Real Mormons Don’t Want Fake Mormons to Be Called “Mormons”

The following message (though not this picture) was posted yesterday on the Mormon Church’s public affairs blog. It explains the group’s unhappiness with recent news reports that refer to “splinter groups” which hive off from the Salt Lake City-based “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (AKA “the Mormon Church”) as “Mormons.”

These splinter groups (AKA “Mormon Fundamentalists”) assiduously devote themselves to the practice of the doctrine of polygamy (which was renounced by THE Mormon Church in 1890) and around whichever Viagra-addled alpha male has set himself up as the prophet, seer, and revelator for that particular harem.

Yes, it’s kind of weird, especially since the real Mormon Church used to officially teach (and practice with gusto) the doctrine of “plural marriage” (c.f., D&C 132:51-52, 61-64). But when you consider this issue from the standpoint of the LDS Church, their concern makes sense. And in any case, I personally find the whole wild and wonderful world of Mormonism rather fascinating anyway.

During the past few years most journalists in the U.S. have done an excellent job in clarifying the differences between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and small, polygamist, splinter groups that often call themselves “Mormons” but have no connection with the Church. Since these groups are covered in the press frequently, we appreciate journalists’ efforts to make this distinction.

However, today The Times in London ran a story about a polygamist group, not at all associated with the Church, with the headline “Mormon polygamist Raymond Jessop on trial after raid on sect’s compound.” Journalists who use the word “Mormon” in relation to polygamist groups unassociated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cause enormous amounts of confusion in the minds of their readers. Particularly internationally, readers do not distinguish between these groups and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which there are over 13.5 million members worldwide.

A few weeks ago I was in Korea and spoke with some of the Church’s Public Affairs media representatives there. They expressed frustration with international wire services that inappropriately use the term “Mormon” in their stories in association with fringe polygamists groups. The Korean press often reruns these stories with the wire service inaccuracies. The effect of such misinformation in Korea, and other countries where the Church has fewer members and is less well known, is much greater. . . . (continue reading)

http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/media/mediaplayer.swf?media=http://broadcast.lds.org/newsroom/video/flv/17Apr08_CookQL.flv&type=FLV

138 Comments

  1. Patrick Madrid

    Hi, everyone. Thanks for the interesting and vigorous give-and-take on this issue. For any of you who may be interested, here's an article we ran in Envoy Magazine some years ago about the issue of how the Mormon Church understands God. "Looking for God in All the Wrong Places … Like Kolob."I'll post another one soon.

  2. Seth R.

    Well, seeing as how a lot of us Mormons view the Kolob thing as symbolic anyway, I'm not too optimistic that this is going to be a fair article.People usually only bring up Kolob when they want to play up the "eeew weird" factor, rather than substantive critique.

  3. Patrick Madrid

    Seth, I'm not convinced you really understand either the theology of modalism or its history. You seem to be unaware that it was a heresy that was roundly condemned by the Catholic Church in the early centuries of the Church. Here's an article from the Catholic Encyclopedia that will help bring you up to speed on this issue: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10448a.htm Bottom line, though, to accuse the Catholic Church of teaching modalism is risible, since it was the Catholic Church that squelched that heresy in the first place.

  4. Seth R.

    No Patrick, I understand modalism well enough.It's the idea that there is only one being who wears different hats. "Jesus" is just one of his hats.If you take Augustine's classic formula of the Trinity:1. There is one God2. The Father is God3. The Son is God4. The Father is not the SonAnd remove #4 – you get modalism. A heresy – as you said. I am aware that this is formally denounced as a heresy not only by the Catholic Church, but also by most modern Protestants.So why do the Christians I debate with always start talking like modalists whenever they find out there's a Mormon in the room?Perhaps you can explain this odd phenomenon to me.

