How is mormonism different from Christianity? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 132 Old 03-08-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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Wow! This is a fascinating discussion. To start, I am a Christian, and for perspective, I agree with everything that Shami has said about Christianity.

ZorroZ--you seem uber-knowledgeable and willing to share, so let me ask a question.... since I am not LDS, what am I missing? If I am just a "regular" christian, what, according to mormon faith, is keeping me from God/salvation as you see it?

I ask, because, I have a good friend who is LDS, and I pray for her to see "the truth." BUT, I know that she is also praying for me to see "her truth!" I just want to know what the mormon view is on this. Do we need to have the whole Joseph Smith piece to receive salvation?

Also, after 911, I became fascinated with all world religions and I remember reading a book that really just summarized all of the major religions, and I realize now that that is probably not a good idea; to read a summary of a religion. But the thing about LDS that stood out to me, was that it said that Mormons are doing all of these good works and sacraments in an attempt to one day be a god of their own planet. Now is this true? Because, I have to be honest it is the one thing that really took me aback. Please clarify!

I really appreciated your perspective on your faith, I had not gotten the "vibe" from other mormons that you (all) worship Jesus.

Anyone...feel free to answer, not trying to exclude any other knowledgeable people out there!

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#62 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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As we can see from this thread, even Christians disagree about what that term means.
This is a key point.
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#63 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Zorro--you seem uber-knowledgeable and willing to share, so let me ask a question.... since I am not LDS, what am I missing? If I am just a "regular" christian, what, according to mormon faith, is keeping me from God/salvation as you see it?
I ask, because, I have a good friend who is LDS, and I pray for her to see "the truth." BUT, I know that she is also praying for me to see "her truth!" I just want to know what the mormon view is on this. Do we need to have the whole Joseph Smith piece to receive salvation?
I'm not Zorroz, but I am devout LDS, so I hope it's okay if I jump in. Basically, as someone else said above, LDS believe that all religions have some part of the truth. We believe that through the Bible plus other scripture (like the Book of Mormon), we have the 'fullness' of the gospel of Christ. We also believe in modern-day revelation, hence we have a Prophet who is the voice of God on earth. The 13 Articles of Faith were posted above, and I think reading through those will answer a lot of this question too.

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Also, after 911, I became fascinated with all world religions and I remember reading a book that really just summarized all of the major religions, and I realize now that that is probably not a good idea; to read a summary of a religion. But the thing about LDS that stood out to me, was that it said that Mormons are doing all of these good works and sacraments in an attempt to one day be a god of their own planet. Now is this true? Because, I have to be honest it is the one thing that really took me aback. Please clarify!
Basically we believe in eternal progression. When we die and leave this world, we believe there will still be work to be done, things to be attained. The supreme goal is to inherit all that our Father in Heaven has and to be like Him. And to me, this makes sense. I want the best for my children, for them to have every opportunity and blessing they could possibly have--why would my Father in Heaven not want the same for me?

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I had not gotten the "vibe" from other mormons that you (all) worship Jesus.
We view Jesus Christ as the 'cornerstone' of our religion. All of our beliefs are based on Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. He is our Advocate with the Father. You'll hear a lot about Joseph Smith and people claim that we worship him (or the current Prophet) and this is simply not the case. Joseph Smith is an important historical figure to us, but more important to us is the fact that we believe Jesus Christ and Father in Heaven used him as an instrument to restore the full Gospel of Christ to the earth. The Book of Mormon is subtitled "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" and we believe that it is complementary to the Bible.

As our previous Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said: "Are we Christians? Of course we are Christians. We believe in Christ. We worship Christ. We take upon ourselves in solemn covenant His holy name. The Church to which we belong carries His name. He is our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer through whom came the great Atonement with salvation and eternal life."

Hope that helps!

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#64 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Grace and Granola View Post
Wow! This is a fascinating discussion. To start, I am a Christian, and for perspective, I agree with everything that Shami has said about Christianity.

