jana and me

I’m in the center, with Revangelical’s founder Brandan Robertson on the right (doesn’t he look like an RM?) and Troy Medlin on the left. (Photo courtesy of Revangelical)

This week the Revangelical podcast has posted an interview I did at the Wild Goose Festival. Usually at the Wild Goose, I’m the one doing the interviewing, but this time the tables are turned and the questions were for me. What was a Mormon doing at the Wild Goose Festival? What overlap might there be between progressive Mormonism and progressive evangelical Protestantism?

Revangelical‘s founder, Brandan Robertson, is an evangelical college student at Moody Bible Institute who has been studying Mormonism for several years — not because he’s out to persuade the world that Mormonism is a false religion, but because he sometimes wonders himself whether it might not be true.

Think Jane Barnes and Falling in Love with Joseph Smith, a book Brendan and I both loved.

I found his open-mindedness refreshing, and I hope Brandan doesn’t get in trouble with his fellow evangelicals for exploring Mormonism in a positive light. I think that in our conversation, neither of us was interested in convincing the other person of anything; we were just two people sharing and listening.

 

 

42 Comments

  1. Anyone who deals with mormons, must know that the mormon does not know he has been had, no difference if you are dealing with people that are laundering money for the counterfeiter group. The operational base for both groups are the real bad guys, so we need to tell the mormon what/who is really pulling the strings, you can not just be friends and not confront the real issue.
    Mormonism is an Ant-Christian sect a demonic sect, trying to undermine true Historical Christianity, come on people wise up, and show you true colors,
    1 Peter 3:15
    But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
    KJV

    • Is this a real comment?

      Lately I have been wondering if the more off-the-wall accusations against religious groups and/or views re being made with a prankster attitude of, “Hey if I say this I wonder who will get upset and start a verbal brawl.

      This comment smells that way.

      LDS profess not just to believe in the Bible but live it. Its organization and belief in divine gifts more closely match the New Testament church than any other Christian Church. And yet they are rejected by their other Christian brothers for two things that make them Christian 1. their belief in the nature of God and mankinds’ relationship to him based on the Bible (and not on the Trinity which is not in the Bible either by name or notion) and 2. ongoing revelation including the Book of Mormon, which is the fulfillment of and a second witness to biblical teachings; a second witness of Christ.

      I think the Mormons are the Latter-day Christian versions of the Samaritans. What other group does so much to help their brother in the road, but is despised so much by those who see themselves as the pure Christians (the way the Jews despised the Samaritans)? They put their faith into action.

      Whether or not the above comment was real, here were some real thoughts on Mormons.

      • Jana Riess

        “Is this a real comment? Lately I have been wondering if the more off-the-wall accusations against religious groups and/or views re being made with a prankster attitude of, “Hey if I say this I wonder who will get upset and start a verbal brawl. This comment smells that way.”

        Yeah, it feels manufactured and bizarre to me too. Laundering money? Huh?

        But Warren, the best response to this sort of ridiculousness is no response at all. What you say about Mormonism is fair, but you imply that Mormons are more likely to live their beliefs and contribute good to the world than other Christians. I have not found this to be the case. Many, many other religious groups do a great deal to help others on the proverbial road from Jerusalem to Jericho.

        In any case, let’s not feed the trolls by responding to comments that you rightly point out seem designed to be incendiary. –JKR

        • Perhaps I spoke too broadly when it comes to the service rendered by Mormons. I can make the point Mormons do an incredible amount of Christian service without provoking a debate as to what group does more service as individuals or an institution.

          I certainly do not want to minimize good from all places. Mormons partner with many groups in their service and praise each other for that service.

          And it is not possible for humans to measure all good seen and unseen so an attempt to make comparisons is futile. Especially since we are to do good in secret.

          But we are also to be a light on a hill and not avoid service because someone might find out. (The Samaritan took his charge to the innkeeper)

          Where things have been measured, it is clear that Mormons give a great deal of time and means to others and not just within their Church, although that is significant. Recent studies reflect this. (http://www.pewforum.org/2012/03/15/mormons-and-civic-life/)

          With regularly scheduled charitable service, ongoing humanitarian projects, donations and disaster relief a lot is done by this group.

