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The Spirit World, Our Next Home
Liahona Magazine ^ | December, 1977 | Dale C. Mouritsen

Posted on 10/25/2010 4:50:55 AM PDT by Colofornian

As I’ve listened to and participated in conversations on “after death, what?” with students and family in various areas in the Church, I’ve nearly always found people expressed two feelings: a great desire to know about the post-earthly spirit world (hereafter referred to as the spirit world), and an apologetic feeling for having questions, feeling as though the spirit world were a subject that we should not discuss.

My feeling is that caution in discussing a sacred subject is always proper, especially when much popular “information” in contemporary society about the spirit world involves sensational ghost stories, devil worship, and other problem areas. However, the desire to know is, in itself, a good one. Our beloved relatives who have passed on inhabit that world, and we will soon join them there. It is a healthy, holy subject and should be discussed in that attitude.

Furthermore, the Prophet Joseph Smith declared that the Saints should study the purpose of life and death, in fact should study it “more than any other” subject—“study it day and night.” He observed that “if we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important subject.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 324; italics added.)

We have a right, then, to understand the true nature of our existence. We also have a responsibility to search it out, for the more aware we become that the spirit world is a real extension of our mortal existence, the less likely we are to fasten our hearts on the treasures of this world.

One of the most beautiful stories in our heritage, an experience of President Heber J. Grant’s, bears witness that a testimony about the right relationship between life, death, and the spirit world can comfort us in times of sorrow, help us understand God’s purposes, and teach us the true nature of our existence. President Grant writes:

“I have been blessed with only two sons. One of them died at five years of age and the other at seven. My last son died of a hip disease. I had built great hopes that he would live to spread the Gospel at home and abroad and be an honor to me. About an hour before he died I had a dream that his mother, who was dead, came for him, and that she brought with her a messenger, and she told his messenger to take the boy while I was asleep; and in the dream I thought I awoke and I seized my son and fought for him and finally succeeded in getting him away from the messenger who had come to take him, and in so doing I dreamed that I stumbled and fell upon him.

“I dreamed that I fell upon his sore hip, and the terrible cries and anguish of the child drove me nearly wild. I could not stand it and I jumped up and ran out of the house so as not to hear his distress. I dreamed that after running out of the house I met Brother Joseph E. Taylor and told him of these things.

“He said: ‘Heber, do you know what I would do if my wife came for one of her children—I would not struggle to keep that child; I would not oppose her taking that child away. If a mother who had been faithful had passed beyond the veil, she would know of the suffering and the anguish her child may have to suffer; she would know whether that child might go through life as a cripple and whether it would be better or wiser for that child to be relieved from the torture of life; and when you stop to think, Brother Grant, that the mother of that boy went down into the shadow of death to give him life, she is the one who ought to have the right to take him or keep him.’

“I said, ‘I believe you are right, Brother Taylor, and if she comes again, she shall have the boy without any protest on my part.’

“After coming to that conclusion, I was waked by my brother, B. F. Grant, who was staying that night with us, helping to watch over the sick boy. He called me into the room and told me that my child was dying. I went in the front room and sat down. There was a vacant chair between me and my wife who is now living, and I felt the presence of that boy’s deceased mother, sitting in that chair. I did not tell anybody what I felt, but I turned to my living wife and said: ‘Do you feel anything strange?’ She said: ‘Yes, I feel assured that Heber’s mother is sitting between us, waiting to take him away.’

“Now, I am naturally, I believe, a sympathetic man. I was raised as an only child, with all the affection that a mother could lavish upon a boy. I believe that I am naturally affectionate and sympathetic and that I shed tears for my friends—tears of joy for their success and tears of sorrow for their misfortunes. But I sat by the deathbed of my little boy and saw him die, without shedding a tear. My living wife, my brother, and I, upon that occasion experienced a sweet, peaceful, and heavenly influence in my home, as great as I have ever experienced in my life.” (Improvement Era, June 1940, pp. 330,383.)

According to Latter-day Saint doctrine, the spirit world is the place of residence for all those who have died and are awaiting the resurrection and the inseparable connection of their spirits and bodies. Thus, it is not the place where God the Father, the resurrected Lord, and other resurrected beings dwell. Rather, it is an intermediate condition or state where people await the resurrection—a sphere where disembodied spirits live in one of several conditions according to what their mortal lives have merited.

Speaking of those conditions, Alma declared to his son Corianton that an angel had made known to him “that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.” (Alma 40:11.) This does not mean that they are taken to the literal presence of God or the planet upon which he resides (see Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Deseret Book Company, 1958, 2:84–87), but rather into the spirit world. Alma continues: “The spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they should rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.” (Alma 40:12.) Shortly before his death, Moroni contemplated entering this same blessed condition in the spirit world. He wrote: “I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead.” (Moro. 10:34.)

But not all people will be entitled to rest and paradise. Alma clarified: “The spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping, and walling, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.” (Alma 40:13.)

Just as paradise is not the eternal abode of the righteous, hell in the spirit world is not the eternal abode of the wicked. Reporting his vision of the telestial world, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote: “These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.” (D&C 76:85.) He added: “These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work.” (D&C 76:106. See also Rev. 20:13.) Hell in the spirit world will end for all people when they have been resurrected. Because of the atonement of Christ, they are eventually released (See 2 Ne. 9:6–12.) Those who remain “filthy still” (the sons of perdition) will remain in hell, but it will be a place separate from the hell of the spirit world. (See D&C 76:43–49.) After the sons of perdition are resurrected, the spirit world will have no inhabitants (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 762.)