ZorroZ--you seem uber-knowledgeable and willing to share, so let me ask a question.... since I am not LDS, what am I missing? If I am just a "regular" christian, what, according to mormon faith, is keeping me from God/salvation as you see it?!
I'm not Zorro nor LDS, but my understanding from talking with LDS folk is that any good person will reach heaven, the question is how high in heaven? To reach the highest/most desired level one must be a Latter Day Saint. This to me is a big step up from other sects of Christianity that think I will end up burning in hell because I didn't guess right about the nature of God and the rites he wishes me to perform.
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#65 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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Shami--as I understand it, we believe that during the time that Jesus lived as a man on earth and shortly thereafter, the full gospel was available to the people. But quickly after that, the leadership of the church broke down and truths were diluted and lost and eventually the whole truth was lost. When Joseph Smith had his vision and was given the golden plates (which were translated to become the Book of Mormon), the truth was being restored to what Paul and the Apostles had. We don't see it as adding to what was preached then. . . rather recovering the fulness of the gospel, if that makes any sense. Additionally, you can view that passage as Paul instructing local church leaders to stick to the basic truths rather than extrapolating things and going off on tangents. . . many of Paul's teachings are corrections of what was being taught in the local churches.

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#66 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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This is an interesting conversation... and one I have had multiple times with people I know from Protestant/Catholic/Mormon churches.

I think what most Protestant and Catholic churches agree on can be found in the Apostles and Nicene creed, and it really does exclude the LDS church. However, in some ways Protestants can include Catholics too, because many Protestants say you are saved by faith alone, and Catholics believe it is a combo of faith with a wee bit of works, and from what I understand the LDS believe works are essential to faith and thus essential to salvation.

Anyways, I am going to post both creeds and highlight the things that *I think* would make my LDS buddies cringe belief-wise lol.

We believe in one God, (I highlighted this but I know that my one LDS friend said they believed in only one God in this world, and thus it still applies to them
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
(Nothing came before God... he was never a man, He just always was in the Christian religion

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


_____________________________________________

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

This one doesn't really cancel out the LDS church as far as I can tell, except with the phrase that Jesus is his ONLY son, which from what I understand is not believed in the LDS church (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).
_____________________________________________

I personally have other reasons of why I don't believe the LDS church isn't Christian, but I don't think they would be shared universally among other Christians. For example, I think the idea of becoming a god is near blasphemous and thus not Christian, but I am sure I know people who would disagree. Also, I think the history of the LDS church is extremely questionable, as is the structure BUT I attend a Catholic church most of the time, and that could certainly be said about us too lol, if you didn't know more about it!

So I guess that is my two cents. I should warn everyone I can be fairly fundamentalist on what it means to be Christian. For example, I believe there is only ONE path to God, and that is through Jesus. Heck, my fellow Catholics don't even always believe that. I do think the original Quakers were Christian, but not so much anymore, since there is a very diverse group of believers in the Quaker religion now. So I would say some are, some aren't. I won't even say who will and will not get into heaven... that is between God and each individual person. I am sure some LDS people will, and I am sure some "Christians" won't.


**Edited**
P.S. I really like the values the LDS church exemplifies. I also have a few LDS friends that I think are Wonderful people. I just don't think they are Christians. That doesn't mean I think any less of them... just like I don't think less of Wiccans, Atheists, Agnostics (okay, I sometimes do with Agnostics, but can't they just believe something??? Why sit on the fence lol!), Muslims, Baha'i people, whatever.
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#67 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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Shami, Can I respond tomorrow? I am tired, it's been a long week...dang nab it! It's only Monday! Freak'n heck "headdesk"
Sure, of course, whenever. If you liked my watermelon illustration, here's another.

Say your hungry for a hamburger. You can't just go out and take a bite out of a live cow. That cow has to be processed. He has to be cut and his blood shed. Then, a further processing takes place to grind the meat into hamburger meat. The final process is that meat must be cooked. The essence of the cow remains the same no matter what stage of the process it is in.

Now I will give you two verses to show the process that God went through to get Himself into man.

John 1:14
14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.

Notice the word 'became'. This is God becoming a man (flesh). We know this because John 1 says that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and then the Word became flesh. This was a process.

Now the second verse

45 So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul''; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

Here is a further process that God went through. He became a life giving Spirit to get into our human spirit. Corinthians also says that we were all given to drink one Spirit (1 Cor 12:13).

So God is 3 1. Triune. In essence He never changes, but in order for God to get into us, He had to become a man and he had to become a life giving Spirit.
The three in the Godhead are one in essence, yet three distinct (not separate) Persons and have always existed in eternity past and will always exist in eternity future.

Here is another quick one

We get electricity into our house because of the power plant, which is far away, and the power lines to connect the power plant with the house.

