Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mormon god vs Christian God

Is God eternal or did He become God? Where did He come from? Where is He located? Does He care about us on earth or has He created us and then left us to fend for ourselves?

Every religion has its own view on the nature of God or a “higher power” which is ultimately responsible for the creation and sustaining of the universe. Today we will take a look at both the Mormon and Orthodox Christian views of God’s nature. The information given on the Mormon view will be taken directly from Mormon Scripture and other Mormon publications. The Christian view is given based on the information in the Holy Bible. I do this so that there is no personal bias. It will be a representation of what both systems of faith profess to believe and therefore teach.
What does the LDS organization say about the nature of God?

More than one God:
First, in The Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 5:4 states that the gods created the earth and the heavens. Verse seven of this same chapter states that the “gods formed man from the dust”. Clearly the LDS teaching is that there is more than one God.
Joseph Smith once stated, "I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of gods". This quote is recorded in the History of the Church 6: 474. (Emphasis added by me)
Furthermore, Brigham Young, the second LDS prophet said, "How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods..."  This statement is from the Journal of Discourses 7:333.
Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt taught, "We were begotten by our Father in Heaven; the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on, from one generation to generation", from page 132 of The Seer, a Mormon publication.
These statements are in direct contrast to the Christian teaching that there exists only one God.
First Timothy 2:5 saysFor there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity--the man Christ Jesus.
Joshua 22: 22 says,
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, the Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows, and may Israel itself know…”
Also consider 1 Corinthians 8: 6: “…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
Christians believe that there is only one God in whom all power resides. To state that there is any God other than this one God is in direct contradiction to the Bible and therefore not a Christian belief. By the evidence states so far it is obvious that the god of the Mormon faith is not the same as the God of Christianity.
Jesus is not God?
First Corinthians 8:6 and 1 Timothy 2:5, not only state that there is only one God but that God was physically seen on earth in the person of Jesus Christ.
First John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. 
This same verse in Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible aka The Inspired Version, reads like this:
“In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God.
Smith blatantly strips Jesus Christ of His rightful deity by adding in the word ‘of’. Obviously the LDS organization teaches that Jesus was not God in the flesh which means they are not teaching a core Christian belief.
The Trinity (a.k.a. Triune God)
This also leads to another LDS belief that God is not one being comprised of three persons. According to a friend/relative of mine who served twice as a Mormon Bishop, Mormons profess that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate Gods who are “one in purpose”. I also had an online chat with a Mormon missionary who verified this LDS belief.
In contrast, we read in John 10: 30 where Christ stated, “I and the Father are one”. Christ used the Greek word for ‘one’ which means, “Of the same essence and substance”. It doesn’t get any plainer or bolder than that. Jesus stated that He was of the same stuff that makes up the God that created the universe. He is of the very same unique fabric as God.
Mormons may use the events surrounding Jesus’ baptism as evidence that there is more than one god. When Jesus rose out of the water in Matthew 3:17 the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in Him I am well pleased”. Here were see Jesus in the water, The Holy Spirit descending from heaven and the voice of the Father in Heaven. Mormons see this as three gods; Christians see this as God showing proof of His omnipresence. The God of Christianity has the ability to be in three places and in three forms all at once. Apparently the Mormon god does not share this amazing trait.
This is just further proof that Christianity and Mormonism are absolutely not the same when it comes to their beliefs on the nature of God.
It is important to realize that there are definite, undeniable differences between the god of Mormonism and that of Christianity. Why? Because many Christians join the Mormon organization thinking that they’ll be able to take their Christianity with them. However, the subtle “bait and switch” approach of the LDS organization slowly becomes apparent upon deep, detailed investigation of their beliefs.
Also, in speaking with several Mormons I have been met with statements to the effect of, “There really is no difference between what you believe and what we believe. We both serve the same God”.
The fact is, upon detailed investigation we discover that the god spoken of and taught within the walls of Mormonism is quite different than the God of the Christian faith. Let us not be fooled into thinking that Mormonism is an example/extension of our faith in the God of the Bible. It is not a denomination within Christianity in the least bit.
In my opinion Mormonism is one of Satan’s most crafty, detailed, world-wide deceptions. The Latter Day Saints appear, in many ways, to teach and believe the same message of Jesus Christ- but, these few examples show the Truth!!
It is a fundamental believe that God is three persons which comprise One being. We believe that Jesus Christ was God made flesh, born of a virgin in the small town of Bethlehem. We believe that faith in Jesus Christ alone- as shown by the thief on the cross- is needed for salvation. We believe that God is eternal, having no beginning and no end and as such he was not created by anyone.
Due to their teachings and their lack of belief in basic core values concerning God’s nature we must reach the obvious and logical conclusion that Mormons do not believe in the same God that Christians do, period!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Implementing the Impossible Gospel

One of my New Year's resolutions was to be less confrontational when speaking with and about the LDS. That lone caused me to reevaluate my approach and discussion platform.

