Posted by: Jay | May 22, 2008

What I believe, don’t believe and am unsure of.

What I believe:

  1. God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are three distinct beings but one God in purpose.
  2. Priesthood is necessary to perform ordinances like baptism.
  3. The priesthood is not necessary to heal the sick. The most important thing is faith.
  4. The Bible is not perfect but is the inspired writings of prophets and disciples of Christ.
  5. The Mormon Church is not perfect and in some areas has been and may continue to be mislead by the prejudices of its leaders, but on the whole continues to move in a positive direction.
  6. The Holy Ghost can lead us to truth through prayer and study.
  7. Polygamy is not a sin if sanctioned by God.
  8. The Christ of the New Testament is my Savior from sin and death.
  9. The Word of Wisdom is good advice but drinking beer, coffee or smoking is a personal choice and God isn’t really that preoccupied with it, if done in moderation.
  10. Abortion, if not murder, is close to it but is justified in very rare circumstances after careful thought and prayer.
  11. The Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants (Mormon scriptures) contain many inspired words that can help people better themselves.
  12. The LDS Church is lead by men that sincerely seek guidance from God.
  13. As LDS members we should be knowledgeable and truthful about all parts of our history.
  14. God used evolution to create us.

What I don’t believe:

  1. Joseph Smith literally translated the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price.
  2. Native Americans are Lamanites.
  3. The LDS priesthood ban was instituted by God.
  4. Blacks were ever or are inferior or more unworthy than other LDS members.
  5. Brigham Young ordered the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
  6. The Bible is perfect and should be read literally.
  7. The Ensign and talks of general authorities, even the prophet, are scripture.
  8. Drinking Coke is a sin.
  9. Tattoos and two sets of earrings (for guys or girls) will keep you out of heaven.
  10. Polygamy is required to enter the Celestial kingdom (a.k.a. Heaven).
  11. Christ’s atonement isn’t enough for some sins.
  12. The earth is 5,000 years old.
  13. The Holy Spirit can only be felt in Mormon meetings and other Christian denominations can’t have the Spirit of God present.
  14. That Mormons have any more access to the Holy Spirit than other Christians.

What I’m unsure of:

  1. The Book of Mormon is an actual historical account of Native Americans.
  2. A prophet can have major character flaws.
  3. The Pearl of Great Price contains the actual writings of Moses and Abraham.
  4. The manner in which Joseph and subsequent leaders practiced polygamy was appropriate.
  5. The current account of the first vision is accurate.
  6. LDS prophets have actual face to face communication with Christ.

I know there are probably many other things I could add to each of these lists. I’ve thought a lot about the wisdom of posting my personal beliefs, but I can say I’ve thought a lot about them and have come to my own conclusions based on my personal spiritual and life experiences. Some may think them crazy or naive, others may think they show a lack of faith. However, what really matters to me is that I can be honest with myself.


Responses

  1. This is very good to draw a list like this. I have started to question all religions and even the story of Jesus.

    Add what you believe to my list of what I am not sure of.

    I have even decided that I do not believe it is a sin to drink wine.

  2. Jay,

    The fundamentalists think the Earth is 6,000 years old, not 5,000. Either way it’s bunk.

    As for me I would move #2 of the unsure category to the believe category, prophets can have major character flaws. I would also move #6 in the unsure category to don’t believe. How can I possibly believe something when the no prophet in decades has even claimed such a thing? I don’t buy the “it’s too sacred to talk about line,” if that’s so then we should remove Joseph Smith History, Sections 76 and 110 of the D&C, and all of 3 Nephi from the canon.

    One last thing if you phrase #3 in the unsure category slightly differently you can move it to another category, but I’m not going to tell you which one.

  3. :(

  4. I like your lists. That’s a something I would do to organize everything in my head. Actually, do you mind if I borrow your list idea? Of course my lists would be different. I would place the same things in the believe category as you. I would move or reword some things in the don’t believe and unsure category. And I’d keep some of them in the don’t believe list too.

    Regarding unsure #6 – Is it a common belief that the prophets communicate face-to-face with Christ?

    David or Jay – how do you reword unsure item #3 to move it?

  5. Jay,

    Here is a question to ponder about “the priesthood” that I hope will start a good discussion.

    Where did John the Baptist get his authority to baptize?

  6. Just quickly, Jay, I can’t believe 1, 3, 4, 6, 11, 13. On others, I would agree but infused with different meaning.

    And where did you get the 5,000 number?

    Have a good weekend.

  7. Jay
    Apologies if this comes out the wrong way ?

    in your ‘I believe’ category you said

    “6 Polygamy is not a sin if sanctioned by God. ”

    Nothing is a Sin if sanctioned by God.Anyone can justify anything by claiming it is from God.The early LDS leaders would justify anything in the name of their perceived God , even deceiving their own church members , so why should it be different today?

    Look at the way Polygamy was effectively enforced by the LDS leaders of that day . Calling, threatening , conditioning,scaring, coercing young teen girls into polygamous marriages with very OLD Mormon leaders…. claiming that it was their purpose in life and how they would effectively ruin their eternal welfare by disobeying ..and if it wasn’t for the Law then it would still be happening today ( FLDS ).

    Are we really supposed to believe that God/Jesus ordered this , just because those in leadership doing it said so ?

    Warren Jeffs has just as much right to his claims as the early LDS leaders had. Cult leaders will get away with anything members allow them to.

    When Strang led the original other half of early LDS saints who didn’t follow Brigham Young to Salt Lake , he also later started a polygamy system for himself seeing how people are easily (mis)led by supposed Godly inspired authorised figures .He ended up being murdered as well .No suprises there.

    Though I do agree with many of the things you have said and it’s still difficult for me to see you really as a ‘Mormon’ …. I do prefer your Mormonism however to the one Joseph Smith introduced to the world.

    Maybe you are part of a new inevitable emerging ‘Reformed and Revised LDS’ RRLDS :) church which ultimately will go the way of the RLDS once the younger generation move up the ranks of Leadership.

  8. David and others,

    I merely threw out a number that is somewhere close to what I’ve heard from many sources over the years , Mormon and non-Mormon. It wasn’t my purpose to sound authoritarian on the subject. Whether 4000, 5000, 6000, or 10,000 years old it really doesn’t matter to me, my point would be the same – I don’t believe the earth is that young.

    Todd,
    I would expect for you to disagree with me on the points you listed. Many of those are major reasons why I just can’t make the leap to a protestant Church, even though I believe many other things they teach and know they are good people.

    Standing Solus Christus,

    By you frowning face I assume that you don’t agree with my list (which is fine). What don’t you approve of?

    Sunlize,

    Of course you can do the same thing. I don’t have a copyright, and I’m honored that my post inspired you to do something similar. I’d like to see your list.

    The seeing Christ face to face comment I made in the I don’t believe category is based on conversations I’ve had over the years with other members of the Church. I even had one roommate at Ricks College (A LDS School now known as BYU-Idaho) say he believed that some Mission Presidents had see Christ. Now I wouldn’t be one to say it’s not possible, I just think it’s highly improbable. I think Davids response is a valid one and there are probably a good number of members that agree with him. However, my experience has been that many members do believe that the current prophet, speaks directly with Christ and at times visits with him personally face to face. I lean more toward David’s way of thinking.

    BR,

    I don’t know where John got his authority. I can only assume from God. That is a good question and one that I’ll have to research. Do you know the answer? What do apologist say about it?

    EJ,

    No worries. I know how you feel about the whole polygamy thing. I agree that the way it was practiced is troubling. I’m not sure I completely understand why it happened that way. The wall I keep hitting though is the practice of polygamy in the Bible. If that wasn’t there I think I could soundly reject it. In my view it not only is practiced by prophets but sanctioned by God. So I have a hard time condemning its practice by the LDS Church.

    I can see how you would say that Warren Jeffs’ and Strang’s polygamy was just as valid as Joseph’s and Brigham’s. It is easy to say that if you are not a believer and view all practice of polygamy equally. I do not. I think it is necessary that it be sanctioned by God as in the OT. Who has God’s permission? I think that is up to the individual to decide.

  9. Jay,

    Regarding John TB, I’m not sure what the answer is. I assume he got his authority from other Jewish priesthood holders of the time, but need to research. On the surface you may think this is a trivial question, but I think the answer could have interesting implications.

  10. I’m wondering about your belief that Priesthood is necessary. Do you think priesthood has to be organized in the same way it is in the LDS church? Or even the Catholic church? Or do you think the informality and the unstructured “priesthood of all believers” is sufficient? (male and female, jew and greek, slave and free)

    The Priesthood is something I think is an interesting sticking point between Mormons and Protestants. No Mormon really joins the LDS church because of its Priesthood, but it seems to be something Mormons clutch on to quite ferociously, even as faith in Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon fades. And I’m not even talking about your personal situation.

  11. After doing some research I found that both Zachariah and Elizabeth were descended from Aaron and thus JTB automatically held the Aaronic Priesthood. (The Aaronic priesthood was an inherited birthright.)

    My point here has nothing to do with my beliefs regarding priesthood authority. It just hit me one day that literally thousands of men at the time of Jesus held the Hebrew priesthood.

    LDS claim that all priesthood authority ceased to exist when the apostles were killed. Now it seems this is obviously not true. All the Jews that held the priesthood during that time, didn’t just have that priesthood revoked upon the death of the Apostles. This means that there was nothing to be restored. The claim that JTB appeared to JS and OC to restore the Aaronic priesthood, simply can’t be true. It still existed after the Apostles and continues to exist today thru those same descendants of Aaron. This is a Jewish priesthood that preceded Jesus. Jesus did not start this with the Apostles. It already existed. The same is true with the Melchizedek and Patriarchal priesthoods.

