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Former Mormon looks forward to baptism at Easter vigil
Arkansas Catholic (Little Rock Diocese Official Paper) ^ | April 3, 2010 | Malea Hargett

Posted on 05/23/2010 12:54:56 AM PDT by Colofornian

SEARCY -- Melissa Reeves has been looking for a church where she knew they were there to worship Jesus and would accept her without judging.

She found it at St. James Church in Searcy.

Unlike most elect and candidates going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process, Reeves chose the Catholic faith on her own, without the encouragement of a Catholic parishioner.

"It builds your faith to see their faith grow," said Janet Pace, St. James RCIA coordinator. "A lot of people come to the Church because of a spouse or friend that has inspired them."

Reeves is "just drawn to the truth."

"I found it extremely inspirational," Pace said. "She is a little sponge. She wants to know everything. She feels liberated (knowing the truth)."

Reeves said she has been unhappy for several years because she was not active in a church and she wanted to set a good example for her son, 7-year-old Gunner.

Reeves, 29, was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by her mother, a Latter-Day Saint, also known as Mormon. While her mother was not active in the church, she insisted Reeves and her older half-sister attend services weekly and study the Book of Mormon for at least an hour before going to school and another hour before bed. While she was "blessed" in the church as a baby, it wasn't until she was 8 years old that she was baptized at a Mormon church in Jacksonville.

She then started to question the Mormon teachings.

"Over and over they would say 'This church is true. This church is true.' I couldn't count how many times I would hear this. They were grateful for (LDS founder) Joseph Smith ... I always sat there as a kid wondering 'who am I worshipping? Am I worshipping "this church is true" or Joseph Smith?' There was no emphasis on Christ."

By the time she was 14 or 15 years old, she was "kicked out" of Sunday school.

"I didn't question God. I firmly have always believed in Christ. I questioned the truth of their doctrines," she said. "And that was a big no-no."

Reeves said she felt that if she didn't conform, she was not welcome in the Mormon church.

"No one wanted to lead me or guide me," she said. "I didn't want to participate."

When she was 17 years old she moved out on her own and chose not to attend church anymore. But three years later, she got married in the Baptist church and her husband converted to Mormonism.

After being married for about a year, she got divorced. During the divorce process, she met with the local church leader, known as a bishop.

"He told me I make poor choices in men," she said.

In 2001 she got pregnant out of wedlock, but the baby was stillborn. Even though she had a rocky relationship with the local Mormon church, she approached them about seeking a funeral for her child.

"The deacons and the bishop refused me a service in the sanctuary because I was unwed," she said. "I was unclean because I was not married."

She was then told she would not get to heaven.

"That was a crushing blow," she said. "At that point, I spiraled into a deep depression. They pretty much damned me to hell."

Then she was even more saddened when the church leaders brought her before a church court, with a judge and jury, and "dis-membered" her.

Reeves got pregnant again in 2003 and gave birth to Gunner.

"I remember the day I gave birth to my son, promising God that if you give him (to) me I will give him back to you," she said.

In 2004-2005 she was granted an excommunication, which would seal her records and prevent church members from contacting her.

"I got a letter in the mail from the bishop granting my excommunication and voiding my baptism, which shocked me. How could you void my baptism? I only thought the Lord could void your baptism ... I knew at that moment that I was in the wrong church all of my life. I hungered for something more."

In 2004 she got married again and was ready to take ownership of her faith.

"For the first time at the age of 24 I opened the Bible. I never read the Bible ... I was so frustrated and I said, 'Lord where do you want me to go?'"

In 2009 she got divorced. That same year she began an Internet search and came across information on the Catholic Church.

"I have never been in a Catholic church," she said. "In my research, I wondered what is wrong with Catholic. I could investigate. They have been around since shortly after Christ's crucifixion and resurrection."

She then remembered the promise she made to God after her son was born.

"I couldn't really teach my son. So I did a lot of research. The Catholic Church always intrigued me," she said.

Through her research, she knew the Catholic Church would appeal to her.

"I wanted something traditional. I needed tradition," Reeves said.

So on Jan. 1, 2010, Reeves made a commitment to attend Mass at St. James and find out how to become Catholic.

