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I Love Talking To Ex-Mormon Atheists
Mormon Coffee ( ^ | March 7, 2013 | Aaron Shafovaloff

Posted on 03/12/2013 9:27:52 AM PDT by Colofornian

I did not expect to meet so many atheists when I moved to Utah seven years ago. But I should have known better: America as a whole is secularizing, and Mormonism itself has a “scorched earth policy.” My Mormon girlfriend in high school once essentially said, “If the LDS Church isn’t true, I don’t know that I could ever believe in God.” Mormonism already is a form of atheism: it denies the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, first, most high God, and instead teaches a kind of naturalism or materialism: everything is matter, even spirits, and everything is subject to eternal laws of ultimate nature, even the gods. It feeds its people conspiracy theories about the corruption of the Bible, and it scares the heck out of Mormons over non-Mormon churches: if you don’t stay with the One True Church, you’ll have to settle for an abominable evangelical church with a corrupt pastor who is a minister of Satan.

That is a colorful way of putting it, but you get the point.

It is depressing that so many people leave Mormonism only to become agnostics or atheists. Fortunately, atheists have a hard time staying atheists. Their children are probably much more open to the Biblical gospel than Mormons are. I suspect God is up to something — he has multi-generational plans we’ve never dreamed of. If giving people the truth about Mormonism’s history and the truth about the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ statistically increases the odds of a person becoming a self-confessed agnostic or atheist, then so be it. God is sovereign and I am not here to be a social engineer or to play God. My job as an ambassador of Jesus is to preach the word of truth in love, and let the chips fall where they may. Fortunately, there is the fruit of ex-Mormon Christians to celebrate.

I used to be intimidated to talk to atheists. They are, in my experience, generally confident about their atheism and have tough questions. But over time I discovered that the average atheist hasn’t read a substantive book defending atheism or theism, and gets his intellectual prowess from…image memes and YouTube. Today, I like to start off conversations with atheists by asking, “Have you ever read a good book defending atheism or theism?” Usually they haven’t. “Have you ever heard any good arguments for the existence of God or the resurrection of Jesus?” Usually they haven’t. “What are the strongest arguments for theism or Christianity, and what about them do you find lacking?” Blank stare. “What do you think are some of the most difficult questions for atheism to answer?” Ughhh…

These are great introductory teaching moments. “Would you mind if I shared a few good arguments for the existence of God and for the resurrection of Jesus?” What an awesome opportunity, especially when it culminates in a presentation of the most beautiful (and true) story in the world: God, yes, God, became a man, suffered with us and for us, and paid our penalty on the humiliating and shameful cross, and showed us the best display of sacrificial love there has ever been, simultaneously vindicating the righteousness of God, raising three days letter, showing us that the Lord Jesus Christ has all authority under heaven and earth and infinite power to keep his promises.

My favorite argument for the existence of God is the “moral argument for God.” I push it really hard:

1. If there is no God, there are no objective moral values or duties.

2. There are objective moral values and duties.

3. Therefore, God exists.

The really interesting thing about this argument is that atheists disagree with each other and don’t know it. Some affirm both premises and simply haven’t followed them through to the conclusion. Some affirm premise #1 and disaffirm premise #2, others disaffirm premise #1 and affirm premise #2. Call me a rascal, but when I’m being dog-piled by atheists, I love to get them arguing with each other. The argument is a great way to simultaneously engage someone’s intellect, spiritual intuitions, and suppressed presuppositions, all at the same time.

You can hear more about the moral argument for God here. But don’t let YouTube suffice: read a good book. Some of you are, like me, at times utterly sick of reading about, thinking about, and discussing Mormonism. Take the opportunity to read some good literature that both engages atheism and supports the basics of Biblical Christianity. The ironic thing is that you can take what you learn and share it with not only your atheist neighbors, but also your Mormon neighbors. I dare say that all of the evidences, arguments, and Biblical declarations that atheists need to hear are things that Mormons equally need to hear. Mormons are atheists in embryo. As Mormons are, ex-Mormon atheists once were; as ex-Mormon atheists are, Mormons may be. To quote The Dark Knight Rises out of context: “There is a storm coming.” Mormon parents need to stop asking themselves, “Will my children remain in the LDS Church?”, and start asking, “When my children leave the LDS Church, will they believe in Jesus?” Not if, but when. It’s happening in Utah, and it’s happening fast. Mormons have a hard time imagining what being a Christian theist would be like outside of Mormonism. I want to help start this process of imagination.

