Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Why I Left the Mormon Church

In a comment on Monday's post Dayanna asked me about why I left the Mormon Church. Monday's post wasn't about Mormonism and I thought I would post my testimony here and then if there are follow-up comments and questions they will relate directly to Mormonism.

I was a member of the Mormon Church for 14 years, and find myself frequently disappointing people when I tell them that I enjoyed being a Latter-day Saint. You will understand that people expect to hear a little scandal with my kind of testimony, but I have none to offer. My wife was a member for 18 years in all, and we left together in August of 1986. Our time in the church was mostly happy. We started a family there and have much for which to be thankful, and very many happy memories. The church was good to us, being supportive through some very difficult times.

I served in various capacities including various clerical duties. I served as Sunday School teacher, Seminary and Institute teacher, teacher in both Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood quorums, and Ward Missionary Leader. At the time of my leaving I was Elder's Quorum President. Up to the time of my leaving I was a temple recommend holder and regularly attended the London Temple (right).

Why I Joined the Mormon Church

I remember my first contact with Mormonism, and the elders who taught me. I remember vividly the conviction with which I embraced the church and it's teachings. I recall experiencing a burning in the bosom, not just once but many times, and can picture to this day where I was kneeling when it first happened. I could barely contain my excitement as I discovered more through the missionary discussions. This revolutionary message that the heavens were not sealed and that God spoke again through living prophets. I recollect my baptism  at the District Centre then, before Wales had a Stake; It has two now.

In the Mormon church I met some of the most wonderful people you could wish to know. I remember my wife and I being prepared for our first visit to the temple by one of the counsellors of the District President. He was a lovely man, larger than life and full of love and encouragement. I remember the young people we grew alongside in the church and the times we had at District and Stake meetings, Gold and Green balls, temple trips, Fathers and Sons camps, even a visit to London to see Spencer W. Kimball (left). We married and grew up and had families and knew tragedies and triumphs, disenchantment and inspiration.

When we left, we left behind a full life, cherished friends, and good memories. Believe me when I say that our decision to go was not made lightly. And unlike some you might come across, we had nothing against the church, no complaints. Our friends were shocked at our leaving - so were we.

It took less than a month for us to make our momentous decision and, whilst this may seem hardly enough time to fully consider the issues, I assure you we were convinced and had no doubts. I realise now that that month was the culmination of a longer period of questioning and seeking. In the end ours was a real "road to Damascus" experience and, like Saul, it was as if scales fell from our eyes.

Contrary to what you might think, I am not part of an anti-Mormon group. I am not an anti-Mormon at all but a Christian. I am a member of a local Baptist church and my life is taken up with full involvement there. My time is not spent pouring over anti-Mormon literature, nor is it spent finding ways to "get at" Mormons. I do, however, share my experiences and findings with others in the same spirit in which Mormon missionaries go around the doors. I have found the truth and, especially in relation to Latter-day Saints, wish to share it.

I am sometimes asked why I now "fight" the Mormon Church. Mormons I meet ask why I try to convert church members who are, after all, already Christians. I might ask the same question of Mormon missionaries. When they find a Christian on the doorstep do they back away saying "Oh, you already know Jesus"? They do not, because they believe that there is no salvation outside the Mormon church. I believe there is no salvation inside the Mormon church and so, by the same token, I proselyte Latter-day Saints.

Why I Became a Christian

I have already said that I was happy as a Mormon and that I have no complaints about the way the church treated me. The inevitable question is, "Why, then, did you leave? There must have been something wrong".

I recall it was one Friday evening, the children were in bed, and there was a quiet moment when we looked at each other apprehensively. We had not been discussing church, either that evening or that week, except in the general way. I remember how we tentatively but finally agreed that there was something wrong. There was an unspoken, undefined, significance to that word "something" precisely because we had nothing to complain about.

One of us, I don't now remember who, said, "It's not working, is it?", and the other one agreed. Again an unspoken understanding of something we had never discussed or given the vaguest expression to, yet we each knew what the other meant. Our faith was not "working". What did we mean by that? We didn't then know or understand, but we felt an earnest desire to put right whatever it was we felt was wrong because our church membership was important to us.

It was then that we made a decision that, to this day, makes people stare. We turned to a Christian friend. It seems almost inconceivable, especially since we had no reason to shun our church friends, that we should do such a thing. I believe God was in all this. Of course I would say that, wouldn't I?

I believe our friend John could barely contain his excitement at being presented with such an opportunity. He did hold himself back, however, and simply invited us to church. "Come and see" he said to us. It was in that church that we experienced such a love for God that we were left wondering what it was that we thought we had been experiencing for all those years. Don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that Mormons are loveless, or that they have no genuine desire to serve God. But this was different.


So far we had seen something special in our friend John, something that had caused us, inexplicably, to trust him. We had experienced something amongst John's friends - an intensity of love and devotion that was so new to us as to be heady, like new wine. Now we wanted to understand. If this was right how did it square with what we had experienced and understood until now? If this was wrong how did these poor people come to be so deceived?

John gave us a modern translation of the Bible (NIV) and encouraged us to read it without any commentary or Bible study aids. He suggested we start with Paul's letter to the Romans. It was important to us that we should gain an understanding of things and so we now decided to review what we had already experienced, and what we could say for sure we knew, before we went any further. We had already agreed that God would not condemn us for honestly seeking his face and striving for a better understanding of his will. We now agreed that we would trust God to answer our prayers and resolve for us the, so far undefined, misgivings we had about our faith. Not about the Mormon church, but about our faith.


A Message of Grace

The thought that the Mormon Church might not be true had never entered our minds. No-one had spoken against the church in our hearing and we had not looked at any anti literature. Our struggle was not over doctrine. It was about our experience of God. In this spirit, then, of seeking God and trusting him for direction in a very personal pilgrimage, we read his word. It was here we discovered grace.

For all the Mormon church had going for it there was one area in which it singularly failed me. I was looking for something when I joined and I began to see that it was the one thing the church was incapable of delivering. Peace with God. When my wife and I became troubled we really did not understand why. We just knew - I knew - that something fundamental was missing from our spiritual experience. It was only as we began seeking with a determination we had never known before that we saw how radical would have to be the change in our lives if we were to go on with God.

When I set out to read Romans I was looking for a solution to the problems of my faith as a Mormon. I was not trying to sort out the Mormon Church. I was trying to sort out Mike Thomas. I wanted to get right with God so that I could be a better Latter-day Saint. Now you might say that I had a peculiar way of doing this. After all, going to a non-member etc. But God was in this from beginning to end so how could I do otherwise?

It was now that I did the one thing I had never done before. I knelt before God and asked Jesus to be my Saviour. I had believed in him for years, but I had been taught that the way to salvation was by obedience to the Mormon church. The church had effectively stood between me and God.

I came to see that there is only one mediator between men and God, the man Christ Jesus. I realised that the head of every man is Christ, not an organisation. I saw that all who came to him would not be condemned but would receive eternal life. I had an assurance of eternal life, something I had never known before, something no Mormon knows because the Mormon church teaches that salvation is by obedience, and so it is arrogant and presumptuous to say that you know. The Bible told me that I could know, the Mormon Church told me that I couldn't. I chose to believe the Word of God.

Now I was faced with a dilemma. Could I give up all those things that had been my life up to now? Leave my church friends? People think that obedience is all about the ten commandments and that sort of thing. Really it is about attitude. What really is the most important thing in your life? Put like that there was no other choice. I left the Mormon Church and embraced my newly discovered joy. My life since really coming to know Jesus bears no comparison to all those years when I only thought I knew him. Iremember the sobering realisation of what was happening when my wife one day said, "You realise we can't go back?"

I made the right choice and discovered a God who truly proves his faithfulness. So many scripture promises came true for me when I sought him and and discovered that "if you seek him, he will be found by you" (1 Chron.28:9). Coming from a system that saw obedience to law as the way to God I was brought to rejoice in the fact that "a righteousness from God , apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify" (Romans 3:21). The assurances of God's Word are a blessing to me beyond anything I could hope or ask. I know that through faith in Jesus I have eternal life as a present possession and a guaranteed inheritance (John 5:24). I just thought you would like to know.

What we Discovered in Romans

What did we find in our reading of Paul's letter to the Roman? We travelled what we later found was called The Roman Road. It is one of many journeys through the Bible designed to help us understand the fundamentals of God's Word. I reproduce it here:

THE ROMAN ROAD


This is a simple explanation of the gospel, using scriptures from the Book of Romans - hence the name. It can be easily marked in your Bible by writing the first reference at the beginning of Romans, and then in the margin by each reference writing the reference which follows. Thus when you want to share the gospel message from the scriptures, you do not need to remember a string of references, you just need to look at the book of Romans and follow the road through it. The references and a brief description follows. Feel free to explain them in your own words.

3:10 - There is no-one righteous, no matter how good we are or how hard we try.

3:23 - All have sinned and fallen short. It is impossible for us to measure up to God's standard.

5:12 - Death came to all men, because all sinned. It is our nature to sin.

5:8 - Because of God's love for us, he sent Christ to die for us - while we were still sinners, not because we had done anything to earn it.

