Posted by: Jay | September 11, 2007

Is it really a different Jesus?


Lately, I’ve been taken back by the tactic of some mainstream Christians that like to claim that Mormons worship a “different” Jesus than they do. When I first heard this I was shock to find out they didn’t believe in the bible. Now that I’ve heard this esoteric argument several times I have to admit I think, “Here we go again”.

The Jesus of the LDS faith is obviously the same person that mainstream Christians accept as their Savior. In most cases, this is merely a cleaver way of starting a discussion about the differences in how LDS and mainstream Christianity view the Trinity. However, instead of saying that, they choose to start the conversation by insulting LDS members by claiming their belief in the Savior is invalid. These chats are usually contentious, very circular and unproductive.

The Jesus I have come to admire is the one in the New Testament. I have read his teachings many times. They have touched my heart and changed my life. His words make me want to be better than I am and give me hope for the future. This is the Jesus I know. If there is some other Jesus they want me to know, I think I’d rather not meet him. If someone wants to believe in a different Jesus I say that is their right, as for me I believe and admire Jesus Christ of Nazareth.



  1. Jay,

    Here’s a quick test to see whether you believe in a Biblical Jesus.

    1. Do you believe Jesus is the one true God, or one god of three (or more)?

    2. Do you believe Jesus is the brother of the devil, or that He created the devil?

    3. Do you believe that Jesus was created by the Father or that He is eternal?

    4. Do you pray to Jesus, or only to the Father through Jesus name?

    5. Do you worship Jesus, or just the Father?

    Anyone who answers those questions differently than you has a different Jesus. We can all have a Jesus with the same personality characteristics, but differs enourmously on who we really think He is. To me, these are very important questions.

    I’ve grown to admire Mormons, becuase you’re willing to have a conversation on these issues, whereas other people (Jehovah’s Witnesses to name names) seem unwilling. I enjoy these discussions, and hope I haven’t offended you.


  2. Bill,
    You personally have not offended me. The problem with non-LDS Christians claiming to believe in a different Jesus is that there is only one Jesus Christ.

    Ultimately, I’m more interested in worshiping Jesus as my Savior than I am about arguing how my beliefs differ from others and how they are wrong and I’m right. I think the scriptures speak for themselves and different people will interpret them differently.

    What is the point of arguing over interpretations of biblical scriptures? Do you really believe that if someone lives the best life they can and they accept Jesus as their Savior that they will be cast to Hell because they don’t believe like everyone else? That seems kind of silly to me. I think God knows our hearts. He doesn’t require us to have a complete knowledge of Him.

    I do not believe in the Trinity and I don’t think that the Bible supports it very well. That is my opinion. My point being, if I’m wrong then I’m wrong. The main issue is, do I accept Christ and his teachings and do I live my life to reflect that. Everything else just makes for good discussion.

  3. Jay,

    I agree that being cast to hell for believing differently is foolish at best. That said, I can say the exact same thing about whether I believe in Jesus, Allah, Budha, Krishna or nothing. I don’t believe that getting something wrong after sincerely searching for truth, merits punishment either.

    If your statement stopped at living a good life full of charity and honesty, I would completely agree with you. I just don’t think religion is or has to be a component of a good honest life. If there is an afterlife, I believe I will be judged for the way I chose to live my life. Not for what I believed or didn’t believe, but despite it.

  4. Jay you totally nailed this one. I was raised “christian” and although I am now LDS I still believe in the same Christ, not a “different” one. Although the things I now know about him HAVE changed. I never understood the Trinity, now I understand the Three in one PURPOSE.

    We are not given any kind of proof, regarding if He exsisted or not, we have to go by faith. My personal feelings go along with both you and B.Rick, I don’t think in the end we will be judged on who Exactly He was, (because we only have limited knowledge) God knows our hearts. There are people who claim you HAVE to believe this way or that and that is your ticket to heaven.

    Bill, do you believe that when we die and we are judged that God will be giving us a test?

    I have a different understanding of things now. I used to think that God was scary and mean and that he would throw me in to the “lake of fire” if I didn’t believe what my pastors taught.

    Now I believe that He is Loving and kind. I know He loves each and every one of his children and the last thing He wants is for any us to be lost and damned to Hell forever. When I changed my view of Him from an untangable spirit sitting there ready to cast me into Hell, to a Loving Father, my heart was filled with such happiness. I know how much I love my children, so I can only imagine how much He loves me.

    So we believe in the same Jesus, (born in Bethlehem, Son of God, died on the cross for our sins, rose on the 3rd day, assended to heaven, sits on the right hand of the Father). But there are of course differences, such as we believe He is literally Gods son.

    Same Jesus I believed in all my life, I just know Him better now.

  5. Rick,
    I can sympathize with that point of view. I simply can not deny that God exists. I have had too many experiences to the contrary.

  6. Steph to your comment on…

    “Bill, do you believe that when we die and we are judged that God will be giving us a test?”

    Well, Mormons believe that we will have to pass a test, we have to prove our knowledge at a certain place, things that have been revealed to us in the temple.

    As to the rest… I personally feel that everyone believes in some sort of higher power… yes everyone, when push comes to shove, at crunch time, everyone believes that there is some higher power out there watching over us.

    Regardless of what you call your higher being, I think the thing to keep in mind is that you should never feel obliged to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and especially not in the name of someone else… in this case it would be God.

    There is too much hatred in the world all in the name of a creator, all for the sake of religious freedom or religious rights.

    For me, I dont believe for one second that just becasue the woman that lives behind me believes in her bible, and lives by her church’s law/doctrine that she will be cast into hell… in fact in all my 32 years, I have never heard tell of anyone that would be cast into hell for their belief system. Not in the LDS church…

    Now calm down… let me make my point clear…

    I have heard that there are different degrees of glory, and that we will be judged by our hearts and actions…

    I have heard that only the sons of perdition will be in “HELL”… but honestly I can not recal one time that anyone has ever stated that the born agains are going to hell, or that the catholics are etc… The only thing that I have heard relating to the different faiths and the different beliefs is that they are unable to attain celestial glory without the Temple covenants. That only through the temple can we attain the highest level of salvation.

