Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank God for...the Mormon lady?

Tuesday was quite the adventure for us. I loaded up the four little kiddos and headed out early for an appointment in Springdale. I hate driving the van in gusty weather. I feel like the wind is trying to rip me right off the road. I wanted to get to the appointment in time, but I wasn't willing to drive too fast. And I also had to stop for gas. That would have been quicker, too, but my dear hubby forgot to put the debit card back in my wallet. Oh, well. So we got gas and continued along. Only problem is that I forgot where it was! So I called several friends, then information, and got there 20 minutes late after turning around twice. Ugh. But at least they kept my appt and they were nice about it.

So far so good, right? Of course, any time you come in for new appointments, the first half of the wait is just paperwork time. I have to say, all my kids were really good. Yes, even Trevor, amazingly enough. I think they were in a bit of shock around all of the other misbehaving, loud and crying children.

Appointments went A-okay, but we had to wait afterwards for more paperwork. Ethan started to get stressed from the noise (and one mom in particular who was not being very nice to her toddler...grrr...), so we decided to take a breather and walk out to the van to put our backpacks and stuff away, then we would hop back in for our papers. Okay, so I lift the back hatch, stick ALL of our stuff inside, and shut it. And it locked. It LOCKED. All the doors.

I just stood there for a second, letting that sink in. I'm in another town. I have four kids. My purse is in there, along with my cell phone, money, kids' jackets, snacks, you name it. Think. Think. THINK.

After trying ALL the doors, just to be sure, I walked back in and asked to use the phone. Thank goodness for nice strangers who let you make long-distance phone calls on their business line. My sister? No answer. Figures, she never answers. No offense, Julie. Her hubby? No answer? Okay, just suck it up and call Fred at work. Too bad my folks are still out of town.

Now it's a good thing I have the most wonderfully laid back husband in the world! After the initial "You did WHAT?!", he said he would have to finish up what he was working on (half an hour of work) before he could head home for the spare key, get gas, and drive to Springdale. Okay, that's maybe an hour and a half. But what choice did I have?

"I can do this." So we walked over to Good Will to look around. There just wasn't much else around. At first it was all fine and dandy. The kids walked and looked. Then Trevor got the bright idea to play hide-and-seek in the clothes racks. So out of the clothes we go! We went to the houseware (if you can call it that) and toy section. Oh, my, why do they put toys up on tall shelves? Little boys like to climb. And climb he did. So I sat my toddler on the floor with some toys and we did that for maybe...15 minutes. It just wasn't working out. Oliver wanted down, and there was no way I was putting him down on that nasty floor!! And he needed to nurse somewhere, preferably in a clean area. Thank goodness I breastfeed!! Had to put a plug in here about that! :-)

So we walked back into the blustering wind. Isabelle complained that she was getting blown away. Overall, though, they were being pretty cheerful about our "adventure." Then I spotted a bookstore. Yea! So we ran over there, while I gave instructions not to touch, fight, yell, push, etc. They are usually pretty good in stores, but it had been a loooong morning.

I knew something was up as soon as I walked in. What's CTR? Hmm....ah...there's the Bible. And, yep, there's the book of Mormon. What the...? I was in a Mormon bookstore, people. Hmmm...okay, so look around, but don't let the kids READ anything.

First of all, I got a real kick out of the stuff in there! Oh, yeah, who wants a pin the tie on the missionary game?? For real! SO funny!! And they had newborn onsies that looked like white shirts with ties. Heh heh. Some of the felt board stuff was just weird, though.

Luckily, a lady came and asked if she could help us. I explained that we were just browsing store, waiting for my husband to come with our keys. So she gave the kids a box of toys to play with, started Charlotte's Web for them, and offered us peanut butter sandwiches and juice (which I politely declined...the kids had just had raisins and they wouldn't starve.) She was SO nice. When I asked Trevor to lower his voice, she hurried back again, telling me that she had 6 kids and a little noise never hurt anyone. She said we could stay the whole time, stay warm, and get anything we wanted to eat. Again, let me say that she was SO nice.

Fred got there around 12:30, after searching in nearby stores. His boss let him off early, and he didn't have to take vacation, thank goodness. When we left the store, Trevor said he loved the nice lady. :-) Ahhh...
On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's, because we were getting quite hungry by that time. We get up early and eat breakfast very early in the mornings. If you know me, I almost never eat out. Ick. But you gotta have food, and it was the cheapest thing around (although certainly not the healthiest...again, I say ICK.)

On the drive home I couldn't help thinking about the kind woman who had immediately come to the aid of complete strangers. Not only was she civil to us, she offered us her very own possessions. Not unlike the good Samaritan. If that's not showing God's love... but wait... did she know God's love the way I do?