6:23 - The wages of sin is death - wages are what you earn as a result of what you do. The gift of God is eternal life - you do not earn a gift, or deserve it. God gives the gift because He loves us. We do not need to work for it, only accept it.

10:13 - Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, regardless of who they are or what they have done. You only have to call.

10:9,10 - True, heart-felt confession of faith in Jesus is what it takes to be saved, not works.

45 comments:

Clean Cut said...

Mike, this is a wonderful testimony. And as a Latter-day Saint, I agree with the heart of it--Jesus is the head of our salvation.

Thus, to me, this line is tragic: "I had believed in him for years, but I had been taught that the way to salvation was by obedience to the Mormon church. The church had effectively stood between me and God".

If this was truly your experience, I can't blame you for leaving. I can only say I'm so glad I haven't had this same experience. As a life-long Mormon, I have come to truly know Jesus and feel of his saving grace and power. I feel part of my personal mission is to share this those who still haven't "got it", whether LDS or not. And heaven knows, there are a bunch of "bleating" Mormons who still haven't "got it". (wink, wink)

Tom Jones said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom Jones said...

Great positive testimony, Mike. Thanks for posting it. I will send a link to this page for my LDS friends to read.
Tom Jones
WhatMormonsDontTell.com

Tom Jones said...

Clean Cut,
You said:
"I can only say I'm so glad I haven't had this same experience (of believing that your salvation depends on obedience to the LDS Church)."

If you don't believe your salvation depends on obedience to the LDS Church, can we assume that you don't believe the temple rituals are necessary in order to have eternal life?

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Thanks CC. It's very kind of you to say so. I think we have touched on this before. As you will recognise, my own experience of Mormonism is rooted in the heady days of the '70's and early '80's, days of quite rapid growth and development for the Mormon Church after the difficult times experienced after the war and into the "free-love" sixties.

In those days Mormonism was not yet facing the idea of having to go through yet another transition and was Bruce-McConkie-forthright still in its pronouncements and teachings. That change began in the late '70's and contiuned under GBH's guiding hand until the turn of the millennium.

Polygamy was the order of heaven and simply suspended for now not, as today, an historical/cultural necessity that God allows from time-to-time; the bar on Negroes holding the priesthood was still in place until 1978 and every Mormon could give a clear explanation why because we studied it in priesthood and Institute class, not like today's Mormons who insist it was an historical aberration thast is beyond the ken of even the prophet.

Mormonism was true and all other churches were apostate, not like today when Mormons just can't understand why Evangelicals have a problem accepting them. It is that Mormon Church I left.

The Mormon Church often described by many members today is a horse of a different colour and I can understand your feeling that my testimony reflected my experience of Mormonism rather than Mormonism.

Remember however that my role throughout was mainly teaching and mission and so, although my testimony is necessarily an account of my experience, it is not simply experience-based. What I rejected and what I subsequently embraced were very much teaching-based and not a local-to-my-life phenomenon.

I do understand that some Mormons have a different experience of their faith today and, like you, see themselves as having "rediscovered" Jesus as the centre of Mormonism. However, the test I always apply is the missionary discussions. What are people being invited to join when Mormon missionaries call?

The answer I get is more of the same and, while certain things may not be "emphasised" as GBH more than once infamously said, nevertheless the fundamentals of Mormonism remain.

Of course, it could be that Mormons today feel that they have a better grasp of Mormonism and work towards reformation of the whole church, ditching the conservatism of previous generations in favour of more enlightened understanding. But what does that say about the claim to being led by prophets who speak for God and can be trusted to keep the Saints in the will of God?

It always and ever comes down, not to an individual's experience of Mormonism, but to what Mormonism officially has to say for itself. When we look at that I sense a disjoint between the man in the pew and the man in Church headquarters.

For all that, thanks again for your comments. They are much appreciated.

www.spamlds.org said...

I don't wish to say anything disparaging about you personally or your reasons for choosing another religion. That's your choice and I respect it. I believe it will lead you to sorrow and great bitterness, but I recognize that you're free to act according to your own agency.

Nevertheless, there are two concerns I have. First, you suggest that Mormons are not Christians. As a Latter-day Saint, I assure you that I am a Christian. To teach others that we are not, after having experienced the fruits of the Spirit and seen the godly works that the Church and its members do, is at best disingenuous. At worst, it is a malicious intent to deceive. I won't judge your motives, but I do question them.

Secondly, in my more than 30 years in the Church, it is my experience that converts to the faith don't speak evil of or denounce their former religions. We don't become anti-Baptists or anti-Catholics. Almost universally, converts regard their experiences with God in their prior religions as positive experiences that led them to the fullness of the restored gospel.

Why is it then that those who leave the Church for some other sect, feel the compulsion to renounce it in public forums such as this? It's not an action that is directed by God's Spirit.

Although the tone of our article is soft, it is a renunciation of Mormonism and a veiled attack upon it. You may claim that you're not an anti-Mormon, but the posting of these sentiments on your blog show you're on the path to becoming one. The simplest definition of an anti-Mormon is someone who leaves the Church, but can't leave it alone.

The seeming "meekness" of your testimony hides its destructiveness. I will openly declare that you are a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Allow me to point to the commenter who mentioned the bunch of "bleating Mormons who still haven't got it." There's your new audience. You will be praised and celebrated by those who truly hate Latter-day Saints. They will draw you farther and farther from the Spirit of God until all you can feel is animosity and hate. The path you have chosen will lead you to unhappiness and bitterness.

Greg West
Society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Thanks Tom. I am so tempted to say "It's not unusual" - ooops!

I do believe Clean Cut has a more progressive view of his faith and would not be comfortable with what was the common Mormon experience of my time.

However, Mormonism is still Mormonism and grace and salvation as traditionally understood by Christians for some 2,000 years are still looked upon with suspicion as an easy-believeism that needs correcting rather than a Christian fundamental that needs embracing.

I just dug out a 1976/7 priesthood manual and found this:

"Christ bore the sins of the whole world...and in doing that, he opened the kingdom of heaven, not only to all believers and all who obeyed the law of God, but to more than one-half of the human family who die...without law, will, through His Mediation, be resurrected without law, and be judged without law, and thus participate, according to their capacity, works and worth, in the blessing of the Atonement."

This chimes with the 3rd AofF:

"We believe that, through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel"

A careful walk along the Roman Road tells an entirely different gospel.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Greg

Don't hold back mate; just say what's on your mind why don't you.

Let me see:

You begin by saying you don't want to attack me personally and respect my motives and my agency; so far so good.

Then you go on to say that I am "disingenuous" (call it what it is Greg, disingenuous means liar) and possibly malicious; you won't judge my motives but you do question them. Greg, to question them you have to judge them otherwise on what basis are you raising the questions?

You think I am an "anti-Mormon", destructive and a wolf in sheeps clothing and especially appealing to those motivated by hate for Mormonism and, like them, am heading for a life of bitterness and animosity.

I would really hate to be on the receiving end of your pen if you did decide to get personal Greg.

Greg, the Bible is full of stories. Some act as examples to follow and others as warnings about what to avoid. I am torn, quite honestly, between answering your post or just leaving it up to act as a warning to others. Let me think about it.

A Drop of Gold said...

I guess I can see why you would choose to leave a religion of faith and obedience to align yourself with a gospel that seems to teach no matter what you do you can't progress, and there is no need for obedience (toss out those ten commandments in that fundamental case). Seems a much easier path, and I would want to share that with people if I were you as well.
-- Lucky for me, I'm not you.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

DG

Thanks for coming by and especially for the gift of your comment. Mormons often complain about how they are "misunderstood" and you have raised the second of two basic misconceptions Mormons have about Christians (the first was raised by Greg)

There is no doubt that both Mormons and Evangelicals believe in obedience and to deny this is to fly in the face of reason. The only bone of contention is what role obedience plays in their respective faiths.

Mormons obey in order to be saved while Evangelicals obey because they are saved (working on the biblical definition of saved which is to spend eternity with God on glory and not the Mormon definition which is to be resurrected)

The suggestion that I and others like me follow an easy-believism is a serious misrepresentation. If I had my ticket to heaven and needn't bother then I wouldn't bother doing this now would I?

You wrote that if you were in my position you would want to share this message but surely if you were in my position and as cynical as you believe I am you would have your ticket to heaven and not bother.

Your remarks are snide and unneccessarily insulting and make it very difficult for people to believe that Mormons are Christians as you would claim.

Jack Mormon said...

Mike - While I'm sorry to hear that you decided to leave the LDS Church, I respect your decision, and I hope you and yours will find the spiritual satisfaction you seek.

What you may have missed during your sojourn in the LDS Church is that there are two types of salvation. The first is universal salvation, which we believe will be made available to all except the tiny handful adjudged to be sons of perdition. This requires little more than confessing faith in Jesus Christ, and then changing your life as needed so that others will view you as an ambassador of Christ.

The second type is celestial salvation. This is what the General Authorities promote because it is their job to do so. The mission of the LDS Church isn't merely to put one on the road to heaven; it is to put one on the road to the highest heaven, the celestial kingdom, to be ultimately ordained unto Godhood. This is where all the additional "obedience" and "ordinances" come into play.

Even though I'm inactive, I remain LDS because it still answers more of my questions and offers me more possibilities than traditional Christianity. I also prefer the open canon of Mormonism vs. the closed canon prevalent throughout traditional Christianity.