          Even if one should not speak in superlatives, the point is still valid that this very Christian-service oriented group gets too easily mislabeled by fellow Christians as not being Christian.

          • Jana Riess

            “Even if one should not speak in superlatives, the point is still valid that this very Christian-service oriented group gets too easily mislabeled by fellow Christians as not being Christian.”

            Too true! Thanks.

        • Sorry Jana, but you missed the whole point. Mormonism, not Mormons is the issue .Mormons have been had , and don’t even know it , they are “working ” hard doing good, but the end is outer darkness
          No foundation in Mormonism, Mormons don’t even know who are they working for
          they see the crowd, and they just fall in line, a different jesus, a different gospel and certainly a different spirit
          “Luci” is the chairman of the board (2 Cor 4:4) he is the one pulling the strings, and you Jana do not see it, because you are in the soup too, OK?
          Read your Bible

          • Graham Ambrose

            Dan… Please respond to my comment as to Christian history. Please do not continue to rant against another religion while ignoring arguments that challenge your point of view.

      • Warren,
        <>
        You are wondering wrong…

        <>
        Wrong again…

        <>
        Mormonism is a man made sect…

        And yet they are rejected by their other Christian brothers for two things that make them Christian 1. their belief in the nature of God and mankinds’ relationship to him based on the Bible (and not on the Trinity which is not in the Bible either by name or notion)>>
        Mormons are not Christians. The Mormon god was a man that became god(Teachings of J Smith p345)

        and 2. ongoing revelation including the Book of Mormon, which is the fulfillment of and a second witness to biblical teachings; a second witness of Christ. I think the Mormons are the Latter-day Christian versions of the Samaritans. What other group does so much to help their brother in the road, but is despised so much by those who see themselves as the pure Christians (the way the Jews despised the Samaritans)? They put their faith into action. Whether or not the above comment was real, here were some real thoughts on Mormons. – See more at: http://janariess.religionnews.com/2013/08/22/a-mormon-among-the-evangelicals/#sthash.d2HraQKJ.dpuf>>
        BOM and the Bible are separated by infinity, BOM is pure fiction

    • Graham Ambrose

      Dan… Your assertion that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints goes against historical Christianity prompts the question: Which history are you referring to? If it’s the history defined by, for example, Augustine or Constantine, then we are in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. But what of the 1st century? Forgive my rhetoric, but from documents unearthed since the 1940’s, it appears that 1st-century Christians have a very different idea on Christian doctrine, untainted by Greek and Gnostic influences. So I humbly ask, Which century do you advocate as having the truth?

      • Ambrose, when I speak historical Christianity, I am referring to Christianity as based/define by the Bible.
        Anyone that comes along and brings something else against what the Bible teaches about God of the Bible has the burden of proof, Mormonism does not have that Historical God of the Bible
        There is no foundation in Mormonism, God of the Bible is not/was a man ever

        • Graham Ambrose

          Dan… You assume that the Bible was compiled and translated under the inspiration of God. One might certainly believe that fact–millions already have. Yet there is strong evidence that its compilation was arbitrary and happenstance.

          Further, the doctrine that was supposedly formulated from the Bible during the 2nd century and onwards contradicts many of the foundational principles of original Christian doctrine–as manifested both in the Bible we have today and new documents that have been unearthed since the 1940’s.

          Take, for example, the definition of God, as held in mainstream Christianity. The idea that God is (1) an immaterial entity utterly remote from, and unfathomable by, mankind; that (2) Christ is a contrived manifestation of God in the flesh, but that the flesh is evil and that a key part of salvation is our escape from the flesh–all these ideas contradict what is plainly taught in the Bible, at least as I understand its teachings.

          First and foremost, I refer to the resurrection. One of the most profound testaments of the apostles was that the tomb was empty! And to reinforce the point, the Lord showed himself to His apostles, inviting each to come and feel the wounds in his hands, feet and side. He then manifested Himself to the all the saints and taught them for 40 days. Finally, to drill the point home, removing any lingering doubt about the meaning of the resurrection, the apostles saw Him taken up into heaven–without leaving His body behind (KJB, Acts 1:9).