Addendum: Ten Discussion Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

Is there anything you reasonably believe to be true, yet can’t empirically demonstrate?

Are there any objective moral values or duties?

Is torturing babies for fun morally objectively wrong?

Does atheism have a ‘problem of evil’?

Does every effect have a sufficient cause?

Do you trust your cognitive faculties?

To what extent and why?

Is an infinite regress possible?

Is it possible that God exists?

Is truth important for its own sake?

Is the question of God’s existence important?

Do you feel angst or sorrow over the absurdity of life?

What do you think of the person of Jesus?

Have you ever heard of the “trilemma”?

Philosophical discussion important, but secondary and supplemental to direct preaching. People are not only emotional and spiritual beings, but also intellectual beings, so I consider it a respectful and loving thing to engage a person intellectually.

We are all fools for something. I choose to be a fool for Jesus. “If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise.” (1 Corinthians 3:18) Be a “fool” with me and preach the ridiculous gospel of Jesus Christ. Self-confessed atheists are no different than the rest of us inadvertent “practical atheists” who sin as though God does not exist. We need to repent of trusting ourselves and cry out to Jesus in brokenhearted, child-like faith.

God is good, and Jesus has risen,


TOPICS: Apologetics; Ministry/Outreach; Other non-Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: atheists; exmormon; inman; lds; mormon; mormonism
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To: greyfoxx39

Found it.

New International Version (©2011)
1 Peter 3: 15 - 17
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Seems to me my attitude is somewhat closer to that of Peter than yours is. Since it’s obviously a great deal harder to give your answer with “gentleness and respect” if you are greatly offended by the question.

My basic position is that I firmly believe the Mormon is in error, but I’m not offended by his error, assuming he discusses it with me politely. Why should I be? Most of the world’s population is not Christian, and most of the Christians, in all likelihood including you, would differ a bunch with me on a whole lot of doctrinal issues. Am I to be offended by each of those people holding a different set of beliefs?

Personally, I assume that my own particular beliefs do not exactly line up with the Truth, though they are as close as I can get. I proceed on the assumption that God makes allowance for human inability to arrive at Truth. I certainly hope I am right!

Since I myself do not achieve Truth in my beliefs, it does not behoove me to be overly critical of the beliefs of others. God will decide which beliefs are and are not True, and I’m personally overjoyed that isn’t my responsibility.

61 posted on 03/12/2013 3:00:16 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

“Their belief that I will burn in hell if I don’t believe as they do does nothing to put me there, any more than your similar belief about them of itself has any effect on their ultimate fate.”

Mormons are generally universalist, at least eventually. Even people just trapped in “spirit prison” have a chance afterwards to leave it, including Hitler. According to them, there are three heavens. The terrestrial, Telestial and the Celestial. Only the worthy Mormons will ascend to the Celestial heaven to dwell with God, where they themselves will be united with their families and will continue onward and onward to become gods of their own planets. Everyone else gets sorted into the lower heavens, where “hell” is essentially to be eternally envious of the Mormons who were good and obedient enough to become gods.

This, of course, is not Biblical, as Christ is quite clear that the elect dwell with Christ forever in heaven, and the damned in everlasting fires of torment where their worm dieth not. Since salvation is by the grace of God, there is no one being “good enough” to achieve their own salvation or godhood. Plus there is only one God, neither is there marriage in heaven.

From the Biblical perspective, we can be quite confidant that Mormonism is a damning religion, because it preaches a false Gospel, denies the true horror of sin and the depravity of man, denies who Christ is and His mission, and renders salvation a matter of racing to be a God of your own planet or else eternally being envious of Mormons in your lesser Gentile heaven.

Here’s Paul on the matter:

Gal 1:5-9 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (6) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

62 posted on 03/12/2013 3:13:03 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Sherman Logan

When Paul preached in Athens, the people rioted.......they were so offended. He had to flee for his life on more than one occasion.
Calmly.......hahah, what Paul are you talking about.