So, after the kids went to bed Tuesday night, I spent some time looking up Mormonism. (Maybe if all Christians were so kind and non-judgmental, people would go home and look up our faith, too!!) CTR stands for "Choose the Right." So it's like the Mormon version of our “WWJD”.

But is "choose the right" about trying to do good in your own power? Salvation through works? The more I read, the more upset I got. I read, read, read from Mormon sites, reputable Christian sites, and then looked in The Kingdom of the Cults (great book, check it out!). And it just made me so sad for this woman. God is LOVE, grace, mercy. Some "prophet" can't come along and undo all of that! And, let me tell you right now that I don't believe Joseph Smith. The number of people who are led astray... uhhh...makes your stomach sink, doesn't it?

But then I turned to how I act. Would I have been a face for Jesus under those circumstances? Would someone see something in me that made them keep thinking, wondering, hoping...? And maybe that woman is a child of God's. A mixed up child that He will someday bring closer to Him.

Anyway, it was a rough day, but I learned a lot (as always when I'm around the kids!) and had a lot to think about. It went very well, under the circumstances. The weather also plummeted (20s) after we were safely and snugly in our van. God is good.

If you've made it to the end of this post, congratulations!!

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have tried mormon.org or lds.org for your information as these are the only official sites of the mormon faith. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet. We choose to follow Christ's example through works because of OUR love of Christ not because we are trying to earn his love. We already have that...as do all of God's children. As the Bible says, by their fruits ye shall know them Matt 7:20

Simply Stork said...

Hello Wendy...I have something waiting for you at my site...come on over when you get a min.

~simply~

WendyJanelle said...

I did look at Mormon.org first. But I linked a reputable site that used Scripture and actual LDS quotes to compare. We are supposed to test everything against God's Word. God's ONLY Word.

Does the Bible teach that we will one day be gods? Absolutely not. Does the Bible teach that God has a physical body (other than Jesus coming to earth)? No. And so forth...

And, yes, we follow Christ's example because we love Him. I agree with you there. But works will not save or elevate us.

I did not intend to be offensive. I just long for my Good Samaritan to see the truth of the Bible...

Anonymous said...

Hello Wendy,

I'm another member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I just wanted to comment quickly about a misconception about mormons and grace. We most certainly believe in the grace of God. Without it, none of us would be able to return to His presence after this life. No matter how much any of us do, we will always come up short. We are not perfect, only Christ was perfect. We still have to try and do all that we can. It is kind of like what you tell your children, you know, "do your best," because you know what they are capable of, and you know if they will do their best, they will be happier. I personally am so thankful for grace, because I need it! Yes there is an emphisis on works in our religion, but that in no way takes the place of Christ's saving grace. I am glad you had a good experience with that woman, I wish all of us were as kind as her.

Erin

Ann-Marie said...

I was recounting your experience to a co-worker, and I said something like, "The lady was so nice, my friend went and looked up Mormonism on the computer."

My co-worker said, "Well, to be honest, I'd say Mormons don't have a lot on Baptists. Baptists are so weird and kinda mean, you know?"

I was flabbergasted. Granted, this is new co-worker, and we've not worked together long, but the perception of Baptists being unfriendly are apparently out there.

You're SO right. It would be nice after an encounter with a Christian, that someone might go look up a Christian site on the internet.

I'm so glad you shared your experience. It certainly prompted discussion. God opens all sorts of doors for His Word to be shared!

Anonymous said...

First I want to say your understanding of what Mormons believe about works and faith is wrong. However, I don’t think you will believe what we say we believe because it just makes your head spin to think otherwise. It would make Mormons less “weird” and just mess up your conception of what a “Christian” is. And that brings me to two of your quotes:

“If that's not showing God's love... and yet, did she know God's love the way I do?”

and:

“But "choose the right" is about trying to do good in your own power. Salvation through works? The more I read, the m ore I realized that this whole "religion" is nothing more than lies. They are listening and believing Satan's lies. And that just makes me so sad for this woman. God is LOVE, grace, mercy. Some "prophet" can't come along and undo all of that! And, let me tell you right now that I think Joseph Smith was either a lunatic or a liar...and he may be in Hell either way. The number of people who are led astray... uhhh...makes your stomach sink, doesn't it?”

You say that maybe if more “Christians” were to treat people nice that others would want to take a second look. Yet, you make statements above that indicate treating people nice might actually be a sign of sin and lack of faith. Worse, that having good behavior will send someone to hell if they don’t believe exactly such and such. Why you would wonder why more people don’t like “Christians” shouldn’t be too hard to understand if you would take a minute to think rather than preach. Here is a thought; take people for what they are and not what they believe, and then they might take thought of what you believe.

You seem like a good person. Its too bad the worst in you seems to be getting the best of you.

WendyJanelle said...

