Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Zion: What it is and isn't

Before I wrote this article last year, I was under the assumption that the saints were to establish Zion, and hence, I could in my own way establish a little piece of Zion myself in my family and home. Figuratively, yes, I can do this. In specific actuality, I cannot. Zion is not a strip mall that I can invest in and put up on my own accord. After reading in Approaching Zion, by brother Hugh Nibley, it becomes obvious that it is not our directive to build Zion, but to prepare for it.
“We'd better say a few things about Zion here. Zion is a code word denoting a very real thing. Zion is any community in which the celestial order prevails. Zion is "the pure in heart" (D&C 97:21), but Zion is also a real city or any number of real cities. It is a constant; it is unchanging. There are Zions among all the worlds, and there are Zions that come and go. Zion is a constant in time and place—it belongs to the order of the eternities. We're not making Zion here, but we're preparing the ground to receive it. As the Lord says, "My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom" (D&C 136:31). We must be prepared to receive this glory; we don't produce it ourselves. We must be ready, so that we won't die of shock when we get it.”1
The word Zion has many different meanings and interpretations. In Hebrew it is ציון, which is a mountain of Jerusalem. It also means a desert or dry place. The more symbolic meaning, which suits the point and purpose of this work, is a monumental or guiding pillar, sign, title, or waymark.2
Now my question is this: How do we go about establishing (or preparing) for Zion? What models do we have to emulate? I believe we have many examples to draw from, but I will place my focus on the people we are most familiar with who were refined to such a point that they were called Zion and were taken from the earth. In order to do this, I want to proceed with a small study of this people and their leader, Enoch.
Enoch at a young age was called upon to declare repentance to a Carnal, Sensual, and Devilish people. When he asked the Lord why he, who believed all the people hated him and he was slow of speech, was called to this work, the Lord basically told him that He was going to do as he pleased, and He would take care of the details. Though the Lord did not directly state why he called upon Enoch, I feel safe assuming that he acted similar to Seth, in that “God revealed himself unto Seth, and he rebelled not, but offered an acceptable sacrifice, like unto his brother Abel.”3 We also know that “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council.”4 We know that Enoch was worthy to and was foreordained to head a dispensation of the gospel and was successful in establishing a righteous people.
Enoch served an honorable full-time mission and did his part in declaring the gospel and teaching repentance. Many that he taught were not so happy with his diligence though. “And it came to pass that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.”5 Any good active member who knows about Covey and how to be effective knows that these people chose to be offended. Why did they? It destroyed their craft!6 They reveled in their sin like pigs in mud. The Lord’s commands to repent and be righteous shook their societal structure and pierced them to the heart, yea “it cutteth them to the very center.”7
Now what I would like to suggest is that we don’t to do this. The blessings of heaven are promised to us if we but obey the voice of his servants and live in accordance to the spirit.8 It’s not that difficult of a concept. I think I hear a touch of frustration in the voice of King Benjamin when he pleaded with his people: “all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.”9
Ok, ok! So, I need to keep the commandments. But how obedient do I need to be?
Wrong question! We as saints need to get past the idea of obedience being an inconvenience and something that hampers our “fun.” Once we can do that, the Lord’s blessings and protection flow readily. To further the point, President Benson is quoted as saying “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”10
I cannot picture the people of the Lord, or “Enochites,” (I’ll take credit for that one) griping to Enoch about having to read the scriptures every day or go to three hours of meetings on Sunday, or Saturday in the Enochites case. It is interesting that youth, and many adults that are still youths spiritually, think it is so hard to keep commandments and that the church requires so much have not considered what their pioneer ancestors had to go through, let alone the people of Enoch. They are not called upon everyday to lay down their life in the cause of the truth; they would probably flinch at the very thought of it. They do not realize, or want to realize, that obedience to the laws of God do not hinder but exalt men and free them from the traps of this world.
Dr. Victor Ludlow addressed this topic: “The people of Enoch practiced the law of consecration, having all spiritual and temporal things in common, which is the highest law of the gospel and the culminating covenant of the holy temple.” “Because the people of Zion lived the order of heaven on earth, they were literally "too good for this world" and were taken from it…”11
“I don’t know if I could live the Law of Consecration!” moans the natural man in most of us. That’s when we need to tell ourselves “That’s too bad carnal, sensual, and devilish natural man because I made solemn covenants to do so! If I really want eternal life, which I am so quick to claim that I do, then I know I must be willing to sacrifice all that I have because I know that ‘a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things.’12”
I find it interesting that the very people that are called upon to sacrifice so much are the ones who are not only happy to do it, but are grateful to the Lord for the opportunity. I can see how those in the first century A.C.E. (AD) thought the Christians were loons when after Peter and the apostles were beaten they went away “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his [Christ’s] name.”13 This is the example we need to follow. We need to figure out how to get to the point where we are happy to do the Lord’s will.
How can we help ourselves and other people get the faith to keep the commandments and desire to be like the Enochites? Well, we can’t keep the commandments if we don’t know what they are,14 and they can’t have faith in the Lord unless they know about him and his commandments.15 It’s kind of a cycle…thingy. Paul probably had this in mind when stating that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”16 We see then that learning to believe and follow the commandments already given and the living oracles we have today provide a foundation on which we may establish, or prepare, ourselves to receive Zion.
So now we come to the point where we enjoy being obedient and seek to keep the commandments of God, making it “our quest.” We are another step closer to becoming like unto the Enochites. Once they were progressing in righteousness, what did they begin to do? Well, we read that they were to teach their children things of righteousness of course! Specifically, they were commanded to teach them that “all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence.”17 This command is followed up with an amendment to “teach these things freely unto your children.”18
After we strengthen our own ranks, it is then time to take the message to others. The Lord promises his blessings and protection to his servants as they forget themselves (cast off their CSD natural men) and build his kingdom.
So great was the faith of Enoch, and I have to assume that of his people, that “he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.”19
We may not be separating into physically separate communities in our day, but we definitely should be a separate people in terms of our beliefs, lives, and habits compared to the rest of the world. We must be like unto the people of God (Enochites) of whom their reputation was that of a completely different nature than the so-called “great men of the world.” In short, we must be examples. President Joseph Fielding Smith advised the saints: “Our duty is to teach, to guide and direct the members of the Church in the path of righteousness. Our duty is to set examples before the world, that they seeing our good works may glorify our Father in heaven, and have faith and confidence in us. It is our duty to warn all men and endeavor to teach them the truth, so that those who will not hearken may be left without excuse.”20
I catch the same theme in President Smith’s command here as that of Enoch and every other righteous scriptural. First, we must strengthen our own members. Second, we must set a righteous example for those around us. Third, we must actively proclaim the gospel and it’s saving truths to the world. I do not necessarily claim that these are chronological steps always, but sometimes a perpetual process…thing, that we will carry on in this last dispensation until the Lord comes again with Zion.
What is our duty then? How then do we prepare for Zion? To put it simply, we must obey the commandments! “All that he requires of you is to keep his commandments [!]”21 This entails each of us individually becoming the best people we can be, and helping others become the best they can be. President Gordon B. Hinckley says it best: “We can improve, and when all is said and done that's what this is all about: improvement, changing our lives so that we can help people change their lives and be better. And let's build Zion in the earth. That's what it is all about.”22
That is what it is all about. I find great inspiration in the stories of the righteous patriarchs and how they went about establishing righteous peoples. It is my personal goal to establish a righteous family and posterity founded upon the true doctrines of Jesus Christ. –So much so that I have already determined our family motto to be the “Curtis Kingdom-Builders.” I know that these truths in their entirety are only to be found in the kingdom of God (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I know that the atonement is real and that our Heavenly Father desires us who he has blessed with the gospel to share with his other children. I love the commandments of God and how my willing obedience to them brings me “peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”23 I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen

