The Logic Behind Joining The Mormon Church

About a month ago, my wife and kids were standing in line at Disneyland waiting to go on the newly renovated Thunder Mountain. Normally standing in line for an hour is really boring but not this time! We were blessed to have a couple standing behind us that decided they would like to bag on Mormons for awhile. My ears are big…so I got to hear everything, and since they were unaware of us being Mormons, it was nice and unfiltered. The quick synopsis is “Mormons are soooo weird”, but in all of it I never heard any logical reason for why we were so weird…

I’m not one of those people that can just accept something without working it out in my own mind. I’ve got to work things over and look at all angles in order to come to a conclusion and devote myself to an ideology.  Many people will obviously disagree with my reasoning but I’d like to present some of the logic behind why I continue to be a “Mormon”.

I’ve studied every single major religion and many of it’s factions. I’ve gone straight to the source in my studies of these religions because I know that I’ll never get an accurate depiction of a religion from its detractors. I’ve read from Catholic Catechisms, Hindu Sacred Texts, The Koran, and from Primal Religion writings. I’ve studied under non-LDS PhD’s in religious studies and have poured over the Bible. I’ve traveled personally to Basilicas and Cathedrals, to Mosques and Synagogues, and to Mandirs or Temples. I’ve talked with the people at these places about their origins and I’ve studied their history. They were devoted to God, and I loved them for it.

“One True Church”

The only conclusion I could come to in all of this was that each of these religions had one common origin. Their stories of creation and their moral laws seemed to all coincide with one another and each of them had a desire to become more and more like deity. The Bible has shown this pattern over and over again throughout it’s history. God would reveal His plan for us. People would then follow the prophet that revealed the plan and they’d become righteous because of it. Then…over time, people would splinter off and start their own religion because they personally disagreed with a few of the commandments or teachings of the originally established church or religion. New churches were started for any and every sort of reason. King Henry the 8th started the entire Church of England because he wanted to divorce his current wife Catherine of Aragon and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. Does this mean the Church of England is devoid of any truth? No…not at all. They still had pieces of the “one common origin” as did all of the factions that broke off from them in subsequent years [Baptists, Episcopal’s, Methodists 7th Day Adventists Quakers, and many of the Evangelical churches of our day].

denominations_family_tree_2013_v5

After studying all of the world religions, I came to the conclusion that Christianity made the only claim that appealed to my eternal perspective on life. Other religions fell short of promising a future worth pursuing for myself. But there was a big problem in my mind. As of today there are about 50,000 different Christian denominations, while the Apostle Paul is telling the Ephesians that there is only “One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism”. [Eph 4:5] It wasn’t logical to me that there would be so many churches if Christ himself setup just one.

Some people get ticked off at referring to a “one true church” but isn’t that what Christ would have called His Church when he established it? Don’t you think that if Thomas came up to Him and said… “Lord, I think I’m not liking this doctrine your teaching about baptism, so I’m going to go start the Church of Thomas”…does anyone think that Christ would have considered Thomas’s church part of the “one true church”? One denomination just became two denominations because of a doctrinal disagreement but it doesn’t make Christ’s church any less true. If Christ was who He said He was, then His Church is the “one common origin” found within the religions of the world. His “gospel” was not just revealed when He was on the earth, but had been given to prophets since the beginning of time.

So Where Is The Church That Christ Established?

I figured I’d look to see which if any Christian churches claimed to be the “one true church”. Only a few made this claim. Greek/Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A few others may make the claim but don’t have enough content to mention here. Now its time to determine whether any of the three measure up to the Church of Jesus Christ from a couple thousand years ago. Some of the most important attributes I looked at from the New Testament consisted of the following:

Paid Ministry

I could not find anywhere in the New Testament in which servants of the Lord were paid. Peter was a fisherman and Paul was a tentmaker. They had to make a living first and then preach the gospel. In fact, multiple scriptures speak against receiving money for preaching the gospel. Paul specifically says that we should preach the gospel “without charge” in 1 Cor 9:18 “that we abuse not our power in the gospel”.  If you look at it logically, how can a man that is relying on money from his church members as his livelihood make perfectly unbiased decisions when it comes to church matters. Every member that leaves his church represents less food on the table. Money…especially when it comes to survival…can be a very influential foe. The pastor of the Saddleback mega church might summarize what I’m trying to say best. He paid back all of the money he made from his church after his book went viral and then summarized his decision by saying, “The Bible teaches that we are to love people and use money, but we often get that reversed and you start loving money and using people to get more money.  Money is simply a tool to be used for good.” – Rick Warren  (Founder of Saddleback Church) When money is involved in church governance, compromises are sure to be made because of man’s fallen and natural condition.

Nature of God

I couldn’t find “The Trinity” anywhere in the scriptures. Where I did find it was in the ecumenical councils of the early 2nd and 3rd centuries. Tertullian [known as an “early Christian father”] is supposed to have first coined the phrase and it was made famous through the well know Nicene and Athanasian councils. I couldn’t logically get to know God based on a concept that was voted on by politicians and then ratified by a Roman conquerer, emperor, and pagan. The creeds that Constantine oversaw were driven by political agendas and every historian knew it. I once undertook a project to go through the New Testament and write a “G” at the top right or left corner of every page whenever there was a reference to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ being two distinct individuals. In my scriptures [KJV] virtually every page in the “4 Gospels” has a “G” at the top right or left corner. The description of God I found in the Mormon church was logical. Two distinct beings with glorified bodies. Not just a spirit essence that was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The creeds that defined the Trinity told me that God was incomprehensible, but John 17:3 said that I need to know Him in order to find eternal life.

I’m Saved If You’re Saved

Almost every page in the New Testament emphasizes the need for us to work the works of righteousness. However, many churches teach that our works are unnecessary. I’ve been told that I need to “confess the Lord Jesus Christ with my mouth” and that I would be saved. I have done that. However… is not the act of me opening my mouth and confessing the Lord’s name a work in and of itself? Do I not need to repent? What of baptism or serving others? Can I honestly do none of those things and expect to be received into the Kingdom of God? Every logical bone in my body tells me that the only way I can show my faith in God is to do the works that He has asked me to do. Throw Revelation 22:12 and Revelation 20:12 on top of that logic and I can see no logic in someone telling me that I do not need to do any works as a servant of Jesus Christ.