Peter refers to the spirit world as “prison,” and it is for some. (1 Pet. 3:18–20, 1 Pet. 4:6.) However, it is chiefly a place of learning and waiting, not a place of suffering. Here those who did not have an opportunity in mortality to receive the gospel and those who had a partial opportunity but rejected it will be taught. In 1893, President Lorenzo Snow, then president of the Quorum of the Twelve, declared in general conference his strong belief “that when the Gospel is preached to the spirits in prison, the success of that preaching will be far greater than that of the preaching of our Elders in this life. I believe there will be very few indeed of those spirits who will not gladly receive the Gospel when it is carried to them. The circumstances there will be a thousand times more favorable.” (Millennial Star 56:50.)

In short, the spirit world is the temporary home of the spirits of all mankind, whether they are good or evil. Thus Joseph Smith could declare that “the righteous and the wicked all go to the same world of spirits until the resurrection.” (Teachings, p. 310.) Yet some have wondered why Jesus promised the dying thief that after his death he would join the Savior in paradise. The Prophet Joseph taught: “King James’ translators make it out to say paradise. But what is paradise? It is a modern word: it does not answer at all to the original word that Jesus made use of. Find the original of the word paradise. You may as easily find a needle in a pile of hay. Here is a chance for you to argue with me, ye learned men. There is nothing in the original word in Greek from which this was taken that signifies paradise; but it was—This day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits: then I will teach you all about it and answer your inquiries. And Peter says [Jesus] went and preached to the world of spirits (spirits in prison, 1 Pet. 3:19), so that they who would receive it could have it answered by proxy by those who live on the earth, etc.” (Teachings, p. 309.) Moreover, the Prophet added: “Hades, the Greek, or Sheol, the Hebrew, these two significations mean a world of spirits. Hades, Sheol, paradise, spirits in prison, are all one; it is a world of spirits.” (Teachings, p. 310.) This clarification by the Prophet helps us understand the words of the Savior.

Latter-day revelation also helps us understand the nature of existence in the spirit world. For one thing, spirits are tangible entities. President Brigham Young said: “Spirits are just as familiar with spirits as bodies are with bodies, though spirits are composed of matter so refined as not to be tangible to this coarser organization.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 379, See also D&C 131:7–8.)

In terms of location, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the spirit world is very close to us. During a funeral sermon, he declared that the righteous spirits “are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire they are not far from us.” (Teachings, page 326.)

One sister who visited the spirit world and was recalled to mortality by President Lorenzo Snow had personal experience with what the Prophet taught: “Some inquired about their friends and relatives on the earth. Among the number was my cousin. He asked me how his parents were getting along and said it grieved him to hear that some of the boys were using tobacco, liquor and many things that were injurious to them.” (LeRoi C. Snow, “Raised from the Dead,” story of Ella Jensen. Improvement Era, October 1929, p. 974.) Indeed, our deceased loved ones are greatly concerned about our well-being and happiness and can be appointed, when there is need, to bring messages of warning, reproof, or instruction to us. (See Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 436.)

President Young confirmed that the spirit world “Is on this earth.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 376.) In a recent general conference, President Ezra Taft Benson declared that “the spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us.” (Ensign, June 1971, p. 33.)

Apparently the spirit world is incorporated with the physical world. The earth has a spirit in it just as our physical bodies have spirits in them. Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote that the spirit world “is here on the very planet where we were born; or in other words, the earth and other planets of like sphere, have their inward or spiritual spheres, as well as their outward, or temporal. The one is peopled by temporal tabernacles, and the other by spirits. A barrier is placed between the one sphere and the other, whereby all the objects in the spiritual sphere are rendered invisible to those in the temporal,” (Key to Theology, 9th ed., Deseret Book, 1965, pp. 126–27.)

Apparently, righteous people in the spirit world are organized just as they are here, arranged in families and quorums. Priesthood operates there as it operates here. President Brigham Young declared: “When the faithful Elders, holding this Priesthood, go into the spirit world they carry with them the same power and Priesthood that they had while in the mortal tabernacle,” (Discourses of Brigham Young p. 132. See also D&C 124:130) The blessings of the priesthood are thus present in the spirit world. One elder who passed beyond the veil and returned spoke of the order he saw there:

“While I was in the spirit world I observed that the people there were busy, and that they were perfectly organized for the work they were doing. It seemed to me a continuation of the work we are doing here—something like going from one stake to another. There was nothing there that seemed particularly strange to me, everything being natural.” (Peter E. Johnson, Relief Society Magazine, Aug. 1920, p. 455.) Ella Jensen had a similar experience when she visited the spirit world. Elder Rudger Clawson, a late member of the Council of the Twelve who spoke of her experience, said that a “guide was there to meet her and by him she was conducted into a very large building where there were many people, all of whom appeared to be extremely busy, no evidence of idleness whatever.” (LeRoi C. Snow, Improvement Era, Oct. 1929, p. 977.) But it is possible that not all people in the spirit world are thus organized, since all have not received the ordinances necessary for exaltation.

