Dear editor,

In response to Dr. David Brown’s article “Why Mormons are Christians,” dated Aug. 13, I here give my reasons why I believe that Mormons are not Christians.

First, Mormons are not Christians because they rely on their own works for salvation (eternal life plus a relationship with God), rather than relying on the work that Jesus did for us. Brown says “we believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” In contrast, the Christian scriptures state that “by grace (a free gift) you have been saved (rescued) through faith (trust); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is one essential difference between true Christianity and all other religions of the world; all other religions are humanity’s attempt to reach God (or some other form of transcendence) by means of works; only in Christianity do you find God reaching down to provide for humanity’s need, giving his only son to take our punishment for sin. Christians simply accept and receive God’s free gift.

Second, Mormons are not Christians because they believe in polytheism (many gods) rather than monotheism (one God). In the Mormon belief system, the god of this world (Earth) was once a man, and has since been able to become a god and populate this planet. Mormons hope to be able to become gods themselves, and thus populate their own planet. This chain of men-becoming-gods is polytheistic. In contrast, Christians believe in one eternal, unchanging God, without beginning or end, who created all things, including mankind in his own image. Why Brown (and other Mormons I have met) do not mention this major doctrine up front is puzzling to me. Are they ignorant of it, or ashamed of it, or deceptively hiding it for the sake of good PR?

Third, Mormons are not Christians because they base their faith on subjective criteria (feelings) rather than objective data (evidence). Mormons and their neophytes are encouraged to read the Book of Mormon and “ask God whether these things are true.” Christians are admonished to “test the spirits whether they are of God” (including teachings, ideas, philosophies and writings, 1 John 4:1). Unlike the Mormon scriptures, the Jewish and Christian scriptures (the Bible) are based on verifiable historic people, locations and events. While an inquirer may question whether the miracles (such as the parting of the Red Sea) actually happened, they would have to acknowledge that historical data outside the Bible supports the historic existence of the people involved (Moses and Pharaoh), and the places visited (Egypt and Sinai). Real Christians do not blindly believe in fables, myths and the irrational, but rather place their trust in God and his revelation that is firmly supported by reliable evidence and rational thought.

There are more reasons why I believe that Mormons are not Christians, but rather than filling an entire newspaper, I will limit my writing to these three reasons for now. I welcome dialogue on the subject, especially from Brown.

Brian Pope

Napa

(Editor’s note: Pope is an ordained minister who currently works in St. Helena and volunteers as a deacon at Highlands Christian Fellowship in Calistoga.)

(128) comments

MikeH
MikeH

As further evidence that Mormons are centered on Jesus Christ I provide a few excerpts from Elder Richard G. Scott’s April 1013 talk entitled For Peace at Home at:
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/for-peace-at-home?lang=eng
He indicates, "One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds.
The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece.
Regardless of your circumstances, you can center your home and your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the source of true peace in this life.
Be certain that every decision you make, whether temporal or spiritual, is conditioned on what the Savior would have you do. When He is the center of your home, there is peace and serenity. There is a spirit of assurance that pervades the home, and it is felt by all who dwell there.

MikeH
MikeH

Stephen H. Webb wrote an interesting article last year entitled "Mormonism Obsessed with Christ."
It's at: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/01/mormonism-obsessed-with-christ
He says "Fervent Christians see in Mormonism a mirror distorting their own faith, reflecting an image strangely recognizable yet recognizably strange. Hard-core secularists think Mormonism is the best example of the strangeness and danger inherent in all religious belief.... I too used to think of Mormonism as little more than an exotic and abnormal addition to Christianity.... I have come to repent of this view, and not just because I came to my senses about how wrong it is to be rude toward somebody else’s faith. I changed my mind because I came to realize just how deeply Christ-centered Mormonism is.... Mormonism is obsessed with Christ, and everything that it teaches is meant to awaken, encourage, and expand faith in him." Read the entire article. It will open your eyes.

Flaneur

What is wrong with allowing a person to decide whether to call himself or herself a Christian. Those with conflicting theological beliefs can simply refer to that person as a "misguided Christian" or a "Christian tainted with error" or "a stupid Christian" or "a misled Christian" or whatever qualifier you like. It seems arrogant to say that someone is not a Christian when they say they are. Would anyone here argue that a self-proclaimed Hindu or Jainist, etc., is not really one because of your own theological position?

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

In the Bible we find both the teaching of salvation by Grace and the teaching of repentance and obedience to the commandments. They are both true. Grace and Works are two sides to the In the Bible we find both the teaching of salvation by Grace and the teaching of repentance and obedience to the commandments. They are both true. Grace and Works are two sides to the same coin and are both taught in the Bible. The Apostle Paul writes a lot about salvation by grace This was to combat the tenancy in many early Jews who converted to Christianity to fall back on obeying the works oriented law of Moses. People who think they can work their way to salvation have missed the grace side of the coin. However, in Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, and other places, Paul also stresses the necessity to obey the commandments. He gives lists of sinful behavior such as adultery, fornication, lying, and so forth, and says that people who do these will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

MikeH
MikeH

tweedmeister said, "A good anecdotal experiment is to... mark for each reference to Jesus, His atonement, anything of that nature. On the other side of the sheet make a check mark for references to how great Joseph Smith was." On occasion we do emphasize Joseph Smith because he was our first modern LDS prophet, but not as much today. I don't recall hearing him mentioned once in Sacrament meeting yesterday. You also have to remember also that every prayer is uttered, every sermon is given, and every ordinance is performed literally in the name of Jesus Christ. Our LDS hymns, especially the sacrament hymn, which is the devotional heart of our Sunday worship is always centered on Jesus Christ and his atonement. At Christmas and Easter, we join with hundreds of millions of Christians around the world in a celebration of Jesus' life. In baptism and in our weekly sacrament (communion) we testify that we are willing to take upon us his name and remember his sacrifice (D&C 20:37, 77).

gcrobmd

Brian,
You do not understand Mormon doctrines. My answers to your arguments will breed only more arguments. But to make all arguments void, read the Book of Mormon. Read it with real intent, and not just to see how to discredit it. Read it faithfully, hearing the meaning in every phrase, and ask if it is God’s word. If you are ready to live your life according to what God might reveal to you, then you will gain your own testimony of Christ and that Joseph Smith was God’s prophet who restoreed the biblical church of Jesus Christ in the latter days.

car253

We do not have the freedom from religion. I am forced to hear catholic amplified sound system of tape recordings in my home at least 6 times a day every day. The church should not be "exempt" from the law. I should not be forced to hear church in my home all day long every day. No noise. No church amplified sound systems. Stay out of my home!! I don't want to hear the church noise. And, I lived in my home BEFORE they put up their amplified sound so I was there first.

Bill Dyer

Churches do not pay property taxes, and some of them have extravagant buildings occupying
valuable property. For instance we have two in Calistoga built on choice parcels on the entry to town. Why do we exempt them from this tax? The best I can come up with is that we expect they play an important role in society in providing a moral compass. Yet they have mostly been silent over the last few decades when we've been drawn into questionable foreign wars. We have well over 100 posts here with people arguing over quaint doctrine and about people long since dead. I think it would be more appropriate for these religious types to get worked up over something real, like whether we should be going into Syria or not.

eyeremembertim

So yes if Latter Day Saints follow a rather unorthodox theology so what? How much different is Catholicism from the simplicity of Jesus in Palestine. Later efforts of St. Paul promoting "the faith"really take Christianity into new directions that accommodate Greek and Persian ideas of the Divine. Follow the original idea and tradition of faith. As a non-practicing Roman Catholic, I identify with many of the principles of Judaism. Certainly my ideas are also unorthodox but so what. Are we to become so polarized that we imitate the barbarism that now is sadly daily life in the Holy Land. Wake up and accept the diversity of faith we all share. This is the posterity of America. Other nations fight over arcane, absolutely meaningless versions of faith. We have the freedom to live ours. Let us insure we have the freedom to continue doing so.

car253

Then you could say that Catholics are not Christian either. They bow down and pray to statues. They blast their noise into other people's homes with no respect for their neighbor's peace and quiet.

Most are hypocrites. Going to church is just a dog and pony show. Sure, there are some hard core real believers that really practice their religion but they are few considering most don't. Just try living next to a catholic church and see the money making machine. The bad neighbor church priest once told me "are you going to pay my bills" when asked if they would shut down their noisy carnival ride. It is all about the Benjamins ($$$).

David Jason

You mean like the large & spacious buildings that mormons build, how about their secret combinations, how about I'm a mormon campaign, how about their spending money on prop 8, how about the mall that the church recently bought?