And personal satisfaction is what its all about. If you prefer to worship and honor the Lord through evangelical Christianity rather than Mormonism, that is between you and our Creator. Religion is merely the outer vehicle we use in pursuing our road to Christ. Good luck and God bless.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

J ack Mormon

Thanks for your kind comments and your sincere attempt to clarify what you feel might be obscure in my own thinking. Your tone, like some others here, is admirable.

I think I mentioned that my role during my time as a Mormon was mainly teaching. I can assure you that there is nothing unfamiliar in what you write. When I turned from Mormonism to Christ - sorry of you are offended by this way of expressing my experience but that is my understanding of events - when that happened I was fully aware that this was part of the package I was rejecting. I was no sluich when it came to Mormonology.

I am also aware of the Mormon claim to work from an "open canon", although there is no evidence for this in the Mormon Church at all. I think that, like so many other Mormon tenets, Mormons are so used to reciting this mantra that they don't stop to actually examine it.

An "open canon" means the making of new Scripture. The traditional churches are criticised for having "only the Bible" and not adding to it as God speaks further revelation, while Mormons insist that one sure sign of restoration is the existence of an open canon. I simply ask you to show me your open canon. I don't think you can because you don't have one.

I don't know what to make of someone earnestly putting forward the case for Mormonism, and doing it so well and charitably, who is a Jack Mormon. I don't mean this unkindly but if its so wonderful where were you last Sunday? I understand full well how difficult the faith journey can be and do not judge you but I wonder what keeps you from commitment?

Maybe, like me, there are questions that need asking and doubts that need facing. You write that Mormonism offers you more than Christianity but if you are so dissatisfied with Mormonism as to be inactive perhaps you haven't understood Christianity and given it a chance to tell its story and be a viable alternative.

From my experience, and certainly from the few comments here, Mormons don't really understand the traditional Christian faith they have rejected. I find it ironic that Mormons routinely insist that if you wish to understand Mormonism ask a Mormon yet they reject my Christian faith solely on the basis of what the Mormon Church has told them I believe. Now that doesn't seem right does it?

Evangelicals believe in obedience and works; that God continues to speak today; in growing and maturing in our faith; in the reliability of the Bible as the Word of God; in the atoning blood of jesus and in the continuing work of the Holy Spirit to light the path and enlighten the mind of every faithful believer.

If anyone wnats to talk further, either here or on confidence then I am happy to do that.

Jack Mormon said...

Mike - You ask a fair question about my inactivity, and I will answer it forthrightly.

My inactivity has nothing to do with doctrine. It's simply because I'm lazy and I have a couple of Word of Wisdom issues. If I start attending church regularly, I'm concerned I might be inundated with callings. While I would have no objection to being a Sunday School teacher, I shudder at the prospect of working with teenagers, simply because I'm not exactly the most patient man to have ever walked the face of this earth. I'm also reluctant to attend church when I smell of tobacco.

But my inactivity does not deter me from proclaiming Jesus Christ whenever I see an opportunity; if I were to refuse to proclaim Jesus Christ simply because of my inactivity in the Church, I would be hiding what little light I have under a bushel, and would be held accountable for that omission on Judgment Day.

Obviously, one can serve the Lord better if one attends church and worships in the company of believers. But one need not attend church merely to serve the Lord. Jesus Christ Himself set the example - He didn't attend church to minister unto the sick, but healed them wherever He found them; on the street, in private homes, etc.

You ask for prooof of an open canon. The mere existence of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine of Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price implies the existence of an open canon, because if new truths could be brought forth by Joseph Smith, this implies that new truths will be brought forth in the future as well. Don't forget, we've had two major revelations since the advent of Joseph Smith; the 1890 revelation authorizing us to indefinitely suspend plural marriage, and the 1978 revelation authorizing us to extend Priesthood membership to all spiritually worthy males regardless of lineage.

Faithful Christian said...

Reading your blog article, "Why I left the Mormon Church", I found that it was not really clear. There were indications that you felt more love with another Christian denomination and your words seem to indicate that obedience is an issue to you, so combined it appears that you have issue with being obedient to the requirements set out in the gospel as taught by the Mormon church and claim you found something better to your preferences in a Baptist church, referring to the members of that church as more loving.

When reading your references to Romans 3 and 10, it appears that you hinge most everything about your new found faith on those two chapters in the Book of Romans.

The one thing I have not found in your account as to why you joined the Mormon church was a spiritual testimony, one where God confirms are in the right church. In fact, such a testimony and any experience from it is missing both for the membership of the Mormon church and for the membership in a Baptist church. The account you gave showed to be more of a personal-temporal matter than a spiritual one.

There was a minor reference to God being with you as you said, "But God was in this from beginning to end so how could I do otherwise?" (19th paragraph), but that has become such a cliche that it has certainly been overused and misapplied by most Christians.

So maybe you can clarify why you chose the Mormon church in the first place and if you ever had a spiritual testimony, by the Spirit of God and to please describe any spiritual confirmation in detail so others can better discern what you are saying.

I look forward to your reply

Mike's 4 Tea said...

What is interesting about these comments is that, apart from Clean Cut, the Mormons have a completely myopic view. They have judged everything I have written against, or in light of their Mormon view and made no effort to understand a different perspective at all.

They have written about “anti-Mormons” as though Mormonism is the complete raison detrẻ of someone like me engaging in theological intercourse with their past. They have referred to “the church” in reference to their particular church as though it was the only one.

Unflattering comparisons have been made between the “obedient” Mormons and the “can’t be asked” Christians and there is a chiding comment about the very little Christians feel God demands of them; an accusing comment that I “obviously have a problem with obedience” and finally a demand for an example of how “a spiritual testimony” may or may not have confirmed my conversion experience.

The truth is that the Mormon paradigm, beyond which they seem incapable of seeing, is totally ineffectual in describing my experience and if they want to understand me and others like me they have to learn to think outside their narrow box.

My faith is not founded simply on subjective experiences. Further, I am as great a believer in the need to obey God as any Mormon. Christians are faithful in their devotions as anyone on this earth but hold a different perspective on the source of testimony and the role of obedience in the Christian life.

The evidence for what I write is so ubiquitous as to make it embarrassing for Mormons that they do not see it so they dialogue as though every Christian they meet fits neatly into the distorted picture of Christianity painted by the Mormon Church and its leadership.

Further, when they meet folk who have the temerity to question the claims of Mormonism, Mormons are so deficient in imagination that they cannot begin to formulate an explanation for it beyond the hackneyed charge that the critic is bitter and malevolent and joined to the serried ranks of “enemies of the church”.

Never once do they show the slightest sign of comprehension that perhaps the other person sees things differently for perfectly sane and legitimate reasons; never once the recognition that there just might be a different way of looking at things at all.

But then if your own testimony is so subjective as to amount to little more than “I know because I know because I know” how could you begin to believe that anyone with a different paradigm might actually have a legitimate reason for seeing things differently; Which goes some way to explaining why “Faithful Christian” could so summarily dismiss important Bible passages as though they count for nothing when compared to subjective experience.

These passages begin to explain why I am a Christian but, hey, why bother? After all, the only good ex-Mormon is a dead ex-Mormon and how could anyone who left “the church” have anything to say worth a pile of scubala?

How do Mormons, who these days seem at least to be making some effort towards dialogue, expect there to be any meaningful exchange of ideas with Evangelicals if they can’t even be bothered to get out of their comfort zone and for charity’s sake see the other person’s point of view?

I have already commented on the common enough Mormon retort that, “If you want to understand Mormonism you should ask a Mormon”. Why, then, do Mormons get almost all their “understanding” of Christianity, its history, theology and praxis, from other Mormons, notably from just as myopic Mormon leaders.

If Mormons are intent on being taken seriously by those outside their small circle they must, for their own sake, strive to achieve a much less narrow-minded outlook and show a good deal less disdain and a good deal more respect for those who disagree with them.

Faithful Christian said...

Thanks for your reply Mike.

I prefer a straight forward conversation, one where two people can express themselves simply, directly and honestly. A simple answer as "No I do not have a spiritual testimony from the Holy Ghost because I believe it is subjective and of no value", instead of the "ubiquitous", "widespread", "encompassing" reply you did make.

What I see here from you Mike Thomson is that you do have issue with mormons and the mormon Church and unfortunately, it spills over onto other Christians as myself. It spewed out in the verbose wordage of your reply. I see that because of your personal (subjective) issues, you left the mormon church for personal reasons and that had nothing to do with God and his gospel. Your choice to join another church was based on personal preferences and that has nothing to do with faith and belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior. You clearly believe you know or believe in Jesus Christ, but as Christ warned, many will claim such things but he will declare he does not know them.

What is truly ubiquitous, is the method of God to communicate with man, to impart to man insight, revelation and intelligence that is beyond any subjectiveness many "narrow minded" and "non-spiritual" Christians cannot accept or understand. What happens Mike, as from my experience with other fellow Christians, is that when they cannot receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost, they discount that part of the scriptures of the Bible and make up false doctrines (excuses) to justify the absence of the Spirit.

