Are Christians Mormons? what about spiritual gifts, view of the Godhead, deification,new revelation?
Spiritual gifts, a social view of the Godhead, deification, post-mortal evangelization, divine embodiment, and continuing revelation,have more and more Christian thinkers thinking.
Hi Demas. This question is similar to the old "not all rectangles are squares, but all squares are rectangles." All Mormons are Christians, but not all Christians are Mormons.
I grew up with a Mormon best friend, and leaned much of their culture. Mormons and other Christians worship the same God, but with several differences. Mormons emphasize the importance of hard work, often believing it earns them a place in heaven, while other denominations tend to view heaven as promised to anyone who accepts Jesus. Mormons believe in the visions of their founder, Joseph Smith, while other Christians are more skeptical.
Further differences exist but I'll leave those for another time.
If people get to heaven by "hard work," most of us won't see inside the pearly gates. Mormons believe the scripture that "Faith without works is dead." Mormons believe God is unchanging, communicated with men through prophets and still does reveal.
Yes, they do. What we've discussed is a good sampling of their viewpoints.
That was a great explanation.
Mormon are call Later Day Saints meaning the are a branch off the later days of Christainity. Religions that are new, they are called Cults. To me, Religions are just cultures.
We believe that the LDS church is the restored church because it fell away after the original apostles were killed. The Niacin Creed changed the belief in the Nature of God (that the trinity was one being). Cult is your opinion. I'm sure that Jews that Jesus was part of a cult.
Don't take this as criticism. It's just curiosity. How do you resolve the fact that the founder was proven to be a person who told untruths?
Prophets can't lie. Joseph Smith lied.
That's the head scratcher to me with sects like Mormon, Jehovah Witness, etc. The people who follow are decent people but I wonder how they resolve the obvious problems with the origins of their beliefs.
I appreciate your intent to not be critical. I would be curious to know what you are referring to in regard to untruths. There are two ways to like at things... glass half empty or glass half full. I choose to look at the good and with faith. A few things to consider... look at politics... democrats usually find fault with republicans and vice versa. Many people in Other countries hate Americans for various reasons and think we're all the same but we're not.
Other faiths attack ours because we are considered a threat for various reasons. In regards to Joseph Smith, consider others such as Martin Luther king Jr and Gandhi... they were also hated by others and died for what they believe in. Their enemies dragged their names through the mud too. Many things are twisted out of context. Consider the source of the propaganda.
To be a good Christian one need not be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but to be a good member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one needs to be a good Christian.
Are you allowed to investigate the origins of your faith? I only ask because I politely listened to Jehovah witnesses but lost patience when questions were asked about those origins which they were not allowed to answer or listen to.
I am always open to the possibility of new information and new revelation but it must be initially met with skepticism.
Comparing Martin Luther King to Joseph Smith is a good comparison. Smith claimed to be a prophet. King didn't. Smith has multiple well documented incidents of making up stories to attempt to make himself appear to be a person being given divine revelation. King didn't. I could go on, but a simple look at each shows how poorly Smith compares.
I respect Mormons individually, just like any religion. I just wonder what drives adherence to religions easily debunked.
Live to Learn-
Thank you for your reply. Of course I can investigate the origins and even other faiths. It is natural, perhaps, to question. In fact, I have asked my fair share of questions, and have not had blind faith.
I think you are still being a little vague about examples. I don't believe that Joseph Smith was faking anything or to appear better than he was. He was not perfect. My point about comparing was that he died for his faith. I do not think that he would have if he was a fraud. But more importantly, the point is, that many public figures are slandered by their enemies. For example, Republicans and Democrats always attack each other. Jesus was slandered in His time as well.
I appreciate your openness to dialogue. Since you say I'm being vague with examples I'll elaborate, not necessarily in line with a chronological order of events.
I find little faith in 'bibles' created by break off sects which change drastically belief derived over hundred of years by those looking at Scripture well documented as being faithful to the original text. Rewriting in an attempt to shore up an idea one individual is peddling should be frowned upon. So I would never take that revised religious rambling on faith.
Smith's bogus claim of the meaning of an Egyptian papyrus later translated is one indication,to me, that he was a con man.
The weird idea that an angel choose him to attempt to completely reinvent Christianity is problematic. It reminds me of the origins of Islam and the havoc wreaked by such belief.
His claim of possessing a magical rock is, in and of itself, troubling. I do understand why people 200 years ago might fall for such. Now? Not so much.
