There are many things I disagree with in Lynn Wilder's ex-Mormon memoir, but compared to others in this genre is is fair and informative.

There are many things I disagree with in Lynn Wilder’s ex-Mormon memoir, but compared to others in this genre it is fair and informative. (Unveiling Grace website)

If you’ve read a fair number of ex-Mormon narratives (or ex-Catholic, or ex-Hobbit, or ex-anything), you’ll know that they tend to follow a familiar pattern. The memoirist:

  1.    Gets sucked into the religion (or delves deeper into it, if she grew up in that tradition)
  2.    Enjoys a (usually brief) honeymoon period with it
  3.    Becomes disillusioned upon learning truths about the faith that no one had thought to reveal before
  4.    Decides to leave
  5.    Encounters resistance from others about her leaving, and
  6.    Discovers truth, joy, and unicorns outside the evil cult that had robbed her of her best years.

Although Lynn Wilder’s Unveiling Grace follows the same basic trajectory of other memoirs in its genre, I found it a cut above, and I hope active Mormons will give the book a fair hearing.

However, it has a lot of obstacles to overcome if it is going to be taken seriously by Latter-day Saints.

First off, its title will raise the eyebrows of any Mormon who studies history and knows that the world’s first-ever anti-Mormon book, the 1834 muckraker Mormonism Unvailed [sic], bore a similar title, and that that book was full of errors and outright lies.

Second, the front cover’s depiction of an inverted Salt Lake City temple will raise Mormon hackles, as it suggests that everything about the religion is wrong, doomed, and dangerous. The temple looks to be crashing down in a sinister way.

And third, the book description glitters with incendiary language about “controversial church practices” and how the family barely escaped Mormonism’s clutches, etc. The press release opens with the sentence:

More than ever, Mormonism is gaining a foothold in mainstream culture, drawing hundreds of thousands of new followers each year and employing an aggressive public relations campaign to convince even prominent U.S. Christians that Mormonism is a Christian faith, too.

Danger, Will Robinson Protestant!

Sigh.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find the book itself was more even-handed than its packaging would suggest. Wilder, who converted to the LDS Church with her husband in the late 1970s, served in many capacities in the Church, including as a temple ordinance worker and stake Relief Society president. She also taught in the BYU education department for years. She knows Mormonism.

And yet the book is not a traditional go-for-the-jugular exposé. The temple section, for example, is even a little vague when compared to memoirs written by the likes of Deborah Laake twenty years ago. Wilder certainly sees her journey out of Mormonism as one from error into light—she now considers Mormonism a “works-based faith” that removed her from “the bigger God” of the evangelical tradition she now embraces—but she is civil to the religion she left behind. She recounts many beautiful spiritual experiences she had while a Mormon, including an electric sensation at her patriarchal blessing and the joy of raising her children in a religion that so heavily emphasized family love.

Speaking of love, I am always skeptical when non-Mormons who write books about Mormonism’s flaws say they do so because they “love” the Mormon people. I’m rarely feeling the love, to be honest. But with this memoir, I could at least glimpse it at times, and believe that Wilder’s heart is in the right place. So I hope Mormons will evaluate the book based on its own merits without shooting the messenger or dismissing it sight unseen or any of the other knee-jerk reactions that we have adopted because—let’s face it—we have been burned far too many times.

I certainly don’t agree with many of Wilder’s critical assessments of Mormon theology. She is persuaded that the biblical God, the God of grace, is not to be found in my religion; as you can see from this spirited blog discussion several months ago, any depiction of evangelicalism as a champion of grace and Mormonism as a defender of works is grossly oversimplified. Also, some of her explanations of Mormonism border on caricature, e.g., “the fruit of Mormonism is to create gods (polytheism), spawn converts to a false gospel (even drawing people away from biblical Christianity), and save those who are already dead . . . this last one is creepy.” I am not a polytheist, unless you count the fact that I worship Joss Whedon as well as Jesus Christ, and I don’t quite recognize the religion Wilder is talking about here.

But overall, the memoir is a fair account of one family’s spiritual journey in and out of Mormonism. Although the basic tenets of Mormon theology are unlikely to change from outside criticism, the Church would do well to take heed of some of the other things that began creating cognitive dissonance for Wilder and her husband. He, for example, was distressed to learn after nearly three decades as a Mormon that some leaders of the Church continued to practice polygamy—and lie about it to government officials—after the 1890 Manifesto supposedly put an end to the practice. Learning the historical truth about polygamy was one of the death knells to his belief in Mormonism, and perhaps it would not have been if the Church had been more honest about its past. All religions have skeletons in the closet, and it is ultimately far more damaging than beneficial to pretend they aren’t there.

More than anything, I hope the book can spark some candid discussions, both between evangelicals and Mormons and among Mormons themselves.

222 Comments

  1. Sister Geraldine M. Wagner

    Mormonism is not a Christian denomination. Their family loyalty is excellent, however, and could be followed by members of any religion.

      • Sister Geraldine M. Wagner

        Have you read the Nicene Creed? Both Catholic and Eastern Christians believe what this creed expounds. Mormons do not, unless they have recently changed!

        • I expect that neither Christ, nor His Apostles, nor any other character from New Testament times ever read the Nicene Creed – coming, as it did, about three centuries AFTER the Crucifixion.

          • You’re missing the point. The Nicene Creed is a profession of faith in Christ. It doesn’t matter when it was written. Key points:
            We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
            the only Son of God,
            eternally begotten of the Father,

            For us and for our salvation
            he came down from heaven,
            was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
            and became truly human.
            For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
            he suffered death and was buried.
            On the third day he rose again
            in accordance with the Scriptures;
            he ascended into heaven
            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

            He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
            and his kingdom will have no end.

            We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
            We look for the resurrection of the dead,
            and the life of the world to come. Amen.

            This is not the whole creed. It’s worth it to take the time to study the whole thing. It affirms the beliefs of orthodox Christianity. Then find out how the Mormon church differs from these beliefs. It will open your eyes.

            Study for yourself. The truth will set you free.

          • Not missing anything. The logic, above, could be expressed:

            Premise 1: All Christians accept the Nicene Creed
            Premise 2: Mormons do not accept the Nicene Creed
            Conclusion: Ergo, Mormons are not Christians

            I have demonstrated that premise #1 is faulty. New Testament Christians knew nothing of Nicene. Therefore the conclusion is bad.

            Now, if you want to /modify/ the first premise – something along the lines of “All modern Christians accept the Nicene Creed” – you’d first have to prove that it was true, or you have the same problem.

            A better solution is to modify the first premise to “All Creedal Christians accept the Nicene Creed.” Mormons would have no problem with that, since we’re certainly not Creedal Christians.

        • Rita, Ann Arbor, MI

          The Nicene Creed is just that–a creed. It is not found in the Bible, its beliefs were not found in the early Christian Church, and the Council of Nicea was called to settle doctrinal differences in the Church by the Emperor Constantine, who was not a Church official. Greek heresies had been inserted into the doctrine and practices of the Church after the Apostles were gone, and those bishops and priests who wanted to keep the original faith were fighting against those who wanted to change how the Church viewed the Savior and His life and mission. Constantine, being a Greek, called together mostly bishops who believed in the “new” faith, Greek gnosticism and all, to conclusively decide what the doctrine would be. They came up with the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith that flew in the face of everything the Apostles and earliest Church fathers had preached. Christ was no longer the literal Son of the Father, as He said He was, with a resurrected, physical body, which He said He had, but an unembodied spirit that was simply a manifestation of God, somehow seeming to be separate, but not really, seeming to have a physical body, but not really. It takes some real mental gymnastics to believe the Nicene Creed and the Bible at the same time.
          Mormons, and many other Christian sects, do not hold to the Nicene Creed. It is not obligatory to believe it in order to be a Christian. If you really think deeply about it, the Nicene Creed is about as far from what Christ proclaimed about Himself and His Church as is possible to get.
          Mormons worship Christ. Mormons believe Christ, believe in Christ as the only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, believe in His sacrifice for the remission of sins, and in His love for us. His Atonement saves us, His grace sanctifies us, and through Him, we have the opportunity to return to our Father in Heaven, to live with Him eternally.

    • Graham Ambrose

      Sister Geraldine… Could you kindly explain to this Mormon why specifically you do not believe we are Christian. ((Granted, I’ve read of some of the reasons, but it would be helpful to refresh my memory…or even to add to my understanding.) Thank you.

      • Sister Geraldine M. Wagner

        I’ll just name one main reason:the very nature of the Man-God as interpreted in Mormon theology. From the very beginning of the Christian religion, the Church Fathers took great pains (sometimes literally by persecution and death), to define the nature of Christ. Mormons describe a Christ that I’ve never heard of!

        • Dwight Rogers

          The Book of Mormon clearly testifies of the Jesus of the Bible. For example, just as Isaiah saw and prophesied of Jesus, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi also saw the Jesus of the Bible in vision and prophesied of His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. An angel tells Nephi: of the birth of the Son of God saying “I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem….and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin” and “Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God (see 1 Ne. 11:13,18).

          This Book of Mormon prophet clearly describes the Jesus who is the Son of God whose Mother was a virgin in the city of Nazareth near Jerusalem. Nephi says “And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms…. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” (1 Ne. 11: 20-21). Nephi then says he saw “the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.” (1 Ne. 11:24).

          Nephi goes on saying: “And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove. And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them. And I also beheld twelve others following him.” (1 Ne. 11:27-29)
          Here Nephi testifies of the Jesus who was baptized of John and who was followed by twelve others. And Nephi says “And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits. . . .And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. . . .And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” (1 Ne, 11:31-33)

          The Mormon Jesus is the one who did all these things mentioned above including being slain on the cross for the sins of the world. That’s the Jesus of the Bible.

          One of the recurring themes of the Book of Mormon is to bring, not only non-Jews to Christ but to bring the Jews, who rejected Him, back to Jesus Christ their true Messiah. The Mormon Jesus is, therefore, clearly the Jesus of the Bible whom the Jews rejected and crucified. We see this in the following verses from the Book of Mormon:

          2 Nephi 26:12
          And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;

          Mormon 3:21
          And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God.

          Mormon 7:5
          Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.

          Mormon 7:8
          Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.

          Mormon 5:14
          And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;

          The Book of Mormon testifies repeatedly and clearly of the Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary, who lived in the area around Nazareth and Jerusalem, who was baptized by John, who appointed twelve Apostles, who healed the sick and raised the dead, who was crucified and rose again on the third day and by who’s grace we are saved, The Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of the same Jesus.

          • Mr Rogers,
            When anyone quotes from the BOM , is no different if you are quoting from the book of Santa
            BOM , is fiction, I am from Mexico, no true Historian from Mexico, or for the World for that matter will go on a limb and attests that BOM is true history

          • Avrahim Chesterfield

            The Book of Mormon is nothing more than a bad novel, false characters, Jesus never inhabited the Americas, JS stole everything he wrote in the Book of Mormon from the Bible, with his own little twist, also he stole things from the Masonic Lodge, from Manuscripts Found, JS was a con man, he was a false prophet, never saw any gold plates, all of the visitations he had were of satan, not of God. He never saw Jesus and the Father face to face, he was a polygamist, arrested numerous times, said he was a 2nd Muhammed, had a wife that was 14 years old, don’t you get it, there are no living prophets today, nor were there any in 1800, and there hasn’t been any for centuries, perhaps you forgot what the Jesus said in Matthew 22:40….’upon these two commandments HANG all the law and the prophets. JS was a story teller, and he didn’t die as a martyr but as a murderer….

        • Dwight Rogers

          As Guy Briggs so clearly pointed out, the Jesus of the Bible is who we should believe in. While I respect the struggles and sacrifices of the Church Fathers, their creeds are extra-Biblical and contain some things that are fine but other formulations and definitions which Jesus and the Apostle did not require of Christians. For, instance, there is no mention of a one-substance God in the Bible. If acceptance of the post-Biblical creeds is a requirement to be Christian then all those Christians that went before are not Christian. I don’t accept that. Neither should you.

          • Taking about Christ, God the Son…
            Heb 1:3
            3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, s
            (from New International Version)
            Heb 1:3
            who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person,
            NKJV
            Heb 1:3
            And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature,
            NASU
            Heb 1:3
            Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,
            KJV
            These verses denote the reality or actuality of the Being of God and the Son is the very counterpart, the revelation of Being, the existence , the being itself?
            I have read real theologians who tell me that the English has no comparable term…the KJV uses person, while the Rkjv uses substance.
            But needless to say, there more than 1000 verses/cites from the OT and the NT, that declares/teaches a triune God
            Was not a man that became a god gets married and produces spiritual babies hence the mormon jesus is the brother of lucifer??? from these celestial parents…?
            Sorry that is not Christianity..

    • Avrahim Chesterfield

      Geraldine,

      First of all, what qualifies you to be called sister? Whoever said Mormonism was a Christian denomination. True Christianity, or true followers of Christ, of the first believers in Yeshua or Jesus were all Jews, as I am, and I am a completed Jew for Jesus. First we need what denomination means and second we need to establish what Mormonism really teaches, such as Jesus being our elder brother, the spirit brother of Lucifer, that Jesus was a polygamist, that Adam was Michael the arc angel, polytheism, and not one of these doctrines are in the Book of Mormon, why? You say that their family royalty is excellent, according who, you or Jesus? All religions are wrong, Jesus never taught a new religion He taught a new way of life. Just because you belong to Mormon church doesn’t make you a Chritian, in the same if you worked at McDonald’s makes you a hamburger. Jesus said, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me, that’s not religion.

  2. So we aren’t Christians because we interpret the bible differently than you do…..sounds judgmental and maybe unchristian? Wait maybe you aren’t….. Naaa didn’t think so

    • Unlike traditional, exoteric Christianity, the esoteric LDS Church teaches that there are milk and meat teachings. Some teachings must be kept secret from new recruits, lest they be scared off. Look at John 6:66 and ask yourself if Jesus was afraid to teach “meat” teachings to the uninitiated. When Mormons find out that Joseph Smith had multiple wives, that the Book of Abraham is a confirmed hoax (despite the Maxwell Institute’s best effort to handwave the evidence away), etc. etc. etc. they often feel betrayed. This is why Christians “judge” Mormons. It’s not because we’re mean, or we’re just so intolerant of different interpretations of scripture.

      • Dwight Rogers

        Are you forgetting that teaching milk before meat is a Biblical Teaching? Seems so. The Lord gives us truth line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. (Isaiah 21:10, 13). He gives milk before meat (Hebrews 5:12)

        When sacred things are handed out to just anybody they are not understood or valued by those who are spiritually unprepared (See 1 Corinthians Chapter 2).

        On several occasions the teachings of Jesus were so sacred that he did not want to discuss them openly. After Peter James and John saw Moses, and Elias, and heard God’s voice on the Mount of TransfigurationJesus told them “tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead” (Matt. 17:9).

        John’s account tells us that “when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” (John 7:10)

        On other occasions the Lord told his disciples “that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ,” (Matt 16:20, Mark 7:36, Luke 9:21). After performing some miraculous healings, Christ required that the event be kept secret. For instance, after healing a leper (Matt. 8:2-4), he said, “see thou tell no man,” (Mark 5:43, Mark 7:36). There are several more instances when Jesus saidi to “tell no man.”

        When teaching the people Jesus often used parables. When His disciples asked him why He taught in parables “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matthew 13:11) It was meant for his more trusted followers to understand truths that the body of people were not yet prepared to receive.

        And Jesus again taught “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6) Or as it is given in the JST: “And the mysteries of the kingdom ye shall keep within yourselves; for it is not meet to give that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls unto swine, lest they trample them under their feet.” (JST Matt. 7:10)

        Shortly before His crucifixion Jesus said to the apostles: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12) Luke tells us that Jesus did come back and teach the disciples the “many things” the he desired to teach them before he was taken from them and crucified. After His resurrection, Jesus was “seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3) Here we are informed that, after His resurrection, Jesus spent forty days teaching his disciples of the things of God. Is there any doubt that, during the forty days, Jesus fulfilled his wish to share “many things” with his trusted disciples? We are explicitly told that during the forty days He taught them “of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” and yet Luke does not record in Acts what those teachings were.

        Luke writes that the resurrected Lord “Shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). The phrase “infallible proofs” was translated by King James scholars from the Greek, tekmēriois, which literally means “sure signs or tokens. (See Also Isaiah 22:23)

        The apostle Paul writes to “the church of God which is at Corinth.” (1 Corinthians 1:2). Then, as recorded in chapter two of the King James version Paul say to them “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

        However, in an alternate translation it reads: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not declaring unto you the secret ritual of God with eloquence or the wisdom. For I determined to not know anything among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified.” He then goes on to say “However, we do speak wisdom among those who are initiated; not the wisdom of this world or of the rulers of this world who are coming to nothing, but we speak the wisdom of God in a secret ritual, even the secret wisdom that God has ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Cor. 2:1-2,6-7)

        In the KJV verse six says “we speak wisdom among them that are perfect”. It actually reads “among the teleos.” Teleos is sometimes translated as “the mature” or “the perfect” but here it more accurately means “the initiated” meaning those who are sufficiently mature in the gospel and are, therefore, initiated into the mysteries.

        Paul, then, is saying that he will not speak of the secret rituals to the body of Christians but limits his discussion with them to Jesus Christ and his crucifixion. Paul the says that he does speak of the secret rituals with the more mature Christians saying: “we do speak wisdom among those who are initiated. . . we speak the wisdom of God in a secret ritual, even the secret wisdom that God has ordained before the world unto our glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-7) [Later, some of the early church fathers also equated this verse with the secret mysteries].

        Here Paul divides the people into three groups: 1) Those who have the “wisdom of this world. . . that come to nought.” 2) Those Christians who are “not to know any thing…save Jesus Christ , and him crucified.” and 3) Those Christians “who are initiated” into the “secret ritual, even the secret wisdom that God has ordained before the world unto our glory.”

        In the next chapter he again reminds the body of Christians at Corinth that “I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” ( 1 Corinthians 3:1-2). Here Paul admits that the more sacred things are not being written. Paul maintains the policy of Jesus that “it is given unto you to know the amysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matthew 13:11), and not to “cast ye your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). Paul maintains this policy throughout the New Testament. He tells the Hebrews that some of them are still babes in Christ and are ready only for milk and not yet ready for meat (Heb. 5:12-14). When are they to receive the “meat?” When they are more mature, ready to be initiated into the mysteries, which means the sacred and secret rituals of the temple.

        The early Christians continued this policy. In his younger years Clement of Rome followed Peter around and was not only taught by Peter but recorded many of Peter’s teachings that are not recorded in the Bible. Clement later became Bishop of Rome about 90 AD. Clement records what Peter taught him about Jesus’ teaching regarding the necessity to protect sacred things associated with “my house” meaning the Temple:

        Peter Said to me, “Let us remember that the Lord commanded us saying : ‘Guard those secret things which belong to me and the sons of my house. Keep my secret ye who are kept by it.’ …Now Clement you are forcing me with your questions to discuss things that are not allowed to talk about. But I will explain things so far as it is allowed. With the passing of time the more secret things will be disclosed to you….. it is not permitted to me now to disclose these things to you. God has concealed his mind from men and we are under obligation to honor with silence the very highest teachings. Nothing is harder than to reason about the truth in the presence of mixed multitudes of people. I try for the most part by using a certain circumlocution to avoid publishing the chief knowledge concerning the Supreme Divinity to unworthy ears. The teaching of all doctrine has a certain order, and there are some things which must be delivered first, others in the second place, and others in the third, and so all in their order; and if these things be delivered in their order, they become plain; but if they be brought forward out of order, they will seem to be spoken against reason…” (The Recognitions of Clement/Book III/Chapter 24)

        Here Peter cites Jesus about guarding secret things having to do with “my house.” This is a reference to the Temple and is very similar to what Joseph Smith taught:

        “It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered…. The main object [of gathering] was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto….His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose. ”

        Peter is also quoted by Clement of Rome as saying: “But if [Simon] remains wrapped up and polluted in those sins which are manifestly such, it does not become me to speak to him at all of the more secret and sacred things of divine knowledge, but rather to protest and confront him, that he cease from sin, and cleanse his actions from vice.”

        “But if he insinuate himself, and lead us on to speak what he . . . ought not to hear, it will be our part to parry him cautiously. For not to answer him at all does not seem proper, for the sake of the hearers, lest haply they may think that we decline the contest through want of ability to answer him, and so their faith may be injured through their misunderstanding of our purpose.” (Clement recognitions in Ante-Nicene Fathers or ANF, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleaveland Coxe, vol. 5 [Peabody MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999], 8:98)

        Here Peter teaches to withhold the more “secret and sacred things” from those who are not ready to receive them but that we should give them an answer nevertheless. Do you think that, like Latter-day Saints, the early Christians also suffered from the criticism of having secret information that they hide from others? I’m pretty sure they did.

        It wasn’t just Peter and Paul who followed the Lord in this policy: Ignatius was the third bishop of Antioch. Some sources place his birth as early as 35 A.D. and others place it around 50 A.D. He lived sometime between about 35 to about 117 AD. Some sources place his death at 108 AD. He, and Polycarp were trained by the apostle John and he was made bishop of Antioch by Peter. Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement, all early bishops commissioned by the apostles, wrote letters to each other in which they said that the apostles had told them that they could either go with the church into apostasy or they could remain faithful and be martyred. All three were fed to the lions in the arena.

        On his way to martyrdom in Rome Ignatius wrote seven letters which give one of the earliest and most important glimpses into early Christian doctrine. Of these letters the Catholic encyclopedia says: “…the best modern criticism favors the authenticity of the seven letters mentioned by Eusebius….The Martyred Bishop of Antioch constitutes a most important link between the Apostles and the Fathers of the early Church. His testimony must necessarily carry with it the greatest weight and demand the most serious consideration.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Ignatius)

        Ignatius wrote to the Saints at Tralles (SW Turkey) who had asked him for a letter about the mysteries. He replied: “I would like to write to you of heavenly things (or of things more full of mystery), but I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes . . . you would be strangled by such things.” (Ignatius, Epist. Ad Tralles, c. 5. ;Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 111 )

        He wrote similar words to the Saints at Rome saying: “I am able to write to you of heavenly things, but I fear lest I should do you an injury. . . . For I am cautious lest ye should not be able to receive [such knowledge], and should be perplexed. For even I, not because I am in bonds, and am able to know heavenly things, and the places of angels, and the stations of the powers that are seen and that are not seen, and on this account a disciple; for I am far short of the perfection which is worthy of God.” ( Epistle to the Romans in ANF 1:104)

        Ignatius, being one of the earliest witnesses to early Christian doctrine, and having been taught in person by apostles John and Peter, continues the policy of Jesus, Paul, and Peter, regarding the transmission of the sacred and secret mysteries. The mysteries were seldom shared, not even with most Christians, they being reserved for the few who demonstrated that they were prepared to be initiated into the mysteries.

        The Apocryphon of James.( Secret Book of James,) begins: “Since you have asked me to send you a secret book of revelation, which was given to me and to Peter by the Lord, I cannot refuse or be silent…. But I … send it to you and to you alone…. Take care not to let this book of the Lord be communicated to many. The Savior did not want it transmitted to all the Twelve.” (Apocryphon of James, 1:8-25; Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 112 )

        The very early Testament of Our Lord Jesus opens with the admonition that the document is to come into the hands “only of proven saints who dwell in the third order (or level) next to the mansion of my Father who sent me.” (Test. Dom. n. J. Christi, Rahmani, ed. I, xviii (pp.22f.); Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 111 )

        Clement of Alexandria (c.150 – c. 215) says: ”The Mysteries of the Faith, are not to be disclosed indiscriminately to everyone, since not all are ready to receive the truth.”‘ (Clement of Alexandria, Patrologia) Clement says that “Jesus explained to his disciples privately the mysteries of the Kingdome of Heaven.”

        Clement, though orthodox, applied the term “Gnostic” to himself and other Christians who possessed certain higher knowledge. Clement is quoted by Eusebius thus: “The Lord after his resurrection imparted knowledge (gnosis) to James the Just and to John and Peter, and they imparted it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the seventy, of whom Barnabas was one.” ” (Clement of Alexandria as quoted by Eusebius. The Church History of EusebiusI 214. Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers Series Two, 14 vols. [1885; reprint., Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004.] 1:104)

        Eusebius goes on saying: “The secret discipline thus instituted by Christ was familiar to those who had been his [Clement’s] masters and preceptors. The multitude of professing Christianity were therefore divided by them into the profane, or those who were not yet admitted to the mysteries, and the initiated, or faithful and perfect. . . and as none were permitted to be present at these mysteries, as they were termed, save those whose admission into the fellowship of the church was perfect and complete, so likewise was it expected that, as a matter of duty, the most sacred silence should be observed in regard to everything connected with the celebration of them, and nothing whatever relating thereto to be committed to the ears of the profane.” (Ibid)

        In Clement’s view, the so called Gnostics usurped the title which rightfully belonged to the elite of mainstream orthodox Christianity. A true Gnostic is an orthodox Christian trained in the mysteries. Those others who became known as Gnostics stole the title and imitated the mysteries.

        Clement says: “Wherefore also all men are his, some through gnosis, others not yet so, and some as friends, some as faithful servants, some as servants merely. This is the teacher who trains the Gnostic by mysteries, and the believer by good hopes, and the hard of heart by corrective discipline through sensible operation.” (Clement)

        The mysteries are not given to the hard of heart or even the believing Christians, but only to the Christians who are trained in the mysteries. These are they who have repented and passed through purification. These are the three levels spoken of earlier by Paul which includes the non-believer or non-obedient, the believer or Christian, and the advanced Christian who is initiated into the mysteries. This teaching of Paul, Peter, and the early fathers, and initiated by Jesus Himself, recognize a distinction between regular Christians and those Christians who are prepared for initiation into the mysteries. The teaching runs through the writings of early Christianity.

        Origen (185-254 A.D.) was Clement of Alexandria’s disciple. While writing a response to the heretic Celsus he too describes two levels of Christians: “Now, in answer to such statements [of Celsus], we say that it is not the same thing to invite those who are sick in soul to be cured, and those who are in health to the knowledge and study of divine things. We, however, keeping both these things in view, at first invite all men to be healed, and exhort those who are sinners to come to the consideration of the doctrines which teach men not to sin. . . .And when those who have been turned towards virtue have made progress, and have shown that they have been purified by the word, and have led as far as they can a better life, then and not before do we invite them to participate in our mysteries. ‘For we speak wisdom among them that are perfect.’ [citing 2 Corinthians 2:6 which we have previously discussed]. . . . .Whoever is pure not only from all defilement, but from what are regarded as lesser transgressions, let him be boldly initiated in the mysteries of Jesus, which properly are made known only to the holy and the pure. . .He who acts as initiator, according to the precepts of Jesus, will say to those who have been purified in heart, ‘He whose soul has, for a long time, been conscious of no evil, and especially since he yielded himself to the healing of the word, let such an one hear the doctrines which were spoken in private by Jesus to His genuine disciples.’ [Celsus] does not know the difference between inviting the wicked to be healed, and initiating those already purified into the sacred mysteries! Not to participation in mysteries, then, and to fellowship in the wisdom hidden in a mystery, which God ordained before the world to the glory of His saints, do we invite the wicked man, and the thief, and the housebreaker, and the poisoner, and the committer of sacrilege, and the plunderer of the dead and all those others whom Celsus may enumerate in his exaggerated style, but such as these we invite to be healed. . . God the Word was sent, indeed, as a physician to sinners, but as a teacher of divine mysteries to those who are already pure and who sin no more.” (Against Celsus in ANF 4:487-489)

        Hippolytus (170-235 A.D) is said to be the most important 3rd century theologian in the Christian Church. Around 200 A.D he taught: “But if there is any other matter which ought to be told, let the bishop impart it secretly to those who are communicated. He shall not tell this to any but the faithful and only after they have first been communicated. This is the white stone of which John said that there is a new name written upon it which no man knows except him who receives. Clement of Alexandria claimed to possess a secret tradition of knowledge (gnosis) handed down from the Savior to the Apostles and on to Clement himself by way of certain of his teachers.”

        Lactantius (ca. 240 – ca. 320) wrote “We do not make a practice of defending and discussing this thing publicly, because, with the help of God, we quietly keep his secret to ourselves in silence . . . for it is proper to withhold and conceal the mystery with all possible care—especially so for us who bear the name of believers.”(Lactantius, Divine Institutes VIII. 26 (Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 111 ) And: “The mystery ought to be most faithfully concealed and covered especially by us who bear the name of faith.”

        St. Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople (329-390 A.D), wrote in A.D. 379: “You have heard as much of the Mystery as we are allowed to speak openly in the ears of all; the rest will be communicated to you in private; and that you must retain within yourself… Our Mysteries are not to be known to strangers.”

        • Don’t forget this one!…

          “The teaching of all doctrine,” says the Apostle Peter in the Recognitions, “has a certain order, and there are some things which must be delivered first, others in the second place, and others in the third, and so all in their order; and if these things be delivered in their order, they become plain; but if they be brought forward out of order, they will seem to be spoken against reason.” That is why he rebuked the youthful Clement for wanting to know everything ahead of time.

          So presenting the meatier doctrines without the basics.. give way for pearls to be walked upon by swine. A problem that we as Mormons see happen all the time.

          • MrNirom,
            Let us go on record, that after many explanations of your so call “doctrines believes”, you have not produce the main ingredient, the foundation of your “faith”
            Like the guy, trying to sell me a unique auto, this guy describes the many attributes of this special automobile,….80 miles to the gallon, high resale value, never needs a tune up…runs on water…etc…but the first time I asked this fellow, if this auto is for real? can I see it? …and this fellow just keep telling me one more list of these wonders of this auto…did I tell you that this auto can also fly…he replies…but again…do you own this auto? do you have the pink slip? do you have documentation that this auto actually exist?…and before you begin another mantra on this auto…I will ask again

            I will repeat the, my question again!
            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? 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…
            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”(actual words)
            Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years…well, I will extend the frame time?….. 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 anyone 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…
            Remember, I am only asking a corroboration, that J Smith TOLD. forget whether the vision was true or not
            Dan
            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.!
            -

      • Dwight Rogers

        You say: “When Mormons find out that Joseph Smith had multiple wives…they often feel betrayed.”

        When Christians find out that some of the most righteous Bible prophets had plural wives, the God commanded them to, and that Jesus held up some of those righteous men as examples of who would go to heaven, do they then also feel betrayed?

        Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and he restored the doctrines and practices of the original Christians and the ancient Biblical Prophets. His restoration of the Biblical practice of plural marriage is an evidence that he was truly a prophet in the same tradition of the Biblical prophets. Righteous Abraham and Jacob had plural wives and Jesus said says that the righteous do the works of Abraham (John 8:39). Abraham’s major work was to be the father of many nations which he accomplished by practicing polygamy with God’s permission.

        Jesus said that those polygamists would be in heaven (Luke 13:29; Luke 16: 19-31) So Jesus taught that polygamists can go to heaven. Jesus even said that we should do the works of Abraham (John 8:39). So, clearly, Jesus thought that polygamists can go to heaven. We see Christ affirming this again in the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus wherein Jesus tells us that Abraham, that old polygamist, is in paradise while the Rich man is in Hell (Luke 16: 19-31).

        God told David, through the prophet Nathan, to have plural wives (2 Samual 12:8). So God has commanded the practice of plural marriage in the past – the Bible proves that. Abijah, a righteousl king who honored the Lord had fourteen wives (2 Chronicles 13:8-12,21)

        In the Bible the Lord does not condemn polygamy but rather, gives instructions on how men are to treat their plural wives. (Deuteonomy 21:15-17)

        In the Bible we see where Abraham had plural wives – Sarai, Hagar, Keturah and others.(See Gen. 16:3, Gen 25:1,6) Abraham was righteous and God appeared to him at least twice during the time he had plural wives (Gen 17:1, Gen 18:1). Abraham is blessed and God makes His covenant with him and blesses him to be the father of many nations (Gen 17:1-6). God didn’t care that Abraham was a polygamist. Instead, God appears to him and blesses him. Here we see that God not only condoned polygamy but he blessed Abraham for it and it is the means by which Abraham fulfills God’s promise to become the father of many nations.

        Righteous Jacob was a polygamist (Genesis 29:21-30, Genesis 30:3-4,9)

        Abijah had fourteen wives (2 Chronicles 13:21) and yet he is described as a righteous king of Judah who honored the Lord (2 Chronicles 13:8-12) and prospered in battle because the Lord blessed him (2 Chronicles 13:16-18)

        Jehoiada, priest under King Joash “took for him two wives” (2 Chronicles 24:3). Jehoiada is one who “had done good in Israel, both toward God and toward his house.” (2 Chronicles 24:16).

        Critics think that if they show us some fact that they think we don’t know, like that Joseph Smith had plural wives, that we are all going to keel over, give up, loose our testimonies, and leave the Church. In reality Joseph Smith’s wives is an evidence that Joseph was a prophet on par with the ancient righteous prophets and patriarchs who also practiced plural marriage and Joseph was telling the truth when he said that he was restoring true Biblical doctrines and practices.

        Martin Luther allowed polygamy: For example, during the Protestant Reformation, in a document referred to simply as “Der Beichtrat” (or “The Confessional Advice” ), Martin Luther granted a dispensation to take a second wife to the Landgrave Philip of Hesse, who, for many years, had been living “constantly in a state of adultery and fornication. The double marriage was to be done in secret however, to avoid public scandal. Some fifteen years earlier, in a letter to the Saxon Chancellor Gregor Brück, Luther stated that he could not “forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict Scripture.” (“Ego sane fateor, me non posse prohibere, si quis plures velit uxores ducere, nec repugnat sacris literis)

        Also, the early Christian Church Fathers taught this.

        Augustine
        Even Augustine, regarded by much of Christianity as the most influential Christian theologian, held that polygamy was not something that was a crime before God, but rather a matter that depended more upon cultural biases:

        “Again, Jacob the son of Isaac is charged with having committed a great crime because he had four wives. But here there is no ground for a criminal accusation: for a plurality of wives was no crime when it was the custom; and it is a crime now, because it is no longer the custom. There are sins against nature, and sins against custom, and sins against the laws. In which, then, of these senses did Jacob sin in having a plurality of wives? As regards nature, he used the women not for sensual gratification, but for the procreation of children. For custom, this was the common practice at that time in those countries. And for the laws, no prohibition existed. The only reason of its being a crime now to do this, is because custom and the [secular] laws forbid it. (Augustine, “Reply to Faustus 22:47,” in Philip Schaff (editor), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series 1 (Augustine and Chrysostome) (Vol. 1–14) (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886–1889), 4:288.)

        Tertullian
        “As I think, moreover, each pronouncement and arrangement is (the act) of one and the same God; who did then indeed, in the beginning, send forth a sowing of the race by an indulgent laxity granted to the reins of connubial alliances, until the world should be replenished, until the material of the new discipline should attain to forwardness: now, however, at the extreme boundaries of the times, has checked (the command) which He had sent out, and recalled the indulgence which He had granted; not without a reasonable ground for the extension (of that indulgence) in the beginning, and the limitation of it in the end.” (Kevin L. Barney (editor), Footnotes to the New Testament for Latter-day Saints: Vol. 2, The Epistles and Revelation (2007), 240a)

        Tertullian’s position is very similar to the position of the Book of Mormon (See Jacob 2:30)

        Justin Martyr
        Justin Martyr argued that David’s sin was only in the matter of Uriah’s wife, and echoed a common early Christian idea that marriage was a “mystery,” or sacred rite of the type which Latter-day Saints associate with temple worship:

        “And this one fall of David, in the matter of Uriah’s wife, proves, sirs,’ I said, ‘that the patriarchs had many wives, not to commit fornication, but that a certain dispensation and all mysteries might be accomplished by them; since, if it were allowable to take any wife, or as many wives as one chooses, and how he chooses, which the men of your nation do over all the earth, wherever they sojourn, or wherever they have been sent, taking women under the name of marriage, much more would David have been permitted to do this. (Justin Martyr, “Dialogue With Trypho,” in 141 Ante-Nicene Fathers, edited by Philip Schaff (Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886)1:270)

        Justin saw the patriarchs’ marriages not as corruptions or something which God ‘winked at,’ but acts with significant ritual and religious power.