1. Nibley, Hugh., Approaching Zion, pg. 4
2. Strong, James. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 1996. Pg. 120:6724-6726
3. Mos. 6:3
4. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols.
5. Moses 6:37
6. See Alma 35:3 and Acts 19:27
7. 1 Nephi 16:2
8. D&C 130:20-21
9. Mosiah 2:22
10. As quoted by Elder Donald L. Staheli, GC Apr 1998
11. Ludlow, Victor, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, pg. 505
12. Smith Jr., Joseph, Lectures on Faith, Lecture 6 verse 7
13. Acts 5:41
14. See Mosiah 1:5
15. Smith, Jr., Joseph, Lectures on Faith, Lecture 3 verse 1. Also Romans 10:14
16. Romans 10:17
17. Moses 6:57, See also 2 Nephi 2:8
18. Moses 6:58
19. Moses 7:13
20. Smith, Joseph Fielding, Doctrines of Salvation, vol.1, pg. 310
21. See above
22. Hinckley, Gordon B., Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, pg. 726
23. D&C 59:23

Nibley, Hugh. Approaching Zion. Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1989.
Strong, James. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville,
Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.
Smith, Joseph. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols.
Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1948.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. General Conference. Apr 1998
Ludlow, Victor. Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel. Salt Lake City, Utah:
Deseret Book, 1992
Smith, Joseph. Lectures on Faith. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1985
Smith, Joseph Fielding. Doctrines of Salvation. 3 Vols. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret
Book, 1954
Hinckley, Gordon B. Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret
Book, 1997

Monday, December 17, 2007

Accusation: The story of Moroni and the Book of Mormon contradicts Gal. 1:8

Accusation: Galatians 1:8 "if we, or even an angel from heaven, should preach unto you another gospel than which has already been preached to you, let them be accursed".

Do any Mormons recognize this verse? Don't they find it interesting it was included in scripture hundreds of years before Joseph Smith claimed to have a "vision" given to him from an "angel from heaven"? Hello?

Response: Hello.
Gal. 1:8. Yes, anti books do use that one a lot.
Are you concerned about the angel Moroni declaring the gospel? Or are you concerned about "another gospel?"

If it is an angel in the latter days declaring the Revelation 14:6-7
"I saw another ANGEL, flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth...." -There's your angel preaching the gospel.
If it is "another gospel," that's an even more simple answer. It is NOT another gospel. It's the same one That Jesus and his apostles preached. If you do not agree it is because you have not read the answers that have been given already thousands of times.

Best Wishes,

Was Jesus married?

Why was Jesus not able to commit to a marriage relationship with a woman?
Weren't unmarried bachelors 24 years of age and older in Judaism deemed to be over the hill?
Like weren't Joseph and Mary married as young teenagers, maybe at age 15 or 16?