Most of the Catholic leader went to college, this is there only job, I wish bishops got paid and had some actual training. The church is afraid of liability though. Having volunteers limits the churches' liability when Mormon Bishops abuse children (the church always settles), or give really bad advice, or other harmful practices. Also it keeps more money at church headquarters.

At least the Catholic Church actually has community focused charities. The Mormon church likes to help potential converts and active Mormons, but when an apostate, or a non-tithing paying member wants help most bishop say tough luck.

You won't see many poor people at a Mormon church, the 10% tax is too expensive.

tweedmeister

I was LDS for 59 of my 64 years, and raised my family in it. I was a high priest and stake leader. I terminated my membership in 2009 at 59 years of age when I realized (finally) what bunk it was. I did not quit Mormonism because of it's lack of Christian teachings, although that would have been as good as any reason. I consider myself atheist now, but I respect Christianity and its core teachings, and it angers me every time that Mormons assert they are Christian. Christianity is as Christianity does, and on the first day that Mormons begin to operate as Christians I will then accept them as such. Meanwhile, they are but "Smith-tians." A good anecdotal experiment is to take a note pad to a Mormon sacrament (worship) meeting, and on one half the page make a check mark for each reference to Jesus, His atonement, anything of that nature. On the other side of the sheet make a check mark for references to how great Joseph Smith was. See who wins. (I've done this many times.)

MrNirom

Imagine.. going from believing in God.. to believing in no God. Your problem tweedmeister is not Mormonism. Your lack of understanding for who Joseph Smith was and is.. is where your fault lies. Those of old would speak of Moses doing this.. and Moses doing that.. and then would speak of Abraham doing this.. and Abraham doing that. All the stories being told about the prophet Noah.. etc. People talk about their Prophets of God. To be a Mormon, rather than any other Christ following denomination upon this planet.. the cornerstone is Joseph. Without God & Jesus visiting Joseph.. there is no Mormonism. Without the Book of Mormon.. there is no Mormonism. To be led by living prophets is not something that any other church on this earth can lay claim to. NOT ONE! So fine.. you left the church for No God. Why don't you leave it alone? Go live your No God life, but know that pointing your scornful finger at the rest of us makes you one of those people in the big and spacious bldg.

David Jason

You hear that tweedmeister. It's your fault the church lied to you about Joesph Smith. I wish they could hear themselves. Your 59 years of studying and you didn't get the answer they did so it's your fault.

I hope your family was kind to you on your exit and you have shaken off the brainwashing. Enjoy your life!

MrNirom

Oh Plaaaezzzz Mr Jason. The church caused him to go from believing in God.. to not believing in God? Seriously? The church has not lied about Joseph. He has just believed the lies that people like you spread around.

exldstrumpetblower

Dear Kelly Smith, your testimony of mormon faith was just like mine. Try to imagine, after all we can do, we enter into christ rightousness and deny our own filthy rags of obedient rightousness, and become perfect like little humble children, every time we let go of these vain works of levitical priesthood demands and commands. Remember the good samariton stopped to help the poor wounded soul lieing in a ditch, while a levite priest ignored him to get to the temple and jesus said who was the better example, of course the good samariton in this parable story illustration. If christians catch the fish first and christ cleans them,
then mormons clean the fish first and the devil catches them.
I know Brigham young said the grace teachings of the bible and its born again christians was hatched in hell, but he himself was a launatic and gave revelations, opinions about Adam being god the father of jesus, how ridicolous yet later rebuked by the church. have the guts to repliey to the facts.

New Yorker

No one yet wants to address whether Brian Pope's comments are founded on a misunderstanding of Paul and a rejection of the Gospel as taught by the Savior himself? Instead you choose to reassert false information about Joseph Smith?

Over 14 million people worldwide are LDS members. The Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and Methodist churches remain the largest three denominations in the country, with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranking fourth in size, according to the latest edition of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. These members are not being "forced" to do anything.

Members of the LDS church revere living and deceased prophets, but do not worship them. Prophets are (were) all human and make mistakes. There are gross misrepresentations here of Joseph Smith. Mormon.org (official) and FairMormon.org (academic wiki) both portray what the LDS believe, respond to questions, and address all criticisms found here.

Let's talk about Brian Pope's content.

David Jason

Active members in the church are much closer to 4 to 5 million members. The church doesn't release numbers so we have to guess based on census and church building numbers. Average 200 members visit per building. The church growth has been very close to population growth over the last decade. The church doesn't discontinue inactive members from their rolls which is typically a large portion of the ward.

I wish that members would actually read FairMormon.org please go there!! They will confirm the things I have said and please read the full articles. They are very long, but please read them all the way through. You will realize that their explanation will conflict with other explanation, they often beat up a straw man, their evidence doesn't lead to their conclusions, and you'll see the official church material is misleading. I hope member will be intellectually honest and not relay only on the words of people on the church payroll. Please check out MormonThink.com

JustChuck

There are a number of good reasons why Mormonism isn't Christian. One main reason is that Mormons must accept more than just Jesus to a member of the church. For example, despite the fact the Joseph Smith was known to have approached at least 11 married women seeking to have them enter into a relationship with him, Mormons must declare this adulterer as a true prophet of God. As a Mormon, you cannot fully accept Jesus unless you also fully embrace Joseph Smith.

Is there any other Christian church that would tolerate a leader who attempted to have relationships with nearly dozen married women in their congregation? Well, Mormonism not only tolerates it, they require members to accept him as a true prophet. You cannot even approach the Jesus of Mormonism unless you first embrace this adulterer that started their church.

It's just not possible that this could be a Christian faith. For more details on this many other reasons Mormonism is not Christian, see MormonThink dot org

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

This is the big problem I see.. you only scratch the surface of your torrid tales. The deeper one goes.. the more understanding is given. If one can and does believe that Joseph Smith saw God the Father.. and his Son Jesus Christ.. and that Jesus did indeed call Joseph to a higher calling than any other man on this earth has ever held except for Jesus Christ himself.. then one would have to surmise that they do not have the understanding that Joseph did. For God has said in Isaiah 55:8-9 8 ¶For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Some think they have Joseph all figured out. Not by a long shot. There are mysteries of the Kingdom of God that have been with held from mankind until now.. the last days.. the days of the fullness of times. You could not fathom the things of God and neither could the Jews.

LindaSDF

What relationships? He MIGHT have sought to be dynastically sealed to these women, but there is no evidence at all that he had any sort of sexual relationship with any of them, except in their own imaginations.

BTW, how many "Christians" belong to churches started by men who have had numerous affairs with other women? Let's see, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Hagar (did I spell that right?), and a few others I could name.

David Jason

I would encourage them to leave those churches also. It's strange that now that you can see that Joesph Smith, that you sing praises to, is a sexual predator you try to bash other churches that are silently less bad. Joesph set these men on missions so he could take their wives. He married Helen Mar Kimball when she was 14 and he was 37. He promised her father eternal salvation if he would give him his daughter. Her father went on to be a prophet would had 30+ wives. It's really sad that you would stand by a church that lies to you in the name of a terrible human being. I know it can be hard to leave the church because of the brainwashing they do to you. They have the most boring lessons in the world and they make you teach them in and out over your whole life. You eventually internalize the dishonest version of the story. I know the church teaches you that you can't be good and happy without it. I hope you realize most people outside the church are actually happier.

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

Even today, the minimum age at which a person may marry with parental permission or with a judge's permission, is 16 in most states. In California, there is no minimum marriageable age; a child of ANY AGE may marry with parental consent. (Marriage Laws of the Fifty States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico," a Cornell Law School web site)

Modern age limits in most states represent only the modern attitude. The age of consent under English common law was TEN. United States law did not raise the age of consent until the late nineteenth century. In Joseph Smith's day, most states still had the declared age of consent to be TEN! Some had raised it to TWELVE, and Delaware had lowered it to SEVEN! (See Melina McTigue, "Statutory Rape Law Reform in Nineteenth Century Maryland: An Analysis of Theory and Practical Change," (2002), accessed 5 Feb 2005)

David Jason

You didn't even admit they were married a minute ago and now you are insisting that they only had a sexual relationship in their minds. I wish you would keep researching, can you see that the church lied to you and you are googling church apologetics as fast as you can? They aren't even official responses just guesses by people on the churches' payroll. Those payrolls that are paid for by your tithing money.

Were Brigham Young and subsequent prophet have non-sexual relationship? They had a few dozen wives each as well. They also had children with a lot of them. Sarah Pratt stated that she believe that Joesph Smith made the younger wives have abortions. Abortions were available and practiced in Illinois She also suggested that he just let the already married wives raise the children as if they were their original husbands. I agree that there is no hard evidence that he did make them get an abortion. Also one of Brigham's wives wrote about book about polygamy "Wife No. 19"

Mike L

Can a Christian fully accept Jesus without fully embracing Peter, James, and John? What about Paul? Can you be a Christian and not believe in the epistles? Don't Lutherans believe in Martin Luther? Don't Catholics revere the pope? I could go on, but you get the idea. All Christians look up to humans whom they believe to speak the words of God. It is no different with Mormons and Joseph Smith. He was God's mouthpiece, but he was not God.