        • Mr. Rodgers
          The old testament prophets didn’t make “scripture verses” stating that they could only find one wife, like JS did(D&C). Nor did they write “sacred verses” saying that God told them to lie (Abraham chapter 2). Yes, Abraham did lie to pharaoh, but the scriptures take him to the woodshed over it. These may seem like fine distinctions but they are huge because JS’s context does violence to the character of God, make scripture a farce (I John 1:5) and thus make JS a blasphemer.

          • Abraham Chesterfield

            Everyone who broke the law, as it says in Exodus 20….”Thou shalt not commit adultery….” Had to pay the consequences, including “righteous” prophets, but as the Word of God, no one is righteous, no not one, and that includes JS. Do you think God was pleased with the acts of adultery and polygamy in the old and New Testament, I don’t think so. JS was a sinner just you and me, the only difference between JS and me, is that I accepted the gift of God freely (read John 3:3, Joh 3:16, Romans 6:23). All of our “RIGHTEOUSNESS” are as filthy rags ( a women’s menstrual rag)….see Isaiah 64:4-6. The point is this, Jesus was never married and never had children, he was perfect, which is how we was able to die for all of our sins, by HIS blood as a lamb, see John 1:29. JS taught we had to work our way into heaven, wrong….JS will have to bow his knees before JESUS CHRIST AND CONFESS HIM AS LORD to the glory of the Father….JS’ name is not in the Lamb’s book of life, so he be thrown into the lake of fire, hell with devil and his demons forever…..why? First of all JS boasted that he did more than Jesus Christ, next he was a sublime mason, a murderer, a liar, a swindler, arrested numerous, all of his visions were tall tales, the Book of Mormon is a tall tale, Jesus never came to America, he hated black people, he was a polygamist and he never repented of any of this, did he? By the way, as per JS, the church of LDS is the only true church, wrong! The Book of Mormon is not the most accurate book in the world, they’re have been more than 4,000 changes from the original book, all it is lies and another tall tale…when some human can boast that he did more than Jesus Christ we have a problem….he never saw the Father and the Son, another tall tale, and the list continues, Jesus made it very clear, what are 2 greatest commandments? Read Matthew 22:37-40 and that the gift of God which is free is eternal life and that we MUST become as a little child to enter the kingdom of GOD. Did the thief on the cross ever get baptized? Did he ever do any good works? Did Jesus say that this very day you will be with me in paradise? Read the HOLY BIBLE. The Book of Mormon is not holy, which it is not even on the top 500 selling list of books in the world, is it? The HOLY BIBLE has been the #1 selling book for more 400 years…

      • Dwight Rogers

        You say: “When Mormons find out….that the Book of Abraham is a confirmed hoax…….they often feel betrayed.”

        No. Not the ones who are informed. The Book of Abraham remains one of the great witnesses of Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling. Why? Because he got so many things right that were unknowable through scholarship in his day. Many details in the Facsimiles and in the text are supported by subsequent scholarly research and document fines not available in Joseph Smith’s day. It would take quite a bit of posting to share examples, but, I can if you want them

        One of the most blatant mistakes that critics of the Book of Abraham make is that they don’t know the history of the papyri. Almost all of the papyri once in Joseph Smith’s possession are still missing. Joseph Smith had multiple long rolls of papyri and also some fragmented sections in his possession amounting to at least 125 feet of papyri. The long roll from which Joseph Smith translated is among those pieces still missing. Using historic records and bills of sale the papyri has been traced to the Woods Museum in Chicago where it burned in the great Chicago fire of 1871. However some small fragments from which Joseph did NOT translate are also described by eye witnesses. These fragments amount to a small percentage of the original collection and make about only 3 feet out of the 125 feet Joseph once had. These small pieces were not sold to the museum and, therefore, did not perish in th 1871 fire.

        The little bit of papyri that survive are not the long roll that Joseph Translated from. So when critics try to convince informed Mormons that Joseph Smith was a fraud based on little bit of papyri that survived they only demonstrate that they don’t understand the papyri and its history.

        Thus, when critics claim that the extant fragments don’t contain the text Joseph Smith produced we agree with them. This fact was published by the LDS Church in their official magazine less than two months after acquiring the papyri fragments. Several follow up articles were published complete with photos and explanations that the text found thereon is not the Book of Abraham text. Here are the first three articles:

        New Era in January 1968.
        Improvement Era, Jan. 1968, pp. 12-16
        Improvement Era, (March 1968-a): 17-18.)

        These articles published by the LDS Church are up front about stating that the content of these fragments are not the Book of Abraham. These articles state that the papyri fragments contain a part of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Egyptian Book of Breathings and that they do not the text of the Book of Abraham. Thus, critics make themselves look foolish when they demonstrate that they are unaware that three feet of papyri that were recovered are not the long roll that Joseph Smith translated from – the log roll still being missing.

        Discoveries such as “The Apocalypse of Abraham”,first published in 1897, “The Testament of Abraham which also surfaced long after the time of Joseph Smith, and many other ancient Abrahamic accounts now confirm many details in Joseph Smith’s Book of Abraham – details that Joseph, nor anyone else from his time could have guessed. . Nobody in Joseph Smiths time had the information. Yet the Book of Abraham gets many details right that weren’t known in Joseph’s time.

    • You are not a Christian because you don’t believe what Jesus said about Himself. You believe in a false gospel. That makes you not a Christian, but an unbeliever that stands under the wrath of God. You may choose Joseph smith now, but sadly, you will wish you had never even heard of him when you stand before God on judgement day. It will be too late to believe in the Truth then. Repent now and believe in the true Christ of the Bible. He will love you and give you mercy if you will but truly trust in His work alone.

      • Asking Mormons not to believe in the revelations of those that they accept as a true prophet is a little like asking the Israelites in the time of Moses to trust God and forget about all these commandments from Moses. Or the commandments that later Israelites received through their various prophets.

      • Rita, Ann Arbor, MI

        And what is your understanding of what Christ said about Himself? He said he was not the Father, but looked like Him (John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?) He said His Father honored Him, and that the Jews called the Father their God (John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God.) He said He was sent by someone separate from Himself (John 7:28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.) And again, Jesus says He was sent by the Father (John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.) Jesus says that the Father taught Him what to say and do (John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.)
        As I read all these things Christ said about Himself, it is obvious to me that He and the Father are two different people, that the Father taught the Son, that the Son was doing the bidding of His Father, and that, in order to make sense of that, they have to be two separate beings, not “manifestations” of the same being, sent to confuse us. Jesus is the literal Son of the Father, separate in substance but one in purpose and thought. It’s your trinity-thing that is foreign to what Christ taught.

  3. Why do evangelicals and others insist on denying us the right to be Christians? We believe in Christ, we worship Him and the Father, and we believe the bible. So just who gave them the right to decide who’s Christian and who’s not? If “the Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgement unto the Son”,(John 5:22) then who gave them the right to usurp that authority to act as our judges and condemn us? Where’s the Christian love? So sad! So glad they’re not our judges. We Mormons would be sweating bullets if Jesus himself reject us and tells us we’re not Christians!

    • trytoseeitmyway

      The answer to “why do they …?” is all about branding. Typically when someone says, “I’m a Christian” what they mean is that they adopt a theology that derives solely from the Pauline Epistles and, even then, simplifies it beyond all reason or relationship to anything written anywhere else in the scriptures. If instead of “Christian,” they were to say, “I’m a Calvinist,” or “I’m an Arminian,” or something along those lines it wouldn’t sound as good and someone would start to wonder how we can be sure that John Calvin or Jacobus Arminius got it right, and what happened to all of the folks who might have believed something different either before or since. All of that goes away in kind of simple-minded intolerant fashion if someone just says, “I’m a Christian.” So if someone ELSE comes along and says, “I, too, am Christian but I think that there must be a priesthood of prophets and apostles to unify doctrine (Eph. 4:11-14),” the folks who want to arrogate the word “Christian” all to themselves start to feel threatened. Because, you know, someone would start to wonder how we can be sure that John Calvin or Jacobus Arminius got it right, and what happened to all of the folks who might have believed something different either before or since. And someone might start to think, well, look, it says right there in Ephesians that there are supposed to be prophets and apostles to unify doctrine. And, so, since the self-proclaimed Christians can’t possibly tolerate any of that kind of thinking, they start to shout about the Nicene Creed as though it amounted to something.

      If you actually read the Nicene Creed, it is difficult to find what it is in that Creed that Mormons don’t actually accept. It boils down to the phrase “one substance,” which is problematic because no one knows what that actually means. But of course it is true that there is a lot of post-Nicene elaboration which (1) begins to make no possible sense at all, and (2) bears no relationship to anything in the Bible. So, you know, they got us there. :-)

      • Start with, “I believe in one God.” Mormons believe that God the Father is an exalted man, and that they themselves will become gods.

        As far as the “one substance” bearing no relationship to anything in the Bible, I would point to the introduction of John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and THE WORD WAS GOD. He was in the Beginning with God. ALL things were made by Him; and without Him was not ANY thing made that was made.” John does not say that Jesus, the Eternal Word was a God and that the Father was another God. He simply says that the Word was God.

        Unless you come to the table with an LDS view of this, it’s hard to imagine this being compatible with the idea of an infinite number of gods whose creatures are in turn exalted and become deities.

        • Montfort, Who is the “Word” referred to by John in John 1:1? It says that he was “with God” and “was God.” In the same chapter, John tells us that the “Word” “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” So, obviously, the “Word” was Jesus Christ. But who was Jesus Christ “with” “in the beginning” [before this earth was created]? Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was God the Son, but we also believe in God the Father. Jesus prayed to his Father and taught us to pray to our Father in Heaven. Jesus’ Father spoke to him at Jesus’ baptism, Jesus prayed to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross, Jesus said his Father was greater than he, and Jesus ascended to his Father. So, there are at least two Gods–the Father and the Son, and they are separate persons.

    • Unfortunately, you don’t truly worship Jesus as God. You think of Him as a god that you too could be one day. The truth is that you probably don’t even read the Bible. The Word of God is alive and in it is life. You will not find life in the Book of Mormon.

      • Now, Concerned, why would you say that Ovala or Mormons “probably don’t read their Bible.” Mormons believe in the Bible. I am about half way through the Old Testament as of this morning in my daily scripture reading and I have read the Bible many times. I love the Bible. Even as a Mormon, if I were meeting a person who nothing about Christ for the first time, I would recommend they read the New Testament first, then the Book of Mormon.

      • What I have always been told in my 50 years of Mormonism is that Christ is my brother. I cannot quite get my mind around that.

        I also have had it up to my eyebrows with the polygamy thing which is infamous, and the waiting at the veil hoping my husband decides to make me one of his multitudes of wives after I die.

        I also had a really difficult time discovering that Joseph Smith translated the BoM with his seer stone and a hat. The same seer stone that he had been convicted of conning people with, for money.

        • Hmmm.. but you can wrap your head around God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are all ONE God?

          You find it hard to believe Joseph can find a stone that the Lord can use to help Joseph to translate a book he wants translated? Let me ask you.. does God need us at all to accomplish anything that he wants done? Can’t he do everything by himself and get it done much more smoothly than working with some imperfect human being? And you really need to study your Mormon history a little bit more. Joseph Smith was never convicted of anything. Especially in the kangaroo court system that was pursuing him his whole life.

          Which one of the brides maids are you? The one who is prepared for and waiting for the groom to arrive so you can be part of wedding.. or those who just don’t think what has to been done is that important?

          That polygamy thing had its purpose. To find out if one would be willing to do whatsoever the Lord asked them to do. You Sister Eilish.. would have failed. Why would you have to “hope” your husband will accept you? Just no love there? No trust? No bond? All of sudden he is going to turn his back on you? What if you don’t accept him? The only way you would not be exalted is if you don’t deserve to be exalted. If you are worthy.. you will be.. with someone whom you love and loves you.

  4. Currently.. the Christian faith teaches about God in a doctrine known as “the Trinity”. In 325 a.d. the Roman emperor Constantine (not a Christian) convened the Council of Nicaea to address.. among other things… the growing issue of God’s alleged “trinity in unity.” What emerged from the heated contentions of churchmen, philosophers, and ecclesiastical dignitaries came to be known (after another 125 years and three more major councils) as the Nicene Creed, with later reformulations such as the Athanasian Creed. From these various evolutions and iterations of creeds—and others to come over the centuries— Christians now declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, imminent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time. In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted “mystery of the trinity.” They teach that all are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. All three persons are incomprehensible, yet it is one God who is incomprehensible.

    I agree.. these creeds are incomprehensible…. and the God they created.. it is no wonder a 4th century monk cried out, “Woe is me! They have taken my God away from me, … and I know not whom to adore or to address.”

    We don’t believe these Creeds. We believe that God does have a body.. with parts and with passions. That is how we are created in his image. What would we look like without a body?

    We believe he is knowable where the Christians creeds say he is unknowable. Yet.. in John.. it states:

    1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

    2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

    3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    So how can they say he is unknowable?? How can we call a being who is now not in our image as Father?

    • What Christians said God is unknowable? That isn’t even a Christian idea. You must have confused a Muslim with a Christian. They essentially have the same religion as you so I guess I could see where you might confuse them.

      • Concerned, many standard definitions of God refer to Him as “incomprehensible”, including the Westminster Confession of Faith of the Reformed Churches, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, and the Concise Guide to the Catholic Church. Perhaps, you distinguish between “incomprehensible” and “unknowable”, but this seems to be a distinction without a difference, that is, many Christian creeds seem to teach that you cannot understand God or “know” him in the sense of having a personal relationship.

  5. As a child in the Church of England I never understood the (god the father god the sun god the Holy Ghost) trinity. To me as a child Jesus was a loved figure with the children always around him.So when the Mormon missionaries came to the door and spoke so lovingly about my saviour ,separate from God then this made sense to my young mind. I know Jesus to be my saviour and redeemer through his atonement, I am not arrogant enough to think this automatically gets me into heaven! I know I need to work at being worthy of that sacrifice.I hope my Mormon version of Christianity shows a love and tolerance to other religions that isn’t always reciprocated,shame that.

  6. The illogical nature of the mainstream Christian beliefs about the nature of God are partly responsible for my membership in the LDS church. Joseph Smiths teachings about the nature of God rang so true to me. What these “christians” call me is of no consequence. My hope is that come judgement day, the Savior will say of me “he is mine…”.

    • Neil, my heart breaks to know that on Judgement Day, you will stand before Christ and He will say ” depart from me, I never knew you”. You are not trusting in the true Jesus Christ in the lds church. Joseph smith was dead wrong about his claims of Jesus. Repent of your works and turn truly to Christ alone for salvation. If you continue to deny Jesus’ rightful claim as God ( not a god, but God Himself), He will deny you on that day. Please repent Neil and turn to the God of the Bibe, not the b.o.m.

      • Concerned, you do not seem to understand that everything that “Mormons” believe about God, the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Ghost are taught in the Bible. Do you really think that all of us who have read the Bible and Book of Mormon many times would continue to believe in “Mormonism” if we found the teachings about God or Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon or other revelations to Joseph Smith to be in conflict with the Bible? Stop treating us like we are ignorant of the Bible; it is just a way for you to justify condemning Mormons without good grounds.

      • When I started on my trek for truth and came across the story of Joseph Smith, logic dictated to me one thing. Either Joseph Smith saw God the Father & Jesus Christ.. or he lied. Either Joseph saw the Angel Moroni.. or he lied. Either Joseph received the ancient record recorded on plates of gold.. or he lied. Either he translated these plates by the power of God.. or he lied. Either he saw John the Baptist and received the priesthood from him.. or he lied. Either he saw Peter, James and John and received the Melchizedek priesthood from them.. or he lied. Either he saw Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham and others.. or he lied. Either he received all the revelations that were recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.. or he lied.

        There is no.. “Joseph Smith was dead wrong”.. either he lied.. or didn’t lie.

        Either he is such a wonderful liar.. being able to convince his mother, his father, his grandmother, his grandfather, all his brothers, all his sisters, his wife, that all these things that he has stated happened is true.. being able to convince many other people to lie and say they saw things like the gold plates, angels, visions, miracles, etc… or… it is all true.

        If just but one of all these things are true.. just one… ask yourself.. why would he have to lie about everything else? He certainly never got rich. He surely spent an awful lot of time being pursued by people trying to imprison him and doing so while never being convicted of a thing.

        So.. the question begs to be asked.

        If he saw God & his Son.. then don’t you know everything else happened? If he saw the Angel Moroni and was given the gold plates.. then everything else that happened is true as well. If he did translate the Book of Mormon like he said he did and others have witnessed it.. then why would you not believe anything else he said? It only takes one of these things that he said to be true.. just one… and they all become true. Because if you saw God and Jesus Christ.. would you then go and lie and make up stories about everything else? Would you really lie about things that are false knowing that God has spoken to you.. knowing that God knows what you are doing and knowing that you can not fool God?? Really?

        No.. Joseph did not get it wrong. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth… all truth.. whether it be spiritual, religious or secular. If the Holy Ghost tells you that Joseph saw God, need you even ask if everything else is also true? No.. you don’t. But if you do.. you will receive the same answer.

        Jesus does not want to be God… he said so himself. He is not the Father of our Spirits… his Father is. Jesus did the will of the Father. Jesus is the Father of our mortal bodies.. this is true.. but not the spirits that bring the mortal bodies to life. Jesus did create the Heavens and the Earth as we know them. What Jesus created.. he redeemed. He had to create the mortals bodies that the spirits reside in for he gave his life for those bodies to become resurrected and perfected. He was punished for those sins that the spirits in those mortal bodies had committed. The God of the Bible is the same God as the Book of Mormon.. and the same God that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints worship each and every Sunday and dedicate our lives to on a daily basis. To say otherwise is a matter of opinion and nothing more.

        • MrNirom, very easy to prove J Smith lie..
          The late mormon seer ,
          Hinckley said

          “…. 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 itactually 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., that Joe TOLD…forget whether this “vision” occurred or not)
          So, 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? a third party, 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…(I have been attending Palmyra pageant for the past 21 years and have yet found anyone to indicate the spot where this alleged vision took place)
          As you can see from J Smith account, IF he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town…(About 600+ population in 1820) was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the “Father and Son” words to that effect…
          Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years…well I will extend the frame time?….. 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 story J Smith made it all up….mormon people have been had big time…joe lie …a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, an intentional untruth; a falsehood
          And I agree with you “seer” You are involved in a great sham…

          • Dwight Rogers

            You ask: “ 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?”

            Critics claim that in Joseph Smith’s early accounts of the First Vision he saw angels but not the Father and the Son. They claim that Joseph Smith was developing the story over time and that he later modified the story to be the Father and the Son instead of angels. Their source for this claim is the Prophet’s diary entry of 14 November 1835 in which he says the “first visitation of angels” took place when he was about 14 years old. Critics say that this means that Joseph initially claimed only to have seen angels in the first vision but later changed to story.

            All anybody needs to do is look at another entry in the very same diary, just 5 days earlier, to see that this argument is utter nonsense. In Joseph’s diary entry on 9 November 1835 he says that during the First Vision he “saw many angels” in addition to the Father and the Son who stood before him. So when he says in the 14 November 1835 diary entry that his “first visitation of angels” took place when he was about 14 years old, he is being very precise in what he is saying. He did indeed see angels for the first time in the Sacred Grove along with the Father and the Son. In the earlier entry of November 9th he says: “a personage speared in the midst of this pillar of flame…another personage soon appeared like unto the first…and I saw many angels in this vision…I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication: When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels.” (Joseph Smith to Robert Matthews, JS Diary, 9 November 1835)

            Critics also claim that Joseph Smith did not tell the first vision in public in the 1830’s because he was still making it up and was still trying to settle on the details before he released it publicly in the 1840’s.

            This claim is not substantiated by the historic record. All of the following are historic accounts of people hearing Joseph Smith or others relating the account of the first vision. All of these are during the time period you specified.

            For example, before December of 1829 Joseph Smith told people in Victor, New York, that God had “met” him like Paul at Damascus and “converted” him to the “true doctrine.”

            Plainsville Ohio residents heard from Cowdery, Pratt, Whitmer, and Peterson that Joseph Smith had seen God “personally.”

            In the fall of 1832 Lorenzo Snow heard Joseph Smith in Hiram, Ohio speak about seeing God.

            Missionaries tell of Joseph seeing God as recorded in the Fredonia Censor, 7 March 1832.

            By fall 1833 John Alger hears Joseph Smith speak of seeing God.

            October 1834 Edward Stephenson and Joseph Curtis hear Joseph Smith speak about it at Pontiac, Michigan.

            August 1835, Samuel W. Richards hers a verbal report and also hears from LDS Missionaries while in Massachusetts.

            November 1834, Robert Matthews hears about the First Vision from Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio.

            November 1835 Erastus Holmes hears about the First Vision from Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio.

            August 1832, Mary Horne hears about the First Vision from Joseph Smith in Toronto, Canada.

            September 1837, William Appleby and a “huge congregation” hear about the First Vison from Orson Pratt in New Jersey.

            May 1839 Wendle Mace hears about the First Vision from the Prophet’s parents in Nauvoo, Illinois.

            Historic records show that Joseph told a consistent story all along. However, some reluctance to tell all details to every audience is understandable. You will recall that soon after receiving the first vision in 1820 Joseph told a minister he apparently trusted about his vision. The minister rebuked Joseph telling him that such visions had been done away with, that no one can see God, and that it was of the Devil. Joseph learned very quickly that persecutions were in store if he told the full story. Joseph Smith’s brother Samuel said “We were good folk until Joseph’s vison.” In other words, the Smith family was well respected and considered honest and hard working folk until the first vision. Then the criticisms started.

          • Rogers
            Joe blow said in 1834 that J Smith never saw anything

            Jose Alma heard lupine that J Smith was drunk when he dictated the BOM
            in the town of Bismark people run off joe for steeling bread..this happened in 1837
            The newspaper El coyote published ariticles Joe copied from the masons that was in 1830

            bla bla bla…

            give me a break

          • Well.. I see it is not so easy to say that Joseph lied… any more than one could say that Saul lied… and said he saw the resurrected Jesus.. when no one else saw him. Oh yes.. they all saw that Paul was blind.. but to say that anyone else saw or heard what Paul said he saw.. no one could verify it for none saw it.

            Looking at the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.. he was not one to share those things that were sacred to him. For he had already discovered at the age of 14 when he did confide in a preacher what kind of torment that brought to him when he spoke of what he saw. The only thing he ever mentioned to his mother was that Presbyterianism was not true. The angel Moroni had to admonish him to again go and tell his father of the night he spoke with him all night. I don’t care if Joseph told the world.. or kept it to himself when he was young.. it doesn’t matter. The event still happened.. and it happened just the way Joseph said it did.

          • “…Looking at the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.. he was not one to share those things that were sacred to him. For he had already discovered at the age of 14 when he did confide in a preacher what kind of torment that brought to him when he spoke of what he saw. The only thing he ever mentioned to his mother was that Presbyterianism was not true. The angel Moroni had to admonish him to again go and tell his father of the night he spoke with him all night. I don’t care if Joseph told the world.. or kept it to himself when he was young.. it doesn’t matter. The event still happened.. and it happened just the way Joseph said it did.

            Sorry, but this is what Joe said
            I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.
            23 It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
            24 However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
            25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation……
            27 I continued to pursue my common vocations in life until the twenty-first of September , one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men , both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision
            ..(PofGP J Smith History 1:22-27)
            noticed the end of statement
            “….I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation…… (according to Joe, he kept telling…he did not want to come under condemnation…if he stop telling, he dare not…)

            there is just NO evidence of a third party, that heard/saw/witness Joe tell this TALL TALE to any one (from 1820 to 1838) no corroboration for 18 years!
            nothing in history/newspapers dairies no one attacking him ,or praising for this phantom experience, for the simple reason, he never TOLD. period that means simply, that Joe made up the whole thing, and mormonism is based on a myth…

            Mr Nirom, have you taken the time and put forth the effort to search old newspapers, journals, diaries, letters, books, magazines, history etc, from Palmyra from 1820 to 1838 ?

          • I don’t know of many newspapers that would decide to print a story a young boy of 14 and what he would have to say. Especially when he probably only mentioned it once or twice and found the response similar to what the angel had already told him to expect… unbelief and ridicule.

            What you call blasphemous.. I call honor. If you believe I am going to be condemned to hell because I believe that I can become like my Father in Heaven.. and go and create worlds without end.. then you can wave to me from your perch on the right of God and be able to say.. I told you so. But…. I do not believe in your version of Heaven.

            I know this.. the Jews were a stiff necked people.. and there were many stumbling blocks given to them. The reason the doctrines that were revealed to Joseph Smith are not in the Bible… is because the people of that time could not receive that type of doctrine. It is obvious to me that even today.. there are individuals that can not conceive the idea. You Dan are one. Let me tell you one thing that I hope to really take to heart. Not every thing about God is in the Bible. If that is going to be your only source.. then you will lead your life with half of what you could have. And for many… that is fine.

            I have read your story about your crusade to save the Mormon people. But I also have Mormon friends who have seen visions.. and even been presented the Book of Mormon to them from the Angel Moroni himself. You are looking for a sign.. from just one person to have written something in there Journal or newspaper or something about Joseph when he was 14. That my friend is your stumbling block.

        • MrNirom, very easy to prove J Smith lie..
          The late mormon seer ,
          Hinckley said

          “…. 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 itactually 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., that Joe TOLD…forget whether this “vision” occurred or not)
          So, 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? a third party, 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…(I have been attending Palmyra pageant for the past 21 years and have yet found anyone to indicate the spot where this alleged vision took place)
          As you can see from J Smith account, IF he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town…(About 600+ population in 1820) was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the “Father and Son” words to that effect…
          Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years…well I will extend the frame time?….. 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 story J Smith made it all up….mormon people have been had big time…joe lie …a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, an intentional untruth; a falsehood
          And I agree with you “seer” You are involved in a great sham…
          Dan

          • Dan,
            Joseph Smith did tell people about his First Vision before 1838. These included his family, according to the writings of his brother William, a minister, probably George Lane, Oliver Cowdery, who acted as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon, Robert Matthias, Erastus Holmes, and others. And if you think he made up the First Vision, what about the gold plates, the visit of an angel, John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, Jesus Christ, all of which is substantiated by witnesses.

          • <>

            Tom, again what kind of answer is this? Joe told the “First Vision ‘ before 1838? documentation please
            I happened to have the book written by William his brother. William contradicts Joseph.
            (William gave four interviews to the media in his long life he died in 1893 he was 82 , you can read all of his interviews in one of the 5 volumes by Dan Vogel, William own brother who was an “apostle” never ever mention the Father Son bit ok?
            William said the vision happened, in 1823 ,he said Joe went to pray about which church to join: “An angel then appeared to him…He told him that none of the sects were right…”( William Smith on mormonism, by William Smith 1883 , Herald Steam Book, Iowa, pp. 5-10 as printed in New Mormon Studies
            As for Erastus Holmes: Joseph said to him “…I received the first visitation of Angels which was when I was about 14 years old…”(The Personal Writings of J. Smith, p.113
            By the way this “account” has been changed in the History of the Church, Vol 2, p.312. It now reads “my first vision” instead of “visitation of angels

            In 1834-6 a mormon periodical entitled Messenger and Advocate published and claimed “a full history of the rise of the church (Vol. 1, p. 13) on p.42 of the same volume , we read that it would contain “a correct statement of events.” And in the February , issue, Oliver Cowdery told how Joe made his first contact with God. A “messenger” appeared to him in his bedroom. No mention anywhere of the Father and the Son…hello?
            I have been studying mormonism for over 25 years…it is a dangerous sect, the doctrines are not from the God of the Bible
            Tom , unlike your answer (which was not an answer to my many questions ) I provided the documentation from your own mormon sources ok?
            There is nothing in mormon history or secular for that matter that provides evidence that J Smith told the truth….very sad indeed for the mormon people

            Golden plates??? is fiction Tom
            And want witnesses are you talking about?

          • Dan, I will get back to you on the accounts of the First Vision, although I think Guy Briggs has given you a thorough response. But your statement was that Joseph Smith was a liar. My point was that, even if he was alone for the First Vision, he was not alone for any of the other major spiritual experiences he had, including the visitation of John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, the appearance of Jesus Christ in the Kirtland Temple, and the vision of the Father and the Son in Kirtland, Ohio (section 76). These people corroborated what Joseph Smith said. In regard to the gold plates, there are the testimonies of the 3 witnesses and 8 witnesses in every Book of Mormon and at least Emma Smith and Mary Whitmer also saw the plates. The angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, the Three Witnesses, and at least four other people at least 20 times (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “Moroni, Visitations of”). Joseph Smith was not a liar.

          • Tom,
            All these alleged appearances are problematical from the point of view of the Bible , It is beyond the scope of this my explanation, that these manifestations are from the God of the Bible, because they contradict what God has said about anyone claiming he has a message from God.

            Even if these manifestations are/were real? they could not be from God of the Bible.
            Let me explain
            Deut 13:1-5
            13:1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God

            Joseph Smith is telling us that these visions were real (you believe them and others of your “faith”) But Joseph is teaching to follow other “god”/s …and the consequences are “rock to sleep” (that you can be a god, eternal progression, god was a man, became god..etc)
            The Bible also teaches that those in the part opposite Paradise (in hell)? can not come to us neither we can go to them, because there is a great gulf fixed
            see
            Luke 16:23-26
            23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
            24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
            25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
            26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
            KJV
            Bottom line? the God of the Bible is not the god of mormonism

          • Dan, that is the whole point. After the attacks on the Bible began in the 1700’s, which have continued up to this day, Joseph Smith was the one who stepped forth and said the God of the Bible is real and does exist. If he had taught that God is a different God than the Bible by telling people to reject the Bible, or if he had said that Jesus Christ was not our Savior, or something of the sort, you would have a point, but he was the one who said Jesus Christ was the Son of God and here is a whole book or sacred scripture (Book of Mormon) written by people who were visited by Jesus Christ, not to mention the many revelations he received from Jesus Christ.

          • @Dan Cuevas:

            See the Palmyra Reflector, February 1831. The article appeared a scant 10 months after the formal organization of the Mormon church. Speaking of the missionaries, the author wrote, “Smith (they affirmed) had seen God frequently and personally.”

            There are 8 First Vision Accounts written during Smith’s lifetime:

            1) 1831-32 Rough Draft – Written on the first 6 pages (3 leaves) of a ledger book. Initially the handwriting is that of Frederick G. Williams. Since Williams was converted to Mormonism in the fall of 1830 and immediately left on a mission to Missouri, the writing of this history could not have preceded his meeting with Joseph Smith in mid-1831. Nor was the history written after 27 Nov 1832, since on that date the ledger book in which it was written was converted to a letter book for recording important historical Church documents.

            2) Joshua the Jewish Minister – Dictated by the Prophet to Warren A. Cowdery as Smith told the experience to Robert Matthias, aka “Joshua the Jewish Minister.” Written in the 3rd person and found in the back of Vol.1-A of _Manuscript History of the Church_. Also written in Smith’s 1835-36 diary, but changed to the 1st person.

            3) Official version – Joseph Smith History 1:7

            4) Pratt – _An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records_. Pratt wrote this in England as a missionary tract and later had it published in Philadelphia.

            5) Hyde – Orson Hyde used Pratt’s missionary tract (see #4) as the primary source for _Ein Ruf Aus der Wüste – Eine Stimme Aus dem Schoose der Erde (_A Cry From the Wilderness – A Voice from the Dust of the Earth_) Published in Frankfurt and used in Germany.

            6) Wentworth -“ The Wentworth Letter”. Published in _The Times and Seasons_, Vol.III, No.9, pp 706-710

            7) Spectator – Reprint in the _New York Spectator_ of an interview of Joseph Smith by the editor of another paper, the _Pittsburgh Gazette_.

            8) Neibaur – Joseph’s German teacher, recorded the account in his diary as he remembered the Prophet Joseph Smith telling it to him.

            Account Date Author
            ———– ——- —————————
            1) Rough Draft 1831-32 Joseph Smith
            2) Jewish Minister 1835 Joseph Smith
            3) Official Version 1838-39 Joseph Smith
            4) Pratt tract 1840 Orson Pratt
            5) Hyde tract 1842 Orson Hyde
            6) Wentworth letter 1842 Joseph Smith
            7) N.Y. Spectator 1843 Joseph Smith (in interview)
            8) Neibaur diary 1844 Alexander Neibaur

            The major points of the FV story and how they match up:

            A) Religious excitement: 3,8
            B) JS’s concern for his soul: 1,4,5,6,8
            C) Disillusionment w/existing churches: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
            D) Which church was right: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
            E) JS searches the scriptures: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
            F) JS prays: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
            G) Strange force of opposition: 2,3,4,5,8
            H) Appearance of light 1,2,3,4,7,8
            I) Appearance of Diety 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
            J) Two personages: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8
            K) Forgiveness of sins: 1,2,4
            L) Testimony of Jesus: 1,2,3,7
            M) Join no church: 1,3,4,5,6,7,8
            N) Gospel to be restored: 4,5,6
            O) JS filled with love 1
            P) Unsuccessful in getting others to believe 1,3,8

          • <<>

            -Mr Briggs all of the quotes you mentioned have no value if they are quotes are after 1838
            Orson Pratt , in his pamphlet, “remarkable visions,(1838-40)
            tells the story of two personages , neither Joe or Pratt indicate they were deities or the Father and Son
            The official version came by Joe in 1842..(remember Pratt 1838-40)
            That leaves you with the rough draft,
            this draft of his history, only Jesus
            is mentioned as appearing. (The
            Personal Writings of Joseph Smith,
            compiled by Dean Jessee, Deseret
            Book, 2002, pp. 10-11)
            .the other instance about the Jewish minister? …that is what Joe said, what about the corroboration of this minister to Joe???
            the details of the First Vision vary
            in the different accounts. Early LDS leaders usually
            thought of the vision as one of angels, not God. They
            did not appeal to the first vision to establish their
            teaching that God has a body.
            Matter of fact I can give you about 14 statements of various accounts by prominent leaders, including J Smith mother…in 1845 In the first draft of her autobiography,
            Joseph’s mother, Lucy Smith, remembered Mormonism starting with a visit, in 1823, by “an angel” who
            told him “…there is not a true
            church on the Earth.” Later, in
            the published version, she said
            nothing about her own recollection of the vision but simply
            inserted Joseph’s account from
            Times and Seasons. (First draft of
            Lucy Smith’s family history, p.46,
            Church Archives; Early Mormon
            Documents, Vol. 1, p.289-290)…That is her own mother!, I mentioned before that Joe’s brother William wrote a memoir , and he never ever mentioned the Father Son bit, but said it was an angel…this story is in Vogels writings second volume (if you want the exact page, I will get it for you)

            In 1833 The Book of Commandments, a chronology of
            revelations from God to Joseph Smith was published.
            This would have been a natural place to include
            Joseph’s first revelation. But there is no mention of the
            First Vision.
            in 1832-34 The Evening and Morning Star and other major mormon official periodicals, ( LDS publications ,) none of them contains the mention of
            Joseph’s having seen the Father and the Son.
            You mentioned generalities with no detail information
            You can go in the Internet and Google Dale’s newspapers, and you will find galore information attacking mormonism on this new religion, the golden book (BOM) but you will never find a story about Joe seeing the Father Son,,,
            the quote that you mentioned that you copied from some polemic source, does not indicate Joe saw the Father Son bit? of course Joe was looking for God…I have the whole article of this Palmyra reflector periodical.

