Tag Archives: The Spirit

Little Known Propaganda: 12 – Personal Relationship With Jesus

8 Feb

This is my continuing responses to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11

FACT #12. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie has warned his people against a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.

McConkie made these shocking statements at a speech given at BYU:

“… gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous. . . . Now, I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. . . .But you have been warned, and you have heard the true doctrine taught.” (Church News, week ending March 20, 1982, p. 5)

In opposition to this, Jesus gives us a personal invitation:

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

I have read the talk that is being quoted here, and I will agree that this is likely unknown to the vast majority of the world. I think the best way to address this is to simply let Elder McConkie explain himself. So, we will first see the quote in its context. After all, the quote given is actually taken from three different parts of the talk, and are separated by a great deal of further explanation.

 

“There are yet others who have an excessive zeal which causes them to go beyond the mark. Their desire for excellence is inordinate. In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous.”

So, Elder McConkie is, first of all, speaking of an over the top Zeal that is truly fanaticism, which is never healthy.

“I say perilous because this course, particularly in the lives of some who are spiritually immature, is a gospel hobby which creates an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude. In other instances it leads to despondency because the seeker after perfection knows he is not living the way he supposes he should.

“Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed…”

Here we are told why it is perilous. It causes arrogance and pride in those who seek it, or such depression that it hinders their functioning. The Bible tells us that “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16: 18) Is it any wonder that we are warned against such actions?

Please note that we have not even touched on the second part of the quote given, and we have gone through three paragraphs. We now skip down four more paragraphs before we get to the second part of the quote.

“Now I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. It will seem to them as though I am speaking out against mother love, or Americanism, or the little red schoolhouse. But I am not. There is a fine line here over which true worshipers will not step.”

So, again, we have Elder McConkie speaking against an improper relationship. There is a proper, personal relationship we can have with Christ, but once we step over that line to seek an improper relationship, that is when we are in danger.

“It is true that there may, with propriety, be a special relationship with a wife, with children, with friends, with teachers, with the beasts of the field and the fowls of the sky and the lilies of the valley. But the very moment anyone singles out one member of the Godhead as the almost sole recipient of his devotion, to the exclusion of the others, that is the moment when spiritual instability begins to replace sense and reason.”

And here we get the full point of all of this. The personal relationship with Christ becomes improper when we seek that over the other members of the Godhead. When our devotion to Christ overshadows our devotion, veneration, and worship of the Father we have stepped over the line and are in peril.

Then, jumping down four more paragraphs, Elder McConkie tells us this.

“Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.”

When we try to remove the reverence between us and God in a desire for a personal relationship with Christ we dishonor the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we maintain that reverential barrier we strengthen ourselves spiritually.

 

I think this is sufficient to show the true intent of Elder McConkie’s words. He is not saying we shouldn’t have a relationship with Christ, even a personal one. He is saying that we should not have an improper relationship that removes the reverential respect and excludes the rest of the Godhead from our devotions. I honestly don’t see how any Christian could even disagree with this, let alone complain about it.

 

On a final note, none of this contradicts anything in the Bible. The specific quote given tells us to come to Christ, which we should do; but we should do so with reverential respect, never forgetting that He is the Son, not the Father.

 

Little Known Propaganda: 9 – Inner Feeling

20 Sep

This is my continuing responses to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

FACT #9. To the Mormon, the ultimate test that Mormonism is true is an “inner feeling.”

Mormons often refer to this feeling as a “burning in the bosom.” They believe their scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8) gives the best test for determining truth. This test reads:

“…study it out in your mind; then you must ask me [the Lord] if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall FEEL that it is right.”

The Bible, on the other hand, tells us:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)

I can only speak to my experience, but the witness of the Holy Ghost is hardly a simple feeling. It is a direct communication from the Spirit of God to our spirit. It is communication on a spiritual level, which is an incredibly powerful witness. As the spirit and the body are joined in this mortal life the power of this communication if literally felt. This can be emotional, but in my experience, is more frequently a physical sensation. The description of a burning the bosom is not a metaphor, but an attempt to explain that when one feels the witness of the Holy Ghost they will literally feel a physical sensation of warmth fill their body. They will also frequently feel an emotional reaction of true joy or contentment or satisfaction, but rarely is there an emotional reaction without the physical sensation.