Screen-Shot-2014-05-06-at-3.29.44-PM-2

The Mormon Church Is The Most Liberal With Salvation

I am being told that I am damned to go to hell on a regular basis. People that care about me are “praying for my soul” because I have “been deceived”, and because of that deception I have no chance at salvation. This is very interesting, because Mormons believe that very few people will go to hell. They actually believe that everyone will be saved and inherit a glory that will suit them and make them happy. Mormons don’t have sunday school classes devoted to tearing down other religions or damning them for eternity. Instead, they focus on the doctrine as it is found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. They serve missions only for the opportunity to serve others and try to add a measure of truth to a person’s existing testimony of the Savior. It is logical to me that the Saviors Church would focus on building others up instead of tearing others down.

Families Are Forever

Mormons are known for believing that they will know and love their families in the hereafter. Most people believe this in their heart regardless of what their pastor might say on Sunday. It is logical for me to look toward a church that has an eternal perspective regarding the family. The Mormon church is the only Christian church that I know of that builds temples in order to perform baptisms for the dead (1 Cor 15:29) [something that was practiced in the early Christian church] and seal families together for time and eternity. Mormons believe that they retain their identity in the next life and that our relationships will only be magnified, not diminished. This concept of an after life is far more logical than believing that we will all somehow coalesce into one giant cloud of God’s glory and lose our identity to become full time trumpet blowers or harpists.

There are many other logical reasons why I continue to be grateful for the Mormon church. The resemblance it has to the New Testament Church that Christ established is unparalleled and it makes me happy. 

To the couple standing behind me at Disneyland; I’m hoping this article finds you somewhere in the world of social media and that you can understand a little more about why the little family in front of you loves being Mormon. 

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    • Darth Bill

      We don’t know if the apostles are paid or not, as we don’t have any view into the expenses of the church. We do know that officers like mission presidents get a lot of perks, like cars, presents, free BYU education….etc.
      We do know that the church uses church funds, albeit possibly interest off tithing, to build malls and apartment complexes.

      • jedinites

        Mission presidents do not “get” cars. They drive mission cars, the same as missionaries. They do not get presents. I got free tuition while my parents were serving because they did not have an income to help me out but when they were done, so was the free tuition.

        No tithing nor interest from tithing was used in the building of the mall.

        • Nick

          No tithing nor interest from tithing was used in the builNoding of the mall.

        • Nick

          Oops.

          “No tithing nor interest from tithing was used in the building of the mail.”

          This is a bold statement to make for a couple of reasons. First, where did the money come from if not from tithing of earnings from tithing? Second, what difference does it make if it was tithing or not? Aren’t all funds used by the church sacred funds? Third, how would you know whether or not tithing or interest from tithing was used? The church doesn’t let anyone in on its finances with the exception of a semi-annual vague statement from an accounting firm. Finally, free tuition… and gifts… and reimbursement… are all forms of compensation. That’s getting “paid.” If my job stops cutting me checks but pays my rent, provides me groceries, gives me kids free tuition, and reimburses my expenses as I incur them, saying I’m “not paid,” is a stretch.

          • Caylee

            Yes the church gets money from different resources including tithing to help build the church in different ways. Building the mall is a way to invest the money and help it grow. Ask any investment advisor, it would be silly to just
            Sit on it and keep it in the bank. Also the church is very transparent when it comes to their funds.

        • CGDoc

          Jedinites Sorry to disagree with you but President Eldon Tanner did use tithing money to build the ZCMI Center back in the 70’s. Tanner was investing Church money into banks, insurance companies, public utilities, commercial real estate, money market funds, treasury bills, and oil companies like Standard Oil, Exxon, and Phillips Petroleum. He bought a million dollars worth of stock in the Los Angeles Times. This was well publicized and was an embarrassment to the Church even though those investment were very sound and had a fantastic return on investment. It is just for that reason the Church should be more transparent in their financial dealings with their members money.

      • Lizzy Smilez

        Seriously until the church opens it’s books and operates with financial transparancy, who knows.

        • SoundOn

          Exactly! There is absolutely no reason to assume the church is misusing funds if we don’t know this.

      • Kyle Grodkowski

        And the building of that mall was to keep the area of temple square in the churches control as many strip joints and other unwholesome business were encroaching on it’s grounds. I mean what kind of image is that? Beside that building a mall is an investment to further raise more funds…. not a liability.

        • Guest

          Yeah so they can build another mall in Philadelphia. And another mall and another mall.

    • meg

      Great article. But LDS GA’s get a decent living stipend – that seems like paid.

      • jedinites

        If you’ve ever received a stipend from the church you know it’s NOTHING like a paycheck. It covers the basics and that’s it.

        • Joe

          So are they paid or not? Doesn’t matter the amount… Either they recieve $$ or not. Also how does Monson or the others survive while working for the LDS for decades….

          • jedinites

            They are not making money off the church, if that’s what your getting at. A stipend is meant to cover your expenses.

            • Guest

              Has the church upgraded to Bitcoin? If it is not money than how is the so called “stipend” paid to them? They get more than blessings.

            • Joe

              What I’m getting at is Mormons love to brag about the so-called “non paid clergy” yet the GA’s do on fact receive an income. An income that you have a hard time acknowledging. Why beat around the bush here – they are paid. It’s interesting you immediately move from Getting paid to Getting rich. That is not the issue. You’re making a statement and you want to be right so bad you can’t admit they receive money. Also, GA’s were placed on boards of church owned companies because they were GA’s. You think they applied for those positions?? No, it’s another way for them to get paid! Next time you pay your tithing read the disclaimer at the bottom. All money belongs to the church and they have the right to spend it however as long as it’s part of the church’s overall mission. So if the church’s mission is to build a mall, operate cattle farms, build condo hi-rises, etc. then great. Just be honest and no BS.