            I mentioned before
            Oliver Cowdery told how Joseph Smith made his first
            contact with God. A “messenger” appeared to him in
            his bedroom. No mention of the Father and the Son. that was in 1835 in p.42 of The Latter-day Saints Messenger and Advocate

            One more time
            I will repeat and elaborate my question again REMEMBER I ONLY WANT SOMEONE WHO HEARD/SAW/WITNESS/PRAISED/ATTACKED Joe that he TOLD, FORGET WHETHER THE VISION WAS TRUE OR NOT, BUT THAT HE TOLD THIS EXPERIENCE.
            This is evidence that Joe had this experience, and if you can not find a single item/document/person, that corroborates what Joe CLAIMS he told….then Joe made it all up…he lied and you are hoping on a falsehood invention…mormonism is not real, it is a myth,
            May the real God of the Bible have mercy on the mormon people…

          • Correspondence Corollary (to Murphy’s Law): An experiment may be considered a success if no more than half your data must be discarded to obtain correspondence with your theory.

            “… the quotes you mentioned have no value if they are quotes are after 1838 …”

            Yes, the Correspondence Corollary, in action. This doesn’t, of course, preclude you from bringing up Lucy Smith’s account, which wasn’t recorded until aster Joseph was dead and buried, right?

            “… I mentioned before Oliver Cowdery told how Joseph Smith made his first contact with God. A “messenger” appeared to him in his bedroom. …”

            Cowdery’s account was a multi-part telling of the beginnings of Mormonism, published in the local newspaper. In the first installment, he tells of the conditions that generally existed at the times, the revivals, the contending sects, Joseph’s confusion, and his desire to know the truth. From the phrasing, it’s very clear that he not only has knowledge of the 1831-32 Rough Draft, but is borrowing extensively from it.

            At the beginning of the second installment, Cowdery pleads “an error in the type and fast forwards to 1823. He proceeds with the angel-in-the-bedroom, golden plates, etc. This is easily-recognizeable to Mormons as the Angel Moroni.

            What happened between first and second installments? Nobody quite knows. But it’s clear that Cowdery was GOING to tell the 1st Vision, then skipped past it.

            So it’s not a 1st Vision account. Sorry.

            What we DO have is 8 different accounts, 1831 to 1844, that all tell the same basic story. The harmonize at least as well as the 4 Gospels.

          • Briggs, you still have not provided me with a third party, that heard the story.

            That means Joseph lie…made up the story,
            And are you serious that if the president of the United States and his wife , where the president came to bring you a special message, and you forget to mention the president??? when you tell others about this visit…
            The official story, is not mentioned anywhere, for 18 years ,which means it never happened
            In 1855 Feb. 18—LDS President Brigham Young taught: “…
            The Lord did not come with the
            armies of heaven…But He did
            send His angel to…Joseph Smith
            jun…and informed him that he
            should not join any of the religious sects of the day…” (Journal of
            Discourses, Vol. 2, p.171)
            Why is there no mention of the 1820 appearance of the Father and the Son in all of Brigham
            Young’s sermons? (more than 360+ talks/sermons in more than 30 years plus)
            It is like the Apostle Paul, never mentioned the Crucifixion and Resurrection in more than 30 years in all the Epistles
            If Brigham Young believed Joseph’s revised
            First Vision of the Father and the Son, why would
            he continue to tell the story of a First Vision
            wherein the Lord sent his angels to tell Joseph
            not to join any of the churches?
            Why did it take more than 50 years for the
            revised First Vision, adding the Father and the
            Son, to replace the original First Vision of angels
            as the church’s standard teaching?

            …When I said the quotes after 1838, have no value? I meant that there is no evidence before 1838, that anyone heard Joe, telling this TALL TALE (Sorry but I called them as I see it)
            Again no one has given me a third party that corroborates Joseph telling…
            And yet I have six books that were written in that era, when J Smith claimed the vision and none of these authors mentioned the vision of the Father Son bit… why? because you can not attack, criticized, something that was yet invented untill 1838-42

        • “… The official story, is not mentioned anywhere, for 18 years ,which means it never happened …”

          On November 30, 1830, the Painesville Telegraph reported: “To record the thousand tales which are in circulation respecting the book and its propagators, would be an endless task, and probably lead to the promulgation of a hundred times more than was founded in truth.” The editor is well aware of what a swarm of stories about Joseph Smith are going around, and how easily they depart from the truth. Did Joseph Smith and the Mormons make up all those shockers – about themselves?

          Of course not. These are stories that were being made up and circulated by those outside the Church.

          Hence the OFFICIAL version begins with Joseph being, as he puts it, “induced” to write his story “owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil-disposed and designing persons.”

          It this a reasonable assertion?

          Consider the Gospel of Luke. It was written for a similar purpose – although “many” had written about the events, Luke does it because he “had perfect understanding of all things from the very first.”

          Luke starts and ends with miraculous events. The angel appears to Zacharias in the beginning, and the resurrected Lord delivers a sermon at the end. In the middle is the Transfiguration – where Jesus specifically commands the Apostles to “tell no man” until after the Lord is resurrected.

          The earliest dating for Luke is 70 AD. Which means that none of the miraculous events were told for at least 37 years after they took place.

          By your argument, Luke is obviously lying – therefore we should probably remove both Luke and Acts from the New Testament.

          • Did Joseph Smith and the Mormons make up all those shockers – about themselves? The First Vision, of the Father Son bit YES!

            The story of the alleged first vision is not mention anywhere by no one from 1820 to 1838 . where is the circulated accounts where it pertains to the First Vision of 1820?

            It is impossible that no one knows about J Smith telling this story for 18 years…remember J Smith said he told this story to the whole town (about 600+ in 1820)

            It this a reasonable assertion?
            Luke researched the facts, before writing about it.. And that means he researched his writings before writing about it. You can not compared what Luke wrote, and ignore what J Smith said. The only way you could believe Joe story? is if you find someone who heard/witnessed, Joe Telling his vision…
            No one is arguing that, why it took Joe 18 years to write his vision, on the contrary I questioned, that if Joe said that his vision took place in 1820? when he writes about it in 1842? when he is telling his vision? he is already telling us what already is history.
            Imagine a fellow winning the lottery 18 years ago?, (like 400 million, something big) well there should be already evidence in the newspapers, of his winnings, his family probably living in a new house this guy bought for his family, he might have a growing business…in short , there should be tons of evidence for this event…but if no one knows about his winnings, his immediate family does not know, the newspapers don’t record this event? if he does not have anything concrete in the small town where he won the lottery?…well this fellow is not telling the truth…

            you mentioned, “…Luke starts and ends with miraculous events. The angel appears to Zacharias in the beginning, and the resurrected Lord delivers a sermon at the end. In the middle is the Transfiguration – where Jesus specifically commands the Apostles to “tell no man” until after the Lord is resurrected….”….
            Again these events that you just described are HISTORY! these events already happened…Jesus was Israel’s Messiah…the facts of the Gospel are Historical verified…the hypothetical guy that won the lottery, when he tells his story. 18 years later? if true..his facts can be verified by history…
            You don’t find that in J Smith story…no one knows and yet Joe tell us that he told every one, he was bitterly;y persecuted…, and by the way, Joe tell us

            “… Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation…..”(PofGP J Smith History 1:22-27)..

            The people who wrote about the new religion in J Smith era, and his golden Bible , attacked him for his so called golden bible the BOM…But no one attacks him or praises him for the First Vision….for the simple reason, that he made it up 18 years later.

            you state “…The earliest dating for Luke is 70 AD. Which means that none of the miraculous events were told for at least 37 years after they took place….” And I respond,…but just because Luke did not tell us about, it is already history, because there are others that talked about these events….you don’t find the same about J Smith. Matter of fact , if the event, this TALL TALE did take place …J Smith did not have to tell about it…like the guy winning the Lottery…he could remained silent, but the newspapers, his immediate family and close associates would know this guy won the lottery…

            Your argument, “..Luke is obviously lying – therefore we should probably remove both Luke and Acts from the New Testament…” .does not follow…because even if Luke did not write about it 65 -70 years later…these events are history. there was a Messiah…He was crucified, was resurrected…
            I agree with Hinckley,
            If the First Vision did not occur, (1820 vision) then we are involved in a great sham. It is that simple. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.227)

          • But, Dan, you can’t prove the First Vision didn’t happen. Joseph Smith said it did in eight recorded writings.

          • Tom, you said…”But, Dan, you can’t prove the First Vision didn’t happen. Joseph Smith said it did in eight recorded writings.”

            Tom, how many times have I indicated to you, that I don’t care whether, the TALL TALE is true or not? I want proof, that Joe told this TALL TALE TO SOMEONE!
            I also said, that , Joe did not have to tell us about this vision at all, because if it truly happened, history, newspapers, relatives, close associates ,critics would corroborate his story….
            The astronauts that went to the moon, did not have to publish and tell us they visited the moon,,,,all the facts of their accomplishments are recorded in history, corroborated it by thousands if not millions…
            So, where is the evidence that Joe, told this TALL TALE ????
            Joe lie, and you are involved in a great sham…
            Late prophet Hinckley said
            “…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)

          • But, Dan, that’s what I just said. He did tell it to people, eight times that it is recorded, and he published it in Times and Season newspaper. Your problem is that you don’t think he told anybody before 1838, which you can’t prove. The question is not whether he told someone–he clearly told people. The question is whether what he said is true.

          • Tom, you said…”But, Dan, you can’t prove the First Vision didn’t happen. Joseph Smith said it did in eight recorded writings.” Tom, how many times have I indicated to you, that I don’t care whether, the TALL TALE is true or not? I want proof, that Joe told this TALL TALE TO SOMEONE! I also [...]

            But, Dan, that’s what I just said. He did tell it to people, eight times that it is recorded, and he published it in Times and Season newspaper. Your problem is that you don’t think he told anybody before 1838, which you can’t prove. The question is not whether he told someone–he clearly told people. The question is whether what he said is true.

            Shaw me these quotes that Joe saw the Father and the Son in 1820 in Times and Seasons.paper…????
            Actually there are 9 versions of this alleged TALL TALE, they are all different
            None of them mention seeing the Father Son…before 1838. did you understand that Tom? …no one knows anything about Joe seeing the Father and the Son in 1820 …NO ONE period! so Joe lie…He lie to you and the mormon people
            And Hinckley said that if the vision did not occur, then mormonism is not TRUE…Joe said he Told, but there is no evidence that Joe told the TRUTH

            After 1838, everybody jumps on the lie and give/regurgitate this TALL TALE
            If Joe said he TOLD everyone in town, ?…well just give me one person/dairy/document/friend/foe/relative/newspaper/witness/something, that would corroborate this TALL TALE…
            I told you, that if a person wins the lottery, there should be plenty of evidence that he won the lottery 18 years later,,,if you don’t find tons of evidence…he did not win the lottery…Joe said he told…but no one knows…very simple Tom, you been had and all of your mormon friends, you are programmed to outer darkness for following another god, a god of this world
            [2 Cor 4:3-4
            And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
            (from New International Version)]

            The Bible tell us you can not see God the Father (his face ) and live..
            [Ex 33:20
            20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
            (from New International Version)]

            Even your own so called “scriptures” tells you that Joe had a “revelation” in 1832 “…without the priesthood no man can see the face of God , even the Father and live D&C 84:21-22 … Joe did not have the priesthood in 1820

          • Dan,In the Bible, John says in an ungrammatical statement, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he had declared him.” However, we find John apparently contradicting himself just a few chapters later where he says, “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” In addition, there are references in the New Testament to the “invisible” God. We may counter that God is only “invisible” to the unrighteous, or that ordinary persons who do not have the special calling of a prophet are required to live by faith without seeing God, so he remains “invisible” to them.
            There is, however, much more persuasive evidence than arguing over the interpretation of such scriptures. The writers of the Bible recorded seeing God at least 12 times. God gave instruction to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Enoch declared that he “saw the Lord and he stood before my face and he talked with me even as a man.” Abraham saw God on at least four different occasions–when he arrived in Canaan, when Abraham was promised children, when he was ninety years old, and when he had a lengthy discussion with God about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham declared, “And I Abraham talked with the Lord face to face as one man talketh with another.” Jacob (Israel) called a certain place “Peniel because I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.” The Bible says, “And the Lord entered into the tabernacle and spoke unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend.” When Moses’ brother Aaron and sister Miriam spoke against Moses God chastised them and told them, “I will speak mouth to mouth with Moses and my similitude he shall behold.” According to the Bible, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and 70 of the elders of Israel “saw the God of Israel and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone.” Further, the Lord “appeared” to Solomon twice, once in Gibeon and once when he completed the building of the temple. Isaiah testifies,”In the year of the death of King Uzziah I saw God sitting upon the throne.”
            In the New Testament, Jesus taught that blessed are the pure in heart for they shall “see” God. At his baptism and the transfiguration on the Mount his apostles heard the Father’s voice. Stephen, suffering death by stoning for his belief in Christ, looked into Heaven and saw God–and Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God.

          • Tom, I am pretty sure you are not a prophet, a mormon prophet that the mormon church would listen to….having said that ?
            Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith (the 10 Prophet from (1876-1972, was a prophet for two years 1970-72)
            said the following…
            Jehovah gives all revelation.
            All revelation since the fall has come through Jesus Christ, who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament
            In all the scriptures, where God is mentioned and where he has appeared, it was Jehovah who talked with Abraham, with Noah, Enoch, Moses and all of the prophets. He is the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the one that led that nation out of Egyptian bondage, and who gave and fulfilled the Law of Moses
            The Father has never dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he has never appeared except to introduced and bear record of the Son (Doctrines of Salvation , Vol. 1 p- 27)
            So Tom, unless you are the new prophet, I will believe his statement over yours…
            the pure in heart shall “see” God.(you can only see God when you died if you are a true believer…”…
            2 Cor 5:8
            We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
            KJV
            The apostles heard the Father’s voice. (this could have been an excellent opportunity to show his apostles that he had a body of flesh and bones,,,but only heard His voice…see?
            When Jesus appeared to his disciples , they thought it was a spirit…, said He,
            Luke 24:39
            39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
            KJV

            You said Stephen, suffering death by stoning for his belief in Christ, looked into Heaven and saw God–and Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God.
            The Bible says “saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right of God..(Acts 7:55).if you check a concordance with the Greek concordance, you will not find the Greek word for hand , because God does not have a human body…the right of GOD means next to God…remember Jesus still has his resurrected body…
            You have been indoctrinated into a blasphemous doctrine, that of believing you can become a god…not good not good

  7. The book Mormonism Unveiled is being published by Signature Books later this year edited by Dan Vogel. He should be able to point out any “lies” in that book.

  8. I find it odd when people freak out about humans being human in Church history. We are a religion that rejects our own faith (the non-intervention of free agency and non-intervention of other religions) when we attack same-sex marriage today, for example. The Church isn’t perfect and never will be as Christ allows humans to lead it. If anyone can find a perfect Church, I’d like to see it.

    • Exactly. Christ and His gospel are perfect, but people aren’t. Anywhere that people are is imperfection! And the opportunity to practice the gospel by extending forgiveness, love, and compassion.

  9. When so-called Christians accuse me of not being Christian, that is when I have to comment. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe he was/is the son of God. I believe he died on the cross for my sins. That atonement and sacrifice made it so that ALL of the human family will be resurrected. His atonement also washes away my sins, if I will but believe on him and repent. I was baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. I pray to God, the Father, in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, every day.
    So, just how am I considered by the author to not be a Christian?

  10. Raymond Takashi Swenson

    I just read the book Mormon Christianity by Stephen Webb, a Catholic and former Evangelical who writes for First Things journal. He wrote the article.in First Things a couple of years ago titled “Mormonism Obsessed with Christ”. He is emphatic that Mormonism is clearly just as much a branch of the wide-spreading tree of Christianity as the Evangelical churches he left. His thesis specifically is that Christians generally should consider the positive theological benefits of the Mormon viewpoint that God is within the material universe, since after all, the resurrected Christ is affirmed in all the creeds to have taken his immortal, physical body into heaven. He also notes that the church he was originally raised in, a descendant of the Campbellite Christian primitive movement, also rejected the Nicene formulation of the Trinity as being an accretion on the original teachings preserved in the New Testament.

    Protestants who insist that embracing the Nicene formulation of the Trinity is the essence of being Christian overlook the fact that the Eastern Orthodox churches split from the Roman church over a difference in that formula. Are they not just as Christian, and as ancient in origin?

    Critics of Mormonism who focus on the creedal criterion tend to obfuscate the fact that there is nothing in the earlier Apostles Creed that would give a knowledgable Mormon heartburn. It might be noted that the emphasis in that statement on Christ’s ministry to redeem the dead between his death and resurrection, taught in I Peter, is something creedal that most Protestants tend to reject. The Orthodox doctrine, preserved from the teaching of the Church fathers in the Second Century, of theosis, that salvation consists of transforming the Christian to become like God, is a feature of Mormon belief that many Protestants target as unChristian. And the criticism of belief in the need for good works in addition to faith is one that was a theme of criticism of Catholic doctrine at the root of the Reformation.

    In other words, several of the main arguments certain Protestants deploy against Mormonism being Christian are also targeting beliefs held by churches whose Christian membership is indisputable.

  11. Thanks for the review, Jana. The background of the author caught my eye when this book came out several weeks ago, but based on the book jacket and some of the marketing materials surrounding it (which you’ve covered nicely here), I had dismissed it as yet another formulaic ex/anti-Mormon “tell-all” expose, thin on substance but heavy on style. Based on your review I’ll move it to my “to-read-low-priority” category on GoodReads rather than my “probably-skip-it” shelf!

  12. Raymond Takashi Swenson

    With regard to the cessation of polygamy, if someone thinks that all existing plural marriages were ended in 1890, the wives turned out of doors and support for their children cut off, no, of course that did.not happen. And part of the impetus for Mormon colonies in Canada and Mexico was the legalistic view that the US Supreme Court’s jurisdiction did not extend outside the US. The Reed Smoot hearings on whether to allow a “polygamist who didn’t polyg” (Smoot had only one wife) to serve in the US Senate made it clear that the US would not tolerate Mormonism unless the ending of plural marriage was extraterritorial. Those facts are available in the published histories of the Church that can be found at Mormon bookstores and were taught in college level LDS Institute of Religion courses I took while attending the University of Utah (the premier state university there). Any Mormon interested in that history can find plenty of information about it. The Church does not.include it in its Sunday School curriculum, which is focused on spiritual topics, but it has made the relevant documents available to scholars and has published much of that scholarship through BYU studies and other LDS venues. It is not hidden.

  13. Mormons do not believe that we have to work our way into heaven. To get to heaven we have to believe and accept Christ’s Atonement. He then takes us to heaven, which is being saved. An analogy helps to clarify this idea. Everyone is familiar with the phrase “All roads lead to Rome” which in this case is changed to “All Christian Roads lead to Rome”–the explanation follows:
    When walking on the Road To Rome, and getting there (by believing in Christ and accepting His Atonement, after which He then saves us into Heaven, which is Rome in this analogy), it then takes more time, effort, and dedication to reach the Sistine Chapel. (Most who go to Rome want to go to the Sistine Chapel.) That has to be our goal, not just getting to Rome, and not caring where in Rome we are as long as we get there, since getting to Rome is being saved and in Heaven.
    Do we want to be left in the outskirts where we can’t partake of the fullness of the glory of Heaven, or do we want to be where we can partake of the fullness of the glory of Heaven with God and Christ? How can we touch the wounds in His hands and His feet if we are several miles away from Him? (Has anyone ever wondered if there might be a login name and password required to get into the Sistine Chapel of Rome/Heaven when we get there?)
    Paul said, “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
    So also is the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:40-42)
    He also said: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” (2 Corinthians 12:2)
    Does this indicate that there are different glories in heaven and even a third heaven higher than the others? If so, do we then have to do something, after believing in Christ and having Him take us into Heaven, to get to where He dwells?

  14. Craig Schindler

    All those who oppose any form of Christianity which does not match their own should gather together and form a club; they could call it: People Having A Religious Ideology Superior to Everyone Else’s. Or they could just use the acronym …

  15. Jana,
    I cannot in good conscience read a book where the author takes the position that works are irrelevant and we are saved only by grace. The Bible is so full of statements that we are going to be judged by our works, I believe that any author who ignores those statements is not honest or acting in good faith; for example:
    (1) Jesus’ teaching: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21);
    (2) Jesus’ teaching: “For the Son of man, shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works (Matthew 16:27);
    (3) Jesus’ question: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46);
    (4) Jesus’ teaching: “Be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48);
    (5) Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. . . . He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me . . .He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” (John 14:15, 21, 24).
    (6) John saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the dead were judged “according to their works”(Revelations 20:12);
    (7) Paul’s teaching: “[In the judgment day God] will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6);
    (8) Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,” (2 Corinthians 5:10);
    (9) Paul’s teachings to the Galatians: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7);
    (10) James’ teaching, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20);
    (11) John’s teachings: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (I John 3:7);
    (12) See also Matthew 25:35, I Corinthians 3:8, I Peter 1:17, Revelations 2:23, 22:12.

    • Excellent. Thanks!! I also have recited those same scriptures when someone claims “all you have to do is believe”. We Mormons agree that the “grace” of Christ saves us. Any Christian will get to Heaven simply by believing in Christ and living a good life. But if you want to get to where Christ and God dwell, the criteria is being judged by your deeds and actions, not just belief. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19

      • Right. God freely grants us access to Christ’s Atonement and we are saved. But what does Christ ask of us in return? To keep the commandments and love others as He does. Since we are mortals and can’t do that perfectly, that is where grace comes in and makes up the difference.

        • E.B., I don’t think we are saved merely by professing Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon does say it best, “By grace we are saved after [at the end of our life] all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). This is consistent with Matthew: “he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22). Endure in what? In both faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to his commandments.

  16. Jana,
    I would like to know which “Mormon leaders”–living in the United States–continued to practice polygamy after 1890 and “lied to the government” about it.

    • John W. Taylor, son of 3rd Church President John Taylor, and also an apostle, was excommunicated in 1911 over his refusal to discontinue preaching and practicing plural marriage after the 1890 manifesto. He had resigned from the Quorum of the Twelve in 1905 over this issue and was eventually excommunicated after several years of continued disputes with the Brethren. Curiously, even though he resigned from the Twelve, he was apparently not “released” as an apostle, and though his position in the Quorum was filled by future Church President David O. McKay, he did not cease to be an apostle until he was excommunicated. Though two stake presidents attempted to perform proxy work on his behalf to rebaptize him and restore his Priesthood blessings shortly after his death in 1916, the First Presidency at the time declared such actions unauthorized. It was not until 1965 that his proxy rebaptism and restoration of temple blessings were authorized and performed.

      Fellow apostle Matthias Cowley also resigned the apostleship in 1905 over the issue of the post-Manifesto practice of plural marriage, and at the request of President Joseph F. Smith, likely because his continued prominent position in the Twelve undermined the Church’s position in the ongoing Reed Smoot hearings in the US Senate over whether fellow apostle Smoot (and monogamist) should be seated as the duly-elected Senator from Utah. (My favorite quote from the hearings comes from when the Senator from PA called out, directing his remarks at some of his fellow Senators with a reputation for philandering, “As for me, I would rather have seated beside me in this chamber a polygamist who doesn’t polyg than a monogamist who doesn’t monag.”) :-)

      Cowley was never excommunicated, but his Priesthood was eventually “suspended” for nearly 25 years, a disciplinary action that is not typical (usually the options are either disfellowship or excommunication). He died in full fellowship in the Church in 1940, but did not live long enough to see one of his sons, Matthew Cowley became an apostle in 1945.

      It should be noted that the post-Manifesto marriages performed by or entered in to by either Taylor or Cowley were performed in either Mexico or Canada, but I think both men would have “lived in the United States” after the Manifesto, at least for non-trivial amounts of time. (I’m not certain if you’re trying to “thread the needle” here by qualifying your request in this way.)

      There’s a very well-written Sunstone piece from Winter/Spring 1983 that gives many of these details and more.

      • Chris T,
        Thanks for the elucidation, but I’m not sure that’s who Jana had in mind when she wrote her article and I would like some substantiation that these people lied to government officials as she alleges.

        • @Tom Johnson, Sorry if I overdid it or mis-read your intention in my last comment. If you look up that Sunstone piece I referenced (it’s available online), I think you’ll find some examples of what (I guess) Jana might be talking about. I don’t know – I’m just trying to be helpful, and I’m no expert on this period in Church history!

          The Sunstone article talks about Wilford Woodruff “publically testif[ying]…that plural marriage had ceased, that ‘the Manifesto was intended to apply to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints everywhere in every nation and country,’ and that ‘we are giving no liberty to enter into polygamous relations anywhere.’ Those who failed to obey the law would be subject to Church discipline”. That was in late 1891, and though the article does not specify in what venue he testified, it does quote Woodruff as saying he was “on the witness stand”.

          The article goes on to describe several plural marriages that were contracted later in the 1890s that were done with either direct or indirect knowledge of President Woodruff and/or his counselors, but though it does not make it sound like Woodruff perjured himself in his testimony, it does imply he may have worded his remarks very carefully.

          Again, I’m not an expert, just trying to be helpful with your question, but I suggest that article might be a useful place to start…

          • Actually, all the fallout with the Twelve wasn’t after the first manifesto, it was after the second. (Yes, there was two). Polygamy is a little like the WoW (at least in my understanding). The manifesto was given, but there was time for a cultural change before there were real disciplinary consequences (just like the WoW). I believe most of the marriages happened in Mexico or Canada though, not in the US (that’s why people left the country!).

            But even after the second Manifesto, polygamists did not abandon their families. Sure, people stopped marrying more than one wife, but they didn’t just cut off their kin because it was against the law (and it was against the law to live with more than one woman). To me, this is one of the most comforting realizations I’ve come to in my cursory study of polygamy. Most people tried to act in a loving and Christlike manner towards all their wives and children, even if the law still thought they should be in jail and even if they knew the Church no longer continued new marriages. It was the right thing to do.

          • wikipedia has a lot of information actually on the time period. Start with Joseph F. Smith.

          • My great grandfather, Harry Payne, married Helen Curtis and later, in consultation with his wife Helen, chose and married Ruth Powell with her and her family’s consent. They were his wives. He was sent to prison for 6 months for polygamy. Of course most of you know polygamy wasn’t against the law of the land when most of the Mormons entered into “Celestial Marriage”, or polygamy. That was an unConstitutional “ex post facto” law which was passed. When Harry was released from prison he was ordered by the judge, as part of his parole, to renounce and divorce one of his wives. This he refused to do. So he took his wives and fled to the Mexican Colonies, Colonia Dublan and Colonia Pacheco. The Mexican authorities left them alone down there. They had a thriving farming community for about 20 years, then Pancho Villa ran them out in the Mexican revolution in 1912. They came back to the USA and settled Virden, New Mexico, right on the extreme western border, next to Arizona. 19 families, refugees from the Colonies, bought the valley, divided it up by casting lots, and started a thriving community. My dad, Edwin Jones, remembered his grandmother Ruth and his “Grandma Auntie” (Helen) Payne, both of whom lived under the same roof with their husband, Harry, well into the ’20s and ’30s. By then the furor over polygamy had died down and authorities in the USA didn’t persecute them. These Mormon polygamists, along with others from polygamist families, raised very upstanding children and grandchildren, many of whom became very prominent citizens. One son of Harry Payne, Vearle Payne, became a Supreme Court Judge in New Mexico. These people were definitely not the same as today’s polygamists who mainly are satisfying their lusts and using “the principle” for unrighteous reasons (such as forcing young girls into polygamy). I give this background so that some of you may understand a bit better about early Mormon polygamy.

  17. Reading the above comments I recognise the same arguments that tore the early church apart. Thankfully we will not resort to torture and exocution to prove our point as did the early antagonists. What members of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS believe is no different from many of the earliest beliefs held by those in the early church, they are not unique. It is interesting that we today are still fighting the same battles.
    Fortunately we are all children of a wise kind loving God. He has given us free agency to choose, and through grace and grace only will that choice be sanctified. The question should not be “Which church” but “What is in my heart”. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil,……. If anyone whnts to know what I truely believe to be the doctrine of Christ read Moroni 7 in the Book of Mormon. In 50 years of practice I have never read anything or been told anything contrary to this.
    God be with you as you search and let the Spirit keep you fom resentment and contention.

  18. Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.

    I appreciate the comments of those above who reflect the real teachings of the Mormon Church. Go to lds.org or mormon.org to get more of the correct picture.

    This said, we Mormons should love and respect all those who are not of our faith. They are, like us, children of God and deserve the best we can do for them.

  19. John M. McConeghey

    Thank you good Mormons for defending the faith with the Word of God. In spite of the fiery darts of the wicked, we [par]take shield of faith (believing in that which is true), which comforts and sustains us in the peace of the Lord. Poor Sister who lost her grip on the Iron Rod and joined the great and spacious building crowd. Again, thank you for your drawing honestly on God’s Word, pointing boldly and faithfully the way of truth.

  20. I am a true blue died in the wool 7th generation Mormon with a STRONG testimony, because after participating in a life time of works vs faith discussions, I am ecstatic to see a definition evolving amongst the general authorities that has given me the testimony of peace surrounding this issue.
    We as the human family are ALL “saved” (sons of perdition excepted) from death and “given” a resurrection with or without faith in Jesus Christ. On top of that, ALL our sins are forgiven if we just believe enough in Jesus’ teachings to participate in one simple act of “works” — baptism. The Holy Ghost is then given to us as our constant companion to help us in the process of sanctification by giving us access to the enabling and strengthening power of the grace of the atonement.
    The enabling and strengthening power of the grace inherent in the atonement is the part I am so excited about. Elder Bednar explains this best to my spirit in a talk he gave at Brigham Young University on 23 October 2001 while he was the president of BYU-Idaho, but many of the other brethren like Elder Oak’s signature address printed in the Ensign of March 1994. are also helping us widen and deepen our definition and appreciation of grace.
    It is my testimony that if we will use the meat of these two talks when we discuss grace not only with other Christians, but also in our weekly classroom discussions, we will grow in our understanding and utilization of grace such that we will know and appreciate why this Church is a Church that builds Saints.

  21. Guy Briggs, by your own logic of “not seeing the Nicene Creed in the New Testament so there for it is false”, you would have to therefore say, again by your own logic, that Mormonism is false.

    • No, Mormonism is based on the Bible and can cross-reference almost all of its doctrines to Bible scripture. In contrast, the Nicene Creed is directly at odds with many of the teachings in the Bible. One simple example is that the Nicene Creed says that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are one being, one person. Numerous New Testament scriptures refute that, such as Jesus being baptized, the voice of God coming from the Heavens saying “This is my Beloved Son”, and the Holy Ghost descending in the sign of the dove. And Jesus frequently prayed to his Father. He didn’t pray to himself in the Garden of Gethsemane asking himself to “let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I wilt, but as thou wilt”. Then Jesus, immediately following his resurrection, appeared to Mary Magdalene in the Garden and told her “I ascend unto my father and your father, unto my God and your God.”

      • Jonesy, mormonism is NOT based on the Bible. All of you mormons hard core, PhD’s etc, you been had and don’t even know it, is like using “counterfeit money” of course this unauthorized print money, looks like the real thing…it will buy you anything , get you every where, but the time will come when you’l find out , you don’t have the real thing…but it will be to late…’…depart from me never knew you…(Matt 7:21-23)

        21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
        22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
        KJV
        Mormonism is actually against Christianity, because it promulgates an eternal progression as their main doctrine (becoming gods) a plurality of gods, God the father an exalted man and another jesus that had a beginning as a spirit child in the pre-existence and when born , it was the product of God the father and Mary (blasphemous doctrine)
        So Jonesy, where in your main so called “scriptures” is the teaching the mormon god was a man and became a god and is now married? is not in the Bible?
        Dan

        • Dan, you seem to have a real problem with the idea that Christians could believe that they can become like God or gods themselves. Please read the Wikipedia article called “Divinization.” It traces in the Bible the scriptures that support this view (sometimes called “theosis”). It also quotes many early Christian “fathers” who interpreted the scriptures in this way, including Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Athanasius, Cyril, Gregory, and Basis. Mormons believe that the original, early Christian doctrines were corrupted over time and the restoration through Joseph Smith brought back these beliefs of these early Christians.

          • Tom, you or Jonesy did not answer the question
            Jonesy, said Mormonism is based on the Bible and can cross-reference almost all of its doctrines to Bible scripture. ..again all hard mormons, where in the so called scriptures is the teaching/doctrine, that the mormon god was a man, became a god after eons of time found himself a goddess and is now producing more spiritual babies, that will eventually becomes gods….that is not the God of the Bible, mormonism has a different god, a different jesus, a different gospel, and certainly another “spirit”

          • Dan, I did answer your question, but I will do so in more detail: Your challenge breaks down to 5 points: (1) God was once a man–John 5:19; (2) Man became God– Jesus Christ; (3) God found himself a goddess–when was there ever a Father without a Mother? (4) Produced spiritual babies–Numbers 16:22; 27:16; Deuteronomy 14:1; Psalms 82:6; Malachi 2:10; Matthew 6:9; Acts 17:28; Hebrews 12:9-10); (5) Babies will become gods–Wikipedia article I referred you to earlier on “Divinization” which includes the Bible references and the quotes by early Church Fathers.

          • Tom, are you smoking something…? Lets take these spurious interpretations of yours one by one.

            (1)John 5:19
            19 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.( according to mormon mantra? how does the son “see” the father become a god, since the son was not even born yet!
            (2)Man became God– Jesus Christ; ( Sorry, here. God the Father sent the Son who is/has been always God the Son.
            As usual the mormon teaching/hierarchy twisted , it has it backwards
            In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God
            ..(John 1:1)
            And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…(John 1:14)…Jesus speaking here..”…a body hast thou prepared for me.
            Gal 4:4 “…God sen forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law..
            (1 Cor 15:45) “…God the Son, took a second nature a man nature called the last Adam , was made a quickening spirit…

            (3) God found himself a goddess–when was there ever a Father without a Mother?
            You did not give the documentation…but of course this is mormon culture, no difference if you have said the dog has five legs because you count the tail as another leg…but saying it does not make it true
            (4) Produced spiritual babies–Numbers 16:22; 27:16; Deuteronomy 14:1; – ????? not even worth commenting here
            (5) Babies will become gods–Wikipedia…Wikipedia? how old are you Tom…?
            Mormonism is a man made sect, may God have mercy on all these deceived mormon people

          • Dan, I just returned from wonderful Sunday meetings–a great Primary children’s program, Sunday School lesson, and Priesthood meeting where the Spirit of the Lord was very strong.
            It is time for you to tell me about your faith or is your religion “Anti-Mormonism”?
            What religion do you believe, what church do you attend?