          What’s more, He was not the only person who became resurrected. The graves were opened, the bodies of the saints which slept arose and appeared to many (KJB, Matthew 27:52-53).

          So the question remains, if God is an immaterial entity, what did He do with His body?

          I can only conclude that these testaments fly in the face of Trinitarianism, and opens up a whole catalog of issues that would be disallowed under the “three-in-one” doctrine.

          • Ambrose, your assertions are off the wall, you are very confused, can not really response here , the proper way to discuss these issues is beyond the scope of this thread .
            You can write me directly to my e-mail dcmess@aol.com
            By the way, the church fathers and the early Christians derived the concept of the God of the Bible from the established concepts and attributes of God in the Bible…I can give you 1000 + verses from the OT and the NT that teach the concept of a Triune God…let me give you just one of these 1000 verses
            [ Matt 28:18-20...Jesus speaking to his disciples...]
            and also Acts 16:6 -10 where the Holy Spirit, The Lord (Spirit of Jesus …and finally Paul receives a vision and comes to a conclusion that it is God all along directing…calling them to preach the Gospel

            “…19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

            (from New International Version)….noticed that Jesus here , does not say in the names! ]

          • Graham Ambrose

            Dan… Granted, there are many verses referring to the Triune of God, as you say. In fact, when I Google the term, “Triune,” there are over 1 million references, and, I would assert, thousands of interpretations of the term. You interpret, for example, John 10:30, “I and my Father are one,” as the three-in-one mystery of traditional Christianity.

            If that is your belief, fine. But you still haven’t responded to my question, “What did Christ do with his body” after being taken up into heaven?

            And how do you interpret John 17:11 where Christ in His great intercessory prayer, asks His Father, “…keep through thine own name those whom thou has given me, that they may be one, as we are”? Or Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.”

            If all the saints are to be resurrected–with their bodies in tow–how do you interpret the word “one”?

  2. Raymond Takashi Swenson

    *Sigh* The religious bigotry narrative is severely limited in its creativity, using the same bogus story line to attack Catholics, Jews, and now Mormons. When your religious denomination is predominantly poor, you are attacked for being lazy, and when your group becomes prosperous, you are attacked for being greedy. The utter lack of evidence is explained by claiming that the rank and file are total dupes, and that the accusers are privy to secret information that lifelong members don’t suspect. The irony of such accusations is that it is the audiences for such conspiracy theorists who are the real dupes. And it worked for the KKK, Hitler and the communists, so why mess with a winning formula?

    The particular obstacle to using that formula to attack the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that there is no professional clergy. Every congregation and regional group of congregations is led by unpaid people called out of the membership, who return to the membership at the end of their several years of service. The few who get called into full time paid leadership have already sacrificed thousands of hours in service. By and large, they tend to be people who are taking a pay cut to enter church service, leaving behind careers and reputations as businessmen, attorneys, surgeons, engineers and scientists, and academicians. And they still live among the rest of us, living pretty ordinary material lives.

    One example is Tom Monson, current president of the Church. I went to law school with his son, who took pains to avoid calling attention to his father. My family and I have run into Monson at ordinary venues: an aquarium show at a shopping mall, a candy store, a downscale restaurant, and at several of the nursing homes where my son worked, when Monson was visiting and comforting old friends in his free time. And I don’t even live in Utah. Monson is well known for revising a planned meeting schedule so he can respond to the needs of individuals, especially those who are sick and unable to attend church meetings. He preaches concern for others, and exemplifies it in his life.

    I invite anyone who thinks Mormonism is millions of dupes controlled by a handful of powerful and rich geniuses to come out to a real Mormon congregation next Sunday and get to know us in person. You can find the local place and time by going to Mormon.org and putting in your own town. You will find that there is no passing of the plate to collect money. Instead you will see a worship service in which teenage boys reverently perform the ordinance of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and administer it to the entire congregation, as they contemplate the events of Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the road to Emmaeus. After Sunday School, the adult men and women will hold meetings in which they plan to care for the sick and those in need of help with home repairs or moving to a new home. They may be planning for a community service effort such as gathering food for the Salvation Army food bank or a homeless shelter.