            • frgough

              Whereas you completely ignore the 50,000 non-paid bishops and stake presidents, the 80,000 non-paid missionaries, and instead focus on about 500 people who are paid from the church’s taxed business holdings. Would you feel better if we instead said: 99.6% of all clergy in the LDS church are unpaid, or if we said all local clergy are unpaid? Somehow, I don’t think so

          • conblox95

            All the apostles and leaders of the church are retired and have lived successful lives, any money they receive from the church only covers expenses for their duties they are fulfilling for the church

          • Brett

            Up until the 70ies or 80ies, most of them worked on broads or some type of work while being an GA, now most of them get called around their 50’s and have their savings, debt free living, and book sales to live off of. I believe the part people skip is the “professional” part, we have no professional paid clergy. All GA’s are expected to live their lives and have a career. They are then called out and because they are obliged to leave their regular employment for full-time Church service, they receive a modest living allowance provided from income on Church investments.” This is nothing in LDS scripture against having Church investments and using that money to help out full time GAs. The alternative would be them spending a substantial amount of time looking for assistance and support.

            • Lizzy Smilez

              It’s called an HR department and t he rest of the world seems to manage, including the mormon church hq

          • J

            Didn’t the Lord go out with his Apostles without purse or script to rely on the goodness of others. Not to make a living but to at least live or cover basic needs. At some level you might look at the small stipends that GAs get to be something of this sort. They are relying on the goodness of others (churchs investments, tithing, whatever).
            However I have worked with some GAs in the investing world and I have known a few GAs personally and most of their assets that they earned in their career, if I remember correctly, are put into a sort of general church fund to be used for the purposes of living expenses for the GAs. Similar to say the Education Fund the church operates, a pool of assets for a certain purpose. So really it isn’t an income at all.

            • Brent

              There are quite a few people that do that. I’ve known a few not GAs that when they pass away essentially will everything they have to the church. Like a super tithing. Its rare, and not required, but you are completely right.

            • Brandon

              I would say they are relying on the goodness of others aren’t they? If the good members of the Church didn’t pay their tithing they wouldn’t have anything to rely on now would they?

            • Heavy D

              in·come
              ˈinˌkəm,ˈiNG-/
              noun
              money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments.
              “he has a nice home and an adequate income”
              synonyms:earnings, salary, pay, remuneration, wages, stipend;revenue, receipts, takings, profits, gains, proceeds, turnover, yield,dividend, means, take;
              formalemolument
              “annual income of $50,000”

          • 3GrandKeys

            Until an apostle himself comes out and answers this question or they are legally forced to answer the question all you’re going to get for an answer is the assumptions of members who simply don’t know, but are certain they do know. Even if we found out the Apostles were making like 300k annually the reaction from members would be the same as they reacted about the mall. It all just makes sense somehow and they’ll wait until after death to find out. The lack of transparency is a huge red flag to people outside the church, but for those inside they trust that it’s all within God’s order.

          • CGDoc

            If the LDS church was more transparent about their finances, people would know how much the GA’s receive. However, that is not the case. The church is so secretive about all their financial affairs nobody has any idea what is happening within. Yes they keep it a secret not sacred.

            • Julie

              …. and you go around shouting all your personal financial transactions to the world so they can judge everything you do with your money? It’s private, not secret. It’s sacred because it’s money that is the Lord’s and distributed and invested as such, for the operation of His church and His kingdom. If I choose to donate to a missionary fund to support a missionary, or if my money is used to conservatively support an apostle of the lord… it’s nobody’s business and I am glad the church protects the privacy of my donation. I guess the GA’s could live off direct charity from the membership… in Jesus’s time it was easy to share a meal or an apple to support the apostle… it’s a little hard to mail them dinner or clothing (seeing as I don’t know their sizes). Seems like a better way is for me to make a financial contribution to the church…. that isn’t a paycheck. It’s charity… regardless of the age of the GA. We don’t live in the New Testament times… we are expected to be economical in supporting the apostles.. like using financial donations for their welfare and subsistence.

            • St3v3Stash

              Agreed! If we could pay them what we think they are worth it wouldn’t be a stipend!

      • Kyle B.

        Gordon B Hinckley stated:”I should like to add, parenthetically for your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.” (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/11/questions-and-answers)

      • Schlumpy

        They all have responsibilities in the Corporation of the First Presidency. For example, my husbands boss is a GA, he supervises the computer programmers that creates the family tree website.

      • Don McGuinness

        I personally don’t care if the General Authorities get paid nothing or a billion dollars a minute. That does not change the fact that the gospel is true. That the Book of Mormon is true. That the bible is true as far as it is translated and understood correctly. That God the Father and Jesus Christ live and guide this church today. That is my testimony and I am sticking to it.

        • Sugar

          You can actually prove through science, that the BOM is not true

          • Greg Trimble

            Go for it 🙂 I would love to hear this…

          • Nate Bertelsen

            Yes but technically you can’t prove anything with science, you can only disprove a theory previously proposed. Science is all about theories, but theories can’t be proven. The facts we base science upon are based on those theories. Science has not even proven that anything is real. For all we know, according to science, everything could be an illusion made up in our minds and we could actually know nothing. Of course I’m Mormon and I don’t believe that, but the point still stands that science doesn’t prove stuff.

      • Joshua K.

        For starters you ought to research any claims you make GA’s or general authorities receive only money from the jobs that they had most of them working ad successful lawyers and the like before being called to their positions.

      • clay

        Somewhat true, but they can’t do anything else. People would attempt to harm them. They left there multi-million dollar businesses to come help the great work roll forth. They receive enough to get by if they need it (rare). Most of the time they get everything free. Mr. Mac says they give all of the apostles any suit in the store free. A gracious member has said the prophet could use his private jet anytime he wants. They are CEOs, Judges, Pilots, Doctors etc. They made their livings by there own labors. Just the same way as King Benjamin. And if they didn’t, they get a tiny stipend. If you live in Utah, go look at there house. It’s pretty underwhelming.

    • Karrie

      What a great read – love all your points. Well done!

      • Greg Trimble

        Thanks Karrie!

    • Brian Hedge

      LDS General Authorities are paid a stipend that covers living expenses none of them are getting rich from their calling. All funds used to pay the stipends come from investments or church owned businesses like The Deseret Company. Not one cent of member tithing is used for that purpose.

      • Scott Seely

        wow: In General Conference people there are no amounts discussed.So to find out if the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is true of false, please: study the principles it teaches. i always start with the Book of Mormon. We are called Mormons because of that great book. The bible supports the truth of it. A second witness of Jesus Christ.

