we want to make them. if someone were to say the trinity is impossible to understand and too confusing to try then of course it is going to be impossible to understand. If we see that it is one of those difficult things to understand, or hard but not impossible then we may see that it is not as confusing as first thought. Why do anti mormons use the Godhead? Not because it is an impossible puzzel but because it is (from what I have sen and read, and heard) it is a new hashing of arianism, which was determined to be herisy by the Church Universal.

BruceC said...

"The Bible presents several tests for prophets. One of them is that a true prophet of God is 100% accurate ... whenever he makes predictions in the name of God"

So when Jonah said the city of Ninevah was going to be destroyed, and it wasn't, that means he wasn't a prophet? Or when the Savior said that this generation shall not pass away until the Son of man comes in his glory? Well, you get the idea. It is like saying "the prophesy was not fulfilled the way (or when) I expected it to be. So it must be false."

Maedoc said...

Buck, what better way to "test spirits" than to ask God about them? So we are to trust our imperfect reasoning over what God can tell us?

The Bible even tells us it's ok to ask God. Think back to James 1:5-
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

I see praying about something as a great test, one which does not go against the scripture you quoted.

Latter-Day James said...

"...... them is that a true prophet of God is 100% accurate (not 99.9% accurate or 83%accurate)..."

DB you are starting with the same old thing you were talking about on the other thread. Different post, different subject, move along.

Greg said...

I think the best way to counter true anti-Mormons is to only address legitimate criticisms and questions about the religion.

The problem, I feel, is that too many legitimate questions are categorized as "anti-Mormon" simply because they assume the burden of proof rests on Mormonism, as it should with any belief.

Jeff, I don't know know how much good it does to keep bringing up the "antis" trying to lure Mormons into a "you're not a Christian!" trap - defend Mormonism in its own context, not in the context of other religions.

Hans said...

Maedoc,

I am with you on James 1:5 but I think you'll find that many Christians are uncomfortable with James as much as Luther was.

Bryce Haymond said...

Sorry Jeff, but I may be the guilty party of sending this critic your way. He was emailing me a barrage of bulletpointed anti-Mormon fluff, with the determination of what, I'm not sure. One thing he said about there being "absolutely no archaeological evidence for Book of Mormon history or geography" sent me over the top and I sent him a link to your Ammon post. Forgive me! :)

Anonymous said...

Answer the question that the questioner should have asked. Sometimes a questioner will actually have a legitimate point to make or question to ask inside all that twaddle. If our only intent is to respond to non-sense barbs by dismissing them we may miss the reader who would like you to answer. I think planting the seed is just as important as making the point. I get about 20 readers for ever responder on my blog. So treat everyone as though they were legitimate. There is likely a reader out there who wants an honest response. By including your source material in your remarks you send a huge and unmistakable message that you know what you are talking about and the other guy doesn’t. It softens hearts too.

JohnW said...

As to Jonah and Ninevah: The prophecy wasn't that it would be destroyed. It was repent, or be destroyed. They repented. They were not destroyed. The prophecy was correct.

If a prophet prophesies in the name of the Lord, and the prophesy failed to come true, that's pretty much a sure sign they ain't a prophet.

The one sure thing about the LDS church is that the prophecies "in the name of the Lord" always come true. I've been a member my whole life (more than 4 decades now), and I've never heard of one prophecy by a President of the LDS church that didn't come true in it's time. Never. They were all true prophecies. And I've read all the lesson manuals and scriptures and all that.

Anonymous said...

brucec said:

"So when Jonah said the city of Ninevah was going to be destroyed, and it wasn't, that means he wasn't a prophet?"

For those who didn't see my response on the "Ammon and the Waters of Sebus" thread...

God said in Jeremiah 18 that he wouldn't bring judgment if that nation turns from its sin. Nineveh _did_ turn from its sin after Jonah gave them the warning from God. The people of Nineveh repented and God relented.

Jonah 3: 1-10

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
---------------------------------http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp17.htm

[snip]
The fulfillment of the threat of judgment was contingent on the Ninevites response. Again we must remember- Scripture says Jonah spoke what God told him to (3:2). What this shows us is that God loves to give mercy instead of judgment. Repentance appeals to God’s mercy.
In Mt.16 Jesus tells his generation that rejected Him “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah”
===
brucec said:

"Or when the Savior said that this generation shall not pass away until the Son of man comes in his glory? Well, you get the idea. It is like saying "the prophesy was not fulfilled the way (or when) I expected it to be. So it must be false.""

http://www.kingmessiahproject.com/fp_main.html

[snip]

Another verse that Full Preterists love to use to confuse the public is Matthew 24:34. In this verse, Jesus said: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."

By citing Matthew 24:34, the Full Preterists argue that Jesus was speaking to the generation that would witness ALL things being fulfilled.

First of all, we always need to remember that, when studying all of the Scriptures, we need to understand them in their proper context. With respect to Matthew 24:34, this is certainly no exception. We need to realize that, in Matthew 24:4-51, Jesus was responding to a question that His disciples asked Him in verse 3, which was: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

Let me go on the record by saying that nothing that Jesus described in Matthew 24:4-33 has yet to take place in our history. But it will, in the future! And, how do we know that? Let's go to Matthew 24:29-31 and find out. This is what Jesus said:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, AND THEY SHALL GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER."

Regarding this passage, verse 31 provides one of the keys when responding to the Full Preterist argument. It refers to a gathering together of His elect, which did not take place in 70 AD. Actually, in 70 AD, the Roman Empire destroyed Israel's temple, killing over a million Jews in the process, and scattering those that remained. This was the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, when Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple as well as the scattering of Israel when He said, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

In 70 AD, which was the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, Israel was led away captive into all nations. In retrospect, according to Matthew 24:29-31, a gathering of the elect is prophesied. Logically speaking, a 'scattering' and a 'gathering' cannot take place at the same time.
...
Full Preterism is an empty doctrine, which offers no hope of a better life and a better future. It tears away at God's promise to the world of everlasting peace and tranquility that will be accomplished at Jesus' Second Coming. If Jesus came in 70 AD as the Full Preterists claim, He didn't do a very good job establishing world peace where nation would not lift up sword against nation (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11:9-10, Ezekiel 37:24-26 and Micah 4:3).
===

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

JohnW said: "If a prophet prophesies in the name of the Lord, and the prophesy failed to come true, that's pretty much a sure sign they ain't a prophet.