I have recently opened a Twitter account and I have slowly gotten the hang of it. The last few nights, I have been perusing the hashtags #Mormon and #LDS to look for opportunities to converse with people. Well, last night I sent a few tweets with little to no success, but I finally found a tweet from a guy named Bobby from Colorado who is a radio personality. We were able to converse and some traction was made.

For this conversation, I will use 'B' for Bobby, and 'J' for Josh of Ephesians 2 Ministry. Many of the responses were multi-part tweets, but I will compile them.

This was the original tweet that I responded to: "I always want to be with my own family....and The Lord has shown me how I can." #Mormon

J: And how is that? Could you show me a BofM reference or Bible reference about eternal families? I would appreciate that. Thanks.

B: This is what I found for ya my friend =]

B: PS, thank you for allowing me to research a little bit. That quote is from a hymn I sang at a funeral today. Felt inspired to share

J: That's great info. And I'm glad I got you researching. What happens to a person after death? Bible or BofM reference, too please.

B: I would refer you to my friend. I appreciate all your questions but I would go there & search references for u.

(At this point, I thought he was just going to be done talking. But I persisted.)

J: Can I share a BofM verse with YOU? Will you read Alma 34:32-35 for me and get back with me?

B: my question to you before I do that is, are you genuinely curious about my faith, or are you trying to discredit it?

J: I grew up LDS and could not get my questions answered. Too many inconsistencies. I was just wondering your thoughts on the verses.

B: ok, well inconsistencies, I've found tend to come from a lack of understanding or knowledge. When that has happened to me before I've prayed to Heavenly Father for understanding. Honestly, I've come to the realization that I am supposed to receive certain knowledges and truths when I am ready to receive them. As for that scripture in Alma, what I take from it is that this mortal life is a time of a probation. A time to repent for those transgressions we make daily. The mind/thoughts/desires are what we take with us and we should not wait until that time The Lord calls us home to repent. And that's my perspective on it. Hope that helps.

J: Have you repented for all of your transgressions that you daily commit? Just wondering. I know I struggle every day

B: I do try. I must admit it is not a daily occurrence for which I must work on my daily prayer habits. The Lord knows our hearts & intentions.

J: Well, I read Miracle of Forgiveness, and here is a quote in it: 'There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. Desire is not sufficient. In other words, it is not real repentance until one has abandoned the error of his ways and started on a new path the saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. Trying is not sufficient.

B: well to you I would say yes, I have repented of some issues in my life, and have abandoned them. However, all of us, shall remain imperfect beings in this mortal life. That's the beauty of forgiveness and sincere repentance. Faith without works is dead. I've read that talk. I feel the angle you are coming from is that we must remain free of transgression from repentance from here on out. That's not practical for any man or woman. We will always fall short of the Grace of God, but through His sacrifice we can be made clean.

J: But, what about 1 Nephi 3:7?

B: I assume you are referring being baptized unto repentance?

J: Oh no... here's the verse: 1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

B: okay, so what is your specific question regarding those verses?

J: If it's not practical for us to be free of sin and we fall short, how is it that "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

B: you and I and the rest of the waking world have a little gift called "free agency." God does not expect us to be perfect, however we are commanded to obey the precepts He has brought forth in His Gospel. He prepares the way through those scriptures guidelines and ways we may grow closer to him if we open our hearts and minds to it"

J: Wouldn't one of those precepts be full repentance, though? Alma 11:37 "And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

B: listen Josh. I respect your curiosity and thirst for Gospel knowledge, but we are going back and forth to no success of your questions. I sincerely feel you would have a phenomenal conversation with a Missionary or other Mormon confidant. I am not trying to shrug you off, but it's late, and we could go back and forth till the wee hours. I hope you find the answers you seek from God and I wish you well my friend. Be blessed and thanks for the inspiring conversation. All my best =]

J: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and talk with me. It's great that you were willing to share your knowledge and faith. Please consider Ephesians 2:8-9 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.' God bless you my friend

B: I must say I appreciate your questions and faith. Many people of whatever faith backdown due to lack of knowledge. But it is thru Christ-like dialogue we can come to agree or compassionately disagree about our beliefs. May God bless you too.

The Impossible Gospel provided for some good conversation and some critical thinking. I pray that Bobby will reflect on our conversation the next time the subject comes up and will research further into what he believes. He was very genuine in his responses and non-confrontational. He really had a desire to answer my questions. I believe that if I had started the conversation much earlier, we would have been able to walk through the Impossible Gospel even further... but, I didn't start until nearly 11pm.

Please join me in prayer for Bobby and all LDS people.