Most likely.
Christ was perfect not only because he was the son of God, but because he kept ALL of his Father's commandments. -That's the reason why he was able to die for us and it be efficacious for our salvation (lamb without blemish). What's the first commandment God gave to man? "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it...." -Gen 1:26
Obviously, that requires marriage (Gen 2:24) because God wouldn't command them to fornicate.
Christ was perfectly obedient to Heavenly Father, hence he kept every commandment. If he was not married, then he did not obey all his Father's commandments and hence was not perfect. For all those who said Jesus was not married, you also say that he was not perfect.
It was also a commandment to have children (be fruitful, multiply).
For the life of me I don't know why this is so offensive to some people?

Best Wishes,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Question: Does God no longer care about me?

Question: Does God no longer care about me?

I feel as if God no longer cares about me. I have been a Christian for most of my adult life. I have always felt like God was with me and watching over me, protecting me. Last December I lost my job. I now have a job, but it is barely enough to pay my rent and utilities. I have nothing left over for food even though I work ten hour days. All attempts to find either a better job or a second job have failed. I am struggling with the feeling that God has abandoned me. I stayed faithful and trusting for a long time, but now cannot even bring myself to go to church. I feel as if God has given up on me and no longer cares if I survive in this world. I've trusted God to see me through this, but every time my hopes crumble to nothing. How can I get that hope back? How can I trust God when he leaves me hungry? I feel as if he is holding me back from getting anywhere. Does God really want me to live in poverty?


That's a tough one.
I feel your pain brother! I have felt as you have in the past.
Life is not a plateau, it continues to lift you up and drop you. The important part is that you fight the good fight, finish your course, and keep the faith. -2 Tim 4:7 If you can do this, your life should be an upward trend, even if there are big dips.
I think the Lord has many reasons that he allows certain things to happen to us in life which we can't always understand (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Even though it is not always comforting, we do know that the Lord chastens those he loves:
"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
'If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?

'But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." -Heb 12:6-8

It's during the hard times, like the one your dealing with, why it's important to remember what Christ said: "he that ENDURETH to the end shall be saved." -Matt 10:22, 24:13

It's REALLY hard sometimes. You probably want to crawl under a rock and die sometimes. My experience is that the darker the night is, the brighter the day will be. Stay strong and you will come out ahead of those who did not have to pass through what you did.

Remember, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God...." -Rom 8:28

In the LDS Church, we often quote from a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants, which is part of our canon of scripture. The passage refers to Joseph Smith pleading with the Lord and asking why he and the members of the church at the time were being so viciously maligned at molested, and why he (the Lord) was not preventing it.
The Lord said,

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
'And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high...." -D&C 121:7-8

"and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." -D&C 122:8

It's tough, but the Lord will help you through it. You're a son (or daughter) of God. Remember that.

Best Wishes,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why does the LDS Church teach there was an apostasy?


Why does the LDS Church teach there was an apostasy?
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall, not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18

So if you believe there was an apostasy than one of the following must be true. (1) Jesus' words in the passages just cited were misreported; (2) Jesus did in fact say these things but didn't really mean them--at least not in the way they had been understood by Christians for the first eighteen centuries; (3) Jesus was a liar, or (4) Joseph Smith was wrong and Jesus meant what he said.

Matthew 24:4-12; Mark 13:21-23; Luke 21:7-8; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-7, 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1-3; and Jude 17-19. Passages that say that "many" will fall away. This refers to apostasy in an individual sense. Not a complete apostasy of the entire Church.

The Lord established the position of Bishop to ensure that the church continued. There was no Great Apostacy. There is apostacy of individuals, and there is corruption in all man made institutions but the Church continued through the position of the Bishop.


Great Question!
It’s refreshing to see actual scriptures quoted. Let’s tackle this question together.

First, Peter comes from “petros,” which means “a piece of rock.” When you look at the Greek text (the best that is available because we have no original) you will find that when Christ says “upon this rock I will build my church,” that rock in this instance is “petra,” which means “a mass of rock.” –You can find this in a Greek lexicon and/or early greek manuscripts. Readily available prints of these are Strong’s Concordance and any Greek-English New Testament Translation. Now, it is a play on words (as was stated earlier) but it really draws a distinction. It reads "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (petros-a piece of a rock), and upon this rock (petra-a mass of rock) I will build my church….”
So, Peter is not the rock (petra) upon which Christ was to build his Church. What was the petra (mass of rock) then? Well, what is the antecedent of this last statement? It had just been REVEALED to Peter that Jesus was the Christ (v.16-17). Hence, Peter (who had just experienced personal revelation testifying of the divinity of Christ) was told that revelation (like he just experienced), was to be what the Church was built upon.
No discredit to Peter! He was an amazing man. He was the one willing to fight to protect Christ when he was taken to court (John 18:10). I personally don’t feel that Peter denied Christ “thrice” because he was scared, but because he knew that he was needed to carry on the Lord’s work and was not supposed to die at that time.

Now, as to your other scripture references, I found it interesting that you chose to quote some of them.

Acts 20:29-30 – Paul knew that after his departing (note: did not say “last days”) “grievous wolves” would enter in, and “many disciples” would be drawn away. This happened after Paul’s departure, 1900+ years ago.

As for the rest of them, we actually use those same verses to prove the apostasy and general falling away from the truth.

You also stated that, “The Lord established the position of Bishop to ensure that the church continued.” The Bishop was a shepherd that watched over “A” flock.
Now, which office was appointed to be the foundation for the entire Church? Let’s keep quoting Paul, he’s doing great.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
‘And are built upon the FOUNDATION of the APOSTLES and PROPHETS, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
‘In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
‘In whom YE ALSO ARE BUILDED together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” –Ephesians 2:19-22

If the foundation of Christ’s Church was to be apostles and prophets, which church has them today?