However, both of these are incidental to the true communication that is taking place. This communication cannot be explained, nor can it be truly understood unless it is experienced. To even attempt to explain it is impossible, and so the only descriptions that are given are those of the physical and emotional reactions to it.

So, to trivialize the communication of the spirit by referring to it as merely some emotional thing is to show ones ignorance as to what it really is.

Now, let us look at the references given and the evidence from the Bible.

You may note that the reference from the Doctrine and Covenants above tells us that we must study things out before God will reveal anything to us. The reason for this is that we are intelligent beings who have the ability to detect contradictions and can, by our own diligence, discover some bad philosophies and spirits.

However, he also expects us to seek His confirmation of our conclusions. Why? Because while we have the ability to discern things ourselves, we are also very gullible and have the tendency to set reasoning aside in favor of that which pleases us. So, to make sure that we are right we need God to confirm it to us.

However, we do not simply rely on these impressions, because we know that Satan can deceive, especially when we leave ourselves vulnerable to his influence.

There was the story in the early church of a woman who was visited by an angel. Now, the woman’s husband had been called to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, but the angel told the woman that he must not go more than a hundred miles from home or he would die. In telling this story Joseph Smith asked “How…was this known to be a bad angel?” He then answered the question “By…his contradicting a former revelation.” The woman, from her thoughts and feelings, had been deceived. But the deception was discovered through a careful examination of previous revelation, for God will not contradict himself. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 214)

Now let us consider the Biblical evidence. This is only a small sampling, but it gets the point across.

Let us look at Luke 24: 32. This is the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. I am sure most people are familiar with it. Two disciples are walking to Emmaus a few days after the crucifixion. They are troubled by Christ’s death, and as they are talking about it they are met by a stranger. When they tell the stranger the reason for their troubles he begins to teach them the scriptures and how it all was going according to plan. Then, when they stopped to eat the stranger blessed the bread, revealed himself to be Christ, and disappeared. The two disciples are astonished and they look to each other and exclaim “DID NOT OUR HEART BURN WITHIN US, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures.

On this please note that they reasoned they should have known it was Christ because of how they felt. It wasn’t because of what He said, or His knowledge of the scriptures. It was how they felt because of his presence and because of his teachings.  And notice how they describe how their hearts burned within them.

This goes right along with Luke 4: 32. Here we have Christ preaching in Capernaum. Luke tells us that when the people heard it “they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.” It was not what he taught that astonished them, but the sense of power that was in his words. In fact, the exact doctrine that he taught it not even mentioned. It seems that the power that his words held was of greater significance to Luke’s audience than the exact words.

Then we have a similar event happening on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2: 37. Peter has just preached a sermon, and the gift of tongues was manifest in a powerful way. As a result some three thousand were received by baptism into the church (see verse 41). What was it that so moved these people? Was it the eloquence of Peter’s words? Was it how well he expounded the scriptures? Was it any of the so called tests that people put forward today? No. Luke tells us that “when they heard this, they were PRICKED IN THEIR HEART, and said…what shall we do?” Again, it is the feeling that they had in response to the preaching that so touched them and convinced them of the truth of what they were hearing.

Now, let us briefly look at 2 Timothy 2: 15 in context (verse 11-16).

“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

So, after listing the good doctrine that Timothy should be teaching, Paul warns Timothy to ‘strive not about words’ or to avoid arguments over trivial matters. He also latter warns against ‘vain babblings’ or vain disputations which have no real purpose. Rather, he is to learn the truth so that he is able to put down false doctrine and ‘rightly divide’ or teach the truth.