  5. Patrick Madrid

    Seth, on the Kolob thing, I can certainly see why you would want to categorize Joseph Smith's teaching about Kolob (Abraham 3:2-3, 16) as merely symbolic.And I must correct you. I am not bringing up Kolob to "play up the 'eeew weird' factor." I bring it up because Joseph Smith taught this odd doctrine, it is part of the your church's Standard Works of Scripture and, unlike the LDS Church's backtracking on previously held doctrines such as withholding the priesthood from blacks, plural marriage, etc., the LDS Church continues to teach this doctrine (http://institute.lds.org/manuals/pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/pgp-3-a3-01.asp)Please note the statement (available at the link above) from President Joseph Fielding Smith:"President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The Lord made known to him the following facts: That Kolob is the first creation, and is nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. It is the first in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. This measurement is according to celestial time. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which by the Egyptians was called Jah-oh-eh. Oliblish, so called by the Egyptians, stands next to Kolob in the grand governing creation near the celestial, or place where God resides. This great star is also a governing star and is equal to Kolob in its revolutions and in its measuring of time. Other grand governing stars were also revealed to Abraham” ( Man: His Origin and Destiny [1954], 461.)"You see, Seth, even though you understandably would like to see the Kolob teaching as being merely symbolic, it isn't. It's just one of those many highly problematic Mormon doctrines which you must grapple with if you want to maintain your testimony.Incidentally, if you attended the April 2008 General Conference, you would have heard the old Mormon hymn "If You Could Hie to Kolob" sung by all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADX-He30_PA.

  6. Seth R.

    Actually, I don't think you do understand Patrick.Because despite my own personal preferences about the symbolic nature of the passages in the Book of Abraham, I don't see any problems with it being literal. I'm not particularly embarrassed by this idea.What exactly is wrong with God standing somewhere?

  7. Seth R.

    Shouldn't we move this over to the new thread?

  8. Mike Tea

    Bagmon, I don't know where you are going with this. Am I to have a particular feeling? Does the way I feel about my faith not suit you?Seth, Now correct me if I am wrong but you reject the Trinity because you don't understand it. Kind of like me refusing the pills the doctor gives me because I am not a chemist.You "believe" (feel good about?) your Mormon faith but when a Mormon prophet teaches clearly about Kolob and another Mormon prophet clearly teaches that this is literal you "choose" to reject the counsel of the prophets you commend to everyone else and insist (no doubt on the greater authority of the man in the pew) that it is figurative.Explain to me again why anyone should take this seriously?

  9. Seth R.

    Wrong Mike.The pills are not based on a mutually exclusive, self-contradictory and logically incoherent set of principles.God is beyond mortal comprehension. But that does not mean he gets to be incoherent. He must be a being such that, if you had infinite knowledge, you COULD understand.The God of the Trinity is incapable of being understood, even with such infinite knowledge.

  10. Mike Tea

    You miss the point Seth. You say it is incoherent because you fail to understand it. You reject it for no other reason than that your religion has taught you to reject it. If you think the Christian triune God is problematic it is "simple" compared to the problems presented by the Mormon man-become-god.I note also that you have overlooked my other point regarding Kolob. I would be interested in knowing why anyone should find your Mormon message credible if you contradict the clear teachings of Mormon prophets.

  11. Seth R.

    If I'm right, I'm right Mike.Quit using prophets as a crutch for your own failures of analysis.It's not that I've failed to understand it Mike. I understand what is being claimed full well. The problem is you guys are trying to say the Father is the Son ontologically and in the philosophically full sense, but at the same time he is not the Son in that same sense.Incoherence is not the same thing as complexity. One can be understood, given enough knowledge. The other never can be because it denies the very thing it affirms.

  12. Mike Tea

    Seth, You have proved my point in what you write since the doctrine of the Trinity does not teach that the Father is the Son. You do what all mormons do in that, not understanding what you are looking at, you cobble together your own version of what you think you are looking at and then reject a thing of your own invention.As to prophets, I swear that so-called anti-Mormons quote Mormon prophets more than Mormons. Mormon prophets are not a crutch to me but it is becoming clear that they are not an authority for you.It is ironic that a church that dismisses a 2,000 year old Christian message because it comprises the speculations of men should so easily speculate on the clear pronouncements of its prophets. This is what it means to witness to Mormons: you quote the Bible only to be told that it is not correctly translated; you quote Mormons only to be told that private voices don't represent official Mormonism; you cite Mormon authorities only to be scolded for using them as a crutch. What exactly do you believe Seth?If you want to talk about these issues on the basis of your own investigations and understandings then I am up for that. But don't cite Mormon sources to me only to dismiss the Mormon sources I cite because they don't suit you.

