What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

jer1414 – Mormons Believe It Is Your Fault

Posted by JLFuller on June 20, 2008

Copied from http://blog.mrm.org/2008/06/still-no-apology

“Jeffrey, sadly, your situation sounds common. If you get no answer or the “wrong” answer (that the LDS church is not true), then it’s your fault – Like JLFuller said, you’re not faithful enough, you don’t want one bad enough, etc. It’s just like the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. The pressure is put on people, especially children, who desperately want Mormonism to be true and please their family members – to just believe it, obey, do, be sincere, just accept it… then maybe you’ll get a good feeling. However, I’ve come to realize that if convincing does occur, it’s from deceptive spirit.

I’ve also had Mormons turn just about anything into “That’s the Holy Ghost telling you it’s true!” For instance this happened when I related to a Mormon the many Mormons I’ve witnessed to as they come across my path. Unfortunately for her, it’s not the Holy Ghost telling me that Mormonism is true, but rather the Lord has brought them my way because they desperately need to hear the truth of Jesus Christ.”

I don’t think Jerry is being mean spirited. He talks about a real phenomenon. Is it our fault? Sometimes – maybe most of the time. But I don’t think it is a blame thing. I think it is an expectation and learning thing. I think it is more of a 1 Corinthians thing. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child…”  We know from the next part that an adult thinks and understands differently. I think it is the same with a testimony. We all, I think, acknowledge that a mature Christian understands better than a person new in the faith, regardless of which version they adhere to. I know that is my experience. I wonder if we sometimes don’t give ourselves little enough credit for what we do know. Do we know that daily prayer is helpful even though we are not quite sure how? Do things just seem to go better at work and at home when we obey Christian principles of love unfeigned, compassion, sacrifice for others and tolerance? Do we feel better or worse when we behave boorishly over the phone to another person?. Can you tell right from wrong and do you feel good when you do the right thing or help someone else without expecting a reward or even recognition?  I think the Light of Christ provides us with those answers. When you listen to a sermon from a humble servant of God do you feel closer to Christ? When you hear a mean-spirited angry sermon do you feel the same way? These simple understandings are the foundation. I think we build on them by practicing pure Christian love, tolerance, belief in Christ and sacrifice for others. These, I believe, are the manifestations of a testimony. I think we also gain faith reading the Book of Mormon. We grow closer to God and Christ by practicing what we learn there.

 

I think most people feel this way when they read the B of M or listen to a talk by a Prophet of God or one of his other servants. My testimony developed over time by practicing the things I learned from listening to our Church leadership, reading the scriptures and expecting a confirmation. I can’t tell you just when it happened. One day I just knew it existed there down inside me somewhere. I have not experienced an earth shaking mind expanding event that made profound changes in me in an instant. Maybe they exist. I don’t know. But I have never had one and I don’t know anyone else who did.  

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22 Responses to “jer1414 – Mormons Believe It Is Your Fault”

  1. irishanglican said

    Did you see in your look at the Blog of the Church of Jesus Christ (Polycarp), an idea like yours..Mormon, of a Modal doctrine of God?

    I am myself an Anglican priest, and thus classic Trinitarian, with an affinity toward the Trinitarian doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox. I have been in a long dialogue with “Polycarp”. He is a Modalistic Monarchian, like your J. Smith. Again, did you see this affinity?

    Fr. Robert

  2. JLFuller said

    Thanks for commenting. Regarding Polycarp and his church, I am not sure just which denomination he claims affiliation with. The LDS Church was once known and The Church of Jesus Christ and some LDS still refer to it that way. Naming rights and so forth confuse the issue. I know there are several denominations with Mormonesque roots. I think the Church of Christ is one but don’t hold me to it. It could be that the connection comes from one of that church’s founders. Sidney Rigdon, one time #2 to Joseph Smith, was originally a Campbellite/Baptist/Church of Christ preacher. But Thomas and Alexander Campbell, father and son, who broke away from the Presbyterian Church in the late 1700’s, began the Campbellite tradition. I believe they were restorationists however they were quite apart from Joseph Smith and Mormonism. While both declared the necessity for a restoration of Christ’s original church the Campbells had a different idea of just what that meant. I have not read the source material but I understand John Calvin had similar ideas.