I see that for an ex-mormon, you really do not know what a real spiritual testimony entails. If that is the paradigm you adhere to, I certainly do not want it because it is not Biblical and not Christian. As to your different paradigm, please Thomas, try not to embellish your own personal ideas and thoughts into something esoteric, special or unique, because what you believe and how you believe is not special or unique at all. In fact it is very common, such that it matches the Pharisee's of the New Testament.

They too had the "different paradigm" to such an extent that they failed to see past their self-devised box and crucified Christ. They failed to spiritually discern that Christ was God incarnated into the flesh and they hated him, because to them, Christ failed to believe and follow their paradigm, just like you are doing to me.

That lesson from Christ taught us that we MUST forgo our personal paradigms and take on his. That is the meaning of "one mind" and a "spiritual mind" in the Bible. Can your paradigm accept that?

I suggest you re-read the Bible, suggest the older versions of the King James, since some other Bible versions are corrupted. Look at 2 Corinthians 2:14, where Paul the Apostle clearly says that spiritual things of God are spiritually discerned. Then read Paul's words in Galatians 1:1-12, where he learned the doctrines of the gospel by the revelation of Christ and not by any means from other men. In all the occurrences within the Bible, it is filled with spiritual testimonies gained by the Holy Ghost, angels speaking to the faithful, visions and the sort. It is not I that misunderstand your paradigm, it is you that misunderstood the paradigm of the Spirit and of the gospel of Christ.

Mike, I know other non-mormon Christians who are very faithful and do receive inspiration from God. I just spoke to one today and he received insights from God that gave him a greater understanding about the Bible. I am a faithful Christian, Mike, and there are many other non mormon Christians that believe in inspiration, revelation, miracles, prayers answered and so forth, as found in the Bible.

We all dare to think, Mike, but obviously some better than others.

By the way, Mike, your paradigm is puffed up in pride and is corrosive, especially in the part where you thought I am a member of the mormon church,... well, I am not.

Thank-you.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Faithful Christian

Bless you in that

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Of the people who have left comments here Jack Mormon has come nearest to addressing the reason I left the Mormon Church. He doen't attend church, despite his declared faith, because of a problem with the Word of Wisdom: in other words, a problem with "worthiness".

Now I want to repeat what I often have to say to Mormons I meet; Christians believe in obedience and good works and that "faith without works is dead". However, Christians do not depend on works for salvation; thy do not work to be saved but because they are saved, and bring their sins and struggles to the Cross where they are dealt with because of finished work of Christ and the faith of the believer. Saved by grace, through faith in Christ.

The difference is no better illustrated than in the contrast between the temple in Israel and the temples of Mormonism.

The relevant and most significant difference is that of attitude to worthiness.

"Of course there are people who are not worthy to go to the temple, and therefore should not go to the temple. No one should go to the temple except those who are worthy." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:61).

In order to enter a Mormon temple, members have to pass two interviews, one with their local leader - the bishop or branch president and one with their area leader - the stake president. Only a recommend with these two signatures will allow them to enter. Someone who attends the temple regularly and is well known to those in charge must still not be allowed admittance if they have left their recommend at home. And the recommend has to be renewed regularly. The requirements are stiff: chastity, tithing, obedience to the commandments, support of leaders, faithfulness in attending meetings, the list goes on. These are, of course, Christian virtues and every Christian aspires to be faithful in them but...

In contrast, the whole purpose of the temple in ancient Israel was to make those attending aware of their unworthiness before God. It was not their worthiness that qualified them to go, but rather their unworthiness that necessitated their attending and making the required sacrifices.

"When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin." (Lev.5: 5, cf Hebrews 5:1-2).

Comparing these two approaches reminds us of Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the publican who went to pray in the temple (Luke 18). The Pharisee was proud of his worthiness and was condemned by Jesus. The man who went away justified was the publican who bowed his head and said, "God be merciful to me, a sinner."

When I became a Christian I became that publican, calling on God to have mercy on me, a sinner. Last Sunday I attended church and took communion having been assured by my leaders that "this table is for sinners." I came as a sinner, knowing I would not be turned away by the Lord who paid for my sins with his blood; I partook of the elements remembering what he has done for me and the implicactions for my life as a Christan and I fellowshipped with others at the table, knowing that each came, a sinner, seeking the gift of life and not depending on their own worthiness.

I thought of you Jack Mormon and it broke my heart to think that you excluded yourself for the very reason I was included in my Christian Church.

www.spamlds.org said...

Sorry if the truth hurts. Please don't mistake my boldness for a lack of meekness before God. I'll simply refer to the quote from Calvin at the bottom of your page.

"A DOG BARKS WHEN HIS MASTER IS ATTACKED. I WOULD BE A COWARD IF I SAW THAT GOD'S TRUTH IS ATTACKED AND YET WOULD REMAIN SILENT."

I hold no personal enmity towards you because I don't know you. However, the course you are pursuing is leading you into darkness and has the potential to deceive others. I would be remiss if I did not warn others of the danger.

I know by the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith lived and died as a prophet of God, that he translated the Book of Mormon. I know he beheld God the Father and Jesus Christ.

You can quote Romans and the Bible all you like, but you can't prove that Joseph Smith didn't see what he saw any more than Paul could disprove the vision that Stephen saw at his martyrdom.

If you will recall, even Satan quoted scripture to Jesus during the 40 days in the wilderness. Paul said that "devils believe and tremble," but their belief doesn't save them. The Pharisees used scripture to prove to their followers that Jesus wasn't their Messiah.

It seems that God's prophets always invite the seeker to approach God and obtain the Spirit of God, whereas the pretenders invite seekers to approach and give honor to their book, teaching that God will never speak again.

You once felt the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and even admit that you did. Then you turned against that Spirit and now you fight against it. You now teach others to resist it. I too, can quote Paul:

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

In some instances, when a soul wanders from the flock, gentleness and meekness is appropriate to win him back to Christ. In other instances, where the individual has not "wandered" but has intentionally strayed and begins to teach dangerous doctrines, opposing the true and living Church, it is appropriate to be more direct in the manner of warning.

Like your Calvin quotation, it would have been wrong for me to remain silent while you disparage that which is of God.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

So you don't believe in the Bible then?

LDS Saint said...

Thomas said,
"Now I want to repeat what I often have to say to Mormons I meet; Christians believe in obedience and good works and that "faith without works is dead". However, Christians do not depend on works for salvation; thy do not work to be saved but because they are saved, and bring their sins and struggles to the Cross where they are dealt with because of finished work of Christ and the faith of the believer. Saved by grace, through faith in Christ."

Reading your comment, I would need to ask you to expand on your belief about faith and works. It appears that you are saying that there is no need to do any Temple work, since you used the Temple as an example.

What other kind of "works" do you refer to about the Church of Jesus Christ that you believe are not required?

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

Some confusion appears to have arisen through this discussion about my name. It is a minor thing to be sure but we all like to hear our Monica used properly.

My name is Mike Thomas. I don't mind you calling me Mike but it does feel weird being called Thomas (no slight intended to people with Thomas as a given name)

I appreciate your question and would be happy to discuss it but I would appreciate first your responding to my point, i.e. that believers in the Bible went to the temple because they were unworthy and not because they were worthy. At the temple sacrifices were made in atonement for their sins.

I would also be interested in your understanding of the story of the Pharisee and the Publican. Surely, in the Mormon scheme, the Pharisee was worthy?

LDS Saint said...

Mike said:
"I appreciate your question and would be happy to discuss it but I would appreciate first your responding to my point, i.e. that believers in the Bible went to the temple because they were unworthy and not because they were worthy. At the temple sacrifices were made in atonement for their sins.

I would also be interested in your understanding of the story of the Pharisee and the Publican. Surely, in the Mormon scheme, the Pharisee was worthy?"


Thanks for the correction regarding your name.

About your question.

Temples and Worthiness
The sacrifices in the Old Testament temple (before the death of Christ) were in similitude of the sacrifice of Christ. The atonement work for the unworthy was done by the Aaronic Priesthood and that Priest "must be worthy" to do the work, else he would die when entering the room that contained the Ark of the Covenant. The first born of the flock was sacrificed outside in the outer parts of the temple.

Once the atonement was completed by Jesus Christ, those sacrifices were stopped, but as we know the Jews did not stop it as they did not accept Jesus as the Saviour, but it stopped in the early Christian Church with the Apostles.

The New Testament Bible holds a little information about Temple works by the early Christian Church, unless you go into historic accounts. The Bible example is 1 Cor 15:29, refers to Baptism for the Dead. To do such work requires "worthiness" but it is work for the "unworthy" and for those who did not have the opportunity to benefit from the atonement and baptism and are dead.

Ordinance work that is done in the temple requires the person to be worthy to perform the work, else it defiles the work and has no value to God or the persons involved.

The temple in the Old Testament, New Testament and modern day requires worthy members to perform the work. Since Jesus Christ gave us the atonement, the sacrifices and offerings found in the Old Testament temple of God ended. Such "unworthiness" is resolved through baptism by water, by the Spirit and continual repentance and obedience to the commandments.

If a member becomes unworthy in his life, he does not enter the Temple to resolve it, the atonement generally allows him to repent, fast and abstain from sin to overcome his unworthiness unless further disciplinary action is required.