63 posted on 03/12/2013 3:19:00 PM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Like John the Baptist who stood at Herod’s dwelling and called out the whores.

64 posted on 03/12/2013 3:20:11 PM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Sherman Logan; greyfoxx39; Tennessee Nana; All
Well, I've read your exchanges, GF & Sherm.

I have to say I actually agree with BOTH of you...and when I say that, I'm referencing in particular GF's comment (#30) and Sherm's comment in #51: I believe that American Christians who believe their own religion to be true do not have a moral right to be offended by people of other religions who believe the same about their own faiths and express that belief politely. [Sherman Logan]

...Here's GF's comments in post #30:

Sherman states: I've had many conversations with Mormon missionaries and they have always been polite to a fault. Nana states I dont like being attacked verbally by Mormons at my own door because I am a Christian...Perhaps it doesn't occur to some that the very fact that the message mormon missionaries bring to the doors of Christians is an attack on their faith. Their message is that the mormon church is "the only true church on the face of the earth" and "the only way to salvation is through taking part in arcane rituals in mormon temples." You ask, "Do you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is thereby attacking you verbally?"...."disagree" is a false description of the mormon message...that message is a frontal attack on the belief of a Christian, comparable with someone knocking on your door and saying, "Sherman, your child is the ugliest thing I have ever seen." That has been the message sent out by the mormon church to the world for 180 years.

So...allow me first to reinforce what GF is saying with a parallel consideration.

I don't particularly like a number of facets about the Westboro picketer folks...yet some people forget what provoked them into their initial protests.

The "father" of the clan had been at that time actually quite "progressive" -- filing legal briefs (if I recall correctly) in opposing discrimination vs. blacks. What he didn't like was the open public (often anonymous) homosexual acts taking place in a nearby park that his kids walked to & fro in front of...with the kids sometimes being exposed to these vile acts.

The family began picketing these acts at the park to bring attention to it so that the locals would enforce already existent laws. Some of the homosexuals "fought back" by becoming hostile in their confrontations with the picketers. Thus, it became the the "let's keep-sex-out-of-the-bedroom-in-yo-face homosexual park perverts" vs. "the-eventual-let's-keep-placard-condemnations-in-yo-face Westboroites."

Hardly anybody likes what this picketing family has become. Yet, the initial spark of what provoked them was provocative enough for them to publicly respond.

Do we have a Biblical right to be provoked by some public things? (Ya better believe it!) On what basis do I make that claim? (On the basis of St. Peter's description of Lot, who lived near Sodom & Gomorrah):

2 Peter: 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

I know there are many Americans -- oft' "moral libertarians" - who somehow think, "you don't like abortion? Don't have one." "You don't like homosexuality, be heterosexual then." ("Otherwise, shut up"). But they forget that rampant immorality doesn't respect any bounds!!!

We see lifestyles that are indeed provocative to us! That ranges from the porn industry today going back to Sodomites who wanted to rape three visiting angels...indeed, the Sodomitic cultural impact was so negative it horribly impacted Lot's two daughters, who couldn't even find worthy husbands in that culture.

Now I don't think that we can come along and lecture people that you can't be offended by the homosexual culture and sub-cultures; or that we can't be offended by Muslim "you're-an-infidel" & Mormon "you're-an-apostate" messaging.

Yet I do agree with Sherm that one cultural trend in our midst is that EVERYBODY is trying to keep their given pet conviction or lifestyle free from critique...which is what has led the homosexual activist movement to clamp down on free speech during corporate diversity training sessions ...and has even led to interpretations that somebody promoting Chick-Fil-A is offending their personal (lesbian) lifestyle -- and must be punished in the workplace for doing so!

So, I think it's "OK" to be provoked by lawless deeds we see & hear...AND when we are trashed by Mormon missionaries who often use the phrase "universal apostasy" -- thereby accusing us, our spiritual forefathers, and even the Christian forefathers of this country of being apostates!! We Christians need to start recognizing an accusation when it's proffered up!

And yet, we can't do what the homosexual activists do -- who wind up attempting to censor any and all who publicly disagree with that lifestyle and the band-wagon of things it pulls around in our society.