  12. Tim,
    Given my present knowledge of the Bible and LDS Scripture (which I admit may not be perfect, even by LDS standards) I am persuaded to believe that priesthood has to be given to someone by a person that holds that authority already. So you can’t just start a church because you feel called, you must have the priesthood to perform the necessary ordinances that go along with the church, such as baptism. I think Martin Luther understood this very concept and that’s why he didn’t start his own church he knew he didn’t have the authority.

    As for women holding the priesthood I don’t have any problem with that other than the scriptures seem to speak against it. I’m not sure if this is a product of who wrote the scriptures or if it is real but men are clearly the ones leading and guiding the Church with women taking a more passive role. Is there precedent for women having the priesthood in the Bible? Apparently, the Catholics don’t think so and the LDS Church doesn’t either, I’m not sure about other Christian denominations but the idea of women having the priesthood seems more contemporary to me. Again my problem is not with women having the priesthood, I think they are every bit as capable as a man. My only problem is finding precedent for it. Otherwise it looks a lot like something of man rather than God, especially when it comes to Churches that don’t believe in modern revelation (i.e. The Bible is it).

    Priesthood authority may not be the main reason that people convert to Mormonism but it does play a significant role. I’ve heard many converts talk about the priesthood authority and how they thought the LDS Church is, as it claims, the only Christian Church to hold that authority. I concede though that this may not be a big issue for some converts.

    BR,
    Thanks for looking that up. Interesting idea about the priesthood being with the Jews. It sounds like though that it is only the Aaronic priesthood that was inherited, is that right? So maybe there was a lose of the higher priesthood among the Jews. Alternatively, you could say that the priesthood was not found among Christians (Jews weren’t going to give the priesthood, as they knew it, to a gentile).

  13. Originally, Christianity was not a separate religion, but was a Christian sect of Judaism. It was Paul (not Jesus) who opened up this sect to include the gentiles. The original Apostles continued to practice Judaism while spreading Christ’s teachings. One could really argue that the Apostacy started with Paul but I digress.

    Researching the Melchizadek priesthood is not a trivial project. There is very little known about it. Some things I have been able to uncover is that there is evidence that Melchizadek was Shem (son of Noah) who would have been over 500 years old when he was met by Abraham. In that time the eldest of a family (I think this would qualify) was considered the priest and eventually king as the family/tribe grew large enough to warrant such. Melchizadek was the king of Salem (old name for Jerusalem) so this starts to fit. He would have preceded Levi so this would have made his priesthood greater than the Aaronic priesthood which is supported by the fact that Abraham paid tithings to him and received a blessing from him.

    Another thing of note is that Jesus held the Melchizadek priesthood as a descendant of David (who was not a Levite) and did not hold the Aaronic priesthood. This is mentioned in the NT. This shows that the Aaronic priesthood was NOT a prepatory priesthood leading to the Melchizadek priesthood, but rather was a shadow (lesser) of the M priesthood. You could not hold both, only descendants of Aaron could hold the Aaronic priesthood as set up by the law of Moses. Also, Hebrews states that the Aaronic priesthood was fulfilled by Jesus and was no longer needed, and that Jesus was the everlasting High Priest after the order of Melchizadek. Many take this to mean that he also fulfilled the Melchizadek priesthood and took the office of High Priest upon himself ending that office on earth (up until that time, there was only one High Priest at a time).

    In addition, Ephraim and Mannaseh were both descendants of Ham and as such were denied the priesthood (per BofA…at least prior to 1978), yet the majority of priesthood holders in the LDS church are of those 2 tribes…things that make you go hmmm.

    All of my research uncovers more and more conflict with what the LDS teach about the priesthood, its offices and prerequisites and the restoration of it.

  14. Bishop Rick,

    Have you read Michael Quinns “Origin of Power”. If you do then you really have to scratch your head about the priesthood. He makes it pretty clear that the Melchizadek preisthood was not restored when the church said it was. Nobody had ever even heard about the whole Peter, James and John thing until 4+ years after it happened and when the church was organized it was not even brought up at all……Even Brigham Young himself said a couple of times that it couldn’t have happened before the church was organized.

    Like many things in Mormon history, it seems that a lot of the information was added after the fact so everything flowed nicely, but it didn’t really happen that way.

  15. Josephine,

    I have not read “Origin of Power” but I did come across several LDS quotes that bear out what you are saying. It has gotten to the point that I don’t believe anything said by LDS apologists and leaders regarding church history…and that is sad.

  16. I am persuaded to believe that priesthood has to be given to someone by a person that holds that authority already.

    And can Jesus or the Holy Spirit not be the ones who hold that authority to give that priesthood to who they wish?

    There is something “magical” about the way Mormons view the priesthood. Like it’s its own power.

  17. Is it more magical to say Christ himself laid hands on someone and gave them the priesthood, as in the Bible, or to say that you just somehow are endowed with it? I would think the latter is more magical in my view, whereas the former seems more real and practical.

    All Mormons I know would agree that the priesthood is God’s power, not theirs. Real or not I’ve heard many firsthand accounts of people being healed by the priesthood in the LDS Church just as I have heard firsthand accounts elsewhere so either the priesthood is not required to heal (which I personally believe – I’ll add that to my list under “I believe” #3), or there is a placebo effect, or the people that say they are healed are the lucky ones.

  18. In my years in the Evangelical world, there were so many times when I heard Evangelical leaders talk about “My ministry, my ministry, my ministry.” Leaders of large churches would say this, as well as small churches. This kind of talk always grated on my ears like nails on a chalkboard. It really gets on my nerves. As far as I was concerned, it is not “your” ministry. If you’re a Protestant clergyman, you are a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is about Him, not you. I’m beginning to think that this is just a cultural difference between Evangelicals and LDS/RLDS or CoC. I don’t think the Evangelicals meant to sound the way they came across to me. The thing I like best about the traditional RLDS priesthood is that there are plenty of them, and plenty of different offices: Teacher, Deacon, Priest, and then Elder, with all of the higher offices in the Melchezideck priesthood. In a Protestant church, even one with a huge number of members, there are usually no more than about five or six, pastors! For thousands of people! How can five or six pastors visit all the people in hospital who need to be visited and who need the laying on of hands? You end up getting this senior pastor, who is usually looked on as a Godlike figure, and whom everyone wants him to pay attention to them, then people’s feelings get hurt because the Senior pastor can’t be there for everyone all the time. Well, duh. It is to me, a system which is set up to lead to pain, heartbreak, and disappointment. And also a system where the lay people are looked down on. Everyone is wanting to hang out with the one of the pastor’s or their wives, because that is a badge of honor. Whereas in the traditional RLDS church, the priesthood are servants. The priesthood are from the laypeople, there isn’t this big class divide. I imagine it is even better in the LDS church, because my understanding is that they ordain every worthy male. RLDS never did do that, it seems to me like traditionally maybe 40% of the men were ordained. But enough are ordained so that everyone’s needs can be taken care of. And the “Pastor” of an RLDS congregation is elected by the congregation every two years. He is from among the congregation, not a stranger that a committee hired, or the national church organization forced on the local church! (This is very important to me.) I have had the CoC elders administer laying on of hands to me and to my daughter the past few years. Once was after I had suffered a miscarriage. I told the Elders beforehand that I didn’t know whether or not it was God’s will that I would have a child, I just wanted to be at peace with what God had for me. After they had administered to me, both of the Elders told me that they felt strongly that I would go on to have a child. I did! The last time was when my daughter was about 18 months old, she broke out in horrible hives. I can imagine taking her up to the Baptist church for administration! People would just say to me, “Get that kid out of here!” My daughter was healed from the hives.
    I’ve never understood the thinking that says that just because you have a seminary degree, that means you are a holier and better person than someone who doesn’t. And the “Priesthood of all believers thing,” I think that this just cheapens the priesthood. In practice, it’s not true. Does the ordinary layperson in the Evangelical world have the right to take the oil and annoint the sick? If not, they don’t have the priesthood. If not, then the Evangelicals should make sure that there are enough clergymen around to meet all the laypeoples’ needs. If they don’t, they are not being the servants God calls them to be, in my opinion.

  19. Whether you are born with the priesthood (Aaronic) or have it bestowed upon you (Melchizadek) by laying on of hands, it is magical. I don’t see the difference. In both cases a magical power is transferred from one person to another.

    That said, I believe the magical transfer via the laying on of hands is less prejudicial. You don’t have to have the right ancestors or the right color of skin (in theory) to receive it.

    My personal belief is that the Priesthood doesn’t exist. It is made up. Sure there are documented cases of people healed after receiving a priesthood blessing, but there are countless more that were healed without one.

    Also, I have never seen an amputee healed with a priesthood blessing. Are amputees less worthy?

  20. Lisa,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m always interested in how the RLDS Church does things (as well as other Christian denominations).

    BR,
    The old “God hates amputees” line huh? :)

    I can understand why you view any priesthood as magical, I guess it kind of is in some sense.

  21. BR
    I agree …… The LDS Priesthood is no better or no worse than any other claimed divine power ….

    It still didn’t deter my bishop from reminding us in EQ once that we ( myself exluded) had the Power to raise the dead through the Priesthood !

    Yet when I enquired of raising my dad , everyone seemed very certain that is was not possible !?!?
    ……………and I mean the idea was refuted swiftly at once ! Not even a suggestion of High priests gathering In Faith to try or anything :(

    I must admit it would be kind of eerie if it did happen though …..