          • Tom,
            I was born in Mexico City, my father was a minister/Pastor of the Spanish congregation in Mexico City (Church of the Nazarene Denominations)
            After I completed my High School, I came to the US with a scholarship to attend Nazarene College in Pasadena CA
            I did not speak English and started a short course in English in PCC in Pasadena
            I was told that I could join the USAF even though I was not a US Citizen
            And since I was not doing well academically? I enlisted in the USAF
            I made the service my career, I was not a Christian per se, and I almost died in several accidents in the AF, Miraculously during my 20 years? and after asking God to save us from probable death? I survived and made it home …

            I was driving home one Sunday morning, and as I stop for the red light I was prompted to noticed this big beautiful Congregational Church…people were coming out…I vividly remember God asking me, when are you going to look for me?..remember all the promises you made when you were in trouble? and you asked me to save you of immediate danger? I had no answer…I responded, this church is to big…I don’t know…the guy behind me honked his horn, reminded me the light was now green…
            I quickly turned into the gas station opposite the church…I continued debating with God…well? what are you going to do?..I said I don’t know anybody…
            At this time a young fellow by the name Mike May…tapped in my window and asked me…would you like to go to church with me? I responded sure, I was thinking I wanted to go in…he introduced himself to me and asked me my name where I was from, etc and he said that he attended the class for the graduate students, you will fit here…

            I went into the class with him, and all of the sudden, I was glued to the speaker, he was talking to me…directly to me..said he, if you want God to help you, you need to take the first step…be willing to accept his leadership. and give you will your all to him, you can not procrastinate, do something, join a Bible class, that is where God is, …this will set your base on your future life…if you know how to sing? then join the Church choir, God will guide you, from now on…

            I was almost crying, I felt a peace a calm that was the beginning of a new life..
            I went to the man who gave the talk and asked him if he knew of a Bible class…He said we meet in my house every Tuesday night
            I attended these classes with my new Bible for almost a year, I devoured the pages of the Bible I also joined the Choir and sang there for the next three years…I
            also had no desire of the things of this world, I read my Bible every minute I had, the guys at the Bible class always wanted me to begin with my prayer…later on I was told the way I pray was very powerful as if I was really talking to God, I replied that is true I do talk to God in my prayers.
            Tom,as I read the Bible , the verses , the stories became real, I said to myself many times , how can people live without reading the Bible,? I said it is almost impossible to live in this world without knowing the God of the Bible
            The Bible revealed the Father to me…
            Jesus words in John 14:23 became a reality
            John 14:23-24
            3 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
            24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
            KJV
            Matt 11:27 and Luk 10:22 also became reality

            Matt 11:27
            27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
            KJk
            Luk 10: 22 says basically the same thing

            This event in my life happened in 22 Jul 1979
            I also started a service ministry for Spanish Speaking people in this Church, we met in the basement of the church on Sunday afternoon, we had songs and I brought a little lesson from the Bible, we numbered about 12 to 15 people
            This small group now has his own Pastor and they meet at the same room where as we called our conversion ” born again” in this same room.
            Tom, I have grown in my spiritual life because of the study of the Bible as I read from the first book In Gen to Revelation, I have discovered that the real Ecclesia, is not a church building or denomination, but it is the people who has embrace the Bible as the sole source of authority.
            There are many churches but only those churches that agree on the essentials of the Christian era, are consider true believers
            and there are not many of us.
            Jesus said to Peter, that He would build his Ecclesia in the Rock, in the revelation that God gave to Peter when he said , that Jesus was the Son of God, this is that Rock, that Jesus was speaking about, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it

            Matt 16:15-18
            15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
            16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
            17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
            18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
            KJV
            I have a Bible that is designed to read the whole Bible in one year, I am on my fourth year
            I pray daily, (I get up at 4 AM pray , and it takes me about an hour just to read two pages that covers the NT portion , the Psalms, Proverbs and Portion of the NT., I pray for the various projects that I have, for my wife, for the mormon missionaries I encounter daily, I pray for your understanding of my responses and frankly for your Salvation, and when I go to sleep, I go out like a baby, because I just refreshed my inner soul and I stretch out and ask God to give me a tune up…a physical tune up)

            As I said before, I gave you a brief explanation as how Jesus revealed the Father to me, now I have a true relation ship with the God of the Bible through Jesus God the Son and with the Help and power of the Holy Spirit.
            If you want me to expand or clarify any statement, just ask me…will do my best…
            May the real God of the Bible open your eyes before it is too late..may God have mercy on your unbelief…
            Dan
            The next e-mail is how God confirmed my calling to the mormon people by sending an Angel to deliver me from future danger…
            Do you want to hear about it?

            Jer 9:23-24
            23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
            24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
            KJV

          • Thank you, Dan, for telling me about your religion. Really, I expected you to refuse to talk about your own beliefs or to say that you don’t believe in any God or religion. I am happy for you that you love the Bible so much and that you love Jesus Christ. I also love the Bible and most Mormons love the Bible. The Book of Mormon is a “second witness” that Jesus is the Christ. I am sure you know that the Bible teaches that God will confirm truth by two or three witnesses (Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15).
            Yes, please tell me how God confirmed your calling to the Mormon people by sending you an angel. By the way, are you an illegal alien?

          • Dan, I still want to hear how God confirmed your calling to the Mormon people by sending an angel to you.

          • Tom,I am going to tell you how God confirmed to me my calling to the mormon people.

            After I had been a Christian for several years, I had an experience that begin to change my life
            I was a contractor , working for a local Hospital(Glendale Adventist Hospital), I had to deliver a bill to the business office, I noticed the dispatcher was a nice girl, and decided to ask her a question

            (in my studies in the Bible and Church History, I discovered certain groups abhorrent in the true Christian tradition, those included the Jehovah Witnesses, Seven Day Adventist, and the LDS church, and others)

            So I asked this girl,…what church do you attend on Sundays (hoping she would say , I am a Seven Day Adventist, I go to church on Saturdays,.. )

            Well she responded, I attend the mormon church…immediately I exclaimed…oh no, …she said why are you acting like this? …What? I asked…She said,..Do you know anything about mormonism?…well not really…I know some things…well she said I am going to learn you something today(she used these words “learn you”)…lunch is on me we are going to discuss mormonism

            We went to Kentucky fried Chicken, and between, bites and drinks (she order water) she drilled me on the peculiar teachings of mormonism, told me I was a “lamanite” that Christ came here to the Americas , that since I was really from Jewish ancestry, I should be proud of my heritage.
            Needless to say, in the scale of 1 to 10 on mormonism, I was a 1 and she was a 10.
            I kept saying, really? but I could not swallow that my people at one time were Jewish, and that the American Indians were the result of my people’s rebellion.(BOM teaches, that God cursed my people with a dark skin
            During the next months I did extensive research on mormonism, and would come to her and say…You told me such and such, but I found from your own teachings, so and so…
            The turning point came when I showed her a book of several LDS people who left the mormon church (documented reasons)

            I was going on a vacation for about two days, had not read the book yet, and when she found out about the title, she beg me to give it to her…you are going on a vacation, let me read it , please…she added, if you really care, you loan me the book now…So I gave it to her
            When she gave me the book back, she said nothing and I continued to bring articles and contradictions of her “scriptures”
            One day I had a picture of the mormon temple in Utah, and it depicted several satanic symbolas all over the face of the building(several inverted pentagrams, of a goat in it, etc)
            I was going to ask her about all these symbols, but before I even produce the picture? she stood quickly and said to me, Dan, if you give me that paper? I am going to put it in the trash basket ..did you hear me?…

            She said I am not going to my church anymore, I don’t believe in God anymore, and if you want to talk to me it will be strictly on the business of what you are contracted to do, do you understand that?
            I said OK…and I left
            Several weeks, I had to call her to answer a call for a job in the Hospital…(I repair all the dictation equipment in the Hospital)
            And I asked her again, what happened and reminded her that she was the one that started the whole thing…now I felt I was an 8 in mormonism and she was a zero…
            She told me, she did not believe in religion or God, and that she did not wanted to talk about it anymore
            Soon after this dialogue, she quit her job and never did I find what happened to her or where she went.

            I continued my study on mormonism, my wife used to be a mormon, when I met her she was already out of mormonism, she was attending a Four Square Gospel Church
            Her parents tried to influence me to the mormon church and gave me two subscriptions about mormonism the Ensign and Church News…I am still subscribed to the Ensign Magazine, I dropped Church News, too expensive and this magazine is not an official magazine/periodical for the mormon church
            After a while my in-laws gave up on me, because I asked many questions

            One day I was reading an article in Ensign, and I called my mom, and asked her what was the meaning of a footnote with a “JST..” ending
            She did not know and later on it became a heated discussion, because I learned that this” JST” was an actual translation by J Smith and when I confronted my in-laws they denied it, and even after I showed them the historical proof from their own history…many other things happened, and I was never given a correct answer…
            The final blow came when I purchased the original BOM facsimile put out by the mormon church to commemorate 150 years of mormonism, my mother again said, that is not the real BOM, the real BOM is in Salt Lake city in a vault in the church and no one can see it or copy it.
            I show her one of the 4000 changes in this BOM where jesus is suppose to have a son…it reads “..the son of the only begotten of the father…” (p-239)
            She said, 4000 changes, yes I said, she said …”I would not believe them even if you show them to me…”
            I gave her the Book and asked her to show it to her bishop or any one that knows history
            Six months later, she gave me the book back and I asked her did you validate if the book is for real ?..she answered me, I did not have time…

            Several years later, I was passing out tracts on what the mormon church teaches about Christ and God the Father , and in particular the question about mormons are Christians or not tract
            I had my Son with me (he was about 9 years old at the time)
            We were in the San Diego Temple.
            Let me continue later, because this is about an Angel appearing to me, and this e-mail is getting to long
            later…

          • I am back..
            (Tom, my story here was Scripture fulfilled…
            Heb 13:2…”…for thereby some have entertained angles…”

            We (my son and I ) were across from the street where the buses came and dropped the people coming to visit/tour the temple (San Diego Temple)
            There was a man manning a tripod with some information on it.

            A lady came out of the bus , and stared at the tripod located just in front of the bus where the people disembark to tour the temple. The tripod was held down anchored by a bucket of cement which held the tripod firmly into the sidewalk.
            As the lady read the information…(the tripod had two tablets depicting Historical Christianity, and the other side depicting the official teachings of mormonism) The lady exclaimed
            ‘..”How dare you to displayed this thing in the front of the house of the Lord, “…she launched forward, grab the two tablets and pulled the tripod down…the bucket of cement was round and it started to roll down the street ..my son and I run across the street and helped this man recover his display and we helped him to straightened his contraption…
            The security from the church came by and reprimanded this lady for her behavior, the man thanked me and asked me if I spoke Spanish, I responded jokingly…is the Pope Catholic?
            This man was the director for a ministry to the mormon people called Berean Christians” He was LDS, but became a Christian after another ministry there in Palmyra reached him for the real Christ, He died 3 years ago, his wife never converted to mormonism she died two years before him.
            His name was John Farkas. he wrote many books helping and reaching many mormons for Christ

            He asked
            /told me right away, I need you in Palmyra…I have a ministry there , every year thousands of mormons come to this event called the Palmyra Pageant, and there are thousands of them that speak only Spanish, and I don’t have anyone that speaks Spanish, will you come and help us…I did not have to think about it, and said yes, He gave me all the information , it was around April of 1993, and I have not miss this event , going on my 21 year…

            One day about 5 PM, I was alone , at the same place where I met John with the tripod. I was alone and I only had about 5 tracts left on me and the people were not coming anymore , so I made a right turn went to the corner of the Temple and made a left turn, and walked to the end of Temple I stood at the corner.

            A few moments later, a security guy came directly to me, he was a Samoa person, about 6′ 2 and perhaps 350 lbs…he said to me, ..what are you doing? (remember there was no one around )
            I said I have information that could help some mormon people…would you care for one of my tracts?…let me see and he took one and shredded to pieces, …and he lunched forward as if he was going to push me or perhaps hit me…but just about this time he was to make contact with me? ..a voice across from the other corner of the end of the street a big powerful voice….HEY DAN!
            And I quickly answered…YEAH !…He said what ‘s going on… (this person reminded of Larry Bird , the Celtics Basketball player he had blond curly hair)
            Before we noticed, he was standing in front of us the Samoa guy sure look ridiculous this person was about 7 feet tall , Larry is 6’9…I told this person,…look what this guy just did to my tract…and this person said to him…why do you want to do a thing like this…?

            The Samoa guy was terrified…he just kept going backwards…and said, if you think I am mean? my brother is bigger then me, he is really going to hurt you, so you better get out of here… I just kept looking at him, I wanted to know what was he going to do with the pieces of my tract…Was hopping he would not just dropped them in the side, and then I will be held responsible for littering on the mormon premises…

            Well, after the Samoa guy was almost gone, I turned around to see, who this person was…Tom, I am getting emotional, almost tears on my eyes, because every time I relate this experience, I remember and hear the words HEY DAN!…this person knew me intimately as if I known this person all my life HEY DAN!….Only God knows me personally

            ( The next day, I talked with the director of the ministry responsible for the witnessing to the mormon crowd, And when I asked him, if we have someone on staff that resembled the person that came to my rescue? He said, no we don’t have anyone that fits that description….but He knew your name Dan…and I knew what he was talking about…)

            I stood there not really thinking, but there was no car or person that this person disappeared with? there was no traffic…why would this person not talk to me after wards? , if he was a real human being, you would think, maybe tell me , Dan, be careful you better go home etc…but no… he just vanished…

            I said to myself , this ministry is for me, if God protects me on a simple punch/push/shoved then he will be with me in the most dangerous circumstances.
            I can tell you many other stories that I have experienced, where God really protected me in these my 20 years…
            Tom, I continue to pray for you…I pray for your understanding and your Salvation…
            If I said, or gave you some information, that you don’t understand, please be sure to ask me

            You initially told me …”…You believe in Christ.” …but in reality, you have not talked to me as if you really have the truth…
            I do hope you continue to read my explanations and responces …please read the Book of John…you need the real Jesus of the Bible
            May the real God of the Bible have mercy on your Soul

            Tom,even if I died? actually I am not going to died, I simply going to change rooms…

            John 5:24-27
            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. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
            (from New International Version)

            ….I will not be condemned,,,I cross over from death to life…just change rooms
            Dan

            dcmess@aol.com

        • Dwight Rogers

          Jesus taught the following:

          “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

          “Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

          “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

          “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God:” (John 10:31-36)

          Here, the Jews wanted to stone Jesus ” for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” Jesus then reminded them of their own scripture which teaches that “, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High” from Psalms 82:6.

          After this the Jews had to back down. They could not stone him because they knew he was right. They knew that their own scriptures teach the same thing and they had no case against Him. Jesus reminded them that God had “called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken”.

          The Apostle Paul makes a similar point as recorded in the New Testament. Like Isaiah, he writes of false man-made gods in 1 Corinthians chapter 8. In addition to the false man-made gods on earth, he also writes of the existence of true gods in the heavens He says:

          “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many and lords many,) But to us there is but one God.. .” (1 Cor. 8: 5-6)

          Here Paul recognizes that there are both false gods on earth and true gods in the heavens, but out of them all, there is only one God for us. Some may doubt that Paul was referring to true gods when he said “in heaven” and “(as there be gods many and lords many,). Yet, among true Bible believers, who can believe that there are false gods in heaven? So, when Paul talks of gods in heaven, he can only be talking of true Gods. Here, the Apostle Paul speaking polytheistically about the gods in heaven but monotheistically when he says that only one of them is our God.

          Psalms 8:4-5 teaches that man is “a little lower than the gods.” The King James Version (and most translations) give it as “lower than the angels,” but the word used in the Hebrew is gods. The Hebrew term “elohim”,or “gods” is used to describe human judges in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8-9. Here authorized servants of God are called “gods.” Exodus 7:1 says that Moses was to be “god to Pharaoh.” Note that these are with a small “g” recognizing the pre-eminence of the God we worship.

          And Paul says in Romans 8:14-18: “For as many as are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;”

          And again Christ said to John the Revelator: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelations 3:21)

          John says: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doeth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3)

          In the first verses of the Bible, in the Hebrew, Moses refers to the head God who called forth the other gods. It is not rendered this way in English translations. Yet, scholars have noted that throughout the Bible there is a theme of a head God who presides over the other gods.

          Thus, the head God says “Let US make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness” ( Genesis 1:26-27, emphasis added) Jewish teachers understood Genesis 1:26-26 to teach a plurality of Gods as taught in Kabbalistic (Jewish) readings of the verses. (Owens, “Joseph Smith and Kabbalah Ibid., 182-83.)

          God confirms this elsewhere when He speaks to the other gods, saying “Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.” (Gen 3:22). Again, notice the reference to “us” – this group that the head God called together.

          And again, the head God speaking to the council said: “let US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:5-7, emphasis added).

          This council of gods is recognized by Bible scholars as a concept that runs throughout the Bible and includes a head God and the council which He presides over. Thus God can say “let us make man after our own image” and “let us go down,” and so forth.

          Furthermore we read: “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” (Ps. 82:1) Or as it is rendered in the NRSV translation “God has taken His place in the divine council, in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.” In this verse the Hebrew term rendered “congregation of the mighty” is from the Hebrew la td[ (cedat ‘el), which really means “the council of God.” The idea of a council of God, wherein the head God meets with the other gods is referenced throughout the Bible. Another Hebrew term that means “council” is dws (s?d). (See the discussion in Frank Moore Cross, “The Council of Yahweh in Second Isaiah,” 274, n. 1; also R. Gordis, “Democratic Origins in Ancient Israel,” in Saul Libermann, ed., Alexander Marx Jubilee Volume (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1950), 376-388.)

          This Hebrew term is often translated “secret” in the KJV. One passage in which it should be read as “council” are Job 15:8 and Job 29:4 wherein it should be rendered “hast thou listened in the council of God?” Other examples of this are:Psalm 25:14; and Proverbs 3:32. Indeed, in some passages, KJV translates it “assembly” (Psalm 111:1; Jeremiah 6:11; 15:17; Ezekiel 13:9), while in a few others KJV renders it “counsel” (Psalm 55:14; 83:3; 89:5-7; Proverbs 15:22; Jeremiah 23:18, 22), while in Psalm 64:2, KJV renders it “secret counsel.” (For a discussion of the Hebrew term, see Raymond Brown, “The Pre-Christian Semitic Concept of ‘Mystery’,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 20 (1958): 418-421.)

          SOWD is the Old Testament Hebrew word for “assembly”, “circle of people in council”, or “confidential talk, secret.” It is similar in meaning to the New Testament “musterion” or mystery. For example, in the King James version, SOWD is translated “secret” (e.g. Amos 3:7, where it literally means “what is going on in the heavenly council” of the gods.)

          Thus, Amos was referring to the idea that God makes known to his prophets the “secret,” or what goes on in the heavenly council. This is repeated throughout the Bible, for instance: “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” (Psalms 82:1)

          As one scholar notes :

          “The existence of other gods is not denied in the first commandment of the decalog itself; in fact it presupposes their existence and forbids the Israelites to worship them.” (Roland de Vaux, The Early History of Israel, Philadelphia, 1968, p 463)

          This teaching of a council of gods is presented in other ancient Jewish and Christian texts. But, even more important, it is clearly found throughout the Bible itself:

          “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11)

          “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and the Lord of lords, a great God…
          “Thou shalt fear the Lord they God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
          “He is thy praise, and he is thy God…” (Deu. 11:17, 20-21)

          “Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.” (Ps. 86:8)

          “For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.” (Ps. 97:9)

          “For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.” (Ps. 135:5)

          “O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth forever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever.” (Ps. 136: 2-3)

          “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God.” (Deut. 10:17)

          • Rogers, or Jonesy
            You still did not answer my question….

            So Jonesy, where in your main so called “scriptures” is the teaching the mormon god was a man and became a god and is now married? is not in the Bible? –

            Roger
            You gave me a much about nothing, because, if you have the wrong god all else does not matter.
            The early church fathers do not defined scripture,
            They merely relied on tradition, and the Bible is just another book
            Just like the so called foundation of mormonism…
            If you can not produced a third part/person, who validates what Joe said 18 years later?
            Then nothing else matters. . god did not appeared to Joe , Joe lied
            and you are involved in a great sham…
            Matter of fact, Joe did not have to say anything…we could have found this “glorious” vision, by History, by newspapers, dairies in all tons of evidence
            The burden of proof is on mormonism

          • Dan, you are remarkable. You have obviously studied about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Very few people I know have read 5 volumes of Dan Vogel’s work (I haven’t). I was curious to know why you would spend so much time studying about “Mormonism” and even going to Palmyra, New York for 21 years to pass out anti-Mormon tracts (it seems you live near San Diego). Despite the anti-Mormons telling me that they do it because they love Mormons and are trying to save them, my experience is that they are usually trying to prove themselves right. For example, to a former spouse that was a Mormon. It seems you were married to a Mormon once and her parents tried to convert you. It seems you are divorced from her now. Your life story has a lot of things that are puzzling. You said you met a Mormon girl at the hospital and you told her you “didn’t really know anything about Mormonism”, but you also say that before meeting her that you had already decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and LDS were “abhorrent to the Christian tradition.” It sounds like you set out to try and destroy her faith, not learn from her about Mormonism. You said that you found God in the “Congregational Church.” I don’t know if you are still affiliated with them, or which division of that church you attend or participate in: United Church of Christ, National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, or the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference? As I understand it (from Wikipedia) one of the characteristics of the congregational churches is that that they have no central authority and each congregation decides what they believe. This reminds me of the Baptists–in some congregations baptism is required for membership and salvation and other congregations it is not necessary. It is hard for me to believe that such a church could be the Church of Jesus Christ when Paul taught that there is “one faith and one baptism.” If you go to a “Mormon” Church anywhere in the world, they all teach and believe the same doctrines and they are even on the same Sunday School lesson each week. I can’t find anyone who is considered to be the “founder” of Congregational Churches. How did they start? Where did they get their authority to act in the name of God? Or do they believe that anyone who reads the Bible has the authority to represent God and start a church? If all we needed was the Bible to start a church accepted by God as His church, why are there 275 Christian denominations all claiming to have the correct interpretation of the Bible? And as for you seeing an angel, I will ask you the same question you have kept asking me over and over–where is the corroboration? Is there a newspaper account, diary, journal, witness that has written it down and published it? I say there is far more corroboration that Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and five other people 20 times than there is corroboration that an angel appeared to you once. And the Book of Mormon–you say the golden plates are “fiction.” But there are 13 people who have left their written testimonies that the plates existed, and the testimonies of the three people who acted as scribes while Joseph translated the plates. Joseph and his family was far too poor to come up with the 50 pounds of gold that would have been needed to create the plates and it is impossible that he or his family could have created the plates without others in his family or community knowing about it, let alone engraving all of the pages. He accomplished the entire translation in a period of just over 60 days–something that would have been impossible for a person with no formal education without the gift of God. All of the other theories about the origin of the Book of Mormon (Spaulding theory, View of the Hebrews theory, written by Sidney Rigdon theory, etc.) have all been proven false. I agree that there was no one with Joseph Smith when he had his First Vision, but he did tell the account of it in eight different written records we have. You say that those accounts of the First Vision were never written until 18 years later; I say that they were written before then, but more importantly he gave his testimony many times that the First Vision occurred. What if he didn’t give his testimony of that until 18 years later; the issue is not when he gave the account 18 years later, but whether the account was true. You say the burden of proof is on the Mormons to prove that it is true. I say Joseph Smith said it was true and you have no evidence that he lied. The absence of evidence is not evidence. Not only did Joseph Smith give accounts of the First Vision, but he gave accounts of the visit of John the Baptist, the visit of Peter, James, and John, the visit of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus Christ to the Kirtland Temple and in each case, Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon were present for these appearances and corroborated these events. You want to contend that Joseph Smith lied about the First Vision, but ignore all of these other events that can be established without question. Dwight Rogers has answered all your questions. He has shown that the Jesus taught in the Book of Mormon is the same one taught in the Bible. He and I have shown you that the Bible is full of scriptures that we are the spirit children of God and that we will become like our Father if we keep His commandments. I have shown you that there are 12 occasions in the Bible where God appeared to man. You maintain that the Bible is the sole source of authority. But which part of the Bible do you accept as the sole source of authority–the Old Testament, the New Testament or both? Which version do you accept–the 73 books accepted by the Catholic Christians, the 75 books accepted by the Eastern Orthodox Christians, the 74 books accepted by the Russian Orthodox Christians, the 81 books accepted by the Coptic Christians, or the 66 books accepted by the Protestant and Mormon Christians? No, Dan, Joseph Smith was not a liar; you are just an unbeliever.

          • Tom,
            You gave me a mouth full. but I will respond to your baseless accusations
            Somehow I have the feeling, someone is helping you to write these your responses, but minor point set aside…let me explain, and correct you…

            I will break my response in four parts or maybe three, because I want to answer the whole e-mail

            First Part

            ,Dan, you are remarkable. You have obviously studied about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Very few people I know have read 5 volumes of Dan Vogel’s work (I haven’t). I was curious to know why you would spend so much time studying about “Mormonism” and even going to Palmyra, New York for 21 years to pass out anti-Mormon tracts (it seems you live near San Diego). Despite the anti-Mormons telling me that they do it because they love Mormons and are trying to save them, my experience is that they are usually trying to prove themselves right. For example, to a former spouse that was a Mormon. It seems you were married to a Mormon once and her parents tried to convert you. It seems you are divorced from her now. Your life story has a lot of things that are puzzling. You said you met a Mormon girl at the hospital and you told her you “didn’t really know anything about Mormonism”, but you also say that before meeting her that you had already decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and LDS were “abhorrent to the Christian tradition.” It sounds like you set out to try and destroy her faith, not learn from her about Mormonism. You said that you found God in the “Congregational Church.” I don’t know if you are still affiliated with them, or which division of that church you attend or participate in: United Church of Christ, National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, or the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference? As I understand it (from Wikipedia) one of the characteristics of the congregational churches is that that they have no central authority and each congregation decides what they believe.

            My response.

            Yes I have studied mormonism for more than 21 years…when I visited the temple in San Diego I joined a group of concern Christians that felt compel to give/explain the real Jesus of the Bible to the mormon people.
            And yes I have read the 5 volumes of Dan Vogel’s books, including a six volume on Joseph Smith “The making of a Prophet” (2004)
            Also I have other works by Vogel (I wanted to know why I am a true lamanite…just kidding )..”Indian Origians and the book of mormon”, (1986) Religious Seekers and the advent of mormonism” , (1988), “The word of God: Essays on mormons Scripture”(1990), and American Apocrypha; Essays on the BOM (2002)
            So , when I say something I want to make sure I have the documentation.
            Tom, you should pick one of these books it will add more marbles to your brain. Vogel uses primary sources and tells it like it is.(Vogel used to be a mormon)
            I don’t live in San Diego, I am about 140 miles from San Diego
            And I do have a passion for mormons, because they do not know they been had, they need to know the real side of the story. They need to know the real Jesus of the Bible
            The tracts I pass come directly from a ministry that help mormons see the truth on mormonism
            I pass my own tract, it is a documented tract about the first Vision, I wrote this track maybe six years ago. It is not an anti-mormon tract, matter of fact none of these tracts are anti-mormon, they are tracts that compare mormonism with historical Christianity
            And I am still happily married to my exmormon wife, and continue to witness to my in-laws the wonderful news of the true Gospel
            And I did not say I did not know anything about mormonism…let me correct you…check your e-mail…this is what I said……”..Do you know anything about mormonism?…well not really…I know some things…”
            I even put myself in a scale of 1 to 10 I said…”…Needless to say, in the scale of 1 to 10 on mormonism, I was a 1 and she was a 10.
            The something I new from mormonism, was confirmed by this girl, and I did more research and found out a Pandora box, and actually tried to help her…I also said I had read some church history , and learned of some of these groups that distorted or promulgated a false gospel and doctrines that were against the Bible
            I still attend the congregational Church.
            Anytime I am invited to a Christian Church I ask for a statement of faith of that particular denomination, because there are many churches that masquerade as Christians but they are not truly following the Bible
            Any true believer the Eklessia that Jesus founded, follows the essentials of the true Christian faith
            the few of us, have a motto…in essential unity, in non essential liberty, in all other things charity”
            And Tom, stay away from Wikipedia, it is not a reliable source of information…
            Will continue on my next segment….

          • Dan,
            Dan Vogel is an atheist. It says so on his Wikipedia web-site. Why would you choose to believe or rely on a person’s opinions who doesn’t even believe in God? At least you believe in God, Christianity, and the Bible. You have much truth and it is a big mistake for any believer in Jesus Christ to trust the opinions and writings of atheists.
            It worries me that you say that many churches masquerade as Christian churches but they do not follow the Bible. It seems like if you disagree with their interpretation of the Bible, you reject them as Christians.
            As far as Wikipedia is concerned, I know there can be errors, but it is a public resource, so anyone who thinks there is an error can take steps to correct the error on-line.

          • Tom, if you ever read any of Vogel’s works, he does not promulgate his ideas about God,
            He is not teaching doctrine, he is like a good historian, and he does it in a non-bias manner
            But you are in the same camp, even if Vogel is an atheist? you also really do not believe in God either,
            Your god is not the god of the Bible, Vogel is telling the truth about Mormonism, your church is promulgating a god that does not exist…and the “spirit” that gives you the “promptings’ is not a Spirit of the God of the Bible. Your church is actually an anti-Christian church, a very dangerous sect , because it gives you a “feeling” that is good, when in essence, you are going straight into outer darkness
            The Bible rejects these “Christians” that claim another “jesus” another “gospel” and certainly another “spirit”
            2 Cor 11:4

            For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!

             

          • Dan, Vogel, as an atheist, picks his material to present to others. His bias affects his choices and everything that Vogel has published is being published by the LDS Church in its Joseph Smith Papers series.There you can see the entire truth.
            I also looked up “Berean Christians”, since it seems that’s what you are. It says Berean Christians believe solely in the words of the Bible. At the time, that they originated, this meant that they rejected the traditions developed by the Catholic Church. All Protestants and the LDS Church also reject the traditions of the Catholic Church. “Mormons” believe:
            (a) “The Bible is the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly” (Eighth Article of Faith)
            (b) Joseph Smith said, “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 327)
            (c) Mormons accept the miracles that are stated in the Bible; we believe that God can supersede the natural laws of the world (which He created) in answer to prayers or for His own purposes to fulfill the earth’s destiny.
            (d) In regard to the 15 books of the Apocrypha accepted by the Catholic Church, but not the Protestants, Jesus Christ told Joseph Smith: “There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly; there are many things that are contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated” (Doctrine & Covenants 91:1-3)
            (e) Jesus Christ told Joseph Smith that the “Song of Solomon” in the Old Testament was not an inspired writing
            (f) Some of the ambiguous and inconsistent statements identified by the “Higher Critics” in the 1700’s and 1800’s have been resolved by better Bible translations since that time.
            (g) The Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, accepted as scripture by Mormons, contain scriptures that clarify and resolve ambiguities and inconsistencies in the Bible
            (f) Joseph Smith, by revelation from Jesus Christ, corrected some errors in the Bible, which revisions are called the “Joseph Smith Translation” (JST), and are accepted by Mormons alongside the King James version of the Bible for instruction.

          • Response part 2
            Tom you said:
            It is hard for me to believe that such a church could be the Church of Jesus Christ when Paul taught that there is “one faith and one baptism.” If you go to a “Mormon” Church anywhere in the world, they all teach and believe the same doctrines and they are even on the same Sunday School lesson each week. I can’t find anyone who is considered to be the “founder” of Congregational Churches. How did they start? Where did they get their authority to act in the name of God? Or do they believe that anyone who reads the Bible has the authority to represent God and start a church?>>
            And I respond
            I explained to you that any congregation that adheres to the main essentials of historical Christianity is the Eklessia of God.
            Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
            Mat 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
            Mat 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
            You said:
            If all we needed was the Bible to start a church accepted by God as His church, why are there 275 Christian denominations all claiming to have the correct interpretation of the Bible?>>
            And I respond
            Again, I know not of any denomination among the true Historical Christian denominations that claimed their denomination is the true Church, or have the true interpretation of the Bible
            But there are many offshoots of the mormon church that at one time numbered in more than one hundred
            A man by the name Steven Shields (a fifth generation mormon)published a book (third edition 1982) detailing many of these groups, all claiming to authority of the true church most of them claimed God or an angel appeared to them, and that they are the real deal…
            This book is called Divergent Paths of the Restoration

            You said

            And as for you seeing an angel, I will ask you the same question you have kept asking me over and over–where is the corroboration? Is there a newspaper account, diary, journal, witness that has written it down and published it?>>
            my response
            As I said before, Joe did not have to say anything, history, dairy, close associate, friend , foe, newspaper way back in 1820 to 1838 would have had this fact, that is that J Smith TOLD!.
            But there is none..nada zilch…Joe invented the whole thing a TALL TALE…
            But if you go to Palmyra NY , there is a church in a nearby town called Fair Port Evangelical Church, about 30 miles West of Palmyra, they (the Church members) will tell you that I have often recited this experience to them with tears in my eyes, many many times, and I told this experience right away to the Director of the outreach to the San Diego temple the very next day
            He told me, “He knew your name, ” no one knows my name that intimate, but God…
            Also not long ago about 3 years ago, someone came to see me and heard about my experience and asked me/told me he was writing a book about Angels and wanted my permission to hear and publish my story and said yes…
            I lost my phone recently and I have no idea who this person is or where he is or wether he wrote his book or not…but yes I told someone…
            Unlike Joe I did not receive a new doctrine, or claimed this personage gave me a message or was told all the churches were wrong, I simple entertained an Angel

            Heb 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

            Will continue with part 3 next

          • What do you mean that you don’t know any historical church that claimed to be the true church? The Catholic church has always claimed to be the only true church. The Eastern Orthodox Christian church claims to be the only true church. Martin Luther thought that his church was the only true church as did John Calvin.
            So you say you told your angel experience to (1) Director of Outreach for the San Diego temple; (2) People of the Fair Port Evangelical Church, and (3) someone writing a book about angels. So where is it written down by any of those people? Can I find it on the internet? Dan, unless it was written down that you told them about it and I can find where they wrote it down, it is just a TALL TALE, and you lie.

          • What do you mean that you don’t know any historical church that claimed to be the true church? The Catholic church has always claimed to be the only true church. >>

            ( The catholic church does not recognize the Bible as Sola Escriptura” so the Catholic Church does not adhere to this essential the same goes for the Eastern Orthodox, their problem is with the Trinity, another essential)

            The Eastern Orthodox Christian church claims to be the only true church. Martin Luther thought that his church was the only true church as did John Calvin.
            (documentation…Tom you have the uncouth notion to spew statements without any documentation, that is not healthy…and just exactly what church did Martin controlled? “he thought” does not cut it…how about Calvin, what church was he the head man?)

            So you say you told your angel experience to (1) Director of Outreach for the San Diego temple; (2) People of the Fair Port Evangelical Church, and (3) someone writing a book about angels. So where is it written down by any of those people? Can I find it on the internet? Dan, unless it was written down that you told them about it and I can find where they wrote it down, it is just a TALL TALE, and you lie.>>

            (What kind of logic is that? even if I lied, so what,.. I don’t have robots following me, I am not head of a cultist sect? I don’t claim I am the only guy that had this experience…besides I have witnesses that heard me tell this experience, they can corroborate my experience, .you can talk to these witnesses..my experience is/was not that important, is like the guy winning a bet of 100 dollars, is not written down , but there are witnesses that saw the guy making the bet, there are witnesses, they can corroborate , and by the way, I wrote it down to many people that are in my list of e-mails…I can prove my point

            But you are not , have not answer the crucial question
            so again
            I will repeat the question again
            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? 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…
            As you can see from J Smith account he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town..(about 600+ population in 1820).was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the “Father and Son”
            Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years…well, I will extend the frame time?….. my question to you Tom, can you provide me with any corroboration statement from a close associate/family/newspaper/dairy/book/friend/foe/historian/newspaper/document,/witness about this TALL TALE…… 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…(Teachings of Hinckley p. 227)
            Tom,
            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.!
            Think about itTom, the mormon church is 183 years old…and you have no history of anyone hearing this this TALL TALE after this alleged vision after 1820…18 years silence
            Surely historians would found some one in these 18 years who heard J.Smith tell this TALL TALE…

            dcmess@aol.com

        • Dwight Rogers

          Not only was this belief a part of the Hebrew religion and not only is it found throughout the Bible, including the New Testament as taught by Jesus Himself as well as Paul, and John, but the Early Christian fathers continued to teach it for centuries following Biblical times. These early Bishops and respected orthodox theologians taught the belief very bluntly and clearly:

          “God became man that man might become God.” (St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinis in: Philip Barlow, doctoral candidate in American Religious History at Harvard: Unorthodox Orthodoxy: The Idea of Deification in Christian History, Sunstone, Vol 8, no 5, pp 13-16))

          “He became what we are, in order that we might be what he is.” (Maximus in Ibid)
          “I may become God to the same extent as he became man.” (Gregory of Nazianus in Ibid)
          “The Holy Spirit aids man in being made God.” (Basil of Ceasarea in Ibid)

          “Flee with all in your power from being man and make haste to become gods.” (Origin in Ibid)
          Speaking of the soul which seeks to become pure Clement of Alexandria said: “The soul, receiving the Lord’s power, studies to become a god.” (Clement in Ibid)

          IRENAEUS, Bishop of Lyons [A.D. 130-200]
          It has been claimed by some that this doctrine of becoming gods is an altogether pagan doctrine that blasphemes the majesty of God. Not all Christians have thought so, however. Irenaeus was instructed by Polycarp. Polycarp was personally instructed by the apostle John. Irenaeus became a prominent bishop in the Church in the second century and became the most important Christian theologian of his time, and is considered orthodox by mainstream Christianity. Yet he taught:

          “If the Word became a man, It was so men may become gods.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, bk. 5, pref.)

