Thank you for a wonderful heart warming and faith building story. These are the
pearls of great price we find and cherish along life's pathway that confirm
the truthfulness of the gospel to anyone who will let the spirit touch their
This journey of faith is uplifting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with
us. Every faith journey is special, and no two are exactly alike. I came to the
LDS faith after a circuitous "s-curve" journey through conservative
Protestantism and then the Unitarian church.
Thank you for this beautiful story and testimony. The spirit of this fine,
honest-in-heart, and inquiring couple was eloquently worded. I was deeply touch
and humbled. Having been reared in the Church and still a devout member, I can
truly say, I also know that the Church is true by the same study and prayer that
they went through.
RE: Randy left Catholicism over doctrinal disagreements?They had a
Christian background before becoming Mormons. There is hope, But remember that
each person coming out of Mormonism has a unique experience. They may have been
the only Mormons in his or her family. Like anyone having a traumatic
experience, each person is affected differently. The most important thing you
can do is to pray for them. When a Mormon becomes a Christian, they give up all
for the sake of Jesus Christ. i.e..,Pre-existence VS, 1Cor.
15:46-47: “However, the spiritual is Not First, but the Natural; then the
spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second is man is from
heaven.” "...God who gives life to the dead and Calls into
Being things that were not.(Romans 4:17 NIV). Tertulllian wrote
against the Platonic doctrine the Pre-existence of the soul (200 A.D. On
Souls), Origen believed in the Platonic pre-existence The Council of
Constantinople .. in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him
I once read an article like this one on a Catholic web site. It recounted the
story of a Mormon who "came home" to the Catholic church, receiving
"an hundred fold" and glorifying Christ. As a Mormon, I didn't find
the article faith-promoting. I wonder what our Catholic and Episcopalian friends
think of this article?On Sunday I had the opportunity to listen to
two different LDS fast and testimony meetings. The theme in both seemed to
center on the sadness of a few who were struggling with loved ones'
decisions to leave the church. I remember hoping that those who had lost their
faith had at least found another. They who join a church often leave behind
profound faith. Whether or not their stories are faith promoting, or faith
destroying, is entirely a matter of perspective. Interestingly, I
find that ex-Mormon Catholics (i.e., a few I interviewed on Catholic Answers
Forum) describe conversion experiences very similar to those shared by
ex-Catholic Mormons. Curious... I am left without means to know whose experience
with the Spirit of God is more authentic. My own experiences range widely,
seeming to settle on no single thing.
@sharrona:Re: Pre-existence VS, 1Cor. 15:46-47: “However, the
spiritual is Not First, but the Natural; then the spiritual. The first man is
from the earth, earthy; the second is man is from heaven.” In
Jeremiah 1:5 the scripture reads: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew
thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I
ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."We are all spirit
children of God and mortal children of our earthly biological parents. Jeremiah
was taught that he would become a prophet "unto the nations" before he
came to this earth. This scripture explains that our spirits existed before our
bodies did. God knows us better than we know ourselves because of the veil that
was placed over our minds when we came to this earth. He is there for us and
wants us to return to live with Him again. We are only on this earth to gain a
body and to gain experience and to receive the saving ordinances that will bind
us to our families and live with them for eternity.
I really enjoyed this article.. My sheep hear my voice..
I noticed that people who love to "quote" scripture in their defense
against Mormonism use, not the King James version that is most universally used,
but some other version. In the above example, the New "Inspired"
Version, (NIV). Just one question, Who was this inspired person who changed the
wording? Is it a Prophet of God? Who told him/her to change it? Why do we have
so many different "versions" of the scriptures. I don't think any
of these people claim to be Prophets or Apostles.Amos 3:7 Surely the
Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the
Prophets". I think the scriptures do indeed represent his secrets, for in
them we find the truth.
The NIV was not changed as to meaning. It was changed to modernize the language
(King James English is antiquated) and to take advantage of more recent
@DeloresCruz 1982: You didn't answer the question--who changed it. Did
they go back to the Hebrew or Greek translations? Did they understand the
imagery of the Hebrew language? Did they change it to fit the world view and to
justify what they believed rather than the intent of the authors as demonstrated
by the Hebrew text?