The one sure thing about the LDS church is that the prophecies "in the name of the Lord" always come true. I've been a member my whole life (more than 4 decades now), and I've never heard of one prophecy by a President of the LDS church that didn't come true in it's time. Never. They were all true prophecies. And I've read all the lesson manuals and scriptures and all that."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_Church

In the Latter Day Saint movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. It is the office held by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the movement, and the office assumed by many of Smith's claimed successors, such as Brigham Young, Joseph Smith III, Sidney Rigdon, and James Strang. Several other titles have been associated with this office, including First Elder of the church, Presiding High Priest, President of the High Priesthood, Trustee-in-Trust for the church, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, Translator, and Ruler (in Israel). The movement's founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., the first president of the church, was known by all of these titles in his lifetime (although not necessarily with consistency).

[end of snip]
===================================
According to Deuteronomy 18:20-22, it only takes one false prophecy to make a prophet a false prophet.

I've read dozens of Joseph Smith's prophecies and chose the following one at random. In 1841 he prophesied that the Nauvoo House in Nauvoo, IL. would be in his family "from generation to generation, forever and ever." But the building is owned by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/124

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.
...
56 And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation.
57 For this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him.
58 And as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth, even so I say unto my servant Joseph: In thee and in thy bseed shall the kindred of the earth be blessed.
59 Therefore, let my servant Joseph and his seed after him have place in that house, from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.
60 And let the name of that house be called Nauvoo House; and let it be a delightful habitation for man, and a resting-place for the weary traveler, that he may contemplate the glory of Zion, and the glory of this, the corner-stone thereof;
===
David Buckna

Anonymous said...

Maedoc said: "Buck, what better way to "test spirits" than to ask God about them? So we are to trust our imperfect reasoning over what God can tell us?

The Bible even tells us it's ok to ask God. Think back to James 1:5-
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

I see praying about something as a great test, one which does not go against the scripture you quoted."
----------------------------------

Although Christians are to pray always (1 Thessalonians 5:17)nowhere in the Bible does it say prayer is a test for truth. But the Bible _does say_ NOT to trust the feelings of our hearts (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9), nor can a person trust every spiritual witness (1 John 4:1-6).

The Word of God (not our feelings)is our standard for truth (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The witness of the Holy Spirit will never contradict the Word he himself inspired—the Bible (2 Peter 1:21).

Maedoc quoted James 1:5. Keep in mind that it was written to those who were _already_ Christians (they were Jewish Christians scattered abroad--see James 1:1)

James 1 refers to the testing of one's faith by trials and temptations (see verses 2-3, 12, and 13). If a person lacks wisdom, he is to ask God for wisdom (not truth) when faced with trials and temptations in order to respond in a godly fashion.

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

By choice I am no longer a member of the LDS church but still have a strong testimony. If I was to leave my faith I would never become or call myself a Christian because of people like Buckna. Most Christians do not spend there time trying to tear down others faith but no sooner did I joined the LDS church over 30 years ago and Christians started trying to discredit my testimony and the LDS church using the most deceptive methods I have ever seen. I know Mormons can be some what annoying at times with their proselytizing but most of the time they are just promoting a message of the good news of the fullness of the restored gospel. Mostly Mormons talk about other religions in the context of why it was necessary for a restoration. Some members and at times the LDS church has gone over the line and say things that may be offensive to others but it is normally condemned and discouraged by most members.
Buckna, said:
I understand that we must test the spirits but I can find no better way than to pray to Our Heavenly Father as His son Jesus Christ did and be directed on the way we should follow His spirit. Our prophets may not be up to 100% to Buckna's approval but at least we have latter day prophets rather than a bunch of archeological science filtered through those TV preachers giving there option of what the scriptures mean.
Although I think Buckna is pretty much a waste of time because he is going over and over all the same tired old arguments LDS have dealt with before I did learn what Full Preterists is. I to have a internet to make me look smart. Did you get that job yet?

Anonymous said...

James 1:5. Keep in mind that it was written to those who were _already_ Christians (they were Jewish Christians scattered abroad--see James 1:1)

James 1 refers to the testing of one's faith by trials and temptations (see verses 2-3, 12, and 13). If a person lacks wisdom, he is to ask God for wisdom (not truth) when faced with trials and temptations in order to respond in a godly fashion.

I am so glad that I do not need to ask God for truth. That lets me off the hook. Thanks Buckna you are slowly showing me how not to be a Christian. So if a scripture is written only to one group of people it does not apply to me. O' this just gets better and better. I am going through my Bible now and cutting out all those scriptures that I no longer need to follow. Please Buckna tell us more.

Anonymous said...

" ...he is to ask God for wisdom (not truth)..."


This is getting good. So let me get this straight. Wisdom and truth a is not the same thing or can not be the same thing? What hair spliting. I am so glad we have Buckna to help us with such little important details. I will be able to sleep better knowing Buckna is watching out for me. We love you man.

Anonymous said...

Buckna, said:

"But the Bible _does say_ NOT to trust the feelings of our hearts (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9), nor can a person trust every spiritual witness (1 John 4:1-6)."
LUKE
30After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. 31At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. 32They said to each other, "When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn't it warm our hearts?" 33So they got right up and returned to Jerusalem.

I think that you can not except the fact that we have had this witness and we are happy and full of the spirit. We invite you to come join us and find out what you are missing.

Chester said...

HapiBlogging to you my friend! Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I'm gonna weigh in here, but before I do, I have a couple of legitimate questions.

