Three great posts on the LDS religion

7 Habits of Highly Effective Mormons – I promise to only use this phrase once a week or so:

Mormons are experts in using the same vocabulary as Christians, but they use a different dictionary.

That sums it up rather well.  Different God, different Jesus, different salvation, different Heaven, etc.

Answer 20 out of 50 Answers to 50 Mormon Answers to 50 Anti-Mormon Questions – A fantastic analysis of the faith/works topics, highlighting several key issues and the deceptive use of out of context quotes and logical fallacies.

We will address the word of God in a moment, but let’s just look at some of the quotes listed at the link entitled “Early Christian views on salvation.” First, the first quote from Justin Martyr, a quote that is taken so far out of context it may never find its way back:

Justin Martyr (110-165 A.D.) said “works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:249, chap 100, Dialogue with Trypho)

Let’s look at the ENTIRE quote:

And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 100)

What an outrageous abuse of a quote!  “Works” is a verb for something God is doing in the original context, but the Mormon apologist cuts it off mid-sentence to treat it as an adjective for deliverance done by humans.

But let me tell you the way it really is: You see, to a Mormon, grace is nothing more than Financial Aid. God stands far away, and says, “You have a debt to pay. You pay off as much of it as you can, and I’ll make up the difference.” But that’s not how it is. Salvation by the grace of God means this: That we owed a debt–A 3 BILLION DOLLAR DEBT–and there was no way we could even begin to pay it with our own righteousness. Because the little trinkets of our “good deeds” are nothing more than filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). No, my friend, God does not command us to “do good works,” and then promise to save us “after we have done all that we can do.” He pays off the debt completely, wiping it out with the blood of Christ.

What is interesting is how the Mormon apologists don’t deny the role of works in salvation as many of their followers do here.  They embrace it and insist that the early church did as well.

The rest of the post and the whole series are very thorough and accurate.  I highly recommend them.

Top 10 False Beliefs of Mormonism – thorough and loving comment thread helps explain the problems with this belief system.

20 thoughts on “Three great posts on the LDS religion”

  1. I think after reading this article most Mormons will be relieved to know that they are going to a “different heaven”. 🙂

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  2. My wife grew up in that cult too Timothy, which is partly responsible for my familiarity with Mormonism and other cults. You are correct in saying they do it to the language. Christian Science is basically a Hindu worldview with Christian language.

    Thanks for the link Neil. Great post with all three articles together!

    tr

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  3. Hi Galatians,
    Very good assessment of CS. I would add one other aspect, that of gnostic tendencies of having that special knowledge that only they have an no one else. But alas, that trait runs through most of the cults.

    BTW, you would be surprised how many people of those who were raised in CS, have grown up to actually become believers. We grow up seeing the inconsistencies that are blaring in the faith… My mom, a devout CS, was in a wheelchair for 35 years before she died back in 2005. If CS is so valid… one has to ask: Why? It’s a bankrupt philosophy that doesn’t do well under scrutinity. I found the only ones who really gravitated to it, were men who gave it no real thought because their wives were involved, or dingy women. They do best in CS. 🙂

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  4. I’m not even going to comment on the first two posts because it would take too long to explain whats wrong with them and in the end I doubt it would make any difference in your view of Mormons. The last post, however is ridiculous. You’re saying that Mormons believe that man must work their whole lives and be the best people they can, and repent of all their sins and strive to be like Jesus and then say that the belief is false, that man is saved automatically that “[God] pays off the debt completely, wiping it out with the blood of Christ.” What, then, what would be the purpose of hell, and Lucifer being cast out of heaven to tempt man. If all men are saved by grace and have no need to become like Christ why would we be tempted, there would be no need. We are all going to heaven anyway, right?

    I would also have you know that Mormonism is not a cult. A cult is “[a group of] followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.” Mormons are not extremists and our beliefs are not as unorthodox as many catholic beliefs. We are often counseled to have “moderation in all things” We are also the only religion on the face of the earth that claims to have a true prophet leading it. We also do not separate ourselves from society. There are Mormons everywhere and we have friends that are not Mormon that we interact with on a daily basis. We do not shun society. We have many leaders but they are not necessarily charismatic. We love them for the example they give us but had they not been called of God to lead us they would just be another person. We follow whoever God calls to lead us, not the just the most attractive person around, that would be foolish.

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  5. “I’m not even going to comment on the first two posts because it would take too long to explain whats wrong with them”

    Please indulge me and explain why you thought it was OK that they took that quote out of context.

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  6. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (“Mormons”) is NOT a “cult”. It drives me nuts when people refer to it as that. I am an adult convert to this church, and I did plenty of investigating, pondering and praying before I joined it many years ago. It is NOT a “cult”. There are so many misconceptions and distortions about this church!

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  7. Killpack said You’re saying that Mormons believe that man must work their whole lives and be the best people they can, and repent of all their sins and strive to be like Jesus and then say that the belief is false…

    That pretty much sums it up. And no, we do not get this idea–that the LDS system teaches that man must pay off his own debt–we do not get that from “anti-Mormon” literature, but from the LDS TEACHING MANUAL Gospel Principles. And if you notice, the title of that section of GP says, “The Atonement Makes It Possible for Those Who Have Faith in Christ to Be Saved from Their Sins.” However, the Atonement does more than “make it possible.” Christ’s Atonement SAVES those who have faith in Him.