President George Albert Smith, after an experience with the spirit world, described the part of that world he saw:

“One day … I lost consciousness of my surroundings and thought I had passed to the other side. I found myself standing with my back to a large and beautiful lake, facing a great forest of trees. There was no one in sight, and there was no boat upon the lake or any other visible means to indicate how I might have arrived there. I realized, or seemed to realize, that I had finished my work in mortality and had gone home. I began to look around, to see if I could not find someone. There was no evidence of anyone’s living there, just those great, beautiful trees in front of me and the wonderful lake behind me.

“I began to explore, and soon I found a trail through the woods which seemed to have been used very little, and which was almost obscured by grass.” President Smith followed the trail and after some time met his grandfather, with whom he conversed. (Improvement Era, March 1947, p. 139.)

Apparently, there are no infants or children in the spirit world. All who reside there possess the stature of adult men and women, the same appearance they possessed prior to mortal birth. If infants or children die, their spirits immediately resume their former adult stature while in the spirit world. However, when they regain their bodies during the resurrection, they naturally come forth as children to be raised to maturity by righteous and worthy parents. President Joseph F. Smith explained this concept:

“The spirits of our children are immortal before they come to us, and their spirits, after bodily death, are like they were before they came. They are as they would have appeared if they had lived in the flesh, to grow to maturity, or to develop their physical bodies to the full stature of their spirits. If you see one of your children that has passed away it may appear to you in the form in which you would recognize it, the form of childhood; but if it came to you as a messenger bearing some important truth, it would perhaps come as the spirit of Bishop Edward Hunter’s son (who died when a little child) came to him, in the stature of full-grown manhood, and revealed himself to his father, and said: ‘I am your son.’

“Bishop Hunter did not understand it. He went to my father and said: ‘Hyrum, what does that mean? I buried my son when he was only a little boy, but he has come to me as a full-grown man—a noble, glorious, young man, and declared himself my son. What does it mean?’

“Father (Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch) told him that the Spirit of Jesus Christ was full-grown before he was born into the world; and so our children were full-grown and possessed their full stature in the spirit, before they entered mortality, the same stature that they will possess after they have passed away from mortality, and as they will also appear after the resurrection, when they shall have completed their mission.” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Deseret Book Company, 1939, p. 455.)

Some worry because departed children have apparently lost the privilege of courtship, marriage, and other opportunities. But revelations concerning the spirit world assure us that normal relationships leading to eternal sealings are an ongoing part of that life. Elder Melvin J. Ballard observed:

“You mothers worry about your little children [who have died]. We do not perform sealings for them. I lost a son six years of age, and I saw him a man in the spirit world after his death, and I saw how he had exercised his own freedom of choice and would obtain of his own will and volition a companion, and in due time to him, and all those who are worthy of it, shall come all of the blessings and sealing privileges of the house of the Lord. Do not worry over it. They are safe; they are all right.

“Now, then, what is the status of your daughters who have died and have not been sealed to some man? … The sealing power shall be forever and ever with this Church, and provisions will be made for them. We cannot run faster than the Lord has provided the way. Their blessings and privileges will come to them in due time. In the meantime, they are safe.” (Bryant S. Hinckley, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, Deseret Book Company, 1949, p. 260.)

In Joseph Smith’s Vision of the Celestial Kingdom he saw “that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.” (D&C 137:10.) Moreover, President Joseph F. Smith made the following explanation:

“Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’ There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death. I love this truth. It speaks volumes of happiness, of joy and gratitude to my soul. Thank the Lord he has revealed these principles to us.” (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 455–56. See also Teachings, pp. 196–97, 200, 368.) And so we should understand, in the words of Joseph Smith, that “the only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven [the spirit world] and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope.” (Teachings, p. 197.)

This does not imply that people should be anxious to leave mortality, but it does suggest that parents who have lost children can be comforted by the truths of the gospel. Indeed, we should be anxiously engaged in successfully completing life’s mission. For example, after Wilford Woodruff’s young wife Phoebe passed away, he was inspired to administer to her and rebuke the power of death. He wrote of the incident:

“Her spirit returned to her body, and from that hour she was made whole; and we all felt to praise the name of God, and to trust in Him and to keep His commandments.

“While this operation was going on with me (as my wife related afterwards) her spirit left her body, and she saw it lying upon the bed, and the sisters weeping. She looked at them and at me, and upon her babe, and, while gazing upon this scene, two personages came into the room … One of these messengers informed her that she could have her choice: she might go to rest in the spirit world, or, on one condition she could have the privilege of returning to her tabernacle and continuing her labors upon the earth. The condition was, if she felt that she could stand by her husband, and with him pass through all the cares, trials, tribulations and afflictions of life which he would be called to pass through for the gospel’s sake unto the end. When she looked at the situation of her husband and child she said: ‘Yes, I will do it!’

“At the moment that decision was made the power of faith rested upon me, and when I administered unto her, her spirit entered her tabernacle …” (Leaves From My Journal, 4th ed., The Deseret News, 1909, pp. 59–60.)

The Latter-day Saint view of the spirit world reveals that there is missionary work being performed there. The most magnificent and extensive missionary program the mind can contemplate is centered in the spirit world. President Brigham Young declared: “Compare those inhabitants on the earth who have heard the Gospel in our day, with the millions who have never heard it, or had the keys of salvation presented to them, and you will conclude at once as I do, that there is an almighty work to perform in the spirit world.” (JD, 4:285.) How is this great work to be accomplished? Some sublime insights to this question are revealed in President Joseph F. Smith’s Vision of the Redemption of the Dead. (See especially D&C 138:29–37.)