First, I do agree with some of the evidence presented stating that your church isn't true, but one arguement that has always puzzled me is the one about you all believing that God lives on a planet called Kolob. I don't subscribe to that particular argument, but do find it somewhat humourous. I believe this argument is some sort of odd attack on your church, but I'm curious as to where that distortion comes from. Can anyone enlighten me?

The other question I have is this: Doesn't Brigham Young, or one of your other prophets teach that if you follow the teachings in the BOM, you will someday become Gods. If that is what your prophet has taught, how is it that your church is not polytheistic? Please don't take offense at either question, I'm just curious to know the answers.

Now to my "weighing in." Something that troubles me about the praying to know the truth about the BOM, this was something raised in one of the posts, is that LDS always seem to be able to fall back on the argument that if someone prayed about the BOM and found it not to be true, then they must not have prayed in earnest or in faith.

For me personally I have prayed in as earnest a manner as I know how, to know the truth, and the truth revealed to me, is that the BOM is not true. I have always had a strong faith in God, and have always trusted in his guidance, so I have no reason to doubt his hand in my prayers. The attitude, though unspoken, that I have recieved from the elders and members of my wife's church seems to be that I must not have prayed the right way. That being with an open heart and mind to know the truth. This seems somewhat arrogant to me, and it seems to be a wonderful fall back position for your missionaries.

What I mean by that is your missionaries can justify someone not converting by saying they must not have prayed right, or asked the right questions of the Holy Spirit. It seems inconcievable to your missionaries and members of your church that God might reveal your church as being untrue to folks praying about it. There's no way you can know what someone prayed in their hearts and minds, so to take that fall back position, just seems unchristian to me. This is not meant as an attack, its just an observation.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender

A. J. Derxsen said...

Hello. I have no intention of getting "caught up" in any debates here, because I just don't have the time.

However, I'm a Christian brother of David Buckna's, and it seems to me that his posts are (a) not abusive in their choice of words, thus not deserving of reverse-abuse; and (b) his posts are customarily evaded by the Mormons here.

Now why is that?

Why is it that when someone tosses up some legitimate challenges for Mormons, you dismiss him by accusing him of merely being "anti-Mormon"?

After all, couldn't somebody just turn the tables by pointing out that you must be "anti-Buckna" merely on the basis that you disagree with him? Why is someone "anti-" something just because they disagree?

Did it occur to any of you that maybe we sincerely want to see you in fellowship with God and in heaven one day, and so, being convinced your religion is false, we sincerely warn you out of a loving motivation? Think about it: the LDS church sends out missionaries, so are those missionaries "bad guys" because they want people "saved" in the Mormon sense? No, I'll be the first to acknowledge those Mormon missionaries have a basically positive, not hostile, motivation. So why can't you give the same nod to Christian apologists like Buckna and others?

Here are some of the core doctrines of the historic Christian faith (pre-Joseph Smith Christian):

1. God is eternal, holy, transcendant, "other" - and is the only non-contingent Being. All other things were created by Him and depend on Him for their existence.

2. God exists eternally as one Essence in three Persons (or, to put it another way, one What but three "Whos"). Those Persons are all God, sharing the same divine nature, yet distinct personalities from one another.

3. Jesus is the Second Person of the Godhead (see his second-place listing in the baptismal wording he used in Matt. 28:19) - NOT A CREATED BEING. He *took on flesh* (John 1:14; 1Tim. 3:16; Heb. 10:5), but had not had flesh previously.

4. Jesus' death on the cross is sufficient to pay for *all* sin, past, present, and future (indeed, for those of us living since that time, all our sins were future from the vantage point of the cross).

5. People are saved by grace through faith *alone* (Eph. 2:8-9; John 6:29; cf. Rom. 3:20-28; 1Cor. 1:29-31; 2Tim. 1:9; Ti. 3:4-5) - but the balancing truth is that genuine faith produces good deeds (Eph. 2:10; 1Jn. 5:1; et al).

6. One day the Lord Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, and fully manifest his cosmic rule and put an end to sin.

Now how do those dogmas stack up to Mormonism . . . ?

a. j. derxsen said...

Ah, this is what I get for failing to proofread. When I inserted the phrase "pre-Joseph Smith Christian" in brackets at one point, I did not intend the word "Christian" to be there.

For the record: in my mind Joseph Smith was *not* a Christian.

Maedoc said...

a.j.

Did you read the actual post, or did you just skip down to the comments?

"Disagreeing with us and having objections to LDS beliefs does not necessarily make one "anti-Mormon," but when the goal is simply to attack and to throw out numerous objections without engaging in real dialog, then 'anti-Mormon' begins to be more apt. And when a critic appears to be creating deliberate confusion about our beliefs, I tend to find the effort worthy of the 'anti-Mormon' moniker"

In any case, you can't alienate those you are trying to persuade and expect them to listen to you. If your true intention is to show us the light, you are going about it all wrong.

gb said...

Why is it that the Antis always fail to provide the context when quoting 1 Jn 4:1?

1 Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

You antis need to get a CLUE!!!

Joseph Smith and Moroni both testified "that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh"! Get it?

Therefore, according to the Bible test Joseph Smith is a true prophet and Moroni was a true angel of God.

Get it?

gb said...

Oh and by the way, could you cite the verse that says "faith alone"?

I do a search on "faith" and "alone" and the only verse that pops up in the Bible is;

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

IF "faith alone" is not found in the Bible, why do you believe it? What happened to "sola scriptura".

gb said...

JESUS SAID (Matt. 16: 27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall REWARD every man according to his WORKS.

PAUL SAID (1 Cor. 3: 14)If any man’s WORK abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a REWARD.

JESUS SAID (Rev. 22: 12)And, behold, I come quickly; and my REWARD is with me, to give every man according as his WORK shall be.

(Did Jesus come quickly? Is this a false prophecy?)

JESUS TAUGHT;(Matt 25)31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his aright hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have adone it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Doesn't sound like faith ALONE to me.

Oh wait, those are only the words of JESUS!

We all know that "true" Christians take the words of Paul over the words of JESUS. (sarcasm/off)

gb said...