    Again, I dont agree and personally never have, I dont think that a loving father/creator would cut us off from those we love just becasue they did not go through the temple, or believe that this book was right, or this prophet etc…

    I belive that our life will be judged on our actions, if we are good people, and desire to treat others with kindness and respect, and we come here with a desire to better ourselves and we do that… I think that is what we will be judged on…
    not at all based on if we think our God is the better one, or the MORE correct version…

  7. I can certainly sympathize with your frustration in this debate. Clearly, Mormons are talking about the same Jewish man born about 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem that Mainstream Christians are talking about. It’s not like we’ve compared their birth certificates and discovered that you’re actually talking about a little boy in Argentina.

    But it IS a significant difference about his nature that we disagree on. We are saying that he is the uncreated God of the universe, Mormons say he isn’t all THAT great.

    For example let me simplify it even beyond our own disagreement. What if you met someone who said “I’m a Christian too. I follow Jesus. He was a good moral man with a lot of nice things to say, but I don’t get caught up in the whole ‘saved me from my sins’ thing. He didn’t have any more power to do that than Ghandi or MLK jr. But I still follow him as best as I can.” Wouldn’t you agree that they are seriously diminishing who Christ is and what “following him” means?

  8. Tim,
    That is my point exactly. I just wish that the semantics about a different Jesus would stop and a conversation about the nature of God would replace it because that is essentially what the issue is anyway.

    In what way do Mormons say Jesus isn’t really that great? Perhaps you can clarify so I know what you are hearing that made you come to that conclusion. Mormons believe Jesus is a God, I’m not sure how you could be any greater than that.

  9. Yes, Mormons believe that Jesus is a god. But one of many gods.

    I’ll try to highlight what Mainstreamers believe about Jesus with Mormonism in mind and then let you discern how it differs. (that way I don’t have to tell you what Mormons believe and can save myself the extra typing).

    We believe that Jesus is the one and only uncreated being in the entire universe. There was no one before him and there will never be anyone after him that is in any way his equal in power or virtue. There is only one God that can be recognized and worshiped by anyone, anywhere in any known world of possibility and Jesus is that God. No one else can ever be praised in any way similar to Jesus anywhere. Jesus always was and always will be God. He did not ascend to the position, it was not granted to him and he did not need to earn it. There are no other gods outside of Jesus. Jesus created the world with nothing but his own will to do so, he needed no parts to assemble. He alone has the power to create life and give it breath. Jesus did not have to argue for his plan of salvation, his was the only plan and only He could offer a plan with any merit and any power to save.

    A simple reading of the Bible will confirm each of these attributes. You don’t have to conclude that the doctrine of the Trinity is logically sound to agree. But if you take any of this away from Jesus you are diminishing him and are giving him less than he is due.

    To mainstream Christians it is utter and deplorable blasphemy to suggest that Joseph Smith (or anyone else) is a god and can receive praise and adoration from anyone, anywhere, that resembles the praise we offer to Jesus.

  10. Another example I thought of is:

    How do you think your wife would respond if you never acknowledged to anyone that she is your wife? You might say all kinds of things about how nice and pretty she is. She is a great mother and an intelligent person, but you would never tell her or anyone you know that she is your wife. When pressed on the matter, the best you could offer is “well I recognize that she is A wife.”

    How loved and respected do you think she would feel compared to “she is MY wife and the ONLY wife I will ever have. No one will be loved by me the way I love her. She has everything I could possibly give her.”

    (forgive the flaws in the analogy, I recognize it can broken down)

  11. Tim,

    You were very specific in your description of God. Thank you. It confirms what I already know, which is that the LDS view of God is much different than the orthodox Christian view. I wish that the bible was clearer on the subject. It seems to support almost any view of God you would choose to have. That is one of the reasons that I have to sadly conclude it is not possible to know truth merely by studying the bible.

  12. Cherryn, you said

    ” The only thing that I have heard relating to the different faiths and the different beliefs is that they are unable to attain celestial glory without the Temple covenants. That only through the temple can we attain the highest level of salvation”

    There are 2 reasons that we have Temples, for us and for those who passed on. We do the work for them, so they WILL be able to attain Celestial Glory!!!!!!

  13. Steff…

    Yes that is true, we do work for the dead, but I was just refering to the state of individuals while living on the earth, and the references I have heard while in the church.


    Thank you for that explaination… I was raised in the church and I have never really had that point of view before… it makes A LOT more sense now. I had thought that there was not that much of a difference… but there really is.

    However, I still stand by the point I made earlier today, and that is, I dont think it matters which God you believe in, if you are a good person, and your desire is for self betterment then faith in a higher being is a good thing… it is only when you are led to do things you feel are against your better judgement that I question the need for organised religion.

  14. I wish that the bible was clearer on the subject. It seems to support almost any view of God you would choose to have.

    Well I think I can pretty safely assume that if Joseph Smith hadn’t led you away from this line of thinking by adding the Pearl of Great Price and the D&C you and the LDS church would be in agreement with Orthodox Christianity.

    That is one of the reasons that I have to sadly conclude it is not possible to know truth merely by studying the bible.

    So have you given up on studying the Bible entirely? Do you think we should just sit under a tree and wait for inspiration to strike us? If we should seek out prophets to explain things to us, why should I trust Joseph Smith to be a reliable prophet.

    I’m not one to say that the Bible is the only thing we should study. I think it’s quite reasonable to study the world in as many regards as possible (philisophically, scientifically, artistically, ethically, sociologically, etc.) and then approach the world’s religions and ask “which explains all of “this” the best.”

  15. Jay,

    I can’t deny the existence of God either. Not by any experiences that I have had, but rather, I just can’t let go of that possibility.

  16. Tim,

    Do you believe that Jesus is the God of the OT?

  17. Tim as much as you talk to LDS people I would think that you would know how much we love Jesus Christ. He IS our Savior! Joseph Smith does not even come close to Christ! I don’t get where you are comming from with this.