Bottom-line: As GF makes the case for, when Biblically provoked, respond! When responding, don't go to the extremes of homosexual activists who attempt to pre-empt public discussion. (And by saying this latter part, I'm not saying, GF that you are doing that; I'm simply agreeing with one principle uttered by S.L.)

65 posted on 03/12/2013 3:32:45 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Sherman Logan
I am offended by upwards of 50,000 probably closer to 100,000 mormon missionaries going out daily and claiming to Christians that their faith is bogus and the ONLY way to salvation is through arcane rituals in mormon temples.

I'll say again, the message is the offense, whether it is given "politely" or not.

I too am "personally overjoyed that God will decide which beliefs are and are not True" and I will "politely" continue in this vein:

Inman mission statement photo CALLTOACTION-1-1.jpg

66 posted on 03/12/2013 3:38:57 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Thanks Mitt.)
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To: Colofornian

I am not an ex-Mormon but I have heard the author’s favorite argument countless times. It is a fallacious argument in my opinion because the premise that without God there can be no objective moral values or duties is a false dichotomy. The concept of a moral value rests on the answer to the the question: Of value to whom and for what? A code of values for man’s life must be based on what man requires which is a function of his nature and the nature of existence. So Man’s nature it seems to me is the objective basis for choosing a code of moral values and it makes no difference whether existence was created by a God or just is.

The second premise that there are objective moral values and duties is a stolen concept. As a Christian the author must hold consciousness to be primary to existence which means that reality is subjective and there could be no such thing as an objective value.

The author asks the question: “do you feel sorrow over the
absurdity of life?”. Again I reject the premise that life is absurd if there is no God. I think that life is an end in itself. It needs no external sanction or purpose. My life has meaning to me and I need look no further than my self for a purpose. I am the meaning and the purpose of my life.

67 posted on 03/12/2013 3:54:06 PM PDT by albionin (Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture,an intransigent mind and)
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To: Colofornian; Tennessee Nana; Sherman Logan
Bottom-line: As GF makes the case for, when Biblically provoked, respond! When responding, don't go to the extremes of homosexual activists who attempt to pre-empt public discussion. (And by saying this latter part, I'm not saying, GF that you are doing that

I'm not going to allow anyone to pre-empt my moral right to continue to state my response.

This PC moral cancer of "oh, don't take offense at offensive messages" must, IMO be defeated and I will continue to fight against it.

Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity

Mormonism Christianity
What is the Church?

The LDS Church is the only true church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church (Doctrine and Covenants [D&C] 1:30); all other churches (Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists are specifically mentioned in Joseph Smith, History 1:9, Pearl of Great Price) are "wrong," "all their creeds were an abomination," and "those professors were all corrupt" (Joseph Smith, History 1:19). Those of creedal or traditional Christianity have adopted "pagan beliefs" and are part of "false Christianity" (Gospel Principles, 100 [1979 edition]). One either belongs to "the church of the Lamb of God" or to "the church of the devil" (1 Nephi 14:10). Joseph Smith taught that everybody but faithful Mormons will be damned (History of the Church 3:28). "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is absolutely indispensable to our salvation. No supposed personal relationship with Jesus, no commitment to the gospel, no high level of Christian conduct in society can compensate for what is to be found in the Church" (Robert Millet, Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth [Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1997], 140).

The Church is a body of various believers and groups of believers.

The one true Church is the invisible, spiritual, and universal Body of Christ in heaven and on earth made up of all those true believers from various local denominations or visible churches. The body is an organism, not an external organization. Unity in this body does not demand complete uniformity in its various manifestations. God loves diversity. Yet the Church's unity is in Christ, who is the vine. People in various denominations who are committed to the Vine are the branches; no one particular manifestation of the Church is the vine (Matthew 16:18; 15:5; Acts 15:35-41; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 11:19; 12:13ff.; and Ephesians 4:1-13).

What happens after death?

Individuals go to more places than either with Christ or with the devil and his angels.