    I think I can understand it in my fathers case as he died in old age , however the Mission President was telling us all about how the church has an answer for all lifes questions, sorrows and woes etc ….

    As an example ,he told us of two missionaries knocking on a door to be met by a grieving lady . She had just lost her baby daughter to death :(

    But the missionaries were able to give her an absolute certain answer , ” Your daughter is in Celestial Kingdom with Heavenly Father “……. sounds great but why were they not able to raise her from the dead or even try ?

    Why so little faith from members who say they know without a shadow of a doubt its all true etc ?

    and the catch to it all wasn’t mentioned …. ” Your daughter is in Celestial Kingdom with Heavenly Father , but if you don’t join our church and pay Tithe and obey our Leaders then you won’t be with her as you may end up in a lesser Kingdom “…..

  22. Oh EJ, must you be a pessimist to the end?

  23. The amputee line makes me laugh too, but you have to admit that you have never seen one healed :)

  24. Real or not I’ve heard many firsthand accounts of people being healed by the priesthood in the LDS Church

    I guess the question is ‘was it the priesthood that healed them?’ Specifically was it the LDS priesthood? Perhaps God was answering the prayers of the wives of the priesthood holders.

    Does the ordinary layperson in the Evangelical world have the right to take the oil and annoint the sick?

    Yes, they do. And the right to preform baptisms and communion. But I’ll concede that not every Evangelical church acts like it.

  25. Good point Tim. I don’t believe that the priesthood is necessary to heal someone. Faith in Christ is the most important thing (What I believe #3). I don’t think Mormons can argue this because there are instances in our history where women have healed through prayer. That’s why I don’t completely understand the emphasis placed on calling priesthood holders to give blessings to the sick. I view it as largely symbolic. Perhaps it helps the person receiving the blessing increase in faith that God will hear their prayer. Really, I’m not sure what the difference really is. I have to believe that God is not going to ignore a faithful prayer for healing simply because the person giving it is not a priesthood holder. So when I hear people from other denominations saying they were healed in their Church I don’t have a problem with that. It just shows how loving God really is.

    BR,
    I’ve heard some counter that Jesus healed the solider who had his ear cut off by Peter. Not a limb, but an ear could be considered an appendage.:) Regardless, it is a valid point that Atheists bring up and one that I have considered, but ultimately don’t agree with …. Funny yes …but I don’t agree with the idea behind the statement (Christ pretended to heal people by having his followers fake being blind, lame, etc.).

  26. What do you mean by, “literally” translated the BoM? Perhaps I’m missing something or it’s still too early for me. :P

    Do Protestants really believe the Bible is perfect? Whoa, perhaps they should read up on what inerrancy means. A great link is from Spurgon:

    http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/chicago.htm

  27. Jay

    I know my comments are pesimistic .There was a time that I had a ‘testimony’ of Jesus Christ as The Saviour ( though not a member of the LDS ) , I learnt to recognise this is what it was in the LDS church.

    For the first few months my testimony shot up , I thought I was with ‘my people’ ! amazing it was .’They have found me ‘ etc Yes those were the feelings !

    Similarly I thought I would have a future with the girl who introduced me to the church afterall I recognised her ( a stranger ) ! She told me how it was meant to happen , her ‘finding’ me , the whole purpose for her mission in her latter years …..

    All these ‘directed of God’ experiences !

    Then I started learning the church hsitory and events and it all started to go downhill ….. the church started to look like a deception , the girl of my dreams started to run away at my questions even though she promised she never would , afterall she said the harder the questions the more research she does and the more her testimony grows !

    Well she too is shell shocked I guess and now blames me :(
    or at least it seems that possibly her Bishop unable to answer her enquiries in response to me has told her to not communicate with me ..

    Its the same in my ward .They are having difficulty in manipulating a convert into ‘Tithing’ and ‘Priesthood’ and yet again he told me they have advised him to ‘keep away from me ‘ ..

    He rebuked them of course for that and reminded them of my good genuine character .

    And all because he is asking them the hard questions and they are basically freaking out !

    BR

    The amputee thing is very valid .This is a stumbling block for me and is worthy of serious consideration .I don’t like what I have concluded so far though :(

    I still want to believe in The Saviour ! So I’m going through some of that LDS style cognitive dissonance myself :)

  28. I forgot to mention that the reason the LDS have the Priesthood and teach that its the only valid source and authority to act for God is because they want their members to have to rely and depend of the church .The lessons I attended seem to be more preoccupied with constantly reminding members that only The LDS Priesthood has Authority to act for God and everyone else has NO Authority whatsoever .Their ordinances invalid and rituals in vain!

    ….and also so they can keep women under the thumb of Priesthood men who dominate and control the church ….

    Fancy being taught that your husband will call you out of the grave and not Jesus Christ ! Hence he will need to know the womans temple name but she may not need to know her husbands !

    Any TBM women will be too scared to upset her husband less he not call her out of the grave ! Shocking control.

    In Brigham Youngs time its obvious it was used to dominate the teen girls into polygamous marriages to the very old men who claimed that Authority.

    Waren Jeffs claims the same Authority , thats how is able to marry polygamously underage girls .Their parents must be brainwashed to think this is all from God and that they will be in the Highest Celestial Kingdom for obeying this .

    I feel sorry for those teen girls to be abused this way.

  29. When the LDS Church says that Joseph translated by the power of God, most members take this to mean God gave him the power to understand Egyptian hieroglyphics. I don’t believe that is the way it happened. A more accurate understanding of it would be that he was given the BOM through revelation. That is the only way I can understand the historical accounts. Now whether you believe he actually received revelation is another story. This is something I’m still unsure of.

  30. EJ said “Any TBM women will be too scared to upset her husband less he not call her out of the grave ! Shocking control.”

    I guess my wife hasn’t got the memo yet that she’s supposed to be scared of me. EJ. I know there are things that are annoying about the LDS faith (as in most faiths) but you tend to exaggerate them until they are blown out of proportion. I know many strong willed Mormon women that are not afraid of their husbands and act very independently of them. So to say that the priesthood is used to scare them is hyperbole.

    “…the reason the LDS have the Priesthood and teach that its the only valid source and authority to act for God is because they want their members to have to rely and depend of the church.”

    Is this what the Catholic Church does too? Isn’t this what most churches do, “follow us or you’ll go to Hell”? Come on everybody is doing it, why should we be any different :)

    “And all because he is asking them the hard questions and they are basically freaking out !”

    If only members were more aware of their true history. It saddens me when I hear reports like yours, where Bishops or even lay members “freak out” over tough issues. The correct response would be to say, “I don’t know, let’s study it out together”. This is more honest and practical. I do sympathize with the fact that they Church doesn’t do enough to educate its members about LDS history. I think this is just in the beginning stages of changing and its exciting to watch. Critics of the LDS Church tend to bring up the same arguments over and over and if members are taught these arguments and told we don’t have all the facts and how “tricky” history can be sometimes, I think there would be less disaffections with the Church.

    “I feel sorry for those teen girls to be abused this way.”

    Me too. I still have a lot of research to do on polygamy and the early Mormon Church. What I’ve learned from Joseph’s marriages is troubling depending on how you look at it. Since you continue to bring polygamy up I can see that it disturbs you greatly and I can’t blame you for that. However, in my mind polygamy practiced under God’s guidance can’t be a sin because of the substantial evidence in the OT. I still don’t understand how Christians condemn polygamy when it is so clearly practiced in the OT by prominent figures like Abraham, David, Jacob as well as others. Obviously, LDS members don’t believe that Warren Jeffs has authority to practice polygamy and is doing it for his own selfish reason.

  31. Jay, I don’t think the premise behind the amputee argument is that Jesus used followers to trick the masses…at least that is not my take. My take is that the healings were not the cause of priesthood blessings or prayer or any other supernatural occurrence. I have read that unexplained cures are statistically normal. In other words, the occurrences are very low and all the failures are ignored.

    Regarding polygamy in the OT, I am not aware of any scripture in the OT that declares that polygamy was necessary for exhaltation. My perception is that it was tolerated at best. This is hardly an argument for condonement or for the institution as created by JS. I share EJ’s utter disdain for polygamy in any form and in any time period.

    Summary: (IMO)

    There is not nor ever has been any magical priesthood power that gives one man the ability to be a “god” on earth.

    Polygamy never was and never will be a commandment from God…something that needed to be restored. Polygamy alone is enough to prove to me that JS was a self-centered lying fraud.

    I hope I didn’t offend anyone because that was not my intent. I just abhor (strong word) any form of male-dominated injustice and these 2 things are poster children for such.

  32. Jay

    You say I exaggerate many things , I can understand why you would say that and for some people that may be true….

    But I speak for the many weak people in the LDS faith who really do live in fear .There are single women who are stressed out for not being ‘sealed’ to anyone ( ie Priesthood husband) .

    They are told not to worry because God will find them one in the next life .But there is no official doctrine in the standard works to support that.

    And many are trying to reconcile sharing a husband in the next life , believing that if thats the only option to get to heaven for them then it makes sense somehow even if its killing them inside thinking about it.

    Both my Bishops are wierdo freaks in my opinion .The first one always used to go round quoting an Isaiah scripture which says something like ‘ the day will come when 7 women will grab hold of one mans hand ‘ indicating to the women and brethren what was coming for them and my second Bishop told me he was trying to talk about his future polygamy with his wife and it just makes her tear her hair out basically and she won’t discuss it with him…

    I don’t call this happiness in The Gospel . This is the reality of Mormonsim for its members.Its always there in the back of everyone’s minds ( at least for those who are familiar with it that is and are not still on milk) … For most of the men its good news I guess… a blessing for obedience to the church…..

