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Leaving the Church

Posted by nebula0 on August 30, 2008


I’ve been reflecting on my posts to the board and they’ve all been on the critical side of Mormonism or topics bound to make Mormons very uncomfortable (my temple experiences).  So, despite what you think the title of this post might yield, I actually mean this post to be something of a myth buster of a negative myth associated with Mormonism.  I really have little patience with all the material out there casting Mormonism (as expressed by the SLC LDS Church anyway, fundamentalist groups are a different story) as a cult that brainwashes innocent victims.  Adult Mormons are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves, and they choose to be Mormons.  One outgrowth of the erroneous notion that Mormons are all brainwashed is that leaving Mormonism is a terribly difficult ordeal.  Well, perhaps under extraordinary circumstances it is, but then, that is true of any religion.  For example, if your entire family is fundamentalist Baptist of an extreme sort, you may find leaving that belief system incredibly difficult and find that it means leaving your family too.  That does happen to some Mormons when they leave, but a minority.

So what was it like for me to leave the church?  Here’s what happened: I stopped showing up.  One day I realized that I was a monotheist, I really believed that, and therefore I could no longer be a Mormon.  So the next Sunday I did not go to church, or the Sunday after that, or the Sunday after that.   After about three months of this the bishop left us a voice mail, and we got one call from our hometeacher to make sure things were okay, and that’s it.  Literally.  No missionaries came around.  The phone was not ringing off the hook.  No one has tracked us down.  If we lived in Utah perhaps our neighbors would feel a need to be proactive about things and no doubt the decision to leave would be more uncomfortable.  Maybe if our Mormon family was obsessed with our activity and independently got various people involved, it might be more annoying.  But in neither of those scenarios am I kidnapped, or harassed (unless you have a very loose definition of harassment which you ought to reassess).

Most of the difficulty with leaving the faith for most people is the fact that most people are deeply attached to it.  It takes a long time to really learn Mormonism in and out- to read through the scriptures, to learn the lingo, to learn to take the sacrament with the right hand and all those little forms.  It’s hard to give up all that knowledge, years worth, just like that.  This is one of the reasons why many ex Mormons end up becoming anti Mormon Christian missionaries, they can use their knowledge.  (I’m sure this has a lot do with why I started this blog).

This issue is important to clear up for people just learning about Mormonism.  They’ll read a lot about the dangers of the Mormon church as a cult, but I hope this gets people to think- what, exactly, is that supposed to mean?

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63 Responses to “Leaving the Church”

  1. Jay said

    You hit on a good point and I’ll add my agreement with what you have said. Over a year ago I told my Bishop I was seriously struggling with my testimony and asked to be released from my calling as 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum. I was released given a different calling and he never spoke to me about it again. I expected to be called in and interviewed often or perhaps have an increase in home teaching visits. Thankfully, none of those things materialized.

    My sister left the LDS Church when she was in her late teens. She moved away out of state living on her own. Now she probably would have lived with no contact from the Church but my mother would call up the Bishop where she lived and ask that the missionaries “drop by”. She tried to be polite but admitted to me it was annoying. Point is, she would have not been bothered if it wasn’t for our mother’s concern.

    I think it is different for everyone and certainly there are people in the Church that leave and are hounded by former friends, Bishops, etc. that feel they have to “save” the person leaving. However, I think these are the exception. Most people can leave without much effort.

  2. Seth R. said

    The truth is, we just have too many inactive members to worry about, for any one of them to get too much “harrassment” from us. We’re really over-extended.

    My experience is that a lot of the ex-member annoyance originates from Utah – where even if the missionaries aren’t sent to “hunt you down” and your home teachers never even give you a phone call, the “Mormon” culture is still all around you, and can feel oppressive. Even without any specific actions from people.

  3. JLFuller said

    I have come to believe that anyone who leaves the Church really left it long before they stopped showing up. It started when living a worldly life style became more attractive than living a holier lifestyle. Certainly the facts of how the first Christians lived Christianity it is so far removed from current traditional Christianity that the two are irreconcilable. Whoever finds that theology more attractive has ignored Christ’s original doctrines. These are not my original thoughts. They have been around for centuries – long before Joseph Smith. The attraction has to be either social or feelings of alienation. In short, I suggest the vast majority of former members were members in name only regardless of attendance record or jobs held. This is my experience. Those who claim otherwise usually are reluctant to get too deep into a discussion of their activity and lifestyle choices. This is a discussion I am ready and able to get into.

  4. nebula0 said

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Jay, I think that is the norm.

    Seth, that’s what I figured too. Since I live out of the Mormon corridor it made things very smooth for me.

    JL,

    I find your comments rather rude. I didn’t and don’t have ‘lifestyle issues’. In fact before I joined the church I didn’t really have to make many changes in the first place- my major sacrifice was giving up coffee. I have deep theological disagreement. I know that’s threatening to you, but that’s the reality. By you stating otherwise is simply a lie about my character.

    I also find that many former Mormons are in a similar boat as me, except most are disturbed by historical issues most deeply. In fact I know many Mormons who are active who don’t really believe in it by go through the motions to keep the peace at home.

  5. Seth R. said

    My dad takes a similar view to JL Fuller. If you fell away from the church, it was because you were engaged in immoral behavior and wanted to justify it (let me know JL if I am reading you wrong).

    I have no data to either confirm or deny that theory.

    But it seems to me that it defeats the purpose of having an internet discussion in the first place. You have no way of proving it, and it just closes down the conversation.

    I have to ask JL, if you really think that the real reason that nebula is in this situation is because she was either an adulteress, or didn’t read her scriptures enough, then why are you here?

    I’ve seen you around defending the LDS Church on various topics, from the history of Joseph Smith, to the correct take on LDS Doctrine, to the Greek corruption of traditional Christian theology. Which I think is just fine, and I appreciate the work you do.

