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Local Author Weighs in on Debate About Mormons, Christianity
Houston Chronicle ^ | Feb. 8, 2012 | Ken Chitwood

Posted on 02/09/2012 10:57:13 AM PST by Colofornian

Edited on 02/09/2012 11:07:33 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

Despite major gains in pop and political culture, many Evangelicals remain wary of Mormons. Just ask Latter Day Saints (LDS) church member Mitt Romney who is currently struggling to claim front-runner status as the Republican nominee. Political pundits believe the lack of Evangelical support is crippling his campaign.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Other non-Christian; Religion & Politics; Theology
KEYWORDS: chauntellebaughman; inman; lds; mittromney; mormon; wehatemormons
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From the article: The author’s journey started...during a class taught by Rev. Matt Popovits covering the differences between Christianity and other faiths. “Pastor Matt talked about how Mormonism’s focus was different than Christianity’s” said Baughman, “I left the class wanting to write a book defending Mormons because I thought they were being unfairly cast as non-Christian.” Encouraged by Popovits, Baughman poured over the Bible, engaged in historical research and reflected on her past in the Mormon church.

That's how it can start for you, too, Lds!

From the article: Baughman vacillated between defending Mormonism and criticizing her former faith. “The journey was like a staircase, one step forward, one step back,” Baughman said, “but I came to the conclusion that Mormons aren’t Christian.” She said, “It came down to their understanding of two concepts: God and grace.” “It’s who the Christ is in your ‘Christ-ian,’” said Baughman, “Mormons have a different view of Jesus, of the nature of God, it’s not Trinitarian.” Looking back at her upbringing Baughman continued, “...I never really heard of grace…we never talked about it.”

1 posted on 02/09/2012 10:57:22 AM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

I think most Evangelicals are wary of Romney because he’s never stood for or fought for anything conservative.

You can point out shortcomings of Santorum and Gingrich, where they’ve failed conservatism, but at least they have a bunch of actual conservative positions and stances as well.

What does Romney have other than speeches and tearing people down.

2 posted on 02/09/2012 11:03:04 AM PST by Mount Athos (A Giant luxury mega-mansion for Gore, a Government Green EcoShack made of poo for you)
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To: All
Pure and simple, it's almost as if the book of Galatians was God's anticipated book specifically written for Mormons! Why? Well, not only because Mormons are our legalists of this era, but just look at these Galatians verses:

Mormonism is 'another gospel' -- supposedly delivered by 'an angel from heaven':

Galatians 1:6-9: 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Justification by faith -- something Mormons say is replaced by 'works'

...know that a person is NOT justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and NOT by the works of the law, because by the works of the law NO ONE will be justified...21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Gal. 2:16, 21)

Faith or Works of the Law

1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your BELIEVING what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “BELIEVED God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who have FAITH are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles BY FAITH, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who RELY ON FAITH are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For ALL who RELY on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do EVERYTHING written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly NO ONE who RELIES on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live BY FAITH.” 12 The law is NOT based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that BY FAITH we might RECEIVE the promise of the Spirit. (Gal. 3:1-14)

Spiritual Legalism IS Bondage

7 So you are NO LONGER a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. 8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods...we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 4:7-8, 31, 5:1)

The Book of Mormon preaches the exact opposite of justification by faith:

* 2 Nephi 25:23: are saved by grace, AFTER ALL YOU can DO." (2 Nephi 25:23)

* Helaman 12:24: "...may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, ACCORDING to their WORKS." (Helaman 12:24)

* Moroni 10:32: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and IF ye shall deny yourselves of ALL ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, THEN is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

The Mormon teaching is clear above:
(1) Grace doesn't kick in for the Mormon UNTIL he's done "ALL" he can do... (2 Nephi 25:23) (All spiritually, relationally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc.)
(2) Grace is handed out in Mormonism tit-for-tat -- "according to works" (Helaman 12:24) This redefines the very word as a "free gift"
(3) In Mormonism, you have to FIRST deny yourself of ALL ungodliness -- not just some -- and ALSO love God with ALL your might, mind and strength -- and THEN God's grace kicks in (Moroni 10:32)

Utter hopelessness is this religious legalism of despair.