    Infact I see a whole lot of Christians who offer a whole lot of lip service about Him and NO action! The LDS are taught to LOVE Him and they strive to be LIKE Him.

    Actions speak MUCH louder than words!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Steff, I think the point that Tim is trying to make is that Mormons believe that Jesus is the son of God, not THE GOD, the one and only God…

    Mormons do believe in Jesus and love him, but mainstream Christian do not believe that there is a distiction between God and Jesus, and that by making Jesus the lesser God or lesser than the ONE AND ONLY, is degrading, insulting etc.

    I think that is where much of the hostility comes in.

    I agree with you, I love Jesus Christ, I love that we are taught to live by his example. However as I understand it, Christians believe in a very different plan of salvation.

  19. If we need temples then why did the apostle Paul say that God doesn’t dwell in Temples .Naturally he was addressing the destruction of the Temple and reconciling the fact it was done away with ….

    Acts 17: 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
    1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

    Who really is worthy to enter the Temple because all I hear in church is ” WE ARE NOT DOING WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING ” !

    So theres no chance of getting the sealed portion revealed …. so who is to blame ?

  20. Testing ….

  21. Do you believe that Jesus is the God of the OT?

    Because I believe there is only one God, yes. The God of the NT is the same as the God of the OT. I should also explain that the OT is generally talking about the Father when it gets specific about which person of the Trinity it is referring to, but at times the Son and the Spirit as well.

    Tim as much as you talk to LDS people I would think that you would know how much we love Jesus Christ. He IS our Savior! Joseph Smith does not even come close to Christ!

    Steph, yes I know you love Jesus more than Joseph Smith. I’m not suggesting you don’t. My reference to Joseph Smith was referring to the belief that Joseph Smith in now an exalted god who is off creating his own world and his own heavenly children who worship him as Father.

  22. Tim,
    I don’t think we should just chuck the bible out the window. It is a beautiful book. I love the bible. I read it with my Children every night, we’re doing the Old Testament right now. It is just too much for me to think that God would make a book and say you must believe everything in this book is true, but then write it so ambiguously that people can make up whatever they want. How is that just?

    Who said that Joseph Smith is an exhalted God? I’ve never heard that before. He would have to be resurrected for that to happen and Christ hasn’t come yet. Can you tell me where you heard/read that? It sounds like speculation.
    You are probably right about Joseph Smith. If he had taught the Trinity I would have been brought up with the idea and most likely have been perfectly comfortable with it.

    I’m glad to hear that you haven’t give it up completely. Have you really had no spiritual experience that lead you to believe that God exists? So would you say your an agnostic? Are you still holding out hope that the Church is true?


    I understand that non-LDS think that by making Jesus God’s son that somehow deminishes him, but I don’t agree. Jesus is a member of the Godhead he always has been. There is no member of the Godhead that is less then the other. The only doctrinal thing that Jesus and the Holy Ghost lacked was a body (I realize non-LDS don’t believe God has a body). That’s really the only distinction between them.

  23. Who said that Joseph Smith is an exhalted God? I’ve never heard that before. He would have to be resurrected for that to happen and Christ hasn’t come yet.

    I’ve heard ALL kinds of things. I’ve also heard that Joseph is serving in the role of Holy Ghost. Let me rephrase so you don’t get caught up in the specifics. Is it accurate to say that LDS believe that at some point it’s possible for Joseph Smith to become a god, create his own world and create his own spirit children? If so, this diminishes Jesus as the ONLY one with the power to create.

  24. Tim,
    I’ve honestly never heard the J.S./Holy Ghost thing either. That is waaaay out there. Yes, it is doctrine that anyone born on earth (according to LDS theology) has the potential to eventually become like God.

    I understand that you do not agree with that and I hope you don’t take my comments as a disrespectful attack on your belief. I do see how the Trinity can be justified by biblical scripture, I just think there is a stronger argument for the three Gods one purpose view.

  25. I just discovered this web site and would like to join the conversation. I’m a 31-year-old happily-married-in-the-temple father who is a devout latter-day saint and Christian (the two terms, to me, are synonymous). Since I believe deeply, I am teaching local LDS youth in St. Robert, Missouri early morning seminary 5 days-a-week. The topic for this year’s study is the Old Testament.

    I also noticed an earlier discussion about whether we should still follow the Old Testament. That area has not had postings for a while, so I’ll respond here and include my thoughts on the both the nature of Christ and how that connects the Old and New Testaments.

    One of my teaching aims is to show that the God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament. He is the same God today, though we fall under the New Covenant that Jesus instituted when he came rather than the law of Moses. Christ came to fulfill the law because he gave the law. The Old Testament, as Paul said is “our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.” Similarly, teachings from the Old Testament can help us come unto Christ.

    However, though the law from the same God that Abraham followed had different outward practices (for example, the law of sacrificing animals versus the sacrament), he surely must have known the same gospel and been saved in the same way as Christians after Christ. The Pearl of Great Price, which Nick mentions, shows that all prophets from the beginning, including Adam, Moses, and Abraham knew Jesus Christ, were baptized, held the priesthood, and knew Christ through revelation. I believe that we, as Christians, can receive the same promises and revelations today.

    Napoleon Bonaparte has an interesting quote along these lines: “I would believe in a religion if it existed ever since the beginning of time, but when I consider Socrates, Plato, Mohamet, I no longer believe. All religions have been made by men.” NAPOLEON BONAPARTE (1769-1821), To Gaspard Gourmond at St. Helena, 28 January 1817.

    Like Napoleon, I feel that religion must not be the creation of men, but come from God. This question of the nature of Jesus Christ also cannot come just from an intellectual discussion.

    As Mormons, we proclaim that Jesus Christ has restored his priesthood and kingdom, the same religion that has existed from the very beginning. We don’t worship Joseph Smith or any other gods but Jesus Christ and his divine Father, but feel that all are entitled to revelation much as Joseph Smith, Abraham, or any other past prophets.

    Nick, have you read The Pearl of Great Price? What about the Book of Mormon?