    But, if you really believe that apostasy from the LDS faith really boils down to character failings, then why bother even defending on those subjects? Wouldn’t you be better served to ignore attacks on Joseph’s translation of the Book of Abraham, as “mere smokescreens” for people making excuses for being morally corrupt? Why not focus instead on promoting those crucial values rather than debating over horses in the Book of Mormon, or whatever else?

    In short, if you are just going to accuse ex-members of moral failing and make that the touchstone for activity in the Church, why do you continue to address their arguments as if they matter? Because by your assertion, they should be just silly distractions, right?

  6. David T. said

    This is an area where I quietly disagree with the powers-that-be. Our ward has a lot of apartments that net a relatively large number of transient inactive members. My calling requires me to oversee the hunt of hundreds of “ghosts” a year to 1) verify that they live there, 2) assign them home teachers and 3) make sure they know we love and miss them a lot. My opinion is these people are adults– they can find us if they really want to. If they contact us, ask for help, etc., fine I’m there, but the truth is it’s overwhelming to babysit these numbers who don’t want anything to do with us.

    On the other side of the coin, my mother tried to get her name off the records on-and-off for 30 years until she finally got the attention of a sympathetic bishop. After she was informed that the process was complete she said, “That doesn’t mean my home teacher’s going to stop coming, does it?”

    From my personal frontline experience I can vouch that leaving the Church does not mean the person’s got a morality problem. Sometimes it’s apathy. Sometimes disillusionment. Sometimes an epiphany or a heart-breaking occurence. Whatever the reason, if they want back they’re always welcome back with open arms. If not, cut ’em loose. If they come back to you, they’re yours. If they don’t they never were.

    Or something like that.

  7. nebula0 said

    The simple truth of the matter is that I left because I had a powerful revelation and in light of that to stay would be hypocrisy. I realize that cuts against the truth claims of Mormonism and therefore most Mormons will probably not be able to accept that without seriously putting into question their own truth claims(much like born again Christians claiming that if someone left the faith they were never really saved in the first place). But there it is.

  8. Seth R. said

    I hope it’s clear here that I’m not accusing anyone of anything.

  9. nebula0 said

    It is Seth. I thought you made a great argument to JL.

  10. Darrell said

    I find JL’s opinion is just plain ignorant. I have been on my way out of the LDS Church for 6 years. My wife and I officially left this year. I left primarily for two reasons… 1) doctrinal differences and 2) The Church is not truthful about it’s history.

    When a member of the LDS Church claims that people leave because of “sinning” or “lifestyle choices” they are usually using a defense mechanism. Their paradigm will not allow them to consider the possibility that someone can have a real “testimony” and then legitimately lose that testimony by coming to a knowledge of the truth. In order for their paradigm to remain in tact they have to attribute it to something else… sinning, lifestyle choice, satanic influence, etc.

    Darrell

  11. Brad said

    JL,

    See, as I’ve told you before on other blogs, while “some” may leave due to morality or lifestyle issues, that doesn’t mean “all” do.

    I’ve given you examples before, and you see others on here as well.

    Just curious why you don’t think they leave for any other reason. Is it b/c you don’t believe it’s possible?

  12. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion This article helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity’s theology relating to baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

    • Baptism: .

    Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. http://www.imj.org.il/eng/exhibitions/2000/christianity/ancientchurch/structure/index.html
    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them.

    • The Trinity: .

    A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration?

    The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: “There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one.”

    Scribes later added “the Father, the Word and the Spirit,” and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. .

    Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.

    • Theosis

    Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was also part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, “The Son of God became man, that we might become God.” . The Gospel of Thomas (which pre-dates the 4 Gospels, but was considered non-canonical by the Nicene Council) quotes the Savior: He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him. (Gospel of Thomas 50, 28-30, Nag Hammadi Library in English, J.M.Robinson, 1st ed 1977; 3rd ed. 1988) The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS agrees with Athanasius and Thomas regarding theosis.

    • The Deity of Jesus Christ

    Mormons hold firmly to the deity of Christ. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS), Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. Evangelical pollster George Barna found in 2001 that while only 33 percent of American Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists (28 percent of Episcopalians) agreed that Jesus was “without sin”, 70 percent of Mormons believe Jesus was sinless. http://www.adherents.com/misc/BarnaPoll.html

    • The Cross and Christ’s Atonement: .

    The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection , not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming. Furthermore, members of the church believe the major part of Christ’s atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as Christ took upon him the sins of all mankind.

    • Definition of “Christian”: .

    But Mormons don’t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. They believe Christ’s atonement applies to all mankind. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”: All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They all worship the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and address Him in prayer as prescribed in The Lord’s Prayer.

    It’s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. . Early Christians had certain rituals which defined a Christian http://sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/207/2070037.htm , which members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue today. . Please refer to: http://NewTestamentTempleRitual.blogspot.com If members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) embrace early Christian theology, they are likely more “Christian” than their detractors.

    • The Parallel with the “Rise of Christianity”

    Rodney Stark in his book “The Rise of Christianity” found parallels with the rise of Mormonism:
    A similar growth rate (40 percent for Christianity, and 43 percent for Mormonism) for both nascent religious movements. Conversions proceeded along social networking lines, primarily. While Christianity retained Jews’ belief in the Old Testament, Mormonism retains Creedal Christians’ belief in both the New and Old Testaments. The Romans martyred the Christian leaders, the mobs in Missouri and Illinois martyred the Mormon leaders. In both cases, they expected the fledgling movements to fail without their leaders.

    • The Need for a Restoration of the Christian Church:

    The founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, just prior to leaving the church he established, said this:

    “There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, p. 502.)

    Martin Luther had similar thoughts: “Nor can a Christian believer be forced beyond sacred Scriptures,…unless some new and proved revelation should be added; for we are forbidden by divine law to believe except what is proved either through the divine Scriptures or through Manifest revelation.”

    He also wrote: “I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among
    those who should have preserved it.”