  13. Seth R.

    Tell you what Mike.Explain to me what the Son sharing the same substance with the Father means. And don't link me to some article that runs around in rhetorical circles obscuring the central point. You've represented that you are in a position of knowing what the Trinity means, while I have misunderstood.So put up.What does sharing the same substance mean?

  14. Mike Tea

    Seth, let’s do a simple Bible exercise and see what the Word says about God. Isaiah gives us the familiar and quite unequivocal texts on which we base our belief that there is only one God."This is what the LORD says – Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:I am the first and the last; apart from me there is no God" (Is.44:6)I am sure you know that “LORD” always translates “Jehovah” and “God” here translates “Elohim” so in this passage God is saying “I am Jehovah your Elohim”.There are numerous passages that say the same thing so Jehovah and Elohim are not, as Mormons teach, two different Gods, Father and Son, but there is one God, Jehovah who is our Elohim, or one LORD who is our God and “apart from me [singular] there is no God”Note also that this Jehovah our Elohim is also “Israel’s King and Redeemer…the first and the last.” Jesus describes himself In Revelation as the First and the Last (Rev.1:17; 22:13) We know, of course that he is King of Kings (Rev.19:16) and our Redeemer.While Mormonism insists that gods are “made”, or become gods, God makes it clear that there is only one God, that there was no god before him and after him there will be no gods:”’You are my witnesses’, declares the LORD, ‘and my servants whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.’”So you have a clear statement from God’s written Word (and there are many more) that there is only one God, that there were never any gods before him nor will there be gods after him (of course, God being eternal, the terms “before” and “after” are nonsense in relation to him). We also have a clear claim that Jesus is this God; Jehovah our Elohim, King of Kings, First and Last and Redeemer.When we look at the activities of the Son and the Spirit they do what only God can do and we can go into many instances if you like. But this is the starting point of any discussion regarding the nature of God. It is not a question of resolving the issue to your personal satisfaction but of growing to understand it without doing violence to Scripture.Now, there will be those who insist that this makes no sense, much as you have done here, and then go on to try to make of it what makes sense to them.The Mormons end up with a pantheon of gods, of which three relate specifically to us and this creation. But the Bible is very clear that there is only one God.The JWs resolve this by insisting that there is only one God and that Jesus is a created being, the first of God’s creation, and the Spirit is not a person but a force.But the Bible makes very clear that the Son is God and the Spirit is also God (I can show examples but let’s keep it simple and to the argument for now)Out of this biblical picture the first century church began to understand something of the Trinity doctrine. Douglas Ottati, an American professor of theology in Richmond, Virginia has said, “Trinitarian theology continues a biblically initiated exploration.”Certainly a very explicit Trinity doctrine was already being taught by Irenaeus, the most important Greek speaking theologian of the second century. And his authority is considerable since he grew up in Smyrna where he sat at the feet of Polycarp who, in turn sat the feet of John the apostle.Nicea was a clarification, in the face of heresy, of what Christians had begun to understand and believe in the first century. It was not, as Mormons like to portray it, a cobbling together of the best efforts of apostate men to define something they had lost in apostasy, much less something imposed by the edict of Constantine.How this doctrine is expressed is another question but if you look at the above texts and others and compare them with the formula that has come down to us it makes more sense than perhaps you will allow. Three statements may summarise the teaching:1. God is three persons2. Each person is fully God3. There is one God

  15. Seth R.

    Yes, and those verses are consistent with the Mormon theological position. You simply unite them perfectly in purpose, and you're golden.You laid out this formulation:1. God is three persons2. Each person is fully God3. There is one GodAnd I find no theological disagreement with it from a Mormon theological stance.But that wasn't what I asked.I asked you to explain how the Father and Son share the same substance. You dodged that question with a bunch of Isaiah verses.Do you not understand the topic?

