Reason #182: This Chart Says it All about LDS Religious Division

Normally I don’t use Wikipedia as a primary source. However, someone has done an excellent job here listing the scores of groups that are offshoots of Joseph Smith’s teachings. The chart is particularly helpful.

Of course the LDS church looks to the denominations of Christianity as proof that our Bible is unreliable and incomplete and thus causes the divisions among us.

However, the number of sects that have arisen since Smith’s day show that LDS “continuing revelation” led to “continuing division.”

Of particular interest on this page is the group that built a pyramid-shaped temple (The Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

In fact, SEVEN of the offshoot groups have their own temples!

For more information, see The Mormon Mirage.

12 Comments

  1. Buford Rowe
    Aug 19, 2011

    Friday (Aug 19)

    Trying to recall; perhaps thirty years ago, would hear an “organ recital” from a Mormon headquarters in Independence, MO (I think) and gave “Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as the sponsors. At least on the occasions that I “came across it;” there was no “spoken message;” just “classic Music” as I recall.

    Does this “ring a bell” with anybody???

    Buford Rowe

  2. M L garrone
    Sep 20, 2011

    In Protestantism, the Bible is the final authority on what to believe. It’s the marker used to judge what the theological truth in what other people say. So when a group of people feel that their leaders are not teaching biblical doctrine, they try to correct their leaders, or failing that they leave their church and found a new one.

    I’m not suggesting that all protestant church splits are about biblical interpretative. I’m sure there are ‘your ideas offend me’ political ones, and ‘my leader is a twat’ personal ones also. What fraction are Biblical and which aren’t? I have no idea, but I think I’m giving the Bible the benefit of the doubt in a very major way by just assuming that 30% are Biblical splits and 70% are other splits.

    What about Mormonism? The authority structure is very different. You judge your scriptures by your prophet, not your leader by your Scriptures. If you happen to read the Scriptures differently to your Prophet, it simply doesn’t matter. All of the splits in Mormonism are of the ‘your Prophet is a twat’ personal or ‘your Prophet says stupid things’ political. Most of them are people wanting to go back and pick an old prophets writings over modern ones.

    I put it to you that there is a very big difference between the Biblical based splits in protestant churches and the prophet based Splits in Mormon ones. Groups splitting of to get back to the old doctrines indicates that the theology of old prophets is different to modern ones- But Mormonism doesn’t care, as it believes in an open canon, continuing revelation and that God tells us truth as we can handle it. Brigham Young did teach a few very different doctrines, and this simply doesn’t disprove any claims Mormonism makes at all.

    When a protestant church splits over biblical interpretation, which at minimum has occurred several thousand times, this does show up a significant protestant claim, namely that the Bible is a perfect book written by a perfect being to perfectly tell us true doctrine. Every time a group of people disagree with their superiors over what the Bible says so severally they feel compelled to start a new church, it shows that the Bible simply isn’t clear or concise.

    I put it to you that if a perfect god designed a book to perfectly teach us fallible humans what theology to beleive, and that book was the Bible, then all Biblical churches everywhere would have the exact same theology.

    M L Garrone

  3. admin
    Sep 20, 2011

    You make some good points, Nick. However, I want to remind you of the issue I was trying to highlight: Mormonism which claims it can “settle” all doctrinal issues does not do that. Nor, in fact (to follow up on your closing point), did the perfect Man Jesus, whose disciples who spent 24/7 with Him for three years, settle everything for them in such a way that they never disagreed. My point? There is always difference of opinion in many areas because people are different. On one thing does the Bible make clear (and Mormonism argue with): There is and always has been only one God.

  4. M L garrone
    Sep 20, 2011

    hello Admin (Latayne Scott??)

    I’m not sure if its appropriate to have a good discussion like this on a small comments board. if you would rather email me, or would like to continue this conversation somewhere else, than that’s fine by me. until then I’ll just assume I can make this as long as I like.

    Does Mormonism really claim that it Settles ALL theology issues? I was under the impression we only know theologically what God has decided to reveal so far, and there is a the real possibility he may reveal more later. I remember in your(?) book where you talk about your excitement at the possibility of one day receiving more Scripture. I’m sure I can think of hard theology questions for which the Prophet would just say ‘I’ve got no idea, that hasn’t been revealed yet’

    You say that here are always going to be differences between what people beleive because ‘people are different’. I put it to you that whether you are an Amillenialist, premillenialist or postmillenialist is a result of the theology you have been told and your opinion on what the Bible says, and has not got anything to do with whether or not you have a grumpy or cheery personality. If you really beleive that the theology people end up with is a result of the kind of person they are, rather than what denomination they were born in, perhaps you could tell me what kind of personality is makes people beleive in perseverance of the saints, and which doesn’t.