Now if you refer to the lack of perfection while in the flesh, as "unworthiness", this is sanctified by maintaining temporal and spiritual worthiness through all that we can do, and the rest is taken up by the power of grace and the atonement. That is how it works.

Pharisee's and the Publican
This story in Luke is to teach the importance of humbleness. The publican recognized his weakness as a mortal and did not exalt himself above anyone, where the Pharisee was proud and self-exalting. If you refer to "unworthiness" here, this unworthiness is in terms of mortal weakness, this is part of what can make us humble. Such weakness does not leave us while on this earth and this is not counted as "unworthiness" when speaking in terms of temple attendance. Personal exercise of righteousness is what offsets this mortal weakness and keeps us sanctified.

The word "unworthiness", in reference to temple attendance refers to unresolved sins that the person continues to make, or the disobedience the person continues to exercise.

As to the Pharisee's worthiness, the answer from me would be "No", his pride makes him unworthy as the chapter of Luke clearly shows.

Now your turn about my question to you about works.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I am a little concerned that an inference typically drawn by Mormons in a discussion like this is that "Christians don't believe in works." I have already said this but it bears repeating; I believe firmly in the role of obedience and works in the Christian life.

The question is what role works play in our respective faiths. The answer from my point of view is found on the Roman Road and I wonder how many here have actually travelled that road and pondered its direction and message.

LDS Saint said...

To: Mike Thomas

I have learned to ask for the persons viewpoint on any particular scripture to understand what that person truly thinks and feels about it.

All too often people claim their beliefs is as per a scripture and for me to read it, but that tells me they really do not know what it means if they cannot articulate their belief. It is all about interpretation and that is what I am asking of you, what is your interpretation of grace vs works, in your own words.

Your article above does not explain it and you leave it off at the following,

The question is what role works play in our respective faiths. The answer from my point of view is found on the Roman Road and I wonder how many here have actually traveled that road and pondered its direction and message.

So, what works do you believe are not required and what works are required, in your view.

LDS Saint said...

Mike, I wish to add to my most recent comment that is still in que.

When you said,
I am a little concerned that an inference typically drawn by Mormons in a discussion like this is that "Christians don't believe in works."

Others make the inference because there is "No" explanation given. By posting scripture is not an explanation of how you believe. The "inference" occurs because it is "assumed" based on general beliefs of other Christians, but that is not fair to you because you could have quite a different view than most other Christians.

This is why I asked for articulation of your beliefs about grace and works, so there is no longer an "inference" (assumption).

So I hope that you are willing to provide an explanation, with examples hopefully, and I would look forward to reading it.

Blessings.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I am glad you are cautious about drawing wrong inferences. But I disagree with your claim that there is no explanation. I think you will find that I believe what most Christians, certainly Evangelicals, believe and the explanations are certainly there.

Perhaps it is not what Evangelicals say but what Mormons hear. In my experience most Mormons get their understanding of my faith from their own leaders and teachers. This is ironic when you consider the typical Mormon objection that people should get their understanding of Mormonism from Mormons.

Let me put it in the form of a conversation not unlike conversations I have had with Mormons in the past:

Conversation with a Mormon

Christian,: Where do you get the idea that “Christians don’t believe in works”?

Mormon: Every Evangelical I speak to tells me that they are saved by grace alone. But James 1:5 says that “faith without works is dead”.

Christian: Do you count any Evangelicals among your friends?

Mormon: Yes, I do and they all say the same thing – “grace alone, faith alone”.

Christian: These Evangelical friends, do they go to church?

Mormon: Yes, we see them setting off Sunday mornings about the same time as us.

Christian: And do they have a nice building in which to meet?

Mormon: Yes, it’s a nice building.

Christian: And they have a pastor? Is he full time? Does he get paid to preach?

Mormon: Yes, their pastor is a professional man.

Christian: And do your Evangelical friends get involved in the community?

Mormon: Yes, they seem to have open houses just like we do and they run a soup kitchen. They also have something called – “Street Pastors” I think.

Christian: How do you think the building, its upkeep, the pastor, etc. are paid for?

Mormon: I suppose they take up a collection or something.

Christian: So, these Christian friends, who don’t believe in works, attend church regularly and seem to pay for their own building, pastor and running expenses by what I suppose you would call tithes and offerings.

They busy themselves with charity work, invite the neighbours in for refreshments and make every effort to tell the gospel. Quite busy then; for people who don’t believe in works?

Mormon: I hadn’t thought of it that way. But if works are required then why don’t you say as much instead of continually talking about “grace alone”?

Christian: But works are not required.

Mormon: I don’t understand. You are making no sense.

Christian: I am making perfect sense; biblical sense. But you are right in saying you don’t understand. It is because you are so full of Mormon preconceptions about my faith that you have left no room for any other understanding.

My faith will never fit into the scheme of Mormonism because it looks nothing like Mormonism. No temples, no “priesthood”, except that which we share as followers of Christ, no “law of eternal progression” because all that we need to grow more Christ-like we find in Christ.

“Church” is not, for us, an institution we join to be saved but a natural congregating of all those who are in Christ to sing his praises, encourage one another and work to build his kingdom.

LDS Saint said...

To Mike Thomas:

Thank-you for the explanation, the part that was pertinent from what you posted is this:

"My faith will never fit into the scheme of Mormonism because it looks nothing like Mormonism. No temples, no “priesthood”, except that which we share as followers of Christ, no “law of eternal progression” because all that we need to grow more Christ-like we find in Christ.

“Church” is not, for us, an institution we join to be saved but a natural congregating of all those who are in Christ to sing his praises, encourage one another and work to build his kingdom."


The other parts, except the examples of charity work etc, were not needed at all.

Reading your explanation, as I understand it, says, that you do not believe in the government structure of the Mormon Church which involves the priesthood and do not believe in most or certain laws taught by the Mormon Church as part of the spiritual government. This includes to have NO need for a temple and hence, NO need to prove "worthiness" to attend anything. Your position, using the Bible, eliminates such things and as such makes life in a church (generally speaking) much easier, with no set "requirements" as the Mormon Church sets out, taking any pressure away created by any imposed responsibilities set out by a Mormon-like religious structure.

This means, in your church, you can pay to the "offering" if you want or not, as much as you want or as little, with no set percentage and no backlash if you do not pay at all. From this, there is then NO affect to any idea of worthiness as to whether you pay or not, because according to the believe you hold, you are already saved and there is nothing more to do, prove or sustain. In your position, to build Zion holds to no immediate authority to anything and not directed by any authority. The only "authority" if considered one, is the pastor of the local church.

In this framework, you choose to do when you do it or do little if you choose since you are already saved. Such things "Do Not" bear down on you as to any worthiness. You will not be taken to task, if what you do or fail to do is considered against any doctrine or beliefs, means you can have a glass or two of wine if you want. With most churches out there, there is no excommunication and no disfellowshipping since membership is totally free of responsibility other than having faith and believing, which seems to be where your church fits.

There are no callings per-se in this framework in which you believe, other than what the pastor asks you to do to help. In many ways, for many of these kind of churches, there are also no real missionaries since that would require some rules to administer. There may be missionary work as to travel to poorer countries to help out, but missionary service to proselyte is not part of your church beliefs and structure.

The believe in this framework you described says that all doctrines about salvation that the Mormon Church teaches, other than belief, faith and charity, are of no consequence since you are already saved. There are no levels of progression or salvation, as entrance to one of three heavens. The tendency of this framework holds to the belief there are only two places, Heaven or Hell, the former being with God and latter being with Satan where all nonbelievers go.

Am I correct so far? If not, please comment to anything that does not fit your beliefs and correct it to what is your belief.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I am sorry if some of my explanation seems superfluous but I flatter myself that others may be reading and may need a fuller account of things. Neither do I want to assume anything on your part.

You are quite wrong in almost every respect. Perhaps you should realise that direct comparisons between Mormonism and Christianity are futile and thoroughly misleading.

The Mormon view is that what I have is a sort of Christianity-lite while Mormonism is the real thing "restored", a sort of Christianity with muscle.

You believe that your faith is a fuller expression of mine, that if I were to become a Mormon your church would add to what I have and correct some misconceptions on my part. GBH famously said this.

On that basis a Mormon will typically expect to see at least some parallels, some features that can be compared in order to better understand "some of the differences".

I believe that your faith bears no resemblance to mine at all. That mine is the original Christianity of the New Testament and that no elements of my faith can be made to correspond with elements of yours.

You don't understand because you are looking for direct comparisons such as , "we have temples and you don't; we have formal priesthood and you don't; we have rules and you don't." This will never work and if you are to understand you must forget Mormonism and attend to my, totally different, religion (I mean as an intellectual exercise of course).

Of course we have order, structure and rules to live by. It would be impossible to function without these things. Of course, we believe in obedience, charity, making sacrifices and being accountable but these simply don't work in any way you would relate to because my Christian faith is completely unlike your Mormon faith.

Its foundation is different, its structure is different, its ethos is different, its adherents think entirely differently to the way you think and what gives us confidence and hope is quite different.

I don't mean any of this in a dismissive or disparaging way but simply want to press home how very, very different is the way we believe.