Reeves and her son have been attending Mass and he goes to Sunday school classes. He was baptized in February with Pace and her husband Harry as his godparents.

Reeves is looking forward to her own baptism during the Easter vigil April 3. While her LDS baptism was "voided," the Catholic Church would not have recognized her baptism in the Mormon church as valid anyway. The Vatican has declared Mormon baptisms invalid because they don't have the traditional understanding of the Trinity. The LDS church considers Jesus and the Holy Spirit as children of the Father and the Heavenly Mother.

"When I walk into a Catholic church, I feel the presence of God ... It's the most Christ-centered church I have been in. ... I have been waiting for this all of my life. I just felt like this is the right thing."

She said the pastor, Father John Agbakwuo, and parishioners have made her feel comfortable and she knows now that she is worthy.

"I have people tell me, 'I am a sinner too.' No one is above me. I always felt people were above me in the Mormon church. I don't feel that here. I look forward to Easter. ... I worried so much about where I am going to go when I die. Now, learning the doctrine of the Catholic Church, I don't worry about that. I finally feel peace."


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Other Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: baptism; beck; birthparents; conversions; convert; glennbeck; lds; ldsfamilyservices; mormon
From the article: She then started to question the Mormon teachings. "Over and over they would say 'This church is true. This church is true.' I couldn't count how many times I would hear this. They were grateful for (LDS founder) Joseph Smith ... I always sat there as a kid wondering 'who am I worshipping? Am I worshipping "this church is true" or Joseph Smith?' There was no emphasis on Christ....I questioned the truth of their doctrines," she said. "And that was a big no-no." Reeves said she felt that if she didn't conform, she was not welcome in the Mormon church.

Many Mormons recite D&C 1:30 in the testimonies they bear, believing the Mormon church to be the "only true church on the face of the earth." The church becomes a substitute for Christ; evidenced by First Presidency rep Marion G. Romney, who stated in the 1960s that the Mormon church was "the way, the truth, and the life"-- a description that the Bible reserves for Jesus Christ -- not any church. And the fact that Lds sing hymns to Joseph Smith, like the one, Praise to the Man, shows how Smith is often substituted for Jesus.

Other Lds prophets have said there's no getting into heaven minus Smith's consent. Lds apostle Bruce McConkie's, whose infamous book, Mormon Doctrine, has made the news this week by the annoucement it won't be reprinted...said in that book that there's no salvation without Joseph Smith.

From the article: "I have people tell me, 'I am a sinner too.' No one is above me. I always felt people were above me in the Mormon church. I don't feel that here. I look forward to Easter. ...I worried so much about where I am going to go when I die. Now, learning the doctrine of the Catholic Church, I don't worry about that. I finally feel peace."

Jesus said, in his Prayer to Heavenly Father, that eternal life was knowing Him and knowing the Father. (John 17:3). Knowing Him is a relationship. A NOW relationship. Eternal life is described by Jesus as something possessed NOW (see John 3:36; 5:24) -- not something that happens ONLY upon death.

When you get engaged to someone, you related to them NOW. The marriage may occur LATER, but the relational engagement is NOW. Thus, so it is with relating to the Christ.

From the article: While her LDS baptism was "voided," the Catholic Church would not have recognized her baptism in the Mormon church as valid anyway. The Vatican has declared Mormon baptisms invalid because they don't have the traditional understanding of the Trinity. The LDS church considers Jesus and the Holy Spirit as children of the Father and the Heavenly Mother.

1 posted on 05/23/2010 12:54:57 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

It’s interesting that she was attracted to the person of Christ and worked “backward” from that point to the Trinity, etc.


2 posted on 05/23/2010 1:04:16 AM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: Arthur McGowan
It’s interesting that she was attracted to the person of Christ and worked “backward” from that point to the Trinity, etc.

Now I know some might be tempted to point to her immoral track record, and conclude, "Of course, she was disenfranchised from the Mormon church...why should they sanction ongoing immorality?" But we need to remember that the type of person Jesus went out of her way to address was the woman at the well, who was working on partner #7 at the time. That, along with a prostitute or two who was converted to Him.