What does JESUS teach about works?

JESUS said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

JESUS said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the WORKS that I do shall he do also; and greater WORKS than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

JESUS said, "I will give unto every one of you according to your WORKS."

If you are not with JESUS then you must be against Him.

Anonymous said...

GB,

Which Bible Translation are you relying on to provide you context? If you're relying on the JS Translation of the King James Bible, then it stands to reason that someone who doesn't believe JS to be a prophet, would not rely on that translation, since to such a person, the JS translation would be predicated upon false doctrine and therefore flawed in its context. Just something to consider.

Catholic Defender

gb said...

Catholic Defender

I am using the King James Version.

Anonymous said...

David Buckna said:
"I've read dozens of Joseph Smith's prophecies and chose the following one at random. In 1841 he prophesied that the Nauvoo House in Nauvoo, IL. would be in his family "from generation to generation, forever and ever." But the building is owned by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

The RLDS (now known as the Community of Christ) has been led by Joseph Smith Jr.'s descendants since it separated from the LDS Church in the 1840s. Joseph Smith III became its first Prophet-President in 1860. Since then until 1995 the RLDS/CoC Church was led by a direct descendant of Joseph Smith, Jr. His descendants are still members of this organization, so Joseph's prophecy stands.

So choose another one, David...

Anonymous said...

But aren't the RLDS non-mormons since they don't recognize President Monson as the prophet and leader of the true church. In that sense then the Nauvoo Building isn't part of the family, since that church separated from the LDS Church.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

GB,

I figured you're using the King James version. Another thought you might consider, is that while your church recognizes that translation as the most accurately translated, not every church does. I use the Douay Rheims Translation, which to me is the most accurate, and least influenced version. The significance is that while both the King James and The Douay Rheims versions were translated at around the same time, they differ in some of what is said. One of those translations though, was commisioned by the King of England at a time when the king and the Pope were disagreeing. The other was not.

Catholic Defender

gb said...

Catholic Defender

For a prophecy to be true, it only has to be true in the sense that it was given, NOT all possible senses.

If you use your standard, would any of the ancient prophets qualify as prophets?

gb said...

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition.

1 John 4
1Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God:

3And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world.

I don't see how this changes my point.

James 2:17 So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

I don't see how this changes my point.

Matt 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.

I don't see how this changes my point.

I could go on. If you think my points are not supported by your favorite version, why don't YOU show me.

Cheers!!

Anonymous said...

Catholic Defender said:
"But aren't the RLDS non-mormons since they don't recognize President Monson as the prophet and leader of the true church. In that sense then the Nauvoo Building isn't part of the family, since that church separated from the LDS Church."

I guess you would have to be able to have read Joseph Smith Jr's mind to know whether your interpretation is correct. I read family as biological relations, which would still hold true if the LDS Church acquired the Nauvoo house in the future, as Joseph's brother Hyrum's family (as well as other family members) remained with the LDS Church. Of course you could assum that Joseph had in mind (as he believed) that since every individual on Earth is a child of God (making the entire world population one family), no matter who owns the Nauvoo House, the statement would be true...
oh well, this argument is about as useful as those regarding the 2nd ammendment to the US Constitution. A lot of talk but no definitive, unanimous conclusions.

"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."

Anonymous said...

GB,

I never said your points were supported. What I said is that the contexts differ in some of the translations. Additionally, the contexts differ depending upon what faith one has been brought up in. Your context as an LDS is not the same as my context as a Catholic.

For example, my understanding of LDS Teachings regarding the Book of Isais, is that Isais is prophecying Joseph Smith coming and restoring the Gospel. Additionally, it seems the LDS teachings on that book are that Isais is foretelling of the apostacy and the need for a restoration. Catholic teachings about Isais are that he's talking about the coming of Christ and the new covenant to come.

The point is your context and my context are not the same. Nor is Mr. Buckna's context the same as yours or mine. Judging by the style of his writing, I'm assuming Mr. Buckna has a conservative protestant background of some sort. Which of is actually right? You, because you have JS and the BOM to clarify what was meant? Why, because you've prayed about it, and had the burning in your breast to know it is true, therefore you have the "right context" and we do not. What if I have that same "burning in my breast" after much faithful prayer and contemplation that my context is right, and yours is not. Does that make me right and you wrong? I think this is a much bigger, and more complex issue that just pulling apart the scriptures and saying what we think they say they. Context is subjective.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

And by the way, there is a definitive statement about the 2nd Amendment. Its a personal right, not a collective one.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

CD,

Although I agree with you, the definitive answer is nowhere near unanimous.

gb said...

CD:What I said is that the contexts differ in some of the translations.

GB: If you are trying to say that the religious beliefs of the translators may have colored their translation, then I would say that you are likely correct to some extent.

But the context of a verse is dictated by the content of itself and adjoining verses.

So, if you can show me where my context would be different if I were using the Douay-Rheims instead of the KJV feel free to do so.

Anonymous said...

GB


That's exactly what I'm trying to say. Context is coloured by one's respective religion. Can I point to exact examples in the DR version versus the KJ version, no, I'm not that much of a biblical scholar to have that ability.

I do agree that the context of a verse is dictated by the content of the adjoining verses. However, the interpretation of those verses is where the subjective nature lies. Your context, and my context are coloured by how we each interpret the meaning of the verse. I think how you interpret the context of the KJ Bible is dictated by your LDS background. Its part of who you are and what you've been taught and you can't help it. Just as my context is coloured by my Catholic back ground. The point being that neither one of us is actually 100% right.

Catholic Defender

Ryan said...

CD said:
For me personally I have prayed in as earnest a manner as I know how, to know the truth, and the truth revealed to me, is that the BOM is not true.

The attitude, though unspoken, that I have recieved from the elders and members of my wife's church seems to be that I must not have prayed the right way. That being with an open heart and mind to know the truth.

