[quote]=Geode,Apr 18 2011, 06:42 AM]
There is a maliciously inaccurate film that was made about the Mormons many years ago that makes many of the same assertions you have set down here. Some years ago a group at my church (The Evangelical Church of Bangkok) decided to show it, and then have me give comments at the end from the vantage point of an ex-Mormon. I had never seen the film before, and my comments were not what they were expecting. I told the group that there were significant differences in theology between more mainstream Christianity and Mormonism, but it is best to start from a point of what the Mormons actually believe and not the distortions that had been presented in the film. I then outlined some of the untrue portions, a few that you have given here, and volunteered to entertain any question and give as accurate an answer as I could offer. I was disappointed that they lost interest in what I had to say when I didn't just collaborate what had been shown.[/QUOTE]
Geode, Please forgive me. I overlooked your post. I'm recovering from a knee replacement and I'm spaced out on pain killers. But that's no excuse and I will endeavor to read more carefully.
Yes, one can argue that there is Ã¢â‚¬Å“significant differences in theology between more mainstream ChristianityÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.Ã¢â‚¬Â But there is one crucial point in Christianity that separates truth from falsehood. Jesus Christ is God the Son who has existed eternally past and He died for us and rose from the dead. When you denounced Mormonism, did you accept Jesus Christ as God the Son who has existed eternally past, is now existing, and will exist eternally future?
In my post, I am not presenting Ã¢â‚¬Å“what Mormons believe.Ã¢â‚¬Â I am presenting what is the doctrine of the Mormon Church. Most Mormons are totally unaware of what the Mormon doctrine is all about.
I assume that you are referring to Ã¢â‚¬Å“The God Makers.Ã¢â‚¬Â I have not seen the film, but I have read the book. Everything in the book was absolutely true in its description of Mormon "doctrine." The purpose of the "God Makers" was not to define what individual Mormons believe. Rather it was written to expost the true doctrine to the rank and file Mormon. This it did.
I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t count the number of Mormons IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve encountered that are totally unaware of the true doctrine of the Mormon Church.
[QUOTE]I am replying as an ex-Mormon but I think in some ways my point of view might be taken to be more objective than that of a Mormon, for although I spent my life up to the my late 30's following that faith and know it from an insider's point of view I ultimately parted with them. I do not feel the need to defend portions of Mormon theology that I do not find to be correct in my opinion, but on the other hand will defend them when I feel a criticism made towards them is not valid.[/QUOTE]
Fair enough. False accusations should be exposed. But my post is accurate and I am able to defend it with the truth. And now that you have left Joseph SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s army and enlisted in the true GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s army, you should be willing to expose Mormonism for what it is.
Question: Why did you abandon Mormonism?
[QUOTE]This is not really correct. Mormons believe that the Bible is correct "as far as it is translated correctly." In practice they accept every verse within it, and have not made the case that what is currently present is corrupted as you are arguing. You can quote any verse to a Mormon and they should respond with acceptance that it is scripture, at least to the extent that it is accepted by Christian in general. What the Mormons actually think about the Bible is that parts are missing that included Ã¢â‚¬Å“plain and precious truthsÃ¢â‚¬Â not that what is left is corrupted. Mormons are taught that they should seek their own answer as to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and that they will receive an answer by spiritual witness.[/QUOTE]
Again I must stress that my post is not what Mormons believe. Rather, I am positing what is the doctrine of the Mormon Church. And you are correct that the Mormon Church argues that the Bible has not been translated correctly. But Mormon doctrine also believes that the Bible has been corrupted.
Orson Pratt wrote, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we rely upon [the Bible] in its present known CORRUPTED state, as being the faithful record of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wordÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Bible Alone An Insufficient Guide,Ã¢â‚¬Â pp. 44-47
Another example of MormonsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ claim that Scripture is corrupted: Ã¢â‚¬Å“[The quotations from Isaiah found in the Book of Mormon are] no doubt the only truly accurate quotations in existence todayÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. A direct reference to baptism was plainly deleted from Isaiah 48:1. How many similar deletions were made, no one knows, because we have only fragments from the brass plates. But the Bible as we know it is a different volume from what it was Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and would have beenÃ¢â‚¬â€had it not been changed so much by those with selfish interests.Ã¢â‚¬Â Apostle Mark Petersen, As Translated Correctly, pp. 54, 67
One of Joseph SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s undertakings was to retranslate the King James version. The whole of the Old Testament was translated into Greek a few hundred years before Jesus ChristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first coming. It was called the Septuagint. Jesus Christ and the apostles (Paul included) quoted from it as an accurately translated document from the Hebrew. King James translators used it to write the King James version. But Joseph Smith deemed it unworthy to be accepted as is and needed his translation.
You wrote that Mormons are taught to seek their own answer as to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon disagrees with the Bible, it canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be true. No amount of seeking will reveal the truth of something that is false. A lie canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ever be defended with truth. It can only be defended with another lie.