The gospel is for sinners. Jesus says He didn't come to save the righteous & those who claim that didn't need Him to heal them; rather He came for us sinners. Glory be to our Spiritual Physician. By His stripes [that drew blood], Isaiah said in chapter 53, we are healed.

3 posted on 05/23/2010 1:20:38 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian
"The gospel is for sinners. Jesus says He didn't come to save the righteous & those who claim that didn't need Him to heal them; rather He came for us sinners. Glory be to our Spiritual Physician. By His stripes [that drew blood], Isaiah said in chapter 53, we are healed."

Amen.
4 posted on 05/23/2010 2:26:15 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
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To: Colofornian
"Over and over they would say 'This church is true. This church is true.' I couldn't count how many times I would hear this. They were grateful for (LDS founder) Joseph Smith ... I always sat there as a kid wondering 'who am I worshipping? Am I worshipping "this church is true" or Joseph Smith?' There was no emphasis on Christ."
5 posted on 05/23/2010 4:32:30 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...))
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To: Colofornian

HA ha!

The MORMONs lost one of their own BICs to the Catholics, instead of the reverse!

Isn’t GOD wonderful!


6 posted on 05/23/2010 4:33:27 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...))
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To: Colofornian
The gospel is for sinners.
 
The gospel is for sinners.
 
The gospel is for sinners.
 
The gospel is for sinners.
 
The gospel is for sinners.
 
The gospel is for sinners!!!
 
Like me...

7 posted on 05/23/2010 4:36:42 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...))
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To: Colofornian
He didn't come to save the righteous & those who claim that didn't need Him to heal them...

HE also didn't come for those who want to help Him out by being as 'good' as they can be or 'doing' as much FOR Him as possible.

8 posted on 05/23/2010 4:38:34 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...))
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To: Colofornian

Perhaps you and/or any LDS folks reading your thread may be interested in this one

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=1

with a lot of quotes on our era from an LDS website.


9 posted on 05/23/2010 5:00:23 AM PDT by Quix (THE PLAN of the Bosses: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=2#2)
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To: Elsie

INDEED.

like me, too.


10 posted on 05/23/2010 5:01:01 AM PDT by Quix (THE PLAN of the Bosses: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=2#2)
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To: Colofornian

Very interesting and thought provoking article. I hope the Catholic church helps her find some peace and stability for herself and her son.


11 posted on 05/23/2010 5:28:31 AM PDT by Burkean (.)
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To: Colofornian

The only reason she attended the Mormon church was because her mother insisted. Yet her mother was not involved in church. She doesn’t mention a father anywhere. She simply did not have a strong loving father to guide her and now she does.


12 posted on 05/23/2010 5:50:39 AM PDT by timeflies
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To: Colofornian

They can void your baptism?

That’s a new one to me!


13 posted on 05/23/2010 5:55:13 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Colofornian
There was no emphasis on Christ (LDS)

And there we have it a summary of lds teachings. Bless this woman and her family.

14 posted on 05/23/2010 7:02:53 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: vladimir998

They can void your baptism?

- - - - - -
Yes they can. When I left, one of the letters I got stated that ALL blessings including baptism and my ‘patriarchal blessing’ had been revoked.


15 posted on 05/23/2010 7:57:34 AM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-mormon, now Christan - "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see")
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To: Quix; Elsie

And me.

The LDS church was great at changing my behavior, but it couldn’t change my heart, only Christ could.

It took me awhile to realize that no matter how ‘worthy’ I was by LDS standards, I was still a sinner and I couldn’t save (or even contribute) myself. I could never be ‘worthy’ in God’s eyes even if I was temple worthy in the LDS church.

Once God got that through my thick skull, it wasn’t long until I left and found a saving relationship with Jesus.

Praise God for that.


16 posted on 05/23/2010 8:00:35 AM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-mormon, now Christan - "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see")
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To: reaganaut

PRAISE GOD INDEED!

THX.