Christians also look up to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were polygamists. How can Christians and Jews tolerate leaders who married multiple women?

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

Were there really polyandrous marriages? – NOT!

Recent research using the most reliable historic sources indicate that these women were married to their husbands for time only or civilly and that Joseph married them for eternity only. The marriages were consecutive not concurrent. The time or civil marriage, effective during mortal life, did not overlap with the eternal marriage which became effective only after death. Research done by Brian Hales, Don Bradly, Greg Smith and others, has demonstrated this from historic sources. The old suppositions by prior less reliable histories has been debunked.

New Yorker

"Real Christians do not blindly believe in fables, myths and the irrational, but rather place their trust in God and his revelation that is firmly supported by reliable evidence and rational thought."

All the archaeological evidence about the production of the Bible does not prove the Jesus is the resurrected Christ. Jesus said to Peter, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." 1 Cor. 12:3 asserts, "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." One knows that Jesus is the Christ only by personal revelation.

"Personal revelation" is not "subjective criteria (feelings)." Personal revelation comes this way: "You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." (D&C 9:8) The LDS believe in personal revelation using mind and spirit, not "subjective feelings."

David Jason

Then how can any Mormon be Mormon, doesn't seem like they are using their minds at all.

Joesph Smith was a self admitted conman, he joined the Methodist church after the date he said that he had his first vision, he had several first versions of his vision some didn't include Jesus or God, there is no recording of the first vision until 10 years after he said it happened (don't you think someone would have recorded it, if he was telling people?), he tried to sell the copyright of the book of mormon, The Book of Mormon contains word for word sections of the 1820 King James Version bible including the errors that would have existed in that edition of the Bible. From the time he was passionately involved in religion to the time the Book of Mormon was published he had several years to do it and several helpers that had a vested interest in the book being successful.

How much evidence do you need to see that he was a conman and a sexual predator? By his fruits shall you know him.

Dandini
Dandini

David Jason - - - I was raised up in the Lutheran (Missouri Synod) faith, taught Sunday School and was youth group leader. . . and yes, we studied about the "cults" in Sunday School. . .

I converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon, praying and fasting, and receiving a confirmation from the Holy Ghost/Spirit.

David Jason

I can only wish my cult got to you first. My God would let you keep 91% of your income and guarantee your salvation if you scrub toilet on the weekends.

Did you know that the 116 pages were reveal and translated. His translation is actually a lot cleaner then Joesph Smiths. The comments from FAIR (Mormon Church Apologetic) are pretty superficial. I encourage you to read them and pray about them with pure intent. You church has already become an apostate from the original church don't you think you should follow a true prophet?

The church has changed the temple ceremony significantly from how it was originally practiced. Isn't that an eternal ordinance that should never be changed? Brigham Young declared the polygamy was required to reach the highest level of the celestial kingdom, is the FLDS the true church? Brigham also said that Blacks would never receive the priesthood. You do know there are other Mormon churches that didn't follow Brigham who seems always to be wrong?

Mike L

David Jason, so are you saying that your God commands 9% tithing instead of 10%? I think God would be happy either way as long as you're giving with a good heart.

I also find it strange that your God requires toilet scrubbing for salvation. I thought you believed in salvation by grace through faith alone. Leave all the work (including toilet scrubbing) for someone else to do (someone not as important as you).

I would be interested in finding out about the lost 116 pages that have been found. That would be a major event that apparently I've never heard about.

The reason there are aspects of the LDS church that are different today than they were 183 years ago is because we are a "living" church which is supposed to change and adapt to the times. It was the same with the early Christians. Jesus only taught the Jews. It was through revelation to a prophet that he told the church to take the gospel to the Gentiles. The same type of thing happens today.

LindaSDF

Joseph Smith did not join the Methodist church. He tried to join a Methodist Sunday School to please his future father in law, but they turned him away.

He was not a con man, self admitted or not. I can spend the next several posts refuting what you say here. Suffice it to say, you are so wrong, and it's easy to find web sites that totally refute this.

David Jason

So Joesph was terribly persecuted for his beliefs, but he folds in a second for his father in law? Something wrong with that story. Could it be that Joesph was persecuted because he stole mason secrets, or because some of the husbands of the married women he married didn't like that very much, could it be because the early Mormons were not very good neighbors? Please research the Mormon War of 1838, did Boggs or Sidney Rigdon sign the first extermination order?

All the evidence points to a conman and sexual predators, don't you feel like you owe it to your children to study it out? You will raise them in the church that lies to them? I hope none of them are gay or that none of your girls don't want to raise children. I hope you won't turn them away when they find out the truth. The church destroys families, you will only realize it after your children find out it's a fraud. They won't trust you once they know you lied to them. I hope for your sake your look for the truth.

Mike L

Joseph Smith never admitted to being a conman. Do you have any sources for that claim? He also never joined the Methodist church. You don't have any sources for that one, either, do you? So I guess if something isn't written down until 10 years after it happened, in must not be true, huh? In that case, I guess all four of the Gospels were fabricated, because they were written decades after the fact. Of course, most people don't write down significant events at the time they occur.

Of course Joseph used the KJV when conveying Biblical passages contained in the Book of Mormon. That was the only English translation available at that time. What version do you think he should have used?

MrNirom

Mike.. this is what anti Mormons do. They just make statements without backing up a thing. They don't have to. If you will notice.. Mr Jason here will jump from topic to topic to topic. He can't discuss what is being talked about, but will always throw out some new topic. Then.. he moves on.

The only thing we can continue to do is rebut what he says. But he is not even paying attention to what we say. Our purpose is give those who are reading the comments.. the true side of the story.. It is not for Mr Jason at all.

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

Critics claim that Joseph Smith joined three different churches after the 1820 first vision. He would not have done this if he were really commanded to join none of them.

Facts: There is no historic evidence that Joseph joined any church after the First Vision including the Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian churches. Claims that he did join a church are late claims that come from third hand accounts. Early documents show that he did not join a church.

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

First: Each of the four gospels contain details about Jesus and the events surrounding Jesus’ life that are not found in the other gospels. Additionally the gospels do not agree on the order of events. One gospel has one angel rolling away the stone and another has two angels rolling away the stone. There are four accounts of Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus. Some accounts say that the people with Paul heard a voice but saw nothing and the other accounts say that the people saw a light but heard not the voice. This does not mean that the gospel events did not happen or that Paul’s vision was not real. It simply means that multiple retellings of a true event bring out different details. These differences in the Biblical accounts are more contradictory to each other than anything in the accounts of the First Vision. Would those who criticize the accounts of Joseph Smiths’s First Vision also, then, apply the same standard to the Bible? Would they then reject the Bible

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

Second, scholars and historians know that multiple retellings of an event almost always results in different wording and even different details appearing in the several accounts, even when retold by the same person. A red flag is raised if the accounts are identical. Identical accounts mean that the claim to multiple retellings over time is false. Identical wording and details means that there is only one genuine account that was simply copied.

New Yorker

Brian Pope is a great Pauline Christian following centuries of honored tradition.

The Savior himself taught that there are degrees in heaven: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:19)

The Savior taught: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matt. 19:17)

Then He gave the parables of the kingdom. Think wise and foolish virgins. Think sheep and goats. Everything about one's place in the kingdom Jesus taught about has to do with one's works. Everyone, please read what Jesus said and interpret Paul in the light of Jesus teaching.

When Paul speaks against works, he is not speaking against the law of the Gospel in Matthew ch. 5-7. He is speaking to Jews who are trying to get converted gentiles to keep the Mosaic law which had been fulfilled with the Atonement.

Heber
Heber

Mormons believe in ONE God. But they do not believe in the creedal understanding of God which was developed by philosophers, and used for political purposes to hijack Christianity. Why would the New Testament talk of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost if they were really the SAME immaterial being? The terms Father and Son are always used in every other usage in talking about a Lineage of beings. In other words, the Father was once a Son. And the Son will advance and someday be a Father. It is self-evident that the New Testament is teaching this understanding of the Father and Son. Because why would the Holy Ghost inspire the prophets to use the terms Father and Son in a way that contradicts all other usage of the terms? The US Senate has 100 members, but there is only ONE US Senate. There is only ONE God, but God is an infinite family of finite beings all in total unity. All these beings, like Jesus, come to an earth and progress to become a Father themselves.

