New Harmony: What to look for in our Evangelical brethren

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  • Buddyroe Sherwood, OR
    Nov. 19, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    Re. Triune God, mentioned earlier by several contributors.

    Words are used to describe Biblical concepts many of which are not in the Bible.
    Trinity is one such word and there are many places in the Bible to give that word credibility.

    Just one example: Colossians 2:8,9 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

  • Buddyroe Sherwood, OR
    Nov. 19, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Everyone has presuppositions and most people leave them unexamined.
    Evangelical and LDS presuppositions differ in great detail, this is why we can speak using the same Biblical terms and concepts yet we really can’t communicate effectively.
    Presuppositions can be correct or incorrect, we may both be wrong, one side may be right; however we can’t both be right.
    The vital presuppositions concern; why and how does anything exist, how is knowledge secured, who is God, and how should we respond to all of this?
    As a result Evangelical and LDS employ drastically different ceremonies and ordinances even though we describe them using the same words.
    Realize that dialog under these circumstances require that at least one side is wrong meaning someone (or both) has to abandon their presuppositions.
    Let us enjoy our friendship and let us joyously befriend God and therefore allow Him to shape us towards His truth.

    Please do not assume that compromise (synthesis) is the solution, which is how politics (especially communism) works.
    There is a universal truth that God wants us to know, we don’t get to modify it, otherwise it would not be truth.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    All Evangelicals are catholic but not all Catholics are Evangelical.

    RE: Fred Vader, quotes regarding the "triune god", yet noticeably, not one of them from the Bible.
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word(Jesus) was God(John 1:1)

    No one has ever seen God. ‘The only one, himself God,’ who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.(John 1:18 NET).

    ….the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.(1 John 3:16 KJV) God on the cross.

    f ‘our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ’ (Titus 2:13 NIV). The key to understanding this passage speaks of one person and not two, is in understanding Greek articles.

    The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one (*heis) these three agree as one(**en) (1John 5:7,8 KJV translation & JST) . (1 John 5:7) is reproduced in 3 Nephi 11:27,36.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    Just because someone else's opinion is not "faith-affirming" does not mean it violates the comments policies.

    Will you allow this?

    "What makes you think it was god telling Joseph Smith anything, and not [some other agency]?"

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:34 a.m.


    A lot of fun quotes regarding the "triune god", yet noticeably, not one of them from the Bible.

    "If we could fully understand God he would cease to be God." Saint Agustine. Who is Saint Augustine to make such a brash statement?

    Contrast that with the words from Christ himself: "And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom THOU hast sent." These words from Christ himself indicate we can know God and that they are separate personages.

    Let's see...Christ vs. Augustine, Tertullian and CS Lewis? I put my money on Christ.

  • 11cAirborne Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    And I think its important to recognize that the Book of Mormon is internally inconsistent. Some places it’s modalistic and militates against trinitarian theology in other places like 2 Nephi 31 its consistent with the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    RE: MrNirom1, The wonderful "mystery of the Trinity.

    An example would be the Sun. The one Sun shows itself as triune, sunlight and heat yet one substance or essence, as its splendid in its unity and oneness. How much more the Creator of the sun is splendid and One in his unity and oneness in his triune being. Christians therefore believe in One God in three divine persons, great is the mystery of this unity. Its beyond unity, its more higher than what we can conceive as unity.

    If we could fully understand God he would cease to be GOD. Saint Augustine

    Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD), used the term Trinity the oldest extant formal exposition of a Trinitarian theology. Other Latin formulations that first appear in his work are "three Persons, one Substance.

    C.S Lewis,” If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we would make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions(JS). How could we? We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." The three personal God .“

  • laVerl 09 St Johns, AZ
    Nov. 11, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    Jerry Earl Johnson, you are my hero! You have the true spirit of "inclusion" that should be emulated by all of us.
    Joseph Smith wrote in the 13th Article of Faith that "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
    We as LDS people have stumbled on the meaning of grace (see D&C 84:46-57) because we wanted to be "different". Pres Benson called us to repentance for this and we are just now waking up to the fact. Also see Dallin H. Oaks,Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Ensign, Mar 1994, 60
    As shown by the quotes from Joel Osteen and from our own LDS writings and conference talks, we as Christians are coming to see grace in a much more common light. A good review of "justification" and "sanctification" will show how Joel Osteen's "saving grace" and "sustaining grace" have way more similarities than differences.
    As a practicing psychologist among LDS people, I can certainly benefit from Joel's word crafting that "tests" can become "testimonies".