  3. Raymond, if doing good , (righteousness by the law)brings you Salvation, then Christ died in vain [Gal 2:21]
    Do you, as a devout Mormon, believe Joseph Smith’s primary “Gospel” teaching – that God, the Father, (Elohim) was a man , became a god and is an exalted man now, married to untold numbers of polygamous “Goddesses” or “Heavenly Mothers”? If so, where is that doctrine found in sacred writ – the inspired “word” of God (B of M, or KJV, Pearl of Great Price, or D&C)?

    • You won’t find that “doctrine” in any of those books. So when you present a belief that cannot be found in our scriptures, I have to ask, are we lying or are you?

      • Brian, let us see what both of us are saying, First of all we both can not be correct in the concept of God, one of us is definitely wrong…we both could be wrong but one of us is worshiping the wrong God , one of us is the counterfeiter , one of us is masquerading as the real thing, one of us has no authority to speak for God one of us is definitely lying

        When we examine mormonism in light of the Bible we can determine that mormonism has come in the meridian of time and mormonism is definitively the counterfeiter sect

  4. It is interesting to note that several people respond to Dan’s baiting techniques. It seems obvious thats all he is doing. The same comments are made over and over by these trolls in many different forums. They’re accusations have been dealt with in numerous academic papers. They are just trying to get a rise out of people who are most likely to be members of whichever faith is being attacked.

    • This is fascinating. Someone has the same name I do or chose to use mine. I do not disagree with the comment. It just was not made by the “Warren” in the two posts above.

      And you are right. Dan is a baiter who is not open to civil dialogue. Twice now he has claimed that the LDS Church is either demonic or that Lucifer is behind it. That is beyond rude. Ironically, those who felt threatened by Christ’s ministry claimed he was possessed of a devil. The LDS are in good company if they face such accusations as the reason behind their goodness and service (another way in which the LDS are consistent with the New Testament Church).

      I think we should ignore Dan as Jana initially suggested. This Warren will be.

      • Warren , as I said before, I am in your side…if your house is on fire I would break a window to help you get out of the house, you would thank me later on, You certainly would not called this helpful act rude.
        Now, can you in a civil manner answer this question, and I am assuming you are an LDS person

        Do you, as a devout Mormon, believe Joseph Smith’s primary “Gospel” teaching – that God, the Father, (Elohim) was a man , became a god and is an exalted man now, married to untold numbers of polygamous “Goddesses” or “Heavenly Mothers”? If so, where is that doctrine found in sacred writ – the inspired “word” of God (B of M, or KJV, Pearl of Great Price, or D&C)? -

        • The problem is, my house is not on fire. I am not going to thank someone for wrecking my home when it was not on fire. I don’t believe in the scorched earth approach to “saving”our neighbors. I believe in being a good neighbor and remaining a good neighbor whether or not someone accepts the gospel. Christ went about “doing good.” And most people were not converted despite the good he did. I think we should emulate that approach.

          What you say is not Joseph’s “primary” teaching. I will let Joseph speak for himself.

          “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.”

          It is a fact that for a time ancient prophets were sanctioned by God to have more than one wife. (He commanded it in the early days of the LDS Church but has revoked that command; polygamists today are not affiliated with the Church) From that fact some have reasoned God might do the same, but it is not a tennet of faith in Jesus Christ. It is speculation and only speculation and is not taught as a doctrine, primary or otherwise. In fact the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy as an abomination except in the rare case God commands it to raise up children unto him. (One can see why it would be commanded by God in the genesis of the Israelite nation and again in the genesis of the Latter-day Saint church).

          The concept that God was once a man is not fully explained. One question is was he man in the way Christ was a man or otherwise. We do not have the benefit of having multiple recorded conversations from Joseph Smith on this point. This teaching is from one of his sermons at the end of his life.

          What we do know is one of Christ’s titles is Son of Man and one of God the Father’s titles is Man of Holiness. That is found in the Pearl of Great Price. We also know that God the Father has a body of flesh and bone as does Jesus Christ. That is found in the Doctrine & Covenants. God the Father and Jesus Christ are separate beings. That is found throughout the scriptures and in the testimony of Joseph Smith who saw them standing before him. (Pearl of Great Price). His personal experience is not unlike what Stephen saw at his martyrdom, Christ on the right hand of the Father.