Wow. Did I get on the Mormon mailing list? Just kidding.
To the first two anon.s, thank you for your grace and respectfulness. I didn't mean any offense. Maybe there are more misconceptions than I realize. I'm just trying to test against Scripture, which is what the Word tells me to do.

Ann-Marie, I'm glad this was good conversation material for you! ;-) I agree that Baptists also get a bad rep. It's the holier than thou attitude. Did you happen to see my Baptist joke?

To third Anon: You don't know me very well, and I think you've misinterpreted some things that I wrote. "Treating people nice might be a sign of sin". What? When did I say that?? I was amazed by the kindness of this woman. And I was hoping and praying that she loved and accepted Jesus. The end. No judgement. I want the best for her, that's all.

On the second point, I DO care what people believe. That's the difference of these people being my brothers and sisters in Christ, and with me in eternity. It would be horrible if I didn't care what they believed, but just looked at what they do. It is God's will that all should be saved, right?

I'm not trying to "preach." Wow. I can't even believe it would come across that way.

And, I'm sorry, but I DO believe that "not believing such-and-such will send you to hell". Jesus is the only way. Period. Love Him, accept His free gift of eternal life. He died for you, He died for me.

You can let me know how Mormons believe about all that. I've done my reading, but I would like to hear back from you. Again, I didn't intend offense. I was just thinking aloud, to my friends, about how wonderful this woman is and how I want the best for her.

I'm glad that I "seem" like a good person. Heh heh. I'm flawed like everyone else, and obviously I write in such a way that is easily misunderstood. Oops. But I don't mean harm.

WendyJanelle said...

Oh, and in case you didn't understand, the end to that quote was "And if that's not showing God's love, I don't know what is."

Jerri Dalrymple said...

Wow! Did you ever open a can of buzzing bees! LOL J/k Gotta get my 2 cents in here, ya know! First of all...wasn't that the awesome hand of God guiding you into that woman's store? Everything happens for a reason...who knows, maybe she went home and looked up Christianity...or Baptists. Maybe BOTH of you will be/have been enlightened through this experience. Obviously it's reaching others and causing them to examine their own beliefs as well. That's never a bad thing...to know and be sure of what you believe and why. I learned a hard lesson about that one early in adulthood, but that's another story! ;0)
I just wanted to say that I have had at least 4 VERY good friends in my life, one in childhood, that are mormons. I have discussed beliefs extensively w/ 2 of them. Some things they say just in day-to-day conversation can lead you to believe strange things about their faith. (ex...no hot liquids, no caffeine, bishop stuff, etc.). I think that it was b/c we are such good friends that we are able to discuss it w/o ANY tension or pressures from either side. Mostly, b/c I love these women, I wanted to understand where they were coming from. After many conversations, and many more to come, I'm sure, I can't say I totally get it. Then again, I don't totally get a lot of things, like Catholicism or Jehovah's Witnesses...among many others. I've read, I've studied, I've been to Mormon.org several times. WWW.4truth.net is another good site, but after reading through it and then questioning one of my friends, I've learned it's just not ALL true. It boils down to the individual church and moreso, the individual person's beliefs. I'm not justifying ANYTHING, and I contiually pray for my friends as I hope they pray for me. We all need prayer, and by unison agreement, God's grace of salvation. They do believe that, I'm certain. There are so many diff. denominations/religions that we all constantly question each other. As the Bible says "For now we know in part, but then we shall know fully." Guess what? We won't know before then...not everything...not the intricacies of WHY there are SO many variations. I don't think that just ONE denomination has it all exactly right and the rest are warped, LOL! I believe we'll be amazed when we see the full picture someday!
I hope this hasn't confused or offended anyone...my 2 cents worth is mostly just a lot of thoughts bouncing around in my head right now! God bless those of you who managed to read this in its entirety! :0)

Mandy said...

What an amazing woman you met! One of my best girlfriends happens to be Mormon. I have to say I've NEVER met an entire family so devoted to Christ in my life! I hear bad things about Mormons all of the time and I agree there are many misconceptions... I know that my dear friend for sure believes that Jesus Christ is the way to salvation. I really don't know much about the Book of Mormon, but her ideas about spirituality interest me. She believes things like "there are only a certain number of souls sent down from heaven (children) and that's why we Mormons try to have as many children as we intelligently can.. to make sure God's people are raising them." I'm not sure if I agree with that but I did think that was a neat idea! She's always willing to go above and beyond what others I see (including me!) are willing to do for others. If that's the "religion" that makes her that way... then I wish we had more of that in Christianity. She makes me want to be a better Christian so that people will look at me the way I look at her and want to know more about why I am the way I am. Amazingly, it's working. I've had two people specifically ask me why I act the way I do and parent the way I do and I felt it was a great way to lead someone to Christ.. or at least plant the seed. Great post! I hope that woman is greatly blessed for all of the blessings she did her best to pour out over you and your children. :)

WendyJanelle said...