  16. Mike Tea

    SethI did not dodge the question and don't even think about dictating terms to me. Now if you want simplistic answers to silly questions then I suggest you stay with Mormonism, but if you want to play in the grown up world of Christian theology stop acting like a trainee god and accept that you have something to learn.Something that always amazes me about Mormons is they don't understand the Trinity but they are determined that no one is going to explain it to them except on their terms; terms they cannot begin to elucidate because they don't understand what they are asking. Not getting the answer their ignorant and ill-informed preconceptions demand they are certain it is nonsense but, not understanding it, they have no idea what they are rejecting. Stupid or what?This is not about you demanding answers and then bitching because the answers you get don't suit you. It is meant to be a discussion in which I say what I want to say and you what you want to say and we try to understand each other. But I am not so sure you want to understand.What Christian literature have you read on the subject? What efforts have you made to think outside the box of Mormonism and see things from another point of view? Or is your head just packed full of Mormon garbage that rejects 2,000 years of Christian history, theology, scholarship, devotion, sacrifice and service?Now before we go further I suggest you reconcile the Mormon pantheon of gods with the Bible texts I have given you without abusing God's Word. Don't give me that old pony about "as far as it is translated correctly", or the nonsense about "to us he is the only god". The Bible is trustworthy and it does not say that.You say you trust the Bible and that it means what it says it means. There is only one God; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Spirit is God.As to the way it is expressed in the creeds this is a secondary issue. For instance, if I quote McConkie it is "just his opinion". In the same way, as they expressed it in the creeds is just the way they explained it to themselves. I answer from Scripture, but we will deal with the creeds soon enough.Show a little patience man. You haven't "got" me, I am not dodging the question, I am explaining why the Trinity makes biblical sense to me and why it doesn't to you. It doesn't happen in a sound bite. If you want sound bites read the Ensign.

  17. Seth R.

    I'm a Social Trinitarian Mike.That is why the idea of Trinity makes sense to me. The traditional Augustinian notion however…So, what is "substance?"And how can the Son share it with the Father, and yet not be identical with the Father?And I'll dictate whatever terms I want Mike.If you are incapable of stepping up to my terms, then I guess others can simply judge for themselves whether they were fair or not.It's always the same old song and dance. Try to ask an Augustinian trinitarian about the core identity issues of Father and Son, and they always – ALWAYS – change the subject and start throwing Isaiah quotes at you. You'd almost think they thought you couldn't use those same scriptures to support your own position…Seems to me that the problem isn't Isaiah, but rather the brain-game baggage you've tacked onto his words.And screwing up for 2,000 years doesn't make it any less of a screw up Mike.

  18. Mike Tea

    Don't be silly Seth. "Social Trinitarian" is nothing more to a Mormon than another way of sneaking their polytheism into the discussion by another route. It is a sly and dishonest thing to even use the word "Trinity" in relation to Mormonism since Mormonism teaches that there are countless gods among which the "social trinity" are numbered and among which they themselves hope to be numbered one day. A rose by any other name my friend.Of course you may be a bad Mormon but then I am convinced you are not a good Christian either. Are you so comfortable about dismissing Scripture? Or is Isaiah, like McConkie, an inconvenient prophet?Augustinian Trinitarian? Do you really swallow the nonsense that the Trinity was a late development? I said you didn't know church history. Maybe we should leave it there because it is certain that you don't want to contend for the faith so much as quarrel with anyone who disagrees with you.

  19. Seth R.

    Whatever Isaiah's other problems, his scriptures are perfectly compatible with my views. There's a lot more flexibility in the scriptures than people give credit for.Augustine did not originate the doctrine of the creedal Trinity. He merely provided one of the best explanations and defences for it. So I felt applying his name to it appropriate.And if you want to talk about being sneaky Mike, your "trinitarianism" is likewise nothing more than a way of sneaking polytheism into the discussion – as any good Jewish or Muslim theologian could tell you.