    What the LDS Gospel is really about is that families are NOT together , and unless you pay the LDS church( tithe) and follow their leaders and obey them and that includes giving your teenage daughters into arranged ‘called’ polygamous marriage and sex with the very old Priesthood Authoritive leaders then you wont’ be with your family.

    Thats a fact and it was practiced and enforced in the past and Waren Jeffs is showing us how it was done.

    The reality is that if the Christian Gospel is real and true then families are together and will be as natural consequence .What is the point of any kind of salvation without family members.I never beleived that I wouldn’t be with my family after death until the Mormon church told me so.

    I aslo believe that the unrighteous dominion of the LDS religion affects you , and it certainly affects BR.

    LDS marriages and families are at risk just because someone finds out that the church has been deceptive and not being honest with its teachings . That is a real fear for many members and I’m really glad that it hopefully won’t affect your family in the long term.

    Many in your predicament have not been so fortunate.

    I think Mormons as individuals are good people on the whole but just victims of a religion which is a potential destroyer of families .

    And as far as Solomon and his 700 wives and 300 concubines are concerned .

    He was a Rat and a scoundrel and that no God commanded him to behave that way or commanded those women.In the bible he is given as the classic example of what not to be in life… and not what God commanded.

    He even makes Warren Jeffs look like a saint in comparison.

    All the talk of Free Agency in church !?!?!? Where was Free Agency for the early LDS women/girls ?

  33. Jay, I don’t think the premise behind the amputee argument is that Jesus used followers to trick the masses…at least that is not my take.

    I think that is how the majority of Christians take that statement. Your thoughts on it are unique and I do like them better.

    My take is that the healings were not the cause of priesthood blessings or prayer or any other supernatural occurrence.

    I don’t think the priesthood is supernatural. I think many people do have this view but that’s how people always view things they don’t understand. I believe that Christ had a knowledge that we just don’t have. He understands how it’s done. Since we don’t a lot of people just assume some mystical power is at work.

    I have read that unexplained cures are statistically normal. In other words, the occurrences are very low and all the failures are ignored.

    Yes, but if you don’t believe that Christ was faking the healings then you either believe he possessed great knowledge or he must have been a lucky guy to have so many people healed on command (Blind, lame, leprosy, possessed, issue of blood).

    Regarding polygamy in the OT, I am not aware of any scripture in the OT that declares that polygamy was necessary for exhaltation.

    I agree there is not such scripture. Personally, I don’t believe what Brigham Young taught was true. The fact that God “tolerated” it (I believe he did more than that 2 Samuel 12:7-9) proves to me that there are at least times when he OKs it.

    I have no desire to live polygamy, so I don’t want anyone to think I’m defending it because I want several wives. My wife and I talked about this last night because of the gay marriage and polygamous marriage cases making their way to the Supreme Court. Eventually, the Supreme Court will have to decide if the state has the right to define marriage. If it says no, then theoretically polygamy could come back (a scary thought). I asked my wife what she would do if the Church reinstituted polygamy. She said it would be a matter of serious prayer and fasting. I’m not sure I would be able to be so generous. Anyway, that’s a big IF and given the current state of thinking among LDS members I don’t think it is likely to happen.

    I share EJ’s utter disdain for polygamy in any form and in any time period.

    I understand and sympathize with you both. My argument is purely based on precedent and not on any desire to see polygamy practiced again.

    I hope I didn’t offend anyone because that was not my intent.

    You didn’t offend me. I understand completely how someone could feel the way you do. I feel that way myself on occasion. Both of these topics are difficult for me to understand and I am pulled in two directions – my perception of the way things should be and the way the scriptures lays them out. Since I still believe in God and the Bible I am obligated to take them into consideration when thinking about these things even if I disagree myself. What would I do if ever faced with the decision to practice polygamy? I don’t think I could and it would probably be the last straw for me, as it was for many of the early LDS members.

    EJ said: There are single women who are stressed out for not being ’sealed’ to anyone ( ie Priesthood husband).

    I agree that this does happen a lot among the single women in the Church.

    They are told not to worry because God will find them one in the next life .But there is no official doctrine in the standard works to support that.

    One of the several rumors that I abhor in the Church. We make stuff up to feel better about tough situations. Although if we are honest all Christian religions I know about do this. They say something like, “God will take care of it”.

    … my second Bishop told me he was trying to talk about his future polygamy with his wife and it just makes her tear her hair out basically and she won’t discuss it with him…

    What a jerk! Even if you believe what BY taught, why would you needlessly talk about something you haven’t even attained yet? It’s rather arrogant of him.

    … and that includes giving your teenage daughters into arranged ‘called’ polygamous marriage and sex with the very old Priesthood Authoritive leaders then you wont’ be with your family.

    I have to totally disagree with the above; this may have happened in the past but has not been the case for over a century.

    Thats a fact and it was practiced and enforced in the past and Waren Jeffs is showing us how it was done.

    Warren Jeffs is a tyrant and pedophile. His brand of polygamy and leadership is much different, thought similar in some aspects, to the polygamy practiced by the early LDS Church.

    The reality is that if the Christian Gospel is real and true then families are together and will be as natural consequence .

    This is not what many Christians believe. They are content with being angels and not knowing their spouse, children, relations, etc.

    What is the point of any kind of salvation without family members.

    I agree. This is one of the doctrines of the LDS Church that I love. No other Christian Church teaches this EJ. Some Christians just like to fancy that they will be with their families but that’s not what is taught, in fact, the opposite is taught.

    LDS marriages and families are at risk just because someone finds out that the church has been deceptive and not being honest with its teachings .

    I think you are right. Since I have learned more complete version of LDS history I have always been an advocate for the Church doing more to be more open and to educate its members about its history.

    Many in your predicament have not been so fortunate.

    I believe families separate over these things because one or both of the spouses is being selfish and prideful. Some TBM spouses get so offended and defensive that they ruin their once wonderful marriage. Some disaffected members become so belligerent and condemning that they in effect do the same thing. There is a happy medium where both can have a clear conscience doing what they feel is right while respecting the other. I’m sure BR has faced this, as I have and is doing his best to respect his wife and her beliefs.

  34. “If the Christian gospel is real and true then families are together and will be as a natural consequence.” and “What is the point of any kind of salvation without family members?”

    Only if all family members are SAVED. Evangelicals do not teach that families will be together forever. Only saved people will be in heaven, no one else. As regards to your second question, I think that is a good question, and one that no Evangelical ever answered to my satisfation. I don’t care about being in heaven with all the Christians throughout all the centuries. If I can’t be with my Mom or my Dad (Mom was a United Methodist, by the way, she considered herself a Christian, but some Evangelicals would disagree.) then what is the point? And my Aunt used to tell me that scripture about the seven women taking hold of one man all the time when I would tell her how unhappy I was being single. I know you have a beef with the LDS church, and I can empathize with you, but other religions can be or seem to be just as harsh and uncaring.

  35. Lisa

    you said

    “Evangelicals do not teach that families will be together forever. Only saved people will be in heaven, no one else.”

    Jay said
    This is one of the doctrines of the LDS Church that I love. No other Christian Church teaches this EJ. Some Christians just like to fancy that they will be with their families but that’s not what is taught, in fact, the opposite is taught.”

    Here is a scripture for the Evangelicals, for you both and also for the LDS church.

    1 Corinthians 7:14

    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

    All the family is sorted in that one :)

    Lisa also said

    “I don’t care about being in heaven with all the Christians throughout all the centuries. If I can’t be with my Mom or my Dad (Mom was a United Methodist, by the way, she considered herself a Christian, but some Evangelicals would disagree.) then what is the point? ”

    I agree . I don’t particularly want to be in heaven with any so called religious people who think they are the only ‘chosen’ etc…..

    But in the Mormon religion you might not be with your mum and dad , they might not want to be Mormons.If they did they could have joined.

    Doing the temple ordainances is not going to alter anything in my opinion .I don’t even believe they are being taught mormonism.

    and
    ” And my Aunt used to tell me that scripture about the seven women taking hold of one man all the time when I would tell her how unhappy I was being single”

    I can’t imagine how that cheered you up , it would make other single women depressed unless they were conditioned into believing it was necessary for getting to CK etc , hence why Waren Jeffs is able to get away with his behaviour and all the other cults like his which exploit women sexually.

    And how do you feel now ( if married )knowing that your husband has another 6 wives to get hold of ?

    Its a depressing thought either way ,though for a man it can be very appealing unless they are just given additional wives they wouldn’t have been seen dead with in real life ! ( if you excuse the expression )

    Not suprised Orson Hyde and all the others were picking them out and teen ones too , and why Joseph Smith fell out with Bennet , it seems he was taking the nice young fit ones before Joseph got his choice on the matter.

    Jay
    you said
    “I believe families separate over these things because one or both of the spouses is being selfish and prideful. Some TBM spouses get so offended and defensive that they ruin their once wonderful marriage.”

    Don’t you think its something to do with the actually Doctrine of the church .. ie You can’t get to CK without a believing Spouse etc …

    and there is a teaching that those who once had a testimony and are later denying the church is true are headed for Outer darknes ?

    That could keep a few naive nervous types trapped in church .A bit like the one where non Tithe Payers will be ‘Burnt’ ! ?