Depending on how good non-LDS members are in this life and the next determines their place in one of two lower heavenly kingdoms or "degrees of glory"--the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms--both of which are still outside the presence of God in His celestial kingdom (D&C 76). Both of these lower kingdoms are an eternal damnation of sorts, since there is no progression among all the kingdoms throughout eternity (Apostle Bruce McConkie, The Seven Deadly Heresies, Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 50, and Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:31). The worst eternal damnation is a separate place called "outer darkness" where only apostates reside with the Devil and his angels. The Book of Mormon teaches that if an individual doesn't repent in "this life," then one is sealed to the devil and "this is the final state of the wicked" (Alma 34:32-5). For LDS, this passage typically means that individuals who willfully deny Christ and His Church after given an opportunity to be a part of it end up forever excluded from the presence of God in His kingdom. McConkie said that only those who never had the opportunity in this life to be part of God's celestial kingdom, and who would have received it, are the ones who will have that opportunity in the next life (The Seven Deadly Heresies, cf. D&C 137:7-8). Nonetheless, all children who die before the age of accountability go to the celestial kingdom (D&C 137:10). Prior to the final judgment, all individuals go to one of two places: paradise or spirit prison. LDS go to the former and non-LDS go to the latter. LDS will go and preach to those in spirit prison (Alma 40:12-4 and D&C 138:30). Within the celestial kingdom, there are also three degrees of glory. The highest is reserved for those who are sealed in marriage for time and all eternity (D&C 131:1-4). McConkie was also clear that simply having this celestial marriage is no guarantee of exaltation (The Seven Deadly Heresies). Finally, there are angels who worship before the throne of God, who never received a celestial marriage and are thus single (D&C 76:21 and 132:15-17).

Individuals go to be either with Christ or with the devil and his angels.

Those who are part of the body of Christ should know they have eternal life (1 John 5:10-13). They are in Christ's and the Father's hand, and no one can pluck them out of it (Jn. 10:27-30). Christ went to prepare a place for them in His Father's house, but until then the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit take up residency in their lives (Jn. 14:1-3, 23-6). For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6; and Philippians 1:21-5). The Bible is clear that paradise is the third heaven--the dwelling of God (2 Cor. 12:1-4). The first heaven is the earthly atmosphere (Acts 14:17) and the second heaven is outer space (Jeremiah 8:2). At the judgment, there are those who go with the devil and his angels, and there are those who go to life eternal (Mat. 25:31-46).

What is divine salvation?

Divine salvation is unconditional for resurrection and conditional for eternal life.

In one sense, salvation is universal immortality and resurrection by grace alone, and is given to everyone except apostates. In another sense, salvation is eternal life or exaltation into the highest kingdom. The latter is dependent on grace through faith and one's works (2 Ne. 25:23; D&C 76:40-4; and Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 669-71, and 746).

Divine salvation is always conditional.

Divine salvation is always from sin and its consequence of separation from God. This salvation is always conditioned upon faith. Until this occurs, God considers the individual dead. When this salvation occurs, one has eternal life (Jn. 5:24; Romans 5; Eph. 2:1-10; and 1 Jn. 5:10-3).

Where is the cross?

The symbol of the cross is absent.

Since the Savior lives, LDS focus on his life rather than his death. Though He suffered for our sins on the cross, the greater pain was in the Garden of Gethsemane where the atonement was initiated. The emblem of the cross is not to be revered, and its display is "very strange" (Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Symbol of Our Faith," Ensign, Apr 2005, 2-6; McConkie, "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane," Ensign [May 1985], 9; Mormon Doctrine, 172 and 555; The Promised Messiah, 337 and 552; The Mortal Messiah, 127-128; Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:15-8; "Cross" and "Atonement of Christ,"

The symbol of the cross is central.

Simply because Jesus lives forever more is no reason to minimize the means by which He paid for our sins. The Bible never teaches that the atonement began in the garden. Rather, it teaches that the atonement happened on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). The cross is foolishness to the perishing, but the power of God to them being saved (1 Cor. 1:18). There is nothing else that deserves boasting except the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14). The cross symbolizes a way His followers are to live (Luke 9:23). Even the first century Christians used the symbol of the cross as archeology has revealed.

Did Christ die for all sins?

Christ did not die for all sins.

Christ did not atone for the murderer, since there is no forgiveness for him "in this world, nor in the world to come." Christ also did not pay for more than a one-time offense of adultery, since such violators cannot be forgiven either (D&C 42:18 and 25-9). Actually, according to one apostle, Christ atoned simply for Adam's sin, and left "us responsible only for our own sins." This apostle goes on to quote the 2nd Article of Faith that claims "men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression" (Le Grand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [1976], 98). Other LDS prophets have taught that there are certain "sins" that one may commit that are beyond the atonement of the Son of God, and one's own blood must be shed in such cases (Brigham Young, The Journal of Discourses 3:247; 4:53-4; 4:219-220; and Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:133-6).