    • Gregory

      Thank you for you logical discussion. I really like your diagram and the obvious time you took to research and present your personal quest. Thank you very much for sharing!

      As I understand, logic has little to do with the decisions we sometimes make. Emotions and habits are involved which make it difficult to break away from the comfort of what we know or are used to. Tradition and or habits are strong forces. Even though we know something else is better, if we are attached to the behavior or thoughts, it’s tough to change. That is why repentance is so difficult.

      The way may be simply understood, but is it easy to do? That’s the true work we all must accomplish is to follow the example of the Savior. He set the example and said that if we love Him, we will do His works, His words. Matthew recorded what the Savior wanted us to know in chapter 5 and the challenge was set, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect..” Only then can we know God as you refereed to in John 17:3. We know by being. We become by doing.

      There is no backing away from the challenge for us to become like Him. Repent (change), and come unto me. Endure to the end = don’t give up. If there is any worldly or unrighteousness in our souls, there is work left to do.

    • Corey

      Actually Mormon belief of salvation takes it one step further. After death you go to the spirit world. There is spirit paradise, a place to rest, worship, continue to strengthen relationships with friends and family, and ministry to those in Spirit Prison. There is Spirit prison. It can be understood as spirit probation. Basically those did not live righteously have a chance for rehabilitation. Only God can judge their hearts and where they deserve to be in the end.

      Also these are likely not necessarily physical places, but a state of mind/spirit. You create your own spirit prison. Unclean things know they are not worthy to live with God.

      Spirit paradise and prison are similar to most Christians beliefs of Heaven and Hell. In Mormon belief that is not the end. Hell is only a temporary state if you choose it to be. If you can be rehabilitated willingly you can be saved. Then you go to the different kingdoms. These will be judged by God, but also a person will know what they are worthy of.

      There is more to it than my oversimplification, but that is the main idea.

    • Sandra Rowe

      What you are talking about is the difference between salvation and exaltation. We are all saved from eternal physical death through the resurrection of Christ. We are also saved from original sin or the Fall of Adam through the Atonement, becoming accountable for only our own sins. We will each go to a kingdom of glory. Even the “lower kingdoms” are kingdoms of glory, more wonderful and beautiful than the best that can be found in this world. For many people, it would meet their definition of heaven. But to “inherit eternal life” (Luke 10:25-28) we must do the things Jesus has asked us to do. Or as he said, “This do and thou shalt live” (v28) and “Go, and do thou likewise” (v37). In the end, nearly everyone, non-Christian, Mormon, or not, will be saved in glory. Whether we choose to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be exalted in eternal life is up to each individual.

      • Guest

        Ohh right because the difference between salvation and exaltation really matter.

        Sure the mormons will offer salvation, it is great, it is easy but exaltation that requires a lot of work and a lot of effort. It is like God saying you’ll get to live forever, but this super tiny portion of you will get exaltation. Sure it’ll be nice but what these others have is no much nicer, but don’t complain because what you have is nice.

        That is a little poor kid being invited to a rich kid’s birthday party. The poor kid thinks ohh he’ll have all those fancy toys and bounce houses and it will be so much fun. Then when he gets there he is stuck watching the dog and not allowed to get all of the good stuff. Sure maybe he has never played with the fancy dog but really he is stuck picking up dog shit. All the while the rich kid thinks the poor kid is happy because it is so great what he has. But the rihc kid knows he has so much more. I don’t believe in a loving God who will only offer his best to less than one percent of his children. That is not loving it is vindictive.

        • Sandra Rowe

          I’m chuckling–your analogy was really funny!

          But seriously, the Mormons don’t offer salvation–only Jesus does. And exaltation is available to everyone. If we are to use your analogy, it means that the rich kid invited every poor kid in the whole world to his birthday party. All they have to do to enjoy the party is come inside. They’ll have access to the bounce house, the fancy toys, the whole works. They can have everything he has. Some take it. But some think, “He won’t really let me play with his stuff,” or “I’ll bet he doesn’t have anything cool anyway” or even “I want to go to someone else’s house instead.” So even though everyone is invited, they have to actually walk into the house–or walk the path that Christ laid out for us–to receive all that he has to give. If they want to sit out front and enjoy the beautiful lawn instead, that is up to them.

          What I’m saying is, it’s not just less than one percent that are being offered the best. ANY person in this world that accepts the gospel (in this life or the next, if they don’t get to hear it in this life) has the same opportunity to go to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. And that is very loving.

    • Findfaultwiththis

      Which were bought with tithing money and then folded into a nice real estate portfolio…

      • SoundOn

        And what evidence do you have that it began with tithing money?

    • Duane

      Yes, you just enjoy this article and dismiss the rabble in some of the comments following. Where light is caste there are no shadows. The article is positively well written. Those small comments that follow make me ask: When Christ comes shall we look to the glow of his face and the love that he shares, or look under the shadow of his fingernails to see if we may find dirt there?

      • Eric

        Seriously. That is your retort?

        Instead of using the soft focus approach to strengthen your case and an appeal to emotion you should take some time to convincingly address us why on earth “Abrahamic papyri” have nothing to do with Abraham or why the capital on the Comoros islands off of the coast of Madagadcar has it’s capital as Moroni. Maybe you could address the blatant anachronisms in the book of momon or 1769 KJV bible errors which are in the BOM.

        Otherwise you are just not that credible.

    • Brent

      There are a few full time Seminary Teachers within the church that are paid fulltime wages, They are mostly in Utah and more populated mormon communities. There were 6 in my high school. The difference is that Seminary Teachers are just that Teachers. It’s just like being a professor of religion at any University, you have a degree to teach, you are not however part of the church clergy. That is the difference. While seminary teachers can be Bishops and leaders, they are only paid for their their full time teaching post.

      • Lizzy Smilez

        Right and the mormon church pays them. The money doesn’t fall from the sky

        • Brent

          You are correct. The church pays them. But the arguments wasn’t whether the church pays employees. It was whether the church pays the clergy. They are not clergy. The church has thousands of employees running it’s offices and facility management teams and Universities, and it pays all of them. But when it comes to the Ecclesiastical leaders (Bishops, Stake Presidents, Seventies, ect.) They do not receive a paycheck for their service.

