read Moroni ch 7 regarding charity. I think this says it all.
I haven't listened to the Beck program for a while, but I was driving to a
meeting yesterday flipping the dial. The importance Jewish Rabbi on the Beck
show was talking about the of distinguishing a good christian from a nonpracting
christian, mormon..., atheist from a bad atheist....so on.He said,
"we live in a time where what we do is far more indicative of who we are
than what we say or believe....I think this applies in matters of race, gender,
politics, religion, etc. I think he summed it up rather succinctly. We should
choose to consume or not consume accordingly.
I believe members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly do
strive to live the principles of the Gospel. We are not perfect and do not
pretend so. And because we believe in God and Jesus Christ and strive to pattern
our lives and actions after them unfortunately we are condemned, misunderstood
and treated shabbily sometimes. But God and Jesus Christ were also treated this
way. There will always be those (even members not active) and non-members who
will choose not to understand what we believe also not accepting us for who we
are. I've always thought they were like that because they just didn't
understand why we believe what we do. I feel bad for those who have not been
taught the Truth and continue to hope that some day there will be peace,
kindness, love and we'll love and forgive them in spite of their weaknesses
and imperfections..because we are not perfect.And the Lord expects us to set an
Re: Baccus0902I'm a convert myself, went on a mission, have had
periods of inactivity, ect. But I never looked to any other Church, because
from the first time I gained my spiritual witness that the Joseph Smith story
was true, I knew that there was no other reason to look further. The only thing
I'll say to you is, there are not that many possibilities to look at. For
instance, the first question is a 50/50 question. Is there a God or not. Then
is Jesus his son or not. Then does Jesus have a true church or not. Then if
there is a true church, is it the Catholic or LDS, or some other. I have
absolute faith in the LDS Church and its leaders. My seeking the purpose of
life is over. Now I'm trying to achieve it.
To follow up. I love being a disciple of Christ, I love serving others, I love
doing all as a a member of the LDS Church. During the recent US Presidential
Election and subsequent election results, a few of my fellow LDS said some awful
political things. Our mutual friends on Facebook who are not LDS saw the posts
and were appalled. None of them are interested in hearing about the LDS Church
because their perceptions of Mormons is one of a nasty and disagreeable people.
Everyone needs to take a step back and realize their political posting not only
represent themselves but how some view the LDS Church, fair or unfair. There is
nothing in the doctrine of Christ that condones using his name to badmouth
@ m.g.scottI converted to the church in 1974. Before that, I was
looking for a church to join. I had left the Catholic Church and was attending
services at different denominations. It took me awhile to accept the LDS church
but eventually I did. I served my mission, was very active in the church for
several years.I guess, some LDS would say that I was baptized but
not converted, because I always had some nagging doubts in the back of my head.
Before, during and after the LDS church in my life, I have studied
the gospel and absolutely any religion that have crossed my path. Some of the
doctrine of the LDS church still is able to elevate my heart and spirit. Yet, I
still can find a powerful spirit in a Catholic Mass or other type of religious
service.The only true church in the world? I have heard many people
say that in the LDS church. However, that doesn't make it necessarily so. I
sincerely wish it did.This last conference, any difference in the
meaning of the word "tolerance" between Elder Packer and President
Monson? If there is a difference? Why?
The LDS Church has always claimed to be the only true church in the world
because of the restoration of priesthood and such. At our conferences our
General Authorities do not get up there and say "My church is better than
your church." Instead we would only say that we can provide more of the
gospel of Jesus Christ to your lives. I think Brigham Young said something
about helping people who are Baptists be better Baptists, or Catholics be better
Catholics. But the LDS Church has never shyed away from proclaiming that they
have the truth and authority of Christ. I'd think that a Catholic for
instance should/would believe that their Church has just as much truth and
authority. As for the Protestants, I can see your problem with both the
Catholics and the Mormons. I as a LDS respect your faith in Christ. I just
think that you could have more. That is what the LDS Church offers, take it or
leave it. Your choice, but thousands of missionaries will try to provide the
opportunity per Mark 16:15.