Mandy, Thank you so much for commenting, and interpreting my post as it was meant to be. The Mormon woman was an amazing blessing to me. I think God used her to care for me and my kids. I was not intending to imply that she was acting out of anything but love.
When I referred to what I thought CTR meant, I was not in any way trying to pin that reasoning on my good Samaritan.
I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to discuss faith and doctrine with two "missionaries" (right word?) that came to my door. It was such a nice and mutually respectful conversation.
They told me that they believed in the Trinity, but didn't think that each member of the Trinity had a different purpose. And they believe that God has a physical body.
That left more questions than answers for me. But I am not trying to be hateful. The point I was trying to make is that this woman really did act in a loving way and I hope that she knows my loving Father.
Very interesting about the kids coming from Heaven. I had not heard that. I don't believe it, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to give bibical scriptures on Mormon theology. Mormon's use the King James Version of the Bible, so I'm not sure what version you have, but if you want to see what I'm reading when I read my bible, here is a link http://scriptures.lds.org/

Basic starting point: Mormon's don't see God as the trinity concept. They don't accept the Nicean Creed. To us, God is Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost/Spirit as seperate entities not 3 in one. These are all God or the Godhead. They are one in purpose but not one physically. Acts 7:55 Stephen sees Jesus and God the Father seperate -one standing by the other and is filled with the spirit. John 3:16- Christ is the son of God. So ususally when a Mormon says God, they are referring to God the Father. When they say Jesus, they are referring to Jesus, etc. But we believe all 3 are Divine.

The concept of God the Father is as a litteral parent of the human family. Matt 6:9 - your father (not my father.. your father too) which is in heaven right now while I'm on earth. Matt 23:9.

Heavenly Father is the literal father of the spirits of mankind Rom 8:16-17 Matt 18:10 as children of God, our spirits/this vs uses angels lived with Him in heaven before our birth on earth. Isa 64:8Just as our earthly parents are the parents of our bodies. Heavenly Father is the parent of our spirit/ghost Hebrews 12:9 Our spirit lived with God before our birth then we came to earth.

Basically, family is the root of Mormon theology. God as a parent, all mankind as our brothers and sisters both those yet to come, those living, and those that have died. All are saved through Christ's atonement and his great love. But, as followers of Christ we must do our part as well. His salvation is extended to even those who have already died. I Cor 15:29 In our temples, we baptize in behalf of those who did not recieve baptism while in life since baptism is necessary (even Jesus was baptised - so no one gets a free pass w/o baptism)

Eternity is a long time to be sitting around playing harps, etc. We believe we will be doing the work of our Father for eternity and hope to some day be like Him, not ever ever ever replace Him. But assist Him and serve Him and worship Him always. But, as we "grow up" maybe some day we will have similar experiences just as your children do as they grow up .. maybe be parents ourselves? .. that is probably where the "Mormons believe they will be gods" comes from.

Jesus Christ as a resurrected person has a flesh and body Luke 24:39

If we are God's children and came to earth to get a body and will be resurrected (reunited with our body) because of Jesus Christ's atonement. Then, why would he want his children to have a body and Jesus to have a body if he didn't also have a resurrected body? Why would he want us to be like him if that's not what he was like. Adam and Eve's bodies were created in his image Genesis 1:26-27. They weren't made as ghosts or trinities but as physical beings with a body and a spirit. The purpose of earth life was for God's children who only had a spirit to gain their own body on their eternal journey.

So, mostly our differences stem from our belief that Jesus, Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost are seperate beings (the Holy Ghost is a spirit like our spirit so it can communicate with our spirit John 14:26 and remind us of our Heavenly Home, comfort us, teach us, help us remember those feelings of peace while we are here on earth. Our heart burns within us as the Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, reminds us, etc). And we think of mankind as being children of God not as figuratively but as litterally.

I think the rest of the differences you might find stem from those things. But for us, they answer .. who we are (children of God) .. why we are here (to gain a body and learn to love as he does inspite of differences in people and follow Christ's example in our actions not just our words) .. where we are going (Home to "grow up" and learn some more from God our Father) ...

Sorry so long. Mormon.org has a thing where you can chat with missionaries online if you want different scripture references from the Bible, or have other questions, etc.

We see the Book of Mormon as a 2nd witness of Jesus Christ. That salvation comes only through Him. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/mosiah/3/17#17

Anonymous said...

ETA: It also answers "where did I come from?" (Heavenly Father's presence) too. Forgot to add that one.

Basically we see God as Parent and Family as an Eternal concept. Rest assured, we love the Bible as you do but our differences in theology probably have more to do with which passages we take litterally and which we take figurately in the Bible.