Some nay-sayers will say “Nay… hold on a moment. The office of apostle was only necessary for the founding of the Church and was not supposed to continue.”

Paul states that Christ gave “some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers…

Until when?

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” –Eph 4:11,13

When “we ALL come in the unity of the faith,” and every “Christian” quits quibbling about their differences we won’t need apostles anymore. Until then, we’re all trying to come to that unity of faith. Where is that? I believe it is the Church that has apostles and prophets and that is built upon the “petra” of revelation.

Best Wishes,

Monday, December 10, 2007

What are mormon garments and why do they wear them?

Great question. I'll do my best to answer you're question briefly. To start, I will mention that my dad is Jewish, I have a great friend that was jewish who converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I myself am I convert to the Church (though I was not Jewish) and have studied Hebrew.
The wearing of symbolic garments has been a practice in Jewish culture for a very long time. Orthodox Jews today still wear "tzit tzit" (pronounced tseet tseet). These are frays or tassels that are attached to a tallit gadol, which is a garment Jews wear that have tzit tzit on the corners (Numbers 15:38, Deuteronomy 22:12).
Now here is the commandment God gave to Israel, the covenant people:
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their GARMENTS throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
‘And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and REMEMBER all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
‘That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.” –Numbers 15:38-40
Wearing of the garments serves as a reminder to faithful Latter-Day Saints to keep the commandments and promises they make to God.
Wearing of these garments was a commandment, and wearing/seeing them was a reminder to do the commandments (or mitzvot).
We know that Jesus was perfect and kept ALL of the commandments. We just read that wearing these garments was a commandment. *So to those of you who mocked the garments are mocking a commandment that the Lord gave AND kept.
Nowhere in the New Testament, is this commandment revoked, but to the contrary, it is reinforced (See Matt 22:11-12, Rev 7:9, 13-14 –referred to as robes, also called raiment). The garments are sacred and symbolic, and not magical in and of themselves. Blessings are given to those who keep the commandments, follow the savior, and keep their garments spotless (spiritually). Again, they are not to be treated lightly.
As for those who commented on Masons, you should know that the masons copied the temple ceremonies from the temple of Solomon.
The temple ceremonies were practiced in ancient Israel by commandment. Yes Joseph Smith was a mason. He corrected (by inspiration) their corrupted form of the temple rites. Again, if anyone mocks them, they are mocking the Lord.
Washings and anointings took place at the ancient temple also (Exodus 29:4-7). Anointing with oil was still in effect after Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 6:17, James 5:14). Also, Christ MEANS anointed one. The Lord restored these sacred things in their purity today

Best Wishes,

will someone go to hell if they were never tought christianity?

Tough question, huh?
Many people struggle with this one.
Fortunately, truth has been restored on earth. Many religions will claim that if a person who has never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus or his gospel will got to hell. That does not sound like a just God, does it?
It is true that
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” –Mark 16:16
Also, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” –John 3:5

Just as you asked, what DOES become of those who have never heard the gospel and hence, never had an opportunity to accept or reject it?

Simply put, everyone will have an opportunity to hear the gospel and choose for themselves, whether or not to believe it. Thus, everyone will be judged fairly. Paul said “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law….” –Romans 2:12
Now, this does not mean that someone who has not had the gospel will not be accountable for anything they have done, it just means that provisions are made.
I’m about to reference a lot of scriptures, so please be patient with me and follow along.
After the death of Christ, he went and visited the spirits of those who had already died, but had not been resurrected yet.
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
‘By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” -1 Peter 3:18-19
“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” -1 Peter 4:6 (dead in this verse comes from the Greek Nekros, which means corpse, or dead-it does not mean alive and spiritually dead).
Christ essentially opened up missionary work to those who had not had an opportunity to hear the gospel yet.
So, when did Jesus have an opportunity to go preach to these spirits? Well, when he was dead is the answer. We know that Christ’s body was in the tomb for 3 days, but where was his spirit? He was not in heaven for those whole three days. After Christ’s resurrection, Mary ran up to him and was going to touch the savior, but he said, “Touch me not; for I am NOT YET ascended to my Father.” –John 20:17
This doctrine is not discussed much these days, simply because most churches and or believers don’t understand or believe it. It was a common belief amongst Christians. If you look at history, you can even find paintings depicting Christ opening the gates of those kept in captivity who had not heard the gospel (example above-this is a catholic depiction of Limbo, but it's close enough to suit this entry's purpose).

In conclusion, every person will be accountable for their actions, and all will have the opportunity to accept or reject the gospel, and thus all will be judged fairly. It’s a beautiful doctrine and shows how just and loving our Heavenly Father is.

Best Wishes,

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Why am I getting no answers to my prayers? Is there no God?

This is a paraphrased question asked on Yahoo Answers:
"So I guess I don't really have a strong testimony. I would pray to ask if god really exists and get no answer. I prayed so many times, with no feeling or anything. What could this be? I'm healthy, normal, and I'm not on any meds or anything; I'm just normal. I read scriptures and engage my mind before praying, so what am I doing wrong? why are there no answers to my prayers? Is there no God? I mean I did everything right. I'm so confused. Please help!