          The primary teaching of Joseph Smith is what I quoted above. The divinity and mission of Jesus Christ is Joseph Smith’s primary teaching. Joseph was an apostle of Jesus Christ.

          • Warren, but your house is on fire…and the sad thing is? you don’t even know it…remember, I said, that mormonism is the cartel, and mormons are laundering the money, and don’t even know it? even if you ask them to check what others say about you…you don’t believe it? because “someone” is prompting you, to not believe these “rumors” all is well you are told, so you even reasoned within yourself , because you “feel it”…you are not going to question the cartel, because you know the money is good, it has not given you any problems…it is legit…others tell you…
            Most mormons don’t even know what the gospel is…And you are correct, most of the people in Jesus time would not believe they were from the devil…
            [John 8:44
            44 Ye are of your father the devil,
            KJV] Jesus tells them..
            Proof, that you are controlled? you just went in Robot mode…You copied the answer …because I did not even mentioned polygamy, and yet its in the answer you copied.(do you mind giving me the documentation of this J Smith saying?)
            And you don’t have J Smith writings you say? but that is what the copied answer you gave me tells you, Actually
            Joseph Smith said
            “…I am going to tell you how god came to be god, We have imagine and supposed that god was god from all eternity I will refute that idea…it is the first principle of the gospel…he was once a man like us; yea, that god himself the Father of us all, dwell on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did…”
            You will find this outrageous statement from an “apostle” of God??
            You find this information
            (King Follet discourse quoted by McConkie teachings of prophet J. Smith, P-345 and in MD P-321 And also quoted in History of the Church. Vol 6, p-302-317) That is not the God of the Bible.
            That is a different god, a man that became a god?
            But you touched on the heart of the matter…The alleged first vision…the foundation of mormonism
            And here is my next question, but let me continue on my next e-mail
            stay tune

          • Graham Ambrose

            Dan… You would agree, that the Lord is our great Exemplar. And where did he get the idea that he is our Exemplar, even our Savior? In John 5:19 we find one answer: “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (KJV)

            If I might be allowed to take this pronouncement to its ultimate implication: if the Son does nothing save what he sees the Father do, then could I reason that the Father also was a Savior to his brethren? If so, then does that mean he, the Father, also was born of woman and went forth doing nothing “but what he seeth [HIS] Father doeth”? In other words, just as Christ came among us as a man, then the Father also came among his brethren…as a man!

            I grant you, this is a provocative interpretation. Yet, as for myself, I cannot deny the reasoning behind it. What think ye?

          • <>

            If you are talking about the mormon god, you have a big problem….the mormon Jesus was not even born yet when the alleged mormon god started his “progression” to godhood, was not even married yet….so how is this mormon jesus “see” his “father” do anything???

            The Bible in the other hand speaks of the Son, from eternity one with the Father and now the incarnate Son , is sent by the Father to do the Fathers will…
            The very relationship of the Son to the Father makes it impossible that the Son do it all by himself separate and apart from the Father…against the Fathers will?
            But the question makes clear when we read the next verses
            That leads to my last verse.

            John 5:20-24
            20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
            21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
            22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
            23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
            24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
            KJV
            I am not going to died I will just merely change my abode , see ye?

          • Graham Ambrose

            Dan… Clarification: Putting aside the idea for the moment of the “Mormon God,” I’m simply asking for your interpretation of John 5:19. What exactly did Christ see his Father doeth?

            That becomes even more of an issue with verse 20: “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself [the Father] doeth.”

          • Ambrose,
            -The reason I keep harping on the mormon god? is because the distance between the mormon god and the God of the Bible is infinity
            Sorry , I had to answer this way
            God is not a man, so when we talk of God , the verb “shows” corresponds with the verse”sees” in v.19.
            Remembering that Jesus is the incarnate and in a redemptive role and yet one in essence.
            We as humans cannot fully understand this glorious concept, I said before we can only apprehend it
            And all of this acts of the Father Son, Holy Spirit is and includes and pertains to our redemption
            That is why when Paul under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit said
            Col 1:19-20
            God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

          • Graham Ambrose

            Dan… Alas, from your response, we are, in fact, faced with a mystery. I understand.