BRGMGB
BRGMGB

I believe this letter, and this debate do not belong in a local newspaper. Local issues do belong in the paper. I think debate over a fringe religion can be argued somewhere else.

I am not getting Moslems and Mormons confused, although I do think that they are confused.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=666674

David Jason

Mormon's have internalized dishonesty. She knows very well that you were talking about polygamy and being a God. Mormons just try to tell you, you're wrong based on small technicalities that they don't really understand themselves.

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

What makes you think you know what we understand or don't? It is obvious to me you don't know what you are talking about as you have done nothing but copied and pasted your info from anti Mormon sites. You don't understand Mormon doctrine at all.. you just spit forth part truths and twisted stories making your headlines pure sensationalism.

LindaSDF

I know he was taking things from the past and mixing it with anti-Mormon propaganda, and coming up with something disgusting and saying "This is what Mormons believe".

David Jason

So you do admit that these were past teaching of the church? Boy that's the most honest thing I've heard you guys say all day. The anti-Mormon propaganda is simply the historically accurate information about Mormonism that Mormons don't want to fess up to or simply don't know yet.

Mormons have a very light understand of their history and the critical arguments against their truth claims. I really makes me angry to see an organization abuse their member the way it does. Encourages them to only read church approved history. How about you balance your history reading a little bit? You church is extremely bias, and who would blame them they get 10% of your income for the rest of your life and the lives of your children.

J Brown

My main problem with this organization is that it uses coercive tactics to recruit and retain members, to obtain tithing, and to perpetuate the organization. Healthy, normal-world religions do not operate this way. In normal-world religions you are free to come and go from any congregation and to think for yourself. In Mormonism, psycho-social tactics that really cross the line into the unhealthy and inappropriate are heavily relied upon. New recruits are not given all the info, or are even given incorrect info about what Moism really is. There are actual Mormon terms for this: "Milk before Meat" and "Lying for the Lord". For a member, the underlying epistemology of the religion is quite controlling and puts the organization before everything, including, notably, before family relationships. Truly Orwellian. Running out of room here, but for more info, Park Romney's and Utah Lighthouse Ministry sites are both great websites contrasting Xity with LDS org. Also great: Mormonthink.

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

LOL.. what a load of pure manure to help the crops grow. hehehe I am so glad that people of my faith.. are not chasing Christian sites calling their religion a hogepoge of deception.

Milk before meat. You think this is a Mormon thingy? LOL Look it up JBrown.

1 Corinthians 3:2
2 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.

Hebrews 5:12
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

"The teaching of all doctrine," says the Apostle Peter "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.

David Jason

So you admit your not being completely honest with people?

MrNirom

@ David.. absolutely not! You don't understand it do you? You don't know how it works. It is so sad.

David Jason

I admit the mental gymnastics you have to do to make your religion work is beyond my comprehension.

MrNirom

It is not my religion.. it is in the Bible. Milk vs Meat.. you don't know how it works.. do you? You don't understand the concept. It is plainly stated.. but you miss it. The Apostle Peter made it very clear. You don't talk about the meatier issues until you have a grasp of the earlier concepts.

You can not teach the doctrines of the Christ.. until you have belief in the Christ. We have the teachings of Christ. But if you don't believe he is the Christ.. then you won't believe his teachings. You can't comprehend the levels of heaven until you first believe there is a heaven. There is an order to things. And you David.. are teaching the doctrines of a someone has been in the faith for years... but you are teaching them to people who have no faith whatsoever.

The first thing that is taught that there are saving ordinances that must be done. Faith first of all. Faith in Christ. Then repentance. Then baptism. etc. You don't start with exaltation. Understand?

LindaSDF

We have never coined or used any phrase of Lying for the Lord. That is from the anti-Mormons.
As for thinking for ourselves, this is something we encourage greatly. No one is forced to stay in our church, at any time or in any way.
I've seen evangelical churches that use classic brainwashing techniques, so that people are almost getting high, and come over and over, all week long, to get their "fix".
In short, this is NOTHING like what my church teaches and believes. And I think you know it.

David Jason

And yet you can't leave no matter how damaging the evidence against your church is? Seems like they used some pretty good brainwashing techniques on you to.

Tell me how many toddlers get up in sacrament meeting and state "I know the church is true?" This is brainwashing 101. Condition them to believe something is true by repetition, not by actual knowledge.

David Jason

"some [historical] truths are not very useful" ~ Boyd K. Packer

You church is all about lying and deception. Why do you think they encourage you to only look at church approved material? They know their information is nothing like the truth.

Mike L

Of course Mormons are free to go to church or not go to church as they please. That is why there are a lot of members who are "less active." All it takes for a person to resign their membership is to sign a piece of paper stating their wish. Nobody is going to force someone to do something against their will, and I just haven't seen the coercive tactics you're referring to. By the way, I have never heard the term "Lying for the Lord" used by a Mormon.

David Jason

Sorry Mr. Pope,

My Mormon friends love to tell other people what they believe, but don't like it when you tell them what they believe.

David Jason

"25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven." Mark 12:25 Jesus says there is no eternal marriage, but Joesph Smith says there is.

Mormons don't realize that eternal marriage is how the church keep members paying their tithing. Fear of losing your family or pay 10% of your income.

"13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Revelation 22:13 Yet Joesph Smith said that we can all become Gods. Should I believe the Bible or Joesph Smith's musings?

Joesph Smith slept with teenagers, and women married to other men after he sent them on missions. Most of the early Prophets did the same. Joesph Smith also only revealed polygamy after Oliver Cowdery accused him of adultery (pretty convenient). Joesph went to liberty jail because he destroyed a printing press that was going to publish his polygamist behavior. He translated the Book of Mormon by looking in his hat.

LindaSDF

Jesus was referring to the Saducee woman and her seven husbands. He said THEY, meaning the Saducees, neither marry (men) or are given in marriage (women) in the resurrection (which the Saducees did not believe in). This was a trick question for Jesus. And it assumes that Jesus, and others, believe that there IS marriage in heaven.

There is no evidence that Joseph Smith "slept with" anyone but his wife, Emma. No real records of his marrying anyone but Emma.

David Jason

Wow.. your first paragraph is quite a twist of logical to get where you're going. He is plainly saying there is no eternal marriage.

You second paragraph really makes me MAD at the church there is very good evidence that he married other women. I agree that there's no sex tape or nude picture of them having sex. We only have the testimony of the women he married and the evidence that he indeed did marry several other women and some of those women were teenagers and married to other men that had been sent on missions.

The evidence is very good, but the church doesn't give you any evidence of it unless you have a sincere desire to search it out. Eliza R Snow is mention in a few places in the modern church literature. If you want to learn about the other wives you have to search through old church literature. Did you ever wonder why the church only puts up prior ensign articles back to 1977?

David Jason

The church is very selective in the church history that is presented in Sunday School, Institute, and Seminary.

I love the members LindaSDF, but the truth is being withheld from you and the Church is abusing your ignorance and fear of leaving the Church.

Mike L

The purpose of church services and Sunday School is not to learn everything about history. When I have attended other Christian churches, I don't hear them teaching about the history of their churches. The purpose of church is to worship God and to receive inspiration and strength to help us in our journey through life as we follow Him. There are many ways a person who is interested can learn about history, but that is not the purpose of the church meetings. If the Church is so secretive about its history, how is it that there is so much being published in the field of Mormon history, often with the direct cooperation of the church history department?

MrNirom

The LDS Church teaches that there is no marriage done in the resurrection... nor after the resurrection. This is very true what Christ has said. But ask yourself.. when is the resurrection?

It is... after the judgement. After we stand before Christ.. get judged.. then we get our resurrected bodies. And when does this happen?? After the 1000 year millennium. So some will get a body celestial.. others a body terrestrial.. and the majority.. a body telestial. Each one different in Glory.

But marriages.. celestial marriages.. will all be preformed and completed long before the resurrection ever happens. Christ did not lie. You want to interpret that because there is none given in marriage in the resurrection that there is no eternal marriage. David.. you are very much mistaken. As you are with many things Mormon. You do not understand the doctrine yet you try to speak as if you do. Please.. quit speaking about things you don't have a full understanding about. Thank you.

Mike L

There is evidence that Joseph had sexual relations with a number of his plural wives, but there is zero evidence that he had relations with any of the women he was sealed to who were already married to other men. All of the evidence shows that he was only sealed to the married women for eternity. All of the men were aware of the sealings and had absolutely no problem with it. The only exception is Patty Sessions, and her husband had abandoned her. On the frontier at that time, legal divorces weren't considered necessary if one of the spouses had left and there was no way to contact them. The only sealing that took place to a woman who had a husband on a mission was Marinda Hyde, the wife of Orson. Again, it was a nonsexual sealing, and Orson remained loyal to Joseph. The evidence also shows that Joseph did not have any sexual relationships with young teenagers.