    I want you to have a think about the questions that divide churches today. I then want you to think about how easy it would have been for God to have made the bible clear enough to prove to everyone which side is correct. Jesus could have said “verily, verily, I say unto you, once saved, always saved” or the opposite and the whole debate would be cleared up. Instead we get a few verses going one way, and a few verses going the other, and this is true for almost all the theological disagreements the churches have.

    For instance most Christians beleive that after death, between now and the Resurrection, we are living and thinking in paradise or Hades. And so we should, Because they talk and feel and suffer in Hades Luke 16:19-31, and Jesus preached to them 1 peter 3:18-20.

    But there are also those who beleive in Soul Sleep, that the soul will go to sleep and have no thought until judgement day. I believed this for a while back when I was evangelical. Why would anyone beleive this? because the bible supports it too!

    Ecclesiastes 9:5
    The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.

    Job 14:10-12
    But a man dies and is laid low;
    he breathes his last and is no more.
    As the water of a lake dries up
    or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
    so he lies down and does not rise;
    till the heavens are no more, people will not awake
    or be roused from their sleep.

    Psalm 6:4-5
    Return, O LORD, deliver me!
    Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
    For in death there is no remembrance of You;
    In the grave who will give You thanks?

    Psalm 115:17
    The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone into the silence of the grave.

    I have a lot of trouble saying that these passages supporting soul sleep don’t directly contradict those about souls thinking and feeling. But even if I can get out of that somehow, does this really sound like the work of a God who has designed this document to teach us this stuff? I put it to you if this was designed by God for clarity, for actually teaching us the truth, He would not have included the passages supporting whichever side is wrong.

    You say that the Bible is clear about there being only one God, and Mormonism disagrees with it. The Bible is clear we should only worship one God, and Mormonism agrees. The bible portrays a God who has existed from time immemorial, of whom there will never be a replacement, and very strictly speaking Mormonism agrees. The Bible portrays a God who is uncreated, and of whom there will never arise anything akin to Him in power, and Mormonism here does disagree, and I completely admit my position here is unbiblical. But when you say that the Bible clearly says there is only one God, I have to disagree.

    I’m well aware of the Bible passages used to support your view of there only being one deity.

    Isaiah 43:10″Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me”
    Isaiah 44:6:”Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”
    Isaiah 45:5″I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me”

    But your not just saying that the Bible has verses in in giving this view. Your claiming it does it clearly. if it were clear, I would not be able to find verses going against it.

    Psalm 82:1
    God standeth in the congregation of the mighty, he judgeth among the gods.

    before you say that God and gods are different, may I point out the underlying Hebrew is

    םיהלא ברקב לא-תדעב בצנ םיהלא ףסאל רומזמ :טפשי

    And if your any good at Hebrew, you will instantly see that its using םיהלא both times, so the difference here between God and god is just English punctuation.

    there are plenty more verses just like it.

    ‘For the Lord … is to be feared above all gods.’ (Psalm 96:4)
    ‘Worship him, all ye gods.’ (Psalm 97:7)
    And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.’ (Exodus 12:12)
    ‘Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?’ (Exodus 15:11)
    And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. (1 Samuel 28:13)
    thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. (Jeremiah 10:11 )

    Notice I can find verses going against your view from many places, but all the good passages people like to use against Mormons all come from duetero-Isaiah. I think that’s significant.

    So, is it clear that the Bible says there is no other םיהלא? On the contrary, there are verses going both ways, and I think there area lot more going for the multiple םיהלא view than against. Once again, is this really the work of a God with clarity in mind? If God wanted the Bible to state your view, why include the passages I’m pointing out to you in the Bible at all?

  5. admin
    Sep 20, 2011

    Nick, yes, this is Latayne Scott. And I’d like to address some of your comments, though I agree with you this isn’t the best forum for such discussions. I’ll be brief because I don’t like arguing. And I am very busy with other projects. In my mind, the erroneous and nonBiblical nature of LDS theology is so settled that I am at a loss when people bring up issues such as you do.