    That is the long way in answering to your question. We see many other religious traditions with theological threads similar to the LDS view. After all, we claim that ours is the original Church establish by Christ which is the root from which all Christian churches grow. It was not Joseph Smith’s creation. We offer proof for those who are sincere in wanting to know.

  3. JLFuller said

    I accept that is difficult for other Christian Churches to accept that we are anything more than just another man made religious tradition. Most religious leaders and scholars couch their approach to studying us from that position. So when they find something they perceive as a contradiction they see it as a man-made heresy or some other dark or malevolent creation of a deceitful mind. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is what we claim – Christ’s original Church. He actively directs the Church’s affairs today. What is more, we also say you don’t have to believe us. You can find out for yourself. You don’t have to take any man’s word for it.

  4. irishanglican said

    JLFuller,

    Thanks to reply mate. Can you tell me, was not Smith’s doctrine of God some form of modalism…three “forms” of the one God? Rather than the classic Trinitarian doctrine that the Holy Trinity is three, distinct, divine persons (hypostases), without overlap or modality among them, who share one divine essence ousia)- uncreated, immaterial and eternal.

    Fr. Robert

  5. JLFuller said

    There was some discussion in the last century and a half that Mormonism evolved from modalism to binitarianism and thence to henotheism. But those were discussions held outside the church. In Mormonism and the Nature of God: A Theological Evolution, Kurt Widner talks about this. However, according to Widner, LDS General Authorities James E. Talmage, John A. Widstoe, and B. H. Roberts clarified and defined the nature of God right after the turn of the twentieth century. All LDS scholars I read cite passages from the Book of Mormon, Book of Moses, Book of Abraham and Doctrine and covenants which point to a Godhead consisting of God the Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost as three separate and distinct personages. The confusion could be attributed to the way in which inspiration is received. That is, “line-upon-line and precept-upon-precept. This is consistent with Joseph Smith’s contention that he was taught these principles as he was able to understand and grasp them. This is consistent with the way human beings learn new concepts. It is not consistent with the creative process where multiple re-writes and significant editing takes place. Smith’s third grade education seems to suggest a lack of sophistication in these matters.

  6. JLFuller said

    I failed to attribute my source material for the post above. Sorry
    http://farms.byu.edu/display-print.php?table=insights&id=224

  7. irishanglican said

    JLFuller, Have you seen this?
    http://www.mormonwiki.org/Modalism

    Fr.R.

  8. JLFuller said

    I would like to point out that the early Church leadership had to be taught these principles and concepts just like all of us. Even though Joseph Smith is credited with writing these manuscripts, he had to learn the material too as it was provided to him. Critics are quite eager to say he created the material but he tells a different story and sealed his testimony with his life. Others with him hours before he was killed said he testified to the jailer that the Book of Mormon was given him just as he claimed. He did not make it up. He never waivered right up to the end. Even Sidney Rigdon never recanted the story of how the Book of Mormon came about as did other apostate first hand witnesses.

  9. JLFuller said

    Yes. Ether 3:14,“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.”

    Robert Millet, former Dean of Religious Education at BYU has a nice piece about the nature of God, Christ and the Holy Ghost. Maybe it will help.
    http://farms.byu.edu/publications/bookschapter.php?bookid=&chapid=387

  10. JLFuller said

    Fr. R
    Pardon me for saying “maybe it will help.” I should have said it may be interesting.

  11. irishanglican said

    JLFuller, Not to worry lol, you are a help..thanks. However, I am not convinced that the Mormon doctrine here is fully Trinitarian? At least by theological definition. It does appear very Modalistic.