I think, during Sunday school, as they taught us about who we are, I began to
believe that we are all the same and nobody told me I had to worry about what
religion a person was or what color of skin. In my mind, we were always the
same. So, I have a hard time, as an adult, when I see so much that goes against
what I learned. we were meant to share our lives and grow from that. People of
other faiths can give us so much. I believe the greatest thing we can do is to
give love to others and receive it also. It is so easy to let things get in the
Bill - I have noticed your conversations and I must correct you. No it
isn't a matter of fact. It is your opinion based on what you have been
taught. There is no way to verify that fact. Please don't come back with
the spirit because that same spirit teaches catholics that the pope has a direct
line from Peter, the first pope. So no, you cannot state that as fact. You are
entitled to your opinions, but your opinions don't equal fact.Open Minded MormonDo you mean the faithful saints in the
1800's, that drank beer, smoked cigars, and used coffee and tea? Yes I
agree, that would be great to be more like them.
Brahmabull: The largest problem is when it said with intolerance or belittling.
Neither one of the comments you mentioned even came close to that. Catholics
look at the Pope as infallible, in other words what he says goes with out
question. Many LDS do the same with our Prophets but when one really looks at
what is said there are more important matters that indeed require tolerance and
kindness. None of what was said is unkind. I have heard very few references
that have ever been mentioned. One that was said for years was that the
Catholic Church is the abomnible Church. I can see where that comes from when
one reads the Book of Mormon. However, read it carefully and one sees that is
not what it is saying. Just because I agree with the comments doesn't mean
they were wrong. To me they spoke very clear doctrine. A 12 year old deacon
can weld more power than a thousand Popes or arch-bishops can. Why because of
the Priesthood Authority he holds. That is not an unkind statement. It is a
matter of fact.
Grace's comments seem to illustrate a profound degree of "biblical
ignorance" of her own, if she believed the words of a bunch of anti-Mormon
hatemongers over the testimony of living prophets. Every doctrine of Mormonism
is firmly and solidly grounded in scripture. I have come to learn that myself as
a convert to the church and it shocks me how many of these supposedly
Bible-believing Christians embrace doctrines that are wholly contrary to what
the Bible teaches. A selective interpretation of the writings of the Apostle
Paul, the embrace of unbiblical doctrines like the Trinity and Priesthood of All
Believers, and ignoring virtually the entire Old Testament do not indicate
strong reverence for the Bible, as most Mormons have. But that has been the
basis of Protestantism for centuries. Without living prophets there is no true
church. The Bible makes that abundantly clear.
This is very hard counsel to follow when there is so much intolerance and
hostility towards our own beliefs. But Jesus and the first apostles went through
far worse. I suppose we should be grateful.
IMHO - I find the Amish to be the best "Christian".and, I find Hindus to be living better examples of "Christian" lives
than most Christians.The Muslims running a very close neck-and-neck 2nd
place to them.For Latter-Day Saints, who I believe have the most
correct and truest "Doctrine" from God, I find the
"actions" of the Latter-Day Saints (Utah Mormons) to be sub-par, out of
sorts, and falling behind.As stated just days ago in General
Conference, by the Brethern, and multiple times - the Latter-Day Saints
living in extreme poverty in the developing World, THEY are the truest
Saints...Incidently, there's is the most in common example of
the early "faithful" Saints of the 1830's-1880's.We should be looking at them for our examples -- just as the Bretheren said.
Only when the horribly intolerant things said in LDS scripture (e.g., Joseph
Smith History 1:19) are officially removed from the canon will anyone have
reason to take statements about tolerance seriously.
@ GraceAs a seeker of truth, I have to tell you that among the many
denominations so called Christians. The LDS Church is the one that most research
for truth. In the name of truth, I also have to say that there is a lot of myths
in the LDS teachings.About the Bible, the more I read the Bible and
about the Bible the more I realize that is a book with some beautiful teachings
and some horrend action on the part of its god and his followers.I
think the LDS church and its member have a long way to go. But don't we
all? To think that evangelicals and/or catholics, Jehova's Witnesses are
better Christians, that is highly arguable..... may be individually but not as
an organization.I believe and trust God with all my heart and I see
his work all around me. Personally, I see the work and spirit of God
in all faiths (Islam, Hinduism, etc)and people of good will ( even atheists). It
is we, who in our weakness attemp to look for validation believing that my
church is better than your church.