      • Guest

        So “teachers” who teach religion are not paid clergy? So what makes a person paid ministry? They are teaching religion which would be an essential part of the ministry. Many religions require the pastor, or equivalent, to attend a seminary or other religious college. They then pay that person to teach the congregation. That makes them paid ministry. Being a seminary teacher is just like a person who in other churches is paid to teach. It is a paid ministry.

        They get paid to minister, that makes them paid ministry. So the authors claim that there is not a paid ministry does not stand.

        • educated_conservative

          The difference is that being “clergy” includes ecclesiastical authority. Professional LDS seminary teachers do have any ecclesiastical authority from their employment.

        • Brent

          The Definition of a Minister, or someone who ministers in church services is as follows, “a person whose job involves leading church services, performing religious ceremonies (such as marriages), and providing spiritual or religious guidance to other people” (merriam-webster) Seminary teachers do not lead church services or perform religious ceremonies. They teach. If you’ve ever met a professor of religion at almost any University you would understand that they are just that professors. They may hold religious responsibilities within their church, but as a professor they have no power (with the exception of some Universities). It is the same situation. They are just paid teachers to teach religion to high schoolers. They hold no power to punish or commend or perform any church ceremony or responsibility, as a teacher.

          that is what makes them not part of the ministry.

      • SoundOn

        These classes are offered for high school credit. Why do you feel that high school teachers should not be paid?

        • Brent

          They aren’t offered for high school credit. I misspoke, When I said there were 6 at my high school, I meant there were six teachers that taught the students at my high school. According to the School we were on a 1 hour release time. No credit, just free time. We then went to a different building to receive our seminary education. And to respond to your second question, I do feel that high school teachers should be paid. I feel like they do not get paid enough. I have siblings and many friends that barely make a living wage teaching.

    • Brent

      This needs to be clarified. There are paid seminary teachers in Utah and other locations that have “released time” seminary. My seminary teachers in junior high and high school were seminary teachers for a living. Now we live in Tennessee and our seminary teachers are called to be seminary teachers. Depending where you live it can be different.

      • Sean

        When I taught seminary, I was given a small stipend to cover gas to travel back and forth to the ward building and to other meetings related to seminary planning. This was long before the entire revamping of the seminary program. We could use the money as we wished, either to spend it all to go to Education Week at BYU or to get it piecemeal during the year. One of us opted for Education Week. I chose to get it throughout the year. I would not call that any income though. It is similar to reimbursement for gas with any business. I do not live in Utah.

    • TR

      I appreciate the personal narrative of your search for truth, but have to say… you left out an important detail. Were you already Mormon during your search of other churches? Were you already Mormon when the Biblical passages you quote stood out to you?

      If so, I think your story is not totally forthcoming. It is not the logic of why people join; you’ve presented the logic people use in order to stay. Visiting a basilica or reading the Bhagavad Gita means something different to a Mormon versus someone who is still deciding which church to join.

      Most Mormon converts I’ve spoken with joined before they really understood the theology very well because they wanted to belong to the community. Not because of logic.

    • Jared Fonteles Oliveira

      you should first learn more about Mormon beliefs before making a comment like that. first of all, from the text, according to Mormon belief, most people will not go to hell, regardless of their own beliefs. people will be granted a level of salvation based on their works, regardless if they belonged to the Mormon church or not. Mormon concept for hell, is only reserved for murderers and people who denied the holy ghost. to deny the holy ghost, one must see Jesus and say he is not. one must have a perfect knowledge of god and Jesus and the holy ghost, and deny it. so yes, pretty much most people will be saved, and each will receive a degree of glory based on their works here(“many mansions”) yes, salvation at its highest degree comes at a heavy price, but if you don’t quite make it there, it doesn’t mean you will have to worry about a dude with a trident…

    • Jared Fonteles Oliveira

      one little tidbit of info. apostles, when called to be,often donate all their money and businesses to the church, and just get their expenses paid by the church afterwards. by expenses, i mean the trips they have to make while working for the church, those are paid by the church. and as mentioned before they live off a stipend just enough to cover basic expenses. we are not talking about a life of luxury here. Tithing, has to be used exclusively for chapel and temple constructions and such. it cannot be used to build a mall, for example. the church does receive other donations that are destined to other things, like fasting donations are destined to help the poor. Tithing can never be used for that. missionaries pay for their own missions, if they cannot pay for it, there is another fund made up by donations made specifically to pay for that. a mission president does not have time to work and earn money for himself. and is a married man with children of his own. he has to have some form of compensation for his time. being a mission president is a JOB. other eclesiastic leaders have their jobs and take time off during weekends for example to perform their duties, thus they do not get paid. someone here mentioned institute teacher. institute teacher is a JOB as well, as it is done on weekdays, often they teach all day long to different classes. so yeah they get paid, but let me say that the salary is not very attractive.

    • Eric

      Article is NOT logical. It merely coveys a narrative that the LDS church has promoted for some time. Talking points.

      What is the underlying premise to most all the Mormonism is true arguments? Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is a legitimate sacred record translated by the said prophet.

      Both of these premises are verifiably false in the court of hard evidence supported by logic and not by fallacial argumentative strategies or warm and fuzzy feelings. Hard evidence that resolves the cognative dissonance brought on well intentioned sheep who fear loss of community and family is out there. Google it.

    • Reynolds

      After being raised in the church, and married in the temple, I discovered/realized that to have ‘salvation’ you MUST go to the temple. To get into the temple you must pay ten percent of your income. You literally must pay money to get a membership card to get into the building…. so how is that any different that a gym membership? Or any other exclusive club? Regardless of the argument that it’s “god’s money” that he wants you to pay, because that is just a teaching you can believe or not. Then, even after you pay the fee, you have to be perfect in every way to be allowed to stay with your family forever. So, sorry… Mormons being ‘liberal with salvation’ is simply not true. I don’t usually post like this, but I could not let that stand.

      I applaud that you researched religions extensively, but having done that, you may also need to consider that all religions are manmade.

      • Don McGuinness

        To enter the temple, one must, to the best of his or her ability, obeying the commandments of God. Paying tithes is one of those commandments. So you are being Obedient to God by paying your tithes. You are not paying for the privilege of entering a temple. You also must follow the word of wisdom. You must be honest in all of your dealings. You must not have an unresolved issue with a family member. ETC. But the focus is on Money. Makes me wonder what is loved more. God and his commandments, or money.