    (I’ll leave the church division issue alone. I have some questions for God about that myself. But legitimate continuing revelation should be able to squelch that.)

    First of all, your claim that Mormonism doesn’t claim to settle all doctrinal issues. Today, that’s true, and I see that as a loss of backbone of LDS leadership. Joseph Smith, from the time he walked out of the grove, believed and indicated that Mormonism would settle all doctrinal issues. That’s what direct revelation is supposed to be for. That was the point of the First Vision. What I see, especially from Hinckley on, is a wafflling even on the basics, in order to be acceptable to the nonLDS public. Here’s the great tragedy of Mormonism: If it were what it claimed, it WOULD settle all doctrinal issues. That it doesn’t, with 180 plus years to do it, and ends up with “I’m not sure I know about that” is completely unlike any Old Testament (or New Testament) prophet. Please think about that.

    I’ll try to provide you a link to an online document that conveys what many Christians believe about the time after death, and its NEITHER of the concepts you offered.

    I studied Hebrew, but don’t consider myself literate in it. More dictionary-ready, so to speak. I offer you this link to a traditional view of Psalm 82:1, which again is not any of the straw man arguments you offer. http://bible.cc/psalms/82-1.htm

    However, I do read koine pretty well. First Corinthians 8:5 does indeed address the many-gods issue further, though it’s not mentioned in the link I provided above.

    All of the Bible can and does fit comfortably under the umbrella of this truth: A Triune God of three Persons, all of whom are fully God and yet individually identifiable. This God is the only legitimate Deity, and He has been exactly what He is from all eternity; and except for the Son’s emptying of Himself to come to earth, He has never changed. (And even at that He was the Lamb slain from the creation of the world.) All others who are called gods — including the concepts created by LDS doctrine of multiple progressing beings) are not Him. That’s it.

  6. Pamela Steele
    Sep 20, 2011

    Latayne and Nick you are both way over my head. Randy would have gone into depth but for me I take it back to the beginning of Latayne’s post and LDS Church divisions and its leaders. Within Christian Churches there are many divisions and prominent differences as Nick has touched upon. But for me most of them have the basic foundations concerning salvation although I acknowledge not all.

    Latter Day Saint divisions can and have been deadly. I lived past tense in the Cleveland, OH area one member of the Reorganized Church background Jeffrey Lundgren professed to be a prophet and in execution form on April 17, 1989, five innocent people were murdered in Kirtland.

    Living in Cleveland about thirty minutes from the location of this murder site the news media surrounding pondered why someone would follow a leader, whether Jeffrey Lundgren, or David Koresh, or even Jim Jones. Many of these leaders are charismatic but there is more besides just charisma that create this type of dangerous situation.

    The pressure not to question a leader without retribution. Having been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and enjoying the grace of being out of the church I can say that I personally felt that to question the church, its leaders, and its history was frowned upon. Whether in a Brigham Young University Book of Mormon class to the local ward there are many ways to teach to conform to the masses.

    Within the Christian Churches I have visited one may have different opinions. Discussions can and often ensue but there is not the pressure to conform. A person can have a variety of questions but come away with more to contemplate and freely research.

    I have a friend who is a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints he is far from Jeffrey Lundgred as well as Warren Jeffs of the Fundalmentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Both self-proclaimed prophets who have lead a following. Both with residuals that have caused great pain.

    Within these groups there is little legal accountability until it comes out into the open such as Warren Jeffs. The evidence within his first trial was the instrument that convicted within the second. But it took some brave enough to come forward and question the teaching of the leadership.

    Within Mormonism vast array of divisions are wonderful people who desire to serve God “as they know him.” Many able to live without any internal conflict but for me….I wanted to know for myself not by a “burning in the bosom” but by God’s word.

    I went to the basic teachings of the church and followed my questions to the sources within the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. I considered what they were and chose to walk away. Believing that God indeed warned us not to follow even an angel of light (Moroni) but that God had indeed completed His work upon the cross.

    When it comes to divisions I contemplate can one have ones own opinion and still remain within the group. Conformity to a system can create unhealthy groups focused upon money, power, sex, and a host of other ideas.

    Within many of the divisions within Mormonism are corrupt men who under the disguise of “divine” revelations coerce women into positions. I know Nick you do not know me and to share my story is lengthy but for me Coach Edwards and President Dallin Oakes pressured me to be a good Mormon girl to marry a man to cover up a football player at BYU to keep the church’s image sparkling clean. I am just one who withheld that information for many years but now has the courage to come forward and say although something looks good it does not mean it is.