            As for me, I was only trying to understand your point of view by my referring to key scriptures in the Bible. But we are both faced with the brick wall of mystery.

            Yes, we both believe in Christ as our Savior. Yes, we both believe we are children of our Father in Heaven. Yes, we both believe we are all going to be resurrected, both body and soul. Yes, we both believe that we cannot return to heaven but by the grace of Christ. But as to how those four fundamental beliefs lead us to a clearer understanding of heaven, the godhead and our ultimate destiny, they fall short. I was hoping for more.

            Maybe you could ask me a couple of provocative questions to keep the conversation going.

          • Ambrose, if you are a mormon and believe all of the mormon mantra, you are not can not be a true Christian as per defined by the Bible.
            All the superlatives you gave me, kind of characteristics of a true believer, but mormonism is an ant-Christian sect
            Let me illustrate
            Remember when Obama infused billions into the economy? let us suppose for the sake of my illustration, that the last three numbers of the last bill of this massive amount terminates in 4578, OK?
            Now supposed the machine keeps going after the last bill , and before the guys running this press machine , finally pull the switch after 2 billions are printed… after the last bill….so the bill ending in 4578 are legit nomenclature

            Any bill after this number is not authorized therefore it is illegal, because it is out the range prescribed to the authorized amount
            Now supposed this guys agree not to tell, and they keep the money and formed some kind of a legit corporation
            In order to move the money into the economy without being discover? they select certain individuals and provide the money to continue the business in this corporation, let say, like AMWAY
            So eventually they grow big and the people also grow with the corporation.
            Now the money is just like the real thing, the only thing, this money is not authorized! that is the only difference
            Mormonism is this “corporation” the majority do not know the original operation, they are in trouble, because they used counterfeit money(not authorized)
            J Smith does not have the authority to use Christians terms, because his government (his gospel) is not from the legit government(True gospel)

            And not only that , the chairman of the board is the Prince of this world….(2 Cor 4:4) he is powerful, he imitates the real thing, he controls people by given them feelings of assurance…but “these bills” are not from God they were printed by no authority
            Let me stop here , and we will continue later…

            .

          • Graham Ambrose

            Dan… I asked for questions, not a diatribe against my religious beliefs. Granted, you may be justified in your rhetoric thinking that I belong to the Church of Beelzebub, and that you’re attempting to rescue me from my delusion.

            Even so, could you not ponder for just a moment as to why a reasonably intelligent person, who apparently subscribes to established Christian behavior (I was raised in the Church of England) chooses to belong to such an “aberrant religion launched by such an imposter and deviant as J. Smith”?

          • Ambrose,
            I am telling you the truth, anyone that wants to be a god (Eternal Progression) is definitely against God
            Christ told the main religious leaders of his day”…you are of your Father the devil…”John 8:44—
            How an intelligent person falls for this sect? for the same reason a person with a Ph degree highly educated? gets drunk…to the point he does not know what he is doing…in other words an element/something is controlling his brain…
            In this instance its the “spirits” (liquor)
            You my friend have been deceived…
            Back to my illustration? how a decent person fall for this scheme? simply, he does not know, All looks so legal, legit…
            Sorry to tell you but J Smith according to the Bible should be rock to sleep, because he is taking you to another god read the whole of Deut 13: “.
            Deut 13:5
            5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God,
            KJV

          • I forgot to comment on the four fundamentals as you called them.

            We don’t believe in the same Christ. The mormon christ is/was the byproduct of the mormon god coming to Mary , and doing what other man could have done (The “seer” p-158, )1853,
            And we both don’t believe we are children of God
            The Bible teaches that we are program to be separated from God for eternity, because of the fall. Some of us are born again and we are sons by adaption
            And even though we are all going to be resurrected, yes but some to eternal darkness others to eternal life, thus the second death
            Return to heaven? we were never in heaven so how are we to return?