Bill - I was not offended at the comment, because I am not catholic. I was
shocked at the comment because it is a rediculous statement to make. Do you
think catholics talke about how their pope has more authority than president
Monson? I doubt it. The fact that you think that it was an appropriate comment
to make in church definately shows that there is a problem.
Sharrona,Yes and Yes.
Whew. Lots of folks straining at gnats here, forgetting "the weightier
matters of the law--judgment, mercy, and faith . . ."
RE:Twin Lights. I know the inspired version better than any of my evangelical
friends.Did you know the first 6 chapters of Genesis(JST)contains 311
verses, while the Septuagint and Masoretic texts each contain 184 verses? JS adds 27 verses. Yet there over 120 N.T. quotes which support the
Septuagint and Masoretic texts. Do you believe(Genesis 50:33 JST)?
“That seer… his name shall be called Joseph(Smith), and it shall be
after the name of his father. JS:, prophecy about himself”. NOT found in
Greek LXX(Apostles Bible).RE: Ebed , The LDS are taught to be
tolerant of others. It is enshrined in our 11th Article of Faith. The 11th
Article of faith,1850 Edition, ”We believe in the literal resurrection of
the body, and that in Christ will rise first, and that the rest of the dead
live not again. until the thousand years are expired.”
Brahmabull: I find nothing wrong with the comments pertaining to the Pope nor
do I find anything wrong with what Joseph Smith had to say. Both are factual
with our doctrine. If you find them demining then again YOU choose to be
offended. That is a choice that one makes. We all say or do things that some
find offense with. Again it is a choice to be offended. FOr myself I know what
they said is true but may have not been the best tack. I also do not always use
the best tack but again one must choose to be offended.
Sharrona,I am certain I know the inspired version better than any of
my evangelical friends.
L Valfre,Joseph Smith seldom mentioned Catholicism but when he did
it wasn't negative. For example:"[the] old Catholic Church
is worth more than all [the other churches]—here is a princ[iple]. of
logic–that men have no more sense–I will illustrate [with] an old
apple tree—here jumps off a branch & says I am the true tree. &
you are corrupt–if the whole tree is corrupt how can any true thing come
out of it — the charr[character] of the old ones have always been
sland[ere]d. by all apos[tates] since the world began" (Thomas Bullock
manuscript)The LDS are taught to be tolerant of others. It is
enshrined in our 11th Article of Faith:"We claim the privilege
of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and
allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they
SammyB Less than 2 years ago in my stake conference a high ranking
church member stated something to the affect of how great it was that the
Aaronic priesthood holders have more authority than the pope in Rome.... Not
only is that an inflammatory remark, but if I was a catholic investigator in the
congregation at the time I would have walked out. These comments do still exist.
They may be getting less and less, but they do still happen. Plus, how do we
know that a 12 year old has more authority? Mormons teach it, but don't
know it for sure...
L Valfre,Joseph Smith lived in a very different time when preachers
were viciously contending with each other for converts, even preaching that
other denominations would go to hell. People were straight forward, not caring
if they offended people. Joseph used a lot more tact but he was also the prophet
to bring forth the ancient truths and explain the reality of the current
situation. We do teach that the Catholic Church is not a continuation of the
ancient church and that must be understand for people to see why a restoration
was needed.In the last few decades, our church leaders have spoken
more and more of using gentle, kind words with other Christians and not to
address anything from the pulpit. Some members are negative and needed to hear
the prophets admonition on this. My point was to stand up against anti-Mormons
coming on here and throwing stones before reviewing their own practices of
negativity toward Mormons.