Mike L

Anyone who wants to learn the most accurate information about polygamy should check out the new three volume series of books "Joseph Smith's Polygamy" by Brian Hales and check out this video discussion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m-tgk6zCHAU

By the way, Brian Hales' research assistant was Don Bradley. He left the church and became an atheist, but he was then rebaptized into the church after he had researched every single document that has anything to do with Joseph Smith's polygamy. He found what I have also found: that Joseph was commanded by God to marry plural wives, and his focus was on the eternal nature of binding people to each other and not on sexuality. I'm curious if you think Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were committing adultery when they practiced polygamy. Would the Lord's chosen people (the House of Israel) come through Jacob and his twelve sons (by four wives) if God didn't want him to have more than one wife?

SiskoDS9

Truth - the righteous inherit heaven, the wicked do not.

Mormons - Have a church led by a prophet, have restored truths, can perform ordinances needed for exaltation prior to the Second Coming because of granted Authority.

Muslims - Don't have a living prophet, but the Quran is correct about the Great Apostasy and the Jews and Christian churches manipulating scriptures, and those who are righteous (regardless of religion) will be welcomed by Jesus at the Day of Resurrection, and can perform the ordinances needed for exaltation at that time.

Christians (Catholic and Protestant) - Those who are righteous (regardless of religion) will be welcomed by Jesus at the Day of Resurrection, and can perform the ordinances needed for exaltation at that time.

All others - Those who are righteous (regardless of religion) will be welcomed by Jesus at the Day of Resurrection, and can perform the ordinances needed for exaltation at that time.

The wicked - Unless they repent will be "cast out".

Mavin10
Mavin10

If you ask Brian Pope, or many others that claim to be Christians; What must I do to obtain Eternal Life?, you would get Brian's answer, "You only need to confess Christ and simply accept and receive God’s free gift". This maybe a good answer if you are a misguided disciple of Paul, but Christ would give you a different answer. Christ says you must keep the commandments. See, Matthew 19:16-17, Matthew 7:21, Matthew 15:9, Matthew 16:27, and a hundred more scriptures just like these.

Scott Soulier

With deep sympathy to Mr. Pope, who might feel just a little bit "piled on" by the comments above, I invite him to sincerely read The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, page by page, cover to cover, with a sincere prayer in his heart, with real intent, and with the faith in Christ that he asserts he has, and listen intently with his heart and his mind what the Spirit of the Lord speaks to him. I did not always know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It took exactly what I described above for me. It was in the summer of 1968 - I was 17. I testify that I received an answer to my prayers on the very last page. I cannot deny the Spirit that spoke to me then, and the Spirit that I have seen speak to many others since then. It is true! It is empowering! It is from God. Peace, Brother Pope...you are loved and you are eternally valued by God and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom we all worship. Your Mormon Christian friends pray for you.

Dandini
Dandini

Mr. Pope - - - real Christians do not make false accusations. . . you misunderstand, misinterpret, mislead, and misinform. . . you need to spend more time in studying the Bible, praying and fasting, and listening to the Spirit. . .

Kenneth

Mr. Pope cannot answer this one question: Where does he get his authority to preach the gospel? He claims he is an "ordained" minister but who ordained him? Jesus made the point that a man cannot take this role upon himself; that this authority must come from Jesus himself. Even Paul who spoke with Jesus on the road to Damascus could not assume this authority but was directed to continue to Damascus where he was met by one of the Lord's servants who had this authority and ordained him. Joseph Smith was given this authority by the Lord himself which every member of the church knows is supported by scholarly revidence of his divine calling. Also, the deification of man is a doctrine taught in the early church and by Jesus himself when he said, "come, follow me"; which is to say, become as I am - a God. LDS doctrine is true and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it - especially the false, substituted doctrine of an apostate church which came out of Ancient Rome.

David Jason

These are the judgmental, arrogant, misinformation I'm talking about. You will hear a lot of this if you attend a service at an LDS church.

LindaE

I would like to know where you think your authority comes from. Joseph Smith????

Terrie Bittner

When learning from the Bible, we must use all of it, not just the parts we like. The Bible has many verses specifying that faith is not enough--as Jesus said, even Satan believes. He just doesn't obey. Mormons do not believe they can save themselves. Had Jesus chosen not to atone, we would have no salvation. What we believe is that behavior matters. If I say I believe, but run out and rob a bank moments later, would you really believe I was converted? Our actions matter because they demonstrate the depth of our faith if they are done for the right reasons. Obedience must be done out of love for the Savior, not for personal gain, in order to be recognized by God. Making a declaration of faith doesn't give you a free pass to sin freely without penalty. As for praying to know what is true, James 1:5 says that's what we're supposed to do. God promised He would tell us; Mormons believe God keeps His promises.

Rees

Brian
I believe your words show a misunderstanding of Mormon doctrine. Mormons do believe we are saved by the grace of Christ- but we differ in our understanding of “saved.” We believe Christ overcame death for all- thus “saving” all mankind from the permanent bands of death, and promising to all the resurrection He made possible. But WHERE we are saved- in which of the kingdoms of glory Paul referred to, depends on our willingness to follow Christ and the pathway he outlined for us to follow. (See 1 Cor. 15:40-42,2 Cor. 12:2: “caught up to the third heaven”).
The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that we are saved by grace, “after all we can do.”
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved” (2 Nephi 10:24).
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

Christ himself taught it took more than professing a belief in Him to be saved: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matt 10:22).
And He made it clear some actions, (works) beyond just belief in Him, are required: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). And this echoed the Old Testament teaching: “Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved” (Proverbs 28:18).

Mormons agree with James that just professing belief, having trust or “faith” is not enough, because faith is demonstrated by our actions- not our words alone. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?...
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:14,17)
We believe Christ's atonement was a free gift, saving us all from death and saving us to a kingdom of glory, which kingdom is based on our active faith (works), none of which can we do on our own. A lifetime of good works, without the saving Grace of Christ, would not save us. But we must do our part. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their WORKS”' (Rev.. 20:12).
I have gone on too long to really tackle your other points, but would point out that the Christian world already believes in three Gods-the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. As John pointed out, they are one in purpose, not body-just as Christ prayed we would all become one, IN THE SAME WAY, with them (John 17:11,21,22). And He made the promise: “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” (Rev.3:21).
Finally, though I do believe there is much objective data which backs up Mormon teachings, I nevertheless believe that it is not through “objective data” but through the Holy Ghost that we learn the truths of God. “...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 12:3). And that Christ meant what He said when he promised: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” ( Matt. 7:7-8). I have learned for myself this is so.
Wish we could have religious conversations based on mutual respect and Christian kindness.
Rees

David Jason

Wow Rees, passive aggressive much? Mr. Pope this is another fine example of mis-information that is taught in their church. Most of them are unable to articulate what a mainstream Christian believes these verses mean.

"Finally, though I do believe there is much objective data which backs up Mormon teachings, I nevertheless believe that it is not through “objective data” but through the Holy Ghost that we learn the truths of God."

He doesn't even know the objective data he's talking about Mormons can spout faith plus works is required for salvation, but they refuse to put in the work required to understand the critical arguments of their truth claims.

Ask a Mormon if the church wasn't true, would they want to know? Their lips might say yes, but mentally, they are very fearful that it's not.

I hope you will attend a Mormon service. Sitting quietly and taking notes would probably be the best way to approach it. They can argue all three hours of church and never address you question.

LindaSDF

oh, and BRGMGB, that is NOT "Mormon theology". You have us confused with Muslims, maybe.

LindaSDF

A CHRISTian is a person who follows Jesus CHRIST as their Savior. All the rest is just subjective additions made to make that person able to separate himself (or herself) from a group that does not believe as they do. Of course, it helps if they get it right, which this article does not.
For instance, polytheism is the WORSHIP of more than one God, and WE worship only ONE God, our Heavenly Father, While believing, not IN "other gods" but allowing the possible existence of "other gods".
Also, we believe that we can be as God is. What that entails, I don't know, and I don't really worry about it.
Finally, we believe the scriptures for the same reasons other Christians do. And it's not based on scientific data. For instance, there is no scientific data to prove the Bible to be the word of God: to believe the existence of God, and of Jesus Christ: or, more importantly, to believe that Jesus IS the Christ.
We invite Rev. Pope to our worship services to find out what we really believe.