  • The Solution Dayton, OH
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    @John T
    I appreciate your words. As I am sure you well know, there are very few people who started LDS, changed to a different Christian religion, and still have good things to say about the LDS faith. For that I applaud you.

    While we view salvation a little differently, I have great hope for the majority of all people who worship Christ as their redeemer and savior. Of course, I believe in the LDS doctrines of salvation that require saving ordinances be performed to seal the promises of the covenants. But then I also believe in the merciful plan that all people will have an opportunity to accept or reject these ordinances with a COMPLETE understandering, whether in this life or the next. If these doctrines are in fact true, and I believe they are, then all noble souls who believe in Christ will have ample opportunity to be saved despite doctrinal differences in this life. So I guess we are not too doctrinally different afterall.

  • MrNirom1 Aloha, OR
    Nov. 11, 2013 12:42 a.m.

    @donn yes yes yes.. the trinity. The wonderful "mystery of the Trinity". The three in ONE God. They talk about eachother.. they even talk to eachother.. yet.. they are the same GOD.

    Sounds like a God greater than all the Roman Gods combined. No wonder this God became the State supported version of God and Christianity in Rome.. and which almost all of the Christian religions of today have accepted as their God as well.

    No.. we don't subscribe to this new God... this different God. We recognize God the Father in his glory and his kingdom.. separate and independent of the others. We recognize the son.. for doing the will of the Father.. not a tri-mirror'd version of himself. And we recognize the Holy Ghost for his purpose in testifying of truth in all things.. secular or religious.. to the children of God the Father as the Spirit of God. Again.. not a tri-mirror'd version.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Nov. 10, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    @donn. I agree with Gmlewis, that a major difference between the LDS Church and other branches of Christianity is our view of man. Before I became LDS, I already looked at the teaching of right wing Protestants and I already rejected it. Their continual degrading and belittling of the individual - coupled with liberal doses of unexplained guilt - alienated me as an American and a human being. Their Doctrine of Original Sin (wherein were are asked to blindly accept guilt for Adam's transgression) contradicts the American concept of justice (wherein we are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law). Their continual harping on how we are "totally depraved," "by nature evil," etc. 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.

    And, yes, my name is on the Manhattan declaration.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    @Gmlewis, the biggest difference.

    The Manhattan Declaration: A Christian Statement on Family and Faith.

    We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the ‘one true God, the *triune God’ of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person.

    The ‘PALE’ of Christianity*Excludes Mormonism.

  • John T Scranton, PA
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    As a campus pastor at an evangelical Christian college - and a former member of the LDS Church - I applaud the efforts of anyone willing to sit down and talk civilly to those holding opposing views about their faith. I accept the LDS Church as another branch of Christianity, and not a cult. Indeed, I once wrote a college paper - at my Bible College - successfully defending the LDS Church from being labeled as a Christian cult. (Got an A+ on it, btw) Nevertheless, I believe that when distilled down to the basics, or "Mere Christianity", to use C S Lewis' term, Paul summed it up succinctly when he wrote: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation….For 'whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.'" (Romans 10:9-13 NKJV)

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Evangelical-Bob posted:

    =When he claimed that God told him, "That all other churches were an
    =abomination, and their professors are all corrupt", he was throwing down the
    =gauntlet in their faces.

    So Joseph Smith should have hidden what God told him about the "other churches"? That statement about the other churches has certainly caused Latter-day Saints enough grief, but it seems like Smith's attitude was that he should publish what God told him, and I think he was right. If Smith went out of his way to personally belittle the beliefs of other Christians then you'd have a point, but I have no problem with him telling us what God told him.

  • MrNirom1 Aloha, OR
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    @Evangelical-Bob Wow.. actually change the words that God had said? Keep quite young 14 year old boy? Tell me Bob.. If you went to God and asked him which of the churches you should join.. and you listed them.. and God told you to join none of them, as they were an abomination in his sight.. are you telling me you would become "politically correct" and say what?

    That is the problem that I see. Often when prophets of God have spoken.. their words which came from God were not liked. What did Jesus himself say in the new testament?

    34 ¶Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

    37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee.... (Matt 23:34,37)

    So it is with people and prophets. Not just in past generations.. but in all generations. God is no respecter of persons. You might not like what you hear.. but it is his words that count.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 2:47 a.m.