I think the reason you get that attitude is because (in my experience at least) very, very, *very* few people who start out convinced the Book of Mormon is false are actually willing to pray about it with an open mind. In this case I would define an open mind as saying "I don't believe it but I want to know God's take and am willing to accept that I might be wrong."

If you prayed with an open mind you are in the vast minority, and I'm happy to agree to disagree. Nobody can (or at least should) tell you to go against what you believe God has revealed to you. At the same time, however, I hope you can extend the same acceptance to those who have prayed and feel God told them it's true.

$0.02

Ryan said...

To give an example about praying with an open heart:

I remember once as a missionary asking someone to pray about whether the Book of Mormon is true or not... they immediately bowed their head and said something like, "Please help these poor deluded boys see how wrong they are and how the book they carry is false."

Sorry, doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Buckna, said:

"But the Bible _does say_ NOT to trust the feelings of our hearts (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9), nor can a person trust every spiritual witness (1 John 4:1-6)."
LUKE
30After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. 31At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. 32They said to each other, "When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn't it warm our hearts?" 33So they got right up and returned to Jerusalem.

I think that you can not except the fact that we have had this witness and we are happy and full of the spirit. We invite you to come join us and find out what you are missing."
-----------------------------------
The above reference to Luke 24 cannot be used to argue the idea that one should pray about the book of Mormon because, as CRI founder Walter Martin said, "A [Bible] text without a context is a pretext."

If you read further back in Luke 24, you'll learn that the two people walking to Emmaus and met the risen Jesus _already_ were His disciples! They were disciples, THEN experienced "warmed hearts" after realizing it was the risen Jesus who had "explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets." (verse 27)

See: Luke 24:13-35, which begins:

13 That same day two of Jesus' disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.
----------------------------------
A Mormon missionary told me that before he was a Mormon he had prayed about whether the Book of Mormon was true, and once he did, he experienced the "burning in the bosom"/feeling in his heart that the book of Mormon was true.

Pray --> then experience the feeling (warmed heart)--> become a Mormon. One believes AFTER one prays.

But in Luke 24, the two people walking to Emmaus were _already disciples_ of Jesus. They were disciples/followers of Christ BEFORE they experienced "warmed hearts"--the exact opposite of what Mormonism teaches.

Again, nowhere in the Bible does it say prayer is a test for truth.
The Bible is the Word of God, the truth. So is Jesus Christ (the Word incarnate; John 1:1) the truth:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me." John 14:6.

Christians are to test the spirits, not pray over them. I John 4:1 states: "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

If we are to try the spirits, how then are we to do this?

I think prayer is a viable option, it saddens me to think that someone who says that they are a christian wouldn't find prayer as an option just because he or she doesn't find it spelled out in The Bible. I hope that is not what is meant, but it seems that way from sone of these comments.
News flash, The Bible isn't the final authority on things, God is. I'd rather go to my Father in Heaven in prayer and fasting and with a humble heart than rely solely on The Bible with it being one of, if not the most, disputed books ever produced, also I don't trust all of my answers soley to The Book of Mormon. I prefer prayer accompanied with the studying of the scriptures.
Now this isn't saying The Bible has no value, it has tremendous value. It certainly gives us key points of instruction and helps us learn of Christ and his teachings. One such instruction given by the Savior himself is found in Matthew 7:7

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

What could be more plain and simple. While some comments on this post try to declare that one need not pray about the Book of Mormon but test the spirits, this being in accord with the Bible. The answer is right there, ask and ye shall receive, in The Bible. I'm sure non LDS-Christians have heard that verse before. I don't know about everyone else, but I ask God things through prayer. And that is exactly what the Savior instructs us to do. This is how one can test the spirits or anything else one comes in contact with. How you receive the answer is between you and God. Trying to tell others that their spiritual experiences are bogus is a dangerous thing. God speaks to each person individually, some get a burning in the bosom, which has be aforementioned, others receive answers through other experiences. Buckna essentially said that the example of the two disciples doesn't work for Mormons or people deciding to be Mormons because the two men visited by Christ were disciples already. I think that is a lame argument, anyone seeking to become a disciple of Christ can receive any spiritual manifestation that God choses to send. I have not felt the burning in the bosom. I have received my answer from God, through the Holy Ghost, in the way that he choses to communicate with me. That is for me, and each person, to hold special. I have let very few people know of my experiences because of the instruction given by Christ in Matthew 7:6. (and yes, I have read the whole Bible and not just Matthew.)

To everyone learning about the Church, study the scriptures, doctrines, everything you can, ask God in the name of Christ if it is or is not true. It is that simple.

I am sorry that this is so long.

Bookslinger said...

Catholic Defender:

I admire your style of asking questions. You seem to have kept pretty level-headed in the various posts on this blog.

In order to keep confusion to a minimum, would you please consider creating a Blogger "profile" and posting under that profile so that no one could immitate you?

You don't need to create a blog with a profile. And you don't need to make your profile public. But what it does is give you a personal "handle" and prevents others from forging your name under an anonymous post.

If you want to get caught up to speed quickly on basic Mormon doctrine, get the book GOspel Principles. Free at most LDS chapels, free from most LDS missionaries, or free online at www.lds.org (Try here). Or a PDF version here.

You can buy a paper-back physical (printed) copy for $3 (free shipping) at www.ldscatalog.com if you don't want to go through the missionary department or real live Mormons. www.ldscatalog.com won't ask if you're a member or non-member, and they don't give names or addresses to the missionary department.

Bookslinger said...

Catholic Defender:

In regard to your question about people getting different answers to their prayers about whether the Book of Mormon is true:

I think it's risky business for someone to interpret the answers to another person's prayers. So I would hope that you'd take any comments by others (including me) in regards to the answers you've received to your prayers as mere ideas to consider, and not anything definitive.

(There is a related issue in the LDS church that we believe a person in a priesthood leadership position does have the right to receive inspiration/revelation for people under their ecclesiastical authority, but even that is pretty much limited to ecclesiastical matters, and also subject to spiritual confirmation and acceptance on the part of the subordinate.)