    The Lutheran, Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) churches recognize an apostasy from early Christianity. The Lutheran and Baptist churches have attempted reform, but Mormonism (and Roger Williams, and perhaps Martin Luther) require inspired restoration, so as to re-establish an unbroken line of authority and apostolic succession.

    * * *
    • Christ-Like Lives:

    The 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):

    1. Attend Religious Services weekly
    2. Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life – extremely important
    3. Believes in life after death
    4. Does NOT believe in psychics or fortune-tellers
    5. Has taught religious education classes
    6. Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline
    7. Sabbath Observance
    8. Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith
    9. Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily
    10. Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen (very supportive)
    11. Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality

    LDS Evangelical
    1. 71% 55%
    2. 52 28
    3. 76 62
    4. 100 95
    5. 42 28
    6. 68 22
    7. 67 40
    8. 72 56
    9. 50 19
    10. 65 26
    11. 84 35

    So what do you think the motivation is for the Evangelical preachers to denigrate the Mormon Church? You would think Evangelical preachers would be emulating Mormon practices (a creed to believe, a place to belong, a calling to live out, and a hope to hold onto) which were noted by Methodist Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean of the Princeton Theological Seminary, as causing Mormon teenagers to “top the charts” in Christian characteristics. (see http://MormonTeenagers.blogspot.com) It seems obvious pastors shouldn’t be denigrating a church based on First Century Christianity, with high efficacy. The only plausible reason to denigrate Mormons is for Evangelical pastors to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

  13. Jay said

    It started [leaving the Church] when living a worldly life style became more attractive than living a holier lifestyle.

    While I’m sure that many people leave because they don’t want to live LDS standards, there are also many that leave because of difficulties trying to reconcile LDS history and doctrine. I think your generalization is far from accurate for many that leave the LDS faith. Especially for those that leave to follow other Christian traditions and continue to maintain many of the moral standards they held as LDS members.

    In short, I suggest the vast majority of former members were members in name only regardless of attendance record or jobs held.

    I think you have a serious misunderstanding of why people leave the LDS Church. Those that begin to learn all LDS history and hear some of the teachings of former prophets are compelled to leave because their conscience will not allow them to stay. When all they knew was what was taught in church meetings they had very strong testimonies. Many were very faithful and worked hard to do their best in callings.

    Some LDS members like to simplify the reasons people leave by saying they want to live a worldly life, have some hidden sin, or were never truly converted. In some cases this is true, but I think there is a high percentage that leaves the Church who had very strong testimonies and were very active in their ward. These people don’t take leaving lightly. Many take several years to leave because they want to be entirely convinced they are making the right decision.

  14. Seth R. said

    And I’m sure there are some who actually DO use church controversies as an excuse after they get ex-ed for abusing their kids. No doubt a couple of them are venting on the internet.

    The point is, you have no way of knowing this online. There’s no way to prove or verify either way.

    And the point of internet interaction is the discussion of issues. If you don’t want to discuss the issues, you shouldn’t be here. The only time someone’s personal character should be brought up online is when it is for their behavior ONLINE. Otherwise, you’re just guessing. And what’s the point of that?

    I try to take online conversation at face value. But I also keep a healthy sense, that this is not reality. So when someone enters a conversation ranting about how her bishop encouraged her husband’s abuse of her, or how a Relief Society president ruined her reputation in the ward, I tend to pretty-much ignore it.

    I have no way of verifying any of it. For all I know, the author could be a bratty teenager who’s mad that her parents made her go to church and wants to take her angst out on us. People lie online. That’s a reality of this community that you always have to keep in mind.

    But you can’t let it get in the way of a legitimate conversation. Otherwise we might as well disconnect our modems and go do our Home Teaching.

  15. Jon said

    I was inactive or less active from 17 to 30. I am married in the temple. I believe the church is a church of service. Our church helps people. Everyone commenting on this blog knows that. You state “Welcome to my blog. It isn’t intended to be pro or anti Mormon, but rather offer observations” However every thing I have read so far paints a negative perception of the Church. I am not going to try to breakdown why these posts are negative or why you feel the way you do. Bottom line is most people that I know are just trying live more like Christ in a world that can be brutal. If you have chosen to leave, that’s your choice, but don’t take others with you. I know, I left when I was 17 and I did the same things. 13 years later I came back. What I found out was that my life with the Church was a life that was more full of love and compassion and kindness. I am thankful for the Church (When I say Church I mean – Love of Christ and The Restoration of Christ’s Church. Are there people in the Church that leave a negative impact on others, absolutely – But I bet that most if not all people reading this would agree that if you follow the teachings and principals taught in the Church – your lives would be more full of the light of Christ!

  16. Darrell said

    Jon,

    I don’t have a problem with the people in the church. I think the people in the church are wonderful, loving and serving people. There are wonderful and loving people in almost every faith on the planet. I personally know some Muslims who are the most loving, kind and moral people I have ever met. They are wrong in their faith but they are loving people.

    I left the church because I think the doctrines of the church are false and the church lies about it’s history… it white washes it to be more specific.

    My biggest and most paramount issue has to do with what Mormonism teaches about Christ and man. Mormonism teaches that Christ is a finite being who had a beginning. The bible teaches that Christ is from “everlasting to everlasting”. In addition, Mormonism teaches that God was once a man and man can become a God. The bible teaches that there is only ONE God and there will NEVER be another one.

    Again, I love the people in the LDS church but I despise the false gospel it teaches. I will do everything within my power to teach people the truth and the glorious happiness they can receive by coming to the TRUE Christ.

    Darrell

  17. nebula0 said

    Hi Jon,

    The reality about my blog is that I do not believe Mormonism is true and I make that explicit on my ‘About’ page so though I do not intend for this site to become just another ‘anti’ site (and I don’t think it has) most things I have to say are going to reflect my point of view. Fact of the matter is that what you are saying could be said about pretty much any church there is– ‘we have nice people and good solid principles to live by’. So what? My life has been better by leaving the church in every facet. I’ve been thinking about that and I think it’s because I no longer have to struggle to try to retain faithfulness in a system that I believe to be based on a fraud, no matter how sincere many Mormons are.