          Irenaeus also taught: “We were not made gods at our beginning, but first we were made men, then, in the end, gods.” (Ibid, also in (Bettenson, H., The Early Christian Fathers, [London: Oxford University Press, 1956,] p. 94.)

          Also: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is.” (Irenaeus in Henry Betteson, The Early Christian Fathers, London: Oxford University Press, 1956, p 106)

          And: “While man gradually advances and mounts towards perfection; that is, he approaches the eternal. The eternal is perfect; and this is God. Man has first to come into being, then to progress, and by progressing come to manhood, and having reached manhood to increase, and thus increasing to persevere, and persevering to be glorified, and thus see his Lord.” (Irenaeus in Henry Betteson, The Early Christian Fathers, London: Oxford University Press, 1956, p. 94)

          And :”How then will any be a god, if he has not first been made a man? How immortal, if he has not in his mortal nature obeyed his maker? For one’s duty is first to observe the discipline of man and thereafter to share in the glory of God.” (Ibid, pp. 95-96; and Against the Heresies 4.28.4-29.3)

          Indeed, Saint Irenaeus had more to say on the subject of deification:

          “Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, ‘I have said, ye are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High.’ For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that, what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies,4.38. Cp. 4.11)

          “But man receives progression and increase towards God. For God is always the same, so also man, when found in God, shall always progress toward God.” (Ibid)

          CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
          In the second century, Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.” (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks, 1; Also in Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus 1, (8,4), in Bettenson, The Early Christian Fathers, p. 244.)

          Clement also said that “If one knows himself, he will know God, and knowing God will become like God.. His is beauty, true beauty, for it is God, and that man becomes a god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, ‘Men are gods, and gods are men.’” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3.1 See also Clement, Stromateis, 23.)

          And also: “‘To him who has shall be added;’ knowledge to faith, love to knowledge, and love to inheritance. And this happens when a man depends on the Lord through faith, through knowledge, and love, and ascends with him to the place where God is. . . .because of their close intimacy with the Lord there awaits them a restoration to eternal contemplation; and they have received the title of ‘gods,’ since they are destined to be enthroned with other ‘gods’ who are ranked next below the Savior.” (Ibid pp. 243-244)

          JUSTIN MARTYR
          Still in the second century, Saint Justin Martyr insisted that in the beginning men were “made like God, free from suffering and death,” and that they are “thus deemed worthy of becoming gods and of having power to become sons of the highest.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 124)

          ST. CYRIL OF JERUSLEM
          Here is an interesting quote from St. Cyril of Jerusalem, an early Christian bishop. This fascinating quote is from his Prologue to the Catechetical Lectures:

          “When thou shalt have heard what is written concerning the mysteries, then wilt thou understand things which thou knewest not. And think not that thou receivest a small thing: though a miserable man, thou receivest one of God’s titles. Hear St. Paul saying, God is faithful. Hear another Scripture saying, God is faithful and just. Foreseeing this, the Psalmist, because men are to receive a title of God, spoke thus in the person of God: I said, Ye are Gods, and are all sons of the Most High. But beware lest thou have the title of ‘faithful,’ but the will of the faithless. Thou hast entered into a contest, toil on through the race: another such opportunity thou canst not have. Were it thy wedding-day before thee, wouldest thou not have disregarded all else, and set about the preparation for the feast? And on the eve of consecrating thy soul to the heavenly Bridegroom, wilt thou not cease from carnal things, that thou mayest win spiritual?”

          JEROME (the Pope’s secretary)
          St. Jerome explains Psalms 82:6 as did Jesus and other early Christian fathers:

          “‘I said: You are gods, all of you sons of the Most High.’ Let Eunomius hear this, let Arius, who say that the Son of God is son in the same way we are. That we are gods is not so by nature, but by grace. ‘But to as many as receive him he gave power of becoming sons of god.’ I made man for that purpose, that from men they may become gods. ‘I said: Ye are gods, all of you sons of the Most High.’ Imagine the grandeur of our dignity; we are called gods and sons! I have made you gods just as I made Moses a god to pharaoh, so that after you are gods, you may be made worthy to be sons of God. Reflect upon the divine words: ‘with God there is no respector of persons.’ God did not say: ‘I said you are gods,’ you kings and princes; but ‘all’ to whom I have given equally a body, soul, a spirit, I have given equally divinity and adoption. We are ‘all’ born equals. Our humanity is one of equality.” (Jerome, The Homilies of Saint Jerome, Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1964 pp 106-107)

          Jerome later indicates that after having become “mere men”, those men can still become gods. He quotes the scriptures and explains: “‘Give thanks to the God of Gods.’ The prophet is referring to those gods of whom it is written: I said: ‘You are gods;’ and again: ‘God arises in the divine assembly.’ They who cease to be mere men, abandon the ways of vice and are become perfect, are gods and the sons of the Most High.” (Ibid p. 353)

          TERTULLIAN
          “If, indeed, you follow those who did not at the time endure the Lord when showing Himself to be the Son of God, because they would not believe Him to be the Lord, then call to mind along with them the passage where it is written, ‘I have said, Ye are gods, and ye are children of the Most High;’ and again, ‘God standeth in the congregation of the gods:’ in order that, if the scripture has not been afraid to designate as gods human beings, who have become sons of God by faith , you may be sure that the same scripture has with greater propriety conferred the name of the Lord on the true and one-only Son of God.” (Tertullian, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids Michigan: Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1885, vol. 3, p. 608)

          ORIGEN
          Like other early Church Fathers, Origen, [A.D. 185-254], also teaches the same Biblical doctrine, of Genesis 1:1, that there is a head god who is “Lord of gods”, Origin teaches that there is a distinction to be made between “the God” and others who are also “gods.”

          “Everything which, without being ‘God-in-himself’ is deified by participation in his godhead, should strictly be called ‘God,’ not ‘the God.’ The ‘firstborn of all creation,.’ Since he by being ‘with God’ first gathered godhood to himself, is therefore in every way more honored than others besides himself, who are ‘gods’ of whom God is the God, as it is said, ‘God the Lord of gods spoke and called the world.’ For it was through his ministry that they became gods, since he drew divinity from God for them to be deified, and of his kindness generously shared it with them. God, then, is the true God, and those who through him are fashioned into gods are copies of the prototype.” (Ibid p. 324)

          Origen went on to teach: “The Father, then, is proclaimed as the one true God; but besides the true God are many who become gods by participating in God.” (Ibid)

          Origen claimed that God “will be ‘all’ in each individual in this way: when all which any rational understanding, cleansed from the dregs of every sort of vice, and with every cloud of wickedness completely swept away, can either feel, or understand, or think, will be wholly God….” (Origen, De Principiis 3:6:3, in Roberts and Donaldson, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 4, p. 345.)

          AUGUSTINE
          Finally, Saint Augustine himself, the greatest of the Christian Fathers, said:

          “But he himself that justifies also deifies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. ‘For he has given them power to become the sons of God’ [John 1:12] If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.” (Augustine, On the Psalms, 50.2 Augustine insists that such individuals are gods by grace rather than by nature, but they are gods nevertheless.)

          ST. MAXIMUS
          “We find it in early Orthodox tradition as well, for the ‘chief idea of St. Maximus [who died in 662 A.D.] as of all of Eastern theology, [was] the idea of deification” (S.L. Epifanovic as quoted by Jaroslav Pelikan, The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700). The Christian Tradition, vol. 2, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1974, p. 10, as cited by Peterson and Ricks, p. 79).

          As Paul taught in 1 Corinthians chapter 8, there is a duality to Christianity. Paul taught that there are many gods but only one that we worship, only one that is our God. Mormons hold to the doctrine of Paul and Jesus and not necessarily the doctrine of Western Christianity of today because they no longer teach what Jesus and Paul taught. We do.

          To paraphrase Origin’s thoughts in the words of Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie: “There is and can only be one who is supreme, who is the head and to whom all others are subject”. Becoming like God is not saying we will ever be equal to Him, frankly we won’t and can’t He, and only He, will forever be worshipped by us.”

          If Athanasius, Augustine, Saint Irenaeus, Saint Cyril, Saint Maximus the Confessor, Saint Clement of Alexandria Jerome, Terfullian, even Augustin, and others, including C.S. Lewis in modern days, can teach the doctrine of deification, not to mention that Jesus Himself taught it as well as Paul and John and yet they are still accepted as orthodox Christians, why are Latter-day Saints said to be non-Christian for the same belief? The further back in time you go, especially when you get back before the creeds, the more Mormon-like the Christian doctrines become. Some of our doctrines are clearly at odds with mainstream churches of today, but that’s not because Joseph Smith was making up ludicrous doctrine. Long lost but true doctrines were restored through him as a divinely authorized prophet.

          And if popular Christian Orthodoxy continues to hold to the current tradition of later ideas and creeds, then what are they to do with the teachings of the Early Christians, the apostles, and even Jesus Himself who did not teach the creeds? If Mormons are wrong and not Christian than so were the early Christians who taught the same things that Mormons are teaching. If Mormons are not Christian for these beliefs then this makes the Apostles and even Jesus Himself not Christian. Which Christians are right; the later Christians or the Early Christians? Who is right, Jesus, Paul, John, the Psalmist, and the early Christian fathers, or Christians who believe traditions developed centuries after Christ and the Apostles?

    • @Concerned: “… not seeing the Nicene Creed in the New Testament …”

      You’ve not followed my logic at all. Perhaps I was too subtle.

      I was NOT arguing that the Nicene Creed is false because it is not mentioned in the New Testament. Certainly Mormonism, per se, does not appear there, either.

      I was demonstrating that there are people who were undoubtedly Christian (I think it’s in Acts where we find that disciples were first called Christians at Antioch) who could not possibly have seen the Nicene Creed.

      That makes premise #1 (All Christians have read and believe the Nicene Creed) false.

      A similar logical argument of the same form:

      Premise #1: All Mormons have read the Book of Mormon
      Premise #2: Guy Briggs has not read the Book of Mormon
      Conclusion: Therefore, Guy Briggs is not a Mormon.

      Let me assure you that I am, in fact, a Mormon. Standard issue, one each, true blue, dyed-in-the-wool, USDA Choice, 6th generation Mormon. Whether or not I’ve read the Book of Mormon.

      I have read it, by the way.

  22. Regarding Mormonism as a “works-based faith” versus a Protestant grace-based faith, I think the difference is not nearly as wide as the language suggests Most Mormons believe in grace, and most Protestants believe in works. They probably tend to draw the line between works and grace a bit differently, but it’s hard to say because individuals define the terms differently, even among members of the same faith. Mormons believe they are saved if they do their best to obey Christ, even while acknowledging that their obedience is and will be imperfect. (Of course, only Christ knows what constitutes an individual’s best effort.)

    My above statement that “most Protestants believe in works” is based on my careful, on-going study of numerous books by well-known evangelical authors. They do not use the word “works” to describe the obedience expected of a disciple of Christ, but what they do describe fits my definition of “works.” When you set aside theological buzzwords and focus on the journey of discipleship, the differences between Mormons and Protestants narrows considerably. The evangelical authors I have read will — after masterfully demolishing a straw man argument of “earning” salvation via human merit — go on to extol reliance on grace, followed by (and here’s the gotcha) on-going obedience to Christ. They may studiously avoid using words like “commandments” or “rules” or “law”, but regardless of the terminology, it always comes down in the end to making good choices that please God. And making good choices that bring us closer to God is, after all, the whole point of any set of commandments.

    Evangelicals are quick to point out the self-deceptive fallacy of legalism when thinking about obedience. But in their eagerness to condemn legalism, they introduce a distinction between “earning” salvation versus “qualifying” for grace which strikes me as a tad bit legalistic. On the other hand, LDS leaders tend to emphasize obedience to Christ so strongly, some people do get the wrong impression that Mormons believe in salvation by works without grace.

    • Graham Ambrose

      Doug: I enjoyed your pointing out that maybe the argument between Protestants and Mormons concerning grace has more to do with definition of terms. Perhaps only then, when it comes to grace at least, will each theology begin to be reconciled, and that we are closer than each may think.

      I think the Book of Mormon’s King Benjamin gives stunning council when it comes to salvation through works and how we might avoid pride and boasting through thinking that we are superior to others because of our works, or that we somehow are taking away from Christ’s glorious atonement because of our works: “For behold, if the knowledge of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state–” (Mosiah 4:5). Given Benjamin’s put down, Nephi’s classic insight takes on added weight: “by grace we are saved after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

      • I share your assessment of King Benjamin: “For behold, are we not beggars [before God]?…” (Mos 4:19) “…I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.” (Mos 2:21)

        Even Nephi, who (arguably) performed as a superstar in the works category laments that he is a “wretched man” prone to iniquity and sin. (2 Ne 4)

        The Book of Mormon clearly teaches our utter dependence on grace, while at the same time extolling us to do our best to obey. This is also clearly taught in our hymns.

        I also know from sad personal experience that the natural man is prone to focusing on his own works and merits, which leads to self-righteous pride. I think arrogance and self-righteousness is a perennial issue for anyone who believes they possess the Truth. Anyone who thinks they’ve completely escaped this trap is deceiving themselves. (1 john 1:8)

  23. We as a society get so bogged down with issues of tolerance, acceptance, terms, titles, etc., that we never get to what is important.

    The gospel that was being preached in Joseph Smith’s day was the fullness of the gospel. I’m not talking about the so-called gospel that Joseph Smith said he received from God. Paul the Apostle stated that if a person, even an angel, taught a gospel that was different from the one that the Apostles taught in the early apostolic letters, that that person would be eternally condemned.

    Joseph Smith wrote a book that cannot be archaeologically or historically verfied. Not in any way. This book was written to draw people away from the truth of the Bible and then gain control over them.

    The Bible does not teach partial-atonement. Such a teaching is an affront to the cross of Christ. Jesus died for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Salvation from judgement is a free gift from God. Salvation from judgement requires no work on your part. It’s only agreeing with God that you are a lawbreaker worthy of judgement and then asking Him to save you from judgement based solely on what Jesus did at the cross. And He will do just that.

    If your going to continue to pursue acceptance from God by obedience to the law, you’re going to be greatly disappointed. God will not justify you.

    • “asking Him to save you”.
      Hmmm….. isn’t that a “work” or an “action of faith” or a “deed” or “keeping his commandments”? Again, we use different terminology, but it is the same– an act of faith, not a passive “I believe!” without any further effort on my part.

  24. Doug, Graham and Jonesy thank you for your balanced perspective. Soon after Christ’s death conflict began to emerge because of differing interpretations and what can best be described as opposing opinions with regard to terminology. The works of the early “Fathers” are worth studying when consideration is being given to the development of doctrine following the death of the apostles.
    We glibly quote the Nicene Creed as being the bench mark for the correct or not correct doctrines. However it was just one of many Councils that published edicts that still enlighten or contaminate modern thinking and belief. One has to consider the hidden agendas and the purposes behind the calling of these Councils plus who organised them and who attended.
    Using what we know (which is very little) it is possible to destroy any religion on this planet. Just look closely at the lives of the Old Testament prophets, Joseph Smiths stands no better and no worse than they. Look at the evidence to sustain a belief in Mohammed, Buda, Zoroaster even the divinity of Christ. All can be exiled into tradition, stories even lies.
    So how can we know what to believe. If I may share my beliefs with you then I would say that if I spent every opportunity I had disproving something that brought spiritual comfort to another then my focus would be misplaced. If I believed that destroying someone’s faith was assisting God’s in his work I believe I would stand alongside those of whom our Saviour spoke of as reported in Matthew “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
    So how do I know what to belief. My belief brings me hope, it sustains me, it helps me love others better, it leads me to reach out rather than be preoccupied with my own wants. It provides me with a knowledge that my Heavenly Father loves me, encourages a deep sense of gratitude that my Saviour has gone to the limit so that I can unconditionally be saved. That through the power of the Holy Ghost I can be guided as I work my way through this mortal life. I believe that the purpose of scripture is not to give me an accurate history, be pristine in its grammar or directive to the Nth. degree. The purpose of is to bring me closer to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost and my neighbour. It’s accuracy can only be based on its results, am I a better man, am I better able to serve, am I closer to my God. If any scripture gives that to any man or woman why would I want to destroy it. My faith is not built around the arguments of men which have been around since time immemorial but on my relationship with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
    Cognitive dissonance is difficult to manage so my dearest wish is that all who can find the peace of mind our God wants so much for us to have.

    • Graham Ambrose

      Bob… Thank you for your comments. I liked your assertion about historicity: “I believe that the purpose of scripture is not to give me an accurate history, be pristine in its grammar or directive to the Nth. degree. The purpose…is to bring me closer to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost and my neighbour.”

      For an in-depth discussion of historicity and faith, allow me to refer you to a lecture given by Dallin Oaks, the former Chicago law professor, justice on the Utah Supreme Court and a current general authority of the LDS church. (FYI: He quotes at length the Jewish rabbi and scholar, Jacob Neusner.)

      http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=21&num=1&id=639

    • And yet.. we have scripture at our very finger tips that sends out a very clear and concise warning:

      15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

      16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

      17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

      18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

      19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

      20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.

      21 And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me.

      22 For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.

      23 Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.

      24 I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will.

    • Bob,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You asked, “How do I know what to believe”? My short answer is as you ponder a matter over a period of time, you will eventually come to know for yourself.

      However, I am fairly selective about what I focus on. The older I get, the less importance I give to theology and the more attention I give to the simple (but difficult) task of trying to better follow the example of Christ. As a Mormon, there are things about the Nicene Creed that I cannot understand or accept. But I recognize there are saintly people of other faiths who do not accept my imperfect understanding of God. Anytime our finite human minds wrestle the Infinite, it’s inevitable we will run into contradictions or unanswerable questions.

      I thus generally steer clear of metaphysics. I would rather spend my time pondering the Sermon on the Mount than debating the nature of God or worrying about whether Adam had a belly button. I find abstract theology less important than the tough business of loving God with all your heart and other people too. I’m interested in spiritual growth from the inside out.

      A wonderful blessing of focusing on basics is that I can learn from people of other faiths. I have come to admire various people in the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish traditions, as well as some Buddhist and Hindu works too. My experience so far has been I feel my core faith in God has been strengthened. I continue to be an “active” member of the LDS church.

      When thinking about what to believe, I first consider the source of any new idea. For example, if I wanted to know about the character of a man, I wouldn’t limit my investigation just to what his ex-wife says Similarly, if I want to know what Catholics believe about, say, the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, I read a Catholic author (typically a priest) on that subject. Or if I want to know what Protestants think of Grace, I read a book on the subject written by a Protestant minister. (Caution: Protestants are not as unified in their beliefs as other faiths, so Author A may conflict with Author B.) During my daily spiritual meditation (which includes LDS scriptures and often non-LDS materials), I write down what I understand the new idea to be and what I think of it. The writing process helps clarify things. As I strive to honestly understand and process new ideas, it ultimately becomes clear to me what I believe or don’t believe. The more the new concepts challenge my current assumptions, the greater opportunity to learn and clarify my own beliefs. Often, I end up reaffirming my current values. Sometimes, however, I discover I am actually confused or undecided on an issue. I don’t push myself to get instant answers in such cases but just move on. I have benefited greatly from this daily practice.

      And as I surmise from your comment, there is more to simply understanding what to believe. We need to also try to live in accordance with what we understand to be the truth.

      • Doug
        Thank you for your response. To be honest it was a rhetorical question but your answer rang true deep into my soul. I love the Gospel of Jesus with all my heart and mind and believe He would have me bring all that will come, unto Him. Which is not always to join the Church. History has proven that contention is, for most of us, the default position.
        Your answer encouraged me. To know that others think as I do is comforting and fills me with hope. I may not know the secrets of the universe but I do know that developing Christlike characteristics is all that I need to be concerned about.
        Having said that I do enjoy theology and religious narrative but luckily I have never believed myself knowledgable enough to contend with anybody on the subject.
        Once again, thank you Doug.

        • Bob,

          I have enjoyed our dialog. It sounds like you are on a good path. If you take life one step at a time, I think you will eventually know what God would have you do..I wish you the very best on your spiritual journey.

          God bless,
          Doug

  25. Unless Lynn writes in her memoir that her son was embarrassingly sent home early from his mission and she and her husband appealed up the Church ladder to get his mission reinstated and the Mission President publicly reprimanded then this memoir is her attempt to rewrite history. She fell because of pride and took the rest of her family with her.

      • Jana, normally, I would agree with you that it would be best to read a book before judging it, but the day before your column on this book another column appeared on the internet in which the author of the book. Lynn Wilder, summarized her faith journey by saying that she realized that works were meaningless and that we can be saved only by grace. This is, of course, the Calvinistic and evangelical position, so there is nothing new here. If she really understood Mormonism as she should, she would know that Mormons believe in both grace and works. Since the Bible is filled with scriptures that teach the importance of works, and since there are so many books to read and so little time, I choose not to read a book that espouses a position that I do not believe in.

  26. Thank you Mr. Nirom
    If I knew my child faced danger I would give him or her the clearest warning that I could and tell him or her to warn their friends. Isn’t good to know our Saviour cares so much that he does not shy away from giving it to us straight.

  27. For over 3000 years.. those of the Jewish line.. Christ’s line.. spent obeying the Law of Moses. What was the law of Moses? An entire list of works. Do this.. do that.. don’t do this.. don’t do that. Generation after generation after generation… following the law. Saved by Grace? Is that what the Law of Moses taught?

    For the people following the Law of Moses.. that is all they knew. That is what pleased God. That was their salvation.. following the law… doing the works.

    The Jews were so good at trying to make sure the law was followed.. that they made up some of their own laws to insure that the “law” was being followed. For example.. to keep the Sabbath holy.. which was considered from sun up to sun down.. they would add to it. They would say that the Sabbath began one hour before sun up.. and would end one hour after sun down. This way.. they never violated “THE LAW”. They created their own set of laws on top of the laws given by Moses. As long as they were following the law.. they we doing good by God.

    Then came this man called Jesus. A new “prophet”. Who taught them of a higher law. They had been living the law of sacrifice.. the killing of the first born.. most perfect animal. This was done away with after the sacrifice of Jesus.. also the first born.. most perfect human. Did the Jews get it? No.. they did not.

    And the Apostle Paul.. would do what he could to fight this 3000 year old tradition of works.. by talking heavy about grace. He tried as he could to get the thinking of the people away from just following a list of laws. The law of Moses had been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. They had to get out of that mentality. But.. the higher law was understanding the why we did the works.. not just doing them because we were told to.

    In the words.. love thy neighbor.. there are works there. There is providing service.. kindness.. caring.. love.. charity.. hope.. all of these things. But it is more than just the doing… it is the attitude behind the doing. It is no longer a mere check list as was the Law of Moses.. but it is something that is alive and fluent and is dependent upon what is happening right now. It is feeling the purpose behind the law.

    These Apostles had to get the Jewish mind away from the mindless following the rules of the Law. Because the Law.. did not have any saving properties. It was a tool used by God to teach them about the ultimate sacrifice that was to be made when the Son of God would be sacrificed just like they had been sacrificing their animals for so many thousands of years. It was an expansion of that sacrifice. Now.. they had to understand the “why” behind the sacrifices they did.. when before all they knew was the doing of it. Think about it.. how hard was it to take that choice animal.. and kill it for no apparent reason other than that is what God wanted. Did they understand that it represented the Christ that would come and sacrifice himself as they did the animals? Something tells me.. no… they did not understand that.

    The Christians of today are like the Jews of old. They have had the law before them.. in their Book of Books.. and they have decided that God has given everything they need to be saved in that book. That book alone is their salvation. Just as for the Jews.. was the Law of Moses. And when there was a new “prophet” that came along and expanded on what they already knew.. and added to their understanding.. and changed what they had believed and been doing for thousands of years.. they as a group.. rejected him. They called Jesus Christ.. the son of God.. the devil himself.

    So in these last days.. before Christ comes again.. He sets his hand again and like always before.. when he speaks to man he does it through prophets.. Joseph Smith was called as that prophet to bring new light and understanding to the people of this world.. who for over 1800 years has heard NOTHING from God.. who has had NO prophets speak.. who has had NO revelation revealed concerning the will of God… and what does this people do with this marvelous work and wonder that God offers them?? They too reject it. The Jews had their Law from Moses.. the Christians today have their Bible.. and neither want to expand on what God is willing to give them. They both want to stay put where they are at.

    The creeds of the Christian faith today decided by councils of men.. what the nature of God is going to be. It is through these “meetings of the human minds” that a definition of what God is would be decided and believed. And if God intercedes by revealing his nature to one of his servants.. the prophets.. they do like those of old did.. reject the new and stick to the old.

    There is but ONE God. That is the Father of our Spirits. And God has declared that to whom? His children upon this earth! There may be Gods many and Lords many.. but there is only one GOD of this earth. My goodness people.. the Apostle Paul in writing to the saints at Corinth said it as plainly as possible and yet.. ye close your eyes so you can not see and plug your ears so you can not hear.

    5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

    6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    Why can they not see what is before them.. and accept it? Because they are hanging on to the great councils of mankind who have decided who and what God is and can be. Christ himself in referring to the Old Testament.. because he was the God of the Old Testament.. declared in the synagogue where he was teaching.. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (John 10:34) Look at the scripture. He said.. “I said”. I said? It was in the Old testament the God was quoted as saying “ye are gods” and now Jesus is saying that he said it? YES. He said it.

    So now the idea that the children of God can be like their Father in Heaven is heresy and blasphemous? No.. it is their minds that are stuck in a hole. For it is there in the scriptures all over the place but when a prophet of God comes right out and says it.. they can’t swallow it. The Jews couldn’t swallow what the Son of God had to say either.

    It is me who is sorry for those who want to remain blind and deaf. Fine.. let them stay with their creeds who have been professed by man. I will take a prophet of God over any council at anytime. And though Moses was called to be a prophet.. there were many who did not believe it. They all had their religion and faith and their Gods.. they weren’t going to change what they believed. And so it is today.. same story.. just a different time frame.

  28. I viewed her video story on youtube. She has an extensive academic CV. She was teaching diversity at BYU and become aware of racist attitudes of many LDS students who were brought up on passages in the BOM etc that seemed to indicate that blackness was the result of a curse. Both her husband and her sons share their experience on youtube (Michael Wilder, Micah Wilder and Matt Wilder.) John Morehead has produced a number of videos Mormons in Transition. Many people in the US switch religions. Mormon controlled messageboards do not allow exit stories but do allow conversion and returning stories.

    • Noel, of course, Mormons recognize that some people leave the faith, and they have many avenues to publicize their opinions if they wish to, but I am not going to financially support her by buying her book or spending my time reading it when it is the same old, I found Christ and we are saved by grace story that John Calvin and the evangelicals have been teaching for years.

      • I find Mormon history fascinating because of all the controversial ‘events” which require one to suspend reason to accept as true. For example the angel who visited Smith was called ‘Moroni” and the hill where the gold plates were said to be buried was “”cumorah”. There was was a group of Island off the South African coast called the Comoros Islands and its capital was Moroni. Captain Kidd who Joseph Smith would have heard of operated around that area I think as a pirate. The word “Mormon” in greek means “frightening”.It was used in reference to puffin birds who flew off the eastern seaboard of NY. They were called “Mormon Articus” because they had black patches around their eyes.

          • Noel,
            There are dozens of things about Mormonism that do not require the suspension of any reason to accept, including the 13 witnesses to the existence of the gold plates, the testimonies of those who acted as scribes while Joseph translated the plates, the witnesses who were with Joseph Smith when John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon itself which has no other credible theory for how it came to be except the one Joseph Smith told, nearly a hundred revelations to Joseph Smith collected in the Doctrine & Covenants which anyone can see for themselves, etc., etc. Now, however, learning from your other post that you do not even believe that man has a spirit, I can see that you are not anyone that I am going to gain anything from by continuing to respond to you.

  29. Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius (ca. AD 250–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of God the Father to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Arius asserted that the Son of God was a subordinate entity to God the Father. Deemed a heretic by the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, Arius was later exonerated in 335 at the regional First Synod of Tyre,[1] and then, after his death, pronounced a heretic again at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381.[2] The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337–361) and Valens (364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians.

    From the time Jesus left earth (30 AD) until the second half of the second century (150 AD), there was a struggle between two factions. One was what one might call Pauline Christianity and the other Judeo-Christianity. It was only very slowly that… Pauline Christianity triumphed over Judeo-Christianity.”

    “It comes to this,” writes Irenæus, complaining of the Gnostics, “they neither consent to Scripture nor tradition. “Why should they accuse Celsus of maintaining that their religion was all based on the speculations of Plato, with the difference that his doctrines were far more pure and rational than theirs, when we find Sprengel, seventeen centuries later, writing the following? — “Not only did they (the Christians) think to discover the dogmas of Plato in the books of Moses, but, moreover, they fancied that, by introducing Platonism into Christianity, they would elevate the dignity of this religion and make it more popular among the nations. “They introduced it so well, that not only was the Platonic philosophy selected as a basis for the trinity, but even the legends and mythical stories which had been current among the admirers of the great philosopher — as a time-honored custom required in the eyes of his posterity such an allegorical homage to every hero worthy of deification — were revamped and used by the Christians.

    Theosis, or the deification of humankind is a subject of growing interest in contemporary theology. For the most part this is because of a expanding influence brought on by Russian theologians of the Greek Orthodox Church. Nevertheless theosis was taught and believed by many deemed to be Church Fathers of the Early Christian Church. For even though the Early Church Fathers in the East may have taught that man may become “gods” or divinized, when understood in the context of Western thoughts of sanctification, it becomes readily apparent that both parties were closely thinking about the same thing with the exception of the terminology used. What it does mean is that even when two individuals are speaking the same language it may take time to understand what each other is saying.

    For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil. (Irenaeus)

    At the same time, while many of the Church Fathers’ writings make fascinating and inspirational reading, they also portray bitter disagreements with many believers who have held views deemed to be unorthodox, leading to excommunication, persecution and sadly execution.

    Did someone press the replay button. As proven by history I doubt if any of the contributors to this blog has caused a shift in the personal ideology and self justification of us all.
    Pax vobiscum brothers and sisters.

    • If we are only body and not spirit exists which is supported by neuroscience then there are not ‘spirits” existing anywhere for Mormons to perform proxy baptisms for.See Nancy Murphy’s “Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? : Current Issues in Theology, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

  30. Noel I am not going change your mind and quoting stuff at me is not going to change my mind. The point I am making is that this same argument has been going on for centuries so what is the point in you and I trying to justify what we believe. I am happy for you to believe as you want and what you want. Pax vobiscum.

  31. http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_SCP_MindSpiritSoulBody.htm

    The body/soul (dualism) presents a challenge for LDS theology. If we are only body then it would be pointless to perform baptisms for the dead and their consciousness would not exist anywhere to either accept or reject the lds gospel. N T Wright a well known Biblical scholar presented this paper at the Society of Christian Philosophers,an association that some LDS philosophers are associated with.

    Note this comment “When I was teaching in Oxford twenty years ago, I had a student who wanted to study Buddhism; so I sent her to Professor Gombrich for tutorials. After a week or two he asked her to compare the Buddhist view of the soul with the Christian view. She replied that she didn’t know what the Christian view was. He wrote me a sharp little letter, saying, in effect, ‘You’ve been teaching this young woman theology for a whole year and she doesn’t know what the soul is.’ My reply was straightforward: we had spent that first year studying the Old and New Testaments, and the question of the ‘soul’ simply hadn’t arisen.”

  32. I am a Mormon but have friends in many different Christian religions. When “Creedal Christians” speak of God, they are thinking of Jehovah of the Old Testament who came in the flesh to earth as our Savior. They are correct. The LDS Doctrine says that prior to His birth, as Jesus, He was Jehovah, the Creator, etc. Where we differ with them is that we do not deny the Father who introduced the Son, the Word. In the scriptures, the only information we really have is what Jesus said – He said He had a Father and what He taught about the Father. Jesus/Jehovah, the Son and God the Father and the Holy Spirit function as the One God. I personally do not think that a perfect understanding of the Godhead is necessary for Salvation as the complexity would not be possible for our tiny little brains.
    John 3:16 tells us the requirement and arguing about who is best “Christian” is
    pointless as we are not the one that will be deciding who is and who isn’t and the Creator will not be dictated to by any of us. We are not the decider- He is. I think God, whether 1 in 3 or 3 in 1 is greater than we can possibly conceive and we do him no honor in arguing about it.

    • But Janeway, God of the Bible did not come to earth with the Son, …beyond the scope here to explain why (I will give you the Bible reason that I have repeated here if you so desired)
      When you said the Father introduced the Son…are you talking about the alleged First Vision of 1820???
      God of the Bible was never a man, that somehow became a god and is now married, (mother in heaven)but that is what your church teaches by your “prophets” and various early leaders, including J Smith and this teaching is not found in any of the four standard works
      And that is plain heresy if not blasphemous, to believe you can become a god
      and that is not Christianity
      planly, the god of mormonism is not the God of the Bible, and the sooner you realize this fact the better for you as you approach judgment day

      • You know Dan… just because it is not in the Bible.. do not mean it isn’t so. The bible is the history of what dealings God had with those people… not all people. Only the Jews.. only the lineage of Christ. Just because a prophet can expand and give new information, does not mean that because it wasn’t there before the info was given that the new info isn’t true.. It still is true. Man kind does not have all the workings of God… nor know even a small percentage of them.. All we do know is what God has decided to share with us.. and really the people who he was dealing with at the time. That is all.

        You really need to start picking up those stumbling blocks.

        • I am a Messianic Jewish believer and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) and I made that very difficult decision on December 11th, 1975. As a Jewish believer, I have read the BOM and the other standard works of Mormonism….it is very clear, that JS plagiarized numerous verses from the KJV bible or the Tanakh (the Jewish bible) the Tanakh was written before JS was even born. JS is not a true prophet, but a liar, a swindler, a murderer, and never the capabilities of finding any golden plates, how did he carry them? Also, as a Jewish believer the #1 best selling book in the world and for more than 250 years is the HOLY BIBLE not the BOM, correct? Why would JS boast that he had did more than Paul, Peter, James, John and Jesus, and he said all the believers of Jesus fled, well, I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but there are more true believers in the REAL JESUS than any other religion combined and that includes Islam….you see, no one, can get rid of Jesus, HE is the creator of the universe, and he created the angel of light or Lucifer as well, so how could Jesus be the spirit brother of Lucifer, that’s heresy, and all of the teaching of LDS is heresy as well. There is only one GOD, and one MEDIATOR between GOD and man, and that is JESUS….