          • …continue, here is my question on the foundation of mormonism
            Can you find me a close associate/family/newspaper/dairy/book/friend/foe/historian/newspaper/document, of J Smith , that would corroborate this TALL TALE? (first vision) Surely if he TOLD, there would be TONS of evidence that J Smith TOLD…it was a revival,…folks would flock to the site to see this site of this glorious event in the “sacred” grove…maybe even erect a monument there…
            Now, the “foundation” of mormonism was stated by no less then one of you last “prophets” Mr Hinckley.
            This is what the late Hinckley prophet said about this “vision” The foundation of mormonism??

            “…. Every claim that we make concerning divine authority, every truth that we offer concerning the validity of this work, all finds its roots in the First Vision of the boy prophet. Without it we would not have anything much to say…This becomes the hinge pin on which the whole cause turns. If the First Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organization and all of the other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have. If the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is that simple. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.227)
            Hinckley, said that if the vision did not occur? …LDS is involved in a great sham..(emph mine)
            Hinckley said if the vision was true…then mormonism is true…
            So you need to establish J Smith TOLD…(noticed That I am only asking for a corroboration statement…forget whether this “vision” occurred or not)
            As you can see from J Smith account he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town…was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the “Father and Son”(those exact words)
            Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years(Pearl of Great Praise)…well, I will extend the time frame?…..Again, my question to you, can you provide me with any corroboration statement from a close associate/family/newspaper/dairy/book/friend/foe/historian/newspaper/document, of J Smith …… any thing to confirmed J Smith TOLD from 1820 TO 1838 time frame ?
            If you cannot find any evidence of this TALL TALE J Smith made it all up….mormon people have been had big time…
            And I agree with you “seer” You are involved in a great SHAM…

            Hint: You could look at J Smith mother biography of J Smith surely she must of have mentioned something…or the history written by Oliver in 1834…or his brother William, He was an “apostle” he gave four interviews in his life time up until 1876? he died in 1893?
            If J Smith TOLD, it is inconceivable that you cannot find any corroboration in these 18 years.!

          • Dan,

            We talk about it pretty casually, but being in the presence of God is a very sacred matter. It is reasonable for this fourteen year old boy to treat it as such and wait until the time was right. He spoke of his experiences as God directed him to do. He did speak of it a few times early on.

            Pres. Hinckley was indeed a prophet and he was absolutely right. If the vision Joseph had was not true nothing in Mormonism is true. But the marvelous thing is, it is true. That’s why Pres. Hinckley was confident in what he said.

            I know all of the arguments you are making. I know the discourse you quote of Joseph. You will note that is what I alluded to in my last post.

            Joseph was indeed a prophet and apostle of Christ. His vision occurred. And many others of which there were multiple participants with corroborating accounts. Joseph is the foremost authority on the nature of God due to his experiences. I suppose I should not be surprised that so many speak ill of Joseph. It was prophesied his name would be spoken of for good and evil. (Pearl of Great Price). I speak good of him as I know him to be.

            Christ spoke of giving peace, not as the world giveth. I have that peace in the truth of Joseph’s vision and the Book of Mormon.

            I truly wish you well. I will not be replying any more. (I wonder what grotesque picture I will be given this time.)

  5. Dean from Calif

    This is not about trolls and trolling:

    Jana, I listened to the new podcast last night and I really do try not to be a respecter of persons but I am impressed with the Ph.D. from Columbia and especially the depth of some of your comments.
    I had not heard of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. I agree, those of us who are LDS need to be careful of our overreliance on our beloved prophets. We must remember that B. Young did teach “Adam-God”, Jonah did run from his assignment, Paul allowed his culture to terribly influence his writings about women, David failed like no other and even Peter publicly denied the Savior three times in one night.
    Using the four parts of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral has some great benefits. I, too, am an adult convert (40 years this December) and I was not baptized until all four were “properly” satisfied.
    As a licensed psychotherapist I cured a very religious woman of moderately severe depression in one two hour session with the use of all four points. We met briefly three more times to make certain there was not going to be a relapse. But that was an amazing experience for both of us. Looking back, it probably would not have worked so quickly with only two or three.
    Thank you, so much, for the enlightenment of knowing about this “quad”. John Wesley evidently served the Lord well by preparing many to receive the gospel.
    P.S. I just bought one of your books – I’ll report on that later (or on Amazon).
    Jana, keep getting inspired to write!

    • Jana Riess

      Wow, a comment about the original post! :-) Dean, consider yourself hugged.