    So Jon, in short, I”m glad you’re finding your way, but the LDS way isn’t always or necessarily the best way to true fulfillment and happiness. There is the question of truth, you know.

  18. nebula0 said

    I also have to wonder, Jon, if you even read this particular post very closely. If you did you’d realize I meant it to reflect positively on the LDS church. If you don’t see that, then yes, I suppose you’ll be entirely too sensitive to enjoy anything on the site.

  19. Seth R. said

    “Mormonism teaches that Christ is a finite being who had a beginning.”

    This is absolutely wrong.

    Mormonism does NOT teach that Christ had a beginning.

    Nothing in Mormon theology had a “beginning” in the Protestant use of the word. I am an eternal being. You are an eternal being. So is Christ. So is the Father.

    There is no such thing as a finite being in Mormon theology. This is a Protestant misconception of Mormon doctrine.

  20. Darrell said

    Seth,

    I would say that you are straining at knats here.

    Mormonism does teach that Christ had a beginning. The Mormon church teaches that Christ is the first born spirit son of the Eternal Father. That means that He had a beginning.

    Now, perhaps you are referring to the LDS teaching that “all matter is eternal” and, therefore, the “matter” that Christ is made from is eternal. So His “matter” always existed. However, Mormonism does not teach that “Christ” always existed. To suggest that the teaching of “all matter being eternal” matches up with the Biblical teaching that Christ has always existed is stretching at best.

    Darrell

  21. nebula0 said

    Darrell, Seth,

    Seth is right to point out that in Mormon doctrine Christ has an eternal intelligence, that is the core of what makes Christ, Christ has existed forever. It’s the same for both of you and me as well.

    But Seth, you and I both know that isn’t what Darrell is talking about. In Mormon doctrine, Christ wasn’t always a God, and that is THE point.

  22. Seth R. said

    Alright then. Agreed.

    Now, why does this matter to you?

  23. Darrell said

    I understand the mormon teaching that “all matter is eternal”. I taught that myself for years. My point is that explanation does not match the Biblical teaching that Christ is “THE SAME yesterday today and forever”. That is why I have a problem with it.

    Darrell

  24. Seth R. said

    No, it doesn’t say that “Christ is the same.”

    It says “God is the same.”

  25. Darrell said

    Seth,

    I beg to differ. Check out Hebrews 13:8.

    Darrell

  26. Seth R. said

    Well, obviously he did change.

    In the Gospels, you have him as a baby, then as a boy, and so forth. To say nothing of the change to mortality in the first place. So obviously, he has changed in some respects.

    So what does this verse mean by “change?” In what sense does it mean the word? Any ideas that are only in the Bible?

  27. Darrell said

    “Well, obviously he did change.”

    Please don’t tell me your falling back on the typical Mormon arguement here that the “Bible is wrong”.

    “So what does this verse mean by “change?”? ”

    Good question. In order to answer this you have to understand who Jesus Christ is. He is not our older brother. He is our God. Check out the following verses and tell me who they say Jesus Christ is…

    Isaiah 43:3, 10-12
    Isaiah 44:6, 8
    Isaiah 45:5-6, 14, 18, 21, 22
    Isaiah 46: 9

    Once you put these verses together and understand who Christ is, then you will be able to understand that He has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and besides Him THERE IS NO OTHER GOD.

    Darrell

  28. Seth R. said

    How disappointing.

    I thought you were actually going to address the question. Instead you’ve retreated to the standard Evangelical playbook item of “list off Old Testament monotheism verses” and then just boldly declare them to be about your own read on the trinity, and declare victory for yourself.

    If Jesus obviously has changed – by the Bible’s own admission – in some ways, the verse on him not changing must be referring to only one sort of change.

    What sort of change would that be?

    Or are you going to ignore the question again, and tell me I’m going to hell for having an incorrect philosophical image of God?

  29. nrajeff said

    Wow, Seth, you know the drill quite well. You must hang out at the same kinds of forums I do. 🙂

  30. Darrell said

    “I thought you were actually going to address the question.”

    As I said above, I am answering your question. In order to do so you have to understand who Christ is. As the scriptures I cited show, He is God NOT our older brother. Until you understand that (which Mormons do not) you cannot understand Hebrews 13:8. What is funny is you are throwing this back on me. YOU are the one who boldly declared “the Bible DOES NOT say Christ has not changed.” By doing do you displayed your own ignorance on the Bible’s teachings on Christ. Yet you are trying to make it out like I cannot explain the verse which I pointed out to you. You also boldly declare that HE HAS changed which is completely ignorant again on what the bible teaches about Christ.

    I can explain it very well. He has ALWAYS been God, there is ONLY ONE GOD and HIS DIVINITY HAS NEVER, EVER CHANGED. When He came to earth He became FULLY MAN and YET WAS FULLY GOD. As a MAN he did grow, AS GOD HE NEVER CHANGED AND HAS ALWAYS EXISTED AS GOD. Under Mormonism’s teachings, no matter how you slice it, He has not always been God and is not eternal. He is a created (born) being who was NOT divine at one time and grew to become divine. This is a completely heretical, unbiblical teaching.

    Tell me, how do YOU explain Hebrews 13:8 in light of the verses in Isaiah? It might take you while because I realize you just came to know that the Bible says Christ has not changed.

    Darrell

  31. Seth R. said

    Calling me ignorant won’t make your argument for you Darrell.

    Obviously, from the Bible’s own account, Christ did change in some ways. So obviously the declaration of Christ not changing in Heb 13:8 is meant to be used in a limited sense.

    The phrase “fully man, and yet fully God” makes no sense if you have ontologically divided God from man in the first place. If God and humanity really are as categorically separate as you claim, then having Christ be fully both is not really an option. You can call it a “mystery” if you want, but that is no excuse for being incoherent.