3 posted on 02/09/2012 11:03:08 AM PST by Colofornian
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To: All
More examples of Mormons twisting meaning of grace (which is based 100% upon God's graciousness, mercy, as a GIFT):

Grace is granted to men proportionately as they conform to the standards of personal righteousness... (LDS "apostle" Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 339)

No, it isn't, Bruce!! Men don't force God's gracious hand!!! (Can you imagine a Mormon leader saying, “An earthly father's Christmas gifts are granted to their children proportionately as they conform to the family standards of personal righteousness”? That would be an outrageous conclusion!) Yet LDSaints don't seem to bat an eyelash over this kind of misunderstanding as to what grace is!

And then the second LDS doctrinal reference:And when we obtain ANY blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 130:21)

Once again, the Mormons force God's hand of blessings by pointing to their obedience as the trigger of those blessings, NOT as God's lovingkindness or provision or mercy or grace!

4 posted on 02/09/2012 11:05:35 AM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

“Despite major gains in pop and political culture, many Evangelicals remain wary of Mormons”

So does this Catholic

5 posted on 02/09/2012 11:06:27 AM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: All
From the article: “It’s who the Christ is in your ‘Christ-ian,’” said Baughman, “Mormons have a different view of Jesus, of the nature of God, it’s not Trinitarian.”

And the Mormon jesus differs in more than just the Trinity:

Q1 Isn't the first distinct focus on the Mormon "Jesus" was that he was some unembodied vague "intelligence" even before the Mormon claim that Jesus, like Superman, had parents from another planet?

A Yes. Lds "scriptures" Doctrine & Covenants 93:29,33 assign ALL of us eternal status as past-tense intelligences. (So we're ALL supposedly as "eternal" as Jesus is)

Q2 Well about what about once the Mormon "Jesus" got to the spirit baby stage? Comparing so-called "spirit babies" born to a mom goddess in heaven, what difference was there between the "Jesus spirit baby" and the supposed rest of us "spirit babies" born to such a mom goddess?

A Mere spiritual birth order--The Mormon Jesus supposedly having been birth first in some "pre-existent world"

Q3 What about the Earthly Origins of the Mormon Christ?

A * Place of birth: Jerusalem (vs. Bible pinpointing it as Bethlehem).
* The Mormon Jesus was twice made a son of God via Mary 'cause Lds say Heavenly Father was the literal paternal father of the conceived Jesus;
* The Mormon Jesus only became God's "only begotten Son" upon conception within Mary. Not so: Jesus, as the Son of God from eternity (John 17:5) -- having shared God's glory before the world was -- is God's one and only Son (John 3:18)...the rest of us are mere "adopted" sons -- if we are indeed His.

Q4 Is the Mormon "Jesus" an exalted spirit baby-become-god?

A As noted above, the lds jesus is not the Son of God from eternity past. That "jesus" worked his way up to godhood status. He's not an exalted God-become-man, but an exalted man-become-God. He was an elder spirit bro of Lucifer. Had you or your brother been "first" in that pre-existent spirit world birth order, he could have been Christ!!!

This "jesus" is foreign to the Bible. The Messiah of the Bible shared the glory with the Father in the beginning (John 17:5). This Jesus is THE Son of God, not just a son of God. And THE Son of God did not consider equality with His Father something he couldn't let go of while becoming a man (see Philippians 2). Phil. 2 makes it clear He was already divine, not just a "wannabe" God like Dear Ole Dad.

Q5 Is the True Jesus Christ a 'Saved Being'?

A In contrast to the Mormon christ -- who is but a "saved being"--a mere creature like dear ole Dad, the true Jesus Christ is eternal!