So if you are to understand you must be prepared to see through different eyes before you could possibly say whether you like what you see. Otherwise, you will simply be judging and dismissing a caricature of my faith based on inappropriate comparisons with your faith and on misconceptions taught by your church.

I want to talk further about temples and pick up on your earlier observations but right now I have to get to bed so goodnight.

LDS Saint said...

To Mike Thomas:

Mike, if you want to have a contest on who understands the Bible better, we can go at it. Attempts to judge me as incapable in thought and intelligence to comprehend your beliefs is condescending at best. After reading your recent comment and other comments above, I agree with a previous assessment that you have some issue with Mormons and seem to take a sharp approach all the time, like a two-by-four approach.

I am quite adapt to debate and I can dive into scripture dueling, if that is what you wish, but I have no desire to do this.

If you want respect for your beliefs, then show it toward me like a true Christian and we can move on with our conversation. I am showing respect toward you, so stop trying to stomp my head with your judgments ideas about Mormons.

I am not a fool, neither is my doctrinal and scripture knowledge of all scriptures (includes the Bible) controlled or manipulated by anyone, not even the prophet or general authorities.

So the only person that is judging and dismissing is you. Can you hold yourself to a better conversation and leave your Mormon issues aside?

Now, you will never know what I can understand and perceive until you speak more directly to the topic at hand. That is why I asked for your explanation of your beliefs, so I can clearly see and it is why I asked you to make corrections, not judgments.

So, the part that you said in your recent conversation,
Of course we have order, structure and rules to live by. It would be impossible to function without these things. Of course, we believe in obedience, charity, making sacrifices and being accountable but these simply don't work in any way you would relate to because my Christian faith is completely unlike your Mormon faith.

Its foundation is different, its structure is different, its ethos is different, its adherents think entirely differently to the way you think and what gives us confidence and hope is quite different.


So go from there, expand on this about temples. Let us converse about your beliefs so we both stand on the same page.

Also, for your information, I used the examples of the Mormon Church because you can relate to it better than some obscure example of a no-name church no one here knows. It was a "point of reference" and comparison to aid understanding. A basis by which we can continue to converse and explain differences.

You also claimed that what you believe is what early Christianity believed. I would also be interested to see what that is or what those beliefs are and we can compare notes, because I study early Christianity.

Can we move along now?

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I was merely saying that you will never understand what I believe until you stop trying to look at it through Mormon eyes.

You say there is "no answer" to the question of grace and works in my faith but this is not true. The answer is lying around in great lumps in the Christian landscape.

It is there in study courses, books, sermons, the Bible and Bible reading plans. Christians talk about little else and yet Mormons hear anything but; why!

If the answer is there I can only conclude that you don't see it as an answer but as an obstacle.

"We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God"
(1 Co.1:23-24)

Your comments about the temple are a good example of answers being readily available but strangely overlooked by Mormon eyes. You mention 1 Co15:29 as “a little information about Temple works by the early Christian Church, unless you go into historic accounts.” But tThere is nothing in the Bible about being baptised for the dead in temples. You have come to this conclusion by putting a Mormon gloss on one verse which does not mention temples. You have read it through Mormon eyes.

You also wrote that "The atonement work for the unworthy was done by the Aaronic Priesthood and that Priest "must be worthy" to do the work...”

Where you have read into 1 Co.15:29 a temple reference that cannot be justified from the text you have here overlooked what the New Testament does say about the temple and how it relates to Christ. In Hebrews we read:

"He [the high priest] is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people." (Heb.5:2-3)

The high priest is not "worthy" any more than the people he represents in the tabernacle. Indeed, the text makes plain that he is just like them, a sinner in need of having a sacrifice made to atone for his sin.

If obedience made them acceptable then the sacrifice would have not been necessary.

In the same way, Christ, our Great High Priest, makes the sacrifice of his own life to open the way for us to be acceptable to God.

" Therefore, since we have a great high priest, who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
(Heb.4:14-16)

The only One who ever entered the temple on account of his worthiness was Jesus. The other high priests came on the same terms as everyone else, a sinner in need of mercy, like the publican in Jesus' parable.

Jesus became our sacrifice and, just as Israel approached God through the sacrifices of the temple (not based on obedience and worthiness) so Christians approach God "with confidence" because of the sacrifice, once for all, of Jesus Christ, our great high priest.

You wrote of 1 Co.15:29 as representing the "little information" we have on temples in the NT. Yet Hebrews is bursting with information (esp.chs.4-7) of how the temple relates to our Christian faith. Paul's letters are filled with parallels correctly drawn between the temple and the Christian faith. Yet, for you, this one verse just about sums it up; Why? Because you are reading the Bible through Mormon eyes.

The faith of a Christian is understood only when the Bible is allowed to speak for itself. If you bring your interpretation to the Bible then you have already made up your mind and the Bible can say nothing to you.

LDS Saint said...

MThomas Said:
"I was merely saying that you will never understand what I believe until you stop trying to look at it through Mormon eyes."

My reply:
You will never understand what I believe and how I believe until you stop trying to look at it through arrogant eyes.

I am sorry Mike, but I tried to hold my tongue on your snipes, but now I must comment. Your statement is self-righteous and self-serving, imposing a degrading judgement that I am "inadequate" because I am a Mormon. This statement of yours is clearly pumping your self-image (prideful) as someone who has all the answers. I suggest you reflect on your mindset because the Bible speaks against such an state of mind.

1 Corinthians 4:6
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.


You will not get very far with any Mormon so long as you speak to them the way you have spoken to me. I have showed you respect and you treat me with disrespect.

MThomas said:
You say there is "no answer" to the question of grace and works in my faith but this is not true. The answer is lying around in great lumps in the Christian landscape.

MY reply:
Mike, you have failed to understand what I said. I said in my comment dated October 1, 2009 as follows:

Others make the inference because there is "No" explanation given. By posting scripture is not an explanation of how you believe. The "inference" occurs because it is "assumed" based on general beliefs of other Christians,...

Telling me to read Romans or Paul's letters does not tell me how you believe. YOU must tell me how you believe. YOU must tell me what you interpret in those Bible scriptures, else there is "No Answer" from you. It is ridiculous to claim or expect that the Bible tells me how you "view and perceive". The Bible is not your mind, it is God's mind and your mind is not God's mind. (Isaiah 55:8)

There are millions of people (non-Mormons) who will believe differently than you and I, and if they all say "read the scriptures to understand" their beliefs, is a really a cop-out on their part. Then when a person reads those scriptures and he says that the scriptures do not say what they believe, suddenly that person is judged as inferior? That is manipulative Mike and I strongly suggest you stop doing it and trying to set me up for a false failure.

So why is it so hard for you to explain, in your own words, your beliefs?

MThomas said:
It is there in study courses, books, sermons, the Bible and Bible reading plans. Christians talk about little else and yet Mormons hear anything but; why!

My reply:
There are 34,000 plus different Christian denominations, all appear to be similar, but most have differing doctrines and beliefs, yet all claim it is from the Bible. Even the belief in the Trinity doctrine differs among them, and with these differences, none are in the Bible, BUT they are from their own "personal interpretations", called "private interpretations" in the Bible (see 2 Peter 1:20)

MThomas said:
If the answer is there I can only conclude that you don't see it as an answer but as an obstacle.

My Reply:
Your the obstacle Mike, not the scriptures. Tell you what, you pull up some scriptures, post them here in the comments or make a separate blog article to them, AND explain in your OWN WORDS what you "see" in those scriptures and I will comment. Then we will both see who understands what - OK?

I will end this comment here, I hope you take the last suggestion and by that we will resolve this claim you make that I do not read the scriptures properly.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I am sorry you feel this way. I feel I have explained myself exhaustively and you have chosen to accuse instead of engaging with the explanations I have begun to give (note "begun")

Perhaps it is because, through Mormon eyes, you expect sound bite answers to eternal questions. But it is not a question of verse-for-verse exchanges as though in some sort of combat (it was you who raised the subject of a contest over Bible understanding).

If I am frustratingly slow and deliberate in handling your questions it is because I am determined to say those things that need to be said for clarity and reject with reason those things that I know all too well Mormons erroneously think about my faith.

I have shared my testimony, explained that my faith cannot be understood looking alone through Mormon eyes, I have begun to address the question of faith and works (although it seems not to your satisfaction), answered some important points about the temple and cited Scripture to make my points.

You have not responded to any of it except to complain with bad grace and call me everything bar a man. Are you prepared to discuss further the important issue of the temple? The fact that 1 Co.15:29 has nothing to do with temples except through Mormon eyes? The fact that no one in the Bible approached the temple "worthy" except Jesus?

If these things cannot be addressed how are you to get your answers? For it is through these verses and others on the subject that the Bible opens up the wonderful truth of the gospel I embraced when I left the Mormon Church.

LDS Saint said...

Let me make myself clear. - You are not my source of spiritual answers about God, his doctrines and his mind. The scriptures are the source AND his Holy Spirit, which the latter you sorely disbelieve (and you accuse me of misunderstanding scripture). It is clear that you love bantering back and forth with your snipes, it is you that sniped me and I replied, or do I have to re-post your words in sequence to address your attitude? Since you will not stop, maybe you will stop the snipes if I take the positive step.