    If Christ became “fully man” then he also became fully changeable in some sense. So Paul has to be talking about something else here. I don’t pretend to know what that is, of course. But I’m far from convinced that Heb 13:8 reaches the conclusions you want it to reach.

  32. Darrell said

    “Calling me ignorant won’t make your argument for you Darrell.”

    I did not call YOU ignorant. If it came accross that way I apologize. I said you displayed your ignorance on the what the bible says about Christ. That is true.

    “The phrase “fully man, and yet fully God” makes no sense if you have ontologically divided God from man in the first place.”

    Not so. Did God not speak to Moses out of a burning bush? How about a cloud? If you believe that, then you believe that God can do things and display Himself in manners we in our finite minds cannot understand. Just because you cannot comprehend it does not necessarily make is false. I cannot understand exactly how gravity works, yet I believe it does work! If not, I am setting myself up for some serious pain when I fall off the steps!!

    “If Christ became “fully man” then he also became fully changeable in some sense. So Paul has to be talking about something else here. I don’t pretend to know what that is, of course.”

    Christ was fully man yet at the SAME TIME fully God. Again, just because you cannot comprehend it does not by definition make it false. Isaiah 7 gives the prophecy of Christ’s coming. It says His name shall be “Immanuel”.

    What does Immanuel mean?

    Darrell

  33. Seth R. said

    “God with us” of course.

    I was in a choir performing the entirety of Handel’s Messiah after all.

  34. Darrell said

    Exactly, Christ is “GOD with us”. He was fully God yet at the same time He was Fully Man. The “Man” in him did grow up and mature. Yet at the same time since He was “GOD with us”, His divinity NEVER changed. He is the “SAME yesterday, today and forever”.

    Now, how would you explain all of these issues we have discussed under mormon teachings? Just to reiterate, we covered…

    1) All the Isaiah verses showing these is only ONE God and HE IS OUR SAVIOR!!!
    2) The name Immanuel being Christ’s name – GOD with us.
    3) The fact that the bible says Christ is the “SAME yesterday, today and forever”

    Every single one of these CONTRADICTS mormonism’s extrabiblical, heretical theology and teaching that Christ is a created (spiritually born) being that was once not divine, grew to become divine, and is separate from God (i.e. “a” God separate from God the father). How do you do the mental gymnastics to explain these contradictions?

    Darrell

  35. Seth R. said

    If you’re going to start using the derisive term “mental gymnastics” shall I start applying it to your nonsensical “three Gods, yet one God” problems with trinitarianism?

    Alright, to address your question…

    This is only my own view, but… I think God is something that divine beings participate in – but God is not necessarily ontologically synonymous with the members (for practical purposes, they are, of course synonymous). That God does not change. But the members of God do undergo change in various ways.

    So this overriding role that they are participating in does not change. However, the members are still free to develop in their own unique ways (as Christ did in mortality).

  36. Darrell said

    “This is only my own view, but… I think God is something that divine beings participate in – but God is not necessarily ontologically synonymous with the members (for practical purposes, they are, of course synonymous). That God does not change. But the members of God do undergo change in various ways.

    So this overriding role that they are participating in does not change. However, the members are still free to develop in their own unique ways (as Christ did in mortality).”

    Are you Mormon or New Age?

    Either way the stuff you just shared is COMPLETELY un-biblical. Do you believe in the bible?

    Darrell

  37. Seth R. said

    Yeah. Do you?

  38. Seth R. said

    It was a pretty unformed speculative idea (and probably full of holes). But really, I’m not the one to be asking for a justification of Mormon notions of Trinity.

    Google Blake Ostler and read some of his stuff. He’s done a much better job than I ever could at explaining modern Mormon theology.

    As for “New Age”… I don’t consider that necessarily a bad thing.

  39. Darrell said

    “Yeah. Do you?”

    Yes, I consider the bible to be the inerrant word of God.

    “It was a pretty unformed speculative idea (and probably full of holes).”

    Yes, if one believes the bible to be the accurate word of God, your statement is chopped full of holes.

    “As for “New Age”… I don’t consider that necessarily a bad thing.”

    I believe New Age to be a terribly dangerous way of thinking. The belief that there is any way to heaven other than Christ is a lie satan is trying his best to spread. The New Age way of thinking is nothing more than that.

    Darrell

  40. Darrell said

    “This is only my own view, but… I think God is something that divine beings participate in – but God is not necessarily ontologically synonymous with the members (for practical purposes, they are, of course synonymous). That God does not change. But the members of God do undergo change in various ways.

    So this overriding role that they are participating in does not change. However, the members are still free to develop in their own unique ways (as Christ did in mortality).”

    I have been thinking about this statement. You believe that God is just a name for a group of people that “progress” to be members of this “God group”. How does that line up with the verses in Isaiah? God makes it very clear in Isaiah that there is only ONE God. He also tells us who that God is… Immanuel – Our Savior. He does not say… “There are many Gods and I am one of them”.

    How do you mesh these statements in Isaiah (and throughout the rest of the bible for that manner) with your belief in this “Group” of Gods? Do you just throw the statements in Isaiah out? Do you believe they are inaccurate? Your concept of God is completely in opposition to the statements in Isaiah. Logic tells us they cannot possibly both be right… one of them HAS TO BE WRONG.

    Darrell

  41. Seth R. said

    Nope, assuming this piece of rank speculation on my part is the reality, they would, in fact, be ONE GOD.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the traditional Christian idea of perichoresis. And if you can use the idea to unify three different beings (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), why not more? Why not a Heavenly Mother? Why not you and I if, in Christ’s grace, we achieve that level of exaltation? Why not many? Why not forever?

    Surely you realize, that if you can rationalize your own brand of trinitarian three-Gods-in-one from the bare monotheism of the Old Testament, it isn’t much of a hop, skip and a jump to allow more members into the idea of God?