I think it's pretty much up to the pray-er to interpret whatever answer or non-answer they get.

Some of the things that I try to keep in mind when I seek answers in prayer:

1. am I asking the right question(s)?

2. do I really want to know the answer?

3. have I done my homework? IE, have I done the preliminary work, research, leg-work that God wants me to do prior to Him provding the rest of the answer, or the confirming answer? IE, have I been a dilgent and faithful servant, or am I being lazy and asking God to give/tell me a short-cut?

4. do I already know the answer?

5. will I obey the answer and adjust my life accordingly? Because if not, then I would be "sinning againts greater light" and therefore come under greater condemnation.

6. have I cleansed myself sufficiently, or have at least strived to cleanse myself and be worthy of an outpouring of Spirit or knowledge that would be entailed in the revelation of this answer? (or would I be like the ancient Israelites in the desert who shunned the presence of God and demanded that Moses be their interface?)

7. do I really have the faith that God could or would provide this answer?

--

Then once I get an answer, sometimes it needs interpreting. Sometimes the answers to the following are obvious, sometimes not:

1. is this answer from God, or the Devil, or my own imagination?

2. what am I now supposed to believe, say or do?

3. if the answer came as a feeling more than words (or more than an up/down yes/no confirmation/rejection), how do I translate it into words that I can write in my journal?

4. is this answer exhaustive or is it for a restricted set of circumstances?

5. is this answer universal, or just for me?

6. Does this answer apply for a certain time period, or is this a permanent thing?

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the Road to Emmaus story is that the disciples, for some reason, did not recognize the risen Christ until after he left them. They then marvelled that they should have recognized him, as the Holy Spirit bore witness to them of the resurrected Savior as he taught them.

The fact that they were already disciples does not factor here. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth wherever it is found. Which explains why you can feel the burning in the bosom or other witnesses of the Spirit in any location/situation wherein the truth of God is being taught.

Mormanity said...

Comments that strike me as name-calling will usually be deleted, no matter how much I like the poster. Just removed one.

Mormanity said...

David, in your view, how would a non-believer unfamiliar with Christianity come to know that Jesus is the Christ? Isn't some encounter with the Holy Spirit going to be part of this process?

From our perspective, it is through revelation from God that we can each know that Jesus is the Christ (as Christ told Peter, for example, in Matt. 16). Revelation can come in various forms, but wouldn't you agree that those seeking revelation from God might do well to pray for such guidance? Wouldn't you agree that prayer can help bring us closer to the Spirit and make it more likely for us to receive the gracious gifts of the Spirit?

Anonymous said...

Buckna, said,

"But in Luke 24, the two people walking to Emmaus were _already disciples_ of Jesus. They were disciples/followers of Christ BEFORE they experienced "warmed hearts"--the exact opposite of what Mormonism teaches."

Although you can parse the scriptures to small details and sift out what meaning you think is correct about the meaning of the scriptures my personal experiences run contrary to your above statement and would lead me to deny that Christ came in the Flesh.
I was never religious with the exception of attending bible school for about 4 summers with my grandparents. At the point I became an adult I was a pagan or a heathen in my believes and attitude toward God and man but I came to a cross roads in my life and was burdened with a convicted soul. Because I was burdened with my past I prayed to God to know if He existed and if He did I would do my best to follow him. As I did I felt this burring in my soul that you claim is only for disciples of Christ. One year later I was in college reading about Christ and again obtained this same powerful burring of the heart that testified that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. About a year from that time, I was introduced to the Book of Mormon and the story of Joseph Smith's vision of the Father and the His Son Jesus Christ, when again I obtained the same powerful spiritual experience of the Holy Spirit witnessing to me that Jesus Christ came in the flesh and was resurrected. After this point I have obtained many witnesses of the Holy Spirit about truth and wisdom of my brother Jesus Christ.

All of these experiences were obtained with out me knowing very much about the scriptures because I needed Gods blessings. He did not care how well I can parse the scriptures to prove my point nor did He wait for me to become his disciple to save me from my sins. If you were to prove what your are saying is correct about a burning in the heart as a witness of Christ you would be responsible for requiring me to deny the Holy Ghost and that Jesus Christ has came in the flesh. This would require me to become a son of perdition and an anti-Christ. Be careful what gospel you are preaching. To cause one of God children to lose a testimony of Jesus Christ is a serious matter. Preach only repentance and Christ that has come in the flesh to this generation.

Bookslinger said...

Thanks Jeff. I was going to remove that comment this morning after sleeping on it. You beat me to it.

Anonymous said...

David Buckna is a troll. You can stop feeding him now. It's a complete waste of time.

Dan the Man said...

The back and forth debate on this post is like watching a ping pong match. I am getting dizzy.

You have to know when the field is white and ready to harvest. Move on if it isn't. This was a concept taught us on my mission in Chile by our Area President, Elder Mickelson.

There are too many that are ready to hear the Word of God and listen to waste time arguing with a stone wall.

Nuff said 8^)

Anonymous said...

You do know that MormonCult.org is PRO LDS satire, right? Click on the links at the bottom--I found them very funny. An LDS Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that MormonCult.org is a creation of Jeff Lindsay's. It's permeated by his sense of humor.

Bookslinger said...

Jeff's stake (Appleton Wisconsin) recently got a new stake president, and it was announced in the "Church News" weekly newspaper.

It gave his name and employer, so you could look up either his (the stake pres) home address or his work address.

We could have some fun writing to the Appleton Wisconsin stake president telling him what a member of his stake has been doing online and what kind of web sites he runs.

Hopefully (and probably so) he already knows Jeff and would get a laugh out of it.

Anonymous said...

As a missionary my companion and I came across a protestant minister. He, as you can imagine, liked to talk more than listen. One thing he said was that every time he comes across Mormon missionaries they want to meet with him but their (the missionaries') leaders forbid them. Knowing that to be nonsense we took his card, gave him a call and set up a date. We met him at the local ward building and he didn't come alone--he brought two of his pastor colleagues.