      • rjl

        I see where you’re coming from, but there is so much more to a temple recommend than what you are presenting here.

        Yes, every member is asked to pay tithing in order to receive a recommendation to attend the temple. However, that principle stands regardless of whether or not you attend the temple. If you are a member of the LDS church, you are asked to pay a tenth of your income. It is a sign of your commitment to God, as referenced in the Bible (Malachi 3: 8-10). But that tenth can be as little as a penny or thousands of dollars, depending on your income and your perception of what your income is. So it’s not like we’re required to pay this outlandish fee for a membership card to enter the temple. In that way, it is different than paying for a gym membership.

        The idea that you have to be “perfect in every way” to be with your family is simply untrue. LDS members are taught that no one is perfect save Jesus Christ. That is the nature of being human. What is required of us to be with our families in eternity is to be sealed as a family in the temple. To achieve that blessing, we are asked to prove our worth by following certain rules, but we are in no way asked to be perfect all the time. The rules that we are asked to obey are fairly simple: we must believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ, we must pay tithing (which, again, can be a very small amount depending on your income), we must not be affiliated with groups that protest the LDS faith, and we must obey the principle of the Word of Wisdom, which is simply that we do not drink coffee or tea and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

        I agree with you – the LDS church is not “liberal with salvation.” Salvation, as stated in the above article, requires work. But I think what the writer of this article was trying to say is that everyone has a fair chance at achieving salvation if they are willing to put in the effort.

        You say that all religions are manmade. Would you provide your reasoning for coming to this conclusion? I would be interested to hear what research you have done to prove that.

    • Joshua Davis

      You say there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity? What about the three lords that meet Abraham in the desert? The Bible switches between calling them/him the Lord and the lords. What about John 14:10- 14? “Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Jesus is clearly stating that He is the Father and that the Father is Him, the Son. And both are God.
      You also talk about payed clergy. Have you ever thought that maybe the congregation wishes to give a good life to the priest? And maybe it’s better for the priest to devote his time to a religious life to better serve his congregation instead of being wrapped up in finding a job and keeping his job?
      Also, how can families be forever when Jesus says specifically in Mark that in Heaven, neither the husband nor the wife “are given in marriage but are like unto angels.” That doesn’t sound like being sealed together forever to me.
      Now, here’s one for your logical brain. There is no evidence for any of the civilizations in the Book of Mormon. None. And yet, the Bible is being proven archaeologically. Doesn’t that make you wonder about your faith? If the Book of Mormon isn’t true, then logically there were no plates for Joseph to find. If there were no plates to find, the Joseph lied and is definitely a false prophet because his entire credulity is based on the revelation and translation of the plates by him.
      The fact of the matter is that Mormonism is logically untruth. It’s false. I strongly recommend Mormonthink.com, a completely neutral website that gives both sides of the argument towards the truthfulness of Mormonism. Much better than the crap that FAIR puts out, and way more inclusive than the church’s essays on LDS.org.

    • Christian Ace Stettler

      Interesting that you posted a blog about logic and included none. Basically, you’re saying that due to claiming to be the one true church, that clergy aren’t paid, and that the church is liberal with salvation that it makes mormons not weird. Makes perfect sense!

    • John

      Stipends aren’t usually considered taxable. My wife has a stipend from the university of Toronto but it’s pretty small. It’s to take care of you while you do your post grad research. Seems similar in this case.

      • Guest

        And in Canada the Mormon church is not considered a charity.

        In the US stipends are considered taxable.

    • 3blindbaren.blogspot.com

      mmm… I’ll admit I only read the first few paragraphs because, you sir, are a ethnocentric windbag who has yet to prove that you’ve really sat down to understand any other religion than your own.

      Here is my logical argument, as simple as possible, for why Mormons are weird:
      1) The religion has an “emotional trump-all”–whenever something doesn’t sit right in a mormon’s mind, they can always say: well it doesnt’ FEEL right (emotion). And then they attribute their feelings to God telling them something, or the holy ghost telling them something. (That’s weird…maybe even borderline insane?)

      Why that’s a problem? Because emotions are your subconscious’ means to communicate to you and your feelings are really just coming from within yourself–your subconscious will make connections between all of the data it interprets and it will trigger an emotional response in you–positive feelings to indicate that good things are coming your way, negative feelings to indicate that you’ve got to buckle down and prepare for the worst. If you live in an LDS mindset for long enough then your brain has time to make possitive associations with church things and the church trains you to believe that all negative things are from the devil–i.e. your subconscious is trained over time to associate ALL good things with the church, and all negative things with Satan/the devil/the enemy. –but not everything bad is bad and not everything good is good. Life is very gray and subject to interpretation
      When you have the ability to trump any logical statement that doesn’t go along with your long-seated beliefs, you are essentially suffering from what is called “cognitive dissonance” and you are lying to yourself –which is not “good” and is “weird”

      Have you ever said: “I don’t know all things and even though this doesn’t make sense, it feels right so I’m going along with it?” –that’s cognitive dissonance.

      Explain to my how the holy ghost can be everywhere at once and affect everyone yet have a spiritual body the same of a man? –doesn’t make sense, but it feels right? Or explain why in the temple they commit you to pledge everything you own “to the church” rather than “to god”? And on sunday you hear people say–the church is imperfect, man is imperfect, but god will make everything right.–Doesn’t make sense, but it makes you feel better and it -justifies- your beliefs.

      2) There is no moral standard in the LDS church, yet they claim (and think) there is one (which is weird…to go around claiming something that you really don’t have). In place of morals, the church has a list of do’s and don’ts and it’s a known fact that the reason they have a prophet is so that whenever a new “do or don’t” scenario comes up, they have someone who has authority to make a decision about whether to do it or not. What that means is, the church picks and chooses what is moral/ethical/right and what is immoral/unethical/wrong. And the funny thing is…that it changes depending on the times–circumstances. Woah! hold on a sec…I thought you said this religion was the common thread woven between all the religions of the world? How is it possible to allow polygamy and then disallow it and still claim that you are keeping the church true–unless we’re talking about the Fundamentalist LDS, which believe that Brigham Young encouraged the secret practice of polygamy, I don’t think you can claim that the church and it’s beliefs are the same yesterday, today and forever…not possible if you can change what is right and wrong.