I'm a convert myself. Answers are received in so many different ways. For me, reading the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon, is where I felt my Heavenly Father's love and concern.
Alma talks about planting the seed, which is "the word," and continuing to nourish it. -Alma 32 You've probably heard the adage, "If you want to talk to the Lord, pray. If you want to hear from the Lord, read your scriptures."
True conversion and faith come from frequent and deep study, and the spirit bearing witness of the truthfulness of what you read/hear. Remember, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." -Romans 10:17
Once you have had the witness of the spirit (and even before), commit to continue down the path you have commenced (2 Ne 31:20) and follow the promptings of the spirit. Moroni emphasized that we must ask with "real intent." -Moroni 10:4
You will have confidence in your life and will see through the ignorance in the world, especially many answers given on Yahoo Answers by people who don't know what they're talking about.

Best Wishes,

It can be a struggle. Remember what Thomas Paine said "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly...."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Do Mormons belive that Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body?

-I have never heard or been asked, before I responded to this question, if Mormons believed in the literal resurrection of Christ. We have been criticized for believing that he was literally resurrected.
After Christ’s resurrection he appeared to his disciples and they were afraid. He said, “handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” –Luke 24:39
Christ appeared to the ancient Americans shortly after his resurrection and commanded them to touch him (similar to Thomas, John 20:27).
“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.” -3rd Nephi 11:15
We absolutely believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the creator of the Universe?

I assume that if something is written in the Book of Mormon, most will accept that that is what we believe.
A group of Nephites (an ancient branch of the Israelites) declared this, “O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who CREATED heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.” –Mosiah 4:2 (right out of the Book of Mormon).
There are MANY verses similar to this throughout the Book of Mormon, which is a great read if you ever have the time. I’m reading it through for the 23rd time myself.
We believe that Jesus is “the Word” that was WITH God, and the Word was God… and all things were made by him. –John 1:1-3

Friday, December 7, 2007

Why do Mormons have another book?

Why do Mormons have another book? Doesn't the Bible say there is "no other gospel?"

-Though it is true that there is only one true gospel, the scripture referred to, that is often misunderstood, doesn’t say there is no other gospel. What Paul said to the fledgling Galation church was,
“As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” –Galations 1:8
Now, I assume that by you stating that we have “another gospel” you are referring to the Book of Mormon and/or our other scripture.
First off, gospel doesn’t mean book. It means good news. I would also say that “gospel” encompasses true doctrines and principles.
We teach the same good news, doctrines, and principles that Paul did. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God would never give additional light and knowledge to the world.
In fact, it says many times that revelation would continue (see Joel 2:28, Rev 14:6-7).

Best Wishes,

Do Mormons believe that Jesus and satan are spirit brothers?

Do Mormons believe that Jesus and satan are spirit brothers? Doesn't the bible say they are not?

We believe that we all lived with our Heavenly Father before we came to earth. So, here is what the Bible says. There was a great war in heaven in which satan (Lucifer) and 1/3 of the hosts of heaven were cast out of heaven down to earth (Rev 12:1-9).
Satan, or Lucifer, was a son of the morning (Isaiah 14:12). This denotes that he was once respected and beloved. Jesus, us, and Satan and his followers were all spirit brothers and sisters in the pre-mortal realms because we were all created by God. That is why his fall from heaven was so shocking and terrible. His flaw was not wanting to eventually become like God, but wanting to usurp his thrown from him, and take his glory (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Do Mormons teach that we can become Gods?

Do Mormons teach that we can become Gods? Doesn't the bible say we cannot.

-We absolutely do teach that doctrine. Do you really think if you go to heaven to live with God (who is your literal Father) that all you do is strum a harp and sing hymns, forever? –I’m obviously being a little facetious here, but seriously, think about it.
Now here’s what the Bible does say:
Paul, speaking to the Romans, said,
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
‘And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” –Romans 8:16-17
Now, if we really are “children of God,” when we eternally grow up, who do we become like? Our Father. Also, if we are joint-heirs with Christ, what do we jointly inherit? Well, Christ said “All things that the Father hath are mine.” –John 16:15
So, if we are children of God, live forever in heaven, and jointly inherit all things that the father hath, what does that make you?
Jesus actually answered this question when speaking to the Jews:
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
‘If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
‘Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” –John 10:34 (Christ quoted Ps 82:6: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”)
The scripture cannot be broken.

Accusation: “The book of Mormon contradicts the New Testament and takes away from what Jesus Christ did on the cross."

Accusation: “The book of Mormon contradicts the New Testament and takes away from what Jesus Christ did on the cross."

-This is a statement made by someone who has clearly not read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover.
It speaks for itself:
Nephi, The author of the first two –books- in the Book of Mormon wrote (early 6th century BC) of what he saw in vision:
“And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.”
‘And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” -1 Nephi 11:32-33
Jesus Christ himself said to a group of Nephites (ancient Americans)
“And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil….” -3 Nephi 27:14
Regardless of whether you believe the Book of Mormon to be true or not, It still teaches about the same Jesus Christ you read about in the New Testament.

Accusation: "The Holy Bible is very specific about adding to or taking way."

:Accusation: “The Holy Bible is very specific about adding to or taking way.”