          • Joseph did not plagiarize anything. If Joseph was quoting Isaiah.. would you want the quote to be different than the way it appears in the Bible? There are many verses that are different.. and people get upset. Then when they are the same.. people get upset. Either way.. people get upset. The Lord made it as presentable and as palatable as possible for those who would be stiff necked about it. Most people create their own stumbling blocks.

            So.. let me try to explain how we believe about Jesus. Going to the bible.. in John Chapter 1.. it starts out like this:

            1. In the beginning was the Word,
            and the Word was with God,
            and the Word was God.

            So… now you have to ask yourself. How can one be with God.. and be God? For it states that the Word was God…. but yet.. the Word was with God. How does one wrestle with scriptures?

            For us Latter Day Saints.. The word is both Jehovah.. and Jesus.
            Jehovah was Jesus in spiritual form.. before he came to earth. However.. Jehovah is not the Father of our Spirits. When Jesus prayer to the Father.. the Father was not Jehovah. Jehovah was the role that Jesus played.. that the Father asked him to play.. and represent him. It is like having the Father ask the son to go and do something.. but do it as if he was the Father.. and not the son. So he had the authority to act in the name of the Father.. and at the same time.. represent the Father as if it was him. For the son knew what the Father had wanted… and then went and acted accordingly.

            So this is how.. the Word.. can be with God (The Father) and be God (Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament who was acting in the name of the Father) Now let us continue.

            2. The same was in the beginning with God.

            So again.. this repeats the last part of verse 1. So Jehovah or Jesus or the Word.. was in the beginning with God (The Father)

            3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

            So Jesus.. or Jehovah.. or the Word.. (lets us call him JJW) made all things. Things. So JJW made the earth, and the stars, and the heavens. All things.

            10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

            This is telling you that Jesus was in the world.. and Jesus made the world.. and the world.. knew him not. Before Jesus came to the world.. did the world know him? Not as Jesus.

            14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

            So.. JJW.. was made flesh, (Jesus) and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory (Jesus), the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. Jesus was the only begotten of the Father. He was the only human who had a mortal for a mother.. and a God for a Father. He was the only “begotten” of the Father. JJW is not the Father. He is the son of the Father. Even as Jehovah.. he is still the Son of the Father.

            And what we call Angels.. or hosts of heaven.. is really any one that was created by the Father in spiritual form. JJW was of the Father in spiritual form.. You were of the Father in spiritual form. Everyone that has come to earth was of the Father in spiritual form. Yes.. even Lucifer was of the Father in spiritual form. Lucifer did not become Satan until after he rebelled against the Father. There was a war in Heaven and Lucifer took with him.. 1/3 of the hosts of Heaven. Those are know as the evil spirits who plague mankind. The other 2/3 of the hosts of heaven are those that have come to this earth to live. We have all gained a body of flesh and blood. Who created that body of flesh? JJW. The Father created the spirits.. JJW created the human body for the spirits to enter.. “the breath of life”. So it was Jesus who was then the Father of our human bodies. So see now how Jesus can be the Father.. and the Son? We are all sons and daughters of the Father in spiritual form.. and we are all sons and daughters of JJW in the physical or human form.

            Why did the Father want JJW to be the creator of the human body? Because JJW was the one given the responsibility to redeem mankind. He is redeeming.. that which He created. He is giving us the gift of the resurrection.. the human body.. and the spirit which the Father created.. will be joined together in perfection… in the resurrection.

            Now.. concerning Joseph and his speech about boasting. You have to understand what Joseph was doing when he gave that speech.. not only looking at the words that he spoke. Those words were taken out of context. If you saw the entire speech you would realize that he was showing a comparison of the words that the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said that there are times to boast.. and times not to. So in that comparison he showed how he could boast if he wanted to and gave an example.. just like Paul had.

            Sadly.. people only read the speech.. and don’t understand the real point he was trying to make.

            With you being a Jewish believer, you should be happy with the Book of Mormon because it was written for your benefit and the benefit of your people. But I am sure you know that already but just have dismissed it. At least you have come half way and have accepted Jesus as the Messiah. That is the main purpose of the Book of Mormon.. to convince the Jew. The Book of Mormons states:

            18 Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them,
            which words shall judge them at the last day,
            for they shall be given them
            for the purpose of convincing them
            of the true Messiah,
            who was rejected by them;
            and unto the convincing of them
            that they need not look forward any more
            for a Messiah to come,
            for there should not any come,
            save it should be a false Messiah
            which should deceive the people;
            for there is save one Messiah
            spoken of by the prophets,
            and that Messiah is he
            who should be rejected of the Jews.

          • Alan (Avram) Chester

            Let’s sit down discuss Judaism and Mormnism and my belief in Yeshua as my Messiah, when and where could we meet, I live in Anaheim by Disneyland

          • Let’s get together and take a look at the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible and see what it says about Yeshua and who HE is…when and where can we meet. We can also discuss Mormonism and Judaism..I live in Anaheim…(714) 715-4477… Deut. 6:4-6 and Lev. 19:18….Alan (Avram) Chester

          • The Tanakh the Jewish Bible was written well before JS, so yes he did plagiarize many verses from Isaiah, why would he do that, and it’s word for word…the Book of Mormon was written in the 1830’s and the the KJV Bible was written in 1633, I can also show many other verses in the BoM that Joseph plagiarized from the HOLY BIBLE and inserted it into the BOM, why would he do that, because he was a liar, a false prophet and a tall tale story teller….he never did more than Jesus, that’s for sure…

          • Here is what you say:

            “The Tanakh the Jewish Bible was written well before JS, so yes he did plagiarize many verses from Isaiah, why would he do that, and it’s word for word…the Book of Mormon was written in the 1830′s and the the KJV Bible was written in 1633, I can also show many other verses in the BoM that Joseph plagiarized from the HOLY BIBLE and inserted it into the BOM, why would he do that, because he was a liar, a false prophet and a tall tale story teller….he never did more than Jesus, that’s for sure…”

            First of all.. I think you have made up your mind as to what you think Joseph did. Then you make a judgement call saying he is a liar, a false prophet and a tall tale story teller. Hey.. you have it all figured out.. what is to discuss?

            All I can say is this: The Book of Mormon was written in a time period from 600BC to 400AD. It was translated by the gift and power of God in 1830. What words God chose or inspired Joseph to use was I am sure to keep as many stumbling blocks as possible from those who read it.

            It all came from the Bible that most people were familar with. If people would have read the Book of Mormon.. when quoting Isiah.. and found words different than were in their Bible… many would not have been as responsive if it had been different.. even if it had been correct. The Lord is wiser than mankind. Interesting to find out that the entire Book of Mormon though was written in pre 1700 English.. and not 1800’s style English as you would have expected Joseph to write in if he were writing it himself. How does a 24 yr old do that? Espeically one who never finished school and never had any college?

  33. I thought I was commenting on this thread and it ended up on another thread. This topic is about a book review. Do the comments have anything to do with the book? No. The very first comment attacks the LDS beliefs. I suffered from hatred at the hands of an EV while growing up. I was a little kid. Tell me all you EVs, how is that love according to the robotic mantra all of you repeat – “we love Mormon people, it is MormonISM we hate”. Classic deception.

  34. @ dan cuevas: the early church fathers taught theosis and the eastern orthodox teaches theosis.
    Biblical scholars have proven that some things have been added to the Biblical writings, in other words there are things in our modern Bible that were not in the original writings of what is now the Bible. One of the additions was added to support the Trinity creed.

    • Again my answer is beyond the scope of your vitriol most of the statements of the early fathers alleged controversial ” we can be gods” are cases of extrapolated statements that are out of context. Even if one were to show that the words were the same or similar to early church fathers, compared to Mormonism, they did mean the same thing as what Mormons are saying today.?
      The teaching of theosis among early church fathers is what we call the teaching of sanctification today. Certainly, we will be “like Him,” in that day, but just how far does the Mormon carry this? Does it mean that since Jesus is male, that all female Christians shall be “like Him” and become a male?
      The things that are passed on to us are the things that we are capable to receiving, which are the “communicable attributes of God.” , is like when we leave an inheritance to our pets (a lovely dog) he does not inherits my human attributes, he merely gets what I leave for him, but not what I am,… like faith, hope, and love (1 Cor. 13), for starters, but God’s unique, incommunicable attributes will not be passed on to us, like His eternality since we are finite, His omnipresence, since we are local beings, His omniscience, since knowledge is imparted to us, and so forth…. Only the communicable attributes of God are shared by the future believers.
      So, what exactly was added to Bible text, to teach/prove the Trinity?

      • The concept that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are of one “substance” (homousia) was added to the Bible from Greek philosophy.

      • That Dan is why we have prophets today.. to clear up those little matters. Before God gave Mose the charge to write his 5 books.. what was there? If God had quit talking to man then.. we would have nothing after the 5 Books of Moses. If God did not speak to the prophets.. they would not have written and we would not have their words either. As long as God spoke.. and man wrote.. we have words. After the Apostles were all killed.. there was no more speaking until Joseph Smith. Now we have words again.

        Problem is that you deny the prophets of God. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Again.. your stumbling block.

        • That’s the problem I think LDS have with the idea ‘we have a living prophet” You have some of your prophets teaching the Adam God teaching and blood atonement. Reading Lester Bush’s famous article in Dialogue it seems they could not get the Negro doctrine right. First they ordain Elijah Abel, then later restrict it. Change came in 1978 because in an interracial country like Brazil the church would have been ordaining men with a “drop of Negro blood” in them.

          • No… I think you simplified it a bit.

            So many ask why did God change his mind about extending the priesthood to those of the negro race. He didn’t change his mind. He always knew when he was going to do it.. it was us that didn’t know. If you have read anything about the history.. It was Joseph who took away the ordination from Elijah… and he did it for a reason. That reason is what God told him to do but he never went into it any further. We can all guess as to what those reasons might be.. but I think any guessing is pure speculation as we don’t really know. But what we do know is that in the Lord’s time.. he extended the priesthood to every worthy male member of the Church.

            The Blood Atonement is essentially what was in place during the Law of Moses. There were certain sins that we punishable by death. This is Capital Punishment. From what I understood about what President Young was talking about was the fact that those who committed these sins without repentance would have had to be punished for those sins at some time. And having spilt their blood.. for a certain sin.. was then atoned for in the respect that they did not have to suffer the punishment of that sin. But it was based on the law of Capital punishment. It is what Brigham taught, however.. it was never presented to Church as doctrine they were held accountable for.

            And as far as Adam and God… it has been called a theory because it was something only Brigham understood and no one else. Adam essentially was a part of the creation of this earth.. and therefore a God in his own right. But then.. it is not something you need to worry about as you don’t believe that man can become like our creator. That we can be given the power and authority by the one who created us.. to do what he does. You say this is not possible. Ok then.. it is not possible for you.

        • “..Dan
          That is why we have prophets today.. to clear up those little matters. Before God gave Mose the charge to write his 5 books.. what was there? >>

          Nirom, you don’t know the Bible.
          That is why you have not answer my question, and that goes for all the mormons in this site, they keep dancing around the issue, mainly if you can not find a third party that corroborates J,Smith TALL TALE (Alleged vision of 1820) then J Smith did not tell the truth, and so there is no vision and mormonism is/was an invention of J Smith

          I told you in a nut shell the OT, Jesus is coming…NT Jesus is here
          Hence no more prophets needed,
          Jesus himself said so

          Matt 11:13-14
          13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
          Luke 16:16-17
          6 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

          And since Jesus is already here he himself declares now the Father to us
          Heb 1:1-3
          1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
          (from New International Version)
          You said.
          “…After the Apostles were all killed.. there was no more speaking until Joseph Smith. Now we have words again.”>>

          Whether the Apostles were kill, or not, they would eventually died, but they left us with the promise that Jesus said :…I will build my Church (Eklessia, my congregation, my people ) and the gates of help will not prevail against my people

          . Matt 16:17-18
          7 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
          (from New International Version)

          You said
          <<"…Problem is that you deny the prophets of God. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Again.. your stumbling block.
          Sorry, but you believe J Smith , a false prophet,
          When J Smith appeared on the scene the church was already stablished…Joe was the new kid on the block, the burden of proof was on him/you, …problem, he brought another god and now all you mormons are really confused

          I am going to ask you again

          I will repeat the question one more time
          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? Surely if he TOLD, there would be TONS of evidence that J Smith TOLD…it was a revival,(alleged 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…

          As you can see from J Smith account he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town…(population in Palmyra in 1820? about 600+) was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the "Father and Son"
          Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years…well, I will extend the frame time?….. 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 for 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…(teachings of Hinckley p-227)
          Dan
          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.!
          One more thing Nimrod, if you do not have the answer don't bother to write, I don't want to waste my time listening to your "restore" gospel if you don't have documents to prove your point…
          You do need the Jesus of the Bible , He will declare the Father to you
          Matt 11:27
          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.
          Luke 10:22
          22 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
          (from New International Version)
          May the real God of the Bible have mercy on your Souls
          dcmess@aol.com

          • Dan,
            If prophets ended with John the Baptist, why does the New Testament say there were prophets in the Christian church after the time of Jesus Christ: There were “prophets” in the Christian Church after the time of Christ:
            “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:1)
            “And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them” (Acts 15:32)
            “And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judæa a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles” (Acts 21:10)
            Paul taught the Ephesian members of Christ’s Church that prophets were a permanent part of the structure of the Christian Church until we become perfect in Christ: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-20)
            “And he [Jesus Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
            “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?” (1 Corinthians 12:27-29)

          • Tom
            Let us go on record, that you are not honest on your answers to my e-mail responses
            I respond to all the issues that anyone raises on this site.

            You only harp on the issues that you seem to know, but not really, because even when you claim you know the Bible , you don’t…

            [<>]

            But these prophets had only a minor role mainly in being part of the new believers called the way…

            [6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
            KJV]

            [Acts 24:14
            14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
            KJV]
            These prophets were not announcing Christ was coming, nor they had the role of speaking for the people to get directions from God to these prophets,
            Christ was here, and was laying down the foundations of His Ecclesia

            You don’t address the issue, that Jesus was going to build his Ecclessia, ..did Jesus lied…no of course not, because there was not a total apostasy as your sect preaches/teaches
            You don’t address also that Hebrews said plainly that we don’t need prophets

            [Heb 1:1-2
            1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

            2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,
            KJV]

            [<>

            Noticed that these prophets, “ministered” “extorted” “confirmed”, And “spoke” for the “Holy Spirit”(Holy Ghost)
            And this was the real Holy Spirit (not another son of heavenly, celestial parents, another heresy of many in the mormon sect)

            Will continue with the second part to your no base ramblings

          • Dan, previously you said that there are more than 999 references or verses of scripture in the Bible proving the “Trinity.” I would like a list of those.

          • Tom
            As you can see/read the following, as soon as I get permission, I will send you the outline
            They are divided in 8 parts

            The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity – Introduction
            By:
            Robert M. Bowman Jr.
            It is often alleged that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a biblical doctrine. While the word Trinity is not in the Bible, the substance of the doctrine is definitely biblical. The doctrine is simply a formal way of systematizing the following six propositions, which may be viewed as premises of the doctrine:
            1. There is one God (i.e., one proper object of religious devotion).

            2. This one God is a single divine being, called Jehovah or Yahweh in the Old Testament (the LORD).

            3. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is God, the LORD.

            4. The Son, Jesus Christ, is God, the LORD.

            5. The Holy Spirit is God, the LORD.

            6. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each someone distinct from the other two.

            The following outline study presents an overview of the biblical basis of the above six propositions, and therefore of the doctrine of the Trinity. Comments on the texts have been kept to a bare minimum; the emphasis is on the many biblical texts themselves. Roughly 1,000 references drawn from well over 300 different chapters of the Bible are listed, including references from all 27 books of the New Testament. The study makes no direct references to any specific non-Trinitarian religious groups but focuses solely on presenting the positive biblical evidence for the Trinity and responding succinctly to common objections to this evidence. No secondary sources are cited in the outline itself, though of course I have consulted numerous such sources.

            Note: This outline study has been a work in progress of mine since the late 1970s. A version that was several pages shorter than the current version was one of the most widely disseminated standard resources sent out by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. An electronic media version was created without my knowledge in 1994. Since that time it has appeared on various web sites in various editions (including some with unauthorized revisions), sometimes with permission and sometimes not. The version here, created for publication on the web site of the Institute for Religious Research, is the most recent version and includes the most significant revisions and additions in two decades (including some 300 new biblical references). In order to ensure the accuracy and integrity of this free resource, I am asserting my copyright to the work as its sole author. Anyone is welcome to print out and copy the outline study as much as they want as long as it is reproduced without change in its entirety (including this introduction and note). Permission must be obtained for posting this resource on another site.

          • Continue with part 2
            Tom,
            You said,
            Paul taught the Ephesian members of Christ’s Church that prophets were a permanent part of the structure of the Christian Church until we become perfect in Christ: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-20)>>

            And I agree, but again these APOSTLES, PROPHETS, (not prophets and Apostles, the mormon sect got it backward again) Paul is referring to the foundation of the twelve Apostles and Christ the main chief corner stone, and the prophets? , Paul is referring to the Prophets of the OT, And John being the last prophet.
            Jesus speaking himself

            [Matt 11:13
            13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John
            Luke 16:16
            16 "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John.]

            You said
            “And he [Jesus Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13)>>

            Again noticed that it is Apostles first and prophets second…

            Finally you say…

            “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?” (1 Corinthians 12:27-29)>>

            No where is the notion, that there is a three governing power with a total of fifteen “prophets” leading the early church, no where are these any melkizedeck priests, or Aronic priest, or temple ordinances, or baptism for the dead, or eternal progretion.bla bla
            By the way, I read the Unveiling Grace book, and to my surprise, I happened to know these exmormon missionaries and the mother of one of them Micah? was a top Phd proffessor in BYU they all came to the real Jesus of the Bible by reading the Bible after 30 years in mormonism.
            Micah converted to Christianity while serving a mission in Florida, he started all…
            Tom it is IMPOSSIBLE to read the Bible , without any bias, and still remain a mormon
            Tom I challenge you to read the book. I will send you the book to your address free of charge
            I met these mormon missionaries, now real Christians they have a band call Adam’s Road, they came to Palmyra to give a couple of concerts
            Let me know if you want the book.
            That is where I met them.
            dcmess@aol.com

          • Dan, I know the book you are talking about. I saw some interviews of the author. She says that by grace we are saved and that our works are useless. This is false doctrine. The Bible is full of scriptures that teach that we are going to be judge by our works:
            (1) Jesus’ teaching: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21);
            (2) Jesus’ teaching: “For the Son of man, shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works (Matthew 16:27);
            (3) Jesus’ question: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46);
            (4) Jesus’ teaching: “Be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48);
            (5) Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. . . . He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me . . .He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” (John 14:15, 21, 24).
            (6) John saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the dead were judged “according to their works”(Revelations 20:12);
            (7) Paul’s teaching: “[In the judgment day God] will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6);
            (8) Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,” (2 Corinthians 5:10);
            (9) Paul’s teachings to the Galatians: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7);
            (10) James’ teaching, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20);
            (11) John’s teachings: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (I John 3:7);
            (12) See also Matthew 25:35, I Corinthians 3:8, I Peter 1:17, Revelations 2:23,
            “Mormons” believe that both grace and works are necessary to salvation.

          • Again Dan.. you are focused on only one thing. Whether or not mankind recorded something in 1820 of the story that a 14 year old boy told. If you found that one article.. that one word written in someone’s journal. That one school paper where some kid wrote down something about what Joseph Smith had said.. you would then be a believer?

            NO.. you would not.

            You have created your stumbling block and can not get past it.

            You are the one who NEEDS this 3rd party. You are the one who doubts. You are the one who can’t see or hear the truth. You are the one who denies that Christ has set up his church. You Dan.. it is all about you.

            I don’t need a “third party” human witness as I have the Holy Ghost as my third party. He has witnessed to me what Joseph Smith saw. The third member of the God head is MY WITNESS. You Dan.. are looking for a human witness. My witness is better than any human.

            Even Jesus, spoke to Peter and acknowledge who his witness was that he was the Christ. It was not of flesh that told him. It was his Father. Peter received direct revelation from God the Father himself that Jesus was the Son of the living God and the Christ. No man told him. Revelation told him. And it is this same revelation that Christ said he would build his church upon. For when you have revelation from God.. the gates of hell will NEVER prevail! Revelation Dan. That is the key you are missing. That is thing that has died in the Christian Church. After the Apostles were killed without them being able to call others in their stead.. Revelation died in the Church. And until 1820.. there has been no revelation.

            You and your kind.. all the way back to the preachers in the day of Joseph Smith have denied the power and authority of God. Revelation is dead you all say. Jesus gave us all that we need. We have the word and need no more of the word. Wow Dan.. it is you who had declared that God need not speak anymore. It is you who probably believes that because of the phrase in Revelation about adding to this book that God has said all he is going to say until the 2nd coming of Christ. It is you Dan.. who does not understand the Bible. It is you who does not understand the relationship between the Son and the Father. It is you who has created your stumbling block about revelation and what Joseph Smith saw.

            Tons?? Tons of articles and writings about a 14 year old boy tells his story of seeing God and Jesus Christ and you expect tons of things to be written about it? Seriously? Have you read the tons of writings about Jesus the Christ? Where are the books and books and books of his time about all the things that 10000’s saw him do?? Where are the writings of the Jews concerning him? LOL Now there should be TONS of information from all over concerning this Jesus.. Yet.. if not for the Gospels.. there is little about him. But boy oh boy.. you want TONS written about Joseph seeing the Father and the Son. LOL You have no faith! It takes faith.. not proof!

            Think about it Dan..

            Joseph didn’t see the angel Moroni for another 3 years. And then Dan.. it took another 4 years before he got the plates of gold to translate. Tell me Dan.. what was written in the news papers about the gold plates before Joseph actually got them? Were there people who believed that Joseph would be getting the plates of gold? Do you have anything written about that? Do you have TONS??

            Dan.. you said: 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?

            I ask you this.. did you read in the Diary of Joseph Smith in the entry dated 9-11 November 1835? Did you read it Dan? Tell me what it says!

          • Nirom first Part
            You said.

            Dan.. you are focused on only one thing. Whether or not mankind recorded something in 1820 of the story that a 14 year old boy told. If you found that one article.. that one word written in someone’s journal. That one school paper where some kid wrote down something about what Joseph Smith had said.. you would then be a believer?
            NO.. you would not.>>

            Wrong, as a matter of fact to all the mormon missionaries I encounter and that includes my own mother in-law. I tell them, if you find me just one statement from anyone from 1820 to 1838 that corroborates J Smith TALL TALE, I will become a mormon

            You have created your stumbling block and can not get past it.
            You are the one who NEEDS this 3rd party. You are the one who doubts. You are the one who can’t see or hear the truth. You are the one who denies that Christ has set up his church. You Dan.. it is all about you.>>

            What church? it is all a myth, like the BOM. And what truth are you talking about?
            Where is the statement of Christ establishing “his” church??

            You said

            I don’t need a “third party” human witness as I have the Holy Ghost as my third party. He has witnessed to me what Joseph Smith saw. The third member of the God head is MY WITNESS. You Dan.. are looking for a human witness. My witness is better than any human.>>

            And I respond?
            What holy ghost are you talking about? How exactly you know this “spirit”, has given you this assurance?

            Do you know who is Robert Millet? or Daniel Peterson? Millet and Peterson told me exactly what you said…they said, this matter of the “vision” is a spiritual matter and the holy ghost has witness to me it is true….

            They then added, I don’t want to continue any more correspondence with you…

            Peterson was the main Honcho for FARMS until he got fired…now this agency FARMS is called the Maxwell institute…
            Millet has written many books I met him personally, I kept on him until he answered my question via one of his students, when I confronted him with a real answer from him personally, Millet gave me the answer of a holy ghost affirmation
            I answered them both…yes a “spirit” gave you an answer, but that was not the real Holy Ghost.

            You said
            Even Jesus, spoke to Peter and acknowledge who his witness was that he was the Christ. It was not of flesh that told him. It was his Father. Peter received direct revelation from God the Father himself that Jesus was the Son of the living God and the Christ. No man told him.>>

            What about when in a few verses ahead, Jesus tells Peter

            Matt 16:21-23
            21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
            22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
            23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
            KJV
            Who reveal to Peter what he said that Jesus rebukes him, and calls him Satan???

            You said

            Revelation told him. And it is this same revelation that Christ said he would build his church upon. For when you have revelation from God.. the gates of hell will NEVER prevail! >>

            How do you know when the revelation is from God or the devil???
            How you Millet and Peterson are receiving revelation from God or the devil??

            But your sect teaches that hell prevailed and after the disciples died, church went into apostasy…hell prevailed..!!.

            >>
            You said
            Revelation Dan. That is the key you are missing. That is thing that has died in the Christian Church. After the Apostles were killed without them being able to call others in their stead.. Revelation died in the Church. And until 1820.. there has been no revelation.>>

            Nirom
            Let me enlighten you,
            Peter received an affirmation that Jesus was the Son of the living God. God the Father revealed this truth to Peter. OK?
            Jesus affirmed that it was the Father who gave him that revelation…Jesus then said …upon this revelation fact, from the Father that I am the Son of God? I will build my Church….in other words Jesus would be the main chief corner stone and the disciples would be the foundation
            Once the foundation is laid, you need no other foundation, you need no other Christ…
            J Smith comes along and tells the world in 1842 that two personages told him all the churches were wrong.(there is NOTHING in mormon history or secular history that J Smith used the words Father Son bit…never ever!
            That is what J Smith said it happened 1820, but he said it in 1842 (Orson Pratt said two personages appeared to Joe, he wrote this story in 1838, in a little pamphlet entitled “Remarkable Visions”(Neither Joe or Pratt identified these personages as deity, or gods)
            But there is no concrete evidence that he TOLD this TALL TALE in 1820 to 1823, as a matter of fact, no one anywhere in history in Palmyra or the vicinity, knows of this vision…
            Many preachers on that era wrote extensible on this new “prophet” newspapers have articles about this golden bible..(you can find these news papers in the internetr, just google dale’s newspapers, this guy collects all these periodicals from 1816 to 1846 ).but no one writes about the TALL TALE…I have four books from 1842 to 1867 they all talked about this new false prophet, about the golden plates, but no one even hints on J Smith claiming Joe, seeing the Father and Son, for the simple reason, Joe NEVER told THIS TALL TALE to anyone
            It is impossible that there is no evidence IN 18 YEARS that J Smith ever TOLD this TALL TALE…Joe made it all up…and the sad part about it, you don’t even know it…
            Will continue on the second part

          • Dan, you asked: Who reveal to Peter what he said that Jesus rebukes him, and calls him Satan???

            I say: No one revealed anything at that time to Peter.. That was Peter thinking for himself. He could not understand how the son of the Living God would have to go through everything that Jesus had just explained to him would be happening. There was NO revelation at that time.

            No.. it was not being built upon Christ. You are wrong. Jesus was never about himself.. it was always about the will of the Father… nothing of himself. Remember the scriptures? Remember the words Jesus spoke when someone called him good? Do you remember? Please.. site the scripture for me. What did Christ say about himself?

            The rock that Christ would build his church upon was NOT himself.. but revelation from God. The communication from Heaven.. to Man. That was the Rock. 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. It would be built upon Apostles and Prophets. Both of which receive revelation or the will of God.

            There was revelation given to Peter about who Jesus was. For it was Jesus that asked.. Who do you say I am?

            And yes.. without revelation.. hell will prevail. And there has been no revelation. For 1800 years since the apostles died.. none. No one claiming revelation, no speaking in the name of the Lord.. no scripture being written. NOTHING.…hell prevailed..!! But that was the choice of man.. who like before.. would kill the prophets because they did not want to hear what was being said.

          • Dan, you have not answered my question.

            Why would a newspaper print a story about at 14 year old boy who said he saw God?

            3 years later.. 3 years Dan. That is when the angel Moroni appeared. 3 years later.

            When did the stories come out about the Gold Bible? When were they printed?

          • Nirom
            You said

            Dan, you have not answered my question.
            Why would a newspaper print a story about at 14 year old boy who said he saw God?>>

            Correction, J Smith never said he saw God, you will not “see” a statement that He saw God, when referring to the alleged TALL TALE (alleged father son vision)
            There are stories galore in all the newspapers about the golden book, on mormonism (check Uncle Dale’s Newspapers)
            Old Newspaper Articles on the Mormons
            Index by Region:

            Austral-Asia – California & Nevada – Canada – England – Hawaii –
            Illinois & Indiana – Iowa/Wisc/Minn — Michigan — Mid-Atlantic — Missouri
            New Eng. — New York — The Northwest — Ohio — Penn. — Prairie States
            The South — The SW — Utah — Va. & W. Va. — The West — LDS

            Pick up the region, Palmyra, N Y you will find many newspapers talking about mormonism the golden bible J Smith the alleged “prophet” etc, but you will not find any thing any article about the alleged vision of these two personages..BUT UNTIL 1838 .but you will find many articles about the BOM,the “prophet etc
            That is why papers would write about this boy claiming two personages appeared to him…after an alleged revival, that by all accounts, it happened in 1823-25, not in 1820, but the main reason? Why no story?? it never happened, Joe made it all up…

            You continue
            3 years later.. 3 years Dan. That is when the angel Moroni appeared. 3 years later.
            When did the stories come out about the Gold Bible? When were they printed?
            ( I am giving you 18 years to find something that would prove Joe told the truth….check the newspapers…)

            Mormons and your sect have been had big time, and you don’t even kn

          • Again Dan… you have not addressed my question.

            Did you read in the Journal of the Prophet Joseph Smith the dates November 9th-11th 1835? Did you read it Dan? Tell me what it says!

          • Dan.. you said: But there is no concrete evidence that he TOLD this TALL TALE in 1820 to 1823, as a matter of fact, no one anywhere in history in Palmyra or the vicinity, knows of this vision… Many preachers on that era wrote extensible on this new “prophet” newspapers have articles about this golden bible.

            I say: In 1820.. Joseph Smith never claimed to be a prophet. He was 14. He received his answer to what Church he should join. NONE.

            Who would write about that?

          • Smith said in his official account that members of his family joined the Presbyterian church in 1820 as the result of a revival. . Oliver Cowdery in the Messenegr & Advocate said it was as a revival in 1823-24. William Smith said Joseph smith Snr refused to joined because the preacher said his son Alvin had gone to hell. Alvin Smith died in 1823. So facts independent of the official story contradict Smith’s account. Even Richard Bushman in Rough Stone Rolling admits in a footnote that circumstantial evidence supports the 1823-24 date fo members of the Smith family joing the PC. Church records, statistics and Newspaper accounts support a revival in 1823-24. The official account says it started with the Methodists. There should memership data that would show growth in the church. It does for 1823-24 but not 1820.

          • Nirom
            You proved my point,
            The alleged TALL TALE was based on that of a revival…
            There was no revival…another inconstancy on J Smith…not telling the truth
            You write
            Smith said in his official account that members of his family joined the Presbyterian church in 1820 as the result of a revival. . Oliver Cowdery in the Messenegr & Advocate said it was as a revival in 1823-24. William Smith said Joseph smith Sr refused to joined because the preacher said his son Alvin had gone to hell. Alvin Smith died in 1823. So facts independent of the official story contradict Smith’s account. Even Richard Bushman in Rough Stone Rolling admits in a footnote that circumstantial evidence supports the 1823-24 date fo members of the Smith family join the PC. Church records, statistics and Newspaper accounts support a revival in 1823-24. The official account says it started with the Methodists. There should membership data that would show growth in the church. It does for 1823-24 but not 1820.

          • Nirom,
            You are contradicting your “prophet” Hinckley, He said Joseph was a prophet,,,on the first vision account, read it for yourself
            Hinckley could not be wrong?..

            “…. 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) -

          • Dan, you can’t prove that Joseph Smith never told anyone about his vision of the Father and the Son until 1838, eighteen years later–you just say that because you can’t find a statement by someone else that Joseph told them about it that the First Vision didn’t happen. But you want us to believe that you were visited by an angel more than 20 years ago, but the only thing we have is your word that it happened. There is no record by any other person that this happened to you. I have searched the internet–nothing about Dan Cuevas and the angel. Using the same standard you use against Joseph Smith, that means the angel never visited you.

          • Tom
            You said

            Dan, you can’t prove that Joseph Smith never told anyone about his vision of the Father and the Son until 1838, eighteen years later>>

            I respond
            (actually Joe published his TALL TALE 22 years later, Orson Pratt wrote this account in 1838-40)
            And actually, I don’t have to prove anything, the burden of prove is on you and(the mormon sect)

            You say
            –you just say that because you can’t find a statement by someone else that Joseph told them about it that the First Vision didn’t happen. But you want us to believe that you were visited by an angel more than 20 years ago, but the only thing we have is your word that it happened. There is no record by any other person that this happened to you. I have searched the internet–nothing about Dan Cuevas and the angel. Using the same standard you use against Joseph Smith, that means the angel never visited you.>>

            I respond

            Your problem, my friend…I did NOT claim any massages from this angel, I did not say I told everyone in town about this vision, I did not promulgate outrage statement that would produce a sect, following after me
            In the other hand I have witnesses right now, you can interview them and they will tell you about my experience, the church in Palmyra(baptist church) the church where I attend (congregation church, here in CA) and the church in Fairport evangelical church in NY where I have been attending every year for the 16 years (I have been attending Palmyra , for almost 21 years and I have made many friends, they will tell you about my story)
            You see , my story is no different as if someone wins the lottery of a 1000, dollars? is no big thing,
            In the other hand if I had claim I won the 400 million lottery , 18-22 years ago??…and there is no records in the newspapers, or my close relatives in the small town of 600+ people and I told this story 22 years later (after someone tells this story 18 years after the date I claimed I won the 400 millions?
            Well, I am flat out lying ….
            But, you and the mormon sect after 193 years, have not able to produce a single document that would corroborate this TALL TALE. …You are involved in a great sham…those last words are from the late mormon “prophet” Gordon Hinckley (teachings of the prophet p-227)
            dcmess@aol.com

          • So, are you trying to say that the former president of our church, Gordon B. Hinckley believed that the church of which he was the president was a sham?

          • Tom,
            This is what Hinckley said
            This is what the late Hinckley prophet said about this “vision” (alleged personages of 1820) 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 from a third party……forget whether this “vision” occurred or not)

          • Yes, you have quoted this same thing three times now, but you seem to miss the most important word “IF” the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. But, President Hinckley said it did occur, so we are not involved in a great sham. It is ridiculous Dan for you to say or imply that President Hinckley did not believe that the First Vision occurred. You don’t believe it occurred, so The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sham to you, but not to the millions of people who believe the eight accounts Joseph Smith gave testifying of the First Vision.
            Where is my list of scriptures from the Bible proving the Trinity?

          • Tom
            You stated.
            Yes, you have quoted this same thing three times now, but you seem to miss the most important word “IF” the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham.
            But, President Hinckley said it did occur, >>
            ( so prove to me that Joe,TOLD. this TALL TALE…Very simple, if the “vision” occurred..Answer my question…evidence please….the burden of prove is on you…)

            So just because he said it, ? you believe it?
            I can give you three instances , (there are more)That can prove to you…where Hinckley flat out lied , or perhaps had a senior moment( it is actually senile…you are not firing in all your cylinders)
            Or perhaps he has been deceived himself (Blind leading the blind?
            Jesus said that these people , the leader and the follower, are both going to fall into the ditch

            Matt 15:14
            14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
            KJV

            You continue..
            so we are not involved in a great sham. It is ridiculous Dan for you to say or imply that President Hinckley did not believe that the First Vision occurred. >>

            I said he is blind, he is wrong. he has been deceived..