@ sharrona, I rejected right wing Protestant theology (long before becoming
LDS) for the following reasons: (1) Their doctrine of the Trinity (which struck
me as unbiblical and nonsensical); (2) Their doctrine of Original Sin, which
asks us to blindly accept guilt, without proof, for the sins of Adam. This
contradicts the American concept of justice, wherein we are presumed innocent
until proven guilty in a court of law; (3) Their contradictory mixed messages
regarding whether we possess free will (moral agency) and whether it counts for
anything in the eternal plan of things; (4) Their continual degrading and
belittling of the individual (as being "unworthy," "totally
depraved," "by nature evil," etc.) This promotes an attitude of
little more than chronic self-loathing. This is unhealthy - especially for
young children - I don't care how "Christian" it is.
Re: Frissie, Jer 1:5 Christians believe that God is omniscient, knowing
everything about each person before birth. The emphasis is on God’s
foreknowledge (“I knew thee”), not humanity’s knowing God. In Job 38:4, God rebukes Job, “Where wast thou when I laid the
foundations of the earth?” Job 38:7 NIV …” and all the
angels(sons)shouted for joy”.” In effect, God was reminding Job how
Job wasn’t even in existence when the world was created.We are
all God’s creation in a generic sense but,“He predestined
(Christians) for ‘Adoption as sons’ through Jesus Christ, according
to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:5).RE: Sashabill, Original
sin“… just as sin came into the world through one man(Adam), and
death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned(Romans
5:12.) For as by the one man’ disobedience the many were made sinners, so
by the one man’s(Jesus) obedience the Many(not all) will be made righteous
(Romans 5:19) Self-righteousness VS Christ’s righteousness.
@ Danish American. Information on the NIV translation process is pretty easy to
find. Wikipedia has an extensive description that names names. Over 100 scholars
worked on it. Joseph Smith was not a Bible scholar in any but the casual,
Hooray for Wikipedia! The most correct source of information on the earth today.
The keystone of truth and knowledge. Ask Tim Howard...
Dolores,Do you really want to go there? Stop and think of examples from
the Bible itself. Indeed, changing words DO change the meaning of things.
Changing to modern language has really disrupted the English language. Try
" Boy, she is really hot" or "This is really cool". Are we
talking about temperature? "man, that was a Bad movie"...so was it good
or bad by today's language?
There is no reason for anyone to be in the dark about how the NIV Bible came to
be. Multiple sources of information are easily retrievable whether from the
Internet or the Dewey Decimal system. The language of the King James Bible and
our modern language are different. Many more manuscripts and archeological
discoveries have turned up since the King James Bible was produced. If anyone
has changed things, it would be the LDS Church. What about all the changes
between the original Book of Mormon and the version we use now?
Sharrona,I agree with Sashabill.Also, reference Origen
vs. the Council of Constantinople. Origen predates the Council by at least 200
years. He was far closer to original Christianity. The Council of
Constantinople was as close to original Christianity as we are to the founding
of New York City. Or as close as our great, great, grandchildren will be to the
founding of our country. In other words, not close at all.
Isn't it wonderful that we can disagree theologically and not be in fear
for our lives? Protestants ( a form of Christianity), Catholics, LDS, Jews,
Muslims and others can vigorously debate religion and in the end still be safe
from religious retribution. I would suggest that our inspired Constitution has
enabled us to freely move spiritually in any direction we wish. I am so grateful
for this great country.
I so much needed to read this story tonight. I am filled with admiration and
hope because of the devotion to uncovering the truth that this couple exhibited.
God bless them along with the countless others who similarly seek for pure,
diamond truth; and those who selflessly share it with others.
Dolores:I've read some of the NIV Bible and I simply don't
get the same message as I do from the King James version. I think the reason is
that, in my mind, the language used in the KJV is much more sacred and holy.
Re-writing it to be more 'relevant' kind of destroys it's intent,
at least for me.As far as the changes made to the Book of Mormon,
most of these were grammatical changes and a few clarifications. However nothing
was done to change the meaning or language. I don't think this is a fair
comparison.And finally, Joseph Smith was an amateur at almost
everything including the Bible. However if you believe, as I do, that he was a
prophet of God, called to bring the fullness of the gospel back to the earth,
then his 'expertise' didn't really matter. The only thing
required of him was to be worthy of the Spirit which was no small task. His
translation of the Bible was based on revelation, not education. As the Bible
says, "The Spirit, which is the Comforter, shall teach you all things."
I am grateful they were humble. Now they will see beauty of the spirit. I for
one tour several denominations, got tied, and stop attending churches and sat at
home. I almost became an Eckist when the spirit whispers "why not visit the
church(I always see them as an occult church)". I am confidence if
they continue faithfully they will see the beauty of FATHER.
