What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

Give The Lord Equal Time

Posted by JLFuller on July 6, 2008

Taken from a talk delivered at Brigham Young University, March 12, 1996.  Satan wants your destruction. It’s that simple. Your defense is equally simple—live basic gospel principles.

 “When I was a mission president, a fine elder came to me. I asked, “How can I help you?”

“President,” he said, “I think I’m losing my testimony.” I asked him how that could be possible.

“For the first time I have read some anti-Mormon literature,” he said. “I have some questions, and nobody will answer them for me. I am confused, and I think I am losing my testimony.”

I asked him what his questions were, and he told me. They were the standard anti-Church issues, but I wanted a little time to gather materials so I could provide meaningful answers. So we set up an appointment ten days later, at which time I told him I would answer every one of his questions. As he started to leave, I stopped him. “Elder, you’ve asked me several questions here today,” I said. “Now I have one for you.”

“Yes, President?”

“How long has it been since you’ve read from the Book of Mormon?” I asked.

His eyes dropped. He looked at the floor for a while. Then he looked at me. “It’s been a long time, President,” he confessed.

“All right,” I said. “You have given me my assignment. It’s only fair that I give you yours. I want you to promise me that you will read in the Book of Mormon for at least one hour every day between now and our next appointment.” He agreed that he would do that.

Ten days later he returned to my office, and I was ready. I pulled out my papers to start answering his questions. But he stopped me.

“President,” he said, “that isn’t going to be necessary.” Then he explained, “I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.”

“Well, that’s great,” I said. “But you’re going to get answers to your questions anyway. I worked a long time on this, so you just sit there and listen.”

And so I answered all of those questions, and then asked, ‘Elder, what have you learned from this?’ And he said, ‘Give the Lord equal time.’ “

Follow the link to read the rest of the story.

M. Russell Ballard, “How to Find Safety and Peace,” New Era, Nov 1997, 4 http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=03aa0e2cbc3fb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

 

 

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8 Responses to “Give The Lord Equal Time”

  1. […] I had a Google Alert direct me to a “Discussing Mormon Things” page that included an insightful article on refocusing your spiritual energy.  And although I disagree with the Mormon religion on […]

  2. jackg said

    JLF,

    I have been rereading the BOM. I think it’s odd that Nephi, who is supposedly from the lineage of Joseph refers to the Jews as “the Jews” in a way that makes it sound like he’s not a part of them. Do you not find that odd? Also, it seems that the emphasis in the book of 1st Nephi is focused solely on obedience but not relationship. What do you believe being in a relationship with Jesus Christ looks like?

    Also, I have been reading some D&C. At the end of section 132, Jesus is the one supposedly speaking and he makes a reference to the Law of Sarah. It also sounds as if Abram did exactly what the LORD wanted him to do when he took Hagar as a wife and had Ishmael with her. I do not get this impression from reading the Genesis account; in fact, Abram acted on his own based on his judgment of his circumstances and was not patient in waiting on the LORD to fulfill His promises. Do you think the end of 132 makes sense? If so, why?

    Reading the BOM and the other standard works of the Church have not led me back to Mormonism or restored my testimony; in fact, it is proving that my testimony regarding the authority of the Bible is the testimony God has instilled in me through the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that all Mormons will come to know the True and Living God as revealed in the biblical text, which is the inspired Word of God.

    Peace and Grace!

    • JLFuller said

      I don’t know about that Jack. Why don’t you send an e-mail to Richard Draper at http://religion.byu.edu/send_mail.php?f=Richard%20D.&l=Draper and ask him? I would be intersted to know what he says.

    • JLFuller said

      I will take a minute here to answer your first post. As I see it Jack, you may just be reading the B of M looking to find fault. That is a pretty common thing to do for many non LDS. I have no way of knowing for certain, but I suspect that is the case based on our many previous exchanges and the way most anti-Mormons think. That is, “this book is not of God therefore I will read it to find more heresies and inconsistencies I can use to tear the Mormon thinking a part”. But that can’t work for the honest in heart. The genuine seeker of truth will not have his mind made up and will be open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. In your case, and the case with all other former Mormons, you broke your covenant and there is a penalty to pay. The penalty is the withdrawal of the Holy Ghost. That is God’s punishment. You may very well experience something akin to a prompting but I think it could either be a self generated feeling or it could also be Satan just laying off you because he knows he has you so why waste the time and energy. Personally, I think it is the latter.