God the Father is the source, the power plant.
God the Son is the wire connecting the power plant and the house.
God the Spirit is the electricity giving light to the house.

All we have to do is flip the switch and we get light. There is a switch in your being and that switch is your human spirit. The Holy Spirit can live in your human spirit and you can switch on at any time.

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#68 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 07:38 AM
 
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Galatians 1:6-8
6 I marvel that you are so quickly removing from Him who has called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel,

7 Which is not another gospel, only there are some who trouble you and desire to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But if even we or an angel out of heaven should announce to you a gospel beyond that which we have announced to you, let him be accursed.

The book of Galatians was written because some believers were reverting back to the old Mosaic Law and thus nullifying Christ's work on the cross.
In light of that how do you feel about Rev. 14:6 ?

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people"


I take it that you have never read the Book of Mormon. The B of M does not profess another gospel. It is another testament just as the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is a record of the people in the Americas and Gods dealing with them. It contains a record of Christ's visit to them after His resurrection. It bares record of Christ and His teachings throughout the book. I have read the book many times through, and I know that it works hand in hand with the Bible. It is not here to replace the bible.
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#69 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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Hey Shami! We believe when God speaks to Prophets, they write words that become scripture. Moses, Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, John, and many others all added scripture. Joseph Smith was commanded to perform a translation of the Bible in which important missing or corrupted items would be restored. The work was not completed. Joseph Smith did state "I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors"

The bible is not complete. Because there are obviously missing sacred writings which the Bible refers to, that are no longer known or no longer contained in the Bible. (I can give examples if you want)

We do use the King James version of the bible. Now if you do grab yourself a King James that was published by our church, what you would find is an authorized King James version of the bible, WITH explanatory notes & cross references to the standard works of our church. So you can look down at a bottom of a page & you can cross ref. things to other parts of the Bible, BOM, D&C, Dictionary, Topical guide & the JS translation. You could then flip to the very back of the book & find the TG, Dictionary, Maps, JS trans, etc. (If you would like the translation I can copy & paste it if you like.)

As far as the Bible saying is is complete...one of many passages implying INcompleteness is John 21:25, which states:
"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

Ok, I got to get kids ready for school! I will try to come back to chat later!
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#70 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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At any rate, how do you or any one else feel about this verse?
Rev 22:18[/COLOR]
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this scroll; (written in 90 AD)
I think that Joseph Smith came too late to add another testament to the Bible (published in 1830). Once the Bible was canonized, I think there is no more adding to it.
http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/r...ding_bible.htm

From this site:

"A brief review of some historical facts should clear up this issue. The Bible is a collection of sacred writings that were compiled into book format centuries after the death of the original writers. When the Apostle John wrote these verses, the Bible as we know it today had not been compiled yet. Therefore, his words could not possibly be applied to the entire collection of writings today known as the Bible. John was referring specifically to the Book of Revelation.

Additionally, even though Revelation is traditionally placed last in the Bible, most Biblical scholars do not believe that it was the last book to be written among the compiled records contained in the Bible. If your reasoning is true, then those Books would also have to be removed from the Bible and discarded as false.

Also, please note the very similar wording by Moses found in Deuteronomy 4:2:

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."

If your interpretation of the Revelation verses were correct, then they would have to be applied here as well. In which case, the Old Testament after Deuteronomy and the entire New Testament would have to be discarded as false."
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#71 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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aww geez, I am so bad! I shouldn't be on the interent...my kids are going to be attending school in their PJ's if I don't STOP!

Shami, as for Rev 22:18 John, who is in exile is obviously referring to the text before him, the Book of Revelation and its prophecies, its descriptions of plagues, of the holy city, etc. urges no one to change what he has written. The Bible, as a collection of canonized books did not exist when he wrote those lines. In fact, several non-LDS authorities believe that Revelation was not the last book of the Bible to be written, but may have preceded other writings of John himself by a couple of years.

John was correct in what he wrote: no man should change what God has spoken. However, God has the authority to speak what and when He wants. God spoke to other prophets after Moses, and many of their writings have been in the Bible.

Ok...no really, make me stop!
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#72 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Thank, Zorro. Now we are getting somewhere. I am seeing more and more how LDS accepts the B of M. Very enlightening. I always appreciate when someone can give me verses in the Bible to back up what they are saying. We can agree to disagree the entire conversation. I really wanted the verses and you and Party are supplying them. I am fine with us having a different interpretations. As long as we keep this respectful, I think we will keep to the guidelines.