In the case of the couple in this article, in this early part of their journey
in the Mormon faith they will/are treated as "rockstars"-probably have
been invited to do a number of firesides on their journey and why they believe.
In all probability they have spoken in stake conference.With the
doctrine, theology and history of the Mormon Church becoming more available,
let's check in on this couple, in say 5 years-will they still be Mormon or
will they have moved on?
So, the Book of Mormon was changed from "white and delightsome" to
"pure and delightsome" "the lamb of God is the Eternal Father"
to "the lamb of God is the son of the Eternal Father" "King
Benjamin" to "King Mosiah" are not significant? Besides,
the language of the King James version is not sacred or holy. It represents the
common speech and writing at the time of Queen Elizabeth I to King James I.
There is nothing special or spiritual about it.
RE: Twin Lights, Original Christianity,(Heb 11:3 Greek N.T) “… the
worlds=(time,G. aion)were framed by the word of God, so that things which are
seen were not made =(receive being, G. ginomai) of things which do appear.VS,Abraham 3:26,”And they who keep their “first
estate”=(G archē) .“As translated correctly“.Jude 1:6 Grk N.T.“And the angels who did not keep their ‘positions
of authority.” Fallen angels or, demons.“We know that
in the laws of nature (something Evangelicals would say was introduced in the
creation) that something cannot come from nothing. So Mormons need to answer
“where did the pre-existing natural materials come from that God used to
create?” And I would follow that question with “if they were
created, why aren’t we worshiping ‘their creator?” William
@ DoloresCruz1982"If anyone has changed things, it would be the
LDS Church. What about all the changes between the original Book of Mormon and
the version we use now?"Question for you: Has a printer ever
been known to mess up book printings? This is the 1800's we are talking
about!Have you looked into or been to Palymra where it was printed?
Do you know anything about the technology that was available to them back
then?So because the original printing of the BOM had printing errors
then suddenly it is uninspired?If you want to read an interesting
story of book printings going all screwy look into the printing of the Lord of
the Rings and that was over 100 years later!The publishers messed
the printings up and Tolkien had to continue to have them fix stuff over and
AerilusMaximus: Surely you aren't suggesting that "white and
delightsome" was a printer's error! It was in all the editions of the
Book of Mormon until rather recently.
Article quote: "Randy was careful to add that it wasn’t merely an
academic experience. “We were aware of how the Spirit was guiding our
study.”"And there you have it, folks.....the very KEY to
gaining knowledge of heavenly things: the Spirit of God.You
can't fake it. You can't replicate it. You can't force it. And
it will not touch you unless you truly want it to, meaning, you truly ARE ready
and willing to follow whatever it teaches you.I have a very, very
good friend who has left the LDS faith and scorns any discussion of the
influence and power of the Holy Ghost. How tragic. He said the heart is easily
fooled. Instead, he puts all his confidence in "facts".Well, "facts" can look like "facts" but can come from
manipulated information, too.But the Holy Spirit, like salt, though
it cannot be adequatley describes with imperfect words, is recognized the
instant it touches us.I applaud this man and woman's extreme
courage in following the Master.The caravan moves on.Are you coming?....
@ higherednerdNo, I never said that phrase specifically but some of
the stuff Dolores mentioned such as switching King Benjamin with King Mosiah
could've easily been.I recommend you to take a look at the book
"The Earliest Text" by Royal Skousen. If there is anyone who has
examined the text down with a microscope it would be him. Check it out on
googlebooksIn intro / beginning of the book he extrapolates about
why changes may have been made.From what I recall some of the
changes that were made were made to help it be more readable, grammatically
understandable, etc.Some of the changes to me just come back to
logistical sense. For example from what I understand the first edition of the
Book of Mormon had A LOT more of the phrase "And it came to pass".To me it makes sense to eliminate some of the "And it came to
pass" because there are plenty of enough in the Book of Mormon as it is.Just imagine how much ink, paper, and time was saved by not printing the
extra "And it came to pass".