-Don’t worry; this is a commonly misquoted passage. You are referring to Rev. 22:18-19:
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of THIS book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in THIS book:
‘And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of THIS prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in THIS book.”
To interpret this as saying the Book of Mormon is adding to the Bible and hence going against the Bible is incorrect for many reasons. I will only mention three:
1. The word Bible comes from “Biblio,” which means library. There are 66 –books- in the Bible. The first Christian Bible was not put together until the 4th century AD. You will notice that I emphasized “THIS book” in the quoted passage above. -Meaning the book, Revelation. The Book of Mormon does not add to “the prophecy of THIS book.”
2. Chronology – You may look at any reputable encyclopedia or Bible commentary (if you care to) and find that most Bible scholars place the writing of the Book of Revelation about 20-25 years before the Gospel of John was written. If we interpret Rev. 22:18-19 in the context you put forth, then we have to toss John’s own gospel out of the Bible because he wrote that –book- after Revelation. Personally, I like the gospel of John and wouldn’t want to see it removed.
3. Also, in the –book- of Deuteronomy, the Lord commands “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” –Deut 4:2
Again, if we interpret that the way you suggest we should interpret Rev 22:18-19, we would have to throw 61 (of 66) –books- out of the Bible. Let us not be hasty.

Does mormon fall under the more general umbrella of christianity? is it christianity?

With so many conflicting opinions it’s difficult to determine what the answer is, huh?
Well, the answer to your question is yes and no. Yes because we are Christians (believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ). No because we do not fall under the “general umbrella of Christianity.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is unique because we believe the Lord’s original church, which HE established (with apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers… -Eph 4:11), fell into darkness and disarray, resulting in a general apostasy from the truth (and church) Christ himself established. The Lord restored his original Church and truth in our day.
Now this is a strong statement: The Church of Jesus Christ is not an “arm” (as someone commented) or appendage of modern Christianity, it is the Church that Jesus Christ himself organized in these Latter-Days.
I know that’s a lot to mull over (I’m a convert to the Church myself). If you want factual, from-the-source information, visit

Best Wishes,

Monday, December 3, 2007

Why do some people believe that members of the LDS Church (Mormons) worship Joseph Smith and not Jesus Christ?

Great question. Interesting responses thus far also. As far as responding to the nay-sayers, I think Mickey P snubbed Schneb well enough. Peter Priesthood pitched a perfect prose response too.

Coming from a convert's (i.e., outside) perspective, I think there are two main reasons for this misconception:
1. Innocent Ignorance
2. Intentional Ignorance

Here's an example of the first. When I was in high school I asked a Mormon friend (I had not yet joined the Church) what went on in the temples. I don’t remember the exact details of that conversation because he was so excited to start talking about the Church he probably gave me the first 4 discussions. So I went away from that conversation thinking that Mormons baptized gold plates on behalf of the dead. No joke. If I had not studied it out myself I would probably still believe that as well as believe what anti-mormons, or anyone for that matter, told me.

“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it “ –D&C 123:12

This next section is not meant to slight or offend anyone, it is my honest observation however.

There are many people who are against the Church, who have fallen away from the Church, and even some who are in the Church who willfully and intentional remain ignorant of the restored truths of the gospel. In all seriousness, in some ways that makes life a lot easier! We belong to a church with very high standards. Think about it from their point of view. “If Joseph Smith wasn’t a fraud, then the Book of Mormon is true, then I have been wrong, then I do have to do more than just confess with my mouth and believe (Rom 10:9), then I am accountable for every decision in my life, then I have to keep trying harder and harder every day to be the best I can be, then I have to stand strong against the millions of people who want to tear my beliefs and my religion down everyday, etc….”

-I know that this is not exactly most people in that categories cognizant thought process; I’m just making a point.

To summarize the intentionally ignorant: It mostly boils down to pride. Anti’s don’t want to think they might be wrong, apostates are usually offended at someone in the Church, and many members in the church think they know better –without having studied very much- and pick and choose which commandments to keep and which doctrines to believe.

It takes a humble heart and mind in order to truly follow the Lord throughout mortality.

Still, many intentionally ignorant will continue to slander the Church and accuse us wrongly. Let’s not forget what the Lord (that would be Jesus, not Brother Joseph) said to those nay-saying Pharisees: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matt 12:36

Best Wishes,

Does God still speak to man?

He absolutely does.
The common misconception is that the Bible is one book. The word Bible itself comes from Biblio, meaning library. The actual Bible, or the many versions thereof, was not compiled until the 4th century, A.D. -And that, after much contention. Another major change occurred when certain books from the Catholic version of the bible (Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, etc...), often referred to as the deuterocanonical books.

The bible was not one journal that one prophet would pick up, write their dealings with God, then hand it on to the next.
To assume that everything God has ever said or did is contained in the Bible is selling God short. The last verse in the Gospel of John states "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." -John 21:25

I believe the Bible, don't get me wrong. I'm just amazed that so many people that claim to believe in a living God say that he does not speak to his servants anymore.
Why would he not?
Does he not love us anymore?
Do we not need his continued guidance anymore?
If the argument is to be used that all we need is in the Bible, then we might as well say that if we have Matthew, we don't need Mark or Luke (the other synoptic gospels), because they contain similar information.
Yes, God still speaks. Yes he still cares. And in my opinion, the world is in more need of his guidance and inspired servants than ever before.

Best Wishes,

Why Does God Love Us?

Great question Yolanda. Sometimes it seems like there's not much to love. huh?

To give you a simple answer, God loves us because we are literally his children (Acts 17:29 in the Bible). He is our Father. Jesus Christ is our brother and his whole mission (living a perfect life, suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross, and his resurrection) was to enable us to return to our Heavenly Father and live with him. You have probably heard the term "grace of God" before. That is what it means. Grace is God's enabling power to help us through life and become the best we can be.

God did not make you to be his toy or entertainment. He cares about YOU just as an earthly father cares about their child (except infinitely more). He wants the best for you and he is happy when you are truly happy.