      Other religions, other beliefs–we believe in some sort of method for determing right and wrong, such as: ‘greatest good for the greatest number of people for the greatest amount of time’ is the most moral decision, or, ‘if you can apply it to everyone and it is still philosophically possible’ then it’s moral (don’t kill because if we all killed no one would be left), or ‘an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth’ (If you do it to someone, expect to have it done to you and don’t do it if you don’t want it done to you)—-yes, there are alternatives out there. You don’t need someone to tell you what is right and wrong, you don’t need a prophet to tell you to do something because it is good, you just need to refine your brain’s ability to determine for yourself what is ethical and what isn’t.

      3) They have a lot of cute sayings that blind them from actually thinking things through. (they don’t think about anything other than what their religion tells them to think–and that’s weird!)

      Such as “Families can be together forever”–lovely statement, but you’re not the only ones who believe that, and there are at lot of clauses in your religion: you’re only going to be a together family if you’re ALL sealed in the temple and ALL continue to keep your temple covenants–that means anyone in your earthly family who doesn’t, will not be in your family.

      How about the statement, “True happiness comes only by making others happy?” –Again..cute statement, but it all depends on your definition of “true happiness” –I would say I’ve found true happiness through selfish pursuits. I’ve found true happiness indulging on a maple doughnut sitting on my porch basking in the sun. I’ve also found a lot of conflict and complications by trying to make others happy–in fact, I’ve concluded that you can’t MAKE others happy, happiness is an internal process.

      4) Many mormons believe the only way to have a fulfilling life is to have a family and kids, be chaste, and never party. There is nothing weird about that. I think that’s great. But the weird thing is that they apply that to EVERYONE. Who are you to say what would make MY LIFE fulfilling? Are you god? No. Even if you were god, would it be right for you to say: “Hey, the only way you’ll have a fulfilling life is if you do XY&Z? I know this because I’m god”

      I realize that this all comes down to your definition of a Loving Heavenly Father. My ideal father lets me do whatever I want, trusts that I’ll learn on my own, and doesn’t interfere (for good or bad) in my life. Why? Because to me, a loving father is one who lets you become independent of him. If he “blesses you” whenever you do good, then you become dependent on him. He doesn’t extend his blessings to the rest of us heathens and somehow we figure out how to live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives without the guidance of the holy ghost, without the financial blessings or whatever comes from tithing, we get STIs and somehow we make it through alright. We learn, we progress, we have fun, and when we die we’ll be satisfied, because…even in your own belief system, the next life is better than this life…murderers will be with murderers, good people with good people, then there will be the mormons…with mormons. –Ya, I think we’ll do alright, and…logically, it makes no sense why we would give up our independence and freedom, to give all of our “time talents and means to the chruch,” if in the end we’ll be better off after we die either way?

    • Matthew Neuffer

      Though “everyone is saved” when they are resurrected, you make it sound like it doesn’t matter what we do in this life, as you left out the spirit world part. Everyone will be saved after they have paid the price. The wicked will pay the price for their actions by suffering hell in the spirit world, but will eventually be redeemed from this fate to a lower degree of glory. Our church is not “liberal” at all when it comes to the requirements of being exalted.

    • Matthew Neuffer

      You should study the law of consecration more. Leaders only receive enough funds to carry out their callings.

      • CGDoc

        And exactly how much is that $ 5K or $ 1M annually? You don’t know because the Church is not transparent in their financial dealings.

      • Guest

        Yeah, so how does the law of consecration apply here. Do they live that law? Nope they get paid.

    • David Gibbons

      Area authorities in europes stipend is close to 200k dollars a year …. upper management in the church office building make similar amounts … why would general authorities get any less and I hardly call 200k “modest”

      • CGDoc

        Where can I apply?

    • drew

      “I’ve gone straight to the source in my studies of these religions because I know that I’ll never get an accurate depiction of a religion from its detractors.”

      This article makes a great reason why we should look at the source for the truth of the material we want to study. This guy has no real understanding of the new testament by his argument. A lot of what he claims is most definitely false about the new testament. When he says he will never get an accurate depiction of a religion from its detractors, he contradicts himself because he is adding further to the reason by making these false claims; subtly bashing mostly christianity, which according to this article mormons don’t do.

    • Ryan

      I read this because I thought you’d address the Book of Mormon, and what you believe it adds to the Bible. I was disappointed.

      • CGDoc

        Really don’t believe that the BoM adds to or detracts from the Bible in anyway. Also who is to say that Jesus didn’t come to the New World when he said that he had sheep that were not of this fold that he had to minister to?

    • CT

      Then who is Jesus speaking to in the Garden when he says, “Father, if it be thy will, remove this cup from me?” He cannot speak to himself nor could he send himself an angel to comfort him as was stated afterwards. The Bible is full of mistakes from numerous translations, go back to original Hebrew or Greek and it will show you how often there are mistranslations in them. That is why prayer is your number one key to finding out truth for yourself.

      • Luman Walters

        who was it that heard him in the garden? The gospels speak in third person. They are not written by matthew, mark, luke and john. We don’t know who wrote those gospels. It certainly wasn’t the apostles. IT certainly wasn’t anyone who knew jesus personally. How would poor fishermen have spoekn greek? How would they know how to write? Think about the literacy rate of people in that region TODAY! Then imgaine what it would have been thousands of years ago. That’s a story man. It’s a deeply moving and powerful story but it just didn’t happen.

    • Tommy

      One logical point I never understood from mainstream Christianity is their definition of heaven.
      heaven is eternal praising, singing and glorifying (and that is it!).
      Has anyone ever loved a food so much they ate it every day? what usually happens if you eat it every day?- you get sick of it! you end up not wanting to eat it. And almost everything in life is that same way. If we do the same thing, and only he same thing over and over and over- it drives us crazy! God didn’t make us into machines. He made us into dynamic beings. Why then, would the most happy, fulfilling, all encompassing reward- heaven- be described as banging your head against the wall for eternity? Even if one did what they loved for eternity, like praising God, It would soon feel like you were banging your head against a wall, because you’d get tired, bored, anxious, curious about what else is out there. Doing any one thing for eternity sounds like hell to me. It sounds like my God given potential would be thrown away.