    When I look at a church I ponder what doctrines are at their core. Can one question the leadership? Power posturing is contrary to the Bible. Luke 22:25-26 and 1 Peter 5:3 reminds those in leadership that they should lead by example.

    While within the LDS Church and within its temple performance was pushed unspoken rules were created. Spiritual abusive churches have unspoken rules to enforce rules not openly discussed.

    Religious leaders can in the name of God and Scripture destroy others through manipulation and control. The patriarchal roles within the LDS church can be safe but many times power corrupts. Within the primary presidency I came across the statistics of domestic and sexual abuse within the church, as well as the depression and the suicide stats although the church may appear good and wholesome it is not necessarily.

    Thus when I look at the divisions discussed I ponder is the division just doctrinal, or is it also created from aspect of unhealthy control within the population of believers. I can easily go to a Baptist Church, Methodist, or Assembly of God. I do not need to write a letter of departure to take my name off of a roll. I do not have the destructive residual in a marriage, or character defamation of character.

    Thus although I may have a difference of opinion I am still of value if…one has a difference of opinion within the LDS church and its fractions you are ostracized. Ultimately I left because I felt the church was spiritually abusive and did not lead to salvation in Christ Jesus.

  7. David Grice
    Sep 21, 2011

    To M L garrone,

    Your conclusions are based on false premises and overly-simplistic arguments. You are, in fact, illustrating the fallacy one of the very points you argue–namely that everyone would agree on the Bible if God were just more plain. You obviously have an agenda and preconceptions that color and bias your interpretations and conclusions.

    No matter how plainly and clearly something is stated, people will disagree on their understanding of it because of their presuppositions, many of which are subconscious, biases, knowledge base, and agendas. There are people today who believe the earth is flat, or the center of the universe, in spite of massive evidence to the contrary. How many arguments have their been over what the seven days of creation really mean?

    There are innumerable facets of God and the universe that are simply beyond our limited comprehension. Read a few books on quantum physics and relativity, and you will see very quickly how limited we are at even describing the natural phenomena we can observe and measure. How much more so the things that are outside our ken!

    As to the issues you raise about contradictions or inconsistencies in the Scriptures, it is very easy to rip small bits out of context from disparate sections of any work and make it *appear* inconsistent. The Bible includes a wide assortment of literature genres, rhetorical devices, and syntactical nuances. If one is not willing to take the time and effort to study each book of the Bible in its literary, social, and historical context, he or she will be confused and easily swayed by the demagoguery of “teachers” with their own agendas. The Bible itself warns about this in many places.

    Take, for example, the passage in Psalm 82 that you mentioned. This is poetry, which often uses figurative and decorative language to evoke emotional response. This Psalm in particular is contrasting the infinite justice, wisdom, and sovereignty of God over the earthly princes and judges who rule ostensibly as his representatives of justice on the earth. Look up the word elohim that you referenced in a concordance and you will see that it is often used to mean “judges” or “princes” or something that connotes an earthly power chosen to represent God. This poem is also chiastic in structure, centered about the main point in vs 4-5 that the weak and needy are oppressed by the wicked, and the “gods” are not using their appointed authority to protect the weak.

    Your point about the Hebrew words in verse 1 being the same except for English punctuation is particularly faulty. The verbs associated with “God” are third person *singular*. This governs whether the noun is singular or plural. If you don’t believe me, look at the same verse in the LXX (it is Psalm 81 in the Septuagint). The singular nominative form of God (with the definite article), theos, is the subject of the aorist third-person *singular* verb “stood.” The object of the prepositional phrase “in the synagogue of the gods” is (anarthrous) genitive *plural* and the object of the verb ‘judges’ is accusative *plural* (also anarthrous). It is basic grammar, not arbitrary English punctuation or sleight of hand, that determines the syntactical meaning in whatever language is used for translation.

    The Bible is quite plain and understandable on the critical issues about the nature and identity of God, and his plan of salvation for fallen mankind. Admittedly it is more difficult to understand some of the less critical issues like what happens to people between their death and final judgment. But it is not contradictory or obfuscatory to those who seek the Truth with honest hearts and minds. Of course we won’t understand or agree on everything on this side of eternity, and probably not even on the other side. God is uniquely infinite and transcendent of his creation, and we will never be in his league. Anyone who thinks otherwise is very foolish and arrogant indeed.