    I am myself an obvious Trinitarian, but it is much more than just some mental dogma, though of course it is that. But I also think we must approach the doctrine of the Trinity spiritually, and perhaps even mystically. So even if we can have some degree of pure creedal understanding (mental), if we don’t have the right spirit therein, it can matter little. I hope this makes sense? I am not displacing the Trinitarian truth at all, but the “spirit” in which it is sought and held.

    The center to the Triunity of God is of course Chirst. His wonderful person, His saving work and just His total efficacy! See the St. Paul’s Book of Colossians.

    Got run mate..

    Fr. R.

  12. JLFuller said

    Irish
    We are not Trinitarian. We believe the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct personages. The Father and Christ have physical bodies just as Christ had when ascended. We also believe every resurrected person will have a physical body just as Christ had. We reject the amalgamation of the three into one unknowable trinity. In fact fundamental to our theology is a belief that we are literal children of God the Father and that Jesus Christ is in fact our elder brother in addition to our Lord and Savior. In most traditional Christian circles that leaves us out of the Christian club.

    I am not sure what the Trinitarian view of the Holy Ghost is, but we understand that He is the communicator for the Godhead. He transmits the message to mankind from Father and Christ. Christ is subordinate to the Father although they are one in purpose and mind. By the way, does the COE take a position on whether John 7:53 to 8:12 legitimately belongs in the canon? I ask this because the earliest manuscripts attributed to John don’t include it. Oddly enough, it was included in Luke by some scribes. There are other reasons some scholars don’t believe it is.

  13. JLFuller said

    Our nature as literal off spring with Divine parentage is not new. Maximus The Confessor said in the seventh century “A sure warrant for looking forward with hope to deification of human nature is provided by the incarnation of God, which makes man god to the same degree as God Himself became man.” and “let us become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10078b.htm
    I discuss the doctrine of theosis a bit more in another post, “Can Man Become a God?” https://mormonthing.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/can-man-become-a-god/

  14. irishanglican said

    JLFuller,

    Again, by theological definition you are stating Tritheism: three distinct Gods. This it seems would be more consistent with your positions.

    As to theosis, it is a spiritual doctrine and deification is to the Christians ability to enjoy the salvific reality of God when one is fully complete in the image of God, In Christ: “Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory or glorification.” (Col.1:27)

    As to the Text of St. John 7:53 to 8:12 the COE, as most in the Anglican Communion this would be an open question, but most certainly many would see it as I do myself, as a real Apostolic tradition.

    Fr. Robert
    D. Phil.,Th.D.

  15. JLFuller said

    Irish
    You are correct, we are not Modalists. We are tritheists. I apologize for not making that clearer. “fully complete in the image of God, In Christ:…” are not terms we use. Can you explain that for me please? I think I know what you mean. I might know the principle by another name. It sounds a lot like the full inheritance of Christ.

  16. irishanglican said

    Well mate, the thought just struck me I guess, but I was thinking perhaps of the Col. 2:15, “Who (Christ) is the image of the invisible God..” Everything for the Christian comes thru Christ, St.John 14:7-9.

    Fr. R.

  17. JLFuller said

    Are you sure you aren’t a Mormon?

  18. irishanglican said

    Sorry mate, I am an Anglican priest, very Trinitarian..and yes I hold two doctorates..D. Phil., Th.D. I am also a former Royal Marine officer..Gulf War 1. I am Irish born (Dublin) now in the the greater London area.

    Fr. Robert K. Darby

  19. JLFuller said

    I have often wondered why someone would go to the trouble to get two terminal degrees unless he wanted to teach at the university level. I have a couple of friends who got PhD’s in Economics and both ended up at our local university. It seems like an awful lot of trouble for a poorly paid job. I spent my working life as a case manager for a government agency. That is the obfuscated term for parole officer. You know – a social worker with a gun. I was one of those people who generated lots of reports few people read or cared about. They were the kind that are not good enough to keep but too good to throw out. I wrote them by the basket load.