So, this passage has nothing to do with gaining a testimony or personal revelation. It is, rather, an exhortation to learn the truth before you try to teach it. This is the same message that God gives us in Doctrine and Covenants 11: 21, when He tells Hyrum “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed…” Hyrum, like Timothy, had already been converted and had a testimony of the gospel. So, the counsel given is what to do to prepare to teach after you have already received.

False Prophecies

21 Oct

One of the favorite tactics of those who oppose the church is to try and point out unfulfilled prophecies of Joseph Smith. I have read many such lists, and they generally fall back on the same ten or twelve. This is done in an attempt to prove that Joseph Smith is not a prophet.

The argument is based in Deuteronomy 18: 20-22, which reads “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we a know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

So, the critics want to present false prophecies to claim that Joseph Smith is guilty of giving false prophecies so they can try to convince others that he is not a true prophet and can be rejected. In fact, at the CARM website they say “that having several fulfilled prophecies and even a single false prophecy still means that the person is not a true prophet of God.”

Now, it is true that this is a test of a true prophet. However, for this to be proven you first have to prove that the person was claiming to speak in the name of God, and then you have to prove that the prophecy was false.

Now the first one can be hard to prove, because prophets don’t always begin their prophecies with “Thus saith the Lord.” Actually, sometimes they may seem to indicate they are speaking for God but are actually speaking for themselves, offering their opinion on what God has planned.

The second is even more difficult to prove. Prophecy is notorious for symbolism and generalities, rarely giving time tables for anything. This leaves it to the reader to try and figure out the meaning, or recognize it when it is fulfilled. The key to unlocking the meaning and fulfillment of prophecy is given to us by Peter. In his second epistle he tells us “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private d interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” In other words, prophecy comes by through the Holy Ghost, and so it is only through the Holy Ghost that one can understand its meaning.

 

So, while people are continually trying to prove Joseph Smith a false prophet, they seem to lack the power to do so. No one without the gift of the Holy Ghost is qualified to judge anyone to be a false or a true prophet. Those who have never been baptized by proper authority do not have this gift, and those who have left the church have lost it.

All things considered one can see why it is difficult for anyone to know exactly what a prophecy means and if it has been fulfilled, especially for those who are trying to prove them false.

 

However, for the sake of sportsmanship I will do a series on some of the prophecies in question. I take the first five from the CARM website. As I find more in other lists I will add them to this series over the years. I also ask that if any of those reading this know of any such claim that they would like me to research and post on I will gladly do so.

I realize that I am working on several series right now (I think this makes three) but I will be posting on all of them in the next week.

Family Talks – Chryshal

19 Oct

On the 20th of September my family was asked to speak for Sacrament meeting, as well as perform a special musical number. They didn’t just ask me and my wife, but our three oldest children. This was a little unusual as our oldest is only nine, and the youngest of the three had just barely turned seven. However, my family all did a fantastic job. I am very proud of all my children, and so I am going to post the talks that we all gave, as well as the song we sang. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The second to speak was my nine year old daughter. She spoke on Temples.

I was asked to speak to you today about temples. Temples are where you get sealed to your family. Also if you die before you hear the gospel then you can have someone be baptized for you. I went one time to be sealed to my family in the temple and while I was there I got to watch a video on temples. The video said that temples are sacred places and we should care for them like Jesus cared for the people. There are 144 temples in the world that we must care for; the closest temple to us here is in St. Louis. When you go to the temple you can feel the Holy Ghost better than when you are at home, and I can read my scriptures better there. When you are at the temple you need to dress in white to be sealed as a family. When I was sealed to my family I felt like I was being joined as a part of each of my family members. I can’t wait to go to the temple again to be married to my future husband. When I do I will be making the circle of my eternal family even bigger. Temples are really beautiful places to be with your family.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 1

26 Aug

I have recently been pointed to a website called Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry as an excellent location to learn LDS doctrine. On this website they have many pages dedicated to what they call exposing the truth of Mormonism. Most of what they present is well thought out, and they use many quotes and documents to support it. When they are simply giving a list of quotes they don’t do too bad. When they try to interpret those quotes and explain doctrine they fail almost completely. So I am starting a new series in which I will address a selection of pages from that website.