Who will accept the message of this divine ministry? Joseph Smith’s Vision of the Celestial Kingdom provides the answer. Marveling how his dead brother Alvin could be entitled to celestial inheritance since he died before the restoration of the gospel, Joseph Smith heard the voice of the Lord saying:

“All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;

“Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.” (D&C 137:7–9.)

And yet this ministry in the spirit world is not sufficient to achieve the ultimate salvation of the noble dead. Why? Because it takes as much to save a dead man as it does a living man. Joseph Smith declared that the “ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.” (Teachings, p. 308.) Moreover, the Prophet declared that “if a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.” (Teachings, p. 308.) Dead men and women are not excepted. We can only do the ordinance work for them. They must believe, repent, and obey the gospel for themselves.

In summary, the spirit world is the place where disembodied spirits go. It is a tangible, substantial sphere incorporated with our earth, the focal point of a massive missionary effort in which we share. It is a world closer than we realize, and tied to us by the family lines of many dearly beloved relatives.

Dale C. Mouritsen, area director of seminaries and institutes in San Jose, California, serves as senior president of the Santa Clara California Stake quorum of seventy.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; History; Mainline Protestant; Other Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: inman; lds; mormon; occult; spiritworld
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Current focus -- The Occult History of Joseph Smith: How Mormons Uniquely Define Earth as a Spirit World of the Dead

Many of you won't want to wade through this lengthy article (good for you). But check out the bold faced portions.

Also, here's an 8-point summary:

1. The Mormon spirit world is "on this earth."
2. Lds "prophet" Ezra Taft Benson declared that “the spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin."
3. The wicked go to "spirit prison," which is not eternal hell. [Note: Lds remove eternal hell from their essential theology, even though the Book of Mormon talks about it]
4. The author references a spirit prison(1 Pet. 3:18–20, 1 Pet. 4:6) but then goes on to describe it as "chiefly a place of learning and waiting, not a place of suffering." [Oh. First Mormons eliminate the eternality of hell. Then they redefine actually as a "school," which I suppose for some students of our public schools, the same thing as "hell."]
5. "In short, the spirit world is the temporary home of the spirits of all mankind, whether they are good or evil. Thus Joseph Smith could declare that “the righteous and the wicked all go to the same world of spirits until the resurrection.” (Teachings, p. 310.) Yet some have wondered why Jesus promised the dying thief that after his death he would join the Savior in paradise. The Prophet Joseph taught: “King James’ translators make it out to say paradise. But what is paradise?"
6. So, instead of teaching that the righteous go to heaven, or really any "degree of salvation," Mormonism actually emphasizes a "dumbing down" where "all mankind" originally goes to the same place, no matter what! And guess what? God isn't there! Per Mormonism, "it is NOT the place where God the Father, the resurrected Lord, and other resurrected beings dwell. Rather, it is an intermediate condition or state where people await the resurrection—a sphere where disembodied spirits live in one of several conditions according to what their mortal lives have merited."
7. So, so far, trusting in Jesus Christ and relating to Jesus Christ amounts to what your life merits. You're just a cosmic Boy Scout.
8. Thus, Mormons remain "missionaries" on the other side. It's no place of rest as the Bible describes heaven. Yup, for Mormons "...the spirit world is the place where disembodied spirits go. It is a tangible, substantial sphere incorporated with our earth, the focal point of a massive missionary effort in which we share." Thus, they get to continue to earn their way to heaven by trying to bump up others along the way!

For the rest of...

The October Other-World Series:

They see dead people?

Are ghosts among us? Many believe in spirits, but churches offer stern warnings

The "familiar spirit" in 2 Nephi 26:16

JOSEPH SMITH, JR: Founder and first "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" (1805-1844)

JOSEPH SMITH’S INVOLVEMENT WITH MAGIC, MASONRY, AND THE OCCULT

JOSEPH SMITH’S INVOLVEMENT WITH MAGIC, MASONRY, AND THE OCCULT

GOD-MEN AND SPIRITUAL VEGETABLES: The Occult Worldview of Mormonism

Early Mormonism and the Magic World View

1 posted on 10/25/2010 4:50:57 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: All
Note: This author uses 26 citations of Lds works commonly cited by both the Lds church and critics of Mormon doctrine.

When the critics cite these sources, it tends to be frowned upon by some Lds FREEPER Mormons. But when Mormons cite them, they're suddenly "A-OK."

Also, the fact that this author had to dig into 26 non-"canonized" sources to string together a Mormon doctrine of the dead and the spirit world shows you that Mormon doctrine is often laced together "on the run" and highly "experiential"...not cohesively formed based upon their "scriptures."

IOW, author had to go to these sources because no such explanation for what he came up with exists in their "scriptures." Even verses from the Bible where Jesus said, "today you will be with me in Paradise" was scoffed at by this author.

2 posted on 10/25/2010 4:56:33 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

My question always has been; How can otherwise intellegent people swallow this rot, hook, line and sinker?


3 posted on 10/25/2010 5:13:24 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Mark Kirk "republican" Illinois, not no but HELL NO!)
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To: Graybeard58
How can otherwise intellegent people swallow this rot, hook, line and sinker?

As someone on the outside looking in, as it were, I feel that way about all religions. To each their own.

4 posted on 10/25/2010 5:38:20 AM PDT by Abin Sur
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To: Colofornian

Mormon Doctrine is foolishness: 1 Cor 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.