      I’m so glad to hear that the Wesleyan Quadrilateral has proven helpful for you, and for your client. It’s been a powerful tool of discernment for me.

  6. <<>

    Google is not the Bible, These 100 references are from other Bible authors , all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and they all imply God in three persons ONE essence OK?

    <>

    Christ resurrected body, is still with him, only we are told in the Bible , that his body is a glorify body, was able to go through walls and yet was able to eat food, etc , again the Bible tell us, that this is the same glorious glorified body we will have when the true Christian is resurrected(I will give you the references to all these statements from the Bible later, if you so desire)

    <>

    Jesus is speaking of the “oneness” He has mentioned in John 10:30 and 14:10 this is the essential essence of the persons of the Trinity.
    All believers are one spiritually by their living connection with God, the Word and name, the faith, and life is in all the true believers , We are one, the communion of saints , the Eklesia invisible , this is the oneness that is like unto the oneness of the Father and of the Son,
    So to be one with God does not meant “may get to be one” that is mormon talk and is demonic in nature and blasphemous, there is only one God and you cannot become one.

  7. Graham Ambrose

    Dan… Wonderful! We agree on two issues: (1) that God retains His body; (2) we agree that the word “one” refers to unity or, as you say, “one spiritually by their living connection with God.”

    But how does these two issues inform trinitarianism? How can Christ and His body become one with the Father and the Holy Ghost beyond the idea of unity? Or is this a theological mystery?

  8. Ambrose, it is a very good question, but it is not difficult to apprehend, but it is late , I just saw this e-mail, and I need my beauty sleep. but I will answer you tomorrow
    I don’t work tomorrow so I have plenty of time OK?

    A small correction? God the Son is the person who retains His body, the Bible (Paul)calls him the last Adam (1Cor :15:45)
    Ah but here comes a mystery
    1 Cor 15:51-54
    51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
    (from New International Version)

    And Ambrose, I am actually not going to died really, I will just merely change rooms
    John 5:24
    24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life
    (from New International Version)
    See ya

  9. Ambrose,
    Remember when Christ said in John 10:30 “…I and the Father are one ” He meant not one person,…these two persons are not mingle…Jesus clarifies further when He tells Phillip, …’..how long I had been with you, and yet you ask , show us the Father…if you see me you see the Father(John 14:9)
    This statement could give us the impression that Jesus looks just like the Father, but the key issue here,..”.how long I have been with you and yet you asked me to show you the father statement”
    I tell my mormon friends, if you see my persona, you know I am a true lamanite (a little humor here) but you don’t know if I am a Republican or a Democrat, by just looking at me, …you have to know me a long time and will certainly will know I am a Republican
    And that is why Jesus reinforces this concept , I am in the Father, and the Father is in me”.(verse 10) ..what I say/speak, are not from myself the Father abiding in me does his works.
    So Jesus and the Father are one, a unity substance a unity in essence
    I explained the trinity to my son when he was about 7 years old
    I said the Bible has this statement “…let us make man in our Image after our likeness (Gen 1:26)
    Two concepts here , the Image, relate that concept that we as humans can think, rationalize, love, intelligence etc (I told my son, you can lie to a dog, but he would not be able to relate to you at this concept, because he does not have the image of God)
    After our likeness, means to me that God does by/through Christ as we do by our hands,(many verses in the Bible teaches this concept, ..the arm of the Lord,… no one can snatch them out of my Hand etc ) and moves by the power of the Holy Spirit like we humans move by the power of our feet.
    God initiates as we initiate with our head(Brain)
    And yet , the hands are not the feet, nor the head is the feet , or the feet is not the head…so we were created in His likeness(Gen 1:26)
    And yet all these members are one in essence, they communicate with each other,
    Like I mentioned before there are more than 1000 (I erroneously said 100) verses in the OT and NT that attest to this glorious Triune God.
    If my hand could talk, it would say to you , I am in Dan, and Dan is in me, we are one substance/essence
    And that is what Christ said to Philip.(John 14:10)
    Let me add the important role of Jesus to our eternal final consequence
    Matt 11:27/Luke 10:22
    27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
    (from New International Version)

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