This next page is titled “Difficult Questions For Mormons to Answer.” It is a series of questions that are supposed to stump members of the LDS church. There are 32 questions total. Most are followed by a few quotes that try to establish the subject in question. The first part of my response will be a comment on the quotes given, and this will be in green.

Now, since there are so many questions and responding to all of them will take a long time, I will be dividing this into many separate posts, each answering 1-3 questions.

 

Q. If the principle of “progression” is eternally true, why is it that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not gods of their own worlds?

A. Attached to this question are two quotes, but I will not be commenting on them. The question assumes that we believe all gods get their own planet, and neither of the quotes given say anything to that effect. As such the quotes are meaningless for the purpose of the question.

Now, the actual answer to this question is simple. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the God of this Earth. Actually, they are the God of many worlds; in fact, all the worlds that the Father has created. Joseph Smith taught that “The head of the Gods called a council of the gods.” Also, in the Book of Abraham we read that the Gods (plural) planned the creation of the earth. All this shows that we do not believe that each god gets their own world, but rather work in a council to conduct their work.

Here is a great article on this very topic.

 

Q. If it is necessary to have a body in order to become a God, then how did the Holy Spirit, who does not have a body, attain the status of godhood?

A. Once again the quote provided does not support the question at hand. It restates the fact that the Holy Spirit is a spirit, but makes no mention of the need for a body to be a god. It is, again, a useless quote for question asked.

Now, I do not dispute the teaching that a body is needed to be like God. This is a well established teaching. However, there is a distinction made in the church between gods and God. Notice that one is not capitalized while the other is. The one that is not capitalized is a noun that refers to the state of existence that God enjoys. The capitalized word is a title of authority that is given to any who hold the appropriate authority over man.

At the time of the creation both words applied to the Father, for he existed in the state of godhood and had the authority of God.

Jesus, at the time of the creation, had not yet received a physical body, and thus only the title applied to Him, as he had the authority but did not live in the state of existence. After the resurrection the noun then applied as he had entered the state of existence. This is shown in how he changes the command to be perfect. Before his resurrection he says to be perfect “even as your Father, which is in heaven, is perfect.” Yet, after his resurrection he say “even as I or your Father is perfect.”

The Holy Ghost, being a spirit, does not yet enjoy the state of existence, but does have the authority and thus is rightly called God. At some time in the future the Holy Ghost will be given a physical body.

 

Q. If the angel Moroni was a devout follower of the Mormon gospel, then why is he an angel right now and not a god?

A. The author quotes D&C 132: 17 which describes those who will not gain exaltation. It has minimal applicability to the question, as it does explain what some angels are, and the question is asking why Moroni is an angel. I would point out that the verse speaks of “these angels” which would indicate that there are other angels not included in the description given.

As to why Moroni was an angel and not a god: Moroni was given the keys of the stick of Joseph, and thus still had a mission to fulfill on the earth. As far as I know he still holds those keys and still has a mission. As such he is a heavenly messenger he is a ministering angel to this earth. Now, as he is described as a glorified resurrected being it is also possible that he has already been exalted, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are said to have received already.

*This question is answered in the response be S.H.I.E.L.D.S. I will address that in a later post, so keep an eye out for it.

 

 

Lessons In Logic Response

22 Aug

I recently commented on another blog that was spreading false ideas about the LDS church. My comment was simple, listing a number of things that the author had gotten wrong. I merely gave the correct information, keeping each item short.

A few days after posting that initial comment I looked at the blog again. My comment was not posted, and the author had posted an apology that the comment had been accidently deleted. However, he still gave a response to my comments, though not in their entirety.

I then responded to what he said, accepting that accidents happen. However, my next three comments also failed to get posted, and that makes me a little suspicious. I cannot prove anything, but I feel the need to make my comment available to others.