I found this verse, too, but I don't have time right now. Back later.
John 20:30
30 Moreover indeed many other signs also Jesus did before His disciples, which are not written in this book.

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#73 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 11:49 AM
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Oh, I know that, Zorro. I have also met many loving and helpful people who are Mormons. It's just too hard for me to discuss it without getting angry.
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#74 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Viola for giving such a thoughtful. Now I can see how it depends on which perspective or which aspects you are considering when defining whether LDS is part of mainstream Christianity. I still stand by all of my previous statements, and it seems like you and I are on the same page there. I must say I hesitated to get involved in this thread, but I have gotten a much better understanding of the LDS.

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#75 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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This may not need saying since you all kind of know me by now, but I'll say it. I trust that the whole Bible is God breathed and born of the Holy Spirit (no time to find verses at the moment). I trust that the canonization of the Bible is accurate and whole. I admit that I haven't studied the canonization process, nor other books/epistles that didn't make it into the Holy Bible. It is just part of my faith and cannot explain how I 'know'.
I get where you're coming from.

Of myself, I'll say that I absolutely know and believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it complements the Bible perfectly and beautifully. And, I believe you said you had a copy. . . if you'd ever like to read and discuss here, I'd love to have a discussion (not an argument or a debate).

I wanted to adress that it's been said a few times that we believe that Jesus Christ is not God. I've gathered that this is because we believe in a seperate God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We believe they are one in purpose rather than one in being. We believe Jesus Christ is the begotten son of God, so of course he is a God.

But it comes down to the fact that we WORSHIP Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior, our everything, He is our One True Path to Eternal Life. Everything in our religion points to him. I know I'm a Christian. Christ is the center of my life and I strive every day to be more like Him.

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#76 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LemonPie;15163246I wanted to adress that it's been said a few times that we believe that Jesus Christ is not God. I've gathered that this is because we believe in a seperate God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We believe they are one in [I
purpose[/I] rather than one in being. We believe Jesus Christ is the begotten son of God, so of course he is a God.

But it comes down to the fact that we WORSHIP Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior, our everything, He is our One True Path to Eternal Life. Everything in our religion points to him. I know I'm a Christian. Christ is the center of my life and I strive every day to be more like Him.
That is exactly the difference in the Mormon religion and orthodox Christianity.

The orthodox Christian understanding is that there is only ONE GOD and that only God is to be worshipped.

Catholics and Orthodox are very careful to explain that they are not "worshipping" Mary and "Saints", and they have two separate words to separate "worship" - which should only go to God and "veneration" which is what they call their "worship" of Mary and "Saints".

So even though LDS claim that by worshipping Christ that makes them Christian, it is the LDS concept that there is more than one God and that they can worship someone who they do not believe is God that is so very different from orthodox Christianity.
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#77 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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But it comes down to the fact that we WORSHIP Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior, our everything, He is our One True Path to Eternal Life. Everything in our religion points to him. I know I'm a Christian. Christ is the center of my life and I strive every day to be more like Him.
See, this is the part that gets me. This sounds like "regular" born-again Christianity. Unless, LemonPie, you would disagree with the "born-again" term, not meaning to offend. But it feels like Christianity from the heart....not works-based or nominal Christianity.

LemonPie....do you believe that your belief in Jesus and knowledge that He is the One true path brings salvation? Or must you do "works" to get to heaven? Or is heaven even the "end" of your journey?

If an LDS person's beliefs of worshiping Jesus are similar to mainstream Christian beliefs, then would a misunderstanding of the Trinity (as mainstream christians know it) prevent them from entering the kingdom (as mainstream christian know it)?

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#78 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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You know, sola fide has never been a defining Christian doctrine, and it didn't appear until the Reformation.

So I don't think that saying Mormonism is works based would have any impact at all on whether it is considered Christian, unless it was possible to show they meant it in a different way.

I think, as christianmomof3 said, the fact that Mormonism is not monotheistic, is far more significant.

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#79 of 132 Old 03-09-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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This is a great link if you really want an in depth view of the LDS faith vs. works thing.

http://www.jefflindsay.com/faith_works.html


It's all just so much to cover. Basically we believe deeply and strongly in the atonement of Jesus Christ. We do not earn our way to heaven. The atonement makes up the difference for us because even the best among us will still fall short. We are all mortal, and we will all sin. None of us are perfect.