The reason you are getting so many Mormon hits is probably because of the crap and lies that are being said about our religion due to having a Pres. candidate that practices the religion. People are really twisting it up in the media .. it's like reading english from someone that speaks Chinese. You kind of get what they are trying to say but the way they are saying it is completely distorted and almost unrecognizable. Better to have a native speaker sometimes to translate .. but the media usually uses ex-mormons or non-mormons so a few of us that love the religion, like to clear up some of the twists and turns as best we can. And so your site comes up when searching for "mormon". But yes, right now is not a good time to search that word on the internet for factual info. You'd never believe the things I've seen and heard! Ugh. Best to talk to a native at lds.org or mormon.org as these are the only official Mormon sites. Others have an agenda - to distort and mis represent so as to influence an election IMO.

WendyJanelle said...

I appreciate your information.
I'm thankful that God deals with us on an individual basis. Just saying I'm a Christian does not save me, nor does it condemn me. Only Jesus saves.

Personally, I believe that:
* The only authoratative Scriptures given by God are the 39 books of the Old and New Testament.

* There is only one God. The Three in One. (Dt. 6:4; 33:26-27; Isa 43:10; 45:5; 46:9; 1Ti 2:5)

*God is not a man (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Hos 11:9)

*God the Father, the eternal God is Spirit (Isa 55:8-9; 6:1-5; 57:15; Pss 90:2; 113:5-6; 123:1; Jn 4:24: 8:23)

*Jesus said that a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Lk 24:39)

*God the Father has always existed as such (Dt 33:27; Isa 43:10; 44:6; 45:5, 21; 46:9; Mal 3:6; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).

* God has been God "from eternity to eternity." (Psalms 90:2 and 93:2)

*Nowhere does Scripture even hint at the existence of an Eternal Mother.

*God is not God unless He is all-powerful, all knowing, absolutely in charge. If God exists only as God because of support given from other intelligent forms, He is not God at all (Isa 44:6; Ro 3:4; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)

* Man is a finite being, not an eternal one. The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).

* Man did not exist in the beginning when God was creating the universe, for if he had, God's question to Job would have made no sense (Job 38:4).

*Man was created lower than the angels, so that David wondered why God is even mindful of him (Ps 8:3-5; 144:3).

*Not a single verse in the Bible suggests that God has a wife, but Isaiah 44:24 explicitly says that the Lord made all things by Himself. And there are several passages in Isaiah indicate that there is only one God and there is none beside Him (44:8; 45:6) or like Him (46:9).

*Not everyone is blessed through Christ's crucifixion. Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus' death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24). Eternal life "in Christ," and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23). This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10).

* Jesus' death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10). In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man's disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)

*Jesus was and is Almighty God from everlasting to everlasting. He is the creator of all that exists and is "firstborn" over all creation in the sense that He is the preeminent originator of life and the universe (Mic 5:2; Ps 90:2; Jn 1:1-3; Ac 3:14-15; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2). This meaning for the word "firstborn" can be understood by comparing Genesis 41:51-52, which states that Manasseh was Joseph's "firstborn" son while Ephraim was the second, with Jeremiah 31:9, where God calls Ephraim the "firstborn." Obviously, "firstborn" does not always mean the one literally born first.

* There is a heaven and there is a hell. In Heaven we will live eternally with God. In Hell, it is eternal separation from God.

* Only humans go to heaven, not animals. They do not have spirits.

* There will not be marriage in heaven (and not multiple spouses on any "level" of heaven.)

* God does not just live out on another planet.

* We can never be "like God" in the way that would make us gods ourselves. It's not the same literal parent-child relationship in which the child someday becomes a parent.

I can't just say "I'm okay, you're okay" when it comes to faith. I can love someone, pray for them, respect them...but not say that it's "okay" to live against Scripture. And, believing as I do that Scripture alone is God's Word, would make the Book of Mormon untrue.

I do believe that anyone that loves and accepts Jesus' free gift of salvation will go to Heaven. And the finer points will be revealed to us there. I do not believe that baptism is essential to this. To me, baptism is an outward expression of our new self. I like immersion baptism, because I think it gives a better picture of the washing away of our old, sinful nature. It's the party/ the picture after the "real deal." Baptism is not the deal itself.

I'm speaking for me and what I believe. Not all Christians and all denominations believe the same things. And I'm certainly not saying that you have to believe the way I do to be saved. :-)

WendyJanelle said...