    You see, traditional Christians are already doing something like what I was talking about. Ask any Islamic or Jewish theologian whether Christians are monotheistic. He will frankly tell you that they are not. He will look at all the “mental gymnastics” (to use your word) that Christian thinkers have engaged in to unite this person of Christ with the One True God with disbelief at how far you have to stretch logic in order to argue your ideas.

    Again. If three-in-one, why not more?

    If you can reconcile three Gods with Isaiah’s words, why shouldn’t I be able to reconcile more Gods with them?

  42. Darrell said

    “If you can reconcile three Gods with Isaiah’s words, why shouldn’t I be able to reconcile more Gods with them?”

    You are displaying a vast misunderstanding of the trinity. It is not three GODS in one being. It is three PERSONS, one God. God is a different being from you and I. He is eternal, we are finite. He has always existed, we have not. He is The Great I am, we are mere created beings. To suggest that a mortal could somehow grow to become “a God” and part of a “group of Gods” is to commit the same sin that satan did in the Garden of Eden… “You will not die, you will become “as God”. You are putting humans on the same level as God and He has stated over and over again throughout the bible that we are not like Him. The trinity is exactly what the bible teaches about God. Your speculation is completely different from what the bible (and the book of mormon for that matter) teach about God.

    There is a tremendous difference between what you believe and what Christians believe. For starters, our belief is based upon what the bible says (it has authority). Your belief is based upon your own speculation (which has no authority).

    Darrell

  43. Seth R. said

    “God is a different being from you and I. He is eternal, we are finite. He has always existed, we have not.”

    It takes more than simply asserting this to prove it.

    “To suggest that a mortal could somehow grow to become “a God” and part of a “group of Gods” is to commit the same sin that satan did in the Garden of Eden… “You will not die, you will become “as God”.”

    Satan has always been a master of half truths. He is also very good at creating a mockery of the sacred. But that does not prove the LDS wrong.

    “You are putting humans on the same level as God and He has stated over and over again throughout the bible that we are not like Him.”

    If you are worried that we do not show enough respect to God, I think we do. We always have, and we always will. Nowhere in Mormon doctrine does it ever say we will ever be equal with God. His infinite progression is eternally ahead of ours. So we can never surpass Him.

    Just because God says we are not like Him in the Bible does not prove your point. Of course we are not now like Him. But none of the Old Testament verses say anything about the infinite future.

    “For starters, our belief is based upon what the bible says (it has authority).”

    This is the thing. We are not limited to the Bible. We have further revelation from God. It is enough for me that we are not in conflict with the Bible. And we are not in conflict with the Bible – just your interpretation of it.

  44. Darrell said

    “It takes more than simply asserting this to prove it.”

    Obvisouly you did not read the verses I pointed out to you in Isaiah. Otherwise, you would realize how ludicrous your assertion is. It is not me saying it, it God through the bible.

    “But that does not prove the LDS wrong.”

    No, the bible and contradictions among the LDS leaders past and present do a pretty good job of proving the LDS church false.

    “Just because God says we are not like Him in the Bible does not prove your point. Of course we are not now like Him. But none of the Old Testament verses say anything about the infinite future.”

    Again, you obviously have not studied the bible very well. You appear to not even have read the verses is Isaiah I pointed out to you. Your statement is categorically false. We are told that there is ONE GOD and HE IS OUR SAVIOR. He is not a “group of Gods”. We are also told that THERE WILL NEVER, EVER be another God. We will never be a “small god” or a “big god”. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE PERIOD. Why would God say this approximately 40 times in Isaiah alone if we were going to progress to godhood? Your position is categorically opposed to the bible and God’s assertation in it.

    “This is the thing. We are not limited to the Bible. We have further revelation from God. It is enough for me that we are not in conflict with the Bible. And we are not in conflict with the Bible – just your interpretation of it.”

    Correct, the LDS church does not consider the bible as the ultimate source of truth. Therefore, you being opposed to it does not present a problem for you under your faith. However, when it comes to your station before the Lord, that is another story.

    Darrell

  45. Darrell said

    “We are not limited to the Bible. We have further revelation from God.”

    Which revelation is true?

    1) The one where Adam is God or the one that now says Adam is Michael?

    2) The one that said only one being appeared to JS or the one that now says 2 beings appeared to him.

    3) The revelation that gave the original temple ceremony, the one 20 years ago or the one now?

    4) The one that said blacks will NEVER get the priesthood or the one that said magically now God changed his mind and they should get it?

    5) The one that said poligamy is a great thing and JS could marry 14 year old girls that DID NOT want to marry him OR the one that now says you should not practice it.

    Yeah, you are right, you guys don’t need the bible. Your “MORE REVELATION” is so clear, straightforward and NON-CONTRADICTORY.

    You need the bible. It is the message from God to us today. It is the ultimate authority.

    Darrell

  46. Seth R. said

    Darrell, you’re thrashing around at just about every standard anti-Mormon talking point you can get your hands on, whether it is on topic or not. What’s next? Are you going to ridicule our temple ordinances as rip-offs from Masonry now? Or maybe you’ll have a go at the Mountain Meadows Massacre perhaps? Maybe you could throw in something about the Salamander Letters too. Wouldn’t that just be a hoot?

    If you’re going to have a conversation, pick a theme and stick with it. Quit trying to change the subject.

    As it so happens, I did pull out an NIV Bible I have sitting on the shelf and looked up every last one of the verses you cited. They do not make the point you think they do.

    These scriptures in Isaiah clearly are meant to assert the supremacy, authority, and superiority of Yahweh over not only over false idols but over all else, including real gods.

    The Isaiah scriptures you cited cannot be called upon to disprove LDS beliefs in separate divine beings in the Godhead or theosis (the idea that man may become divine). Their main point is to encourage Israel to stop worshiping other divine beings or idols but to worship Yahweh alone. It says absolutely nothing about whether there are other divine beings in existence.

    There are, in fact, several scriptures in the Old Testament that imply that Yahweh is in fact one of a number of Gods, albeit supreme.

    The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O LORD God almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you (NIV Ps. 89:5-8).