            You, say…
            You don’t believe it occurred, so The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sham to you, but not to the millions of people who believe the eight accounts Joseph Smith gave testifying of the First Vision.

            ( excuse me , there is only one TALL TALE of the alleged Father Son bit, the other “visions”are not the same, matter of fact , they contradict the 1820 account!)
            You ask
            Where is my list of scriptures from the Bible proving the Trinity?
            I reply,
            And I am told, from the author of this The Trinity expository, that since the subject is very long, that I am to send you a couple of the explanations and that you should go yourself into the site and look up the rest (www.irr.org)
            So here goes part 6.
            The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity – Part Six
            By:
            Robert M. Bowman Jr.
            VI. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Are Each Someone Distinct from the Other Two (i.e., they are three “persons”)

            A. Matt. 28:19
            1. “the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”: use of definite article before each personal noun indicates distinct persons unless explicitly stated otherwise; compare Rev. 1:17; 2:8, 26
            2. The views that “Father” and “Son” are distinct persons but not the Holy Spirit, or that the Holy Spirit is not a person at all, or that all three are different offices or roles of one person, are impossible in view of the grammar (together with the fact that in Scripture a “spirit” is a person unless context shows otherwise).
            3. Does singular “name” prove that the three are one person? No; cf. Gen. 5:2; 11:14; 48:6; and esp. 48:16. Thus, the word “name” can apply distinctly to each of the three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and does not imply that they have only one name.
            4. “Name” need not be personal name, may be title: Is. 9:6; Matt. 1:23.
            B. Acts 2:38 and Matt. 28:19
            1. Neither passage specifies that certain words are to be spoken during baptism; nor does the Bible ever record someone saying, “I baptize you in the name of….”
            2. Those said to be baptized in the name of Jesus (whether or not the formula “in the name of Jesus” was used) were people already familiar with the God of the OT:
            a. Jews: Acts 2:5, 38; 22:16
            b. Samaritans: Acts 8:5, 12, 16
            c. God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 10:1-2, 22, 48
            d. Disciples of John the Baptist: Acts 19:1-5
            e. The first Christians in Corinth were Jews and God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 18:1-8; 1 Cor. 1:13
            3. Trinitarian formula for baptism (if that is what Matt. 28:19 is) was given in context of commissioning apostles to take the gospel to “all the nations,” including people who did not know of the biblical God
            4. Cross-referencing Acts 2:38 and other Acts references to baptism “in Jesus’ name” with Matthew 28:19 to prove that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is hermeneutically flawed, since none of these passages is seeking to make such a point and none of them is claiming that baptism must be performed using a particular formula.
            C. God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ are two persons
            1. The salutations: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1, 2; 1 Tim. 1:1, 2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Philem. 3; James 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:2; 2 John 3
            2. Two witnesses: John 5:31-32; 8:16-18; cf. Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15
            3. The Father sent the Son: John 3:16-17; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:10; etc.; cf. John 1:6; 17:18; 20:21
            4. The Father and the Son love each other: John 3:35; 5:20; 14:31; 15:9; 17:23-26; cf. Matt. 3:17 par.; 17:5 par.; 2 Pet. 1:17
            5. The Father speaks to the Son, and the Son speaks to the Father: John 11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1-26; etc.
            6. The Father knows the Son, and the Son knows the Father: Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 7:29; 8:55; 10:15
            7. Jesus our Advocate with the Father: 1 John 2:1
            D. Jesus is not God the Father
            1. Is. 9:6: “Father of eternity” means eternal; compare other names formed with word “father”: Abialbon, “father of strength” = strong (2 Sam. 23:31);Abiasaph, “father of gathering” = gatherer (Ex. 6:24); Abigail, a woman’s name (!), “father of exultation” = exulting (1 Chron. 2:16).
            2. John 10:30
            a. Jesus did not say, “I am the Father,” nor did he say, “the Son and the Father are one person.”
            b. The first person plural esmen (“we are”) implies two persons.
            c. The neuter word for “one” (hen) is used, implying essential unity but not personal unity.
            d. John 10:30 in context is a strong affirmation of Christ’s deity, but does not mean that he is the Father.
            3. John 5:43: Jesus’ coming in his Father’s name means not that he was the Father because he had the Father’s name, but that, while others come in their own name (or their own authority), Jesus does not; he comes in his Father’s name (on his Father’s authority).
            4. John 8:19; 16:3: Ignorance of Jesus is indeed ignorance of the Father, but that does not prove that Jesus is the one he calls “My Father.”
            5. John 14:6-11
            a. Jesus and the Father are one being, not one person.
            b. Jesus said, “I am in the Father,” not “I am the Father.”
            c. The statement, “the Father is in me,” does not mean Jesus is the Father; compare John 14:20; 17:21-23.
            6. John 14:18: An older adult brother can care for his younger siblings, thus preventing them from being “orphans,” without being their father.
            7. Colossians 2:9: Does not mean that Jesus is the Father, or that Jesus is an incarnation of the Father; rather, since “Godhead” (theotês) means Deity, the state of being God, the nature of God, Jesus is fully God, but not the only person who is God. “The Godhead” here does not = the Father (note that Jesus is in the Father, John 10:38; 14:10, 11; 17:21), but the nature of the Father. See II.B.3.
            8. The Father and the Son are both involved in various activities: raising Jesus (Gal. 1:1; John 2:19-22), raising the dead (John 5:21); 6:39-40, 44, 54, 1 Cor. 6:14), answering prayer (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23), sending the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7), drawing people to Jesus (John 6:44; 12:32), etc. These common works do prove that the two persons are both God, but not that Jesus is the Father
            E. The Son existed before his Incarnation, even before creation
            1. Prov. 30:4: This is not predictive prophecy; “prophecy” in 30:1 translates massa, which is rendered elsewhere as “burden.”
            2. The Son created all things, requiring of course that he existed when he did so: See above, IV.E.1.
            3. Jesus was “with” (pros or para) God the Father before creation: John 1:1; 17:5; pros in John 1:1 does not mean “pertaining to,” although it does in Hebrews 2:17; 5:1 (which use pros with ta).
            4. Jesus, the Son of God, existed before John the Baptist (who was born before Jesus): John 1:15, cf. 1:14-18, 29-34.
            5. Jesus, the Son, came down from heaven, sent from the Father, and went back to heaven, back to the Father: John 3:13, 31; 6:33; 38, 41, 46, 51, 56-58, 62; 8:23, 42; 13:3; 16:27-28; cf. Acts 1:10-11; cf. the sending of the Holy Spirit, John 16:5-7; 1 Pet. 1:12
            6. Jesus, speaking as the Son (John 8:54-56), asserts His eternal preexistence before Abraham: John 8:58
            7. The Son explicitly said to exist “before all things”: Col. 1:17, cf. 1:12-20
            8. These statements cannot be dismissed as true only in God’s foreknowledge
            a. We are all “in God’s mind” before creation; yet such passages as John 1:1 and John 17:5 clearly mean to say something unusual about Christ.
            b. To say that all things were created through Christ means that He must have existed at creation.
            c. No one else in Scripture is ever said to have been with God before creation.
            9. Texts which speak of the Son being begotten “today” do not mean he became the Son on a certain day, since they refer to his exaltation at his resurrection (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Ps. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4).
            F. Jesus is not the Holy Spirit
            1. The Holy Spirit is “another Comforter”: John 14:16; compare 1 John 2:1.
            2. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit: John 15:26; 16:7.
            3. The Holy Spirit exhibits humility in relation to, and seeks to glorify, Jesus (John 16:13-14).
            4. The Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.
            5. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus: Luke 3:22.
            6. Is Jesus the Holy Spirit?
            a. 2 Cor. 3:17: the Spirit is here called “Lord” in the sense of being Yahweh or God, not Jesus (cf. v. 16, citing Ex. 34:34; cf. v. 17 in the Revised English Bible); note Acts 28:25-27, cf. Is. 6:8-10.
            b. 1 Cor. 15:45: Jesus is “a life-giving Spirit,” not in the sense that he is the Holy Spirit whom he sent at Pentecost, but in the sense that he is the glorified God-man; and as God he is Spirit by nature. All three persons of the Trinity are Spirit, though there are not three divine Spirits; and only one person is designated “the Holy Spirit.”
            c. Rom. 8:27, 34: the fact that two persons intercede for us is consistent with the fact that we have two Advocates (John 14:16; Rom. 8:26; 1 John 2:1).
            d. John 14:18: Jesus here refers to his appearances to the disciples after the resurrection (compare 14:19), not to the coming of the Spirit.
            e. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both involved in various activities: raising Jesus (John 2:19-19-22); Rom. 8:9-11), raising the dead (John 5:21; 6:39-40, 44, 54, Rom. 8:9-11), dwelling in the believer (John 14:16; 2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27), interceding for the believer (Rom. 8:26; Heb. 7:25), sanctifying believers (Eph. 5:26; 1 Pet. 1:2), etc. These works prove that the two persons are both God, but not that Jesus is the Holy Spirit.
            G. The Father is not the Holy Spirit
            1. The Father sent the Holy Spirit: John 14:15; 15:26.
            2. The Holy Spirit intercedes with the Father for us: Rom. 8:26-27.
            3. The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.
            4. Is the Father the Holy Spirit?
            a. Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35: It is argued that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the incarnate Son of God; this argument ignores the fact that the “conception” is not a product of physical union between a man and a woman!
            b. The Father and the Holy Spirit are both said to be active in various activities; the resurrection of Jesus (Gal. 1:1; Rom. 8:11), comforting Christians (2 Cor. 1:3-4; John 14:26), sanctifying Christians (Jude 1; 1 Pet. 1:2), etc. The most these facts prove is that the two work together; they do not prove the two are one person.

            I will send you next Jesus is God the Son.Part 4
            and in other e-mail, will send you the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit. part 5

          • Dan,
            Mormons believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are three distinct persons, too, so what about that proves the Trinity?

          • Tom,
            You state,
            Dan,
            Mormons believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are three distinct persons, too, so what about that proves the Trinity?>>

            Your sect, actually believes/teaches that the mormon god was once a man that somehow it became a god (Teachings of J Smith p 345 )and now is married?
            I have asked you to give me the chapter verse of this bizarre teaching from your four standard works, and like the alleged first TALL TALE , you have no answer

            Your own main “prophet” J Smith…He said “..I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, jesus christ a separate and distinct personage (born to heavenly parents, Gospel Principles p, 9 )from God the Father and that the holy ghost (another son of these celestial parents , was a distinct personage and a spirit; and these three constitute…three God’s (History of the Church V. 6, pg 474
            That my friend is not the God of the Bible

          • Tom
            This is part Four, I am sending you this article in two e-mails because it is really long
            (1 OF PART FOUR)
            The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity – Part Four
            By:
            Robert M. Bowman Jr.
            IV. The Son, Jesus Christ, Is God

            A. Explicit statements identifying Jesus as “God”
            1. Is. 9:6; note 10:21. Translations which render the Hebrew el gibbôr here as “mighty hero” are inconsistent in their rendering of 10:21. Also note that Ezek. 32:21, which some try to cross-reference, is (a) not in the same context, as is Is. 10:21, and (b) speaking of false gods, cf. I.G.5. Some object that “mighty God” is simply theophoric (i.e., in which a person’s name says something about God, not about himself). However, this is not true of the rest of the compound name, which is descriptive of the Messiah himself (note especially “Prince of Peace”). It certainly makes no sense to argue both that the expression el gibbôr means merely “mighty hero” and that it is a theophoric description of God. In light of the NT, we should understand it as a description of the Messiah as God.
            2. John 1:1. Even if Jesus is here called “a god” (as some have argued), since there is only one God, Jesus is that God. However, the “a god” rendering is incorrect. Other NT passages using the Greek word for God (theos) in the same construction are always rendered “God”: Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38; John 8:54; Phil. 2:13; Heb. 11:16. Passages in which a shift occurs from ho theos (“the God”) to theos (“God”) never imply a shift in meaning: Mark 12:27; Luke 20:37-38; John 3:2; 13:3; Rom. 1:21; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 4:10-11. In context, the preincarnate Christ (called “the Word”) is eternal (existing before creation, 1:1-2), is credited with creation (1:3, 10), is the object of faith (1:12), and has the divine glory (1:14)—all of which shows that he really is God.
            3. John 1:18. The best manuscripts have “God” here, not “Son.” The word monogenês, frequently rendered “only-begotten,” actually means “one of a kind,” “unique,” though in the NT always in the context of a son or daughter. Even if one translates “only-begotten,” the idea is not of a “begotten god” as opposed to an “unbegotten god.” The best translation is probably “God the only Son” (NRSV).
            4. John 20:28. Compare Rev. 4:11, in which the same author (John) uses the same construction in the plural (“our”) instead of the singular (“my”). See also Ps. 35:23. Note that Christ’s response indicates that Thomas’s acclamation was not wrong. Also note that John 20:17 does show that the Father was Jesus’ “God” (due to Jesus becoming a man), but the words “my God” as spoken by Thomas later in the same chapter must mean no less than in v. 17. Thus, what the Father is to Jesus in his humanity, Jesus is to Thomas (and therefore to us as well).
            5. Acts 20:28: “the church of God which he purchased with his own blood.” The variant readings (e.g. “the church of the Lord”) show that the original wording was understood to mean “his own blood,” not “the blood of his own [Son]” (since otherwise no one would have thought to change it). (No one seems to have thought to understand the text to mean “the blood of his own” until about a hundred years ago.) Thus all other renderings are attempts to evade the startling clarity and meaning of this passage.
            6. Rom. 9:5. While grammatically this is not the only possible interpretation, the consistent form of doxologies in Scripture, as well as the smoothest reading of the text, supports the identification of Christ as “God” in this verse.
            7. Titus 2:13. Grammatically and contextually, this is one of the strongest proof texts for the deity of Christ. Sharp’s first rule, properly understood, proves that the text should be translated “our great God and Savior” (cf. same construction in Luke 20:37; Rev. 1:6; and many other passages). Note also that Paul always uses the word “manifestation” (“appearing”) of Christ: 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2. Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8. The view that Paul means that Jesus Christ is “the glory of our great God and Savior” has several difficulties. For example, construing “Savior” as someone other than “Jesus Christ” in this context is awkward and implausible. Such alternate explanations would never have been entertained had Paul written “the appearing of the glory of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Thus, the root problem is the assumption that Paul could not have called Jesus God.
            8. Heb. 1:8. The rendering, “God is your throne,” is nonsense—God is not a throne, he is the one who sits on the throne! Also, “God is your throne,” if taken to mean God is the source of one’s rule, could be said about any angelic ruler—but Hebrews 1 is arguing that Jesus is superior to the angels.
            9. 2 Pet. 1:1. The same construction is used here as in Titus 2:13; see the parallel passages in 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18. See comments above on Titus 2:13.
            10. 1 John 5:20. Admittedly, biblical scholars are split on whether the “true God” in this text is the Father or the Son. Three considerations favor the Son. First, the closest antecedent for “this one” is Jesus Christ (“in his Son Jesus Christ. This one…”). Second, in 1:2 the “eternal life” is Jesus Christ (who was “with the Father”), an apparent example of inclusio (repetition of a theme or idea at the beginning and end of a text). Third, the confession form “This one is …” (houtos estin) strongly favors Jesus Christ, rather than the Father, as the subject, since John uses this language repeatedly with regard to Christ (John 1:30, 33, 34; 4:29, 42; 6:14, 42, 50, 58; 7:18, 25, 26, 40, 41; 1 John 5:6; of the man born blind, John 9:8, 9, 19, 20; of the disciple, John 21:24; of the anti-Christ, 1 John 2:22; 2 John 1:7), but not once for the Father. John has just used this formula for Christ earlier in the same chapter (1 John 5:6).
            B. Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh (the Lord)
            1. Rom. 10:9-13: Note the repeated “for” (gar), which links these verses closely together. The “Lord” of 10:13 (where kurios, “Lord,” translates the HebrewYahweh) must be the “Lord” of 10:9, 12.
            2. Phil. 2:9-11. In context, the “name that is above every name” is “Lord” (vs. 11), i.e., Jehovah.
            3. Heb. 1:10: Here God the Father addresses the Son as “Lord,” in a quotation from Ps. 102:25 (cf. 102:24, where the person addressed is called “God”). Since here the Father addresses the Son as “Lord,” this cannot be explained away as a text in which a creature addresses Christ as God/Lord in a merely representational sense.
            4. 1 Pet. 2:3-4: This verse is nearly an exact quotation of Ps. 34:8a, where “Lord” is Jehovah. From 1 Pet. 2:4-8 it is also clear that “the Lord” in v. 3 is Jesus.
            5. 1 Pet. 3:13-15: these verses are a clear reference to Is. 8:12-13, where the one who is to be regarded as holy is Jehovah.
            6. Texts where Jesus is spoken of as the “one Lord” (cf. Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29): 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:5; cf. Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 12:5.
            7. Many other texts that call Jesus “Lord” do so in ways that equate him with Yahweh: Matt. 3:3, Mark 1:3, and Luke 3:4 (cf. Is. 40:3); Matt. 7:21-22 and Luke 6:46; Matt. 8:25 and 14:30 (cf. Ps. 118:25); Acts 1:24 (addressing the Lord Jesus [cf. v. 21] in prayer and attributing to him divine knowledge); 2:21 (cf. Joel 2:32), 36; 7:59-60; 8:25; 1 Cor. 1:2 (calling on the Lord), 8 (the day of the Lord) [etc.], 31 (cf. Jer. 9:23-24); 2:16 (cf. Is. 40:13); 4:4-5; 5:4 (gathering in the name of the Lord); 6:11; 7:17, 32-35 (devotion to the Lord); 10:21-22; etc.
            C. Jesus has many other names or titles of God
            1. Titles belonging only to God
            a. The First and the Last (Beginning and End, Alpha and Omega): Rev. 1:7-8, 17b-18; 2:8; 22:13; cf. Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 21:6
            b. King of kings and Lord of lords: Rev. 17:14; 19:16; cf. Dan. 4:37; 1 Tim. 6:15
            2. Titles belonging in the ultimate sense only to God
            a. Savior: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 2:13, cf. v. 10; 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1 John 4:14; cf. Is. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10; on Jesus becoming the source of salvation; Heb. 5:9, cf. Ex. 15:2; Ps. 118:14, 21
            b. Shepherd: John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Ps. 23:1; Is. 40:11
            c. Bridegroom/Husband: Matt. 22:2; 25:1-13; Mark 2:19; John 3:29; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; cf. Is. 54:5; 62:5; Jer. 31:32
            d. Rock: 1 Cor. 10:4; cf. Is. 44:8
            3. Jesus’ self-declarations—his “I am” sayings
            a. Jesus’ “I am” (egô eimi) sayings with a predicate declare his divine functions: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 48; cf. 6:41, 51), “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the gate” of the sheep (John 10:7, 9), “I am the good shepherd” (10:11, 14), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6), “I am the [true] vine” (John 15:1, 5). In these sayings Jesus essentially claims to be everything his people need for eternal life.
            b. Jesus’ “I am” (egô eimi) sayings without a predicate declare his divine identity as the divine Son come to be the Messiah: “I am [he]; do not fear” (Matt. 14:27; Mark 6:50; John 6:20; cf. Is. 43:2, 5); “I am [he]” (Mark 14:62); “I am [he], the one speaking to you” (John 4:26, cf. Is. 52:6); “unless you believe that I am [he] you will die in your sins…then you will know that I am [he]” (John 8:24, 28, cf. Is. 43:10-11); “before Abraham came into being, I am” or “I am [he]” (John 8:58, note v. 59); “I know the ones I have chosen…you will believe that I am [he]” (John 13:18-19, cf. Is. 43:10); “I am [he]” (John 18:5, cf. vv. 6-8). Note the many parallels to the “I am” sayings of God in Isaiah, which virtually all biblical scholars agree are echoed by Jesus’ “I am” sayings in John. Some scholars also see at least an indirect connection to God’s declaration “I am who I am” in Ex. 3:14 (especially for John 8:58).
            4. The NT gives an extraordinary emphasis on Jesus’ “name,” stating that it is the highest of all names, Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:9-11; referring to it as “the Name,” Acts 5:41; 3 John 7; glorifying his name, Acts 19:13-18, cf. Ps. 20:7. Christians call on his name for salvation; they get baptized and receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life in his name; they cast out demons in his name; they suffer and risk their lives for his name; they do everything in his name: Matt. 7:22; 10:22; 19:29; 24:9; Mark 9:38-39; 13:13; Luke 10:17; 21:12, 17; John 1:12; 15:21; 20:31; Acts 2:21, 36, 38; 3:6, 16; 4:7, 10, 12, 17-18; 30; 5:28; 8:16; 9:14, 21, 27-28; 10:43, 48; 15:26; 16:18; 19: 5; 21:13; 22:16; Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:13-15; 6:11; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:14; 1 John 2:12; 1 John 3:23; 5:13; Rev. 2:3, 13; 3:8.
            D. Jesus received the honors due to God alone
            1. Honor: John 5:23; Heb. 3:3-4
            2. Love: Matt. 10:37; Luke 14:26; John 14:15, 21; 15:10; Eph. 6:24
            3. Prayer: John 14:14 (the word “me” in the text is debated, but in any case it is Jesus who answers the prayer); Acts 1:24-25; 7:59-60 (cf. Luke 23:34, 46); 9:14; 22:16; Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:2; 16:22; 2 Cor. 12:8-10 (where “the Lord” must be Jesus, cf. v. 9); 2 Thess. 2:16-17; Rev. 22:20-21
            4. Worship (proskuneô): Matt. 2:2, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9, 17 (cf. Matt. 4:9-10); Phil. 2:10-11 (cf. Is. 45:23); Heb. 1:6 (cf. Ps. 97:7); Rev. 1:17; 5:14 (cf. Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9)
            5. Religious or sacred service (latreuô): Dan. 7:14; Rev. 22:1-3
            6. Doxological praise: 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:20-21; 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Pet. 3:18; Rev. 1:5-6; 5:13
            7. Song: Eph. 5:19; Rev. 5:9-10; cf. Ps. 92:1; 95:1; 96:2; etc.
            8. Fear/reverence: 2 Cor. 5:10-11; Eph. 5:21; 6:7-8; Col. 3:22-25; 1 Pet. 3:14-16; cf. Deut. 6:13; 10:20; Prov. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; etc.; Is. 8:12-13
            9. Faith: Matt. 9:28; John 1:12; 3:15-18, 36; 6:35, 40; 7:37-39; 8:24; 11:25-26; 14:1; 20:31; Acts 3:16; 10:43; 16:31; 20:21; 22:19; 24:24; 26:18; Rom. 9:33; 10:11; Gal. 3:26; 1 Pet. 2:6; 1 John 3:23; 5:1, 10, 13
            dcmess@aol.com

          • Yes, Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is “God”, but he is not God the Father. Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, was born as Jesus Christ. “God” is a title, not a name. God the Father’s name is Elohim, who is distinguished from Jehovah, as the Hebrew version of the Old Testament states many times.

          • Tom
            this is 2 of part four of the trinity
            E. Jesus does the works of God
            1. Creation: John 1:3, 10; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2, 10; Rev. 3:14 (where archê probably means ruler or head); on “through” and “in” Christ, cf. Rom. 11:36; Heb. 2:10; Acts 17:28; cf. also Is. 44:24
            2. Sustains the universe: Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, 11-12
            3. Demonstrating divine sovereignty over nature: Matt. 8:23-27 par.; Matt. 14:13-33 par.; Matt. 15:32-39; Matt. 17:24-27; Mark 5:19-20; Luke 5:1-11; 7:11-16; John 2:1-11; John 21:1-14
            4. Speaking with divine authority: Matt. 5:20-22, etc.; 7:24-29; 24:35; Mark 1:22; 13:31; Luke 4:32; John 4:26; 7:46; cf. “Amen I say to you” (74 times in the Gospels); “the word of the Lord,” Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48-49; 15:35-36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess. 4:15
            5. Salvation:
            a. In general: See C.2.a. above
            b. Forgives sins: Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; note that Jesus forgives sins not committed against him.
            c. Sends the Spirit and his gifts: Matt. 3:11; Luke 24:49; John 1:33; 4:10, 15; 7:37-39; 15:26; 16:7-14; 20:22; Acts 2:33; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:5; Eph. 4:8-11
            d. All spiritual blessings (with the Father): Eph. 1:2-3; 2 Thess. 2:16-17; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2 John 3; Rev. 1:4; etc.
            6. Raising the dead: John 2:19-22; 5:28-29; 6:40, 54; 10:17-18, 27-28 (cf. Deut. 32:39); 11:25-26; Acts 2:24
            7. Judgment: Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:22-23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 1 Cor. 4:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Thess. 1:7-8; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:23
            8. All of them: John 5:19
            F. Jesus has all the attributes of God
            1. All of them: John 1:1; 12:45; 14:7-10; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 4:4; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:13, 15, 19; 2:9; Heb. 1:3
            2. Self-existent: John 5:26
            3. Unchangeable: Heb. 1:10-12 (in the same sense as YHWH); 13:8
            4. Eternal: John 1:1-3; 8:56-59; 17:5; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2, 10-12; 7:3
            5. Omnipresent: Matt. 8:5-13; 18:20; 28:20; Mark 7:24-30; Luke 7:1-10; John 1:47-49; 3:13; 4:46-54; Eph. 1:23; 4:10-11; Col. 3:11
            6. Omniscient: Matt. 9:4; 11:21-23; 12:25; Mark 2:6-8; 8:31-32 (etc.); Luke 6:8; 10:13-15; 21:20-24; John 2:23-24; 4:16-18; 11:11-15; 13:10-11, 21-29, 36-38 par.; 16:30-31; 21:17; Acts 1:24; 1 Cor. 4:5; Rev. 2:23; cf. Mark 13:30-32
            7. Omnipotent: Matt. 28:18; John 2:19-22; 10:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; 2 Cor. 12:9; Eph. 1:19-21; Col. 2:10; 1 Pet. 3:22
            8. Loving (in a preeminent, unlimited way): John 13:34; 15:9, 12-13; Rom. 8:35-39; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:19; 5:2; Rev. 1:4; cf. Rom. 5:8
            9. Incomprehensible: Matt. 11:25-27
            G. Jesus is “equal with God”
            1. John 5:18: Although John is relating what the Jews understood Jesus to be claiming, the context shows they were basically right: In v. 17 Jesus claimed to be exempt from the Sabbath along with His Father, and in 5:19-29 he claimed to do all of the works of the Father and to deserve the same honor as the Father.
            2. Phil. 2:6: Jesus did not attempt to seize recognition by the world as being equal with God, but attained that recognition by humbling himself and being exalted by the Father (vv. 7-11).
            H. Jesus holds God’s position
            1. Jesus sits on God’s throne, occupying the highest position possible: Ps. 110:1; Matt. 22:44; 25:31; 26:64; Mark 12:36; 14:62; Luke 20:42-43; 22:69; Acts 2:33-35; 5:31; 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 1:20; 2:6; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12-13; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rev. 3:21; 7:17; 22:1, 3
            2. Jesus rules over all things: Matt. 11:25-27; 28:18; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:35; 13:3; 16:15; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor. 15:27-28; Eph. 1:22; Phil. 2:10; 3:21; Heb. 1:2; 2:8; Rev. 5:13
            3. Jesus rules in this position forever: Luke 1:33; Eph. 1:19b-21; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 11:15; cf. Eph. 5:5; Rev. 22:1, 3
            I. Jesus is the Son of God
            1. “Son” in Scripture can mean simply one possessing the nature of something, whether literal or figurative (e.g. “son of man,” “sons of thunder,” “sons of disobedience,” cf. Mark 3:7; Eph. 2:1).
            2. Usually when “son of” is used in relation to a person (son of Abraham, son of David, etc.) the son possesses the nature of his father.
            3. Jesus is clearly not the literal Son of God, i.e., he was not physically procreated by God.
            4. On the other hand, Jesus is clearly the Son of God in a unique sense (cf. “only-begotten son,” John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9) and in a preeminent sense (i.e. the term is more fitting for him than for anyone else, e.g., Heb. 1:4-5).
            5. Scripture is explicit that the Son possesses God’s essence or nature (cf. F. above).
            6. Jesus’ repeated claim to be the Son of God was consistently understood by the Jewish leaders as a blasphemous claim to equality with God, an understanding Jesus never denied: John 5:17-23; 8:58-59; 10:30-39; 19:7; Matt. 26:63-65.
            7. Jesus is therefore by nature God’s Son, not God’s creation or God’s servant; Jesus is God’s Son who became a servant for our sake and for the Father’s glory (John 13:13-15; 17:4; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:4-13; 3:1-6; 5:8; etc.).
            J. Objections
            1. Prov. 8:22: This text is not a literal description of Christ, but a poetic personification of wisdom (cf. all of Prov. 1-9, esp. 8:12-21; 9:1-6), poetically saying that God “got” his wisdom before he did anything—i.e., that God has always had wisdom.
            2. Col. 1:15: Does not mean that Christ is the first creature, since he is here presented as the Son and principal heir of the Father (cf. vv. 12-14); thus “firstborn” here means “heir” (cf. esp. Ps. 89:27; see also Gen. 43:33; 48:14-20; Ex. 4:22; 1 Chron. 5:1-3; Jer. 31:9); note that v. 16 speaks of the Son as the Creator, not as a creature (cf. E.1. above).
            3. Rev. 3:14: “Beginning” (archê) in Rev. as a title means source or one who begins, i.e. Creator (cf. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); elsewhere Christ is called thearchê in the sense of “ruler,” Col. 1:18, cf. plural archai, “rulers,” in Col. 1:16; 2:10, 15, also Luke 12:11; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Tit. 3:1; cf. Luke 20:20; Jude 6; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21. An alternative view is that archê in Rev. 3:14 refers to Christ’s position as head of the new creation.
            4. 1 Cor. 11:3; 15:28: Christ is still subordinate to God, but as the incarnate Son to the Father; i.e., they are equal in nature, but the Son is subordinate relationally to God, especially due to the fact that he has permanently assumed human nature. (It may also be that the Son is in some sense eternally “subordinate” to the Father, though if so only in a functional sense; Christians who affirm the Trinity hold different views on this question.)
            5. John 20:17; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 15:24; 2 Cor. 1:3; Rev. 1:6; 3:12: Jesus calls the Father “my God” because he is still man as well as God; note the distinction between “my God” and “your God” in John 20:17 (i.e., Jesus never speaks of “our God” including himself with the disciples).
            6. Mark 13:32: Jesus’ statement that he did not know the time of his return is to be explained by his voluntary acceptance of the humble form and likeness of a man (Phil. 2:7); in fact Jesus, as God, did know all things (John 16:30), and after his resurrection he does not including himself as not knowing (Acts 1:6-7).
            7. Mark 10:17-18: Jesus does not deny being God, but simply tells the man that he has no business calling anyone “good” in an unqualified sense except God. Those who acknowledge that Christ is perfectly good but deny that he is God have a problem at this point.
            8. Heb. 4:15: Jesus was tempted, cf. James 1:13; but note that Jesus could not sin, John 5:19. God, in his divine nature, cannot be tempted, but if he incarnated himself (John 1:1, 14), then in his human nature he could genuinely experience temptation.
            9. John 1:18: No one has seen God, but people have seen Jesus, e.g. 1 John 1:1-2; but note that no man can see the glorified Jesus either, 1 Tim. 6:16, and to see Jesus is to see the Father, John 14:9.
            10. 1 Tim. 1:17: God cannot die, but Jesus did, e.g. Phil. 2:8; but of course the point of 1 Tim. 1:17 is that God’s divine nature is immortal, not that God could not assume mortal human nature. Note that no one could take Jesus’ life from him, he could not remain dead, and he raised himself: John 10:18; Acts 2:24; John 2:19-22.
            11. 1 Cor. 8:6: Father called God, Jesus called Lord: but here “God” and “Lord” are synonymous (cf. v. 5; cf. also Rom. 14:3-12 for a good example of “God” and “Lord” as interchangeable); moreover, this text no more denies that Jesus is God than it does that the Father is Lord (Matt. 11:25); cf. Jude 4, where Jesus is the only Lord.
            12. 1 Tim. 2:5: Jesus here supposedly distinct from God; but Jesus is also distinct from (fallen) men, yet is himself a man; likewise Jesus is distinct from God (the Father), but is also God.
            13. Deut. 4:12, 15-25; God not appear in a human form to Israel, lest they fall into idolatry; but this does not rule out his appearing in human form later after they had learned to abhor idolatry.
            14. In many texts Jesus is distinguished from God: He is the Son of God, was sent by God, etc.; in all these texts “God” is used as a name for the person most commonly called God, i.e., the Father.

            I will send you next, God the Holy Spirit

            dcmess@aol.com

          • Yes, Jesus (Jehovah) was the Creator, under the direction of the Father; Yes, Jesus will be our judge; Yes, Jesus had many of the attributes of His Father, but he was not omniscient, omnipresent, or perfect during his mortal life (Mark 13:32; Matthew 5:48); No, Jesus was not “self-existent”–he is the “firstborn” (Psalms 89:27; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 3:14); Jesus was not omnipotent until after his resurrection (Matthew 28:18); Jesus was the Son of God and not equal to God the Father (John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:28); Matthew Bowman says, “Jesus is clearly not the literal son of God, i.e., he was not physically procreated by the God”, but he gives no reference to support his statement; on the contrary, the Bible clearly says that Jesus was God’s “Only begotten Son” (John 1:14; 1:18; 3:16; 1 John 4:9; see also Luke 1:23).
            In Matthew Bowman’s analysis, the last section he has is “Objections” where he lists many scriptures that conflict with his own theory that Jesus Christ is the same person as God the Father.

          • Tom , this is my last of my 3 part answer sorry that it took so long, but I missed it…
            You begin
            I say there is far more corroboration that Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and five other people 20 times than there is corroboration that an angel appeared to you once.>>

            [Excuse me??? who is taking about moroni?...we are discussing the TALL TALE...moroni/Nephi has nothing to do with the alleged first vision, are you smoking again?]

            And the Book of Mormon–you say the golden plates are “fiction.” But there are 13 people who have left their written testimonies that the plates existed, and the testimonies of the three people who acted as scribes while Joseph translated the plates>>

            [Just because they say so it does not prove the content is fiction. There is nothing in history that there are any signatures anywhere, and that is why you only see their names. Joe just penciled their names in the book, there is no signatures in the BOM introduction, as you see in the document of the independence of the USA]

            Joseph and his family was far too poor to come up with the 50 pounds of gold that would have been needed to create the plates and it is impossible that he or his family could have created the plates without others in his family or community knowing about it, let alone engraving all of the pages.

            [That is why these plates never existed..(IT IS PURE FICTION)..do you know how much a 6 BY 8 book of gold plates weights?
            (Smith stated, "These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin, History of the Church Vol 4, p537)

            Sheets of gold would weight? about 200 lbs or more (gold weights 1,204 lbs per cubit foot
            The BOM , Tell us that these plates were of pure gold
            Mosiah 8:9 in the Book of Mormon mentions 24 Jaredite plates that were "filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold"? (which means these golden plates were also of Gold)]

            [Also in May 15, 1999 issue of the LDS Church News ran an article titled “Hands-on opportunity.” Speaking of Joseph Smith, it read, “He had also been instructed by an angel, Moroni, who had met with him each year for four years. On his last visit, he was entrusted with plates of solid gold, which he had been translating by the power of the Spirit.”>>

            [But for the sake of argument let us supposed that these fictional plates weighted about 50 pounds
            let me tell you what Lucy (Joseph mother said)

            His mother, Lucy Mack Smith, remembered the day this way:
            “The plates were secreted about three miles from home… Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and, wrapping them in his linen frock, placed them under his arm and started for home.”
            After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be more safe to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again; and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house. lie was still altogether speechless from fright and the fatigue of running” (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Smith, pp.107-108).