    “The Living Christ,” a statement from the First Presidency is a recent, definitive statement of latter-day saint beliefs about Christ. Read it at,4945,163-1-10-1,FF.html.

    Most of Nick’s statements about mainstream Christian beliefs I agree with. My only concern in there is that “Jesus is the one and only uncreated being in the entire universe. There was no one before him and there will never be anyone after him that is in any way his equal in power or virtue.”

    Where did you learn that “Jesus is the one and only uncreated being in the entire universe?” I’ve not found that in my Bible studies. If I’m missing something, please enlighten me. Rather, that sounds to me like something from the Athanasian Creed. Am I wrong in saying that where Mormons and mainstream Christianity differ is in accepting or not accepting the concept of the Trinity that comes from traditions like the Athanasian and Nicene Creeds?

    Jesus Christ is not just “a God.” He is “the God.” that we worship and the only way back to the father’s presence. However, he is more than that. He is also the God of the Old Testament known as Jehovah. He created this earth and agreed before his birth to be a Savior who would redeem all humanity through his Atonement.

    He, the father, and the son are not literally one in form, but one in purpose. Through Jesus Christ, we may also become one, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through there word; that they all may be one as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

    There has been some debate here about whether the Trinity is a Biblical concept or not. For a few contradictions between the Trinity versus Biblical Christianity, see:
    The purpose of the Book of Mormon from its title page, which is interesting considering this topic, is to “the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.”

    Knowing the identity and nature of Jesus Christ is vital. John 17:3 states, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

    I appreciate any of your comments about what I’ve written here. Thanks

  26. On an unrelated note, how do I add a profile photo here?

  27. I don’t know if I can be of any help, (hopefully someone else can explain it better) but I just googled “word press add picture” and went to “help” It was a couple weeks ago and I have a horrible memory…sorry! Hope that helps a little 🙂

  28. Thanks, I have a blog on wordpress somewhere that I don’t use too much, but I’ll have a look via google and figure it out.

  29. Jay,

    I wouldn’t consider myself agnostic. I would consider myself a Mormon on paper, a Deist in my heart.

    I have given up hope that the LDS church is true. I am convinced it is not.

  30. Joseph,

    I have a big problem with Jesus being the God of the OT. The God of the OT committed mass murder on many occasions, took dares from Satan, made righteous men suffer, merely to prove a point, and many other unChristlike things.

    I’m sorry, but the Jesus of the NT is not in any way shape or form the God of the OT.


  31. Jay,

    The reason the Bible is so ambiguous is because it was not written by God. It was written by men…many different men, from many walks of life, and from many different time periods. Not even the 5 books of Moses were written by the same person. There are many good principles that can be found within the Bible, but it is a compilation of books/letters/poems that are riddled with errors.

  32. Jared,

    Welcome. I also am a happily married in the temple, Latter-day Saint father, in his early 30’s. Don’t worry about commenting on a post that hasn’t had comments in a while. That happens all the time and everyone can see when you comment on the sidebar even if it is an old post.

    That previous post came to my mind more because of the polygamy issue. I don’t really believe that we should throw out the OT.

  33. Jared,

    I don’t know who Nick is, but I think you were referring to me.

    I get the idea that Jesus is the one and only uncreated God from John 1.

    I think John 17 is good too. If Jesus is the only True God what am I too think of all the exalted Mormons who think they are going to be gods? I’d gather that if Jesus is the ONLY true God, they will all be false gods.

    Even as you point out the Book of Mormon says that Jesus is eternal. Eternal has a meaning. It means no one, not even the Father created him.

    The Trinity did not come out of the Nicean Creed. It was nearly unanimously affirmed by the Council of Nicea. The LDS assertion that it’s the product of political compromise is bearing false witness.

  34. Tim,
    I’ll have to admit that I have a lot more studying to do when it comes to the Godhead and the different views of it. It’s hard to believe, though not impossible, that everything I’ve read and heard (which isn’t much) on the Council of Nicea is false.

    Recently, I heard that the word eternity in English is translated from the Hebrew word that is a defined period of time and from the Greek word Anon or something like that which only means “a long time” not literally forever as we think of it in English. Does anyone know if that is factual?

  35. Tim,

    Sorry if I was writing about Nick’s comments. I don’t know where I came up with Nick. I really meant you, and I appreciate you responding and putting forth your positions. Like Jay, I couldn’t claim to be the ultimate authority on early Christian apologetics, but I have read some.

    As far as John 1 and 17 and the “uncreated” Jesus, I think I see where you would get that from John 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That verse and chapter, could be seen as providing possible basis for the Trinity.

    However, what in John 17? Early in John 17, the reasoning makes sense, but what about later verses where Jesus prays, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are”?

    What do you think it means to be one with the Father and Jesus Christ? LDS concerning deification is, as I see it, believing what Christ taught in John 17. Exalted men and women would never exceed Jesus Christ. He would still be their Savior and God.

    That may seem presumptuous, but Christ has the power to make us a new creature, why not the power at some far off point to make us literally a God?

    I’ve not read anywhere that Joseph Smith as part of official LDS doctrine has attained Godhood. However, even if that were the case, he would not be worshipped as such. Rather, his role would be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    God identifies himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. In Doctrine and Covenants 132:37, Joseph Smith learned that, “they [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob] have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”

    The promises that Abraham received in Gen. 11-23 of a promised land, posterity, and priesthood extended not only to this life, but to the eternities. In this life, he didn’t receive the promised land. He even had to buy a plot to bury his wife Sarah.

    However, does this make God’s promises void? No, it just means that these promises have eternal fulfillment implications.

    For us to reach the status Abraham has, we must do the works of Abraham (see Acts 3:13). Christ came to fulfill the promises he had made to Abraham. Abraham could only receive the eternal promised land, eternal posterity, and eternal priesthood (or power that God possesses) through being born again. Abraham has become one with the Father as he and Christ are one.