All the details are unimportant, but needless to say the meeting went on for probably three hours. One topic of discussion I found particularly enlightening was the "grace vs works". Explaining their own beliefs the pastors said, "We believe that God chooses who will be saved." What seemed like an obvious rebuttal followed, "sounds like he chooses who he's going to damn to hell, huh? I'm not so sure I like that God" Their response: "oh no we can't assume that, the scriptures don't say that". "Sure out of pure neglect. If God doesn't choose to save me then he is very well choosing to damn me," I replied. Then before any more intelligent discussion could happen, they changed topics to some other LDS "scandal". Just like the bouncing ball on sing alongs they're onto the next line before you can finish singing along!

My point being is I find it so interesting that it doesn't matter if you have Biblical scriptures to back up your point, because in that case your interpretation is wrong. It doesn't matter if you have logic on your side, because common sense isn't spelled out word for word in cannon.

One of the biggest prophecies of the BoM and of the Mormon church is found in Moroni 10:3-5. There it is prophecied that if you have a sincere heart, real intent and ask God in the name of Christ he you will receive a confirmation of the truthfulness of the BoM. But rather than take up Moroni on his prophecy the insincere play games with "but the bible doesn't say I have to pray," and other shell games. Why can't those people just be honest and frank and say, "You know what I'm really not interested. There's nothing you can say, there's nothing that you can do, and there's nothing you can show me that would change my mind." It would quickly be discovered that the only reason they are continuing the conversation is because they, in fact, want to convert you. And that's when it's time for us to be frank and tell them nothing they can tell us will change our minds.

To you insincere people on the blog, be honest. Don't pretend like (I heard this on my mission all the time), "I would gladly join your church but there's just this one thing..." and then go on to spew out word for word the latest craze in anti-mormon garbage. We will gladly admit to you that you aren't going to change our minds. Then we can both stop wasting our time.

Part of our frustration, or in some cases thick sarcasm, is due to the fact that the same questions get asked over and over and over again, and despite the answer rarely does someone say, "Oh that makes sense, thanks for taking the time to resolve my concern".

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous of August 1, 2008,

There's nothing you can say that will get me to change my mind. Is that sincere enough for you. I will point out that not everyone is like the protestant minister you ran across. Some of us do pray and inquire with an open mind and sincere desire to know the truth. However, the truth some of us learn is that the BOM is untrue. You as a returned missionary should not take the position that our desire was not sincere, nor that our prayers did not ask the right question. God reveals truth in his own way, in his own time.

That said, I do agree that a great many folks do criticize your church, but are unable to back up their criticisms. In the same token, a great many LDS claim the truthfulness of their testimony, but can not say exactly what that testimony is. For example, this past Sunday was your fast and testimony meeting. If your ward is anything like my wife's ward, you had a great many folks stand up, and testify that "they know the BOM to be true, and that this is Christ's Church, and that JS was a prophet of God, and that President Monson is a prophet...etc." But, when it comes down to saying exactly what it is they believe and why...there's no real substance. Just some thank yous for their spouses and children, thank you's to the ward family, Christ lives, a few other words, and then I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. This is a pretty typical testimony that I hear routinely every month. I would also point out that in virtually every testimony I've heard over the years, Christ's name is the only reference to Christ in the entire testimony.

The point I'm making is that if you testify that you believe in Christ, you need to be able to articulate why and what that means regardless of your religious upbringing.

The other thing I would say is that we all need to be willing to listen to each other. Some of that "anti-mormon" information does have a factual background that bears explanation. JS and Polygamy for lack of a better and more recent example. Consider that at the beginning of D & C 132 in the headnote, there's information that says JS knew about this doctrine in 1831, but that it didn't become official church doctrine until 1843. The 12 year gap sure raises some question. Especially when you consider JS and others were practising polygamy for quite a few years before it became official church doctrine. Even more suspect to those of us outsiders is that polygamy seems to become official doctrine at about the same time the LDS church is taking heat for practicing polygamy.

I am not trying to be persecutory here, I am trying to point out that the negative sentiments run on both sides of the fence. I'll give you another example, and it is one I've pointed out in different post. A few years ago my wife and I went to general conference. I am not mormon, but her bishop secured tickets and it meant a lot for her to go, so I went with her. Conference was actually pretty cool, though I felt very much an outsider, kinda like being a black guy in a white redneck bar. But that isn't the point of my story.

What struck me as sad was that as you walk into the conference centre, on all sides of the streets are various protest groups. Some of these groups were very obviously strong fundamentalist protestant groups carrying the most hateful signs. Signs such as repent, or the LDS church is the devil's church, really nasty stuff. Also very unchristian stuff. At the same time, there were other groups of protestors who were very obviously mormons...the white shirts, clean cut ties and name badges really stand out. Now the second group was also carrying protest signs calling on folks to join the LDS church and stop practising. The LDS groups' signs were not as nasty or hateful, but the messages were just as unchristian in spirit in the sense that I don't think God would be proud of either group standing out there arguing about the truthfulness of their respective churches. I can't tell you if there were any Catholics there, we don't stand out in the crowd as much as LDS or Protestants, I imagine there were a few though.

Now the point of my story is that God would be very unhappy with all of us for our behaviour over our respective religions. There is a great dialogue in Romans 13 through 15 where St. Paul talks at great length about tolerance and working together to build up God's kingdom. Also part of that dialogue is a discussion about not doing anything to detract from someone else's practise of their faith. I've read it at length and try very hard to take to heart in my life what St. Paul is trying to say. Unfortunately, I think most of the anti-mormons who attack you guys, and to some extent you LDS guys seem to miss that entire section of the bible. We're none of us supposed to be fighting about which of us is right. What we are supposed to be doing is helping each other build up our faith in God. That is the only way we will ever really establish the Kingdom of God.

That's my thoughts on the subject. By the way, Bookslinger, thank you for the compliment. I'll consider developing a blog name.

Sincerely,

Catholic Defender

aletheia said...