The 'Mormon' Jesus: "Christ is a saved being” (lds "apostle" McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 3, p 257)

“Modern revelation speaks of our Lord as he that ‘ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth‘ (D&C 88:6). Christ's rise to the throne of exaltation was preceded by his descent below all things. Only by submitting to the powers of demons and death and hell could he, in the resurrection, serve as our exemplar of a saved being... (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 1, p. 234)

Please also see...
* McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 3, p. 238 where he said the Mormon "jesus" "Needs salvation...Came to earth to work out His own salvation)
* McConkie, "The Seven Deadly Heresies,' in Speeches of the Year, 1980 [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1981] p. 78 where he said: "There was only one perfect being, the Lord Jesus. If men had to be perfect and live all of the law strictly, wholly, and completely, there would be only one saved person in eternity." [cited in Come, Follow Me: Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide 1983 (1983) p. 72

I'm sorry, but the real Christ did not need to "work out His own salvation" as Lds apostles teach; in fact, He is THE Savior of the world: And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be THE Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14; cf. John 4:42).

Q6 Is the Mormon christ just one savior among many?

Yes. Admittedly this is currently publicly downplayed -- but to Lds directly -- baptism of/for the dead has been played up by Lds "prophets" from Joseph Smith to Joseph Fielding Smith to others as THE most important individual responsibility there is -- wrapping that responsibility up in their own works-driven salvation:

Lds "prophet" Joseph Fielding Smith: “But greater than all this, so far as our individual responsibilities are concerned, the greatest is to become SAVIORS, in our lesser degree which is assigned us, for the dead who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel. Joseph Smith said, ‘The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us, is to seek after our dead’…It will suffice here to say that the Lord has placed upon us this responsibility of seeing that our dead receive the blessings of the Gospel. Said Joseph Smith: ‘Those saints who neglect it, in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.’” (The Way to Perfection, pp. 153-154)

Lds "prophet" John Taylor: ...we are the only people that know how to SAVE our progenitors, how to SAVE OURSELVES, and how to SAVE our posterity in the celestial kingdom of God;...we in fact are the saviours of the world..." (Journal of Discourses, vol.6, p.163).

Joseph Fielding Smith again: "... mortals have to BE SAVIORS on Mount Zion, acting by proxy for the dead." (The Way to Perfection, p. 325)

Taylor again: "We know something about our progenitors, and God has taught us how to BE SAVIORS FOR THEM by being baptized for them in the flesh,, that they may live according to God in the Spirit." (March 20,1870, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, 3/20/1870)

No, "saviors of the world" are NOT plentiful per the Bible (see 1 John 4:14; John 4:42).

Q7 How were our sins atoned for? By sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane?

A Lds leaders have constantly de-emphasized the cross of Christ by pointing to the garden, where Jesus sweat blood, as the place of atonement.

Q8 Did the Mormon "jesus" really die for our personal sins or our rebellious nature?

A No, if you take merely the Mormon Articles of Faith -- Article #2.

Lds "apostle" Jeffrey Holland though claims forgiveness of personal sins applies to only to members of the Mormon church:

From this Holland article: Latter-day Saints believe that other aspects of Christ's gift are conditional upon obedience and diligence in keeping God's commandments. For example, while members of the human family are freely and universally given a reprieve from Adam's sin through no effort or action of their own, they are not freely and universally given a reprieve of their own sins unless they pledge faith in Christ, repent of those sins, are baptized in his name, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmation into Christ's church...
Source: Lds "apostle" Jeffrey Holland: ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST - Mormon- (OPEN)

The Mormon 2nd article of faith emphasizes the Mormon doctrine of men being subject to punishment for their own sins; this Mormon "jesus" doesn't serve as our Substitute [LDS second article of faith: "We believe that men will be punished for their OWN sins, and not for Adam's transgression."]

The Mormon second article of faith, therefore, is a half-truth and a false gospel. Men who do not place their faith in the true Jesus Christ will indeed die in their sins; beyond that, Jesus' blood covers the sin of others. The flip side of the Mormon 2nd article of faith is that the Mormon jesus was simply punished for Adam's sin to release us to "free agency."