    Among all the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works (Ps. 86:8).

    God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment (ESV Ps. 82:1).

    These scriptures speak of divine beings, “gods” who are the “sons of god(s)” (that’s how the Hebrew word is translated) who are heavenly beings who dwell in the skies. These cannot be idols or false gods. Yahweh dwells among them, reigns over them, and holds judgment in their midst. These beings do exist according to the Biblical authors. All the scriptures are saying is that Yahweh is supreme among them. And Mormons do, in fact, believe THAT.

    Now, Is. 44:6 reads:

    “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

    There are other verses in the Old Testament that use a similar Hebrew phrase to this one:

    For example, Is. 47:8-10 depicts the city of Babylon as saying:

    “Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:

    For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.”

    Sure, we are talking about a city and not God here. But, the Hebrew phrasing is the same. The meaning of the Hebrew phrase is clearly not that no other city exists – obviously others do. The meaning is SOLELY that Babylon is supposed to be supreme among all.

    This indicates that God uses the phrase in the same manner. He is supreme among the real, and existing gods (lower-case “g”). And He alone should be worshiped.

    Which is all consistent with Mormonism, since we worship no God but one.

  47. Seth R. said

    Correction, I wrote:

    “These scriptures in Isaiah clearly are meant to assert the supremacy, authority, and superiority of Yahweh over not only over false idols but over all else, including real gods.”

    That language is too strong. I do not, in fact, think that the scriptures “clearly” assert this. But they do make a strong case.

  48. Darrell said

    “Darrell, you’re thrashing around at just about every standard anti-Mormon talking point you can get your hands on…”

    I am not thrashing about aimlessly. I was addressing your previous post directly. I spoke directly to one thing… the contradictions in your modern day “revelation”. You opened that door when you asserted, “We are not limited to the Bible. We have further revelation from God.” I wsa simply asking a serious question… which modern day revelation do you listen to?

    Mormonism’s modern day “revelation” is full of contradictions and un-biblical falsehoods.

    More later… I have to go pick up my kids at a birthday party.

    Darrell

  49. Darrell said

    “It says absolutely nothing about whether there are other divine beings in existence.”

    I beg to differ. Let’s look at some of the references I pointed out…

    Isaiah 43:10-11 …Before me no God was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.

    In contrast to what you claim, this verse says very explicitly that there was NO GOD prior to God and there will be NO GOD AFTER HIM. You can twist and turn it all you want but it says what it says. In order to make it fit your theology you must read into it instead of just taking it for what it is.

    Isaiah 44:6 I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

    Isaiah 44:8 Is there any God besides me?… I know not one.

    Since God knows everything (even Mormons believe that) then if there were other Gods, I am sure He would know about them.

    Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.

    Isaiah 45:6 I am the Lord, and there is no other.

    Isaiah 45: 14 Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other God.

    He says it twice in verse 14! Seems pretty important!

    Isaiah 45:18 I am the Lord and there is no other.

    Isaiah 45: 21-22 And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.

    He says there are no other Gods 3 times in two verses and tells us here who He is, Jesus Christ our Savior.

    Isaiah 46:9 I am God, and there is no other

    Why does he keep repeating this??

    Now to address the verses you pointed out. In Psalms 89:5 the assembly of holy ones is not gods. God has already told us there are NO OTHER GODS. The assembly of holy ones are angels. Verse 7 makes this very clear when it says “In the council of holy ones GOD is greatly feared”. If this council of holy ones were a council of multiple gods this verse would be forced to read differently… somthing to the effect of “In the council of holy ones THE SUPREME GOD AMONG THE MANY OTHER GODS is greatly feared.”

    The other verses you point out do reference “gods”. These verses are not unlike the one Jesus referenced in John 10:34-35. Who are the ones called “gods” in these verses? In John 10:34-35 Jesus is referencing back to Psalms 82:6. Under their law the Israelite rulers and judges where called gods (see Exodus 4:16, 7:1). The gods he is referring to in these verses are not divine beings. He is referring to earthly lords, kings and gods. These were titles given to the rulers. Paul does the same thing in 1 Corinthians 8:5. He talks about “so-called gods”. Here he is referencing two things… idols and earthly titles of lord and god given to earthly leaders.

    Darrell

  50. Seth R. said

    If your read on Psalms 82 is correct, then Jesus was a pretty bad debater.

    Step back a moment and look at John 10:33-36. What’s going on here?

    The Pharisees want to stone Jesus because he claimed that he was God.

    Jesus responds by pointing to Psalms 82 and basically says “well look, your own scriptures say that YOU are gods.” “So why are you stoning me for claiming that I am?”

    According to your read, the Pharisees should have had a ready rebuttal to Christ’s claim by saying:

    “Jesus, you fool, don’t you know that that verse only applies to ANGELS?” (or human priests, or false deities, or whatever Protestant apologists are claiming these days).

    The way Jesus uses the verse in this argument makes it pretty darn clear that he was not using it to refer to angels or anything else other than gods.

    Jesus argument is completely incoherent if we accept your read of Psalms 82.

  51. Darrell said

    Psalms 82 is not referencing angels. It makes perfect sense. Re-read my post.

    By the way, did you just say Jesus claimed he was God? The falls apart under Mormonism.

    Darrell

  52. Darrell said

    Above I wrote… “By the way, did you just say Jesus claimed he was God? The falls apart under Mormonism.”

    That was sloppy, hurried typing with a misspelling. I meant to say…

    By the way, did you just say Jesus claimed He was God? This makes no sense under Mormon theology. Don’t you mean He claimed to be part of a group of gods?

    Darrell

  53. Seth R. said

    Mormonism retains “God” as an overarching and supreme reality that covers and includes any “gods” beneath.

    Let me get straight what you are trying to claim here. Are you saying that Jesus argument makes sense because he’s saying:

    “Why are you trying to kill me for claiming to be God? Your own scriptures have your leaders calling themselves gods!”

    So, you would be saying he’s catching them in a bit of hypocrisy?