To clarify one last thing, I wrote "I'm certainly not saying that you have to believe the way I do to be saved." I'm talking about the "smaller" points. I think you DO have to believe that Jesus is God's one and only Son who was sent to this earth to die for our sins. And you have to accept that gift. John 3:16.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, you mentioned the fact that the kind lady was Mormon. I've seen a lot of kind people who are Mormon. Interestingly enough, Mimi's primary doctor (her oncologist)is a Mormon. He put us in contact with the surgeon who performed the surgery that saved Mimi's life. All of this was God's Providence and you know the story already.
Mimi's doctor is very competent and caring as well. He teaches in his church and also works with boy scouts.
A couple of things about all this. First is that God created all of us in His image and that's what gives each of us our fundamental importance; we are created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." That means we have the ability to think, to feel, to act; we have a moral sense and a spiritual sense; we have a God-given conscience. So fallen man can act in a moral manner--albeit very imperfectly. The culture is very important here because if a person is raised in a moral climate, well, human relationships are better there and even non-Christians can see that it. Mimi and I grew up in a world where there was a lot of "cultural Christianity", i.e, basic ethical principles from the Bible that were usually followed because it was the better way to live.
I'm sure there are biblical truths and understandings mixed in with a lot of unbiblical doctrine among Mormons. Also I'm convinced that God deals individually with everyone in the world--all 5 billion of us. After all He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. John 1:9-10 Jesus "was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." He was the Creator of the world and He gives light to everyone born--the light of creation and the light of conscience and the light of God's "common grace." See Romans 1:18-32 and Psalm 19:1-6
C.S.Lewis wrote a chapter in Mere Christianity called, "Nice People or New Men?" that dealt with this very question. We're all lost sinners before God but we don't have to be "crummy, cruel people." Life is better if everyone treats each other civilly and respectfully. You don't have to be a believer to see that.
In addition to that, Mormons are trying very hard to get to heaven by good works. That's not going to get them there but they are doing good works. All we can do is pray for them that they will come to Him who is the Light of the world and who died for their sins. And hope they come to understand the grace of God. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23
Some of them do eventually find the Lord. A friend of ours grew up as a Mormon and when she found Christ and was saved, she left the Mormons so her family completely disowned her and won't have anything more to do with her--in spite of the fact she has a husband with terminal cancer and a 9-year old son.
Lots of things in life we don't understand, right, Wendy? I am glad that God is in sovereign control and is gracious and compassionate and merciful--and He is also Holy. That's why Jesus died on the cross--to pay the death penalty for our sins and thus to cleanse us and make us righteous before Him.
"For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Cor. 5:21
Love,
Papaw

October Dawn said...

I don't know how this post slipped by me! I thought I was checking back everyday and here it is Friday before I even knew it was here.

I read the comments. There are a lot of wonderful people in this world...regardless of classifying factors such as religion, color, sexual persuasion etc. The saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" comes to mind.
I cannot agree with any doctrine but the Bible and the Bible alone.
You meant 66 books (39 in the OT and 27 in the NT)...
As the JW and Mormons come by, I routinely turn them away. I was given the Book of Mormon by a high school friend after graduation, and I worked with a lady who was a Jehovah's Witness at the Pd.
My thoughts are these: anyone who believes at all that some measure of our salvation depends on works will work harder at being good.
Anyone who believes that Christ paid the whole price of our salvation by His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection will be tempted to live large now and again..especially knowing that Christ's salvation is sealed by His Holy Spirit...once saved always saved.
There are many nasty people in any circle of faith. There are nasty Baptists as sure as there are nasty Mormons... people leave the Mormon church to join the Baptist church and MANY people leave the Baptist church to join the Mormon church.
We are warned that Christianity is a stumbling block to those who are perishing...
The Bible is solid. It doesn't matter if a person believes it or not. Truth doesn't change. God spoke...I believed. I love where the Bible says that Abraham believed God and He (God)therefore considered him (Abraham)righteous.
People can believe whatever suits there fancy... it won't be so fanciful in the end if they chose to believe a lie. I am convinced that God gives every soul a chance to be saved....He doesn't force anyone.

Anonymous said...

The scripture references you gave I agree 100% with what they say. Maybe not the exact same way because when you say God is Spirit I say yes, Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. He was Spirit before he was born and before he was a ressurrected being of flesh and bones as he was when he appeared to the 12 apostles after his resurrection. etc. There is a heaven and a hell. Your choices put you there. Do you choose good or do you choose evil? It is your choices that seperate you from God. A lot of the rest of your comments aren't Mormon theology. But, they are comments I've heard before when people thought they knew what Mormon's believed and they got the info from some weird source.

But yes Mormons believe whole heartedly in the Bible and in Jesus Christ and accept him as their personal Savior, the Light of the World, the Redeemer, the Messiah, etc. So, technically by your definition, we are already saved. No need to worry then about the Mormons. Our works don't save us, he does. But. like Peter when he walked on water, it is a wonderful experience to walk with the Lord and follow his example with our works and our daily choices instead of just hanging out in the boat. Our works teach us and help us grow. Our reward is our ability to serve good is improved. In the next life we will have opportunities to use that ability based on what we developed in this life. "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" - Book of Mormon quote. But yes, each has his own spiritual journey and different ways of approaching God and thankfully only Christ gets to be the judge.