The belief that Mormons will become gods is in complete contradiction to the teaching of Jesus, in my opinion. It is just another example of humans needing to exalt themselves.
The Mormon assumption that only they are right is, to me, a clear indication of the falsehood of the teachings. If Jesus,himself, didn't pick and choose what extended belief structure was going to be stamped exclusively heavenly approved I'm pretty sure the Mormons don't have greater authority.
Claiming the garden of Eden to have been located in Missouri I find to be pretty weird and without any logical reason to make the claim.
I have the misfortune to have Jehovah Witnesses as the primary proselytizers in my area, but these off shoot religions are pretty much the same. Some guy presents a wild idea, a few people jump on board, the religion can only grow by morphing into something else along the way and the religion is forced to continually pretend the origins are not problematic.
Denise/Live to Learn-
I looked at your profile, if you don’t mind. It appears that you are a deep thinker and your articles look interesting.
What part of Tennessee are you from? I have lived in Maryville, Dayton, Knoxville, and Chattanooga as part of my 2 year church mission service. I appreciate your open mind and willingness to question respectively. I love the people in the South, but my experience is that many, if not most, are pretty set in their ways. I would always hear “I was born Baptists, raised Baptist and I’m going to die a Baptist.” Or when I invited them to be Baptized with what we believe to be the restored Priesthood, they would say “I’ve already done been baptized.”
I have much to say, so here goes…
Yes, I enjoy a dialogue. I am here to explain my beliefs and defend them when necessary. I appreciate your elaboration.
Yes, if we look at the Bible alone, you find tens of thousands of churches that have stemmed from it. In my opinion, we have more similarities than people take the time to discover. We believe that Jesus Christ organized His Church, then there was a falling away or Apostasy after the Apostles were killed. So we believe the church was restored by the Lord through the first prophet of the restoration (Joseph Smith). One of the first things that was revealed from Joseph Smith’s first vision was that God and Jesus Christ were separate and had bodies. This goes against one of the core teachings around 300 AD form the Nicaean Creed that taught that Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Ghost were the same being. If you think about it, why would Jesus talk to Himself on the cross? They are the same in every way except physically. So we believe it was restored, not reinvented.
We do not see it as rewriting. The Gospel of Jesus Christ (as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is so simple that the seven year olds I teach at church can understand it. But on the other hand, very knowledgeable people (I would consider scholars) are baffled by it and often talk about mysteries and deep doctrine where there is much speculation. The problem, for lack of a better word, is the teachings/beliefs from those in our church are not part of our basic beliefs and would be what I would call that “deep doctrine.” That is where most of our critics get their ammunition. A leader, who was giving an opinion over 100 years ago may have speculated on something.
I will share my thoughts/opinions/understanding on the garden of Eden and magical rocks…but I must first say that these things are esoteric (not a core teaching).
Considering a church from the time of Christ, many things that were normal then would seem strange to us.
Did Joseph Smith use a stone? Maybe. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Does it matter? Not in my opinion. I can see how you would think it was strange.
I won’t go through the effort to find the source at this time, but about the garden of Eden…yes, it was said that the garden of Eden was there. It is possible that it was there before the flood, then Noah went to the area where Jesus was or the Middle East. Pangaea could have been a factor (before the continents split). So it is a theory. Not to minimize your question, but it is an interesting thought and again, does not pertain to my salvation.
Do we aspire to become Gods, no. Is it a possibility and in our potential? Yes. Does a kitten (like your picture) aspire to be a cat? Maybe. Is he bad because he/she can become a cat? No.
Critics accuse the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of blasphemy for our belief that men can become like God. They say the aspiration to become like God was Satan’s first lie in the Bible (Gen.3:5). This is not true for two reasons. (1) It was not a lie. God admitted that Adam and Eve had indeed become as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen.3:22). (2) The first to lie was told by Eve. In Genesis 2:17 the Lord warned Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge. When Eve repeated the Lord’s warning to the serpent, she added the phrase, “…neither shall ye touch it…” (Gen. 3:3). Her added words amount to a lie.
Although Latter-day Saints believe that we may become like God, we do not believe any mortal can ever become equal with God nor do we believe that God will ever be replaced.
There are many verses in the Bible which teach that mortals may become like God. And since the Bible is the common denominator between the LDS Church and its critics, its contents should be taken seriously by all.
• All things were created after their own kind (Gen.1:21,24). Therefore, man was created after the Godkind (Gen.1:26-27).
• We must become perfect even as God is perfect (Matt.5:48).