Now, my original comment is lost as I did not save a copy of it. I have, to the best of my recollection, reproduced it here. I list seven errors that the author had in their blog. The error is in black, and is underlined. My initial response is given in green. The author’s response to me is in red, and my second response follows in blue. I also insert a few notes that I put in purple.

  1. “Joseph Smith was instructed by the angel, ‘Moroni,’ while in a cave.”

Moroni visited Joseph in his bedroom, not a cave. It may seem minor but let us get the details right.

“It was the mythical tablets that were found in the cave — but there is still a cave in this story.”

There is a cave if you call a box buried in the ground a cave. (JSH 1: 51-52)

  1. “Moroni told Smith that the Bible had been perverted, and that Smith had been chosen to restore it.”

Far from saying the Bible was perverted, Moroni actually quoted from it. What he told Joseph Smith was concerning the Book of Mormon.

“Mormons do not say the Bible has been ‘corrupted,’ but that it has been ‘mistranslated’…By another name, that is called corrupted”

If you had read my post you will notice that I never once said the Bible had not been corrupted. I said that Moroni never once mentioned this. The idea of the Bible having been corrupted came from the Book of Mormon, not Moroni.

  1. “Mormons believe that Adam is God”

No we don’t. We believe Adam to be Michael or the Ancient of Days, but he is not God.

  1. “Mormons believe that God (Adam), Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three distinct people.”

Again, you need to take Adam out of this as he is not God.

  1. “They also believe that people can become gods, they just have to achieve a high enough state of ‘enlightenment.’”

People must have sufficient faith. It really has nothing to do with enlightenment.

  1. “For Mormons, salvation comes by doing ‘good works,’ and the gap between what you do and what salvation requires is covered by Jesus.”

We believe that we can never earn our way to heaven. Christ paid the full price so that we, through faith and obedience, wouldn’t have to.

  1. “In other words, Jesus does not ‘pay it all’ for the Mormon, Jesus only covers that portion of the individual’s sin that they could not ‘work’ off.”

No one can work off any of their sins. We work, not to pay for our sins, but to repay God for the blessings he gives. Only Christ can pay for sins.

You may note that the author only directly responded to two of my objections. Rather than addressing the rest he decided to bring in more errors, which follow here.

A. “If we want to get ugly about it, there is also justification for sex with children”

If you want to lie about it than you can claim this, but there is nothing historical about it.

B. “Nor can he object to the fact that Smith said you have to have the ‘sacrament,’ by which he meant be polygamous”

He never said any such thing.

C. “One of many aspects of Smith’s teachings that Mormons have changed to meet our modern society.”

The doctrine has never changed, nor can you show that it has. In fact, you can still read it in D&C 132: 61-63.

D. “Deliberately ‘deceptive’ about what their religion actually teaches.”

The church has never lied or mislead anyone about our doctrine. Some of the finer points are not openly discussed, but there has never been any attempt to portray the doctrine as anything other than what it is.

E. “They’re trying to flood the Internet with pro-Mormon information. Of course, the problem with this is that the truth will not be told.”

The church is trying to correct the many false ideas and outright lies that are spread about our religion. The truth will never be found among the anti-Mormons because the truth would not help them in their quest to destroy the faith of others.

F. “It changes the meaning of the words and alters those ideas.”

Prove it.

G. “Instead of God being the eternal God, the Mormonism God is an exalted man from another planet.”

God is eternal, as is stated in all our scriptures and taught by all our leaders. (See Alma 11: 44; Moroni 7: 22; D&C 20: 17; 76: 4; 121: 32; and Moses 7: 35)

H. “Instead of Jesus being the creator of the universe (Col. 1:15-17).”

Of course he is the creator of the Universe, which is taught by all our scriptures and all our leaders. (see D&C 14: 9; Moses 1: 33; Abraham 3: 24)

I. “Christians need to…[defend] the truth and [expose] the errors of Mormonism.”

We have no problem with you discussing what you believe we have wrong, as long as you accurately portray our doctrine.