David Jason

I agree Rev. Pope please attend a Mormon service. You will be swarmed by fake kindness, you will hear endless judgmental statements as part of the lesson, you will hear endless judgement of other members, you will here mis-information about non-mormon religions, you will hear statistics about how great they are yet realize that the statistics and lessons are half-truths, you hear that their saving ordinances are conditional on paying money/tithing, you will see a very unbalanced amount of diversity, their tithing policies make it difficult for poor people to full participate in the religion, people that are not dressed well are often shunned by members and seen as the lesser, most African Americans are aware of their history of preventing them from obtaining saving ordinances, please attend a service and listen to their lessons, your previous notions will be confirmed. They teach of their Prophets & Book of Mormon not of the life of Christ.

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

David Jason.. you just never cease to amaze me. You honestly think you can spew your lies and deception and have no one call you on it? My Mormon brother and sisters may be a bit more reserved than I.. but I will call the kettle black when it tries to declare it is white. Your kettle David.. is black.

Tithing David.. is not a saving ordinance. And the saving ordinances are required for salvation. Tithing is just a small way in this day and age.. where money does buy everything.. for not too many stores trade your chickens for goods... that will and does build up the kingdom of God. Buildings cost money.. books cost money.. electricity costs money... food costs money... tell me David.. what in your little world does not cost money? The law of tithing is still a law of God. Did you just decide to break that law? Do you have a problem giving God and his kingdom 10% of your income? I sure don't. And what church did you go to that Mormons talked about themselves?

David Jason

"you hear that their saving ordinances are conditional on paying money/tithing"

Is tithing a requirement to attend the temple? Do you receive saving ordinances in the temple?

I would love an apology for calling me a liar.

Saving ordinances are conditional on paying tithing.

Your Brothers and Sisters have the good sense to be honest.

MrNirom

No David.. Temple ordinances are not saving ordinances for the living. Only the dead. You should know this. But this is the problem I have with you. You think you know about my faith.. but you only have bits and pieces of it.

I have no reason to apologize for I have not lied at all. It is you who just doesn't understand.

LindaSDF

I have never seen this. Or experienced it.
As for fake kindness, and judgmental statements, That is the pot calling the kettle black, unless you are not a Christian.
Mormons are not perfect people. But we are not like what you describe. We teach of the life of Christ. But there is more to Christ than just His life. It's how He wants us to live our lives.

David Jason

Thanks Linda,

It's simple Mormon blindness, you don't see the offensiveness of what you talk about at church because you believe it's true.

I sincerely hope Rev Pope will attend a Mormon service. I have been in them all over the country. The problem is that the offensive material is built into the Sunday School & Gospel Doctrine manuals you have heard them for such a long time and believe them to be the word of God so you have accepted some of the offensive things by repetition. The lessons often talk about what Mainstream Christianity beliefs and a lot of time it gives a very shallow understanding or a complete fabrication. Most Christians believe that Christ is all you need and by studying his life you can get closer to him, Mormons believe that you can get closer to God by reading the Book of Mormon. You also send a lot of the time studying modern prophet's lives, much more time then you spend on studying Christ's life. You don't see the problem with that?

LindaSDF

First, I know what "mainstream Christians" believe, that's how I was raised. It is very shallow, and un-Biblical, and open to all sorts of problems. For one thing, a person can be a member of a church, and yet, do all sorts of things that cause people to raise their eyebrows, but there's nothing they can do about it, because they do not believe in excommunication, nor do they want (I suspect) to lose any sort of source of donations. Don't tell me I'm wrong, my parents are still protestant, and I hear them complaining all the time.
Yes, by studying the life of Christ, you can get closer to Him. But by studying things like the Old Testament, you can understand Christ's life better. By studying the Book of Mormon, you can also get closer to Christ.
As for modern prophets, I remember our church spent a long time studying the Wesley's, and let me tell you, those people could do no wrong! If the Methodists were anything like the Catholics, they would be praying to St. John Wesley.

David Jason

Yet the study of His life would still seem to be the most important. Don't you see the hypocrisy in all of your statements? If they truly knew Mormonism they would know it's true. Don't you think they would say the same thing about their church?

God is the one that has the right to excommunicate, it is our job to build people up, not shun them and reject them. You church builds money right into the official policies, other churches might have some salesman style preachers, but making salvation conditional on paying money is the opposite of Christ's message.

The church doesn't even follow their own doctrine on tithing. It is suppose to be 10% on your surplus . Please look up the definition of "interest" in an 1820 Webster Dictionary you'll see "Advantage Surplus". The church changed the policy to get more money and it was only added as a requirement to attend the temple when the church was on the verge of bankruptcy. It's spiritual extortion and they are using your eternal family.

Mike L

Studying the life of Christ is definitely important, but if it was the only important thing, then why don't we just use the four Gospels and throw out the rest of the Bible? The other books of the Bible are valuable because they teach us about the lives of the prophets and apostles and teach us their words. It is the same concept when the church today learns about and learns from prophets and apostles.

Mike L

This is not at all the kind of experience I have observed while attending Mormon church services. Only on extremely rare occasions have I heard judgmental comments or negative comments about other religions. Please keep in mind that all of the preaching and teaching done in the LDS church is done my ordinary lay members who are imperfect and sometimes say things they shouldn't, but by and large, I find Mormon worship services to be loving and inclusive and filled with humble people sharing their walk with God and helping each other to build a Zion society.

Mike L

If poor people were being shunned, then why is it that the majority of the converts to the church come from the poorer class of people? They obviously must feel welcome and included in the church or they wouldn't join. It is just as hard for a rich person to pay 10% of their income as it is for a poor person to pay 10%. The law of tithing is completely fair, and unlike the government, there is no tithing police going around to make sure everyone is paying their fair share. It is a personal decision made by the individual. There is never a collection plate passed in Mormon services, and there are no church employees at the local level. Nobody is getting rich from tithing donations. Also, the LDS church does an outstanding job taking care of the poor and the necessities of life will always be taken care of by the church when needed.

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

And yes Brian.. there is your creeds and your trinity. It always confused me how you can say that God created man in his image.. yet the creeds you have bought into concerning God.. say something quite the opposite. Christians have 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 are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. All three persons are incomprehensible, yet it is one God who is incomprehensible.

I would have to agree with the part that the Christian God as defined in their creeds is certainly incomprehensible!! And how God created man in this image as defined by your creeds is beyond me. This God described here is more like the Gods of Rome.. only a freakier version.

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

@ Brian Pope Well Brian.. I don't think it matters much to me if you think I am Christian or not. It won't be you who will be judging me or those of my faith. What is sad for me.. is how an ordained minister like yourself misrepresents the scriptures. Before there was even Mormonism.. the Christian world itself battled between themselves.. Saved by Faith and works.. or by Grace alone? So really Brian.. you singling out Mormons for believing what others in the Christian faith have disagreed with your point of view for a long time.. seems ridiculous.. yet they are accepted as such. Seems sad that you had to bring it up.

And Brian.. whether the Bible is historical or not.. it does nothing to convert people to Christ. It is the Holy Ghost that does that... not some inanimate book. Even the disciples who walked with Jesus after his Resurrection.. realized that while Christ was explaining the scriptures to them.. even their hearts burned within them. Dog gone feelings.

SupaTrevor
SupaTrevor

Mr. Pope, you can believe whatever you want about what Mormon doctrine is as you're entitled to your opinion, but it is clear that what you were taught about LDS theology is grossly inaccurate & I'm convinced that no amount of explanation is going to change your dogma just as it would be futile proving to the flat earth society that the earth is round.

David Jason

Nice you don't even try to explain it, because you can't. Can you agree that Mr. Pope has accurately established your doctrinal positions? You do believe that faith + works = salvation? You do believe you can become a God? You don't particularly care about evidence that counters your truth claims?

I believe he got your beliefs down accurately, you simply disagree that his are more accurate then your own. You are dishonest in your arguments. And the Earth certainly is flat, I have faith (j/k).

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

Nope.. Faith + Works + the grace of God = Salvation. You just keep leaving out important information!! Are you being misleading on purpose?

LindaSDF

He has some of our beliefs, but mostly he has them skewed, or has come to logical fallacies. He puts way more importance on things that are not important.
We believe we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.
We believe that baptism is us making sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father. It is these sacred covenants that help us to do the things that we should do.
We believe that Jesus ordained man to run His church, both temporally and spiritually.
We believe that Jesus died for our sins, and rose again so that we, too, can have eternal life.
We believe that the here and now, and how we live today, is just as important as the future. In fact, how we live today can directly affect the future.
This is just some of what we really believe.

David Jason

I don't know if you know what a logical fallacy is. I left out a lot of things Mormons this is required for salvation.