If you have the time, go to

This life is about making choices. You are the only one accountable for those choices. Don't let what others say dissuade you from following your heart. There will always be nay-sayers. Trust that YOUR Heavenly Father will lead you the right way.

Best Wishes,

What is in the Book of Mormon that fulfills the Bible?

This is a fun question. Unfortunately I only have time to mention a few things.

1. Jacob gave an interesting blessing to his son Joseph just before he died.
"Jacob is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.... The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills...."
-Gen. 49:22-26
Often scriptures referencing fruit refer to posterity; e.g., "fruit of thy loins" (which to keep this simple I will quote again shortly).
The posterity of Joseph will run over the wall of the well. Obviously Joseph is not literally a branch, and he will not literally grow over the walls of a well. Branches (or tribes) of the house of Israel were lead away (or captured and enslaved) from time to time. the general scattering of the tribes is usually referred to as the "diaspora." -dispersion.
A few families heeded warnings from the Lord's prophets and fled before they were forced to.
Lehi and Ishmael were two such men who departed from Jerusalem with their families and were led across the ocean (WELL) to the ancient Americas around 600 BC.
Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph (Alma 10:3). These families had great blessings bestowed upon them and were highly favored of the Lord, thus fulfilling in part Joseph's blessing under the hands of Jacob.
The "everlasting hills" mentioned in this blessing, where some of the fruit of Joseph were to travel to, may be realistically identified as the mountain range stretching from the North tip of Alaska, to the southern tip of South America. -The Rockies and the Andes combine for this string of "everlasting hills."

2. Our friend previously quoted Ezekiel 37:16-19. Summarized briefly, two sticks are to be written on. One by Judah, one by Joseph. A stick is a scroll, much like the Dead Sea Scrolls. So two peoples are to write on scrolls and bring them together. The Bible contains mainly the writings of Jews (those from the tribe of Judah). The Book of Mormon contains mainly the writings of those of the posterity of Joseph (those who grew over the well). These TWO records combine to testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ and his supreme mission. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." -2 Cor 13:1, Deut 19:15

3. John 10:16, is an interesting one also. “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall here my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” Christ proclaims to the Nephites (descendants of Lehi-from the tribe of Joseph) that they and other scattered tribes are the “other sheep” he was to visit. See 3 Nephi 15:12-24.

Many nay-sayers have tried to make sense of this verse by saying that the other sheep were the gentiles. Here’s the problem, Christ specifically stated that these sheep were to hear HIS voice, and he also stated that HE was only sent to the lost (or other) sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:24). In fact the Apostles were not given the green light to preach the gospel to the gentiles until long after the ascension of the Savior when it was revealed to Peter in vision. See Acts10

I hope this helped.

Best wishes,

LDS Question: Are Jehovah and Elohim seperate Gods?

LDS Question: Are Jehovah and Elohim seperate Gods?

LDS theology teaches that Jehovah is the preincarnate Jesus Christ, while Elohim is the formal name for the Heavenly Father. LDS theology also teaches that they are not the same God, which is blasphemous, but two distinct Gods who both comprise two Holy Personages of the Godhead.

In the King James Version of the Bible, the word Jehovah is the Elizabethan approximation of the actual Hebrew word YHWH, which is also translated as LORD. The word "God" is almost always a translation of the word "Elohim" from Hebrew. How does the average Latter-day Saint reconcile the verse Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel! The LORD (Jehovah) is our God (Elohim), the LORD is one!" with his or her LDS understanding of the meaning of those words? Is Jehovah actually God, or is the Bible incorrect and not to be trusted? Note, also, that the phrase "the LORD (Jehovah) our God (Elohim)" occurs numerous times throughout the Bible.

My Response

Ma shlomcha? Ani tove maiod. Ani ohev ze tanakh.

Hello Ryan. I respect your zeal for doing what you think is
right. Some of the greatest missionaries in the world are those who exerted tremendous effort in doing what they believed was right and the Lord's work. When they were corrected they became very helpful and powerful. Saul of Tarsus comes to mind. Saul had trouble accepting Jesus as the prophesied Messiah (due partly to an extremely strong personality and very thorough training at the feet of Gamaliel -a prominent Jewish scholar of the time). He fought against the young church to the point where he sought their executions throughout the lands. On one such journey he was confronted by Jesus Christ himself who set him straight on whom he was fighting against. We now know him as Paul, one of the greatest missionaries to ever walk the earth.
I myself am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I mention this so it is understood that I know both sides of the argument.

Now, after my long winded introduction I will answer your question by showing that the answer is in the question itself.

I commenced my response with a little bit of Hebrew (which I have studied). Translated, "how are you? I am very good. I love the Bible."

El, Eli, Eloi, Eloah are all forms of the word "god."
*Christ, agonizing on the cross cried out "Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani?" which is translated "My (God), my (God), why hast thou forsaken me?" -Matt 27:46
*Bethel - "house of God"
*Israel - "to prevail with God"

What's interesting is when the "im," or "him," is added to a word, it pluralizes it.

*Yehuda = Jew, or Judah
Yehudim = jews

The addition of "him" to El, or Elo, does two things: It makes it greater -god, the (almighty). It also pluralizes it. Hence, a more accurate translation would read "The gods created man in their image." This more accurate translation has partly come through in the King James Version:

"And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after our likeness..." -Gen 1:26

By the way, Elohim is not the "formal name for the heavenly father," though It is a title that is often used to refer to him. These are semantics, but you sound like you wouldn't settle for anything less than a thorough and accurate answer.