I also noticed that you made to correction to the false claim that we believe Adam is God. Since we do not believe this you might consider putting it in your list of corrections. Look at the following passages on this point: D&C 27:11; 107: 54; 116: 1; 128: 21; 138: 38)

Now, the author also lists a few websites that he claims contain all the documentation one needs to prove what he is saying is true. So, I have decided to check them out, and to start making posts regarding their content.

Questions

29 Jul

Today I received a comment on one of my previous articles asking a number of questions about the LDS faith and my blog in particular. I have chosen to answer them in this article so that I may given due consideration to each and not detract from the focus of the article to which they were originally posted.

This is what was said.

You say defending the truth… why do so many think you are a cult? Why don’t you believe in the trinity? Why do you say Jesus was crucified on a stake instead of a Cross? Why do you not believe in the literal meaning of Hell? That it is a place of eternal torment for ones that reject Christ… ones that DENY the trinity, that deny the very truth you claim to defend?

I will address each question in turn.

First, the poster states “You say defending the truth…” Then, by asking the questions, the clear implication is that I am not doing what I say I am doing in the title of this blog. I understand this. They are asking “If you are defending the truth than why do you not teach etc. etc.?” It is a valid question to ask if you accept these things as true. I , however, do not. I defend what I know and believe to be the truth, not what others believe to be the truth. Yes, I think others are wrong and I am right, and I will continue to think that. That does not mean others aren’t entitled to think that they are right and I am wrong.

So, lets get to the actual questions.

Q. Why do so many think you are a cult?

A. Most people who think this do not understand what a cult is and do not understand the doctrine and practices of the LDS church. I have yet to hear a scholar make the accusation unless they have a clear agenda that involves the tearing down of our faith. Those who do make the accusation do so because they know they have to vilify the church in order to turn people away from it.

 

Q. Why don’t you believe in the trinity?

A. Because I do not see it in the Bible. The trinity is the result of a fusion between the true gospel and Greek philosophy that crept into Christianity over the course of many years. It is a false concept. The Bible clearly speaks of three distinct beings; The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost. It makes clear distinction between them in their role, their authority, and their existence. Beyond this, the very idea is a logical contradiction.

We rather believe in the Godhead which agrees perfectly with all passages of the Bible, and has no internal contradictions that require one to abandon logic and reason to accept. I actually wrote an article on this.

 

Q. Why do you say Jesus was crucified on a stake instead of a cross?

A. Well, you are going to have to provide a reference because this is the first time I have ever heard this. I have always been taught that Christ was crucified, which is to be hung on a cross. It is taught clearly in the Bible, as well as in our other scriptures. For example, D&C 138: 35 states “that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.” Also, in 1 Nephi 11: 3 it tells us that “Nephi, saw that [Jesus] was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” Other references can be given, including talks from modern prophets, that all testify that Christ was crucified on a cross.

 

Q. Why do you not believe in the literal meaning of Hell? That it is a place of eternal torment for ones that reject Christ…ones that DENY the trinity, that deny the very truth you claim to defend?

A. Do you know what we teach regarding Hell? Hell is a very real place, and is a place of endless torment for all those that reject Christ. The difference in our doctrine is not what Hell is, but what constitutes rejecting Christ. Most people I have talked too say that those who have never even heard of Christ have rejected him because they never accepted him. To us this is nonsense and destroys the mercy of God. We also don’t hold that a person who simply hears the message of the gospel and disagrees with it has rejected Christ. They have been blinded to the truth, and so they are unable to reject it. Rather, we hold that in order to reject Christ one must first have accept him, and then turn against him, rejecting what they once had. These are the ones that will rot in hell for eternity.

Besides this, anyone who dies without baptism (except children) will suffer in hell for a period of time before the mercy of God will pull them out. This is also different than most peoples belief, but it is fully supported in the Bible. In psalm 16: 10 David declares “thou wilt not leave my soul in hell” which means that his soul would be in hell for at least some time. Also, in Revelation 20: 13 we read that “death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them” and thus they were brought out of hell.

 

Now, I will continue to defend the truth, regardless of what others think of it or whether they agree that it is, in fact, the truth.