    LDS General Authorities seem to indicate they believe persecutions and less favorable public opinion of LDS Church is on horizon, we should use this opportunity to share the restored gospel with others, as the window may be closing in that regard. Open discussion and open minds are required for Investigator of truth...preconceived notions based on false info abound. It takes a greater strength to be kind, clean, respectful.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    As in any teaching effort, the most important element is "Communication". People interpret and understand a message differently. It is based on the way they themselves view things which is why misunderstandings can occur so easily.

    I really dont think that there is that much difference between the "faith in Christ" messages born by the sincere members of both churches. It is simply a matter of emphasis.

    Mormons are always taught to be "more valiant by increasing your faith and testimony" but that doesnt mean that exercising your current faith and simply doing your best (even if that is walking more slowly) is not accetpible.

    Evengelicals are taught that you are fully saved right now and you cant lose that salvation but that doesnt mean they dont believe in living the commandments each day.

    Lets Communicate and understand each other better. We can end up enjoying the message from both churches better.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Nov. 9, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    The Lord said what He said. We can't change it, and He won't. The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, thus anything less than pure truth is an abomination to Him. His Gospel requires us to repent, not Him.

    When the Book of Mormon asserts that there are only two churches, that is from the Lord's point of view. Many of the latter-day saints ignore restored truth and are really part of the church of the devil. Many members of other churches will eventually belong to the church of the Lamb if they accept the pure truth, either in this life or in the Spirit World.

    We don't have all the truth, but we can share the truth that has been on the earth before the restoration, and add to it the additional truth that the Lord has restored in our day. It has greater value than anything in the world.

  • Evangelical-Bob Eatnville, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    I wish that Joseph Smith would have understood the need to be tolerant and kind to other churches, instead of casting fire brands at other churches in his day. When he claimed that God told him, "That all other churches were an abomination, and their professors are all corrupt", he was throwing down the gauntlet in their faces. There are equally reprehensible statements made by Brigham Young, and John Taylor.
    I think that it would be good if Mormons erased these statements from Joseph's first vision, and from the history books, especially when the missionaries are presenting the Gospel of the Restoration.
    Perhaps the BOM should be changed again too, and this time remove that "there save be but two churches: the church of the Lamb, and the church of the devil" stuff.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    People of all religious persuasions need to get past the "I"m all right and you're all wrong" attitude. I have encountered this attitude more than once when people find out that I am LDS, including being harassed at work, and another incident which I reported to the local police. Nonetheless, I have greatly enjoyed the sermons and writings of Joel Osteen, for example, and books like The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren (which I purchased in an LDS bookstore).

  • hoping Holladay, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    None of us should be surprised that conflict reigns in the present world. It's the same conflict that began in Heaven. Lucifer's time grows short, and he is pulling out all the stops. If we want peace, we must be at peace with ourselves. That will happen only if we "come unto Christ."

  • Reuben Dunn Whittier, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    There are two ways to view a rose. From the top of a canon looking down, all one sees is a sea of read rose tops. If the wind blows just right, you get a sweet inviting scent.

    However, when you descend into the valley to smell those lovely roses first hand, you end up in a bit of pain, as, unseen from the top of the canyon, you get jabbed rather sharply and painfully by thousands of thorns, many causing copious amounts of blood.

    We may have a "Kinder, Gentler" dialogue with the Evangelical community, by all we are seeing are the tops of the roses.

    The thorns are still there. Anyone who is around Temple Square in October and April can testify of this. Anyone who trawls YouTube will likewise see evidence of this.

    Brigham Young worried about the day when the LDS Church would be universally accepted. It would mean that the LDS community is losing that peculiarity that separates itself from the Christian and non-Christian community. We are different. We do not water down doctrine to become acceptable.

    We will never be anything more than "an alternate form of Christianity"

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Nov. 9, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    I was told by a minister of another church that the biggest difference between his church and the LDS faith was what we believed about God. I suggested instead that it was what we believed about ourselves. We see mankind from a more eternal perspective as children of God who lived with Him uncounted eons before birth. We were sent to earth and the spirit world as an essential test, and those who pass that test are destined through the grace of Christ to dwell with our Heavenly Father, living as He lives, for eternity.

    It is what we see with the eye of faith when we look at our brothers and sisters, and ourselves, that is the biggest difference.