MThomas Said:
You also wrote that "The atonement work for the unworthy was done by the Aaronic Priesthood and that Priest "must be worthy" to do the work...”

My reply:
Yes and if you read the context of that paragraph, it referred to the Ark of the Covenant, which refers to the Old Testament Temples, not New Testament. It is clear in the Old Testament that if the priest failed to be worthy when entering the room with the Ark, he would die. An unworthy person cannot be doing what the priest had to do.

MThomas said:
... In Hebrews we read: "He [the high priest] is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people." (Heb.5:2-3)

The high priest is not "worthy" any more than the people he represents in the tabernacle. Indeed, the text makes plain that he is just like them, a sinner in need of having a sacrifice made to atone for his sin....If obedience made them acceptable then the sacrifice would have not been necessary.


My reply:
First off, Hebrews 5:2-3 does make reference to anything about Temple work. It speaks about the weakness of mortality. This is a different worthiness and I addressed it in my comment above when I explained temples. We are all subject to infirmities, no matter how perfect we are to God.

As to "Obedience", it makes a person acceptable to do God's work. Obedience does not take away our mortal weaknesses, but sanctifies us to God. The requirement for sacrifice by Jesus does not remove God's commandment to obey, (John 14:15)

The interesting thing is that since the Old Testament, the spiritual value of obedience is considered far greater in value to God. (see 1 Samuel 15:22)

MThomas said:
The only One who ever entered the temple on account of his worthiness was Jesus. The other high priests came on the same terms as everyone else, a sinner in need of mercy, like the publican in Jesus' parable.

My reply:
No question that all of us require the mercy of God no matter what we do, speaking of our efforts alone. Obedience and proper acts will gain worthiness from God upon us, to sanctify us in our mortal weaknesses. His righteousness clothes us. Failing to abide in the commandments and do what is right and continue to repent, would disqualify us to God, making us unworthy.

MThomas said:
The faith of a Christian is understood only when the Bible is allowed to speak for itself. If you bring your interpretation to the Bible then you have already made up your mind and the Bible can say nothing to you.

My reply:
This statement of yours seems to speak of the belief that the Bible interprets itself. Others fall into a false notion that what they read is what the Bible says because they think they have not interpreted anything and the Bible told them. This is irresponsible and foolishness thinking. The Bible or any scripture does not interpret for people, people need to learn to read it properly. It is why God said that we must overcome the "natural man" who views things with the "carnal mind". We are to learn how to have a "spiritual mind". It is why Paul said that the "natural man cannot understand spiritual things" Peter has warned us about "private interpretations". It behoves me to see others claim they have the correct interpretation from the Bible because the Bible told them. If this was so easy, why would Peter say we require teaching by the Holy Spirit? (Luke 12:12)

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

First I want to say that my understanding of the verses under discussion is completely uncontroversial in the Christian world. I write this to highlight that your understanding is purely Mormon; seen exclusively through Mormon eyes and aberrant in Christian terms.

I do believe in the work of the Spirit but, clearly, your understanding is quite different from my own. A Mormon typically believes that it is the work of the Spirit to affirm his faith by feelings. The prophet tells you what to believe and the Spirit makes you feel good about it.

A typical Christian will expect the Spirit to illuminate Scripture and affirm the continuity and preeminence of God's word.

A Christian reads the Bible, trusting that it "Will make you wise for salvation... is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" ( 2 Tim.3:15-17) and expects the Spirit to illuminate that word and prepare the reader for equipping.

I understand your point about the worthiness of the priest but your remark begs the question. Hebrews makes clear that the priest, "has to offer sacrifices for his own sins". He doesn't approach God "worthy" but "covered" by the blood of sacrifice. In your original remark you wrote:

"The atonement work for the unworthy was done by the Aaronic Priesthood and that Priest "must be worthy" to do the work, else he would die when entering the room that contained the Ark of the Covenant"

You seemed to differentiate between the unworthy Israelite and the worthy priest. But if the priest first makes the sacrifice for himself then he is no different.

The sacrificial system was a means of access to God. It made those who approached him acceptable because of his mercy. The priest did not at all stand apart from this in his role of intermediary. He came the same way because he was unworthy.

(I am going to post this now and come back to the next part because I keep going over my character count and don't want to cut corners on Hebrews)

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I am not sure I understand when you write:

"First off, Hebrews 5:2-3 does make reference to anything about Temple work. It speaks about the weakness of mortality."

I think you mean that this reference has nothing to do with temple work and meant to write "doesn't make reference". If this is the case I can only say that this is another example of how far apart your idea of temples is from what the Bible says.

There is no "temple work" in the Bible the way you mean it, i.e. making covenants, learning doctrine, work for the dead etc. The only temple work in the Bible, if you wish to call it that, is the sacrificial system.

The reference in question is all about the temple and how it is "a similitude of Christ's sacrifice" (I think you wrote this somewhere.)

Heb.4:14-16 - Christ is our great high priest "who has gone through the heavens" into the holy place where God is just as the earthly high priest went through the veil to the holy of holies.

Heb.5:1-10 - Christ our high priest who "is able to symapthise with our weaknesses"just like the earthly high priest (4:15) but who is also different in important ways. He became the source of eternal salvation.

Heb.7 - Unlike earthly priests, Christ is a priest forever.

Heb. 8 - He is the high priest of a new covenant.

Heb.9 - The contrast between the earthly and heavenly tabernacles and covenants. Noteworthy are the words of Heb.9:11-14 which says that the blood of goats and bulls made people ceremonially clean but the blood of Christ can cleanse our conscience.

Heb.10 - The Law is a shadow of the realities and good things to come.

The whole thing is about the temple and blood sacrifices, high priests, and penitents approaching God through the sacrificial bood of animals and then of Christ.

And, of course, there is talk of obedience and perseverence but these issue in the lives of the saved and are not works that issue in salvation, otherwise Christ's blood was shed in vain.

LDS Saint said...

MThomas said
"I do believe in the work of the Spirit but, clearly, your understanding is quite different from my own. A Mormon typically believes that it is the work of the Spirit to affirm his faith by feelings. The prophet tells you what to believe and the Spirit makes you feel good about it."

My reply:
Your statement against "feelings" is not unique and a most common. You reveal the warning made in the Bible - “appearance of godliness, deny the power of God” (2 Timothy 3:5)

Affirmations by the Spirit is one way to confirm correctness. The prophet does not control our thoughts. Joseph Smith / Brigham Young warned against blind faith saying we must ensure we are lead correctly - through the Spirit. Your statement denouncing feelings denies the Holy Ghost and leaves you to only one thing - "private interpretations". This of you is not scriptural and certainly not a practice by the early Christian Church of the New Testament. The Bible holds several examples of how the Holy Ghost works in us. The word "moved" indicates feelings (Acts 7:9; 17:5), moved with envy (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 18:27), moved with compassion (Hebrews 11:7), so when the Bible speaks of being "moved by the Holy Ghost" ( 2 Peter 1:21), that clearly refers to "feelings".

Then the cause by the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles when Jesus returned (Luke 24:32). They had NO Bible then, so all those epistles, writings of Acts, etc, where did they come from? The Bible is by "revelation". Hence, the working methods of the Holy Ghost, in the Bible, are many, not just by feelings, but by the "still small voice", "moved by", "feelings of", "enlightened" (Hebrews 6:4), etc. So our "Mormon eyes" are not so blind Mr Thomas.

MThomas said
"A Christian reads the Bible, trusting that it "Will make you wise for salvation... is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" ( 2 Tim.3:15-17) and expects the Spirit to illuminate that word and prepare the reader for equipping."

My Reply:
Your use of 2 Timothy 3:15-17 is incorrect. Paul refers to faith. A member of "God's church" must abide in ALL “inspired scriptures” Your statement - "A Christian reads the Bible trusting...and expects the Spirit (this latter part causes the problem)", is a very bad reference to/use of 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and completely out of context. To be correct, address the value of "holy scriptures that are given by revelation", means ALL scriptures given by God. Paul also said scriptures will make us wise "THROUGH FAITH". A person who has erred in faith, by sin or denying the Holy Spirit, teaching false doctrines, etc, will NOT receive wisdom. Thus the assumption that the Bible "automatically" gives this wisdom is a false doctrine.

What is notably contradictory from your words is your statement on one hand denying the methods of the Holy Ghost, against “feelings”, then claim the Spirit will illuminate the word for a reader. This contradiction denies the power of the Holy Ghost. A contradiction is not of God, it is of Satan. The falsehood is in the expecting the typed word on the page to "illuminate". IN truth, illumination does not happen on the physical page (outward signs), it occurs within the mind and heart. Remember the scripture, "moved by the Holy Ghost", "enlightened" etc? The power of the Holy Ghost first affects us "within" (refer to Philip 4:7 / Heb 8:10/ Heb 10:16). Anything to do with the power of the Holy Ghost always involves inward feelings and experiences, (i.e burning of the bosom -Luke 24:32). The Bible warns against being "past feelings", because of darkened understanding, alienated from the life of God (life of God is "spiritual", affects by the Holy Ghost is...SPIRITUAL) and blindness of the heart - Ephesians 4: 18-20.

A word of warning - "Deny the Holy Ghost or his ways of working in us, and ye shall not see (perceive) his works at all and be denied yourself".