I personally do not believe that God is schizophrenic and that he refers to himself (one individual) as "us," as did the man possessed of an unclean spirit who referred to himself as "legion: for we are many." -Mark 5:9 It would also seem contradictory for Jesus to pray to himself and proclaim, "this is my beloved son" from the heavens when he was
baptized. -Matt 3:16-17 There was at least one other entity with God the Father at the time of the creation. It is strange that so many nay-sayers go up in arms at the thought of another god (not a pagan god or idol, but one just like Heavenly Father). Much of this opposition probably comes from a lack of true understanding of who God is and what his purposes are.

Let's tackle the second part of your question now.

Since the fall of Adam, Jehovah (Jesus Christ) has been the mediator between Heavenly Father (Elohim) and mankind (his children). It was already planned in what we refer to as “the counsels in heaven.” He was the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” –Revelation 13:8

I don’t believe you would disagree with me then that Jehovah was the God who dealt with man. -See Exodus 6:3. That Jehovah came to earth and took on the earthly name of Jesus (which is also a poor translation) is probably also agreed upon. –see Isaiah 12:2: “Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also IS BECOME my salvation.”

Jehovah is not properly translated as “the Lord.” YHWH, which you mentioned, is often referred to as the tetragrammaton. The ancient Jews considered the utterance of this name so holy that if used improperly it was punishable by death. “Adoni,” which does mean “lord” or “majesty,” was often substituted for it. It is a somewhat irrelevant point in this situation. What IS relevant are the words that follow. You quoted Deut. 6:4: “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one. I’ve just explained that “the LORD” is Jehovah. We both agree on this. However, “our God” is not translated from Elohim in the Hebrew text. It comes from Elohe-"NU,” which is first person plural. Adding “nu” to a word is simply saying “our.” And remember that El is not a name, but a title. The King James translators did a good job with this phrase. It is simply stating, “The LORD (Jehovah) is our God.” So, there is no contradiction.-and this goes for the other times this phrase is used as well. "God" in this situation is not referring to Elohim (God the Father).

Stating the “the Lord is one,” is saying that the LORD (Jehovah) is almighty/all-powerful. -As opposed to idols. Remember that this is directed to the Israelites (“Hear, O Israel!”) who frequently fell into false idol worship.

To sum up: “Jehovah is our God, and he is almighty.”

Yes, Jehovah (Jesus Christ) is a distinct, separate being from Elohim (Heavenly Father), and yes he is God, or “a” God if you want to be specific, and is equal, or possessing the same abilities and perfection as our Heavenly Father.

Philippians 2:5-6 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL with God”

If you have plowed through this entire thing I thank you for your time. I wanted to answer your question thoroughly and satisfactorily.

If you’re still curious how Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost can be distinct personages and yet still be called “one,” I find the “Great Intercessory Prayer,” also called the “High-priestly Prayer,” found in John 17 to clear that up (especially v 11 and 21).

And yes Ryan, the Bible can be trusted. It is just important to keep things in context (and additional light from modern revelation definitely helps). The Bible has been through numerous translations and interpretations. One verse (or group of similar versus) can be confusing. For example, Exodus 15:3 states that God is a man of war….” 1 John 4:8 states that “God is love.” Someone who is not very familiar with the Bible might read that and think the Bible is not divinely inspired because it contradicts itself. You and I know otherwise.

Best Wishes,

What exactly does the Book of Mormon teach?

Great question.

I asked the same myself almost 9 years ago when I was curious what my friends (who were Mormon) believed. I have since become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have over the last 8.5 years studied the scriptures (Bible and Book of Mormon) about 2-3 hours a day. -I don't claim to know everything, but I am knowledgeable in this subject. Not to slight others who have responded to your question, but I don't think many of them can say the same.

Now, to answer your question. The Book of Mormon contains numerous discourses from various ancient prophets that were descendants of some of the "Lost tribes of Israel" spoken of in the Old Testament. These tribes were scattered across the earth, some of which were led to the ancient Americas (which is the setting of the Book of Mormon). It also contains fragments of the religious and civil history of these peoples.

Page for page, the Book of Mormon references Jesus Christ more than the Bible (a fact which those who have not read the Book of Mormon completely, or the Bible for that matter) are ignorant of when they accuse members of the Church as being "not Christian."

Key teachings include:
*salvation comes only through the name of Jesus Christ.
-Mosiah 3:17, 2 Nephi 25:20. Compare to John 14:6 and
Acts 4:12 in the Bible

*We are all children of God our Heavenly Father and he loves and knows each of us individually.
-1 Nephi 11:17. Compare to Acts 17:29 in the Bible

*Through faith in Christ and repentance, we can not only be
forgiven of our sins and weaknesses, but overcome them
-3 Nephi 27:20, Alma 26:12. Compare to Hebrews 11:6 and
Philippians 4:13 in the Bible

I can list many more topics and many more references, but the Book of Mormon's subtitle does the best job of summarizing its content: "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." I am currently reading the Book of Mormon through for the 23rd time and have read the Bible numerous times as well. I find rich insights in both as I combine what I have learned.

There will always be nay-sayers to listen to, but honest, intelligent, and truth-seeking people usually go to the source. You don't go to a Chevy dealership to learn about Fords. It is ironic that many of those who profess to be Christians are so quick to cast stones at a book that supports the canon (scriptures) they base their faith in.

If you are still curious about the Church and want official information, visit

Best wishes,

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