Christ did die for all sins.

Christ atoned for all sins (Adam's as well as everyone else's). The Lord Jesus took the punishment of everyone on the cross. The debt we could never pay has been completely paid by the Lamb of God, and to those who receive this gift, they are declared "justified" or "not guilty." This is the good news (the gospel) for everyone, including the adulterer and the murderer (2 Samuel 12:13; Isaiah 53:3-12; Mt. 18:21-2; Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; 1 Pt. 2:24; and 1

68 posted on 03/12/2013 4:01:09 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Thanks Mitt.)
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To: Vigilanteman
That's why I've never been a fan of mindless religious debasing be the objects Catholic, Mormon or Protestant.

Then you'd be one of the first to say the following quotes are WAY off base; right??

Questions put to Joseph Smith: "'Do you believe the Bible?' [Smith:]'If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do'. When asked 'Will everybody be damned, but Mormons'? [Smith replied] 'Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 119).
Joseph Smith: "for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible" (from Pearl of Great Price 1:12). "What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.270).
Brigham Young stated this repeatedly: "When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness" (Journal of Discourses 5:73); "The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God" (Journal of Discourses 8:171); "With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world" (Journal of Discourses 8:199); "And who is there that acknowledges [God's] hand? ...You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (Journal of Discourses , vol. 6, p.24); "Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity" (Journal of Discourses 10:230).
Orson Pratt proclaimed: "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon' whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent" (The Seer, p. 255).
Orson Pratt also said: "This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now" (Journal of Discourses
, vol.18, p.44) and: "But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be ...But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance" (Journal of Discourses , 18:172).
President John Taylor stated: " a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century." (Journal of Discourses , vol. 6, p.167); "Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom." (Journal of Discourses , 10:127).
James Talmage said: "A self-suggesting interpretation of history indicates that there has been a great departure from the way of salvation as laid down by the Savior, a universal apostasy from the Church of Christ". (A Study of the Articles of Faith, p.182).
President Joseph Fielding Smith said: "Doctrines were corrupted, authority lost, and a false order of religion took the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as it had been the case in former dispensations, and the people were left in spiritual darkness." (Doctrines of Salvation, p.266). "For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation ...Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the 'Christian' churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p.282).
More recent statements by apostle Bruce McConkie are also very clear: "Apostasy was universal...And this darkness still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol 3, p.265); "Thus the signs of the times include the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom and in the religious world in general" (The Millennial Messiah, p.403); "a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom" (Mormon Doctrine, p.132); "virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit" (Mormon Doctrine, p.269); "Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era." (Mormon Doctrine, p.316).
President George Q. Cannon said: "After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon" (Gospel Truth, p.324).
President Wilford Woodruff stated: "the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called" (Journal of Discourses , vol. 2, p.196).

69 posted on 03/12/2013 4:04:52 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: stuartcr

1. Christianity exists.
2. There are some really bad examples of Christians.
3. Therefore MORMONism is true.

70 posted on 03/12/2013 4:06:45 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Tennessee Nana
Mormonism was invented to cover up and excuse immoral behavior...

No WAY!!!


Polygamy: How it all got Started

Joe: Hey Emma!   Guess what!?
Emma: You KNOW I hate these guessing games! What is it, Dear?
Joe: I heard a voice, probably the Lord, tell me I must take other wives.
Emma: WHAT!?   You ding bat!  Don't you KNOW what our precious BOOK says?   After all; YOU are the one that translated it!
Joe: Books; schmooks.   All I know is I've been COMMANDED to take other wives and you are to OBEY ME!!!
Emma:      "Though shalt NOT commit ADULTERY!!!"
Joe: Silly Woman!  You KNOW better than to take things out of CONTEXT!!!

...and the rest is HISTORY...