  20. Bagmon

    (In an attempt to be respect full: I apologize in advance…)Calm down you two.If either of you can call yourselves deciples of our Lord, then you had better start acting like it and stop letting anger dictate your thoughts. Especially you, Seth. "He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me(this is the Lord speaking, by the way), but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.30-"Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away."3rd Nephi 11:30-31Interpret what I would call obvious however you wilt, but think of this: Would your Lord and Savior have you doing what you're doing now? Or would he have you two be civilized and deal with your opposition in a manner that becomeith him?Get it together, and work on repenting.I'm sorry for my bluntness, but you two haven't shown a thread of decency to each other for months if not since this blog began.Now if you two are willing to see each other as the fellow brothers, each working towards salvation, as I know you are, let us continue with an actual DISCUSSION.Now… (once again I apologize, but seriously you two, can you stop focusing on what the other has done and step your game up? Your acting like the Mormons that give the LDS religion some very bad examples…) Mike: remember when I was asking you about your experiences with the spirit? Well to answer your question on relevence: It isn't – or at least, it wasn't until recently. Mostly I was asking you because of a personal problem but I've fixed it since I sent my last post.As of current relevence: if there is a single question being asked here with the intent of gaining knowledge for OURSELVES -not proving it to each other- then for the most part, that's between the questioneer and God. Ask men for their oppinions all you want, in regards to God's intent/message/whatever but whatever you come up with won't effect the truth.So if you're looking for answers: seek the spirit ("Look and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened onto you").BUT! If we are to try to prove something to one another, then remember this: You're not going to get anything across here. Not the way we've been going at it at least.Much of what we've been discussing is opinion "based", for lack of a better phrase. Trying to shove it down each other's throats is just not going to work (don't even try to debate that). What will work, however, is presenting your point in a respectful manner.That of a proper discussion. (not arguement)Another way of putting it, would be to invite the spirit. To do so will keep (or at least help keep) our thoughts on the strait and narrow, not to mention guide our thoughts to the truth, see flaws, and discuss them in a way that becometh saints.But remember: no matter what we discuss, it doesn't change anything, so stay true to what the spirit was (and will) testify to you; because there is the truth.(I'll end with one last "LOVE THY NEIGHBOR"!!! and I hope you two might actually get increase your testimonies from this blog now…)

  21. Bagmon

    Hey everyone! i know it's been months, but I just wanted to say that I'm still keeping tabs, if anyone wants to start up a discusion. Also: I've been thinking about some things and think I understand the whole polygamy situation as well as some thoughts to our other arguments. Let me know if you're still interested in this blog.

  22. Mike Tea

    Hey Bagmon, Nice to know you are still around. I would be glad to see what you have to say.Mike

  23. Anonymous

    I would just like to make a comment. I recently came across this blog while searching for info on Mormons. A little background. I was born and baptised Roman Catholic. My granparents influenced that. My mother on the other hand wasn't very religious. I spent alot of time growing up with a babysitter, whom I went to church with because my mother was always at work. My babysitter was die hard Christian, going to a small Church of Christ. I'm not practicing any religion at this time. I recently started a family tree, and to my surprise found out that my granfather, great granfather, and great grandfather were Mormans. So started the search for information. My comment is this. I don't really understand why all the fuss about who is right or who is wrong. I do know that the Christians and Catholics persecuted non-believers, all thru time and history. I hear Christians say that the Bible is the only true book, word of God, and that Mormanism, or the LDS is fake, made up, a cult made up by Joseph Smith to satisfy whatever drove him at the time. That he was just a man, not a prophet. Was Jesus not just a man before a large group of people deemed him to be a prophet? Was the Bible not written by ordinary men who felt and were persecuted for their beliefs? Is the Christian church, be it Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, etc. all driven to grow, and prosper on what they themselves believe to be the CORRECT truth or interpretation of Gods will for mankind? Can Joseph Smith not be a modern day prophet? And if not, then why? How is he any different than any other prophet who has come before him and made the comment that the church is following the wrong path? I've grown up in the era of Jimmy Swaggart, and other Christian leaders, all whom have fallen, all whom have been proven to not be worthy of their following. I think sometimes that religion is a s oppressive as any government could ever be. It always has to be, it's this way or no way, or you go to Hell! I think people of religion should be alittle more tolerant. The LDS aren't the only one to practice polygamy, read your Bible. Just like they aren't the only ones to have fought for their beliefs in the past, be they right or wrong. What I do believe is that we are all on a path to try to get to Heavan. I believe that we might be taking different routes to get there, but the destination is the same for all of us.