            So Tom, do me a favor
            the next time you stop at a hardware store. Pick up a bag of cement, tuck it under your arm, and imagine yourself carrying it for a distance of three miles running as fast as you can at least part of the way. For added effect you could jump over a display or two.

            You say

            He accomplished the entire translation in a period of just over 60 days–something that would have been impossible for a person with no formal education without the gift of God.>>

            [Or perhaps with the gift of Satan..].

            All of the other theories about the origin of the Book of Mormon (Spaulding theory, View of the Hebrews theory, written by Sidney Rigdon theory, etc.) have all been proven false. I agree that there was no one with Joseph Smith when he had his First Vision, but he did tell the account of it in eight different written records we have.>>

            [all these accounts are not the same, they each contradict the official account that was eventually published in 1842]

            You continue
            You say that those accounts of the First Vision were never written until 18 years later; I say that they were written before then, but more importantly he gave his testimony many times that the First Vision occurred.>>

            [You keep saying he told...but you have failed to give me the quotes where someone else corroborates the main TALL TALE (Father Son bit of 1820 ) I gave you 18 years to find me a third party...]

            What if he didn’t give his testimony of that until 18 years later; the issue is not when he gave the account 18 years later, but whether the account was true. >>

            [Yes I agree, matter of fact J Smith did not have to say anything, you would have tons of evidence that this event happened/took place, because you would have his mother/close relative/history/newspapers/friends/foe all corroborating that they hear/witness Joseph Smith TELL
            But you don't have anything to prove he TOLD This TALL TALE...]

            You say the burden of proof is on the Mormons to prove that it is true. I say Joseph Smith said it was true and you have no evidence that he lied. >>

            {Joseph said he TOLD but there is no evidence that he told…Joseph lie plain and simple…]

            The absence of evidence is not evidence. Not only did Joseph Smith give accounts of the First Vision, but he gave accounts of the visit of John the Baptist, the visit of Peter, James, and John, the visit of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus Christ to the Kirtland Temple and in each case, Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon were present for these appearances and corroborated these events. You want to contend that Joseph Smith lied about the First Vision, but ignore all of these other events that can be established without question. Dwight Rogers has answered all your questions. He has shown that the Jesus taught in the Book of Mormon is the same one taught in the Bible. He and I have shown you that the Bible is full of scriptures that we are the spirit children of God and that we will become like our Father if we keep His commandments. I have shown you that there are 12 occasions in the Bible where God appeared to man.>>

            [And I responded that you own "prophet" contradicts you, when Joseph Fielding Smith ( "tenth prophet") Writes in Doctrines of Salvation Vol 1 p 27, that when God is mentioned and where he has appeared it was Jehovah who talked with Abraham, with Noah,Enoch, Moses and all the prophets....the father has never dealt with man directly...
            Did you checked that quote?]

            You maintain that the Bible is the sole source of authority. But which part of the Bible do you accept as the sole source of authority–the Old Testament, the New Testament or both? Which version do you accept–the 73 books accepted by the Catholic Christians, the 75 books accepted by the Eastern Orthodox Christians, the 74 books accepted by the Russian Orthodox Christians, the 81 books accepted by the Coptic Christians, or the 66 books accepted by the Protestant and Mormon Christians? No, Dan, Joseph Smith was not a liar; you are just an unbeliever.>>

            [Very easy to respond
            All true Christian denominations believe the Bible as one of the essentials to true Christianity
            And the Bible tell us that Jesus put his imprimatur in the OT the same OT that we have today, the same OT that was found in the caves/scrolls of the dead sea…
            Jesus quoted to the two disciples in the road to Emmaus…
            Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. …
            Luk 24:44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
            So here my Precious LORD Jesus validates the OT, He never ever quoted by any other “religious” book of that era, like wise the disciples quoted copiously from the OT
            And Jesus again gives us the time when the NT would take place, when He told His disciples
            Joh 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.
            Joh 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

            That my friend tells me that this was the beginning of the NT
            So which Bible I accept? The OT mentioned by Christ Himself and the NT Mentioned by Christ again.

            dcmess@aol.com

          • Dan,
            It is come time for me to discontinue this discussion. I see now why Dan Peterson and Robert Millett stopped conversing with you–you are totally impervious to the most rational evidence. If I was learning anything from you it would be worth continuing, but I have better things to do.

          • Tom, Have you noticed that not once has Dan responded the evidence that was put before him in Joseph’s own Journal about the 1st vision. As I first stated.. If you can believe ONE thing that happened with Joseph.. then everything else just falls into place. But Dan tries very hard to convince himself that none of this is real.. for if he should find out that Moroni did visit Joseph.. then how could he deny the first vision? Would Joseph’s encounter with an Angel then allow him to lie about everything else? All those people in his life that have witnessed the angels, and miracles that were performed. Dan has said it is all from Satan… just like the Jews accused Christ of being Satan himself healing all those people.

            It just amazes me how he has indeed created a stumbling block so huge.. I am not sure he will ever get past it. Even if an angel did appear him.. he would still say it is the same angel that Paul talked about.

            I was going to say the same thing to him.. it is not worth the time to go around in circles with him. But… good try anyway. :-)

          • Tom, Have you noticed that not once has Dan responded the evidence that was put before him in Joseph’s own Journal about the 1st vision. As I first stated.. If you can believe ONE thing that happened with Joseph.. then everything else just falls into place. But Dan tries very hard to convince himself that [...]

            Excuse me ???
            I have responded to all your questions point by point. That is not true for Tom or Nirom…and just exactly that you asked me? and have not responded?
            There is nothing in j Smith own hand writing about Joseph seeing the Father and the Son, I told you that all of these eight “versions” contradict the official version of the two personages,…remember Joseph never ever said that he saw the Father and the Son…

          • Ahhh yessss.. I forgot your requirement. It now has to be in the handwriting of Joseph himself.. or… it didn’t really happen. LOL Just keep building a bigger stumbling block Dan. You can make it as big as you want. Bigger even!

          • Tom Writes…
            It is come time for me to discontinue this discussion. I see now why Dan Peterson and Robert Millett stopped conversing with you–you are totally impervious to the most rational evidence. If I was learning anything from you it would be worth continuing, but I have better things to do.

            I respond
            Peterson, and Millet , like you , were no able to even try to reconciled this TALL TALE…

            Last Friday at work, an individual stopped me and asked me about my signs…(I have two magnetic signs with the logo
            “WhatMormonsDontTell.com” attached to the back of my tailgate.?

            He slowed his auto as he yelled at me…”whats with the signs?” I approached the car, and I asked him if he was LDS?
            He in-turn asked me if I was ever a mormon, I said no.
            I asked him a question about the foundation of mormonism, and he rapidly pointed his finger at my face and exclaimed in a mandatory voice,,,I am a bishop, and you don’t know what you are talking about…I then said to him, seriously, we need to get together and have a meaningful conversation, about the First Vision, I gave him my card. (he took it)

            He said I don’t have to talk to you, I know the vision is true…I responded how do you know is true? he said the Holy Ghost testified to me , that it is true. ..is that right? (He gave me …rational evidence??)

            I responded, How do you know it was the “holy spirit”? he said because you should know them by its fruits I said maybe it was the devil. he is a spirit…he looked puzzled…and drove away…he yelled at me and said , “you better take those signs off ”

            I am going to see him again, he works in the same vicinity and I am going to asked him, that he can easily test this”holy ghost”

            [1 John 4:1
            4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world]

            This is how you can test this “holy ghost spirit”…By looking for the evidence that J Smith left…tons of evidence, if Joe told.(from 1820 to 1838)
            And if he finds this evidence, then this “spirit” told him the truth…in the other hand, if there is no evidence, then the “spirit” is in cahoots with Joe by reinforcing a lie , an action to deceived.
            The devil is the father of lies

            John 8:44-45
            44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
            (from New International Version)

          • If only the Apostle Paul had as much written about his vision on the road to damascus as the Prophet Joseph has. I would like to see Paul’s hand written account of his vision. Or hey.. better yet.. Moses. Where is his hand written account and verification by all those he told his vision to?? No… no other Prophet except for Joseph Smith has been under the microscope by disbelievers. Jesus Christ, the son of God.. or as the Christians believe.. God.. (since there is only one God to them) could not heal the sick in his own city he grew up in for lack of one thing of the people. Their Faith.

            Without Faith.. even God can not perform miracles. And Dan here.. wants proof of everything. Test the spirits he says. I say.. I have. And I have been testified to that Joseph did indeed see the Father and the Son… but he saw much more. Thank goodness he did not reveal all that he saw. But now Dan will say.. you have been testified to by Satan. Ah yes.. the same answer that the Jews gave to the new Christians.

            I am so happy to be a member of this Church. Taste of the sweetness of the fruit of this tree. Know this.. the Priesthood of God is in full force today and is with only one church.. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There is no other way.

          • Nirom writes

            If only the Apostle Paul had as much written about his vision on the road to damascus as the Prophet Joseph has. I would like to see Paul’s hand written account of his vision.>>

            (You smoking again.?..no one is asking to see hand written account???? since you are gasping for air, well just make up anything to stay afloat.)

            Or hey.. better yet.. Moses. Where is his hand written account and verification by all those he told his vision to?? >>

            (Again get off your pale horse and deal with the real issue. where did I ever asked to see the written account by J Smith???)

            No… no other Prophet except for Joseph Smith has been under the microscope by disbelievers. Jesus Christ, the son of God.. or as the Christians believe.. God.. (since there is only one God to them) could not heal the sick in his own city he grew up in for lack of one thing of the people. Their Faith.
            Without Faith.. even God can not perform miracles. And Dan here.. wants proof of everything.>>

            (Just the alleged first vision father son bit…Let me remind you, that what I am asking is very simple, if it happened.

            No different if a guy claims he won the 400 million lottery…this guy does not even have to say anything…18 or 22 years later, you will find TONS of evidence, that he did win the lottery…newspaper accounts galore, members of his immediate family would know…the banks and other institutions would know…his girl friend and many other groups that received some of this money….but IF you don’t find anything like, I just described above.? ..this guy is flat out lying. Period!

            [Back to Joe...he claims he told this vision...(mind you he never used the father son bit...just a "vision."..Joe Said he told this minister he had a vision...and goes on to say the minister ridiculed him
            "...I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them....'(Pearl of Great Price J S-History 1:21)

            Here my friend is the first red flag...the preacher does not respond like a regular preacher...any normal preacher would have asked Joe...what kind of vision?? or back to the guy that wins the 400 million lottery....( winner: I just won the lottery...normal person.?..there is no such thing as winning the lottery.???..) see my point? : Normal person, how much did you win?...normal preacher: What kind of vision...??]

            (Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:21)

            Test the spirits he says. I say.. I have. And I have been testified to that Joseph did indeed see the Father and the Son…>>

            [And just how did you test this spirit Nirom, just how did you do it?....did you give him and answer sheet and a number 2 pencil....??

            I told you how to do it...follow what the Bible teaches and you will find that you have a false prophet and you been had big time...]

            but he saw much more. Thank goodness he did not reveal all that he saw. But now Dan will say.. you have been testified to by Satan. Ah yes.. the same answer that the Jews gave to the new Christians.>>
            Excuse me??…what bible are you reading?… the J Smith inspired bible?…there is no where in the real Bible where non believers throw at their faces of the believers at Jesus time that what they had was of the devil….

            I am so happy to be a member of this Church. Taste of the sweetness of the fruit of this tree. Know this.. the Priesthood of God is in full force today and is with only one church.. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There is no other way.]

            Nirom, you are boasting?
            But you can not out do your own so called prophet
            This is what Joseph said in May of 1844 , just one month before he was “rewarded” for boasting…

            “…Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last.
            I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam
            A large majority of the whole have stood by me.
            Neither Paul,John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it
            I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.
            The followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter -day Saints never ran away from me yet…When they they can rid of me, the devil will also go” (History of the Church Vol 6, pp 408, 409)—noticed here Joe said the devil will leave when Joe leaves—
            And yes he was rewarded….read what a revelation by Joe said about people boasting

            “…4 For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.

            (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 3:4)

            But Nirom, Tom, I ask The True God of the Bible to forgive you, because you do not know what you are doing…
            May God have Mercy in the mormon people that have been deceived by a god that was a man and became god…a no god at all…

          • Dan says: there is no where in the real Bible where non believers throw at their faces of the believers at Jesus time that what they had was of the devil –

            Dan.. Are you serious? You believe that after what the Pharasees have said and done that no one would have accused the Christians of being of the Devil? Really? Turn to your Bible. In the 12th Chapter of Matthew.. in the 22nd through the 24th verse.. what does it say?

            Here.. let me quote it for you:

            22 ¶Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

            23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

            24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

            Ah.. the works of Jesus were by Satan.

          • Nirom
            Wrong again…

            <>

            [And let me enlighten you, maybe you will learn something....and you boast you know the Bible??]

            <>

            [These two were not believers for one was posses with a devil....not believers ok? and here this passage does not indicates, they became "Christians"(believers) after one was healed of the devil and the other was able to speak...no where in this passage it indicates they became believers...]

            23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?>>

            [The non believers are accusing Jesus, He is God the Son, he did not become a Christian....so these non believers are questioning God the Son...not the believers..]

            24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.>>

            [Again the Pharisees are accusing Jesus...not accusing the believers...]

            This is what you said.
            Thank goodness he did not reveal all that he saw. But now Dan will say.. you have been testified to by Satan. Ah yes.. the same answer that the Jews gave to the new Christians.

            ["...Ah yes.. the same answer that the Jews gave to the new Christians.." ??? this your statement, is NOT talking or questioning the two who were healed, but they are actually attacking Jesus and saying his works are of the devil....]

            Ah.. the works of Jesus were by Satan….and the Pharisees are addressing Jesus not the two who were healed, and again the passage does not indicate they became Christians Even if they became Christians the Pharisees are attacking Jesus not the new believers….and you blew it Nirom…hope you don’t teach the Bible to anyone

            Believers were not called Christians when Jesus was alive, but were called Christians first in Antioch

            Acts 11:26
            So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
            (from New International Version)
            And Nirom, why don’t you answer my answers point by point? and where is that statement you accused me of asking the first vision in J Smith own writing…?

            dcmess@aol.com

          • Dan.. you skipped right over what I had said. Here.. You believe that after what the Pharasees have said and done that no one would have accused the Christians of being of the Devil? Really?

            Christians are those who believed on Christ. I don’t care what they called themselves back then. Whether it was in Antioch or not. I am not debating when the name became known what it is today.

            You said: “any thing to confirmed J Smith TOLD from 1820 TO 1838 time frame”

            I said and I asked.. did you read his journal of 9-11 Nov. 1835? Here he speaks of the first time.

            During a 10-year period (1832–42), Joseph Smith wrote or dictated at least four accounts of the First Vision. These accounts are similar in many ways, but they include some differences in emphasis and detail. These differences are complementary. Together, his accounts provide a more complete record of what occurred. The 1838 account found in the Pearl of Great Price is the primary source referred to in the Church.

            You said: “IF he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town…(About 600+ population in 1820) was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the “Father and Son” words to that effect.

            Who ever said he told everybody in town? Where do you get this stuff from? He did not tell everyone in town. But I am sure it got around enough that many did persecute him for what he said he saw. Just because no one wrote in their journals about some 14 year old kid.. is not the fault of Joseph Smith. And just because a newspaper did not write about some 14 year old kid.. does not make it news worthy enough to print it does not mean it did not happen. Satan probably knew that you would want just one person to write something down and he made sure no one wrote it down just so you would never join the church and to cause you a great stumbling block.

            So I am going to list this for you. It has already been listed once you have a tendency to overlook things you do not want to see.

            1832 account—
            Brief Summary: This is the earliest known account of the First Vision written by Joseph Smith. Source: Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, pp. 1-6. Published in: Dean Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith.

            1835 account—
            Brief Summary: This account was written by Joseph Smith in his diary. Joseph described his vision to Robert Matthias, also known as “Joshua the Jewish minister. Joseph Smith Diary (1835–1836), original in Joseph Smith Collection, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah. Published in: Dean Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith.

            1835 (Erastus Holmes account)—
            Brief Summary: Erastus Holmes account Deseret News 2.15 (May 29, 1852); also in Millennial Star 15. 27 (July 2, 1853): 424; Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 79-80; cf. Vogel, Early Mormon Documents I: 207; DHC 2. 312.

            1840 (Orson Pratt account)

            1842 (Joseph Smith History of the Church)—
            Brief Summary: Joseph Smith’s History of the Church Times and Seasons, 3. 10 (15 Mar. 1842): 726-28

            1842 (Wentworth letter account)—
            Brief Summary: Wentworth letter. (Times and Seasons, 3.9 (1 Mar. 1842), p. 706-710

            1842 (Orson Hyde account) (Click here for full article)

            1843 (The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette)—
            Brief Summary: “The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith, the Temple, the Mormons, etc.,” editor, David Nye White, The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette 58 (September 15, 1843): 3

            1843 (Levi Richards account)—
            Brief Summary: Levi Richards’s diary about Joseph Smith preaching in the summer of 1843 and repeating the Lord’s first message to him that no church was His (see Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1980), p. 215

            1844 (Daniel Rupp account)—
            Brief Summary: : “Latter Day Saints, by Joseph Smith, Nauvoo, Illinois,” in I. Daniel Rupp, HE PASA EKKLESIA: An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States (Philadelphia: J. Y. Humphreys, 1844), pp. 404; The account for Rupp was published in the original history of the Church published in “History of Joseph Smith,” Millennial Star 22. 7 (February 18, 1860): 102-3; also in Dean Jesse, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:448.

            1844 (Alexander Neibaur account)—
            Brief Summary: Alexander Neibaur Journal, 24 May 1844

          • Dan.. you skipped right over what I had said. Here.. You believe that after what the Pharasees have said and done that no one would have accused the Christians of being of the Devil? Really?>>

            [You speculate...the Bible does not say so....]

            Christians are those who believed on Christ. I don’t care what they called themselves back then. Whether it was in Antioch or not. I am not debating when the name became known what it is today.>>

            [Christians are those who believe or accept the Bible as the only source of authority. The only way to know the real God is by studying the Bible.
            And then the real Jesus of the Bible reveals the Father to you and Holy Spirit guides you into all truth]

            You said: “any thing to confirmed J Smith TOLD from 1820 TO 1838 time frame”
            I said and I asked.. did you read his journal of 9-11 Nov. 1835? Here he speaks of the first time.>>

            [This Journal , refers to the earliest known account and is in J Smith own hand writing
            It first became PUBLIC by a mormon doctoral student named Paul Cheesman. in 1965....
            This account has been suppressed for over 130 years! hidden away in the LDS vaults
            the probably reason? it differs greatly from the "official version"]

            During a 10-year period (1832–42), Joseph Smith wrote or dictated at least four accounts of the First Vision. These accounts are similar in many ways, but they include some differences in emphasis and detail. These differences are complementary. >>

            [These accounts they all contradict the official account. none of them mention the Father Son...]

            Together, his accounts provide a more complete record of what occurred. The 1838 account found in the Pearl of Great Price is the primary source referred to in the Church.>>

            [This account was first written by Orson Pratt in a little pamphlet entitled "Remarkable visions" 1838-40
            Neither Pratt or Joe ever identified these two personages as gods/deity]

            You said: “IF he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in town…(About 600+ population in 1820) was bitterly persecuted…not a single time you will find the statement that he saw the “Father and Son” words to that effect.
            Who ever said he told everybody in town? Where do you get this stuff from? He did not tell everyone in town>>

            Nirom
            I have included Joseph own statement, several times,where he claims he told everybody in town!!!!
            Here it is for the umpteen time

            this is what J Smith says he TOLD!
            . “…I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.
            23 It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
            24 However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
            25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation……
            27 I continued to pursue my common vocations in life until the twenty-first of September , one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men , both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision
            ..(PofGP J Smith History 1:22-27)
            Noticed , that not a single time he mentions, the father son as deities…gods…

            But I am sure it got around enough that many did persecute him for what he said he saw. Just because no one wrote in their journals about some 14 year old kid.. is not the fault of Joseph Smith. And just because a newspaper did not write about some 14 year old kid.. does not make it news worthy enough to print it does not mean it did not happen. Satan probably knew that you would want just one person to write something down and he made sure no one wrote it down just so you would never join the church and to cause you a great stumbling block.>>

            [Your statement here destroys logic....if he ever said he saw the Father and the Son, during a revival? and is no big deal?...imagine everybody looking for gold (a revival is looking to get back to God) and someone a boy, discovers a big chunk of Gold in many sizes?...everyone would flock to see this find...and this boy would be lauded as a hero...
            and you say, the newspapers would not publish it????
            If someone wins the 400 million lottery , it is not publish? seeing God the Father and the Son, during a revival? and you say it is no big deal?...but again...this only proves J Smith lie big time OK?]

            ..So I am going to list this for you. It has already been listed once you have a tendency to overlook things you do not want to see.
            1832 account—
            Brief Summary: This is the earliest known account of the First Vision written by Joseph Smith. Source: Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, pp. 1-6. Published in: Dean Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith.
            1835 account—
            Brief Summary: This account was written by Joseph Smith in his diary. Joseph described his vision to Robert Matthias, also known as “Joshua the Jewish minister. Joseph Smith Diary (1835–1836), original in Joseph Smith Collection, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah. Published in: Dean Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith.
            1835 (Erastus Holmes account)—
            Brief Summary: Erastus Holmes account Deseret News 2.15 (May 29, 1852); also in Millennial Star 15. 27 (July 2, 1853): 424; Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 79-80; cf.
            Vogel, Early Mormon Documents I: 207; DHC 2. 312.>>

            [All these accounts mentioned a vision that contradict the official account, and that is my main point...WHERE IN THESE ACCOUNTS PRIOR TO 1838-1842 IS THE STATEMENT THAT Joe SAW THE FATHER AND THE SON.....????]

            1840 (Orson Pratt account)
            1842 (Joseph Smith History of the Church)—
            Brief Summary: Joseph Smith’s History of the Church Times and Seasons, 3. 10 (15 Mar. 1842): 726-28
            1842 (Wentworth letter account)—
            Brief Summary: Wentworth letter. (Times and Seasons, 3.9 (1 Mar. 1842), p. 706-710
            1842 (Orson Hyde account) (Click here for full article)
            1843 (The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette)—
            Brief Summary: “The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith, the Temple, the Mormons, etc.,” editor, David Nye White, The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette 58 (September 15, 1843): 3
            1843 (Levi Richards account)—
            Brief Summary: Levi Richards’s diary about Joseph Smith preaching in the summer of 1843 and repeating the Lord’s first message to him that no church was His (see Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1980), p. 215
            1844 (Daniel Rupp account)—
            Brief Summary: : “Latter Day Saints, by Joseph Smith, Nauvoo, Illinois,” in I. Daniel Rupp, HE PASA EKKLESIA: An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States (Philadelphia: J. Y. Humphreys, 1844), pp. 404; The account for Rupp was published in the original history of the Church published in “History of Joseph Smith,” Millennial Star 22. 7 (February 18, 1860): 102-3; also in Dean Jesse, Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:448.
            1844 (Alexander Neibaur account)—
            Brief Summary: Alexander Neibaur Journal, 24 May 1844>>

            [THESE ACCOUNTS ABOVE DO NOT COUNT...The cat was out of the bag in 1838....so anyone describing the cat after 1838 ...is not original..]..

            I will repeat the my question again!

            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? 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…
            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”
            Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years…well, I will extend the frame time?….. 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 anyone 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…
            Dan
            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 says: Just the alleged first vision father son bit…Let me remind you, that what I am asking is very simple, if it happened.

            I say: It did happen. What spirit are you asking? Satan would surely be telling the story that this never happened when it did. And I think of myself at 14 and going to catholic catechism. One didn’t ask questions.

            So when you say: “Here my friend is the first red flag…the preacher does not respond like a regular preacher…any normal preacher would have asked Joe…what kind of vision??”

            He had told him what kind of vision.. you even printed it: “I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had.”

            If he gave him an account of the vision.. what do you think that means?

            It is common knowledge that people left their own churches looking for prophets in a church.. looking for miracles in a church.. knowing that the heavens had been closed for over 1800 years.. and then some 14 year old boy.. opens them back up. He won the Lottery!!! But nobody wanted to believe it. I have no problem seeing the preachers of that day treating some 14 yr old snot nosed kid with contempt. Just as you treat him with contempt. No different.

            The vision started how? With a light. And then what did Joseph say happened? “One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!.”

            Now I ask. If the Angel Moroni happened.. and John the Baptist happened.. and Peter, James and John happened.. Why do you have a hard time believing that the first part of the “1st Vision” happened? If everything else happened.. why would you doubt? Why would he have to lie? For what purpose?

            Ah.. you don’t believe the Angel Moroni came and appeared to him. You THINK that the plates were made of Gold.. and that destroys Joseph’s testimony?

            You THINK they were made of pure Gold. YET… you dismiss the testimony of those who lifted them and touched them and guessed their actual weight? You dismiss the testimony of the other witnesses?

            You Dan have a big stumbling block to get over. But it is you who creates it. You will be shown that you had the opportunity to accept a greater light.. a greater teaching.. and you.. like the Jews in the time of Christ.. have rejected it. It is you my friend that I pray for. For you are damned.

          • Dan says: Just the alleged first vision father son bit…Let me remind you, that what I am asking is very simple, if it happened.

            I say: It did happen. What spirit are you asking? Satan would surely be telling the story that this never happened when it did. >>

            [on the contrary, the devil got the leaders of your church and now you blindly follow...]

            And I think of myself at 14 and going to catholic catechism. One didn’t ask questions.
            So when you say: “Here my friend is the first red flag…the preacher does not respond like a regular preacher…any normal preacher would have asked Joe…what kind of vision??”>>

            [Any normal preacher that knows/study the Bible will not believe anyone that tells him he saw the Father and the Son...it is an impossibility an absurdity.
            Is like telling a fellow that works with acetylene torches the ones use to melt iron? that you want to borrow one of this torches to melt a little paint from one of your favorite collection of one of your butterfly's... it is impossible, you will melt/kill the butterfly.]

            He had told him what kind of vision.. you even printed it: “I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had.”
            If he gave him an account of the vision.. what do you think that means?>>

            [Joe did not tell preacher that God the Father appeared to him...the preacher would have elaborate to the fact, that you can not see God (the Father)and live...any normal Bible believer knows that...

            Ex 33:18-20
            And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
            19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
            20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
            KJV
            Even your own so called scriptures say...
            "...And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
            22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live...."
            Joe had no priesthood....
            (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:21 - 22)]

            It is common knowledge that people left their own churches looking for prophets in a church.. looking for miracles in a church.. knowing that the heavens had been closed for over 1800 years.>>

            [Sorry, but that is what you been told to believe, no real Christian church after the original church that disciples founded, do not believe in prophets, they are NOT needed, Christ is now here, no need for messengers, no need to require a priest Jesus is our priest
            For there is one mediator….to quote
            1 Tim 2:5
            5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
            KJV

            and then some 14 year old boy.. opens them back up. He won the Lottery!!! But nobody wanted to believe it. I have no problem seeing the preachers of that day treating some 14 yr old snot nosed kid with contempt.>>

            [So please produce some of these "preachers" that treated Joe with contempt ...just one...but you can not do it...that is what Joe said it happened to him...but there is no one that corroborates his TALL TALE...You said he won the lottery, so where is the evidence...there is NONE therefore Joe lied!]

            Just as you treat him with contempt. No different.>>

            [I don't believe anyone that tells me the dog has five legs because he counts the tail as another leg...just saying it does not make it true...you can believe, that the mormon god was once a man, somehow he becomes a god and is married...you can believe that but that is not the God of the Bible...and you can not go around and tell the world that you are the true Christian church...you can believe that, but is not true...you can believe in the BOM, as true history, but only mormons believe the BOM...No true historian from Mexico or the world for that matter believe the BOM is true history]

            The vision started how? With a light. And then what did Joseph say happened? “One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!.”>>

            [Those two characters could have been...mormon and his son moroni]

            Now I ask. If the Angel Moroni happened..>>

            [(that is what you been taught and you believe, it is not a fact!) ]

            and John the Baptist happened.. and Peter, James and John happened.. >>

            [These persons are mentioned in the Bible Jesus said he Prayed for Peter"....But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren Luk 22:32...Jesus talked about John the Baptist..as the last prophet.]

            Why do you have a hard time believing that the first part of the “1st Vision” happened? If everything else happened..>>

            ([Nirom, the proverbial apple and oranges...you are confused )]

            why would you doubt? Why would he have to lie? For what purpose?.>>

            [..because the devil is the one pulling the strings...and the devil wants to destroy the true believers...]

            Ah.. you don’t believe the Angel Moroni came and appeared to him. You THINK that the plates were made of Gold.. and that destroys Joseph’s testimony?
            You THINK they were made of pure Gold. YET… you dismiss the testimony of those who lifted them and touched them and guessed their actual weight?>>

            [Again, that is what you been told…do me a favor, and give me this documentation that these people hefted and touched and saw ,…actual saw the plates.? ..can you do that?

            You dismiss the testimony of the other witnesses?>>

            [of course, BOM is fiction]

            You Dan have a big stumbling block to get over. But it is you who creates it.>>

            [I already have the God of the Bible, I am trying to help you]

            You will be shown that you had the opportunity to accept a greater light.. a greater teaching.. >>

            [That god was a man? and that you can become a god? that is a lie from Satan, this mormon doctrine is not even taught in you four standard works...so where did you get this doctrine from???
            I can say that I agree with Jesus, the only way to the Father

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

            and you.. like the Jews in the time of Christ.. have rejected it. It is you my friend that I pray for. For you are damned>>

            [Your god does not exist…so your prayers will not go anywhere…God does not listen to the wicked but He hears the prayers of the righteous(Prov 15:29)

            ..just like you buddy Obama, does not hear you, because you don’t have his personal phone number.
            I can say I love Jesus, and I keep his word, and God the Father will love me and both are with me…

            3 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
            (from New International Version)

            dcmess@aol.com

          • Dan asks: Nirom, you are boasting?

            I say: No.. just speaking the truth.

            And you comment about Joseph boasting.. is one of those that is taken out of context. To understand what Joseph was saying, you have to read his entire speech. He was speaking how the Apostle Paul spoke about a time to boast. And in that context.. he paralleled his comments with the Apostle Paul’s.

            Him dying by a hateful mob was not punishment for this speech. Talk about making a story more interesting by trying to tie together two separate incidents and making them seem correlated in some way. What a reach!!

          • Tom
            God the Holy Spirit
            V. The Holy Spirit Is God

            A. Equated with God/the Lord: Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18
            B. Has the incommunicable attributes of God
            1. Eternal: Heb. 9:14; this poses a problem for anyone suggesting that the Holy Spirit is something other than God (implies someone or something else besides God is eternal)
            2. Omnipresent: Ps. 139:7
            3. Omniscient: 1 Cor. 2:10-11
            C. Involved in all the works of God
            1. Creation: Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30
            2. Incarnation: Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35
            3. Resurrection: Rom. 1:4; 8:11
            4. Salvation: Rom. 8:1-27
            D. Is a person
            1. Has a name: Matt. 28:19; note that even though “name” might be used of a nonperson, here, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, it must be used of a person.
            2. Is the “Helper”
            a. Is another Helper: John 14:16, cf. 1 John 2:1; note also that “Helper” (paraklêtos) was used in Greek always or almost always of persons.
            b. Is sent in Jesus’ name, to teach: John 14:26.
            c. Will arrive, and then bear witness: John 15:26-27.
            d. Is sent by Christ to convict of sin, will speak not on his own but on behalf of Christ, will glorify Christ, thus exhibiting humility: John 16:7-14.
            3. Is the Holy Spirit, in contrast to unholy or unclean spirits: Mark 3:22-30, cf. Matt. 12:32; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4:6.
            4. Speaks, is quoted as speaking: John 16:13; Acts 1:16; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2; 16:6; 20:23; 21:11: 28:25-27; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:7-11; 10:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22.
            5. Can be lied to: Acts 5:3
            6. Can make decisions, judgments: Acts 15:28
            7. Intercedes for Christians with the Father: Rom. 8:26
            8. “Impersonal” language used of the Spirit paralleled by language used of other persons
            a. The Holy Spirit as fire: Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; cf. Ex. 3:2-4; Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29
            b. The Holy Spirit poured out: Acts 2:17, 33; cf. Is. 53:12; Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6
            c. Being filled with the Holy Spirit: Eph. 5:18, etc.; cf. Eph. 3:17, 19; John 14:10

          • A Prophet with a minor role? Are you serious? You have just declared what the Bible refers to as a prophet.. and squished it down to him having only a minor role! Who is it that determines whether or not a prophets role is major or minor? YOU?

            You are totally full of yourself Dan.

            In Acts 24:14 you quote one scripture as if that proves your point. Taken out of context it sounds real good.. but if you understood what Paul was actually saying.

            The Jews were accusing Paul of the same thing you are accusing us of. The exact same thing Dan! Anytime new Revelation comes to bring more light and more understanding.. there are those like yourself.. who try to put out that light and qualsh that understanding. I don’t see you as a tool for God.. but for Satan. To stop the work of God in anyway he can.

            These new prophets did not speak about the coming of Christ in the sense that he would come.. but they did speak of that he had come and what that meant for mankind. The Apostles set up and explained what the organization of the Church should look like and what should be contained in it. Yet… Apostles and prophets died when the the great Apostasy came. In that great Apostasy there were no longer Apostles and Prophets. A sure sign that the Church Christ had set up was dead! Man took it over and ruled according to the doctrines of men.. not of God.

            And then you quote again the Apostle Paul.. who is now writing to the Hebrews and explaining to them the history. God spoke in the past to prophets whenever he wanted man to do something. In these “last days” the present days before Christ died.. he did it through Christ himself. and then even goes on further to explain.. which you left out..

            That it was Christ who made the worlds. “by whom also he made the worlds;” KJV

            But it was after Christ had died.. and had assended into heaven that it was explained how this “Ecclesia” as you call it was to set up. And Tom has spelled it out to you right out of the Bible.. the living word. Here are the words Dan.. from the Book of Books. Again.. it is the Apostle Paul speaking:

            11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

            12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

            13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

            14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

            15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

            It does not get any plainer than that.. yet Dan.. where are these Apostles and Prophet today in the Christian world?? Point one out to me. I can.. I can point out the current prophet.. and I can point out the quorum of the twelve Apostles. I can do that Dan.. can you? No.. you can not. It does not exist in the Christian faith today. The Apostles and prophets are all dead to you. Just words in a book written thousands of years ago. That is it. Nothing living about your faith. God no longer speak with man.. God no longer “needs” prophets according to you.. God no longer “needs” Apostles according to you. Well Dan… God says differently. God called Joseph Smith as his first prophet. Brigham Young as his second. And every since then the world has had a prophet of God standing upon it. And even today Dan.. there is a prophet of God upon this earth! We can say that! Because it is true. And every day there is someone else who hears the call of the Master and recognizes his voice. They are testified to by the power of the Holy Ghost.. who witnesses to their spirit.. that what they have heard is the truth. Joseph was called to be the Lord’s first prophet in this the last dispensation of time.. the fullness of Times.. when the restitution of all things would come to pass. And the Lord has laid his hand again upon the people and called them to repentance. And truly showed them the way. There is only ONE way. Only ONE Dan. The Bible back it up in what it testifies to. That the authority to baptize comes from God.. not from man in his schools of learning. The call of the missionary comes from God.. not a piece of paper. The power and authority to baptize and give the gift of the Holy Ghost is in one church only. That is in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is in no other church. It is in no other organization.. denominational or non-denominational. Only ONE. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

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