    That seems like a strained reading of the scripture. It really diminishes the impact of what Jesus is saying a great deal. It seems to me more likely that Jesus was attacking the Jewish notion of man and God could never be one in the same (a crucial point for any Christian). He did so by pointing out another instance in the scriptures where the human becomes exalted.

  54. Darrell said

    Seth,

    I appreciate your perspective on this. However, I do not think it is a strained way of looking at the scripture. Here is how I see it…

    Psalms 82 is not referencing angels, it is refrencing the titles the Jewish leaders take for themselves… god, lord, king, etc. So, Christ is in effect saying, “Why do you think it is suprising that I call myself god when you call your leaders gods and the Lord allows it.” I think what he is doing is self evident. He is saying if you can call your leaders gods how much more right do I (THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD)have to call myself God.

    This scripture has to be looked at in light of all the scriptures which tell us that there is one God and there never where, nor ever will be any others. That is why I keep going back to the verses in Isaiah which you have not addressed. To take the verses in John and Psalms to mean WE are Gods would force us to discount all the verses that tell us THERE ARE NO OTHER GODS (including US). Discounting all the others (or redefining them as you have done) is, in my opinion, a strained reading of scripture. It is cherry picking what verses to believe and what verses to NOT believe.

    Darrell

  55. Seth R. said

    There’s a lot of literature out there that deals with primitive Judaism’s belief in a “Divine Council” of gods with the One God at the head.

    You can dismiss such primitive Jewish beliefs as a result of idolatry or something. But the beliefs were definitely there. And when you read passages like Psalms 82, it’s really easy to make the connection.

  56. Darrell said

    There were a lot of crazy beliefs in the early church… they were/are called heresies. Farms and Fair do a great job at looking at these heresies within the early church and trying to make them sound authoritative. All the while, they discount the fact that the early church fought these heresies and squashed them.

    IMO, we have to look at what the bible says as a whole. In order to consider Psalms 82 as referring to “Divine” Gods we have to discount other verses of scripture. When I read Psalms 82 it makes perfect sense to read it as referring to “earthly gods and lords”… jewish leaders.

    I am trying to understand your way of thinking. Jesus says in Isaiah that HE is OUR ONLY GOD AND SAVIOR. He does not say that He is a member of a group of Gods. It is straining to say when he says “I” am the only God that the “I” is referring to an overarching group of mulitple gods.

    How do you resolve this?

    Darrell

  57. nebula0 said

    Seth,

    Having a council of gods (elohim) to support the God (YHWH) does not accurately represent the Mormon godhead. YHWH is considered to be of a different type than those gods- which are lower, created angelic like figures.

  58. Seth R. said

    “All the while, they discount the fact that the early church fought these heresies and squashed them.”

    Which is just another way of saying that the winners write the history books. Or in this case, the winners write the orthodoxy.

    “Having a council of gods (elohim) to support the God (YHWH) does not accurately represent the Mormon godhead.”

    Are you saying you’ve got an accurate bead on what the Mormon teaching of the Godhead is? If so, could you clue me in? Cause I’d really like to know myself.

  59. Darrell said

    “Which is just another way of saying that the winners write the history books. Or in this case, the winners write the orthodoxy.”

    You are correct. God did win and always will.

    “I am trying to understand your way of thinking. Jesus says in Isaiah that HE is OUR ONLY GOD AND SAVIOR. He does not say that He is a member of a group of Gods. It is straining to say when he says “I” am the only God that the “I” is referring to an overarching group of mulitple gods.

    How do you resolve this?”

    I really am curious on your answer to this. Are you going to address it?

    Thanks!!

    Darrell

  60. Seth R. said

    I do not believe that Christ is a member of a group of gods.

    I believe He is a member of One God.

    Again, if you traditional Christians can make it work so that three beings can be part of One God, why can’t I make it work so that more than three are One God?

    If perichoresis works for 3, why can’t it work for more?

    Note that I am only speaking for my own read on Mormon scripture and no one else’s. There’s a range of belief among Mormons, and I think that’s OK. But this is how I resolve the issue.

  61. Darrell said

    “Again, if you traditional Christians can make it work so that three beings can be part of One God, why can’t I make it work so that more than three are One God?”

    This doesn’t work. You have nothing to base this belief on other than your own thoughts and emotions. Truth has to be tested against previous revelation (The Bible). If one does not test their thoughts and opinions against the word of God, then they are left to their own thoughts to determine truth. That is a slippery slope and end up with a million different faiths/religions/cults (ex. scientology, mormonism, jehovahs wittnesses, and all the other cults).

    We have a basis (the bible) which has given us to judge truth from error and have to compare teachings against it. The bible does not support your theory of a “Group of Gods”. The bible teaches the trinity. So, trying to use the trinity to support your theory does not work.

    Darrell

  62. deaconj123 said

    In regards to nebula0’s original first post in this thread:

    >>No missionaries came around. The phone was not ringing off the >>hook. No one has tracked us down.

    I left the LDS church over 20 years ago, and I have had the exact opposite experience. I do not live in Utah, I have no idea how the Mormons keep tracking me down (I have lived in different states in the U.S. in the last 20 years, not Utah).

    In spite of me telling the local Mormons that I want to be left alone, I still get phone calls and vists from the local Bishop, the missionaries come by twice a year (at least), calls from the Elder’s Quorum president, Relief Society president, and so on.

    I’ve heard some LDS members say this about people leaving the Mormon church: “they can leave the Mormon church, but they can’t leave the church alone.”

    I have had the exact opposite experience. I just want to be left alone, and have stated so, and I am still being harassed…

  63. nebula0 said

    Deacon,

    That is a very unusual experience. When I left the church it was actually two of us including my spouse, and neither of us has heard from anyone. My guess, deacon, is that a family member or friend has made you their pet project and is keeping tabs on you. I doubt the local hierarchy is initiating this itself. I suggest you put yourself on the Do Not Contact list.

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