  24. Bagmon

    (To all: sorry about the enormous delay. I seem to have forgotten this blog… It wasn't until yesterday that the spirit directed me back here but I was a little too busy to answer then)Anonymous,Amen! But I also want to warn you that though I'm Mormon I will seldom be able to answer your questions with full truth, as I'm imperfect.And with that in mind the best way I can help you find answers is to exhort you to pray (in faith). If the Church really is Jesus' Church, then it's he who can (and should) answer your questions. General Conference –a series of talks from the modern day Prophet and apostles of the Lord– will be going on this Saturday and Sunday (the 4th and 5th). You can watch/read them online at:LDS.orgif you want. (The text won't be uploaded for a while, unfortunately…) there are 3 sessions Saturday, and 2 on Sunday.You might also want to seek the council of a missionary. They've devoted 2 years of their life in pray and service to their Lord, so that they can help those who want to know more about the church.But, once again, I whole heartedly encourage you to pray.Jeremiah 33:3"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and ashew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."James 1:5 5) "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." PS)If you want to know the difference between The LDS church and other Christian faiths: you'll need to investigate the Book of Mormon; as it's the chief difference between the two.

  25. Anonymous

    I think it is funny how worked up the so called "Christians" get at Mormons mentioning that the belief in Jesus Christ makes them Christians.Especialy when I have seen that the "Christian" preachers are the must crazy about hating the Mormons, some even wish for Mormon death. I think that "preacher" crackpots that hate others for claiming Christianity and thier own salvation are just upset that Mormons don't get paid to preach and that the more time Mormons spend around other Christians, the more they show thier goodness. I work with alot of Mormons and other free thinking Christians and I see more similarities between the time of Jesus Christ and his old church and the Mormons. The more shrill people get about hating a group of nice people like the Mormons, the more they deserve a good honest look. May peace one day fill your heart Mike, may you find God and his teachings. I hope you can let go of your crazy hate and learn from the Bible and remember "What would Jasus do?".

  26. Bagmon

    Anonymous… You make a fine point, but I'm not sure if it had to be made… Thank you for it however.Mike, I brought up polygamy awhile back.What I've come to realize is that, IF This is Jesus' true Church and IF it was indeed by his command that they were to practice polygamy: There was a reason for it to suddenly become expedient for the progressive of his work. Also, there must be some factor that allowed the Saints to practice it in righteousness; for the Lord would not command them to do that which is contrary to him.I remember you once saying that you don't beliefe the Saints practice polygamy for their own survival and "expediency" I think was the word you used.Remember that in the beginning God did command his people to practice it. If this IS his Church, would he not command his people to take those who were afflicted into their homes? Like Jesus did to his own mother (while he was on the cross) when he told one of his apostles "behold thy mother" and from hence for he took care of her.Another thing that I've come to understand is that though the Saints had wives, they were not their mistresses. These were people that had been raised with virtue and respect for women. I doubt that any of these men felt a lust for any of their wives, and if they slept with them it was for the purpose of impregnating them; as was God's command ("for behold be fruitful and multiply").What you need to ask yourself, Mike is "IF this IS Jesus' Church… would he not command as he did?" and more importantly pray for understanding. Like I said in my above post: Jeremiah 33:3 and James 1:5-6

  27. Seth R.

    Bagmon,I think you insult the memory of our ancestors by suggesting that early polygamous men did not love their additional wives just as much as their first wives.What an insult to a woman if the guy didn't actually find her attractive.And it's not true anyway. Early Mormon men in Utah did love their second wives just as much as their first wives – or tried to as best they were able anyway. So of course there would be nothing wrong with them being sexually attracted to them. She's your WIFE – you are supposed to be attracted to her! It's almost an insult not to find her attractive.Don't make things up to try and explain away things that are only a problem because modern conservative Christian culture is irretrievably sexually repressed. Sex is not automatically dirty and embarrassing. It is a sacred physical symbol of godlike love. When practiced with respect, with love, and within the bounds that God has set, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.I see no reason whatsoever to apologize for my polygamous ancestors finding each other sexually attractive. Why shouldn't they have?

  28. Bagmon

    Haha nice to hear from you again *wink*.No no, that's not what I ment. I'm saying that they weren't LUSTFULL to their wives. Yes they loved them just as much (or I'd hope), I'm just saying they weren't marrying people for the sake of sleeping with them. There's a way to be attracted to someone and still be respectful of their divinity and worth as God sees it.