Also, the Mormon leaders accuse Jesus of having rather anemic blood:

"Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church." (Joseph Fielding Smith, "Doctrines of Salvation, vol.1 , p. 135)

"Man may commit certain grievous sins--according to his light and knowledge--that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be save he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone-- so far as in his power lies -- for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail." (Lds "apostle" Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 93).

So much for the power of Christ's blood to cover sins per Mormonism.

Q9 Was the Mormon Jesus a creature before He was a 'Creator'?

A Yes. The Bible assigns Jesus as being the Creator of All Things & All Beings -- whereas the Mormon "Jesus" is Simply a spirit Creature offspring of Kolobian parents.

Compare that to the Jesus of the Bible Who created ALL things--including all angels...including even Lucifer (see Heb 1; John 1; Col. 1:16; see even D&C 93:9-10).

Q10 Why do Mormons downplay the uniqueness of Jesus?

A Because of their unique doctrine that
(a) we were all eternal;
(b) we were all spirit babies just like Jesus;
(c) their teaching that Jesus was a "saved being" -- in need of "salvation";
(d) all Mormons become "saviors" via baptizing dead people;
(e) all temple Mormons become gods.
(f) and SOME Lds leaders' teachings that Jesus is not deserving of worship.

The Mormon "jesus" upon spirit birth was not unique other than his spirit birth order. He's just one god among perhaps millions of Mormon "gods." (Lds "prophet" Spencer W. Kimball not all that long ago told 225,000 gathered that perhaps "225,000 gods" were among them then!!!)

Q11 Do Mormons worship Jesus?
A It depends upon which Mormon and which Mormon leaders you talk to. Lds "apostle" Bruce McConkie advised Lds STRONGLY in 1982 to not worship Jesus.

McConkie must have seized upon the Mormon "scripture" of D&C 20:17-19 as the key verse that would “guide” his pattern of worship once & for all: and that he should be the ONLY BEING whom they should worship ... as he quoted it to BYU students. (See Our relationship with the Lord)

Christians worship this Messiah, just like God told the angels to do in Hebrews 1:6. And I challenge grassroots Mormons to defy their leaders -- like Lds "apostle" McConkie when they tell them NOT to directly worship Jesus (see Mormon 7:7; 2 Nephi 25:29; 4 Nephi 4:37; 3 Nephi 11:17; 3 Nephi 17:10).

I DIRECTLY pray to this Jesus as Stephen did in Acts (7:59) -- and even as the supposed Book of Mormon disciple characters DIRECTLY and repeatedly did to Jesus in 3 Nephi 19: 6-26...again -- a Mormon "scripture" de-emphasized & ignored by Mormon leaders).

Q12 If Mormons do worship Jesus -- and if they deem Jesus a "separate" god than Heavenly Father, doesn't that mean they worship more than one god?

A Yes.

To show you the extent of confusion this has caused even among Mormon leaders, look at "apostle" McConkie's book, Mormon Doctrine:

"Three separate personages--the Father, Son and Holy Ghost--comprise the Godhead...To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only gods we worship." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 567-577, 1966 edition)

Q13 Wait a minute. Didn't you just get done telling us that McConkie advised BYU students NOT to worship Jesus in 1982?

A Indeed, he did, after saying the above in 1966! But McConkie was so confused, he would say "3" then "2" in the same book...and then eventually settled on "1" by 1982!

McConkie, on p. 848 of Mormon Doctrine, emphasized worshiping two gods: "The Father and the Son are the objects of all true worship....No one can worship the Father without also worshiping the Son....It is proper to worship the Father, in the name of the Son, and also to worship the Son" (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 848).

Q14 Doesn't the Book of Mormon contradict even the two-god worship theory of McConkie's?

A Yes. Mormon 7:7 reads: 7And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the bworld, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to ddwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

So you can see how confusing this gets...trinitarian theology is found frequently in the Book of Mormon...including worshiping the Holy Spirit!

Q15 Doesn't it all boil down to how many gods you worship?

A Yes.

Thomas calls Jesus his God in John 20:28; even the Joseph Smith's concocted "Nephite disciples" called Jesus “their Lord and God” (3 Nephi 19:18).