      CONSIDERATIONS:

      A. If you bristle at the thought of the latter then I would take that as a sign of how right I am.
      B. You might be prompted to set me straight with a blistering retort.
      C. You might want to put a soft face on a response and correct me with “Christ-like” soft words.
      D. You may struggle trying to find a way to to respond in a way to prove how wrong I am and how right you are.
      E. The inner anxt you feel to respond will be almost over-powering.

      In the end, what ever you say or don’t say, only you will really know. I can only guess. Actually, it won’t make a bit of difference because I probably won’t believe you anyway, if that even matters. Ultimately, I don’t think you can know the Holy Ghost until you make it right with your bishop and come back into the Church. That is my take on it. That will $1.50 please. Kindly pay the nice lady on your way out.

  3. jackg said

    Could you first tell me who Richard Draper is?

    BTW, I thought you had started writing again, but just now realized the date is 2008.

    Blessings…

    • JLFuller said

      Sure. He is a professor of ancient scripture at BYU. I dare say much of the misunderstanding of the B of M comes from modern people reading the book using modern understanding. The first books of the B of M were written by prophets using terms commonly used during their time. Draper also brings a more complete view of modern scripture juxtaposed against ancient scripture.

  4. jackg said

    JLF,

    I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and he commented that I interpreted the OT as a Christian rather than as a Jew. What do you think about such a comment? Is it valid? After all, I would have to say that I am a Christian and not a Jew.

    Also, regarding your comment to my first post, I would have to say that God is illuminating for me the fallacies in the BOM regarding theology. I think I might have told you, but there were two significant occasions within the last few years when I wanted the Church to be true. Those occurred when my son left for and returned from his mission. So, I reread it then with the purpose of finding it to be true. I can understand where you’re coming from when you question my motive for reading the BOM. Currently, I am reading it to engage better with LDS. I am finding that even the sections I thought were beautiful literature have a lot of theology that does not agree with the biblical text. I can’t remember what section of D&C I was reading last night…perhaps 133 or something. It was after JS death and was written by one of the witnesses to his death (can’t remember his name right now). Anyway, as I was reading it, I was thinking how well-written it was. It was a plea to the members of the Church to take heart and continue forward even though their leader was slain. Then, I got to the verse where he said that salvation was based on faith in Christ AND adherence to the ordinances of the gospel. As you know, I take that as a Christ PLUS something else, which I believe is contrary to the biblical text. I know we have been on the faith and works merry-go-round discussion, and don’t intend on rehashing it. I believe, Jack, that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has empowered me with the Holy Spirit as a believer in Christ, and that the Holy Spirit is illuminating for me the truth of God’s revealed Word, which has led me to conclude that the LDS Church is not Christ’s church.

    We’ve been through a lot, and I can understand the considerations you posted. It’s fair for you to express that. The one thing you have taught me and that I have failed at–and quite miserably at times–is being respectful during such discussions. I generally tend to attack the person, and that is not what God wants me to do. I walk in the flesh when I do that, and I don’t want to do that, anymore. You have accused me of being a person who wanted to destroy another person by attacking their beliefs and faith system. As much as I didn’t like that accusation, I had to confess to God that you were right. I was a hypocrite, speaking motives of love but demonstrating a disregard for people. I know, even I as I make this confession, I am minimizing my behavior. You were right in a lot of things about me, Jack, and I have considered your words because I do respect you–even if I don’t agree with you. And, I think that is the goal of your ministry with this blog. So, you have been successful with me. I am still growing, however, so please forgive me if I slip every now and then. I know you’ll point it out if I do. 🙂

    Jack, I was wondering if you could email me. I have a personal matter to discuss with you concerning my return missionary son, and I would like to know the Church’s current standing on a current social issue. Thanks.

    Peace and Grace!

  5. jackg said

    BTW…I don’t have $1.50. Sorry…:-)

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