To: David Buckna

The prophet Ezekiel provides another example of how true prophets may err or give prophecies of uncertain accuracy. In Ezekiel chapters 26, 27, and 28, we read that Tyre (a fortified island city) would be conquered, destroyed, and plundered by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The riches of Tyre would go to Babylon (Ez. 26:12). Nebuchadnezzar's army did lay siege to Tyre, and its inhabitants were afflicted, apparently so much that they shaved their heads bald, as prophesied in (Ez. 27:31). However, the 13-year Babylonian siege apparently was not quite as successful as Ezekiel had predicted, perhaps because the land-based tactics of Babylonian sieges were less effective against a fortified island city with significant maritime power. The result of the siege may have been a compromise or treaty rather than total destruction and plunder, for (Ez. 29:17-20) reports that the predicted plundering did not take place. Almost as if in compensation, the Lord now announces that He will give Egypt to the Babylonians, which is the theme of chapter 29. Here are verses (Ez. 29:17-20):

17 And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
18 Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.
20 I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD. (emphasis added)
Yes, Tyre is no more, but its complete destruction apparently did not occur during the Babylonian siege, and certainly the Babylonian army did not get the riches of Tyre as has been prophesied. It is Ezekiel himself who reports this "prophetic failure."[3]

The purpose in raising this issue is not to question the wisdom of the Lord, nor the truthfulness of the Bible, but to point out that an overly critical attitude and a strict application of Deut. 18:22 may reject even true, Biblical prophets. If we try hard enough to find reasons to reject a prophet, we will surely succeed—but beware lest we judge unwisely and reject those whom God has sent and anointed, even though they be mortal and fallible.

aletheia said...

And the angel who spoke to Samson's mother:

[In] Jud. 13:5, where it is recounted that an angel promised Samson's mother that Samson would "begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." No matter how liberal or expansive one wants to be with the facts of Israelite history (as recorded in the Bible or elsewhere), there is no way it can reasonably be concluded that Samson fulfilled this prophecy.
Not only did Samson fail to even "begin" to free Israel from the Philistines, but (1) there were times when he consorted with Philistine women, (2) he married a Philistine, (3) he himself never even led any Israelite troops against the Philistines, and (4) the Philistines eventually humiliated him.
Moreover, and most importantly, Israel actually lost ground to the Philistines during Samson's tenure. Judges 13-16 illustrates Philistine encroachment into Hebrew territory. The Samson narrative documents the eastward expansion of the Philistines by mentioning the Philistine presence in Timnah and Lehi, both in the strategic valley of Sorek (Achtemeier 1985:787-791). This Philistine expansion worsened the land shortage that eventually forced the Danites to migrate northward.
Of course, the nonfulfillment of Judges 13:5 can be attributed to Samson's failure to live according to his Nazarite calling. In addition to his sexual liaisons, he married a Philistine, ate unclean food, drank wine, and allowed his hair to be cut. Therefore, it could be said that the angel's prophecy was nullified by Samson's behavior. However, the angel placed absolutely no conditions on his promise that Samson would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines. He simply declared that Samson would do so.

aletheia said...

Other examples include Nathan:

In 2_Sam. 7:5-17, we read that the prophet Nathan unequivocally prophesied to David that through his son Solomon the Davidic empire would be established "forever," that the children of Israel would dwell in the promised land "and move no more," and that the "children of wickedness" would no longer afflict them. These things are quite clearly stated. No conditions are attached to these promises, none whatsoever.[4]
Yet this prophecy clearly did not prove successful if it is interpreted literally.

Joseph Smith made some amazingly correct prophecies.

The specific prophecies that are said to be false or incorrect by critics are typically based on hearsay or unreliable sources or are based on incorrect interpretations of what is said. There is no reliable evidence to say that Joseph Smith fails any sound test based on Deut. 18:22.

Many LDS critics attempt to condemn Joseph Smith using a standard that would, if applied to Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Nathan, an angel of God, and Jonah, also condemn the Old Testament as a fraud.

Lars said...

Catholic Defender,

I for one believe your sincerity and would not characterize you as anti-Mormon. Various posts of yours have shown a well-thought-out line of reasoning. (Not that we would agree on it of course, but that you do make it easy to understand your context.)

No missionary or other member, no matter how well-intentioned, should try to explain away your experience. I don't think any of us could explain why it's so diametrically opposed to our own experiences, any more than you could explain our experiences. I'm sure a casual observer would see this interchange and conclude that we're all just fabricating stuff on our own, however I think we can both agree on this: salvation is personal. It should never depend on what anyone else's experience is.

Zachary said...

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ which comprises of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints. it offers freedom from hatred, unkindness. would the Savior deliberately try to destroy something good? I know for myself that the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is the true gospel once again on the earth and the truth can be found within the walls of the church and not on an anti sight. I leave this hoping that it will help someone remember who they are or perhaps feel the sting of incorrect tradition.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zachary,

I'm glad you're all fired up about your religion, but let me pose this question to you, and I'm not trying to be insulting here. Without going into the party line ranting about how you know the church is true, and you know that JS was a prophet, and that Tom Monson is a prophet, and that the BOM is true, tell me exactly what it is that you believe about Christ. Also, tell me exactly what it is that that means.

Catholic Defender

twitterpated said...

Here's the kind of thing I find on Christian sites that want to say Mormons aren't Christian:

Did you know Mormons don't believe in hell? Forget about the fact that the Book of Mormon is even more explicit about the reality of hell than the Bible ... Mormons don't believe in it.

Did you know that Mormons don't worship Christ? They say he's a spirit brother of Satan rather than Jehovah, the Almighty One.

Did you know Mormons think they should obey God rather than sit back and be saved by grace? This means they are doing work and taking credit for their own salvation! They don't believe in the Savior at all -- they just believe in obeying him. Wait ... I mean they believe in taking glory unto themselves.

Did you know Mormons explain baptisms for the dead in one sentence -- that they are work done for people who are dead -- rather than in a long philosophical diatribe as meaningless as it is long-winded? The Mormons have to be wrong!