    This atonement, in my view, takes nothing away from Christ, the Holy Ghost, or God the Father. Instead, as Moses 1:39 states, “For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Or as Isaiah explains in 53:11, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

    Since he bore our iniquities, Christ has the power to make men and women at one with God in every sense of the word. He made a covenant with Abraham, and we can become as favored as Abraham if we do the works of Abraham, receive the priesthood as he did, are willing to sacrifice all things that God asks, and make binding covenants through the ordinances Christ has prescribed. Such ordinances allow us to be born again and adopted not only as the seed of Abraham, but as divine sons worthy to be exalted and become even as Jesus Christ.

    Did the idea of an uncreated God as in the Trinity exist in the early Christian church? I don’t know definitively. However, I have read some interesting discussions on this topic. Lightplanet has one about the Nicene Creed. In this council, three groups disagreed about the nature of God, Arians, the Athanasians, and an Eastern Group. For more detail about this, see:
    These three groups’ disagreement really was not so different from the discussion we’re having here.

    I quote now from that Lightplanet author,

    “For Arius the Father and Son were distinct personages and the Son was subordinate to the Father. The Arians used the following scriptures:

    * “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old” (Prov. 8:22)
    * “but of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)
    * “for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:38)
    * “and this is life eternal, that they may know thee, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
    * “The Son can do nothing of himself.” (John 3:19)
    * “Why callest thou me good? There is none good, but one, that is God.” (Mark 10:18)
    * “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name.” (Philippians 2:9)
    * And also passages that represented Jesus suffering, growing in wisdom etc. (Luke 2:52; John 11:33, 38; Matthew 26:39)

    Athanasius, for whom the Father and the Son were of one substance, used the following passages:

    * “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30)
    * “The Father is in me and I in the Father.” (John 10:38)
    * “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)”

    Constantine set forth the Council’s position which, like the Athanasians, which is that God the Father and Son and Holy Ghost are of one substance.

    If any disagreed with this interpretation, they were exiled or excommnunicated: “The Emperor carried them out without delay, and exiled Arius to Illyria, the two bishops Secundus and Theonas, who had refused to sign, and the priests who were attached to them. He commanded at the same time to deliver to the flames the books of Arius and of his friends, and threatened with the penalty of death those who would conceal them . . . Later Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicea were also deposed and banished, because, while admitting the symbol, they did not recognize the deposition of Arius and had admitted the Arians among them. At the same time the churches of Nicea and Nicomedia were invited by the Emperor to elect orthodox bishops in the place of the bishops who had been sent into exile. (Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles, tome I, 1 re partie, p. 449-450)

    In other words, disagreements about whether God the Father and God the Son are “one in substance” versus “one in purpose” is not a new conflict.

    How, then, can we come to any sort of “unity of the faith” as Paul advocates? I think that we’re all sincerely seeking truth. What do you think, Tim?

    I’ll express my opinion later, but I’d like this to be a discussion and give others a chance to respond.

    Thanks again for everyone’s comments.

  36. Tim,

    We believe that Christ is eternal. How this is possible for him to be eternal and a son of God is explained in Abraham 3. Intelligences, including all of us, existed before the world was. Jesus Christ was the firstborn of all of these. However, God the Father organized him and gave him a spirit body.

    I’m writing long posts, and I apologize. This topic, again, is complicated so I’ll leave it at that.

    Our main disagreement seems to be whether being created by God makes Jesus in some way inferior to God. Is that an accurate statement?

    Tim, do you believe that any of us existed before birth?

  37. Bishop Rick,

    Why have you “given up hope that the LDS church is true?”

    Also, I’d gladly elaborate on how it’s possible that the God of judgment from the Old Testament could be the merciful Savior of the New Testament. Bishop Rick or anyone else can let me know if they’d be interested in my comments.

  38. Jared,

    I think we have to threads here.

    1. Are Jesus and God the same entity

    and the subordinate thread…

    2. Is Jesus the God of the OT. Though no one seems to want to address that one.

  39. Jared,

    One last thing. I can appreciate your LDS references as points of clarity, but it would help if you used biblical references to augment those that are LDS only.

    No offense, but there are some here that don’t think the BofM, PofGP, and D&C are valid references.

  40. Jared,

    I would be interested in those comments.

    Also, I have given up hope because there is just too much in LDS doctrine that does not add up. Too many gaps, and too much overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  41. Jared B

    What form was Jesus Christ before he got his spirit body …… an Intelligence ?

    how can he be our literal spirit brother if he was called God before he came to earth and got exhalted ?

    How is it everything already existed then , what role does God have if he didn’t create anything but just organised was already already there ?

    Who is the creator then if the Mormon God is only the organiser ?

    If God is an exalted man then Who came first God or man going back to the beginning ?

    What role does a Physical God with a tangible body have with his embodied wives ? What is the purpose of this order of marriage ? They seem unable to produce according to their own physical kind but instead somehow produce or organise spirits ?

  42. I’ve not read anywhere that Joseph Smith as part of official LDS doctrine has attained Godhood. However, even if that were the case, he would not be worshipped as such. Rather, his role would be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    Sigh. . . . I am NOT saying Joseph Smith is being worshiped by present day Mormons. What I am saying is that if Joseph Smith becomes an exalted God, he will create a world and his own spirit children who WILL worship him as their Heavenly Father. That means someone other than Jesus can be worshiped as God. This is blasphemous to mainstream Christians.

    As far as us being one with God. Yes, I believe that verse is referring to being one in purpose. But there are plenty of other verses where Jesus and the Father and the Spirit are described as one (substantive) God.

    Tim, do you believe that any of us existed before birth?

    Yes, but not how you mean it. I believe that we exist starting at conception. But we don’t exist in any form before then.

    Who is the creator then if the Mormon God is only the organiser ?

    Excellent question

  43. I’ve read those arguments that we (LDS) don’t believe in the same Jesus they do – they’re completely meritless as arguments, and show their ignorance in the foundations of their own faith. I think most mainstream Christians have no idea what the history of Christianity is, and are completely unaware of the Creeds.