Paying Tithing + Attending Church + Marrying in the Temple + Receiving Endowments (secret signs) + enduring to the end + atonement + desire + faith + works + grace + a Savior + God + Holy Ghost = Salvation

Faith + Works = Salvation
Accurately describes Mormons position in a general sense. You are continuing to be dishonest in your arguments. Fess up to your positions or renounce your religion. Getting Mormons to define their beliefs is like trying to staple green jello to the wall.

David Jason

Yep everything that proves that Mormonism is a fraud is not important to Mormons. That's Rich.

LindaSDF

No, all that equals exaltation.

David Jason

LindaSDF I hope you can understand that the difference between exaltation and salvation does not exist for mainstream Christians?

Faith + Work = Salvation

Is an accurate general definition of the Mormon position. Please be honest with yourself. I'm surprised you haven't corrected for using the slag Mormon as opposed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sorry Mormons easier and most people don't know what LDS stands for.

MrNirom

Salvation is not exaltation. Christians don't have exaltation... they only have salvation. To Mormons.. Salvation without exaltation is damnation. In other words.. progression stops.

kellywsmith
kellywsmith

Part 5-I hope this clarifies a few things and I hope that you will follow the Spirit and learn more about what the LDS Church really teaches. If it is true, then it is the restoration of all things as prophesied of in the Bible. I know it is true, and you can too-without question or doubt but with Power and pure knowledge.

Thank you for reading this. Have a wonderful day.

David Jason

They say that they know that it's true, but you can't know that it's not true. That's a bit hypocritical don't you think? Their standard of truth is very low "feeling good" I get a good feeling when I read Harry Potter, but that doesn't mean that Gryffindor is the one true church, or that Dumbledore is my savior.

The archaeological and DNA evidence both show that the Native Americans were of Asian decent not Jewish. Steel bows were not invented until 400 A.D. yet some how Nephi got his hands on it. The witnesses of the Book of Mormon state that they saw the plates with their spiritual eyes not physically like it is presented in the Book of Mormon. Eygptologist agree (as well as some BYU educated ones) that the papyrus Joesph used to translate the Book of Abraham has nothing to do with what he supposedly translated. The Facsimiles do not translate into what Joesph Smith said they did. You have been sincerely misled.

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

Hey Jason... go read the old testament.. then tell me how steel was not invented until 400 AD..

Jeremiah 15:12
12 Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

Job 20:24
24 He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.

2 Samuel 22:35
35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Psalms 18:34
34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Hmmmm all this mentioning of steel in the old testament is way before your 400 AD.

It is you who has been mislead.

David Jason

Religious scholars agree that the King James Version mistranslated that word from Hebrew as Steel instead of Brass. Look at a modern literal translation and you will see Brass.

I agree that's probably where Joesph Smith got the idea for a steel bow. He didn't know Hebrew he was just copying and pasting from his 1820 edition of the King James Version Bible.

I wish Mormons could see through the lies.

MrNirom

The closest word we have to what Joseph's bow was made of was steel... not that it was steel. And the various translations of the Bible.. which one is the right one now???

New International Version
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

English Revised Version
He teacheth my hands to war; so that mine arms do bend a bow of brass.

NET Bible
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend even the strongest bow.

I think using the term steel was probably right on. Not that it was what we call steel today.. but it is the strongest metal we had in 1830. According to the 1828 dictionary:

STEEL, n. [G.]

1. Iron combined with a small portion of carbon; iron refined and hardened, used in making instruments, and particularly useful as the material of edged tools. It is called in chemistry, carburet of iron; but this is more usually the denomination of plumbago.
2. Figuratively, weapons; particularly, offensive weapons, swords, spears and the like.

Mike L

Mormons DO believe that we can know if something is not true. "But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong (Doctrine & Covenants 9:9). Also, "But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil (Moroni 7:17).

What does ancient Jewish DNA look like? How would a scientist go about comparing the DNA of modern Native Americans with ancient Israelites? We have no way of making a comparison. However, it doesn't surprise me that Asian DNA is found in Native Americans. The Book of Mormon took place in a small geographic area. The Book of Mormon makes no claim that all Native Americans are descendants of Lehi.

Mike L

As far as Martin Harris making a comment that he was shown the plates by an angel with his "spiritual eyes," that was a common saying at the time. Spiritual things are seen with spiritual eyes. That doesn't mean that physical eyes aren't also involved or that it is somehow less reliable because it was a spiritual experience. All three witnesses gave multiple testimonies throughout their lifetimes that they truly saw what they claimed they saw.

Mike L

We don't know all of the details about the translation of the Book of Abraham, except that it was done by the power of God in the same way that he brought forth other scripture. There were multiple papyrus scrolls that were very long, and there are only a few scraps in existence. The rest were burned in the great Chicago fire. So we have no way of comparing the papyrus to the translation. Having said that, it's possible that the papyrus did not contain the words of the book of Abraham. It's possible that the physical scrolls acted as a "catalyst" for Joseph to receive revelation to produce the text of the Book of Abraham. The evidence is in the text itself and the parallels that have been found with other ancient documents that discuss Abraham which have been discovered since the time of Joseph Smith.

kellywsmith
kellywsmith

Part 4-God has not revealed everything so that we can develop that faith necessary to grow and become like Him.

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that we have a Prophet on the earth today just like in the Old Testament. We have a Moses on the earth right now that speaks for God and the world should listen to His words. His name is Thomas S. Monson. I know that there are many great and wonderful people on the earth today that do not know or have the fullness of the Gospel and are held in darkness, sometimes all of their lives. We send missionaries all over the world to spread the good word of God and to bring them the truth that has been revealed in these latter days.

Here is an excellent video that explains much of what the church teaches: http://youtu.be/IUaHacwLxao

kellywsmith
kellywsmith

Part 3-What father does not rejoice in his extended posterity and loves them all? There is nothing wrong in stating that we can become like God as it is taught in the Bible. I can pray to a God that understands my situation and knows what it is like to live in mortality and suffering of our telestial world. I am not praying to a non-understandable nothingness that I cannot have faith in. I am praying to a God who I now who and what He is. There is no question and there is no confusion.

We also exercise our faith in things of the spirit and go by our feelings of the spirit as it is through the Holy Ghost that we may know the truth of all things. There is so much emphasis on empirical evidence in our scientific world and a demand for hard facts that we have lost the ability to have faith as we depend upon science and technology. Moses DID part the Red Sea. Noah DID float on the oceans in a flood that covered the world. God DID create this earth and placed all animal life upon it.

David Jason

If you believe that faith is all that's needed then I can only wish that my church would have gotten to you first. With that logic I probably could get you to join the Church of Gryffindor. If you have a good feeling when you read it, then know that I am the Prophet David Jason. Please send me 10% of your income or I will separate your family for all eternity.

P.S. Please keep your eyes open while driving, the spirit doesn't seem to have taken a driver ed course.

Mike L

David Jason, it sure seems illogical that you're criticizing the idea that faith is needed to believe in religious claims while at the same time (in another post) claiming that salvation comes through faith alone. You seem to think that the Bible can be proved scientifically, but there is very little if any scientific or archaeological evidence for the truth claims of the Bible. How do you know that the Bible is true? I suspect that it is the same way that I believe it is true, because I have a good, peaceful feeling when I read it which gives me inspiration and brings me closer to God. That is the exact same way in which I know the Book of Mormon to be a book from God.

You belittle the Spirit, "but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith" (Galatians 5:22).

kellywsmith
kellywsmith

Part 2-It is not possible to be saved by only believing as you must be baptized. Otherwise, why did Peter, Paul and others do it and Christ command it?

We also believe in being saved by the Grace of God after doing all we can to follow the law, obey the commandments, share the gospel, repent, serve others and try our best. But no matter how hard we try we will always fall short as no one can make it on their own. It is through the Infinite Atonement of Christ that enables the Grace of God to take effect and bring Salvation to all who follow the right path. It IS a gift from God because we can never do enough to deserve or earn it.

Here is an excellent article on why some Evangelicals have difficulty with the LDS Church: http://mormonvoices.org/1444/mormons-and-evangelicals

We do believe that we can become like God just as a baby grows from infancy, youth, teens, manhood and becomes a father like his father before him. What father would not want to have his son become a father?

kellywsmith
kellywsmith

Let me see if I can help clarify some of these things.

Part-1: Since the days of Joseph Smith when he told the first preacher about his vision of seeing God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and who subsequently blew up at him telling him it was all of the devil, there has been much persecution of the members of the LDS Church and its teachings. There have also been many who have not been able to let go of old ideas and teachings and accept the clear revelations of the Word of God as revealed anew in these the latter days.

Mormons certainly are Christians as is evidence of the true name of the church; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jesus is the head of the Church and it is run by a Prophet and 12 Apostles as in Christ's day. It is organized the same as His early church and we tell the world that we have the authority to baptize and perform sacred ordinances like Baptism. These ordinances were also done by the disciples of old and are necessary for salvation.