17 posted on 05/23/2010 8:51:57 AM PDT by Quix (THE PLAN of the Bosses: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2519352/posts?page=2#2)
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To: bone52; Saundra Duffy; urroner; JDW11235; Normandy; killermedic; Paragon Defender

In 2001 she got pregnant out of wedlock, but the baby was stillborn. Even though she had a rocky relationship with the local Mormon church, she approached them about seeking a funeral for her child.

“The deacons and the bishop refused me a service in the sanctuary because I was unwed,” she said. “I was unclean because I was not married.”

She was then told she would not get to heaven.

“That was a crushing blow,” she said. “At that point, I spiraled into a deep depression. They pretty much damned me to hell.”

Then she was even more saddened when the church leaders brought her before a church court, with a judge and jury, and “dis-membered” her.

***

Wow wonder what Ward she was in, in my Ward the mother and daughters who are converts for about a few years both daughters have had children out of wedlock and both babies were given a blessings and the one daughter have given talks.


18 posted on 05/23/2010 1:47:05 PM PDT by restornu
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To: Tainan; Burkean; timeflies

Strange she never mention if she was ever told about the Chruch LDS Family Services

No one is immune from challenges in this life. When social or emotional challenges arise, help is available.

Counseling and Resources
Information about counseling services and a library full of articles dealing with social, emotional, and spiritual challenges.

Birth Parents
Assistance for birth parents and others facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Adoptive Couples
Help for couples interested in adoption.

Addiction Recovery Program
LDS Family Services sponsors addiction recovery support meetings to assist individuals who desire freedom from addiction and a better life through gospel fellowship.

How to Contact Us
A comprehensive list of LDS Family Services agencies in the United States, Canada, and abroad.

http://www.providentliving.org/familyservices/strength/0%2C12264%2C2873-1%2C00.html


19 posted on 05/23/2010 2:04:28 PM PDT by restornu
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https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/ct/eng/site/pregnant/what-are-my-options/adoption/the-choice-i-made/


20 posted on 05/23/2010 2:08:36 PM PDT by restornu
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To: restornu

Doesn’t make sense to me either.


21 posted on 05/23/2010 2:57:36 PM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: restornu

I’ve never heard of a funeral being conducted in an LDS chapel, but maybe I’ve never known anyone who wanted to have one there.

I’m glad that she has found a church congregation more compatible to her lifestyle.


22 posted on 05/23/2010 2:59:38 PM PDT by Burkean (.)
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To: Colofornian

Interesting story.


23 posted on 05/23/2010 3:08:42 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: Burkean

At the time my husband died he was not a member and his body was viewed in the RS room and the memorial was held in the Chapel.


24 posted on 05/23/2010 3:10:17 PM PDT by restornu
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To: Burkean

I’m glad that she has found a church congregation more compatible to her lifestyle

****

I agree that is why the Lord said...

John 14

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


25 posted on 05/23/2010 3:14:22 PM PDT by restornu
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To: Burkean; restornu
I’m glad that she has found a church congregation more compatible to her lifestyle.

(You mean one where she actually receives forgiveness for her sins? Versus Mormonism, where the Mormon god won't forgive you unless and until you obey? Could you imagine how much worse this world would be if all forgiveness, starting with God's, was predicated upon merit & earning ability of the perpetrator? That would be like saying to all the people heavily in debt: "Pay it back, and then we'll begin to forgive your debt.")

Spencer W. Kimball, Lds "prophet," in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, said that if people re-commit the same sin, they were NEVER repentant from the get-go & return back to "Ground Zero" spiritually speaking.

Biblical forgiveness is predicated upon God's love, God's compassion, God's mercy, God's lovingkindness, God's grace, God's compassion in sending Christ to die for that sin, which in turn opens the door to reconciliation with him.

Could you imagine a parental system where parents didn't forgive or teach forgiveness one sibling to another unless that child obeyed? If forgiveness was totally behavior-based, like the way Mormons tend to see their god?

26 posted on 05/23/2010 6:10:15 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

(It is a fact that those who choose to use small caps on proper names really has a rebellions nature which is evident that the Holy Ghost is no where around to edify that which is being posted!)

Spencer W. Kimball, Lds “prophet,” in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, said that if people re-commit the same sin, they were NEVER repentant from the get-go & return back to “Ground Zero” spiritually speaking.