5 posted on 10/25/2010 5:45:21 AM PDT by PoloSec ( Christ died for our sins...)
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To: Graybeard58
My question always has been; How can otherwise intellegent people swallow this rot, hook, line and sinker?

Well I agree, but it's a free country and they are welcome to believe it in peace.

The outrage is that they call this convoluted mess "Christianity". This is as far from the Gospel as Voodoo.

6 posted on 10/25/2010 6:17:07 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: Colofornian

Nice article. Garbage assesments as usual from the anti-Mormon crowd.

Undecided readers,

If you peruse the Free Republic religion forums you will notice a pattern. There’s an anti-Mormon group of people here that spends a great deal of their time attacking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They post regurgitated propaganda on an almost daily basis.

They have a misguided obsession. You can witness many different tactics employed that you might find quite interesting. The straw man argument is a big favorite and is frequently preceded by cherry-picking quotes or other material. After the “quotation” the attacker will misrepresent what has been said or what was meant and then attack their own interpretation.

Another favorite is posting scripture or statements which on their own really present no dilemma. They make something out of nothing while never bringing up a single objection that hasn’t been addressed a hundred times before.

Sometimes they cruise the headlines of the day seeking any story that might be twisted into making the Church look bad. Anything will do, just watch the progression of posts following it and see what I mean.

After reading their posts, I invite you to seek the truth about whatever “issue” they seem to be “revealing” or “exposing”. I promise that if you do so with honest intent, the “ahah” moments you will have will be many and frequent. You will start to recognize the tactics employed to cleverly twist and attack and will likely chuckle the more you see. In actuality, there’s nothing new here. It’s all been addressed many times before.

Here’s a few links to get your started from a different viewpoint. I have found that the vast majority of the “issues” brought up can be found and addressed at http://www.fairlds.org/ but here’s more:

http://scriptures.lds.org/
http://www.lds.org
http://www.fairlds.org/
http://www.mormonapologetics.org/
http://www.mormonwiki.com/Main_Page
http://www.lightplanet.com/response/index.html
http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDS_Intro.shtml
http://www.answeringantimormons.com/index.htm
http://promormon.blogspot.com/

Now you will likely notice the “you never address our points” posts pop up as usual. All after providing the answers just as you have here. Will you wear blinders too? Seek truth. Find out for yourself.


7 posted on 10/25/2010 6:24:01 AM PDT by Paragon Defender
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To: PoloSec; Graybeard58

Mormon Doctrine is foolishness: 1 Cor 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

****

Now that you can recite scripture PoloSec, please clarify the distinction between that which is of the Lord from that of the occult?

There are a lot of liberties taken in this article and yet those who act on emotion or prejudice also seem to buy it hook line and sinker!

Things of the Lord is a mystery and since you and many of us do not know all the ways of the Lord what makes you so sure to speak on these things?

Also do not assign things to the LDS because to you it seems to be similar.


8 posted on 10/25/2010 6:27:45 AM PDT by restornu (Love One Another)
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To: restornu
please clarify the distinction between that which is of the Lord from that of the occult?

I believe we have been given a vert clear standard for this Resty. Its called the HOLY BIBLE. Also known as "The Word of God".

9 posted on 10/25/2010 6:32:09 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: restornu
There are a lot of liberties taken in this article

I couldn't agree more Resty. You did of course know that Liahona Magazine is an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, linked right off its official LDS.org website didn't you?

10 posted on 10/25/2010 6:39:18 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: T Minus Four; Paragon Defender

I was not refering to the article but more on the “articles” several related threads that Colofornian has posted to slant accordiing to he/she/ss bias which I still am after all these years trying to figure out!


11 posted on 10/25/2010 6:47:27 AM PDT by restornu (Love One Another)
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To: T Minus Four; Paragon Defender

I will ask you the same and if you have never had personal knowledge of one from the other your reply will have little value.

please clarify the distinction between that which is of the Lord from that of the occult?


12 posted on 10/25/2010 6:50:57 AM PDT by restornu (Love One Another)
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To: restornu
I was not refering to the article but more on the “articles

Oh come on Resty, too late to backstroke :-).

Besides, you know we're not supposed to drag discussions from thread to thread. Stay focused please.

13 posted on 10/25/2010 6:52:33 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: restornu
please clarify the distinction between that which is of the Lord from that of the occult?

I already was very clear on this. I use the Bible.

What do you use?

14 posted on 10/25/2010 6:54:07 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: Paragon Defender

Care to add your usual disclaimer about seeking the truth using official LDS sources?


15 posted on 10/25/2010 6:57:18 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: T Minus Four; Paragon Defender

There is no back stroking I was reading several threads around the same time think what you want....
http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/lds/index?tab=articles

Ah those awful thoughts of Mormons...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naqX9iYE0V0&feature=player_embedded


16 posted on 10/25/2010 7:01:20 AM PDT by restornu (Love One Another)
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To: Graybeard58; colorcountry; Elsie; greyfoxx39; T Minus Four
My question always has been; How can otherwise intellegent people swallow this rot, hook, line and sinker?

I figured it out fifty years ago but had no compatriots that really understood the best ways to deal with such. Then came the internet and Free Republic. Lucky for us there are some very well read experts out here on the offense.

I am mostly a lurker but really enjoy following the weak attempts at missionary work from the Mormonists. And you must know they have all been called to do battle here. LOL

17 posted on 10/25/2010 7:03:30 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Mount Carmel Utah, where the world comes to see conservative America)
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To: restornu
There are a lot of liberties taken in this article and yet those who act on emotion or prejudice also seem to buy it hook line and sinker!