    David Grice

  8. M L garrone
    Sep 21, 2011

    Latayne
    I find it interesting that in the face of my claim that given Protestantism, we really ought to have much less church division and a clearer Bible, you just admit you don’t know what’s going on there and reply by claiming back that given Mormonism, we really ought to have clearer prophets. I can imagine some atheist reading this and just thinking ‘Their both right, their finally getting it’

    You claim that direct revelation of the kind Joseph Smith claimed to have would allow him to settle all doctrinal issues. I think you certainly have a point, and you gave me pause for a moment. Is that what really what Joseph Smith believed about himself, that his direct revelation from God gave him all he needed to solve all doctrinal disputes? As far as I can tell, yes, you’re quite right. So how then, could I reconcile that with the Simple fact that there are questions I can ask that no Mormon Prophet has answered, and the Prophet today probably will not/can not answer? Easy. Because God has a program of information dissemination, of giving out his truth “line upon line, precept upon precept, her a little, and there a little”.

    Joseph Smith wrote DHC 5:402 “Paul ascended into the third heavens and he could understand the THREE PRINCIPLE ROUNDS of Jacobs ladder – the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, when Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful to utter. I COULD EXPLAIN A HUNDREDFOLD MORE THAN I EVER HAVE of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision were I permitted and were the people ready to receive them.
    So why won’t the Prophet Monson answer any of my ridiculous questions I could put to him? The church isn’t ready to hear the answers. Maybe it never will and we will only get them in the afterlife. I don’t know. But I think it’s fairly easy for me to explain the fact that Mormon prophets despite claiming direct revelation, are not being huge theological dispensers.

    You said that the idea of Mormon leaders not knowing the answer to some question is “completely unlike any Old Testament (or New Testament) prophet”. I simply disagree.
    1 Corinthians 1:25-27 “Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.”

    Paul explicitly stops telling us commandments form the lord, announces he doesn’t have one on a topic, and substitutes his best guess. Don’t tell me that Biblical authors never had the question they didn’t hear from God about, we have direct examples of them guessing.

    You say that what most Christians believe about the immediate afterlife isn’t the concept I claimed they had. All I said about the concept was that it included a paradise and a hades, where the saved and damned respectively Go, and that those in both in hades are recorded in the New testament as Suffering, talking, being preached to and generally thinking. I apologise if I have misrepresented you in any way, but I stand by my comment that most Christians believe that the dead still have thoughts.

    Even if I haven’t represented normative Christianity accurately, my point about clarity still stands. We have some verses explicitly stating that the dead think, and other stating that they don’t, and whatever that is it is not clear. But if Protestantism were true, then the Bible is Gods primary mechanism for letting us know true doctrines, so it has to be clear about what those true things are.

    Now you say I have offered a straw man argument when I said that the Bible records there being many םיהלא. The only case I was arguing against was your claim that “There is and always has been only one God.” I’m really not sure how I’m attacking a straw man. You said there is only one God and the Bible is clear about this. I therefore find verses that disagree with this. If I’ve somehow misrepresented your view, well I’m sorry, perhaps you could explain what your view is in a bit more detail. Now I’ve given a lot of verses that I contend tell us that there are other deities beside the god we worship, and if even one of these is what I claim it is, then my case stands: the Bible is not clear about there being only one deity.

    Now I started my case with psalm 82:1, and you have given me a link contain a whole lot of bible expositors on the psalm. Now I don’t mean to insult the expositors in any way, but anyone who believes the Bible is the word of god will approach the any Bible verse with a set of preconceptions about what it is going to say. This obviously includes me. The only people who can look at a Bible passage and read it properly for what it says without having other passages get in the way of interpreting it are people who don’t believe the Bible is the word of God at all. Which is why it tells me a lot that most atheists who read the bible say they see a henotheistic rather than monotheistic system. But I digress.
    All of these commenters are letting there mainline theology get in the way of the common sense view, and I can say this with confidence because their commentaries are so completely different from each other. I don’t see a group of people honestly looking at this verse for what it says, I see a group of very smart people who believe the Bible is consistent, and have decided that it consistently says there is one deity, and are being very creative to get out of what this verse is plainly saying. Its rather Like what Mormon expositors do to Matthew 16:18. Lots of creativity, no honest common sense.