    Thats one way to scare weak people into paying up incase the one where they are promised Dollar blessings in return for tithing doesn’t quite wash with them.

    As my LDS friends say when I’ve asked difficult questions

    “it will all make sense in the next life” :) lol

    ……..even the $2billion Shopping mall ? ?

    Well Jesus is going to need employment fit for a king I guess . CEO ! :)

  36. You believe God created us using evolution? Could you point me in the right direction for your source on this one?

  37. Jake, that’s just an opinion. There is no scriptural source if that’s what you mean.

  38. Jake,
    My belief is not base on a single source, but on my education as a scientist. That God used evolution to create all living things is the conclusion I am forced to make, based on the overwhelming evidence presented to me. BR is correct that it is opinion and I admit that I could be wrong. In the end I really don’t see how it matters. I feel that since God has not revealed how he created us, I’m free to use my secular understanding to reason how it must have been done. How do you think God did it?

  39. Jay

    When you say ‘evolution’ , does that mean we came from a less intelligent ancestor somehow ( a Monkey )..

    What about missing links as doesn’t the fossil record show instant creations or appearances of a kind of species ?

    I always thought that being made from the dust was literally a picking up of clay from the ground and shaping it and somehow sparking life into it/him/her !

    Maybe I have been naive myself all along .

  40. I used to believe the dust theory, but I think evolution makes much more sense. Most gaps have been filled with recent discoveries.

  41. EJ,
    That’s exactly what I believe and I’ve believed that for many years, not just since I’ve started struggling with the LDS faith. It actually started at BYU (although I had always accepted evolution as true). I had some professors that were very pro-evolution. We also had outside speakers come in to give lectures on the subject.

    Evolution does happen, it is not just a theory. Modern biological science is almost completely based on evolution. It just seems amazing that something that is supposedly so wrong, fits the questions science is asking so right. When you look at morphology and even down to DNA you see evidence of it everywhere. Since the idea has only been around for a little over a century it is crazy to think we would have found all the fossils, especially when you consider how rare fossilization is in the first place.

    If in the future a better explanation of how things came to be presents itself I’ll have to accept that, for now natural selection explains too much to be ignored or dismissed simply because it goes against our preconception about how God created mankind. I’ve never quite understood how people that believe that God is all powerful limit him in what He can do. Is it not possible that God used evolution to create man? The answer is yes and it sure looks like that’s what happened.

    I liken the rejection of evolution by Christians to their rejection of Galileo’s evidence in support of Copernicanism (claiming the Sun was the center of the universe). They came around then and I believe they (Christians) will have to come around to the reality of the situation in the future, with regards to evolution.

  42. I like the point you made, Jay, about people limiting God and declaring that there’s no way He would use evolution to create life. I used to have a huge problem with evolution. I was taught that it was the devil. I used to think that it took the credit away from God and made him seem less powerful.

    Then I had a paradigm shift in a seminary class one day. I had always wondered why God would just zap Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt just for looking back over her shoulder towards Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:26). I learned that day that Lot’s wife may not have been zapped into a pillar of salt just for looking over her shoulder but that she probably turned and literally went back to Sodom. And if she did go back, she would have been destroyed and her remains would now be under the Dead Sea, where the city of Sodom once was. Today, there are literally pillars of salt on the shores of the Dead Sea because of the high salt content.

    I had finally realized that God may not always just zap things or poof things into existence like I had always thought. He rarely steps in as a dictator and takes over. He almost always lets things go along their natural course and just offers a little help along the way. And the more I studied the Bible, the more I learned that we don’t always have to take it literally.

    I now believe that it may actually take MORE intelligence to create and manage life through evolution (like we observe it every day) than it does to just “poof” things into existence. I don’t think it takes away from God’s power at all.

    Another fear I had concerning evolution is that having primates as ancestors makes us less divine, less like children of God and more like descendants of pond scum.

    In case you don’t already know, our physical bodies are made up of atoms. Some of these atoms have been around for ages and come from all kinds of sources. Just think of the cycle of life. What makes us divine is that our spirits are offsprings of God. Whether our physical bodies come from dust, monkeys, or pond scum is irrelevant. After all, remember what happens to our physical bodies when we die. Yeah, not exactly a divine process if you ask me.

    Now, do I believe that God has the power to zap things into existence? Yes. Do I think that’s his style? No. He has proven otherwise over the years.

  43. Darin

    you said

    ” I learned that day that Lot’s wife may not have been zapped into a pillar of salt just for looking over her shoulder but that she probably turned and literally went back to Sodom.”

    My interpretation would be that she didn’t look back as in over her shoulder or even turn and go back literally ..

    She simply looked back in terms of regret for leaving and really desired to remain and didn’t trust or want to follow God .God judged her heart and found it unworthy and hence she was turned into a pillar of salt .She would have been unhappy at where God was to direct her so why live ?

    ” He rarely steps in as a dictator and takes over.”

    What are the rare occasions you are thinking of or observed yourself ?

  44. Jay,

    You mentioned that women didn’t hold the priesthood in the LDS church. They did though in early church history. They administered to the sick and blessed others with the “power of the priesthood.”

    My personal belief is that this power isn’t the priesthood, but power that comes from Jesus Christ who holds the priesthood, so I agree with you on this point as well.

    http://www.graceforgrace.com

  45. ama,
    I am vaguely aware that LDS women may have held some sort of authority. I’m not sure about the circumstances and I don’t know who gave it to them. Anyway given all the other crazy stuff that happened in 19th century Mormonism it doesn’t surprise me that women had the priesthood. I’m just saying that there is no scriptural precedent for it, not even in LDS scriptures. I’m open to being corrected.

    I appreciate you bring that up though because it is an important point. Maybe some day we will hear about the ban on priesthood for women being lifted:)

  46. I stumbled upon this page during an image search, and I want to say that you redeemed the LDS image for me. I’ve always had mormon friends and I’d never had a problem with the church at all until many of the mormons in our area suddenly became very hate-preaching, closed-minded, and flat-out-rude. I’m really glad I read this because it shows that LDS is just like Methodism or Catholicism or any other Christian denomination in that we all have doubts, we all question, we all feel unsure sometimes. And it’s the unbelievable and all-mighty power of the Holy Spirit that holds us all together and leads us all in the right direction.

    God bless
    -Caroline

  47. Jay,

    Do Mormon’s believe in and/or practice speaking in tongues? Is this practice perceived to be a gift of the Holy Spirit?

    S2C

  48. S2C,

    The 7th Article of Faith (LDS beliefs) states the following:

    “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.”

    Though I have never seen or heard of it being practiced…maybe in the early church it was.

  49. Oh and yes, it would be considered a gift of the Holy Spirit.

  50. Bishop Rick,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    S2C

  51. So there is no modern practices of this gift in the LDS?

  52. S2C
    There is no speaking in tongues or interpreting tongues in the LDS church in the Born again style ( Angelic language etc ) .

    The LDS believes speaking in tongues to be a foreign language .ie missionaries are sent out with no prior language experience and learn a new ‘tongue’ in MTC .

    However in the original early LDS church , I think it was more the Born again style of Angelic languages.

  53. I agree with EJ on both counts.

  54. Thanks, I agree the gift of tongues were foreign languages.

    So is this an extraordinary gift that occurs with modern missionaries? In other words this gift endowed immediately through Holy Spirit rather than through study and learned in an academic setting?

    S2C

  55. S2C,

    I have gone through the LDS language training. Though it is a great program, it is definitely not a gift of the Holy Spirit. When I left after 2 months of total immersion, I could speak very basic French. Enough to get by, but I think anyone that went through the same course would have similar results.

    So in my opinion, there is no speaking in tongues practiced in the modern LDS church.

  56. SSC,

    Yes the LDS faith believes in the gift of tongues. There are many accounts in early LDS Church history of this occurring (people spontaneously speaking in tongues at a meeting). Today I have never seen it practiced in this way. The most common interpretation is that which BR already gave (missionaries speaking languages other than their native language). There is one other scripture in the BOM that says when you testify of Christ that is Speaking in the tongue of angels. I have heard more recent stories of general authorities going to another country where they don’t know the language but communicate with the people in their own language, so I guess that would be one example in modern times.

    Personally, I went to the MTC studied for I think two months but really couldn’t say much more than what I read off a piece of paper. After 4 months in the mission I could understand and speak enough to get around on my own and my ability peaked at about 8 months in south America. I don’t know how typical this is and I don’t know if it is any faster or slower than someone outside the LDS Church, but many members claim it is the gift of tongues that missionaries are blessed with.

  57. Jay

    you said

    ” I have heard more recent stories of general authorities going to another country where they don’t know the language but communicate with the people in their own language”

    Thats a contradiction in itself .They don’t know the language but communicated with the people in their own language ???

    I call it a FPR ( Faith Promoting Rumour)

    However I do have a more realistic word to describe it,but I won’t :)

    Its amazing how these stories of GA’s get around !
    Reminds me of GA Paul Dunn.

    At least I can trust you to be honest Jay .I wish your leaders would finally practice what they preach themselves.

  58. Thanks for the responses…just for the record I believe the extraordinary use of this gift ceased with the upon the completion of the New Testament.

    S2C

  59. oops…delete “with the”

  60. I personally have never seen a use for speaking in tongues.

    There is a group of people gathered together in the Lord’s name.
    Someone starts speaking in a language no one understands.
    Someone else interprets what is spoken.

    Why go thru all that hocus pocus? Why not just say it in the native language to begin with?