Wow...

A Mormon who does everything on feelings, who takes a gospel a mythic world that doesn't exist based on "burning bosoms" instead of the science and faith which has shown the peoples and lands in the bible do indeed exist accusing someone on acting on emotions...

Now that's worth the price of admission...

18 posted on 10/25/2010 7:10:25 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: Paragon Defender

###

An Open Letter to Mormons who are reading this thread...

If you peruse the Free Republic religion forums you
will notice a pattern. There’s a group of Christians
who spend a great deal of time posting from Official
Mormon Sources - both the Book of Mormon as well as
Mormon Prophets and Church materials.

You will also notice that many of these Christians
are former Mormons who have left Mormonism and come
to know the Biblical Jesus Christ and His Gospel of Grace.

They have a passion to reach other Mormons to share what
they learned about Salvation by grace and apart from
human works. Part of this process is by necessity, negative.
To correct error, you must identify the error and explain how
it contradicts the truth.

Since you already believe in truth and falsehood, I’m
not telling you anything you don’t already know. Something
cannot be true when it contradicts something else that is
true. One must be false.

Of course, they are attacked regularly by a very small
group of self-styled defenders of Mormonism who are
zealous, but have little knowledge beyond what the Mormon
Church tells them.

You will notice that these mormons cannot identify ANY:

… Facts
… Evidence
… Logical support

... that any reasonable person could examine and conclude
that Mormonism is true.

They must content themselves with posting links from
the same official LDS sources that the Christians
quote.

Have you ever wondered why there are no facts that
can be verified? No evidence that supports the claims
of mormonism? No logical argument that supports the
claims of mormonism?

Every spade of dirt turned over in the Holy Land adds to
the facts, evidence and logical argument in support of
the Bible. Every spade of dirt turned over in America
fails to find any facts, evidence or basis for a logical
argument in support of mormonism.

If mormonism is true, there should be all three.

Right?

Yet none of those things exists to support mormonism.

None.

Why?

They do try to pass their feelings off as truth, which
of course, they cannot be, since they are subjective.

People deserve more than feelings, failure to respond,
and more official links that themselves contain no
facts, evidence, logical argument, etc.

The best the group of mormons have been able to do
is construct ad hominem attacks against Christians,
which is always a sign that they have no facts,
evidence of logical arguments.

You have certainly witnessed this here many times as
you read these threads, so I am not telling you
anything you haven’t verified with your own eyes.

After reading both sides on this thread and others,
you may very well be wondering about what you were
taught when you joined the LDS church.

You also may be wondering how to resolve the lack
of facts, evidence and illogical nature of Mormon
claims.

Many have approached those of us who are Christians
asking where to find out more and some, even, to ask
how to leave the Church and learn more about Christ’s
Gospel of Grace. How to get off the human works treadmill
and come to know the joy of salvation by grace through
faith. We’ve been happy to answer questions and share how
to know the Biblical Christ.

Many, after much honest examination of the facts, soul-
searching and wrestling, have left the LDS group to
pursue knowing the real, Biblical Christ and to accept
His Gospel of Grace.

We invite you to take a first step. If mormonism is true,
it should withstand thorough examination, right? If it is
false, it will fail the test of your mind and heart.

Christ identified the Greatest Command as “Loving the Lord
your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul and ALL YOUR MIND.

Here is a chance to begin fulfilling His command:

Here are a few links to get you started in your quest
to love God with ALL your mind and come to know the
Biblical Christ.

http://www.irr.org/mit/default.html
http://www.exmormonsforjesus.org/
http://4mormon.org/ex-mormon.php
http://www.exmormon.org/
http://www.mormoncurtain.com/

We also invite you to private freepmail any or even
every Christian on this thread to ask questions about
the concerns you find. We will always do our best to
directly answer your questions with facts, evidence
and logical support from the Bible.

There is a wonderful God of Love and Grace who offers
you salvation by both - and apart from “all you can do”.

Gifts don’t cost anything, or they are not free.

There is the gift of salvation, set aside for you to
respond to. Today is the day.

best,
ampu

###


19 posted on 10/25/2010 7:20:13 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: restornu
OK, just so you WERE aware that this article is OF the LDS Church.

So, what's your standard for determining what is OF God and what is OF the occult?

20 posted on 10/25/2010 7:21:54 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: Paragon Defender

I have read several of those sources thoroughly and nothing I have read rebuts the things I’ve read on this thread or other threads pointing out differences between the Christian church and LDS beliefs.

I’ve seen you post this very same reply to several threads. If you’re truly interested in people learning the truth about your beliefs, it would help those of us who truly wonder what you believe to engage in a conversation.


21 posted on 10/25/2010 7:30:53 AM PDT by FourPeas (Pester not the geek, for the electrons are his friends.)
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To: restornu

Hey I actually watched that video. What a nice, heart-warming story. What’s the point?


22 posted on 10/25/2010 7:32:05 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Instead of pretending to BE Christians, why not actually BECOME Christians?)
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To: restornu

...and so the wisdom of this world continues...Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:, ...all mysteries have been revealed...2 Tim 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things, 1 Cor 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: Knowing the course of this world and the satanic policy of evil in this present evil world, I have zero expectations of understanding by those who are lost.