    I guess I had better be more specific if I am going to disagree with Bible commenters much more educated than I. Barnes and Clarke claims that gods should be rendered God, as in God stands in God’s own court. Strictly speaking this is a possible understanding of the Hebrew, but no translation will ever put it that way because all non-Hebrew versions clearly have a plural set of powerful beings in place of the second םיהלא, not God. Gill, Treasury of David, keil and Delitzsch, Geeneva and Wesley thinks it is somehow a reference to human rulers, who are somehow ‘gods’ over the people. The problem with this view is that just a few verses down, in verses 5 and 6, we see

    “ I said, “You are gods,[b]
    And all of you are children of the Most High.
    7 But you shall die like men,
    And fall like one of the princes.” “

    So God is taking these gods, these children of God, and condemning them to die like men. Now if These gods He is talking about are in fact just rulers, The condemnation makes absolutely no sense. Condemning a human ruler to die like a man makes about as much sense as condemning a child to grow up. Of course it’s going to happen. This passage only makes sense if םיהלא means exactly what common it is normally taken to mean in this context. Some kind of god who without Gods judgment would not die like a man or fall like a prince.

    You say that the trinity is Biblical. I think you may be right, in so far as the sum total of bible verses does suggest that view. But its not clear and I think I could easily find verses contradicting it. But the core problem with the trinity isn’t in the bible, it’s that it breaks the basic laws of logic. The core claim of the trinity doctrine is explained in your post The Triune Godhead http://latayne.com/incite-blog/the-triune-godhead.php, where you use a simple diagram

    http://latayne.com/uploads/godhead-300×224.jpg

    Which instantly shows the problem. You say that Jesus is God and the father is God, but Jesus is not the father. Its fine to say that
    (a ⊂ c) ∧ (b ⊂ c) = Possibly (a ≠ b)
    However (a = c) ∧ (b = c) = (a = b)

    If you fill this in with your claim about the trinity
    (Jesus = God) ∧ (The Father = God) = (Jesus = Father)

    This is literally the basic laws of Boolean logic you have to defy to believe your trinity idea. I’m sorry if I sound rude, but I have difficulty thinking of an idea that’s more obviously wrong when some thought is applied to it. If Jesus is God and the Father is God then necessarily Jesus is the Father. I expect you will want to say something in reply, I merely ask that you respect the basic laws of logic as you do.

    Mick

  9. M L Garrone
    Sep 21, 2011

    Hello Latayne

    Looking back on what I just wrote, I think I may have been a bit to aggressive. I didn’t actually come here to try and convince you to give up your views. I just wanted to build a more nuanced version of the argument you try to refute in the original post, and explain why I didn’t think the many LDS offshoot groups mattered significantly to Mormonism truth claim.

    I decided to start talking about the trinity when you claimed that LDS beliefs were erroneous. While that many well be true, I just don’t think you are in a position to judge with the kind of claims you make with your Trinity doctrine

    If it is Ok for me to ask, There are a few things I would really like to know:

    From your first chapter in your book, it sure looks like you picked your denomination upon leaving Mormonism more or less based upon what Dan and Charles Williamson and such suggested to you. On what basis did you pick a denomination of Protestant Christianity, and where are you now?

    Also, you said before that you were settled on the idea that LDS theology is non-biblical. In chapter one of your book, you right on page 21 “Yet I felt something was terribly wrong there – why did my teachings and background in Mormonism conflict so sharply with the Bible?”

    I’m really unsure as to how this matters. I agree that the 66 books of the protestant bible do not agree with Mormon theology- how does this negatively affect Mormonism truth claim? In my opinion, if you wanted to use ancient middle eastern Scripture against the Mormons, you would have to go and pick up a second century theologian (or several), construct a list of the things they thought were scripture, and use that Bible to show that Mormon theology isn’t present.

    I don’t expect you will be doing this anytime soon, as if you do you will find what I (an evangelical at the time) found, that many books that were strongly considered scripture by the vast majority, if not all, of Christianity in the second century that have sense been excluded (1 Enoch, Wisdom of Solomon, The Didache, Shepherd of Hermas) have significant Mormon doctrine inside.

    Your book says that you found significant inconsistencies in early LDS documents and history. Perhaps you did, but most atheists who look at the Gospels tell me the same thing about Jesus life, death and resurrection. Did you examine the Bible with the same standard you did the early Mormon documents? If so, in what way are the various accounts of the first vision contradictory that the various accounts of the resurrection are not?