RE: Mountanman additional scriptures other than the Bible. The Hebrew Bible,600
years before Jesus was born, the Prophet Jeremiah said God would make a New
Covenant(N.T.) with Israel. (Jeremiah 31 verses 31-34 ).Paul, wrote:
… the good news of Messiah. It is the power of God to save people from
their sins, for everyone who has faith, to the Jew first, and also to the
Gentile." (Romans 1:16).A Marvelous Work and Wonder, a Modern
Translation. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and
make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB.Is 29:14 is not a
prophecy about the Bom But God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness; He
will remove their discernment from their hearts. Fulfilled in that they
rejected Christ.RE: Twin Lights, I know the Bible better than many
of my evangelical friends. How about the Inspired version?Is 29:14 JST,
But the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16 by the power of
Christ, verse 17,..the three witnesses. Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls ,
Septuagint or KJV.
@SammyB"I have never heard a negative word about other churches
preached from an LDS pulpit. We are taught not to do that."What
did Joseph Smith have to say about Catholicism again?
JohnJacobect.While what you say is true, having grown up attending
other denominations, almost all of of those churches occasionally attacked
Mormons from the pulpit. When I was nine I asked the minister if I could have
just a few minutes the next week to address his 45 minute anti-Mormon rant that
day. I explained that it was only fair but he, of course, didn't agree. I
have never heard a negative word about other churches preached from an LDS
pulpit. We are taught not to do that.Yes, we can and must do better
but we shine a light on actively improving our attitude and conversations with
other religions. How I would have loved it if that had been the standard
practice in the churches I grew up attending, 3 of which cast me out when they
learned I was a Mormon. As a 14 year-old, I was thrown out of a Christian church
and called an anti-Christ even though I begged them to leave the issue alone and
pointed out that I had not said a word about my LDS beliefs and shown nothing
but respect for theirs. I had learned arguing gains nothing.
As a Mormon turned believing in no religion, I will find it very interesting to
see all of the Mormon social media posts that are praiseworthy, yet I post
something deemed as an Atheist (non militant, more humanist) post and see the
backlash from Mormon friends and family. The tenet of Mormonism is to say that
they are being tolerant and loving, but the missionary program presumes people
want to hear, and they never relent. Tolerance is respecting others beliefs or
lack thereof and not bothering us "heathens" with continued testimony on
Facebook, and allowing other views. I hope members of the church follow
Monson's counsel and not Packer's limited view of tolerance.
My fellow LDS need to take heed of President Monson's words. I have had
too many people express no willingness to hear about the Gospel because of some
people's harsh words regarding politics. Being a disciple of Christ does
not give one permission to be disagreeable and nasty. I believe I will be held
accountable for those I help point the direction of the Gospel too, I also
believe I will be responsible if I drive people away.
@ Grace. In the spirit of tolerance, I want to say that I read Walter
Martin's book and all I had to do was to insert Christ and early Christians
into all the points he made against Mormons being cultists and I found
remarkable exact comparisons. Every point he used to defame the LDS church would
have exactly fit Christ and the early Christians! My favorite was Martin's
point that "new cults have additional scriptures other than the Bible".
Early Christians added 4 Gospels, 21 epistles and a book of Revelation to the
existing word of God. Therefore, according to Martin, early Christians and Jesus
were cultists. And to every point Martin made, the exact same thing could be
said of the early Christians and Jesus Christ. Great company to be in!
Grace,I grew up attending other churches because my anti-Mormon
father did not allow us to attend or join the LDS Church. My father often left
anti-Mormon books and pamphlets. I researched the content and it strengthened my
testimony tremendously and learned their methods of pulling things out of
context and twisting meanings. You say Mormons are "Terminally
Biblically-ignorant". I had constant discussions with ministers and others
about the Bible and never lost an argument but I finally learned that it never
did any good. Contention drives away the Spirit and without that, no good can be
done and they become angry when one uses the Bible to show the truth. Even
though I had remained gentle and calm, only love and patience helps.My biggest issue with your comment regards your words about our lack of
kindness, our abysmal ignorance, etc. Your words are judgmental and hateful. You
do not practice what you preach.