  24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.
  25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
  26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
  27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
  28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
  29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
  30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
  31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.
  32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Or even HERE:

 1 Timothy 3:2-3
 2.  Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
 3.  not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
1 Timothy 3:12
   A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.
 Titus 1:6
   An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Emma: That's IT!   I'm LEAVING your sorry *!!!
Joe:  DARN you Emma; you were TOLD to accept this!!   Wait!!!   I hear a voice again!!!

  51–57, Emma Smith is counseled (commanded) to be faithful and true; 58–66, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.
  51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to aprove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.
  52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, areceive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
  53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been afaithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
  54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and acleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be bdestroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
  55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an ahundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of beternal lives in the eternal worlds.
  56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid aforgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to brejoice.

71 posted on 03/12/2013 4:08:31 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Sherman Logan
I assume they are trained to be this way, as indeed anybody filling this role must be to be effective

Yep; they are trained all right!!

Professor Robert Millet        teaching at the Mission Prep Club in 2004  <-- Complete and uneditted

Timeline...    Subject...
0:59           "Anti-Mormons..."
1:16           "ATTACK the faith you have..."
2:02           "We really aren't obligated to answer everyone's questions..."
3:57           "You already know MORE about God and Christ and the plan of salvation than any who would ATTACK you."

72 posted on 03/12/2013 4:09:56 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

...and saved the BEST grape juice for the last!

73 posted on 03/12/2013 4:11:00 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: albionin

“So Man’s nature it seems to me is the objective basis for choosing a code of moral values and it makes no difference whether existence was created by a God or just is.”

Man’s nature is utterly corrupt, and it seems to me that most heresies are of the opinion that man is somehow good or is capable of “fixing itself” in place of God. Even an atheist must acknowledge the limitless potential in man for depravity, despite whatever self-righteousness he embraces in himself.

74 posted on 03/12/2013 4:13:56 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: greyfoxx39
I'm not going to allow anyone to pre-empt my moral right to continue to state my response. This PC moral cancer of "oh, don't take offense at offensive messages" must, IMO be defeated and I will continue to fight against it.

(Heartily agree!)

75 posted on 03/12/2013 4:24:03 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Elsie; stuartcr; All
1. Christianity exists.
2. There are some really bad examples of Christians.
3. Therefore MORMONism is true.


76 posted on 03/12/2013 4:26:13 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: svcw; Sherman Logan

Oh that Mars Hill...

I thought maybe it was Kolob Hill


77 posted on 03/12/2013 4:30:44 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: albionin
Man’s nature it seems to me is the objective basis for choosing a code of moral values and it makes no difference whether existence was created by a God or just is.

#1...from man's perspective there is no across-the-board agreement on what is man's nature!

To Mormons, for example, men have always existed -- as eternal as God is (D&C 93:29,33);
THEN they were spirit-born on a planet near "Kolob" (where'er that is);
THEN they came to earth as "spirits" to inhabit a body (you didn't know Mitt Romney was an alien from another planet, did you?)
THEN if Mormons 100% tithe, marry, qualify for a temple recommend, and legalistically obey ALL of the rituals & requirements expected of them, they will (eventually) become full-grown gods.

You can readily see, then, that a perspective of "who man is" is going to be radically distinct...from Mormon cosmology (worldview above) Hindu sacred-cowism (don't kill-that-cow-is-my-ancestor...which thereby places man on the level of a cow!) Heaven's Gate believers whose "absolute" of suicide as a simple "gateway" to another planetary dimension...[only those demonic agents failed to tell them that "other dimension" was hell!]

78 posted on 03/12/2013 4:35:01 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

Got that right

79 posted on 03/12/2013 4:36:16 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

That is the problem. I am coming from a completely different metaphysics and epistemology than a Christian would have to hold to hold the beliefs he or she holds. I don’t think man’s nature is corrupt. Man’s nature is metaphysically given. It is what it is. You look at man and see only the potential for depravity. I don’t. I recognize that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Yes he has a limitless potential for depravity, but he also has a limitless potential for good. I don’t think of a moral code as a curb on man’s innate evil tendencies but as a guide to help each man lead the best possible life that he is capable of. Just because many people do evil things does not mean that there is no objective standard of morality. It is by denying that there is a standard and just doing whatever one feels like that is the cause of evil.

80 posted on 03/12/2013 4:39:47 PM PDT by albionin (Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture,an intransigent mind and)
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