  61. Yep, but I suppose some would argue that it would help to increase the faith of members somehow.

  62. SSC you said
    “I believe the extraordinary use of this gift ceased upon the completion of the New Testament.”

    I heard speaking in tongues in a local Pentecostalist church .I don’t know what to make of it off as I was concentrating on trying to be reverant throughout :)

    It was a bit wierd for me and I’m not convinced it was anything more than someones own zeal of feeling the spirit at the moment .

    Jay

    Increasing the faith of members ?
    Where do we draw the line here . It just keeps the GA’s and Apostles in a respected and high esteem position which I don’t think they deserve by misleading members.They even claim to have a ‘special witness of Christ’ , something beyond what ordinary members have .This is not true either , otherwise they would be telling us all about it , just like the Apostles of old did .

    Paul Dunn probably felt justified for that reason although I believe he harmed more people in the process .

    The LDS church teaches from what I observed that the more ‘pure’ you are ( ie sinless) the more closer you will have the companion of the Holy Ghost and more deeper your spiritual experiences and better fortune in life.

    Ordinary members struggling for blessings themselves must have felt very inadequate in comparison to Paul Dunn after hearing his real life experiences and yet he turned out the bigger sinner and even made money from his deception.

    It seems he was blessed for lying.

    I’ve read some after comments of those who remembered Paul Dunns Inspirational Talks and were duped by him and they are angry .

    How come no Priesthood Authority could discern they were being hoodwinked ? Not even the Apostles or The prophet .It took Boyd Packers nephew Lynn Packer( if I remember correctly ) to expose Paul Dunns tales and he got fired from BYU as a result.

    How come Honesty brings punishment in the Mormon Church ?

    Simply because its always been that way from the beginning.Joseph Smith chastised those who told the truth.

    and I’m supposed to be led to believe that Jesus is personally in charge?

    and apologies for the negativity Jay .Non of this is reflective of your good character.

  63. I was just talking with a lady in my church (I’m LDS) and she said that at one of her church meetings a few years ago in Seattle a guy got up and started “speaking in tongues.” He was saying some language no one knew.

    I asked her if she felt the Spirit and she said she didn’t, but that it was entertaining.

    Jay mentioned in the Book of Mormon it mentions speaking with the tongue of angles. I believe this to be the gift of tongues. I too went on a mission and learned the language. I wouldn’t call that the gift of tongues…learning a new language. However, many times during my mission and a few times since, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit come over me and I’ve said things that directly help someone in a very personal way. Many times I didn’t even know they were struggling, but as the language of the Spirit communicates to their hearts and mine, I then know that I’ve experienced the Gift of Tongues.

    http://www.graceforgrace.com

  64. by the way…I forgot to clarify that I don’t believe the gift of tongues means speaking in some random language no one can understand as I shared in my first example…

  65. Jay

    Can I ask you about Evolution ?

    This is something thats been on my mind since you told me you believe it and seemingly see the evidence of it ( In your work , study ? ).

    I always believed ( maybe naively ) that Adam and Eve were an instant event . Some earth and Gods amazing power rubbed into it and a Man is created , then a rib is taken from him and a woman formed as well.

    How does Evolution work ? Do we have ancestors of non human ?

    Are they still with us to this day ?

    Where is the gradual development in the fossil record ?

    and do you think its possible that our orignal ancestors were a mutitude rather than just two people ?

    I remember way back on a Catholic course when the Priest told me not to take Genesis too Literally and instead suggested that Adam and Eve represented more than two people somehow ?

  66. EJ,
    I learned about evolution in school at all levels and have seen evidence of it in my work. I have been involved in vaccine development and other studies at the molecular level. I’ve seen signs of evolution in bacteria, insects, and even people. It doesn’t make sense to think that the same genetic material would behave differently in one organism verses another. Every living thing shows signs of evolution on the genetic level. So the short of it is that fossils are not the only evidence. Their just the first place we recognized it.

    I don’t believe that Adam and Eve were an instant event. I believe that God used evolution to form the bodies that looked like him, then he put the “breath of life” into them or the spirits he created. So the idea that we have ancestors that are ape like really doesn’t offend me because they were just the starting material for God’s crowning creation – us (I know sounds a little ego centric, oh well).

    Do we have ancestors of non human? Are they still with us to this day?

    Are our non-human ancestors with us today? I don’t think so, but other descendants of theirs are, though they are not human. We consider them primates.

    Where is the gradual development in the fossil record ?

    There are plenty of gradual changes, but the rub is what creationists call gradual. It appears that critics of evolution are never satisfied with the overwhelming evidence presented to them because they can not accept anything that goes contrary to their literal interpretation of the Bible.

    I’ve never heard of the multiple “person” theory. That is new to me and I’d have to know more about it to see if I could accept it as possible. As I understand it now Adam and Eve were the first of our kind (human body and spirit united).

  67. Jay,

    Your theory makes a lot more sense than what is generally taught in Sunday school, but I’m not sure I can agree with Adam and Eve being the first humans uniting body and spirit. To believe this you would have to also believe the Tower of Babel story or why else do we have all the different races, who incidently have different religious beliefs.

    Do you believe that all modern men descended from a literal Adam and Eve only 6,000 years ago? This time period does not allow for the different races with a Tower of Babel.

  68. Should have read, “without a Tower of Babel.”

  69. I am currently reading a book called “Darwins Dangerous Idea” by Daniel C Dennett. He talks about the Mitochondrial Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam. Here is the deal at some point all of us alive today will have DNA that traces back to a single female the Mitochondrial Eve, logic would say the same is true for our Y Chormosones as well, Y chromosones pass down the paternal line and Mitochondria pass through the maternal line.

    The question he poses “Was Y chromosome Adam the husband or lover of Mitochondial Eve? Almost certainly not. There is only a tiny probability that these two individuals were alive at the same time. (Paternity being a much less time-and-energy-consuming business than maternity, what is logically possible is that Y Chromosome Adam lived very recently, and was very , very busy in the bedroom – Leaving Errol Flynn in his, um, dust. He could, in principle, be the great-grandfather of us all. This is about as unlikely as the case in which Y-Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve were a couple)” he later states that scientist believe that they can trace Mitochondrial Eve to Africa less than 300,000 years ago even maybe less than 1/2 that the method they are using is very controversial.

    Just thought that was some interesting reading that seemed to go along with this topic.

  70. I have done some research on this as well. What I have found supports your supposition that Mitochondrial Eve is thought to have lived over 150,000 years ago, and even she was not the first female human, or even the only female of the day to have living decendants. What makes her Mitochondrial Eve is the fact that she is the most recent female to have an unbroken line of mitochondrial DNA that exists today.

    By contrast, Y-chromosome Adam lived about 60,000 years ago. Please note that the Mitochondrial Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam as they stand today, will likely not be the same people in 1000 years, because as male and female lines die out, chains are broken and the most recent becomes, well, more recent.

    Okay, none of this procludes the possibility of a Single Adam and Eve that at some point in the history of the world, started the first line of homo sapiens. But there is more than one theory on this as well. There is the multi-regional theory which suggests that homo sapiens arose in different regions of the world simultaneously from lower homonid forms. Then there is the out of africa theory that supposes they rose up from a single line homonid and migrated throughout Europe and Asia. Then of course there is the theory of creationism which tells the history of mankind through tales handed down from generation to generation, whose origin we really don’t know for sure.

    I tend to lean in the direction of the multi-regional theory.

  71. My Question is how does one reconcile this with Joseph having it revealed to him that Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden were in Missouri?

    How does one reconcile that there was no death before the fall? All these were taught as absolutes revealed to Prophets.

    What testable things taught by these men have not been proven false?

  72. Jay

    “I’ve never heard of the multiple “person” theory. ”

    Simon Southerton ( ex mormon over DNA and American Indians and Author of Loosing a Lost tribe) believes that the evidence is conclusive through DNA that there were groups of humans originally and not a single couple .His talk at exmormon conference 2006 available online.

    I’m no expert and its all new to me .I’ve just been wondering what on earth I have been believing all my life.It took unveiling the truth about Mormonism to crack my naive and uneducated shell about everything I ever thought.

    CoventryRM

    ” How does one reconcile that there was no death before the fall? All these were taught as absolutes revealed to Prophets.”

    It shows that the LDS prophets were simply a bunch of false megalomaniacs and this same reasoning and revelation brought the barbaric polygamy and arrogant judgemental leadership with it.

  73. After studying the Book of Mormon difficulties, I began realizing that The Bible has some of its own (although not on the same level). My opinion is part of the Bible is true, and part is probably myth. When you find out how The Bible was put together (basically the church at the time pick and chose what they wanted in there with no rhyme or reason, and that much of it was written years after the fact by people that had nothing to do with it).

    As far as Adam and Eve, I think that that part is myth, although the idea may be inspired by God. I do not take the Bible so literally anymore….afterall….God did not endorse it. He did not give his stamp of approval….people wrote it- so how do we even know it is accurate? Because of this I try to get the general message, and don’t take it very literally.

    As far as Joseph Smith thinking Adam and Eve were in Missouri…..it just is funny to me. This guy said some pretty funny stuff…off the wall and what a coincidence that everything important seems to happen in his little world.
    - He is walking around and sees a skeleton. He tells people “Hey this is Zelph, a Nephite warrior”…WTF???
    -He is then walking around another day and sees something…he says, “Hey guys this is the alter that Adam and Eve used”
    - Then a guy is randomly coming through his town with 2 mummies and Joseph buys them saying “Hey this papyrus was written by Abraham himself I will translate it”.