WendyJanelle said...

I'm not sure if you are still reading, my anonymous friend, but I am still reading...still thinking...still questioning. And, with all respect, I will ask more questions. Because, although you say that you totally agree with the Scriptures I stated, I think we very much disagree. It's not just a difference in interpretation.

I do not want to argue with you. Just ask a question. Because so far it does not make sense to me.

We are skirting the biggest most important question:
WHO do you believe Jesus is? John 3:16... Do you believe that Jesus is God's One and Only Son sent here to save us?

I will pray for you, and you can pray for me, if you wish.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely!!

Here is the offical statement from LDS leaders re: belief in Christ

http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e1fa5f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=735b862384d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=true

This is one of my favorite Book of Mormon scriptures about Christ (there are a ton - The purpose of the Book of Mormon is to serve as a 2nd witness of Christ. The Bible is the sick of Judah and the Book of Mormon is the stick of Ephriam Ezekial 37:15-19)

This is the Book of Mormon quote

Moroni 10:32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

Also, I found this for you .. Psalms 82 (it's really short and I think the whole thing applies .. I'm assuming your Bible is the King James Version) and this John 10:34-35.

I'm happy to tell you what Mormon's believe, but I don't think scriptures should be a source of fighting KWIM? You can disagree and that's fine. But, you did ask for the Bible references :)

How do you know what God's interpretation is of the scriptures we both love but view differently? We ask him. And this is how the apostles described it when Christ talked scriptures with them

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

We don't need to argue, just ask God and he gives us what is right for our own individual spiritual journey.

Anonymous said...

Mosiah 3:17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be ano other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

This is another Book of Mormon scripture that just came to mind.

Anonymous said...

Let me cut and paste that again, I just saw that I didn't delete the footnote letters (the "a" by the word "no") so instead of saying no other it looks like it says ano ther. That does kind of change the whole point because it looks like it says "another". When I cut and paste, the little footnote letters change to regular font size ..
17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the cLord Omnipotent.

Here's the link so you can read it in it's original form
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/mosiah/3/17#17

WendyJanelle said...

I'm glad you've returned!
And I agree, arguing is pointless. 2 Tim. 2:14-26
But discussion is often very interesting and enlightening! :-)

Psalm 82
Yes, we ask God for help interpreting, but we should also be studying His Word. He is unchanging. If we test everything against the Bible, we will find our answers. He does not contradict Himself, even if it may seem so at times.

In Psalm 82 the rulers and judges are called "gods" and "children of the Most High." I believe they were called gods because they were representing God in executing judgement. That is from my study Bible, and based on other Scriptures.

John 10: 34-36 records Jesus using this passage to defend His claims to be God. His arguement was as follows: If God would call mere men "gods," why was it blasphemous for Him, the True Son of God, to declare Himself equal with God?

I hope you understand that I'm not trying to be disrespectful, and I don't want to fight. I've really enjoyed this discussion!! In fact, I've studied my Bible quite a bit more in the last few days, so thank you for that! I love history, background, and word studies.

Have you ever done a Beth Moore Bible study? She really delves into the Word. It's fantastic, and non-denominational! :-)

Please visit again soon.

WendyJanelle said...

Heh heh...yes, the word "another" sure would change the meaning!

Erin said...

My only question for you is this. If the Bible is the only true word of God, have you really looked into how it was compiled? Do you know that many of the doctrines contained therein where decided upon by popular vote? Many things were taken away from the Bible, and many things were added. That said, it is still a good book to base ones life on; if is still full of marvelous and wonderful truths. I personally love reading about Christ's life, and I love studying Isaiah (among others).

Erin

WendyJanelle said...

The Bible is a "good book"?

Now you're just asking for a new post!! ;-) Consider one in progress, my friend with the private profile! tsk, tsk. ;-)

Papaw said...

Wendy, the lady does greatly err, knowing neither the history of the canon of scripture nor the power of God in protecting the transmission of the text down through the centuries. The authority (or canon) of scripture comes not from “popular vote” or church councils. The reason the Bible is authoritative is because it is “God-breathed.” God inspired it. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God. . . .” 2 Tim. 3:16 It “came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved [lit., “carried along”] by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21
What the church did was simply to articulate what they already knew, that God had inspired these books and letters. The gospels and letters from the apostles were being circulated among the churches–copied by hand, of course. They recognized the hand of God in the inspiration of those books–just as we, too, can discern the same thing as we read them. “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:11-14 NIV
This is called the “testimonium of the Holy Spirit” where the Holy Spirit, who is the Author of scripture attests to the reader who is willing to listen to Him that this is indeed the very Word of God. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16 He also “bears witness with our spirit” that what we are reading in scripture is indeed God-breathed.
“We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:9-12
Wendy, the lady who wrote to you also said, “Many things were taken away from the Bible, and many things were added.” This is not true. When God gave the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, He closed the canon of scripture with this warning, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19 That’s why the Book of Mormon and other books that claim to be authoritative, are not from God.
Rather than trust in or depend on the criticism of people who were not there and are living 2000 years later after Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is much safer and more honest to depend on the eye-witnesses who were there and taught and recorded what they saw and heard. “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3
Love,
Papaw
(aka: Prof. Emeritus William Burnside, JBU Dept. Of History)

Anonymous said...