    Mick

  10. M L Garrone
    Sep 22, 2011

    Pamela Steele

    I was going to pass up commenting on your post, as all I saw in it was a story and a group of claims, as apposed to an argument for me to agree to or dispute. but I just read it again and something caught my eye.

    ” I can easily go to a Baptist Church, Methodist, or Assembly of God. I do not need to write a letter of departure to take my name off of a roll. I do not have the destructive residual in a marriage, or character defamation of character.”

    It would be nice if that were true, but that’s simply not the case. I was in the Assemblies of God before I joined Mormonism, and I’m still on their list and still receive church email. The pastor knows I have converted,he told me I was going to hell face to face. I wasn’t married in the church, so I can’t say about that, but I definitely did experience defamation of character, including some major slanderous lies about me.

    “Thus although I may have a difference of opinion I am still of value if…one has a difference of opinion within the LDS church and its fractions you are ostracized.”

    Every church has a set of things it considers fundamental, that you have to beleive to be saved. If you keep your disagreements outside the set, they don’t mind, but if you disagree with the set, they will tell you firmly you are not in line with the church. This is just as true of Protestant and Mormon Churches.

    Iv’e experience this firsthand in the Assemblies of God (How can you say our Bible has disagreements in it!? That’s not right!). My reply to that is to just point to 2 Chronicles 2:22 and 2 kings 8:26 and pray that God would give them some basic logic, but that prayer is rarely answered.

    The only reason why it may feel freer in mainline Protestant churches than in the Mormon church is that Ecumenism has made them shrink their core beliefs over the last century or so. but doubt the core beliefs and you will get informed that you are not a follower in the same way the Mormon church does.

    “Ultimately I left because I felt the church was spiritually abusive and did not lead to salvation in Christ Jesus.”

    Whereas I converted because I decided to follow Peters advice in Clementine recognition 2:69

    “But he who has sought reason for those things which he has believed and received, as though bound by chains of reason itself, can never be torn away or separated from those things which he hath believed. And therefore, according as any one is more anxious in demanding a reason, by so much will he be the firmer in preserving his faith.”

    I’m not going to give you my life story, or story of my conversion, but I demanded a reason. I demanded to know How I could beleive that all of the Bible has been perfectly preserved when the Early church complained the Jews had removed bits from the Old testament (ialogue with Trypho 72,73), why the quotations of the Old testament are often so different from ours (1 Clement 8:4, 17:6, 23:3-4, Barnabus 7:8, 12:1) and they had a different Gospel (Dialogue with trypho 88, 2 Clement 4:5, 5:2-4), and why they believed so much things nobody today except the Mormons say (“For He was made man that we might be made God” de Incarnatione 54;3, “And we have been taught that He in the beginning did of His goodness, for man’s sake, create all things out of unformed matter;” First Apology 10, ” But after all these things (creation) He made man … whose internal species is older,” Clementine recognition 1:28). I couldn’t find anything like useful answers. from any of the Christians I knew.

    So I went to all the apologetic books arguing against Mormonism, and I couldn’t find a decent reply. All I found was ‘The people who make cases like this (Hugh Nibley) tend to have lots of references that don’t check out, their just making the quotes up. The problem was I had read lots of early church documents myself and knew for myself what they believed.

    If anyone think I am mistaken and would like to contend with me about this, I will hear out anything anyone has to say, so long as you have actually read for yourself the documents in question.

    Mick

  11. admin
    Sep 22, 2011

    Nick, I didn’t think you’ve been too aggressive at all. I have actually been energized by our conversation. I’d like to address some of your concerns (not all– just not possible for me time-wise.)

    First of all, your puzzlement with the diagram I have on this site about the Trinity. (And yes, I know that the word “trinity” doesn’t appear in the Bible. But the word Godhead does. And that implies more than one member, so to speak.)

    Here’s the error you’re making. And I have to admit, every Mormon I know makes this error as well as a substantial number of Christians!

    That error is the one-to-one identification of the word “God” with “God the Father.” That’s the mistake you’re making in your mathematical equation, saying that Jesus is equal to God. It’s not a mathematical equation. Jesus is God in the same way the Father is God. I am Scott in the same sense that my husband and son are Scott.

    I’m going to try to post a few items in the next few days to help clarify what I and other Christians believe about the Trinity. The first one is an excerpt from my novel, Latter-day Cipher, which I posted today.

    Blessings to you, Nick.

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