    I actually think it is funny that people believe this stuff….we all know what the Egyptologists say about the papyrus. But what about the alter? Where is that? Wouldn’t there be tons of scientists studying this ancient artifact that is thousands of years old? Hey where is Zelph???

  74. Josephine ,

    I think you portray accurately how many of us feel ….

    I didn’t think of the bible being too problematic until the facade of the Book Of Mormon hit me .

    I was so angry at what Joseph Smith pulled off IMO and the resultant injustices to fellow members and neighbours .

    That skepticism caused me also to question the bible in a way I never thought to do before and I’m suprised at where I have arrived , as if in never never land , unsure now and unknowing .

    But I prefer this .I no longer have to defend a literal Ark etc or many of the Old Testament Attrocities and Bizarre carry ons from Gods supposed chosen people ?

    I feel comfortable now in exploring and having my own view on things and no more trying to juggle anything to fit a pre conceived or pre conditioned belief .

    It also means I can change a prior incorrect view when facts/new ideas/discoveries come along rather than looking to dismiss them all.

  75. It sounds like whoever set up this page needs to get their church doctrine correct, because they obviously very uneducated…. for example… drinking coke is a sin? Are you serious? That is rediculous and is not backed by doctrine. Also, whoever said polygamy is required to get into the Celestial Kingdom was not speaking for the church. Otherwise, over 99% of the followers of Christ in biblical times, book of mormon times, and modern times wouldn’t make it…including prophets. I could go on for days about how misinformed this site is, but I won’t. The reason is because whoever spent as much time and effort as they did to create this site obviously did it without spending much time or effort finding out what is acyually true about the church. This shows that they really don’t even care to know. God bless you and good luck with whatever it is you do.

  76. shawn,

    I am in fact very aware of LDS history, doctrine, and culture. I am an active member of the LDS Church and currently hold a temple recommend. I have known and know many LDS members that feel more than one Prophet (i.e. Benson and Hinckley) and other GAs have stated we (aka Mormons) don’t drink Coke and that it is a sin to do so. If you are not aware of this it is either because you are a recent convert or you drink Coke (like myself) and don’t want to think of it as a sin (it’s OK, I don’t think it is either). If you think members don’t feel this way try bringing Mountain Dew to the next ward function or better yet go to BYU and try to buy a Coke, or any other caffeinated beverage.

    Polygamy was required to make it to the Celestial Kingdom, according to Brigham Young. I agree that his teaching was ridiculous considering all the members that didn’t practice it and were faithful members of the Church. The LDS faith has rejected this teaching which was the cause of the formation of various polygamous splinter groups that now live in Salt Lake and in surrounding states. I think many members would agree with me that polygamy was never required for members to enter into the Celestial kingdom, but then you have to reconcile why it was practiced at all and how it was practiced.

    I wish you would go on about where I am misinformed. Let me know what you think I have stated that is not factual. I do not vouch for others’ comments made on mormons talk as factual. However, I think you will find that every one of the posts is based on factual information. It is my sincere effort to understand our controversial past and reconcile difficult issues.

    I don’t know if your post was sincere or if you were trying to discredit what I have written. I will assume the former is true and that you are just unaware of how troubling our history can be.

  77. Jay – OT

    But have you seen this article –

    http://www.millennialstar.org/2008/07/12/wall-e-the-religion-of-environmentalism/

  78. What does OT mean and why did you link to that awful post? I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve never seen a Pixar movie I hated or that tried to shove a message down your throat (I didn’t like happy feet for that reason). Admittedly, I haven’t seen Wall-E yet and probably won’t see it till the DVD, but could it really be as bad as that guy makes out. I have my doubts.

  79. OT = Off topic :)

    Just thought you might want to see some of the crazy stuff that gets posted and then backed up with scripture references from D&C, BofM etc….

    Seth from Steffies blog was on there telling the guy he is an idiot more or less.

  80. And my online vocabulary continues to grow, thanks Coventryrm!

    It reminded me of testimony meetings where people start to compare the gospel with everything from bowling to Star Wars. It always comes off as silly and disrespectful. Sometimes I think people are just so bored with life that they find the silliest things to complain about just to spice it up a bit (of course I don’t do that;).

  81. Jay,

    I think Joseph and Michaelus are the same person. They only post right after each other…very suspect and sad in a way.

  82. Rick,

    Joseph and I are not the same person. He and I are of the same Spirit though which I wish I could say the same for almost all who share their confusion about who God is and His True Church. We were on this blog at the same time as a matter of fact and that is why our responses were so closely timed.

    Joseph told me about this blog and “Jay” the scientist who seems to not be able to accept what he obviously doesn’t know much about unless. I am sure such as he are struggling with their faith. But then when Jesus returns there will be little faith left. The Gift of Faith is of the Holy Spirit. I would suggest discerning such spirits that seem to avoid the Light of Truth.

    I do know that Mormonism is not the same gospel as taught by the first Apostles. It isn’t even close as it is completely of man who was an enemy of The One True Church. Joseph Smith was a Mason and of the New World order that was established by the Illuminati in 1776. Of which the one world government of anti-Christ will soon appear.

    The point I am trying to make is that Joseph Smith deceived so many people as he was practicing necromancer and deeply involved in the occult. The infamous leader of now forming one world government deceive in the same way by attacking and attempting to destroy God’s One True Church. I guess having been baptized as an infant gives me the Spiritual eyes and ears to know that because the Baptism I received via the Priesthood goes all the way back to Jesus.

    You see I believe in One God, the Father the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell, yet on the third day He arose from the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Universal (catholic) and Apostolic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection from the dead, and the Life of the word to come. Amen.

    By the way Rick you cannot be considered a Bishop as you are not part of the unbroken lineage that goes all the way back to the first Apostles. Remember when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the Apostles? Jesus was the great High Priest of the Order of Melchizidek, who offered bread and wine as a perfect sacrifice to God. That same perfect sacrifice is being offered daily and almost on the hour somewhere in the world. Padre Pio, a 20th century stimagtist once said, “It would be harder for the earth to exist without the Sun than it would be without the Mass.” Not to be taken literally but the power of the Holy Spirit is the teacher of all Truth as it has been handed down for centuries. The Mormon teaching that the true church left the world after the death of the last Apostle is absurd. But that is what Momon’s believe. Now that is truly sad.

  83. Rick how dare you, remove that TITLE Bishop from your screen name RIGHT NOW!

  84. Michaelus,

    Jay “the scientist” makes a lot of good points and simply refuses to take someone’s word for things when their word is only based on interpretation of ancient writings.

    I agree with you on several items, but disagree on many as well.

    I Agree that Mormonism is not the same gospel taught by the original apostles, but then again, neither is Catholicism. The original apostles taught the Christian sect of Judaism. Paul began to corrupt those teachings and the Catholic church completed the corruption by adding pagan ideals and teachings. It was even the Catholic church that bastardized the Sabbath moving it from sundown Friday thru sundown Saturday to simply Sunday (which is the holy day of paganism worshiping the Sun God).

    JS was a Mason, but as such, was not a member of the new world order. He was not affiliated with Masonry long enough to get involved in that extra-Masonic group. They are 2 distinct groups, not the same group.

    You being baptized as a child doesn’t give you anything. Jesus wasn’t baptized until he was 30. In fact, it was common practice for people not to be baptized until their deathbed, and in some cases were not baptized until after their death (but not by proxy like the Mormons do).

    If you were baptized thru the Catholic church, then your priesthood authority is no better than the Mormons. Actually less so. The mormons claim direct authority from Elijah and Peter, James and John. Catholics just claim a direct line but can’t produce that line. I challenge you to produce an unbroken line of priesthood authority.

    Please point to the scripture that claims Jesus was the High Priest of the Order of Melchizidek. I have heard this claim, but cannot produce proof.

    Sorry, but bread and wine is not a perfect sacrifice. In fact its not a sacrifice at all. It is a sacrament taken in remembrance of Jesus. Don’t confuse the two.

    I agree that the Mormon teaching that the true church left the world after the last apostle died is false, but not for the same reasons you believe.

    You know absolutely nothing about me. How do you know I don’t have authentic priesthood lineage or that I haven’t been visited by Elijah, Peter, James and John?

  85. The teachings of Joseph Smith has turned some potentially holy people into some very scary people.

    Your entire arguement is based on opinion. And you are obviously very confused and know nothing of the Universal Faith of Jesus Christ.

    The Mass as celebrated today is almost the exact same celebration that occured 2000 year ago.

    Live it and you will see.

  86. Joseph, I think it would be best to stop communicating with these people. They are confused and cannot agree on anything. You are trying to feed spiritually infant people with whole food reserved for spiritually mature adults. They need Mother’s milk. And for some it’s like you are spreading pearls amongst swine because they just do not get it and everything you share with them they trample upon. Shake the dust from your feet and let them continue on in darkness, for that’s what their light is.

  87. Michaelus,
    “I think you are correct when you say it would be best to stop communicating with these people”. Unfortunately, you and mostly Joseph have shown the sort of arrogance that does not foster civil conversation. You both continue to view the splinter in our eye but refuse to see the beam in your own. I’m not sure why you posted your last comment (since you obviously have Joseph’s email) unless the purpose was to cause contention by insulting those that come to have an honest conversation.

    While convincing yourself that those here need milk, are immature swine and that you should shake the dust of your feet off at (all very insulting statements) may make you feel better about yourself, they certainly do little to preach the word of Christ.

    I’m sorry that you have used your time here to tear down the LDS faith (nothing that I haven’t heard many times before). I would have much rather heard what it is that you believe than hear about why Mormons are wrong. I encourage you to think about that before you use the same approach again. It may fare better for your readers and you as well.