[QUOTE]But now to the argument you used with a Mormon:
This sounds like it is straight out of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“God MakersÃ¢â‚¬Â (the book and video that I talked about at the start of my post) and has many things in it that are not Mormon theology and not taught by the LDS church.[/QUOTE]
"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, June 20, 1998, p. 7
"Christ was not begotten of the Holy Ghost...He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God." Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:18
"Now remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. ...If the Son was begotten by the Holy Ghost, it would be very dangerous to baptize and confirm females, and give the Holy Ghost to them, lest he should beget children to be palmed upon the Elders by the people bringing the Elders into great difficulties." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:51
Now I can give you pages and pages of quotes from Mormon founders, apostles, teachers, leaders, et.al. teaching that Mary was literally impregnated by a physical union between the Mormon father god and Mary. To save space, I will let you google this subject. But please do not deny that it is Mormon doctrine. I had a debate with a Mormon science professor some years ago. He denied that Mormonism teaches that the Mormon father god fathered Jesus by a literal physical S@xual union. I mailed him 36 typewritten pages of affirming quotes of Mormon founders, leaders, apostles, theologians, teachers, et.al. He got angry at me and quit the debate. So for you to argue that this is not Mormon doctrine does not surprise me. Do you really think that the Mormon Church would be up front with this doctrine?
[QUOTE]The part about the birth of Christ comes from the thoughts of Brigham Young and yes, I have met an occasional Mormon in the past that thought this was correct. However, in decades of Mormon classes I was always taught the biblical account of Christ's birth involving the Holy Spirit. The Mormon church teaches a virgin birth. When the Mormon church teaches about Jesus being the only begotten most of them do not hold this to be literal in the sense Brigham Young taught[/QUOTE]
Every Mormon I've debated has wanted to distance himself from crazy Uncle Bringham. But Brigham Young was second in command to Joseph Smith. I will not allow a Mormon to simply divorce himself from the teachings of one of the founders of this false religion. If you were not taught this in any of your Mormon classes, then the truth of Mormonism was purposely withheld from you. Jesus being the Ã¢â‚¬Å“only begotten of the fatherÃ¢â‚¬Â was taught by the vast majority of the early Mormon Church. I can provide quotesÃ¢â‚¬â€too many for you to read. Again, I am not arguing for what Mormons believe but rather the true doctrine of the Mormon Church.
[QUOTE]The part about the birth of Christ comes from the thoughts of Brigham Young and yes, I have met an occasional Mormon in the past that thought this was correct. However, in decades of Mormon classes I was always taught the biblical account of Christ's birth involving the Holy Spirit. The Mormon church teaches a virgin birth. When the Mormon church teaches about Jesus being the only begotten most of them do not hold this to be literal in the sense Brigham Young taught, [/QUOTE]
It does not surprise me that this truth was withheld from you.
[QUOTE]The part about God the Father having parents is not taught by the current Mormon church and was speculation by some Mormons in the 19th Century. Again, this seems to come straight out of Ã¢â‚¬Å“The God MakersÃ¢â‚¬Â which is a very poor source in terms of what Mormons really believe.[/QUOTE]
No it was not speculation. As I recall, the Ã¢â‚¬Å“God MakersÃ¢â‚¬Â revealed the doctrine of the Mormon Church and not what Mormons believe. If the Mormon Church revealed what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re really about at the outset, most would run for their lives. Will you agree that what Mormons believe is in opposition to true Mormon doctrine?
[QUOTE]Mormons do have an explanation for how Christ came to be deity. They believe that Christ was unique in the same way other Christians do, to bring salvation to mankind. Yes, Mormons think matter is eternal and do not hold to the concept of ex nihilo
but they teach about The Father as if He always existed.[/QUOTE]
No Mormon god existed eternally past. All came to be. Any god that has not always existed eternally past canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t guarantee your existence let alone your salvation.
FACT. Mormonism continues to teach that God the Father is a glorified, resurrected Man, and men and women may become Gods and Goddesses. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this claim: "God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man!" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 643) Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism taught: "...you have to learn how to be Gods ourselves...the same as all Gods have done before you,..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346) The Lord Himself answers this teaching by pronouncing: "...I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6)
[QUOTE]First of all you must present something that seems more logical to a Mormon than his or her existing beliefs.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]The Mormons are not more loyal to Smith than to God and were not even as such during Smith's lifetime. Many took exception with some of his teachings, in that they did not seem biblical. The quote from Smith is authentic and seems prideful. But in some ways his statement was correct in terms of numbers of members of a church. Smith was clearly a man with weaknesses, as is shown in this statement. However, on balance I think he did worship The Lord. He certainly gave a good impression of it the vast majority of the time, staying in character to his death.[/QUOTE]
It is not I arguing that those who worship false gods are more loyal to their false gods than Israel and Christians are to the true God. It is God himself lamenting this in Jeremiah. I wish that Christians were as dedicated and as loyal to the true God of Abraham as the Mormons to their false god. I get at least one (sometimes two) Mormon missionary groups ringing my door bell yearly. Since IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been a Christian, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve only had one Christian missionary visit my house.