We believe that when we are baptized we take upon ourselves the name of Christ and promise to stand as a witness of God and bare each others burdens. What better way to do that than to serve others just as Jesus himself did? We strive daily to become more like Jesus. He is our example. Our works are just a demonstration of our faith. We love our Savior enough to put off worldly things and ambitions to follow him.


Luke 9:23-24

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
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#80 of 132 Old 03-13-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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#81 of 132 Old 03-13-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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See, this is the part that gets me. This sounds like "regular" born-again Christianity. Unless, LemonPie, you would disagree with the "born-again" term, not meaning to offend. But it feels like Christianity from the heart....not works-based or nominal Christianity.

LemonPie....do you believe that your belief in Jesus and knowledge that He is the One true path brings salvation? Or must you do "works" to get to heaven? Or is heaven even the "end" of your journey?
No, I'm certainly not offended by the term 'born-again'. It's not one you often hear in the LDS culture, but we believe that through Christ, we can become 'new'--in that we are better, stronger, more than the sum of our parts.

We basically believe in a combination of grace and works. We strive to do our best in this life, but being mortals we will always fall short, so Christ makes up the difference. Our Article of Faith #3 says: "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel".

There's an illustration that floats around about a small child who wants to buy a bike. So she struggles to earn money to buy the bike by doing chores--.25 here, .50 there. Her father watches her efforts and at some point says, "I've seen you working so hard to earn that bike and I appreciate the effort. You put in what you have and I'll make up the difference." It's a bit of a simplistic explanation. We are required to make a good faith effort, to do all that we can do. But by living the commandments and laws that we are given, we are better, we are strengthened. And we don't have to do it alone. I can pray for strength every second of the day if I need to. I am blessed for my efforts, and I can do more than I can do by myself with His help.

Really, for us faith and works are intricately intertwined. From lds.org:
"The Apostle Paul taught that "faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Alma made a similar statement: "If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21). Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see."

And James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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#82 of 132 Old 03-14-2010, 01:59 AM
 
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I am glad this thread is back.

I want to offer my sincere apologies to any person that I have offended.

Please forgive me. I believe I was the main offender.

Shami

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#83 of 132 Old 03-14-2010, 04:19 AM
 
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I wanted to adress that it's been said a few times that we believe that Jesus Christ is not God. I've gathered that this is because we believe in a seperate God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We believe they are one in purpose rather than one in being. We believe Jesus Christ is the begotten son of God, so of course he is a God.
When you say one in purpose, but not one in being, do you mean they are three separate Gods, but each God has the same purpose?

Mainstream Christianity believes that the three in the Godhead are one in being because of these verses in John. The Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct, but not separate. I am sure there are other verses, but these are the ones that came to me.

Here we see the Father embodied in the Son as seen by the believers.

John 14
7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.

8 Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us.

9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how is it that you say, Show us the Father?

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me does His works.

11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe because of the works themselves.

Here we see the Son realized as the Spirit to abide in the believers.

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever,

17 Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.

20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Here we see the Triune God making an abode with the believers.

23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.

26 But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and remind you of all the things which I have said to you. (These types of verses, where you see all three of the Godhead, cause people, myself included, to be Tritheistic in their thinking. It is so difficult to understand how God can be One and Three at the same time. In this verse, you can see that in function they are very distinct. The Father is the sender or source, the Son speaks and does the works of the Father, and the Spirit is the Comforter coming to remind all of what the Son said to them. However, so many other verses say they are one in their Person and not separate.)

John 17

11 ...Holy Father, keep them in Your name, which You have given to Me, that they may be one even as We are.

21 That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.

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#84 of 132 Old 03-14-2010, 07:53 PM
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We basically believe in a combination of grace and works. We strive to do our best in this life, but being mortals we will always fall short, so Christ makes up the difference. Our Article of Faith #3 says: "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel".

And James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
First would like to say that my church (new life christian) also puts a lot of emphasis on James 2:26 but we read it entirely differentely. My interpretation is that because we have faith, and allow the Lord to change us, good works will inevitabily follow. LDS understanding that unless you are doing good works, you loose your salvation (or at least the level of heaven you had attained). Is this right? LDS'?