@ sashabill - Morgan Hill, CA - "@ sharrona, I rejected right wing
Protestant theology (long before becoming LDS) for the following reasons: (1)
Their doctrine of the Trinity (which struck me as unbiblical and nonsensical);
(2) Their doctrine of Original Sin, which asks us to blindly accept guilt,
without proof, for the sins of Adam. This contradicts the American concept of
justice, wherein we are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law;
(3) Their contradictory mixed messages regarding whether we possess free will
(moral agency) and whether it counts for anything in the eternal plan of things;
(4) Their continual degrading and belittling of the individual (as being
"unworthy," "totally depraved," "by nature evil," etc.)
This promotes an attitude of little more than chronic self-loathing. This is
unhealthy - especially for young children - I don't care how
"Christian" it is."I could not have said it better
myself. Excellent, excellent job! We should absolutely be respectful of
others' beleifs but we should also never, ever apologize for having
received more truth from God. As Christ said, "the truth shall make you
As I read these comments I have become fascinated with the different views. I
have to admit however that some seem to be weaved together like a spider web
with some degree of a pattern but mostly leaving me with a feeling of despair
and confusion. Others feel very warm and almost give off a certain light or at
least a feeling of such.I am convinced that anyone who truly wanted to
know the truth could come to that knowledge if they followed the same pattern as
Randy and Meredith. I suppose those of different views and or beliefs could and
would say the same thing concerning their religion in that I should pray about
their religion to know if its true – but why would someone who has been
given a witness of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ pray to know if
another religion was true? That is my position like many of you. I know the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true and living gospel of
Sharrona,You never addressed my comment but rather moved on to
something wholly unrelated. I made a point reference Origen being much closer
to original Christianity in time than the council that (posthumously)
excommunicated him. I don’t believe Origen to be 100% correct but to
believe that a council four centuries removed from the original church somehow
was better placed to know original Christianity is not believable (absent a
restoration process).Reference the scriptural quote. You forgot the
next line “but abandoned their proper dwelling”. Also, that is the
NIV rendering. It is also translated as own position, own/first/proper domain,
own/their principality, first state, as well as first estate (a very common
translation). So yes, yours is one possible translation but it is hardly the
only possibility. Please do not present it as if it was.As to the
elements. D&C 93:33. “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal,
and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy”.
Sharrona,You did not address my comment but moved on to something
else. I don’t believe Origen to be 100% correct but to believe that a
council four centuries removed from the original church somehow was better
placed to know original Christianity is not believable (absent a
restoration).Reference the scriptural quote (and new subject). You
forgot the next line “but abandoned their proper dwelling”. Also,
that is the NIV rendering. It is also translated “own position,
own/first/proper domain, own/their principality, first state, as well as first
estate (a very common translation). So yes, yours is one possible translation
but hardly the only possibility. Please do not present it as if it was.As to the elements. D&C 93:33. “For man is spirit. The
elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a
fulness of joy”.
@pmccombs"I wonder what our Catholic and Episcopalian friends think of
this article?"Granted I'm only technically Catholic by
infant baptism but I think it depends on how strongly one
(Catholic/Protestant/LDS/etc) adheres to the belief that you should be of one
specific denomination. I don't particularly think it matters so I'm
not inclined to care strongly what one joins or leaves as long as whatever they
become helps them. I was surprised that a female member of a different
denominations' clergy would join, I'd have assumed that was one of the
least likely demographics to make that switch.
My philosophy is wherever you find peace, that's where you should be.
Whether it's Mormonism, Catholicism, Born Againism, atheism, Buddhism,
Hinduism, or any other "ism" you can think of. And nobody else can tell
you that you've made a mistake, that your peace "doesn't
count". They don't know you, just as you don't know them.
What's true for you may not work for someone else. And that's ok.
Regarding Joseph Smith, there is one thing the Evangelicals don't think
about (or conveniently ignore). Most Bible believing Christians can accept the
fact that Noah was the prophet called of God to warn the people a few hundred
years before the earth's baptism by water (during the great flood). But
who was the prophet called of God to warn the people a few hundred years before
the earth's baptism by fire (during the second coming of Jesus Christ)?
Welcome home Castos family... Welcome home. Your attention to the inherent
truths carried with you from childhood have led you home. Please stay... we
love you and we need you.
What a great story!! I was baptized 20 years ago next month in the Lexington
Park Ward!! I still keep in touch with some great people from that ward. Glad
to see the missionary work is still going strong!!!!
The picture caption states, "Randy and Amy Castro". According to the
article, Randy is married to Merredith. Amy was the one who challenged them
with "It's never too late".
Way to go, Amy Henderson!
Remind me again what the LDS teaching is on audacious adultery and pathological