Grace,Yes some are defensive. True also of many evangelicals as
well.But “terminally Biblically-ignorant and not capable of
solid rational theological debate”? Please. I know the Bible better than
many of my evangelical friends.Just to be clear, I (and many I know)
can certainly “discern other Christian dogmas that preceded 1830 by
centuries.” It is, in part, because of those dogmas that we are in the
church today.Other than that, I guess this is where I apply that
“kindness and understanding towards others".God bless you
I should add that all my family, leaders and former professors were very
diligent and sincere in seeking to answer my questions and critiques. I feel
part of the problem was mainly in our general disinterest and non-scholarly
education of other denominations. That remains true 25 years later. Just send
out a 10-question survey to 100 members and you will be shocked at the
ignorance, prejudice and confusion- irrespective of position or elite degrees.
(I can't even get the 10 questions posted, let alone answered here.)I could never understand why the form-letters referred me to my Bishop,
when they often had fewer years membership or study than I did. With all the
modern technology listed in this article, it is obvious that the Church can
answer on-line/directly to any inquisitors. Why rely on teenage missionaries or
BYU publishing professors?It is disingenuous to publish books by
esteemed BYU professors on controversial subjects, only to have the eternal
caveat that "these are the personal opinions", etc of the writer.
Seeking to absolve the SLC leaders' input on controversial issues has been
a huge eye-opener to outsiders. Own all your doctrines.
Grace,"....Not only did we not have an authentic Biblical
foundation, we could not discern other Christian dogmas that preceeded 1830 by
centuries...."______________________________My view is
that all Christian denominations have an authentic Biblical foundation. And they
all selectively interpret the Bible to justify their respective theologies and
doctrines. I agree that LDS appreciation of the rich and variegated 2,000 year
history of Christianity leaves a lot to be desired.The LDS Church
has come a long way in 183 years. I am confident that as the world changes in
successive generations there will come new perspectives and deeper appreciations
on all sides.
Despite the lovely Conference talks and comments here, despite the many good
works/programs/charity of the LDS, these comment sites prove that LDS remain a
very defensive lot, terminally Biblically-ignorant and not capable of solid
rational theological debate.I still pray for "my people".
After 35 years in the Church as a 6th generation LDS, at the top of every
calling & service project in every auxillary, including stake callings,
BYU-educated and a church teacher, I thought I knew my Mormon theology. When I
read the "anti-Mormon" books to disprove the ex-LDS and studied deeper,
I found the "Maze of Mormonism" (Dr. Walter Martin) to be spot-on. Not
only did we not have an authentic Biblical foundation, we could not discern
other Christian dogmas that preceeded 1830 by centuries.Instead of
finding 'kindness and understanding towards others", I discovered deep
antipathy and abysmal ignorance in all ranks, including our intellectual groups.
I've lost count of the myriad of opinions given from leaders and Church
brethren in SLC. The form letters were the typical response. The "Ask your
Bishop" bandade a non-starter.
Whether or not non-Mormons regard the LDS as Christians is not as important as
Mormons accepting them as fellow Christians whose religious heritage deserves
reverence. The tolerance and kindness President Monson calls for are essential
steps in loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Where ever you go or where you are. Whether their alive or dead your friends are
with you. There in your heart or on your mind. There will be remembered.
I not all that concern about what anyone thinks about what I say, Belief is only
what I can count on or depend on. It doesn't mater how good or bad of
people my friends are their my friends. Their who I count on and depend on.
I'm their friend and I try to do my best to be there for them. That is [to
me] the Spirit of things. The name of the Spirit is Jesus. I believe in the
spirit of things. Spring is hear and time to resurrect the friendship that has
been cooped up all winter. I believe in; the you mater thing. Call it Jesus or
the spirit of things. It's what I count on and depend on.
It's simple, practice much more humility, and listen to that still small
I really enjoyed all the talks. I liked Pres. Monson's talk at the end of
conference. I think that most people are tolerant of others and what they
believe. I think that it works both ways though. I guess it depends on how you
were raised and were you are from when you talk about respecting others
religions and beliefs. I'm thankful that I learned that long ago.
In order to get respect from other religions, we must respect theirs. We must be
My heart was filled with peace throughout Elder Holland's touching,
beautiful talk. Thank you, Elder Holland!
So very grateful for his loving, caring words. Thank you, President Monson!