    Most people don’t know that when they say Mormons don’t believe in the same Jesus of mainstream Christianity, that they are talking about differences in scriptural interpretation. Just because Mormons have a different interpretation of the scriptures than they do doesn’t mean that the LDS don’t believe in the same Jesus Christ.

    Mormons are merely another denomination, like the Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopals, Baptists, etc. Let it go, people. We are each free to follow the interpretation that we find true for ourselves. People who have attended LDS Sunday School themselves, or had missionary lessons, are in no place to argue against Mormonism.

    I am a recent LDS convert precisely because I see more Truth and Knowledge in the LDS church than I do in all the rest of Christendom. Is the LDS Church perfect, NO, but no church or denomination is.

    The persistent attack on the LDS Church by so-called mainstream Christians is evidence that the majority of them don’t understand that Jesus came to us as an example of pure love. Rather than condemn people, he converted them through his acts of love.

    It never ceases to amaze me that mainstream Christianity thinks it can convert people through intolerance, condemnation and hatred.

  44. As far as existing before birth, Tim, what about in Jeremiah where it says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5)? Is that speaking figuratively, or how would you interpret that?

    My response would be that Jeremiah, like Abraham and many others, were in God’s presence before birth. Those who were “noble and great ones” (Abr. 3:22-23) were called to bring about God’s purposes.

    Here are some references that support our existing before conception:

    •When God laid the foundations of the earth, all the sons of God shouted for joy, Job 38:4–7.
    •The spirit shall return unto God who gave it, Eccl. 12:7.
    •Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, Jer. 1:4–5.
    •We are all his offspring, Acts 17:28.
    •God chose us before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:3–4.
    •We are to be in subjection to the Father of spirits, Heb. 12:9.
    •The angels which kept not their first estate, he hath reserved in everlasting chains, Jude 1:6 (Abr. 3:26).
    •The Devil and his angels were cast out, Rev. 12:9.

    Who is the creator then if the Mormon God is only the organiser?

    We, as latter-day saint Christians still worship God as “the creator of all things from the beginning” (Mosiah 3:8). However, I think we have a different understanding of creation. Creation for modern mainstream Christianity (correct me if I’m misunderstanding) comes from creatio ex nihilo or creation out of nothing. In contrast to this view is creatio ex materia or creation from existing materials.

    A brief discussion of this topic can be found at:
    The author there lays out the problem I think that Tim and Elder Joseph have had with the idea of God as creator (meaning organizer rather than making everything from nothing): “The reason why most of modern Christianity demands ex-nihilo creation stems from arguments dealing with the sovereignty of God. If something exists apart from God—i.e., pre-exists the first act of creation, it must be co-eternal with God (and by extension, perhaps co-equal, or potentially co-equal).”

    This debate of creation ex nihilo versus ex materia like the debate about the Trinity is not new. The fairwiki site I mentioned shows evidence, however, that while ex nihilo may be the most commonly accepted view in mainstream Christianity today, it was not always so. Christians before the 2nd century did not teach ex nihilo.

    Admittedly, the Bible is not entirely clear on the matter. As I mentioned in a previous post about Trinity as “one substance” versus “one in purpose” earlier, proponents of either view can find Biblical passages that they think fit their argument. Each camp could even interpret the same passages differently.

    That, truly, is the challenge. If there are differing interpretations, how can we find the correct interpretation? I put forth that question earlier.

    How can we know the truth so that the truth can make us free?

    Naturally, I have thoughts on that question, but I’m interested in what the rest of you think.

    Bishop Rick,

    I’ll respond to the Old Testament versus New Testament God issue tomorrow on the other posting related to that. Thanks.

  45. Mormons are merely another denomination, like the Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopals, Baptists, etc. Let it go, people.

    That’s an interesting statement because that’s not what the LDS Church says. The LDS church says it’s the one and only true church. It does not accept any baptism from any church except it’s own. It does not recognize the sacrament as valid in any church but it’s own. I think if you were to go into a LDS focused chat board and say “Aren’t we just a denomination like all the rest?” You would get pummeled by Mormons for suggesting that.

    You seem to want to discuss every aspect of Mormonism all at once. Come over to my blog or continue to hang out here, every issues is eventually discussed, but ONE AT A TIME. I’ve covered much of what you bring up already. The Pre-existence is interesting (God has foreknowledge by the way) but it’s way off topic. Maybe you could start your own blog, that way you don’t have to hijack Jay’s.

  46. Jared,

    It seems what you are saying is that God IS the creator and ultimate God and that Jesus was once a man (like Joseph Smith) on another world…became a God…created Earth and its inhabitants under the direction of God the Creator, and now Joseph Smith and anyone else who is worthy can do the same thing under the direction of Jesus.

    Is this what you are saying?

  47. This would also suppose that Joseph will have to go to the planet he creates and populates and be the savior of that planet.

    Again, is this what you are saying?

    This is certainly what I am reading into what you are writing.

  48. Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopals, Baptists, Catholics, Mormon Hindu, buddist, muslem etc… We all have our own faith, we all believe in being better people right… WHY I ask you does it matter if my God is the SAME as yours? I mean really, why does it matter? There is so much hatred out there already, why in the name of everything holy would you want to argue about if your God is better or more right than mine…

    For Heavens sake, LET IT GO… So Mormons have a different perspective of Jesus Christ, they still believe in him and everything that he did… in order to be a christian you have to have faith that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. You believe in his minestry and his teachings.

    This nit picky attitude is so Junior High…, stop fighting about it, and maybe find some ground that you agree on, like… Oh I dont know… the need to help the poor, starving etc…

    Rather than trying to destroy someones faith, why not embrace them as people WITH faith and work toward a better world???

    Seriously, there is so much energy in ALL these blogs dirrected at proving one faith more right that another, or more wrong how ever you want to look at it.

    I have personally been privy to that so called RESPECT and tollerance from people on these blogs trying to open my eyes…and I will tell you, if you really want to love and embrace someone, take them as they are love them warts and all.