    Romans 5:9-11–“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

    We do not need to wait for the Atonement. We do not have to work to be forgiven. We have received the Atonement, we have received forgiveness for our sins, our sins have been atoned for, paid for, by the blood of Christ, the debt we owed being wiped out by the Cross of Christ–IF WE BELIEVE But that does not mean that all people are “saved”–only those who believe in Christ and trust HIM for their salvation.

    “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

    God does not save us after we do enough “good works.” He saves us while we are still dead sinners–saving us in order to do good works which glorify Him. Ephesians 2:10–“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

    “You’re saying that…man is saved automatically that “[God] pays off the debt completely, wiping it out with the blood of Christ.” Absolutely. The Bible shows us that when we are forgiven by the blood of Christ, God wipes out that debt.

    Psalm 103:12–“As far as the East uis from the West, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”

    John 19:30–“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished.”

    Revelation 1:5–“And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    Hebrews 10:16-18–“This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”

    Killpack, there is nothing we could ever do to cancel even a portion of our debt. The best that the Old Testament sacrifices could do was to cover them over for a while, until Christ’s sacrifice on the cross canceled them out.

    Hebrews 10:1–“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    Now, if the things of the Law of God could not make a man perfect (Romans 8:3), how could our “good deeds,” which are of our own inventuion, make us perfect?

    What, then, what would be the purpose of hell, and Lucifer being cast out of heaven to tempt man. If all men are saved by grace and have no need to become like Christ why would we be tempted, there would be no need. We are all going to heaven anyway, right?

    If you mean, “all people are going to Heaven”–then the answer to that question is “NO!” Only those who believe in the TRUE God and the TRUE Christ will be going to Heaven. And Lucifer was NOT tossed out of Heaven “to tempt man,” but was cast out because he rebelled against God. Lucifer then tempted man to rebel against God–that is why Hell was created. Matthew 25:41–“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.‘”

    The reason that an eternal, fiery Hell exists is because those who go there are fallen, sinful people whose sins were never forgiven. Why were they not forgiven? Because either (a) they never believed in Christ at all, or (b) they followed a false Christ or (c) they flat-out rejected Him.

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  8. “What is interesting is how the Mormon apologists don’t deny the role of works in salvation as many of their followers do here. They embrace it and insist that the early church did as well.”

    That’s probably because there are a variety of viewpoints with the LDS faith. As within any religion.

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  9. Mormon,
    I will not withdraw the charge that Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientist, Christidelphieans, Branch Davidians, etc, are cults. None of these are orthodox Christianity, all claim new revelation, all claim to be following the one true prophet, all have works salvation involved, and, as I said above, take the terms of Christianity and redefine them all.

    Live with it.
    Blessings

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  10. Yeah Timothy,

    Except almost no one in America uses that definition of “cult.”

    Only people who have been drinking the Evangelical cool aid use that definition.

    In the end, the word boils down to petty insult and serves no useful descriptive purpose.

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  11. No Seth.
    That is the proper use of the word. No Kool Aid necessary. Again, you are out of line of orthodox Christianity. You worship a different Jesus, a different God and give us different definitions for the terms of Christianity. That boils down to a cult. Sorry you don’t like, but that is the reality of it.

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  12. For the rest of you, the term cult means a variation of a certain belief system. So any deviance to the principles of Christianity, are cult like in nature. As an ex-cult member (Christian Science), I have first hand experience with it. Cult doesn’t necessarily mean that these groups will be forcing others to drink the cyanide laced Kool Aid, as Jim Jones did back in Guyana, in the late 1970s. Seth brought that up, I guess trying to paint Evangelicals as Jim Jones types. Nice one.

    The point is that the belief system being different is what makes Mormonism, and the rest, cults of Christianity. There are also cults of Islam, such as the Bahai Faith. Yes, the term cult has a negative connotation to it because of the likes of Jim Jones and David Koresh. Both men were outward wretched men, who led many to destruction.

    But at least they were honest in their leading. Those in the Mormon faith are doing the same thing. Only they dress their leading up in family values, and as nice people. Unfortunately, this makes their treachery all the more heinous. They seem like good, decent nice people. Yet their belief system is corrupt because it doesn’t lead to true salvation, worships another Jesus besides the true and living Jesus, and points to another Christ all together in Joseph Smith, (i.e., an antichrist). So I make no apologies in labeling such faiths as a cult. They deserve all the wicked connotations that go along with that label.

    They would have you believe that their differences are nothing more than the differences that Methodists and Presbyterians have with one another. But they are far worse than that, because their beliefs do not lead to salvation.

    Yes, Mormons make great neighbors, but lousy spiritual advisors .

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  13. The “Faith in Jesus Christ is all that’s neceesary to get to heaven” folks are just looking for the easy road. THe Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believes that Christ’s atonement allows those of us who are sincerely trying to live a Christ-like life to attain perfection, because no unclean thing can stand the preseence of God.

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  14. I find your “name” to be wildly ironic. On the one hand you assert the false claim that Mormons are Christian, then imply that Christians aren’t Christian. Sure. I do appreciate your concession that you don’t hold a Christian view of salvation. You acknowledge that Mormons teach that your “sincerity” is what makes the difference in salvation. I’m going to stick with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as what really makes the difference.

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