    Thanks for your service. I met a Royal Marine once. Tough guy. We are a military family on this side of the pond too with three family members in the service now. One son-in-law gets back from Iraq in August. This is his second tour. He did another in the first Gulf War. One nephew just finished his second tour there in May and a cousin is completing his second tour soon. His dad, my first cousin, retired from the military few years back. Another son-in-law was in Somalia.

    It is 0500 here now. I got up early. The guy who lives on the other side of the fence from me apparently is very ill. At 0330 his family was up helping him do something or other. You may have heard of him. He was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1965. His name is Ed Freeman. They made a movie about a battle in which he played a part. The battle took place at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley. The movie is called “We Were Soldiers Once and Young”. It is an outstanding flick. Anyway, Ed isn’t doing well these days. He is an interesting character. He was awarded the CMH during Clinton’s presidency but Ed refused to accept it from him. He waited until Clinton left office and accepted it from Bush.

  20. irishanglican said

    JLFuller,

    Thanks to share some personal information, some never do on the blogs.

    My younger brother lives in the USA, S. Cal not far from Camp Pendelton. He was an American Marine, and saw his action in Lebanon (early 80’s). My family also has much military service, my father RAF, was a spit pilot in WW2. He is gone now..(RIP). And I had several great uncles also who served in WW2. Two went to the US in the 1930’s, and were later both at Omaha beach..Rangers. They both fought all the way to the end of German Army. Also RIP. I have been to America many times, and have met some Nam Vets… they are simply the cream of the crop! And I have noted also that you Mormon men have never been slow to get into the military, when the need has come. So Semper fi, as you American Marines have it!

    I also went with the SAS for awhile. I made over 30 parachute jumps, and one combat jump. At 58 I have had back surgery due to this. But I am still 155 lbs at 5’11. I am a second degree black belt, just of recent too. I have to watch me back, but I am still full of it! lol Irish male for sure! But not even one tattoo..lol. But I had my pagan days also!

    As to my education, I lived and taught theology in Jerusalem for several years. I have come to love the Jewish people, and the State of Israel!

    Again, you must be proud of your family (as you should be). These young men and women, that are fighting the battles now, they are gonna be the ones to step up hopefully too, and lead our countries for let’s hope moral and spiritual freedom. Though I know it looks bleak at times, we can only ourselves still walk the walk, and talk the talk…and pray!

    God Bless,
    Fr. Robert

  21. JLFuller said

    I never trust anyone under 250#. You remind me of my nephew. He was a “badge snapper” too. Jump school, Huey pilot, OpFor puke, AH64 pilot and now he is back in the SO-CAL desert teaching the people on their way to the sand box as he calls it. His 20 is up soon though so no more over seas deployments. I have two grandsons who are anxious for their opportunity to serve. Both are teenagers. It is their dad who is coming home in August after his latest deployment. I haven’t heard whether my cousin’s son is going to re-enlist. He is a Navy medic. He was attached to the Marines in western Iraq during his first tour in ’06 I believe it was. I think it was hard on him. My former son-in-law that was in Somalia is still in. His unit is scheduled for Afghanistan he thinks. Even though he was with the 10th Mountain the first time, he is no longer a trigger puller. If they go he likely won’t be out with the ground pounders. He is too old at 36. At least that is his story. I think the real story is he is too comfortable at 36. One’s tush seems to form fit that desk chair after a while. I think he must be too proficient at riding around in a Humvee pointing the boney finger of indignation at all those privates and corporals to want to give it up.

  22. JLFuller said

    You are right about LDS men and the military. Actually it pertains to all public service. We believe the US is a sacred place reserved for the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time just so the Church could be re-established. If you recall, religious tolerance was not practiced in Europe in many quarters in the early 1800’s. But we believe our male membership living in any country should respond to the demands of their respective governments and be loyal and honorable subjects. In some cases, failing to do so is cause for excommunication. That goes for LDS citizens of any country. If a Russian Mormon is conscripted or joins the Russian Army he is required to be the best Russian soldier he can be. The key is personal behavior consistent with Christ’s teaching.

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