    Jesus Christ’s whole minestry was about love, charity, kindness.. regardless of stature, race, creed… he did not say to the adulterer, go now and be a good “insert religious group here”… he said go woman and sin no more… He said “forgive them for they know not what they do”

    I dont ever recall Jesus saying, I will only love you if you are a born again, or a methodist, or a mormon. I do however remember alot to do with being open to others, reaching out the had of friendship, not judging etc…

    So I will ask you again… if someone lives there life in accordance with the commandments of Christ, why does it matter if their GOD is the exact same as yours?

    I am hear to say, do something that will change someones life for good, rather than trying to tear them down for what God they believe in.

  49. Cherryn

    if you were speaking as a Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, Catholic
    then your point would be valid ………. but The Mormon Church is claiming exlusivety as THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH ..

    this is repeated in one form or another every week , its all I hear..

    Its one of the most arrogant churches I’ve ever attended .Its more preoccupied with keeping members in and recruiting new ones than teaching Jesus Christ .

    In the Preach My Gospel Manual it clearly states that a missionary is not there to teach someone just to be better and more christ like but to BAPTISE and gain members for the church only.
    I read this in Elders Quorom sat next to a young man on the verge of departing for his mission .

    Mormonism is potentially a destructive cult , just read the stories of exmormons who have left and feel decieved . So I make no apologies for highliting the fraudulent aspect of it ..

    The Mormon Jesus is a different one from the New Testament . They are not the same person ..

    The New Testament Christ never spoke to Joseph Smith and ceratainly never gave the D&C commands or visited any Nephites either .

  50. I’m going to be out of town for work this next week. I apologize for bringing up various different topics here. I’ll admit to stumbling across this site without reading many of the postings. To me, however, all the topics I’ve brought up logically interconnect, but the root is not merely logic. It is profoundly personal answers to prayers and spiritual confirmation of truth.

    Also, I don’t want to hijack Jay or anyone else’s blog. I’m just expressing my opinions. I certainly respect anyone else’s right here to believe the way that they do.

    Sadly, I’m getting a sense of bitterness here. I don’t think we’ll get anywhere arguing about these ideas. I sought to point out that these debates about the nature of Christ (for example, the Trinity vs. one in purpose) did not originate with the LDS church. However, with this topic or any other seeking to approach the divine, it takes prayer, pondering, and above all, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned to have any hope of reaching unity of the faith.

    Yes, Mormonism makes bold claims, but either these claims are truth or they aren’t. Surely the various conceptions of God and how to worship him found within religions cause confusion.
    Jesus spoke of a straight and narrow path. I have to believe that there must be a correct way to worship, but I don’t think we’ll find it except through deep humility.

    I don’t claim to have all the answers, but Mormonism has brought me great understanding, hope, and peace. At the same time, I think that I can learn something valuable from just about anyone I meet. Mormonism, by no means, has a monopoly on truth.

    However, I think that the LDS perspective could add something to what you already know. President Hinckley has often stated something like the following: “We recognize the good in all churches. We recognize the value of religion generally. We say to everyone: live the teachings which you have received from your church. We invite you to come and learn from us, to see if we can add to those teachings and enhance your life and your understanding of things sacred and divine” (London News Service 8/28/1995. Also see Ensign, November 2002, page 78 and Ensign, October 2006, page 5 for similar invitations).

    I’ll come back and comment when I return to town.

  51. Cherryn,

    Your last post reminds me of the John Lennon song “Imagine”. What a nice world that would be to live in.

  52. Mormons want to be accepted and left alone to carry on their activities … But this is simply not possible ..
    The Mormon Church is actively deceiving potential Investiagtors . I know from experience .

    They are prestending to be like other christian churches and don’t reveal their true doctrines until one is sucked in through love bombing and friendshipping …

    then you get conditioned once you are in ..

    Its as simple as that .if the church was honest about its foundational events and doctrine then perhaps they’d have more respect ..

    You might as well say its Ok not to challenge moonies and Scientologists and Jw’s for the same reason …

    I won’t accept emotional pleas ….

    If the church is sending out uninformed Missionaries with a whitewashed version of events to the General Public then they should accept they will get opposition and stop moaning or crying persecution or Anti Anti …

    In the words of the Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt: “convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information” (The Seer, p. 15)

    There is also a verse in D&C but I can’t find it off hand which invites debate …

  53. E. Joseph,

    If you so dislike and disagree with the LDS church then why do you keep going? I don’t understand this!

  54. Elder Joseph… I was not speaking on behalf of the Mormon church, I was speaking on my own behalf.

    Me personally, I do not claim to be perfect I just hope for a better world, and if that means speaking out a little about being more loving toward one another regardless of race or creed then I am all for that.

    I did not intend for anyone to get the impression that I was speaking on behalf of or for the Mormon church… it is my own opinion that we should love everyone for who they are.

  55. And… I do not agree with attacting ANYONE for their religious beliefs or their faith… AGAIN this is my own opinion.

    I was in no way stating that I think that the Mormon church as a whole is in the right here… I agree with you E.J. there is alot that needs to be brought to light, but attacking me or other people is not going to bring about those changes.

    The only emotional plea I was making to you and everyone for that matter is to try not to judge too quickly, try and add a little more love into your life, it might do you some good. And you might actually like it.

    I have been shaken to the core over the last few months, and I could very well be jaded and take out my agression… I CHOOSE to live my life in harmony with those around me… that is not to say that I cant blow up and scream with the best of them, but I just dont see how that helps anyone…

    The church’s teachings need an overhaul, but the topic here is about Jesus Christ, and if he is really different from one religion to the next.

    and from my perspective, he is not different, it is all the same higher power that we believe in, regardless of what lables we make and put out there to believe, regardless of what we choose to think… it is all the same higher power.

    So my point was… it really does not matter what you call your God… if the belief in him makes you want to be a better person, or what to help others, or live your ife to the fullest then great… if your beliefs take you in a direction that goes against your better judgement then maybe it is time to re-evaluate what it is that you believe…

    I really dont think that you get anywhere by trying to prove people wrong in their faith. It is their FAITH!