And look @ what other Mormon "scriptures" say:
* The D&C says Jesus is God (19:4; 62:1; etc.) Since there’s only one true God in the bible and in the LDS scriptures [for example, the Mormon "scripture" from the Pearl of Great Price says "no God besides me" (1:6)]
* All this means is that either Jesus is a false god or is the one true God. As Jesus Christ is a God to Thomas (John 20:28) -- so Thomas has two gods?

I testify Jesus Christ is my only Lord, my Savior, my God! He is the Only Lord, the Only Savior, the Only True God!

6 posted on 02/09/2012 11:07:41 AM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

And the candidate running around w/a halo on knows this and supported him in ‘08 and will not speak a word about it. He’ll only address his romneycare which is nothing we need to be informed on - voters know there is no difference between socialist healthcare/romney and socialist healthcare/obama.

7 posted on 02/09/2012 11:08:22 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Colofornian
(3 Nephi 19:18).

What is that? Do mormons have their own bible?

8 posted on 02/09/2012 11:10:57 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Mount Athos

“What does Romney have other than speeches and tearing people down.”

That’s basically it. Romney supporters really like his speeches, especially the part about the 3 legged stool.

9 posted on 02/09/2012 11:12:18 AM PST by ari-freedom
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To: Colofornian

“It’s who the Christ is in your ‘Christ-ian,’” said Baughman, “Mormons have a different view of Jesus, of the nature of God, it’s not Trinitarian.”

Mormons view of their jesus is much the same as the one Moslems have...

He started out a man...

a good man...

but still just a man...

10 posted on 02/09/2012 11:14:10 AM PST by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: presently no screen name

Do mormons have their own bible?


Just like the Moslems have theirs...the koran..

The mormon one is known as “a testimony of another jesus”

Its called the book of mormon

11 posted on 02/09/2012 11:20:27 AM PST by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: presently no screen name
No, they have an additional one, a companion as they call it, to the real thing...

The Book of Mormon. A bad copy of the KJV with myths of Jewish Indians running all over North America.

12 posted on 02/09/2012 11:20:46 AM PST by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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THX 1138

13 posted on 02/09/2012 11:22:06 AM PST by svcw (Only difference between Romney & BH is one thinks he will be god & other one thinks he already is.)
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To: presently no screen name
No, they have an additional one, a companion as they call it, to the real thing...

The Book of Mormon. A bad copy of the KJV with myths of Jewish Indians running all over North America.

14 posted on 02/09/2012 11:23:04 AM PST by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: Colofornian

15 posted on 02/09/2012 11:26:39 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

So they have a counterfeit Bible, like the counterfeit they serve. And satan is the father of lies, so it’s no wonder mitt is a known liar - it’s part of his very fabric.

16 posted on 02/09/2012 11:30:19 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: ejonesie22

Jewish Indians?

“Leaping Weasel.....what you spear in river?”

“Gefilte fish.”

“Catch any horseradish?”

17 posted on 02/09/2012 11:32:00 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: presently no screen name

Again like the Moslems...

Its not a lie when a Mormon lies to an infidel/Gentile

18 posted on 02/09/2012 11:32:51 AM PST by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: ejonesie22
No, they have an additional one, a companion as they call it, to the real thing...

God's Word has no companion. Anything other than His Word alone is a counterfeit. I don't care what they call it. Romney calls himself a conservative and his record proves he's a liberal. Liars lie!

19 posted on 02/09/2012 11:33:45 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name
What is that? Do mormons have their own bible?

Yes. From the Book of Mormon.

Mormons have added several "books" as new "scriptures":
The Book of Mormon
Doctrines & Covenants
The Pearl of Great Price (made up of Egyptian funeral docs mistranslated by Smith and a history of his "first vision" which calls ALL Christian professors "corrupt" and ALL their creeds "an abomination"...this became Mormon "scripture" in the 1870s)
Smith also revised the Bible...called the JST version. Yet Mormons use the KJV more, showing how untrustworthy Smith really was.

20 posted on 02/09/2012 11:35:07 AM PST by Colofornian
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