But that's not my main point in posting. I have a Question for LDS' about the first paragraph.
You believe that every human "may be saved". Mainstream Christianity also believes that all humans may be saved, but that is it very clear that most people will not choose to be saved. That each person's salvation is based on what they believe about what Jesus did for them.

What I think you are saying, is that because Jesus made salvation attainable for humankind, the doors are open. And as long as the laws, ordinances (specifically the LDS additions) are followed, all humans can be saved. So, because of Christs' death, LDS members can therefore perform all neccesary rituals (baptism for one, and others too?) for each individual person, and therefore offering to them in the spiritual world the option of heaven.

Clarification? please?

This is, to me and what I believe, is the big thing (there are other smaller things) that seem to diminish what Jesus did on the cross.
Because by saying this, yes you are attributing the fact of salvation to Jesus, but you are also saying that it is because of an LDS ritual performed by so and so that they actually received their salvation.

I don't want to be presumptious, just trying to clearly explain how I see, and I am looking forward to info, answers and clarification.
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#85 of 132 Old 03-15-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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Shami re: the Godhead: Okay, I'm going to give you a link that explains our view of this. The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent. This talk was given by one of our apostles at our semi-annual General Conference, so it is considered doctrinal. But it boils down to the fact that we believe in a Godhead, made up of three seperate members who are unified in purpose. God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, both of whom have bodies of flesh and blood. The third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost (aka Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit, the Still Small Voice, etc.) does not have a body of flesh and blood. We believe there is strong biblical evidence (see the talk) that they are distinct beings with separate roles all working toward a common goal.

(oh, and by the way, I wasn't offended by anything you said I feel like we've had a pretty respectful discussion without much in the way of argument or debate--just trying to figure out where everyone stands on which issues, right?)

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First would like to say that my church (new life christian) also puts a lot of emphasis on James 2:26 but we read it entirely differentely. My interpretation is that because we have faith, and allow the Lord to change us, good works will inevitabily follow. LDS understanding that unless you are doing good works, you loose your salvation (or at least the level of heaven you had attained). Is this right? LDS'?
I think it sort of goes both ways. Sometimes through our faith, we are changed and good works inevitably follow. Sometimes the works are required in order to build faith and then the change comes. For us, faith and works certainly aren't mutually exclusive. It doesn't do me any good to sit on my backside at home proclaiming my faith in Christ and doing nothing about it (and I'm not saying anyone here does that!). If I love the Lord and have faith in Him the way I should, then I will WANT to obey his commandments, to do the things he's asked of me. As it says in Matthew 22, we are first to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds and then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. On these two commandments hang all the other commandments we have been given.

Sometimes God might ask something of me that I don't really understand or see the purpose for, and in that case, knowing that God has not failed me in other instances, I forge ahead and do it even though I might not understand it, and in time, the understanding and the faith in that principle comes. Because I loved him with all my heart, soul and mind and followed him anyway, then comes the change, the enlarging.

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But that's not my main point in posting. I have a Question for LDS' about the first paragraph.
You believe that every human "may be saved". Mainstream Christianity also believes that all humans may be saved, but that is it very clear that most people will not choose to be saved. That each person's salvation is based on what they believe about what Jesus did for them.

What I think you are saying, is that because Jesus made salvation attainable for humankind, the doors are open. And as long as the laws, ordinances (specifically the LDS additions) are followed, all humans can be saved. So, because of Christs' death, LDS members can therefore perform all neccesary rituals (baptism for one, and others too?) for each individual person, and therefore offering to them in the spiritual world the option of heaven.

Clarification? please?

This is, to me and what I believe, is the big thing (there are other smaller things) that seem to diminish what Jesus did on the cross.
Because by saying this, yes you are attributing the fact of salvation to Jesus, but you are also saying that it is because of an LDS ritual performed by so and so that they actually received their salvation.

I don't want to be presumptious, just trying to clearly explain how I see, and I am looking forward to info, answers and clarification.
Okay, to answer this question (at least what I think you're asking, but if I'm missing the point, let me know), I'm going to re-quote our article of faith #3: We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.


I need to point out here that LDS see the moment in the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ took upon himself the sins of the world the bigger part of the picture here. The crucifixion is important to us to, but we see it as the finishing, the completion of the atonement that took place in the Garden of Gesthemane.