Biblical forgiveness is predicated upon God’s love, God’s compassion, God’s mercy, God’s lovingkindness, God’s grace, God’s compassion in sending Christ to die for that sin, which in turn opens the door to reconciliation with him.

***

Well if one gets pregnant the frist time and repents and than choose to put them selves in the same situation or makes a decision to do it again it is a choice it is not like it snuck up on you.

Are you saying that person really did repent the first time but choose to go against what they promised they should not be held accountable is that what you are saying?

Before many who has repented there is council and guidance how to prevent the same mistake by the Church if one ignores the advice than is that not being willful?

Just an example even Sean Hannity a Catholic agrees to this wisdom.

BTW if one did follow the council given not to be alone in a room with the opposite sex this would never happen in the first place.

There are ways one can choose to live their life correctly by not putting ones selves in a situation that is tempting.


27 posted on 05/23/2010 6:41:09 PM PDT by restornu
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To: Burkean

forgot to ping you

Spencer W. Kimball, Lds “prophet,” in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, said that if people re-commit the same sin, they were NEVER repentant from the get-go & return back to “Ground Zero” spiritually speaking.

Biblical forgiveness is predicated upon God’s love, God’s compassion, God’s mercy, God’s lovingkindness, God’s grace, God’s compassion in sending Christ to die for that sin, which in turn opens the door to reconciliation with him.

***

Well if one gets pregnant the frist time and repents and than choose to put them selves in the same situation or makes a decision to do it again it is a choice it is not like it snuck up on you.

Are you saying that person really did repent the first time but choose to go against what they promised they should not be held accountable is that what you are saying?

Before many who has repented there is council and guidance how to prevent the same mistake by the Church if one ignores the advice than is that not being willful?

Just an example even Sean Hannity a Catholic agrees to this wisdom.

BTW if one did follow the council given not to be alone in a room with the opposite sex this would never happen in the first place.

There are ways one can choose to live their life correctly by not putting ones selves in a situation that is tempting.


28 posted on 05/23/2010 6:42:24 PM PDT by restornu
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To: restornu
There are ways one can choose to live their life correctly by not putting ones selves in a situation that is tempting.

Are you ready to cast the first stone? (John 8:7)

29 posted on 05/23/2010 8:47:34 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Godzilla

There are ways one can choose to live their life correctly by not putting ones selves in a situation that is tempting.

Are you ready to cast the first stone? (John 8:7)

***

I have no clue to your reference this has nothing to do with those who do not know better.

There are principles to live by and if followed many pitfalls can be avoided!

There are mediocre souls and their are valent souls there are some who mock and play games or are rebellious and some that have to work harder than others!


30 posted on 05/23/2010 9:48:38 PM PDT by restornu
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To: restornu
I have no clue to your reference this has nothing to do with those who do not know better.

No clue - its called the bible.

There are principles to live by and if followed many pitfalls can be avoided!

Sure, and smithian inspired attitudes of superiority - are you ready to cast the first stone?

There are mediocre souls and their are valent souls there are some who mock and play games or are rebellious and some that have to work harder than others!

And those who are saved cast themselves at the feet of Jesus rather than try to build themselves up by false works or righteousness that are filthy rags (menstral cloths)

31 posted on 05/24/2010 8:05:01 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: restornu

“She was then told she would not get to heaven.”

Hi, Sis. I don’t believe it, either. We have had similar situations in our Ward and I have never heard of such harsh treatment.


32 posted on 05/24/2010 2:26:49 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
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To: Saundra Duffy

These anti deal in gossip and run with it...

now I got a glimpse that many are afraid of their own shadow...

Be of good cheer Sis!:)


33 posted on 05/24/2010 2:43:08 PM PDT by restornu
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To: Saundra Duffy

Know what has always puzzle me about their thinking is that they keep saying God is spirit and has no body parts yet they also believe that Resurrected Jesus is also God the Father.

Another one who’s will is Jesus doing His or the Fathers will?

Who gave Jesus the Glory if Jesus was already the Father!

Just a few…


34 posted on 05/24/2010 2:59:13 PM PDT by restornu
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