David Jason

The FLDS claims to be Mormon because the believe in the teaching of Joesph Smith and are actually practicing the New & Everlasting Covenant. The LDS church are the apostates.

Does that mean that the FLDS are Mormons?

You can say you're a Christian all you like, but if you trust Joesph Smith (a self admitted conman) more then you do the words of Jesus Christ you are not Christian!

Paul R Morin
Paul R Morin

Mr Jason... twice now you have stated that Joseph Smith is a "self admitted conman". Would you care to prove that? Show us what you got. Point out your sources. If you can't.. then you owe us all an apology.

David Jason

Even though I know that Mormons would never return the favor of evidence or an apology. I know this won't persuaded you in anyway. Mormons seem to hold Joesph Smith to a very low ethical or moral standard. Here's your evidence:

http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no68.htm#JOSEPH%20SMITH%20GUILTY

You will see that Joesph Smith admitted to the crime of "looking-glass" where he used peep stones to help find people's lost property. This was a crime, and Joesph Smith wasn't very good at it.

He also looked at peep stones in his hat to translate the Book of Mormon.

MrNirom

Honestly.. your terminology of self admitted conman.. surely leave a lot to be desired. You seem more hellbent on proving that Joseph was some kind of swindler, rather than look at the true facts in evidence.

1. Con men seek out their marks; Joseph was approached for his help by those who had heard about him.
2. Con men travel from place to place, staying one step ahead of the law while defrauding their marks; Joseph was known locally and remained in his local area.

Interestingly, critics of Joseph Smith's time ignored the 1826 trial.
They didn't bring it up in another trial in the same area in 1830.
It was not mentioned in any of the affidavits collected by Hurlbut in 1833, even though he was diligently looking for every piece of dirt he could find.
Although the trial was briefly mentioned in 1831, it was not mentioned again in a published record for 46 years.

So why now?
Society had changed
Seer Stones were no longer acceptable
Treasure digging was considered abnormal. Done

MrNirom

Why is it so important to know... HOW... Joseph translated the book? The fact is.. he did. The manifestation of the Power of God need not be criticized by a human being who understands nothing of what God does... or the why he does it. We can only watch in awe and splendor that regardless of the weaknesses of men.. his goals can be accomplished.

The word of Joseph Smith.. came from Jesus Christ. Joseph got his updated knowledge from Jesus himself. Since I do trust Jesus Christ.. I also trust his prophet. The problem here David.. is you don't. And there were many who did not believe that Noah was a prophet either. They all drowned. Many did not believe Moses was a Prophet.. Many did not believe Abraham spoke with God. Many people stoned and killed the prophets because they too.. like you.. did not believe they were prophets. The Jews did not believe that Jesus was the Christ.. and look what happened there. So you David are in good company. Not one I would want to be in...

David Jason

MrNirom the answer to your questions and the problems with your logic are very simple. I hope that you will think critically and not believe everything the church tells you.

Please google your truth claims or your arguments, put your arguments up on yahoo answers and someone will answer them shortly. I have spent all the time I can on this webpage. I hope that Mormons will be curious enough to want real answers, most of the responses that were made wouldn't be convincing to most non-mormon or a mainstream christian. I hope they stay away it's a very controlling organization that seems to be hellbent on taking your money, all your time, and using your eternal family as a means to guilt you into obedience to the organization. Ask hard questions in church you might get a response by Hugh Nibley or Richard Bushman answer , challenge those answers. If you ask too many questions you will be sent to the Bishop. The truth will set you free. The world is much better then they say.

David Jason

Nice threat MrNirom. These are the same ends that will meet people that will follow false Prophets, like Korihor. Joesph Smith Jr. is a False Prophet, God has given you an abundance of evidence.

You don't follow Muhammad either, how do you know he's not the true prophet. Have you put the same effort into finding out if the Koran is true as you have with the Book of Mormon?

MrNirom

Mr Jason... I am no more controlled by the Church than you can control me. If I did not see the value of tithing.. then I would be like you.. out of the church and closing my eyes to it and telling everyone that is all the church wants is my money. But that is not the case. Christ want followers.. doers.. people of action.

16 ¶And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17 .... but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, ... adultery, ... steal, ....bear false witness,

19 Honour thy father & thy mother: and, ... love thy neighbour as thyself.

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

BRGMGB
BRGMGB

I like the part of Mormon theology where dead guy's get their own planet and it's full of gorgeous babes. What's not to like about a religion that holds that out as a prize?

Dandini
Dandini

BRGMGB - - - you might be a little confused. . . here is some doctrine, belief, and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:. . . "…The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, if so be that we suffer with him in the flesh that we may be also glorified together…” (Romans 8:16-17). and. . . “…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…” (Rev 3:21)

David Jason

You do realize that those quotes could just as easily mean that you will happily be in Heaven with God if have faith in Him. Nothing directly indicates that we will become Gods. That is unique to Mormon theology.

"13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Revelation 22:13 Yet Joesph Smith said that we can all become Gods. Should I believe the Bible or Joesph Smith's musings in King Follett Discourse?

Sorry I have a hard time trusting a guy that marries with other men's wives after sending them on missions, that marries teenager, a pattern that continues with most of the other early Prohpets. He is a self admitted conman, that was employed as a treasure seeker. He revealed Polygamy after Oliver Cowdery accused him of adultery (convenient?). He was in Liberty Jain for destroying a printing press that was exposing his polygamy. He constantly lied to his wife about the number of other wives (strictly forbidden in D&C 132).

Dandini
Dandini

Belief in many “gods” or that man can become a god was not new in the early Christian church, nor another idea of the LDS/Mormon church. . . if you have studied any history books regarding the ancient Israelites. . . Aaron Brody, director of the Bade Museum and an associate professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion, says the ancient Israelites were polytheists. . . William Dever (archaeologist specializing in history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times, a Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology and a Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology) stated, "…Virtually all mainstream scholars and even a few conservatives acknowledge that true monotheism emerged only in the period of the exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C. as the canon of the Hebrew Bible was taking shape…" the list of biblical scholars that know this is getting longer. . .

Dandini
Dandini

New Testament – Jesus said, "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;… " (John 10:34)

In fact there are dozens of scriptures that talk about the eternal "possibility" of man.

“…And God said Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26)

"...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them..." (Genesis 1:27)

Before any of the man-made "Creeds" [Nicene, etc. ca. AD 325 or later) came into existence, theosis or deification was a belief and taught by the early Christians. the process of deification or becoming like God is fully in accordance with the teaching of the New Testament, including Christ’s admonition to 'be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect' (Matthew 5:48), and scriptural accounts including 'that … ye might be partakers of the divine nature' (2 Peter 1:4), and 'when he shall appear, we shall be like him' (1 John 3:2).

Dandini
Dandini

Before any of the man-made "Creeds" [Nicene, etc. ca. AD 325 or later) came into existence, theosis or deification was a belief and taught by the early Christians. the process of deification or becoming like God is fully in accordance with the teaching of the New Testament, including Christ’s admonition to 'be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect' (Matthew 5:48), and scriptural accounts including 'that … ye might be partakers of the divine nature' (2 Peter 1:4), and 'when he shall appear, we shall be like him' (1 John 3:2).

Justin Martyr (AD 103-165), one of the earliest known Christian apologist who’s works represent the earliest surviving Christian "apologies" of notable size, said: “it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods,” and even of having power to become sons of the Highest."

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

You say “He revealed Polygamy after Oliver Cowdery accused him of adultery”

Actually no. Oliver Cowder’s accusations occurred in 1838. Joseph likely learned of plural marriage in 1831. This is the view of Comptoni n “ In Sacred Lonlieness” 4, 26-23,33)

According to Mosiah Hancock, his father learned about plural marriage from Joseph in 1832 (Hancock Autobiograpy, 61) Brigham Young is quoted as saying that the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery had the doctrine revealed to them while translating the Book of Mormon which dates the revelation to 1829. (Walker diary, 1:343) Joseph Bates Noble puts it between 1831 and 1833 (Bachman, “Plural Marriage”, 61. )

Dwight Rogers
Dwight Rogers

Eleven of the 14 so-called polyandrous marriages occurred when the husbands were in town. In two of the other three cases the historic information is ambiguous as to whether the husbands were in town or not. Only Orson Hyde was the only one for sure out of town and had been gone for a year on his mission to the Holy Land. After he returned he had his wife re-sealed to the Prophet with his knowledge. Most of these men knew their wives were being sealed for eternity to the Prophet and they consented or approved. The characterization by critics that it was done behind their backs is erroneous.

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