Please reread SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boast. In this boast, Smith elevates himself above Jesus Christ. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fortunate that Jesus Christ did not strike him dead. If Smith had made that statement back in the Old Testament, there would be a burnt grease spot on the ground where he had been standing.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Smith was clearly a man with weaknessesÃ¢â‚¬Â is an understatement. Smith was a false prophet of the first order and is now in hell awaiting judgment. He should be exposed for what he was so that millions of Mormons will not follow him to his eternal resting place.
[QUOTE]I find this argument in the realm of philosophy and not science. That is a creationist reading of thermodynamics and not my understanding of the way it is held and applied by mainstream physics. The Mormon viewpoint is actually closer to the scientific concepts as held by those who are purely secular in my opinion.[/QUOTE]
C.S. Lewis and the Apostle Paul used philosophy and logic. I take pride in being in such a group. The laws of thermodynamics are not philosophy. No scientist has observed a violation of these laws. Mormons argue against all known and proven science that matter is eternal. They must do this because their gods are not eternal. All Mormon Gods come from within and this side of creation. I will be glad to debate you solely on this issue if you like. If you deem my argument above to be false, can you be specific.
[QUOTE]This is a creationist argument not held by many Christians who are not Mormons.[/QUOTE]
Nor is it held by many atheists. But the truth or falsehood of my argument does not rest on what one believes. Believing something does not make it true. Rather we should believe it because it is true. If you can refute it, present your argument.
[QUOTE]Until the last sentence this sounds similar to what Mormons teach. On the other hand they do not teach this last sentence. They now teach as if The Father existed before pre-existent matter was organized by Him. They do not teach that he was the product of a god and his wife as you have stated. This is drawn from speculation from some of the more imaginative Mormon leaders in the 19th Century. But many sources critical of Mormonism basically create a patchwork from the uttering of any Mormon and give them full weight as Mormon Doctrine when this is not the case.[/QUOTE]
One canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it both ways. Either matter existed before the Mormon god or the Mormon god existed before matter. Mormons argue that matter is eternal. The Mormon science professor I debated argued for eternal matter even though his own field of science proved the opposite.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They do not teach this last sentence.Ã¢â‚¬Â But they did originally. When it could not be defended, they conveniently changed beliefs.
So, you admit that all of the Mormon leaders of the 19th century are false prophets? If so, then Mormonism is a false religion. No? Simply arguing that the 19th Century Mormon founders and leaders were simply Ã¢â‚¬Å“imaginativeÃ¢â‚¬Â does not magically redeem Mormonism simply because we have moved into the 20th and 21st Centuries. If the first five books of the Bible were found to be false, could a Christian simply say, "Oh well! Moses was simply being 'imaginative." Could we continue to believe that the rest of the Bible was true? I think not.
[QUOTE]The Mormons believe God existed before Ã¢â‚¬Å“creationÃ¢â‚¬Â as they hold the concept. He organized matter into worlds. Science as I understand current thinking is closer to Mormon concepts than evangelical Christian creationism. They believe in an Eternal Father. They believe Christ came to be as the firstborn of the spirit children of The Father. Mormons believe that all of these existed as Ã¢â‚¬Å“intelligencesÃ¢â‚¬Â before their creation as spirits. This is a different belief that they do in fact hold.[/QUOTE]
There are many Christians who do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead or that He is God. But the doctrine of the Christian Church and the Bible say just the opposite. Notice that you say that God organized matter. The Bible says that He created matter. The Law of Non-contradiction does not allow for both to be true. Both can be false, but both canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be true. Which do you believe is true, the Mormon version or Genesis?
For Mormons to argue that people existed as eternal spirit children is absurd on the face of it. Only God is eternal past. He is the First Cause. There can only be one First.
[QUOTE]Much of what you have written is not true or correct as viewed by this ex-Mormon and I am sure most Mormons would find fallacies here as well. If you wish to successfully witness to Mormons, I would take a more humble and factual approach to their beliefs or they will most likely just reject your thoughts from the onset. They feel they follow the biblical Christ and such approaches seem arrogant to them. They think they have the form of church that was instituted by Christ and the Apostles that was later modified in the 2nd century and beyond.[/QUOTE]
I will be glad to argue for the true DOCTRINE of the Mormon Church on any subject or doctrine you care to choose. I will not argue or discuss what individual Mormons believe. I had a Mormon friend who was closer to me than a blood brother. When I presented the Mormon doctrine to him as taught by Smith and the early founders, he was astonished. He replied: Ã¢â‚¬Å“TeeJay, where in the world did you get this. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe that." Most Mormons are kept totally in the dark as to the true doctrine.