• We are to be holy, as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
• We are to be pure as God is pure (1 John 3:3).
• We are to be one with God and Christ (John 17:21-23). When Jesus said that he and his Father are “one,” the Jews threatened to kill him for making himself God (John 10:30-33).
• Christ gives us the same glory that the Father gave him (John 17:22).
• We are the offspring of God (Acts 17:28). The Greek word for “offspring” is genos which means descent, kin, or stock.
• We have the ability to become the sons of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:2).
• We are heirs of God (Rom.8:14-21; Gal.4:1-7).
• We may become equal with Christ (Rom.8:28-30), just as Christ is equal to God (John 5:18).
• We can look into a mirror and see God and be changed to the same image (2 Cor.3:18).
• We are part of a family in heaven and earth (Eph.3:15)
• We may have a God-like mind (Philip.2:5).
We may be partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet.1:4).
• We can have the name of God written upon us (Rev.3:12; 22:3-5), much like a name tag.
• As we overcome, we will be granted the right to sit on the throne of God (Rev.3:21).
• Like Christ, the Saints will reign forever (Rev.22:5).
The Bible contains many references in which God shares his name-title with men and angels (Ex.7:1; 4:16; 18:19; 22:28; Deut.10:17; Ps.82:1,6-7).
Some critics argue that such verses are subject to other interpretations. However, there is ample evidence that the early Christians interpreted the above verses as do the LDS people. For example, the early Christian book of Philip states that, “Horses sire horses, men beget men, and God brings forth gods” (61:29:35).
Why would anyone want to be part of a church that does not think that they have the truth? However, we try to focus on common beliefs and I intend to publish articles on that topic.
I could criticize Jehovah Witnesses, but that is not my purpose. I had experiences with them in Tennessee. My experience is that they were antagonistic toward me and were not there to make friends. However, I do not have the desire to criticize churches that I am no part of and are not attacking me. And they have some truth. But I am just explaining my faith, at least to those who are sincerely wanting to learn and not just ignorantly attack. As an example, think of sports fans…I may be a NY Yankees fan. It doesn’t matter how good they are this year. Boston Red Sox fans will drag my team through the mud and criticize and say what a bad team they are. Should I listen to them? No. I believe in my team and I see the good in them.
I look forward to your respectful (as you have been) thoughts.
I'm living in Ashland City but I've lived all around in my lifetime. I get what you are saying about the Baptists but, in that respect, I'd say they don't differ from the Mormons, or any sect.
And, truthfully, I have always scratched my head at why the Trinity is such a stumbling block as to create bizarre explanations of God. The Trinity simply highlights the omnipresent nature of God. The divine is above you, beside you, all around you. It permeates reality. What is so difficult about that? I've listened to the Jehovah Witness contorted and convoluted attempt to weave some tale about it because of their aversion to the idea and I find the Mormon belief just as flat. It's simplistic, to me. It drags the divine down in a very human desire to understand the unseen.
I get what you are saying about the 'deep doctrine'. I remember the JWs thinking they'd reeled me in enough to proceed with the stuff not everyone hears during the door knocking phase. That was the end for me. Deep doctrine is synonymous with 'and this is the moment we break with reality'.
You guys are no different from any other sect of Christianity, in a lot of respects. But any group of people who claim the only options are their way or a highway to hell, to me, completely slept through the gospels. Or, just choose to ignore the teaching of Christ.
We aren't on teams. Or, at the least, we shouldn't be. Those of us who insist on teams have chosen to replace the second most important commandment with man-made beliefs.
Like I stated initially. Mormons are good people, just like Catholics, Baptists, JWs etc. We all believe what makes sense to us. I just hate to see people feel the need to believe they have the right to claim others have no right to God unless they change their beliefs.
I agree that the divine is all around us.
I would like to focus my response on these two paragraphs of yours:
"You guys are no different from any other sect of Christianity, in a lot of respects. But any group of people who claim the only options are their way or a highway to hell, to me, completely slept through the gospels. Or, just choose to ignore the teaching of Christ.
We aren't on teams. Or, at the least, we shouldn't be. Those of us who insist on teams have chosen to replace the second most important commandment with man-made beliefs."
Here is the difference with us about a true church…It is a basic belief of hours, but I would say that it is deeper than other faiths normally go. We call it the plan of Salvation. The purpose of life is that it was a test. We believe in a premortal life. We existed as spirits before we came to earth. Before the War in Heaven, Jesus had the plan to have us come to earth to gain a body. He allowed us to have free agency so we could choose for ourselves. Lucifer had another plan where we would have no agency. God went with the plan of Jesus. Anyone who chose that plan has came to Earth with a body.