  29. Bagmon

    (sorry for the month delay. Track and Homework's been crazy…)I think I just found out why Joseph Smith (and other Prophets?) said that there is a "unforgivable" sin:Alma 39:6"For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whoseever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness."This is the Prophet Alma the younger, to his unchaste son, Corianton.I personally can testify to the truth of that statement. The one true time, when I've advantly felt "a burning in my bosom" it came with such power. It was like… I was in the presence of God. I knew then, instantly, that it was the spirit, but I was so overwhelmed… with joy… and this just extroardinary feeling. It changed my life by the way. I haven't been anything like the person I was before then: nonchalant, jokingly suicidal, a complete and utter bum who didn't care about the world or my world or my future.Imagine this: You are given direct revelation from God to do thus; your heart is lifted… no VAULTED by the Spirit, you know it, you cannot deny it; but you do so anyway. Your spirit… has to be exeptionaly in the path of the Devil to do somethingly like that. You have to actually know and yet HATE God; or something on that level.I can see why that would be unpardonable (and why it's above murder itself!). Some one who would do such a thing, has partaken and worked towards God's kingdom, his fruit; just to turn around when they've FELT his love so fully, and turn to INTENTIONAL servitude to the Devil: will surely not even WANT to repent. Not yet anyway.This is actually the requirement to go to Hell, by the way. That's what we're taught. Even the murderers and harlots will go to Heaven, probably because they don't know the extent of their wickedness. Some one who does as Alma stated, though, knows fully what they're doing…

  30. Anonymous

    I served a mission, asked hundreds of people to pray to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was true. I never once encountered someone who did this in sincerity, not with their own preconceived ideas about the answer get a negative response from God. All received a witness. Not all joined while I was there but when they were ready to have God dictate to them in full sincerity instead of any degree of them dictating to God (sincere or otherwise) the result was always the same: God spoke to them in a personal way that they could understand witnessing the truthfulness of the message we brought to them. That is the power of our message. Much of the other "issues" discussed here and elsewhere about Mormonism are just fluff and the result of a lack of testimony yet received and/or a refusal to receive it. All the criticism of the church and its early leaders are not the real problem but the detractors really have when it gets stripped down to its core. The problem they really have is that they have not received or will not allow "the still small voice" to penetrate their hearts and bear witness to them the same thing that God has born witness to the millions (members and otherwise) who know in their hearts that it is true.And He does not just witness to them only but to all who will receive the word with a contrite heart and humble spirit, asking in faith, nothing doubting.I know its true. I probably couldn't keep up with half the research of most of the contributors here in this blog. When I do take the time to research an issue brought up by detractors or others I always come to the same place and the message I have given rings ever true as when I begin.Though I am not as versed in websites and sources what I know I know. And those who want to know can know it too. Most of the defenders here will probably know what I am talking about and some of the detractors may decide to bash.But at the end of the day what really matters is gaining that testimony from God. He is ever eagerly willing to give it and sustain it, but you must seek it on His terms, of Faith, Hope, and Charity, with an eye single to His Glory and His will, willing to submit to all things as a child doth submit to his parents…and not try to do so on your terms, for it is He who is God and we who are the children, It is He who knows the way and has provided the truth and we who must learn to follow and have faith in Him, and stop using His name and His doctrine for anger and contention.I leave this testimony with you in His Holy name, even that of Jesus Christ, amen.

  31. Mike Tea

    Oh, dear! So proud of your faith and testimony yet not prepared to put your name to it.Can you hear yourself? All critics are "bashing", all reason redundant and everyone who prays about the Book of Mormon and decides it is not true is insincere. Your position is indeed unassailable, not because it is true, but because you are blind to its faults.

  32. Seth R.

    I get testimonials like this from Evangelicals all the time.The only difference is that they usually end with "grace and peace in Jesus" or something like that.

  33. Mike Tea

    That's right Seth, you keep telling yourself its the same old yadayadyadaya from the Evangelicals. After all, there is a sort of security in blind faith and ignorance.

  34. Seth R.

    Sure Mike. Same to you.Grace and peace in Jesus.

  35. Bagmon

    Lord forgive us…

  36. Crazy cow

    What happened with the LDS person Gary Coleman ? Did anyone converted with the debate ?

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