So, going from there, we believe that, being mortals we will sin, but paradoxically because we are mortals (and not gods), we don't have the capability to atone for our own sins. We would be completely subject to the demands of Justice. Except that Christ stepped in and paid Justice with Mercy. A Book of Mormon Scripture says of Christ:

( Mosiah 15: 9)
9 Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.


So we believe that Christ paid the price for our sins, but we have to do our part too. Some of our part is the every day good works sort of thing. Some of that is sacred ordinances. These ordinances are symbolic of our application of Christ's atonement in our lives. For example, baptism is a symbolic washing, the Sacrament bread and water passed every Sunday are symbols of Christ's body and blood, and so forth. They show our acceptance of Christ's atonement. So, as you said above, we do choose whether or not to accept salvation, and this is how we show Christ that we accept his atonement.

For us to participate in some of these ordinances, there has to be a certain level of worthiness first. To be baptized, one has to profess a faith and testimony in Christ, to be living an honest and chaste life. This shows Christ that we are ready and willing to take on the bigger commitment of baptism. And that's true for the temple too--there are very specific requirements involved in getting into the temple.

We also believe that there are people who died while the fullness of the Gospel was taken from the earth (remember that we believe in the Great Apostasy, when the fullness of the Gospel was taken from the earth sometime after the time of Paul until Joseph Smith restored it in the 1800s) or people who for whatever reason did not have the opportunity to accept during their mortal lives. There are also people who simply chose not to accept it for whatever reason. So yes, we do proxy work for those who have died and did not have their ordinances done during this life. And those people in the Spirit World have the opportunity to accept or reject this work done on their behalf.

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#86 of 132 Old 03-15-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Ok, so my question for the LDS members is.... if I also believe that Jesus died for my sins, I've been baptized, I participate in communion, but I do not belong to the LDS church....what am I missing? Or will I still be saved (in the eyes of the LDS church)?

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#87 of 132 Old 03-15-2010, 04:33 PM
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Ok, so my question for the LDS members is.... if I also believe that Jesus died for my sins, I've been baptized, I participate in communion, but I do not belong to the LDS church....what am I missing? Or will I still be saved (in the eyes of the LDS church)?
I am wondering this too. And I'm also wondering, is there anything that LDS member do for people who are still alive?

I will be able to read the long response to my question later today, I just wanted to see if there was one... and I'm so glad I can't wait to read it
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#88 of 132 Old 03-15-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Ok, so my question for the LDS members is.... if I also believe that Jesus died for my sins, I've been baptized, I participate in communion, but I do not belong to the LDS church....what am I missing? Or will I still be saved (in the eyes of the LDS church)?
We believe we have the correct Priesthood *authority* to perform baptisms, bless the Sacrament (bread and water--probably what you call communion), and perform other necessary ordinances. I think this was discussed several posts back, but LDS believe in several levels of Heaven. To get to the top, you have to have done all the necessary LDS ordinances and lived a good life. Others are assigned to different levels based on the life they led.

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#89 of 132 Old 03-15-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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And I'm also wondering, is there anything that LDS member do for people who are still alive?
No, we do not do any proxy work for members who are still alive.

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#90 of 132 Old 03-16-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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I am sorry that the Mormons are offended that according to the definition of orthodox Christianity, their religion is not considered a Christian religion. None of us on this board made up those definitions and explanations. We simply accept them as being correct according to the way they are defined.

To me, that is not a judgement against Mormons, but rather a definiton explaining that they do not share the same beliefs as others who call themselves Christian. They are not the same and they will readily admit that.
I think this situation is parallel to the one between Christians and Jews in some ways. Oubliette said:
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I've always thought that Mormons are related to Christians in the same way that Christianity is related to Judaism. That is, Mormons share the same historical literature, but then add to it and have developed new beliefs as well. Just like Christians still use the Old Testament, but added on the new testament and a belief in Jesus, thus differentiating themselves from Jews.
Christians, or at least some Christians, consider themselves the continuation of God's covenant with Israel, or even to be the new Israel. This idea is obviously offensive to present day Jews, but it is part of Christian doctrine. Jewish people do not like the implications in the term "Old Testament" either, but it defines the Hebrew Scripture perfectly within the context of Christianity.
Jewish posters have often drawn the line very firmly between what is Christian and what is Jewish, and do not accept Christian beliefs or practices being tagged Jewish. It seems to me the same principle could apply between Christians and Mormons.
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