  88. Typical hit-n-run response. Insult and condemn while avoiding any response to counterpoints.

  89. Oh oh they dusted off their feet, yikes! :(

  90. Michaelus,

    The Bible says that an unholy trinity will arise in the latter days. This unholy trinity will be Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Satan is called the Dragon in Revelations. He has always wanted to be like God, if not God, and this will be his one and only chance to actually “play God” in the last 7 years on earth. Satan will take the role of God the Father, the Antichrist will take the role of Jesus and the False Prophet will take the role of the Holy Spirit.

    This is what Mormonism teaches and is so clever in disquising who they really worship. Mormonism is a false gospel and all who embrace it as “true” are soon to see the darkness they are embracing. I mean show them a Crucifix and they shun it because they can’t bear to look at it. “Typical” response from dis-incarnates. Of such their days are numbered for they know that their cover has been blown by those who are the True Heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Take it easy Michaelus and may God be with you.

  91. Hmmmm Mormonism has been around how long … has it been 7 years yet…haha! Now thats funny.

    I don’t like the crucifix simply because it is violent and an instrument of death and torture, guess God will damn me for that… oh well!

  92. Joseph,

    I have to hand it to you. Your comments are such over-the-top nonsense, they make for good entertainment.

    Answer this one question:

    Why don’t Catholics worship on the true Sabbath?

  93. BR

    Didn’t the New Testament Apostles gather to break bread in the new testament on the First Day of the Week ?

    Acts 20:7, “[O]n the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,

    I am aware that this can refer to a common meal and perhaps when Jesus broke bread they were also participating in a common meal and then Jesus sprung up the body and blood part ?

    Its interesting that that Sunday could be a pagan influence though as with alot of things in ‘Christianity’ .

    It seems that the The LDS church really has taken the Sabbath Day Sunday to a new extreme.

    We learnt in EQ to seriously keep the Sabath Holy and not to shop on a Sunday ……….unless you are the Mission President and hungry and in that case its Ok to buy a Macdonalds as was told to us by a former missionary.

    In fact I brought up the fact that footballer Steve Young preferred his mammon to church by always working on a Sunday , Church owned KSL TV were happy to broadcast his games on a Sunday .

    It seems as long as the church is geting its cut in Tithes and Money then any Church Standard can be flouted.

    Even our Asylum Seeker converts who work Illegaly on ‘False Identities’ are asked to tithe from that money.

  94. That scripture in Acts is the only thing that Christians have supporting the change to Sunday. Problem is the change wasn’t made until a couple hundred years after that took place. Plus these guys got together to break bread and preach every day of the week. There just isn’t anything to support the change from a theological standpoint.

  95. And with that, why didn’t Joseph Smith restore the true Sabbath when he restored the true church?

  96. WOW! Huge commentary, nice blog, nice list.

    I’d like to ensure that we remember all men are entitled to worship according to their conscience. Making your understanding of the gospel public takes more than a bit of courage.

    Religion for all people is a personal thing. If we understood everything perfectly at the beginning of committing to our religion (whichever that may be) there would be no need for faith. We can’t be at the end of the road when we just get started on it.

    I hope that everyone continues to search for answers.

    But that’s not really why I’ve come to comment.

    I’m working on a Book of Mormon podcast and am asking folks to help me get the word out about it. If you’ve got the inclination to assist, let me know and I’ll gladly send you the code I’ve worked up to make it compliment any blog/webspace.

    jacob @ roeckerfam.com

  97. JMJ,

    If you want people to actually read all that you have to say, you should cut down on the quantity. I didn’t even make it a third through before getting bored.

  98. yawn!!!

  99. JMJ,

    Again, this is not a place for you to “copy and paste”. Please share your own thoughts about the topic being discussed and try to keep them to a moderate length.
    Thanks,

    Jay

  100. All Mormons are being deceived because of the false gospel and lack of true faith in the real Christ ~ Jay and BR both of you are sons of Bal and you will accept the mark of the beast (RFID chip) as you are both afraid of the truth and reject it whole heartedly ~ so you talk and you talk and you talk thinking yourselves intelligent when all you do is skirt the truth ~ how convenient Jay you can delete whatever comes your way that you disagree with ~ within the next five years watch and listen, and above all else pray for soon the Mormon church will be swallowed up and accepted by Satan and his one world government ~ for Satan is your heavenly father ~ the father of lies ~ just like Joseph Smith the false prophet and enemy of the true gospel ~ copy and past the truth and then maybe you would all have something worth while to chat about ~ instead it boils down to gossip and idle speculation ~ to believe or not to believe for whichever is convenient for you to handle ~ the ole pervert Joseph Smith and all the rest of the leaders of the Mormo marriage cult has done a number on your minds ~ Satan has you under his spell

  101. BR, it’s because you are a true Satanist and the truth has no place in you.

  102. Mormons are traitors to the Constitutional Republic and can’t wait for their Masonic one world government to appear ~ truly they (Mormons) possess the fullness of the nature of the beast for they are all liars and repress the true gospel of Jesus Christ crucified ~ for it is in the suffers of Christ that we are made whole ~ not in some perverted belief that one day you will be a god ~ one day you will get what you deserve as the goats are separated from the sheep ~ two thousand years of the true gospel can not and will not be denied as what a perfect strategy for Satan to use a false Christ to deceive millions of souls ~ I pray the book of Mormo is taken to court and the fraud get’s exposed

  103. JMJ,
    I rarely delete posts. I have only been force to do so in three cases out of hundreds of posts. If you take the time (which apparently you did not) to read the posts you will find there are many comments made that I do not necessarily agree with, but are allowed to stand. I’m sorry you have been taught such bigotry against the LDS faith. I find many of your statements extreme and inaccurate, probably the result of obtaining information from one point of view. In my experience such statements as you have made have little to do with teaching people about Christ and much more to do with an intolerant spirit, the latter of which I cannot take seriously.

    Here we are not so much interested in proving the LDS faith wrong as we are in discussing difficult topics within Mormonism and religion in general. Some express their disbelief in the LDS Church and I can respect that. However, such conversations can only benefit all if the tone remains respectful.

    I was interested in one claim you made though. You alluded to the LDS Church being taken to court. I’ve heard this once before without any explanation. What court case are you referring to and what is the lawsuit about? Also how will it expose the Church as a fraud? Is there some new information you are aware of? I’m just curious and would sincerely like to know.

  104. JMJ may have been referring to this:

    http://www.mormonlawsuit.com

    Next up: oceanfront property for sale in Utah.

    Anyways Jay, thanks for dropping by my blog. It’s interesting to read about your struggles with faith. I did come close to joining the LDS church a few times, and some of the things you’ve listed did contribute to my turning away. For some time I’ve held a deep respect and even longing for things LDS, but there were some things that I could just never swallow.

    I wish you the best in working through your struggles.

  105. Thanks CG. I’ve been confused about the reference by past posters. It was like they had a big secret weapon they were just waiting to spring on the LDS Church. I read the site and even though I’m no lawyer, I don’t see how it is going to have any impact on the LDS Church.

  106. It won’t. It’s just something for dumb anti-Mormons to spin their wheels over.

  107. Dear Folks,

    I’m not anti mormon, and I love mormons.
    However, I found this disturbing video on you-tube and dont quite know how to take it except that it made me rather disappointed.
    I hope your responses to it would make me feel better.

    • Dylan,

      I watched the video. It is entertaining. However, I’m not sure how deeply she was involved with the Mormon Church and there were several inaccuracies in what she said. First, Mormons read the Bible all the time. It is used almost weekly in their meetings. It’s not any special version, just the KJV. There are footnotes that were added by the LDS Church, but for the most part those are supplemental. So I find it simply astounding she never read the Bible as a member of the LDS faith.

      Second she states that Mormons don’t believe in Hell. Actually they do. They call it outer darkness and they believe it is a place set aside for the devil, his angels and those who have denied God after knowing him. In addition to outer darkness they believe their are three other places people can go depending on their righteousness: The Celestial kingdom (mentioned by the woman in the video, the terrestrial and the telestial.

      Finally she says that Mormons don’t believe in the cross. I’m not quite sure what this is supposed to mean as I’m not plugged into the evangelical way of expressing things. However, Mormons view the cross as an instrument of death, used to torture their Savior. For that reason they do not wear it around their necks or put it up in their buildings. Seems perfectly logical to me. They do however believe in Christ, they claim he should be their focus not the implement of his death. Given these inaccuracies I had to question whether the woman really was as involved in the LDS faith as she claims.

      Also, I don’t doubt for a minute that this woman believes her experience was real. However, many LDS members have also had near death experiences with much different results. They see their family and feel peace. I don’t doubt they really believe their stories too.

  108. Dear Jay,

    Your comment really helped a lot, thanks.
    I think what bothered me the most about the woman’s testimony, was that around 6:25 of the video, she says that Jesus told her to ‘leave the mormon church’. Anyway, that aside, could you give me some websites which document mormon near-death experiences? I am currently seeking and searching. Thanks
    Dylan

  109. Dylan,

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. You may have found what you were looking for by now. Honestly I don’t remember the book but I know there is one out there. I don’t have time to search for it now. I’ve never really been a big believer in NDE. I think more than likely they are influenced by what is going on in our life at the time of our death. This woman admits she had a “christian” friend talking with her before her experience, this could have influenced what she “saw” in her NDE. Sorry I can’t be of more help than that. I’m in the final weeks of finishing up my graduate degree. Good luck!


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