Deut 4:2 and Rev. 22:18 pretty much say the same thing. So, that would make the whole NT and every book after Deuteronomy an addition. Revelations while placed at the end of the NT was not the last book written for the NT. (The NT books are not placed in chronological order according to when they were written) It refers to not adding to the words John wrote for the NT. The Book of Mormon contains eyewitness accounts of Jesus's visit to the American continent after his resurrection. They are the Other sheep mentioned in John 10:16 The Lord tells the people on the American continent 3Nephi 15:21 And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 22 And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. 23 And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. 24 But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me.

Jesus is the Savior of the whole world, not just Jerusalem. It would make sense that he would be seen of others.

Jesus was also seen of those who had already died. These Sprits awaited the promised liberty the gospel brings.

IPeter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (This occured during the period of time between Christ's death and resurrection where he set up missionary work among those who had died)

John 5: 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

I Peter 3: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Isa 24:22, Isa 49:9, Isa 61:1, Luke 4:18.

Those who have died without the opportunity to hear the gospel are taught the gospel in the next life and given the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior and Redeemer.

We believe he is the Savior of ALL mankind throughout the world (and we accept as scripture the eyewitness accounts of those that saw him and awaited his coming on other parts of the world), both the living, the dead, and those spirits yet to come.

WendyJanelle said...

Can you give me a name...or at least a pseudonym? It's difficult to respond when I don't know if "anonymous" is the same person that I've been writing to. There seem to be more than one of you...

October Dawn said...

It seems like you... everyone is fairly secure in the beliefs chosen by each. As I read through these comments it seems like a little more study into history would be a good idea...outside of Mormonism or Christianity I mean. What exactly do we know about history? What other sources point to historical events that are factual? Is there another historic document that suggests the Americas were visited by Christ? Is there some other historic evidence that the Bible is not complete? Why is it that the Bible is so old and how is it that it communicates a coherent message at all considering the number of authors, locations, languages and time frames in which the various parts were written? And for that matter...why was the book of Mormon so long "hidden"? How could anyone possibly have been enlightened before the creation/revelation of the Book of Mormon, if it is a necessary book for the "faithful". If the Bible is true, what about it suggests that another book should be expected, or might be necessary? If the Book of Mormon is a response to the Bible, then why not believe the Koran as well/instead or take up Budhism? It seems like more questions have been raised than answered. It seems like y'all (to borrow a southern term) have placed your faith in something without necessarily having more than faith to start with. I guess the song is true, "Everybody is worshipping.... something!"

Anonymous said...

Job 38:4 - you said this question would not make sense if there was not a pre-existance. Perhaps it wouldn't without reading how the Lord answers his own question to Job in vs. 7. The Lord reminds Job that he was among the sons of God that shouted for Joy at the creation of the world. Job was looking forward to this earthly experience and now the Lord is comforting Him by reminding him of His great power and of his awareness of Job both before this life, and during his time of trial. Job then repents of complaining about his current circumstances and is eventually blessed for his faithfulness.

The prophet Jerimiah is also reminded by the Lord that he was known by him in the pre-existance Jer. 1:5.

In the pre-existance, God the Father presented a plan to bring salvation to his children. This plan was met with resistance from the devil who wanted to save mankind himself and not allow choice and not give glory to God. A war in heaven ensued and a 1/3 of the children of God who chose to follow the devil were cast out Rev. 12:4-17, Isa 14:12-15. These are those that did not keep their 1st estate Jude 1:6. Peter 2:4. The remaining 2/3rds of the children of God chose to follow Christ, (Christ's plan included free agency - the ability to not be forced but to choose for ourselves - freedom to choose God) the Father's first born and would come as a Savior to the world and give the glory to God the Father.

I'll get back to the plan of salvation story ... gotta go for now ...

Bon

As for the previous posters comment about believing the Koran or Buhadism, last I checked neither testified of Christ. I'll stick to the things that testify of Christ and of his Divinity. 2 Cor 13:1 by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Anonymous said...

Rather than write a long post about LDS beliefs with Bible scriptures, I found a link to a lesson manual. It has some of the basic beliefs and at the end of each chapter it has some of the scriptures associated with the belief. Here is the link.

http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=d7561b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=ea697befabc20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____