LDS Saint said...

Correction, I was trying to say, “Hebrews 5:2-3 does not make reference...” The word “not” is missing. The after-affect of character counts for posting.

MThomas said:
“I think you mean that this reference has nothing to do with temple work and meant to write "doesn't make reference". If this is the case I can only say that this is another example of how far apart your idea of temples is from what the Bible says”

MY reply:
That is an example of misuse of the scriptures by those who abide in false doctrines. That is why you are far apart from others. If I am wrong, explain how Hebrews 5:2-3 speaks about temples or temple work.

MThomas said:
“There is no "temple work" in the Bible the way you mean it, i.e. making covenants, learning doctrine, work for the dead etc. The only temple work in the Bible, if you wish to call it that, is the sacrificial system...... The reference in question is all about the temple and how it is 'a similitude of Christ's sacrifice'"

My reply:
Hebrews 5:2-3 does not refer to any sacrificial system, if you claim it does, then explain. The sacrificial system in the Bible (your reference), does not deny or end Temple work that the LDS Church practices. The references of Hebrews you gave do NOT remove or replace Temple work. If anything, some of these Bible passages indicate more work is required and can be applied to the existence of Temple work.

Hebrews 4:11 – “Let us labour therefore to enter into his rest...”
Hebrews 5:1 – High priest...ordained in things pertaining to God...offer gifts and sacrifices for sins (if this is a reference, it is more for Temple work than not, since the high priest ordained may offer the sacrifice in the temple. No replacement for Temple work here).
Hebrews 8:4, 13 – priests offer gifts according to the law / a new covenant (verse 4 may refer to New Testament Temple work, at least in the Jewish Temples, verse 13, a new covenant does hold Temple work as part of the covenant).
Hebrews 9 (spoke of Old Testament Temples and sacrifices, saying that Christ replaces the sacrifices. This does not deny Temple work, it changes the work).
Hebrews 10: 20-21new way of living... having a high priest over the house of God (Temple)
Matthew 16:18-19 Peter...rock...build my church...give thee keys of the kingdom of heaven ...bind on earth..shall be bound in heaven...” (refers to temple work. No other Christian, outside the LDS Church has these keys to do such works. Reference to Church of Christ refers to “his one Church” not many Churches as you adhere to)

NOTE: all Bible references I make is from the King James Version, unless I note otherwise.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

LDSSaint

I am not quite sure where you want to go with this. I have gone to some lengths to explain my own faith, which is the subject under discussion in light my testimony, and everything I say is met by your ill-tempered outburts.

You accused me early on of having problems with Mormonism as though this came as a surprise to you. Of course I have problems with Mormonism. If I didn't then I would still be a Mormon. Duh!

Nevertheless, you continue to judge everything I say according to the Mormon paradigm and get indignant and cross every time I write something that disagrees with your understanding as though you are shocked that I should think differently. Of course I think differently; if I didn't I would still be a Mormon.

You take as a personal insult the fact that I do disagree with you even though no insult is intended and no reasonable person would find insulting what I write.

Bear in mind that this is my blog and, while I do not wish to be territorial, I have tolerated some pretty harsh and hurtful treatment from Mormons (who are supposed to be "Christians") for no other reason than that I don't agree with Mormonism. I have been called lazy and arrogant, a liar, malicious, deceitful and the list goes on; that is only in this discussion.

I have not complained about it and every comment has been published regardless. Now it seems I have to tolerate your own barrage of scolding remonstrances and I begin to wonder what it is you think you are achieving.

Why do you find it difficult to hear what are simply contrary opinions to your own? Why is doubting Mormon claims a capital offense? Why does my alternative understanding draw such bile from you? You obviously don't want to give room in your life to anyone who doesn't fully agree with you and I wonder how lonely that makes you?

I have made every effort to address your questions and as far as I am concerned we have an opportunity to learn more from the Bible but you clearly feel that you have nothing to learn and only scolding diatribe to offer. I am sorry for that.

I have explained my understanding of Hebrews and challenged your understanding of 1 Co.15:29. I have begun to illustrate my understanding of grace and works and challenegd yours. This is normal when people don't agree on a thing. I wish you would address the issues under discussion.

One last point. I believe Mormonism is a cult, Joseph Smith a false prophet and the Book of Mormon a fraud foisted on an unsuspecting public. This should not come as a surprise to you and I wish Mormons would get over themselves and face the fact that people think ill of their religion.

Mormons think ill of mine but I don't have a cow about it every time I meet a Mormon. How about living by that much neglected 13th article of faith of yours and allowing me my conscience without treating my every tenet of faith as an affront to your obviously overdeveloped sensibilities?

LDS Saint said...

MThomas said:
“You accused me early on of having problems with Mormonism as though this came as a surprise to you. Of course I have problems with Mormonism. If I didn't then I would still be a Mormon. Duh”

My reply:
No, it was not a surprise that you had problems, I merely made note that you do. As to your statement that you would still be Mormon if you had no problems with them, referring to me as a dunce in light of your personal logic. Allow me to advise you of a different logic that you have ignored.

Problems with Mormonism or the LDS Church is not uncommon with members, Mr. Thomas. The key to faith and perseverance, to overcome these issues, is prayer and receiving instruction, guidance, help from the Holy Ghost. This is where I believe you erred. One of the major reasons for people leaving the LDS Church is a failed relationship with God. I know this as true, not only by observation and by inspiration, but by experience with overcoming my own issues with the Church. I have gained deeper faith with God, found his great and divine love in those challenges, because I have persevered and asked of God (James 1:5). But, what choices you made are yours to live, yet those choices you made do not make you right, but it is your right to make such choices.

So the logic I present is this, “Problems with Mormons are solvable to remain a Mormon. To not resolve them is an act against faith and God, therefore I had problems with Mormonism, if I didn't, I would no longer be a Mormon.”

Faith is developed Mr. Thomas, challenges to the faith is that process. You walked out on that faith – by your logic, I remained in the faith, by God's logic called “faith” and the “Holy Ghost” and all the Anti-Mormon claims you believe in will not change that. - Said in all fairness in the face of your ill-tempered comments (see below).

MThomas said:
“ You take as a personal insult the fact that I do disagree with you even though no insult is intended and no reasonable person would find insulting what I write.”

My reply:
No, no insult from reasonable disagreement, but from personal attack because I am a Mormon with your quips of “Mormon eyes” etc. Now I addressed your logic and commented that “Mormon eyes are not so blind” .

MThomas said:
“ ...I have tolerated some pretty harsh and hurtful treatment from Mormons (who are supposed to be "Christians") for no other reason than that I don't agree with Mormonism. I have been called lazy and arrogant, a liar, malicious, deceitful and the list goes on; that is only in this discussion.”

My reply:
I hope when you said “only in this discussion”, you refer to other peoples comments, else if it is specifically me, I never called you a liar or any of the other things. But... now having done some research, I have found that you are doing Anti-Mormon works, especially with your book titled, “A Golden Plated Religion”.

As part of my research and what I found, when faced with your statement in your article above, “Contrary to what you might think, I am not part of an anti-Mormon group. I am not an anti-Mormon at all but a Christian.”, you have lied. You are performing works that specifically go after Mormons and the LDS Church. Since you do this, you attract to yourself ill feelings from others. You are attacking our faith Mike, if you had truly remained out of the Anti-Mormon race, no Mormon would be here addressing your own ill feelings against Mormons. You made this issue.

As to what I am able to learn?

Just so you are clearly aware, I refuse to learn Anti-Mormon beliefs or take them on as my own, it is against the faith of God, believe it or not. If you had some true inspired knowledge, I would commend you, whether you are Mormon or not, as I believe all good people can receive inspiration. But an Anti-Mormon heart is a contentious heart as you have shown me and in the spirit of contention is evil, not good. Hence, I abide in the knowledge given to me by the Lord through his Spirit and through his written word. ~ Amen

I now say goodbye.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Just to anticipate any objection on your part your last comment arrived belatedly, after I had posted my last. It does address some issues I raise but I stand by my last comment in that you seem constantly ill-tempered.

You remind me of Bruce R McConkie, who was also ill-tempered and self-regarding to the point of madness. You are aither an ollder person who remembers and bemoans the passing of the man or a throwback to the days when Mormons regarded everyone else as just there to be corrected and rebuked. Either way, you don't seem capable of accepting that not everyone thinks like you much less being curious about why.

I is McConkie too. He was always such an easy target.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Wow! Who was that masked man?

It was the Deranged Loner, son, and his faithful sidekick, Toxic Tonto.

LDS Saint said...

Mike, look into the mirror, your ill-tempered statements were at me from the begining, from you, a man who still has issues with Mormons.

Just because you dislike someone taking you to task for your poor attitude is self-righteous on your part. You made the conversation the way it was, I merely had to address it conversely. After all, it is your blog, be ill tempered if you want, but do not blame others if they take you to task for it. Take responsibility for your own "Feelings".

LDS Saint.

gloria said...

Praise God for what He has done in your life, Mike. It's always wonderful to read of former mormons now sold out for Christ Jesus!

May our precious Lord continue to bless you with His abundant grace,

Gloria

Mike Tea said...

Bless you Gloria. I do like your blog.