23 posted on 10/25/2010 7:47:43 AM PDT by PoloSec ( Christ died for our sins...)
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To: restornu; PoloSec; Graybeard58
There are a lot of liberties taken in this article . .

This article was written by mormons for mormons - are you saying that the mormon publishers are taking liberties?

. . . . and yet those who act on emotion or prejudice also seem to buy it hook line and sinker!

Remarkable statement regarding a cult that places 'feelings' and 'emotion' over facts and truths "buy(ing) it hook line and sinker"

Things of the Lord is a mystery and since you and many of us do not know all the ways of the Lord what makes you so sure to speak on these things?

For those of us non-morgs, it is not a hard thing - God provided us the guidance within HIS word - the bible, and makes it clear - not convoluted like mormonism (or your answers at times).

24 posted on 10/25/2010 8:07:01 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: FourPeas; Paragon Defender
I’ve seen you post this very same reply to several threads. If you’re truly interested in people learning the truth about your beliefs, it would help those of us who truly wonder what you believe to engage in a conversation.

Thank you for noticing the difference fourpeas - it is an important distinction. For years, a lot of these types of mormon articles have had little exposure - at least until the internet. Many of us who post here believe it is important for others like yourself to really SEE behind the curtain, in a manner of speaking, and gaze upon the teachings that the mormon church would not like to have so widely publicized to the uninitiated.

It is really about truth and the search for truth -

A museum curator (you) receives an offer to sell a previously undiscovered Rembrandt (mormonism). The dealer of this painting (paragon) would like for you to accept its authenticity based only upon feelings and emotions (the Moroni challenge). He provides 'experts' to verify the painting (his list), yet these sources are not independent but would gain from the transaction.

What should you do?

You should seek other experts who do not stand to gain from the sale of this painting. They would examine the style, canvas, paint composition, (mormon doctrine, teachings, writings) etc. to determine if it is a real Rembrandt (real Christianity) or not.

You caught the key fourpeas - the deflection from providing definitive answers - because those answers will only serve to show in the light of day that mormonism is not Christianity.

25 posted on 10/25/2010 8:21:33 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: restornu
Things of the Lord is a mystery and since you and many of us do not know all the ways of the Lord what makes you so sure to speak on these things?

Mystery?

Please tell me what are mysteries. Be specific, please.

26 posted on 10/25/2010 9:21:48 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: restornu
I was not refering to the article but more on the “articles”

Ohhhhhhhhhh.............okay.

27 posted on 10/25/2010 9:24:36 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Graybeard58

My question always has been; How can otherwise intellegent people swallow this rot, hook, line and sinker?
______________________________________________________

Personally I dont know...

When I was 19, a co-worker was a mormon who was proslytizing our boss who was rich..

The mormon left in a huff after several weeks of telling all and giving several very informative books and pamplets on the religion mormonism to our resistant Christian boss...

Our boss showed me all she had been given and told me what she had been taught about mormonism..

The info included the book of mormon, polygamy, digging up gold plates, angels, seeing God the Father, seeing angels, committing adultery to go to the mormon Nirvana/Valhalla, Joey Smith cheating on his wife, dead dunking of dead people for “salvation”..

I know now that there had been a lot of “push” on these people to join and bring their money and land, but then I just thought everyone got handed what the mormons call the “meat” of mormonism to peruse...

She told me that mormonism was a cult and made me promise that I would never join them..

And I never have..

Armed beforehand with the awful truth of mormonism, I have been able to see the traps set for others...

The outward appearance of “niceness” and “virtue”..

The “families first” lie...

The boy scout program..

Whats not to like ...

HOWEVER as Jesus told us...

“BUT underneath are dead mens bones...” Matthew 23:27

Selah


28 posted on 10/25/2010 9:43:48 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Osage Orange

Please tell me what are mysteries. Be specific, please.

***

Only the Lord Himself can witness to those who are repented and have the need to know!


29 posted on 10/25/2010 9:47:43 AM PDT by restornu (Love One Another)
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To: T Minus Four

What’s the point?

Instead of figuring how to be mischief for ones own amusment one has a choice in a small way to ease the path for another.


30 posted on 10/25/2010 9:51:36 AM PDT by restornu (Love One Another)
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To: restornu
You wrote the following:

Things of the Lord is a mystery

I asked you to tell me what are the mysteries.

Why do you have a problem with that?

What are these mysteries?

God is not mysterious to me. Nor is Jesus. What do you find mysterious?

31 posted on 10/25/2010 9:51:50 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Osage Orange

I said THINGS of the Lord is a mystery

...and often ways of the Lord can be or are a mystery

And to many here the even the Lord is a mystery to them


32 posted on 10/25/2010 9:57:58 AM PDT by restornu
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To: FourPeas

I have read several of those sources thoroughly and nothing I have read rebuts the things I’ve read on this thread or other threads pointing out differences between the Christian church and LDS beliefs.

I’ve seen you post this very same reply to several threads. If you’re truly interested in people learning the truth about your beliefs, it would help those of us who truly wonder what you believe to engage in a conversation.


Interesting because I can find good information on any and every “issue” the anti-Mormons bring up in 30 seconds or less typically.

I have to conclude that either:

You already have your mind made up and are pretending.
You are one of the anti-gang playing a little game.

I tend to doubt your sincerity especially based on your choice of wording “differences between the Christian church and LDS beliefs”.

But, if you seriously want to engage in conversation, this board is hardly the place to do it. By all means do read all they have to say but seek answers elsewhere too.