We do not believe in a burning Hell. We believe it is figuratively burning. Would a loving God have us burn in Hell if you don’t happen to find the one true faith? We believe in three degrees of glory after the judgement. Revelation chapter 20 teaches that we will be judged by our works. The Celestial kingdom is for those who have the truth and follow it. Terrestrial is for those who are good, including those that believe in Jesus Christ. The Telestial is for everyone else. It has been taught that the Telestial Kingdom is better than our Earth life. Especially for those in the Telestial Kingdom, there will be consequences for our poor choices, but I do not know the details.
Now about your other paragraph…you’re focusing on teams when that was not my point. The point is that critics of Joseph Smith will rarely admit that he did any good. Believers believe in the good that he did. We do not believe that our teachings are man made. We believe that Jesus Christ leads the Church through a prophet today. The true beliefs were restored after being lost over time.
Thanks again for being what I would consider to be civil and truly sincere.
I just thought of a good metaphor that I think was too good not to share, in my opinion. Let's talk about medicine...let's say that there was an ancient cure from 2,000 years ago. The recipe was lost. But it was found and restored. Those that use it know the good of it and that it can cure health problems. But not many have tried it. If we compare that to current religions, other religions who criticize us are like pharmaceutical companies that are concerned about losing their customers, or, to give them the benefit of the doubt, they just really like theirs and they are more biased, for lack of a better work. So they attack the restored medicine, even though it is good. They overlook any and all good. Many do not understand it and it seems strange, but they do not take the time to understand. I hope that helps.
I'm afraid your metaphor is off. You represent an idea. An idea that cannot be substantiated, proven, or otherwise verified.
It's a man-made sales pitch. Snake oil, for all it can be proven. Which is little different from other proselytizing sects.
Sorry. The gospels gave us the words of Jesus. They point out that even as a child, he understood it. That shows how simple it is. He choose unlearned disciples to reinforce the fact that God's message and desire is easily understood.
I understand. We all feel inadequate and unworthy. We tend to believe there has to be more to it all. I don't think there is. I think our feelings of inadequacy are so strong that even though we find a way to believe God loves us we can't make that leap of faith that God loves us all. So, crazy ideas are formed. We jump through man-made hoops and believe those hoops are divinely inspired when the divinely spoken words of the 2 most important commandments are too difficult to ponder, due to our own shortcomings we refuse to address.
I’m sorry you feel that way. We all think differently and things that make sense to me do not make sense to you. My ideas are substantiated, proven and verified through the power of the Holy Ghost and from my study of the scriptures:
John 14:26- But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:26- But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
Also, consider faith:
Hebrews 11:1-Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:6- But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
This is no sales pitch for me. It is a way of life. What you choose to do is up to you. Agency is at the core of our experience of life. The one thing that God would never take from us is our agency. We must choose to follow Him. All must find truth for themselves with sincerity.
Yes, the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. In my personal opinion, Paul taught another gospel. His words are often cryptic. I would love to talk to him in the next life to get his thoughts on so many thinking grace only is the way. To me, that is false doctrine. James 2 teaches faith without works is dead. Revelation 20 teaches that we will be judged by our works. We do not earn our way to Heaven. But if we believe, we must follow Jesus Christ in our thoughts and actions, not just our words.
What I believe may be hard for you to comprehend and you may think it is “crazy”. But once you understand the principles, it all comes together and makes perfect sense. I would have it no other way. It is not man-made. Jesus Christ organized His church and man changed it. All religions have truth, but not all of it. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His restored gospel, with all of the truth.
Consider that many claims made against the Prophet Joseph Smith have been taken seriously by The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and disproved, such as that the Book of Mormon was written by another author, the facts remain that his was an extraordinary life of holding true to his first vision of The Father and The Son when living a less turbulent life would have been so much easier. "The Joseph Smith Papers" are now published in nine volumes, often available at libraries and church meeting house libraries. A serious search for the truth about this Joseph Smith could make use of this and similar sources in your own search for the truth. We love the Lord Jesus Christ. James 1:5
Ether 12:6: “Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” Perhaps it is meant as: "...for ye receive no witness until after the trial your own faith." This scripture is of importance for the great commission calls on us to be witnesses to all, at all times, and in all places, witnesses of Jesus The Christ. Disputng must eventually give way to testifying of Christ. May it be so is my prayer in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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