  56. steffielynn

    I’m actually giving up going , I think yesterday was my last time …

    It will be a blow to my ward… 2 years of attendance and association is not easy to turn my back on but I can’t stand the lessons anymore .The praise of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young brings me anger ….

    If you knew me in my ward then my posts wouldn’t appear as hostile ..its just my lack of tact when expressing myself …


    Sorry I thought you were moaning on behalf of the Mormon Church … I agree with everything you said actually …

    I’ll never accept Mormonism though and will always ‘correct’ the misconceptions of the church spin machine ..

    There Indians are not Israeli Lamenites .There were no almight battles on Hill Cumorah .Thats enough for me ..

    If the Indians were really Israeli lamenites and there was a museum with Nephite and Jaredite remains , then I would join at once ..

    I don’t believe got any revelation from any God except his own mind .Money , Sex , Power were his pre occupation .

    Its even in D&C how church members should give him everything he needs , build a house for him , he is not to go to work , build him a boarding house too where he applied for a liquor licence ..

    This church destroys alot of lives and breaks families up ..

    have a look on recovery posts to see the aftermath of mormonism ..I’ve contacted ex missionaries who served in my ward before I attented who have quit or are in the process of doing so .

    I am attacking false history and lying for the Lord and not faith in God ..

  57. Elder Joseph…

    OK… thank you for that clarification, I really mean that 🙂 And I know what you are saying about the church breaking up families, BUT it does go back to something that you said to me once before… and that is, that people need to stand up and take a little more responsibility in their own lives I know the teachings, but I also know that my family is my priorty and others really should remember that… for example…

    My husband and I both raised in the church, married in the temple etc… When I came to him with how I was feeling and how I felt about the church, he was scared and wanted to protect himself, our children and his faith… I totally get it, that it is what he knows, BUT we stayed for the most part open with each other and here we are still, working through it… I know that not all people are that fortunate but when he was hostile with me, I wanted to run screaming… and when we spoke calmly we made progress…

    You are right, there is so much false history, but Members of the church/people in general will not respond to hostility…

    I know how you feel, I know you are angry, frustrated, resentful… and maybe like me you feel stupid for letting yourself get carried away etc… AND I know how you feel about the church meetings, listening to some ideas are a lot harder than others.

    But for the most part, Mormons are good people, and a lot of them are not ready to hear the truth, they will reject it because it is too painful… and if you attact them, they will pass you off as one of those crazy ANTI’s as I did once upon a time…

    Again I know that you feel passionate about this topic and all others relating to the LDS faith/church, I too feel very passionate about it, please just try to open your mind and heart to the possibility that there may be other ways to communicate what you are feeling.

    If you would like to talk I will gladly…you can email me… okay… I understand I really do.

    Back to the topic…

    Jesus Christ centered all of his teaching about LOVE, compassion, honesty, integrity regardless of anything else… if you really claim to be a christian, a true christian, then that is what you should be working toward! Not tearing people down becasue their God is not the right one… according to you! Or according to what you have been taught… think for yourselves people, embrace others for who they are not for the religion they belong to, or for the clothes that they wear or the color of their skin for that matter.

  58. E.J. Thank you so much for that link 🙂

  59. EJ you state that :

    “In the Preach My Gospel Manual it clearly states that a missionary is not there to teach someone just to be better and more christ like but to BAPTISE and gain members for the church only.”

    Can you tell me where it says that, I wnat to look it up.

    Thanks steph

  60. Cherryn

    You are right I need to calm down and stop being hostile … I’ve been told so many times and I never seem to learn.

    I was surprised Jay invited me to his blog as I used to give him a grilling on You tube ! lol But he is always so calm and diplomatic and it humbles me ..

    If I was brought up in the church then I’d probably be calmer ..

    I’ll email you …thanks as I’m trying to help a friend see through it all , maybe you can help me on the approach .Her family have been sad for the last 17 yrs while she has been a church member .She believes she is in Gods only church , what can you do ? 🙂


    I’ll try find that part In Preach My Gospel as soon as possible . I don’t have a copy , I was just browsing one in Elders Quorum and I’m sure thats what it said about the purpose of a missionary ( I will have paraphrased it but the meaning is the same ) …. I’ll try for this weekend , I’ll ask my missionaries to bring their copy on Saturday ….

  61. cherryn

    I couldn’t find your email address .I know its on the blog somewhere but the blog is so vast ! lol

    If you can just say a quick hi then i’ll fill you in on my last two years … there are some good parts to the church , I’m not against everything 🙂 or the ordinary member , even though it does sound like it !

  62. EJ,
    I humble you!?:)

    But seriously, you have made me think about things in ways I wouldn’t have, for that I thank you.

  63. E.J.

    I have emailed you, I hope it comes through…

    and I agree with Jay on this one, you are very good at getting your point across, you have helped me to think things through in different ways…

    I will look up that reference in preach my gospel as well…

  64. Jay,

    I just happened upon this quote, and I thought you might like to see it.

    “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p.7 )

  65. Bill,
    Thank you for that quote. I have seen it once or twice before. I think what Hinckley is getting at is that our understanding of who Christ is is quite different from orthodox Christianity, but it is still the same physical person we both believe in. Whether it is significant that I think he’s a separate being from God the father or not, is certainly up for debate.

  66. “I’ve heard ALL kinds of things. I’ve also heard that Joseph is serving in the role of Holy Ghost. Let me rephrase so you don’t get caught up in the specifics. Is it accurate to say that LDS believe that at some point it’s possible for Joseph Smith to become a god, create his own world and create his own spirit children? If so, this diminishes Jesus as the ONLY one with the power to create.”

    I understand how you would hold this view (ie, that the exalation of God’s children would diminish Jesus as the only one with creative powers).
    If you can understand my view on the subject, I think we’ll be getting somwhere: Mormons believe that the exalation of God’s children augments and adds to God’s glory. I hope you understand why we believe this, and if you do, then we both understand one another!

    I think you can also forget about this Joseph Smith = Holy Ghost thing you keep mentioning. I have never heard that, and it certainly isn’t doctrine.

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