There are links to speak with official Church personnel as well as “apologists” on a few of those sites. If you are sincere I am sure you can find someone to “engage” you.


33 posted on 10/25/2010 10:08:28 AM PDT by Paragon Defender
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To: Paragon Defender; FourPeas
Quick to the accusations eh?

Would you buy smith's story from this guy?

34 posted on 10/25/2010 10:21:25 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: restornu
I know what you said....

What THINGS are a mystery to you!?!?!

Simple question....Why won't you answer it?

35 posted on 10/25/2010 10:23:04 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Paragon Defender

It appears you believe I’m being confrontational, but I’m not. I do wish to know what LDS believes. Certainly, I’m going to compare it to what I’ve been taught previously and what I currently believe. Who wouldn’t?

You post a similar post on a lot of LDS threads, but now that I’ve read through several of those sources, I’m interested in discussing LDS beliefs. I thought you might be interested. If you don’t want to engage me in a discussion, that’s OK. I just thought I’d ask.


36 posted on 10/25/2010 10:24:10 AM PDT by FourPeas (Pester not the geek, for the electrons are his friends.)
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To: Osage Orange

Clear answer depends on your need to know

Only the Lord Himself can witness to those who are repented and have the need to know!


37 posted on 10/25/2010 10:27:18 AM PDT by restornu
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To: Paragon Defender
But, if you seriously want to engage in conversation, this board is hardly the place to do it

The times I've said that to myself..........: )

But why won't you PERSONALLY engage those that are wondering about mormonism?

Okay....I will take the 30 second bet....Tell me why B. Young said...That J. Smith held keys to heaven also...and we had to have his okay also...to get into heaven.

I mean...PD...either BJ was a Prophet of God...or he was NOT. Which is it?

38 posted on 10/25/2010 10:38:16 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: restornu
Give me ONE example of a mystery, that you don't understand.

And quit your deceptions..............

39 posted on 10/25/2010 10:41:23 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Osage Orange; restornu

Please tell me what are mysteries. Be specific, please.

***

Only the Lord Himself can witness to those who are repented and have the need to know!
_________________________________________________

IOW Resty doesnt know...

Shes not one of those she mentioned...


40 posted on 10/25/2010 11:05:04 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Osage Orange

You assume too much it is not me who seems not to understand!


41 posted on 10/25/2010 11:14:54 AM PDT by restornu
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To: FourPeas

It appears you believe I’m being confrontational, but I’m not. I do wish to know what LDS believes. Certainly, I’m going to compare it to what I’ve been taught previously and what I currently believe. Who wouldn’t?

You post a similar post on a lot of LDS threads, but now that I’ve read through several of those sources, I’m interested in discussing LDS beliefs. I thought you might be interested. If you don’t want to engage me in a discussion, that’s OK. I just thought I’d ask.


Why would I be wary? It’s not like there’s any anti-Mormon infestation here or anything. If you are sincere then great. I have provided you the tools. You can find out just as I did. These anti-Mormon activists are blinded and obsessed. A meaningful conversation here would be quite impossible.

So again, if you are sincere, I have provided you links to much information and sources to converse with people. Please do and compare that with what you witness coming from “the other side” here.

Have a great day.


42 posted on 10/25/2010 11:19:20 AM PDT by Paragon Defender
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To: Godzilla

Nice explanation.

Us old art dogs know fully what a fake looks like. Even a fake Rembrandt. (Mormonism)


43 posted on 10/25/2010 11:33:45 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Mount Carmel Utah, Maynard Dixon Country)
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To: Utah Binger
Us old art dogs know fully what a fake looks like. Even a fake Rembrandt. (Mormonism)

Indeed! LOL

44 posted on 10/25/2010 11:40:21 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Paragon Defender

You’re simply passing the buck Paragon...like one who hits and runs. Engage and debate then. And as you say, let the reader decide.


45 posted on 10/25/2010 11:56:10 AM PDT by caww
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To: caww

Fluffy pink/reddish clouds with a bright red sun...


46 posted on 10/25/2010 12:46:55 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: restornu; All; Paragon Defender
You assume too much it is not me who seems not to understand!

I asked a perfectly legit question...based on restornu's original post.

All I can say is this.....Please Dear Reader's....follow this exchange with restornu and I.

Examine the no answers...and the changing of the subject....She refused to answer the question.

Make up your own minds.

Read the Bible...the answers are clear.

47 posted on 10/25/2010 1:05:13 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Paragon Defender
These anti-Mormon activists are blinded and obsessed.

Blinded and obsessed.....? Ummmm.

How many quotes would you like from mormon "greats" that certainly by anyone with objective thinking would think they were obsessed and pretty crazy?

I can give you at least 100...

Let me know...when you want them.

And let's let "Dear Reader" know...there's another source of Truth. Okay?

48 posted on 10/25/2010 2:31:06 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Godzilla

And thank-you for the informative post.........


49 posted on 10/25/2010 2:33:36 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Osage Orange; Paragon Defender; All
Dear Reader's and FReeper's are waiting for you reply....

The times I've said that to myself..........: )

But why won't you PERSONALLY engage those that are wondering about mormonism?

Okay....I will take the 30 second bet....Tell me why B. Young said...That J. Smith held keys to heaven also...and we had to have his okay also...to get into heaven.

I mean...PD...either BJ was a Prophet of God...or he was NOT. Which is it?

50 posted on 10/25/2010 2:54:32 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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