    • Jonathan Solis

      Greg, Hi.

      So, I’d like to offer some thoughts on the your post. Mainly I think there are some fundamental questions you forgot to ask yourself on your spiritual journey. Perhaps it’s not too late to consider them.

      I’m a former Mormon, I was raised that way. I left the day I turned 19. As the prospect of going on a mission came closer and closer, I felt the need to really dive into my religion to make sure that if I spending 2 years of my life was really worth it. You could gather than I concluded it was certainly not.

      Normally I don’t engage with Mormons or other Christian people online. Typically they don’t want to talk about ‘the logic’ of their religion. So when you wrote that you were interested in showing ‘the logic’ of it, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet you on the field of logic where actual discussions about religion and their merits can be had.

      All of the reasons you’ve given for why the Mormon Church makes more sense than other Christian denominations are *true*. Congrats! You got that right. With the exception of the whole matter of what counts as ‘paid ministries’ or not, and the murkier subject of the scriptural basis for the trinity, I’ll grant you that the Mormon church is probably more similar to Christ’s vision of ‘one true church’.

      But when logic is part of the question, it’s not enough to cherry pick parts of the bible, and cherry pick aspects of Mormonism and compare them and say “ahh! Look at the similarities!” while ignoring other important facts.

      It seems that from the very beginning you’re effort wasn’t in vetting the truth of a church, but in finding which one offered the biggest reward and the seemed to have the most internal consistency, while staying as close to your ‘biblical’ interpretation of what it might look like.

      The values that you were looking for, according to your post, revolved around which church was really going to get you into heaven. You said, “After studying all of the world religions, I came to the conclusion that
      Christianity made the only claim that appealed to my eternal
      perspective on life.” From the very beginning your search was not necessarily for an organization that was *true* (whatever that means) but for one that you thought would be worth devoting yourself to in the hopes of eternal life.

      The Mormon church certainly makes big claims about eternal life, the longevity of the family, and the nature of life before and after death, as you pointed out. The system they laid out seems just, compassionate, and well-structured. It ‘makes sense’.

      I’m sure that when they converted you, they asked you to “pray about the truth of these things” or something along those lines. So you prayed, and you felt good, or you thought you felt good. The theological system of it made sense to your more compassionate faculties, and before you know, bam! You’re baptized.

      But praying about something and feeling ‘right’ about it, and *knowing* the truth of something are completely separate matters. Religions are always striving to conflate the two.

      But whatever you might say. I felt good and it makes sense, and hey it gives my life meaning! It makes me feel good, moral, etc. If I’m gonna pick a religion I may as well pick the one that I think makes the most sense right? If I’m hedging my bets on the afterlife, I’ll pick the one that says I get into some kind of heaven!

      But let me shift your thinking back into reality, where you operate the vast majority of the time. The Mormon church is making a _claim_ about the afterlife. A claim that you like. In fact the Mormon church makes lots of claims! When you make one big claim! Like the plan of salvation per se, you have to provide some kind of evidence for it. In Mormonism, the evidence is, essentially Joseph Smith’s self-assertion as a modern day prophet. After all, he wrote the Book of Mormon, which is where the textual support for many beliefs come from.

      So, if the Mormon church is really, truly, the “One True Church”, it would follow that all the claims they made, big and small, would be true claims. Otherwise, my opinion is that perhaps they are not as true as they say they are.

      Like all claims, they are either true or they are false. Let me introduce you to some other claims that the Mormon Church has made and continues to make.

      #1) The Book of Abraham:
      In a nutshell, JS claimed that hieroglyphics shown in the Book of Abraham is the story of a pagan sacrifice of the old testament prophet Abraham. At the time, Egyptian was a dead language. Nobody could speak it or read it. Nobody could prove him wrong. He couldn’t have known that the Rosetta Stone would be discovered years later, which would show that the facsimiles were actually common Egyptian funeral documents about Horus. For somebody claiming to have the direct guidance of divinity, it seems clear to me that the exposure of such a clear, evident lie is all one should need to determine that there is no way LDS could be the ‘One True Church’ if they can’t even translate some basic Egyption, when they claimed the could.

      Since that’s all the evidence you’d really need to know the Church is based on fraud, I really don’t need to add any more points, but it turns out there are literally dozens of more claims, and I’ll bullet them here so you can look into them further at your own leisure. I got these from http://mormonthink.com/ which provides a very balanced view of each of these topics, so they are not ‘detractors’, but merely objective relayers of information. Here are some of my favs.

      #2) Lost 116 Pages
      http://mormonthink.com/lost116web.htm

      #3) Kinderhook Plates
      http://mormonthink.com/kinderhookweb.htm

      #4) Lying for the Lord
      http://mormonthink.com/lying.htm

      #5) Polygamy
      http://mormonthink.com/joseph-smith-polygamy.htm

      But there are so many more. There’s no quick way to dive into all these, so I suggest starting with mormonthink, but also watching youtube videos, especially from former Mormons.

      Just remember, truth isn’t a measure of how much you want it to be so.

      • Wait, logic means what?

        So how much of the Abrahamic papyrus do we still have? What percent survived to be compared? Have you looked into this?

        And why aren’t good feelings a source of knowledge? Other sensations, such as sight, are sources of knowledge even if they can’t be perfectly replicated by others. Wouldn’t logic actually require that we rely on sources that have previously proved reliable, without regard to whether they can be replicated by others?

    • Chris

      This article makes me sad, although you do make a few excellent points. The LDS church follows very little of New Testament scripture, and the Book of Mormon is founded on a fantasy. One thing that originally drew me to Christianity is the historical evidence that backs up a large portion of the scriptures. There is zero evidence of the fantasy civilization described in the Book of Mormon. That being said, you do make some great points about different Christian churches. Most of our churches in the western world are very, very far from anything like what the original church looked like. We have basically become Pharisees in our part of the world. We know te scripture, we try to put on a show of following the rules, but we don’t follow Jesus with our hearts. The only way to truly know Jesus is through the ministry of The Holy Spirit. And yes, He is real. I’m not sure what Bible you have been reading, but the Holy Trinity is clearly layed out throughout the entire New Testament. In fact, you can start at Genesis and find the Holy Spirit mentioned in almost every single book of The Bible. It’s very sad that you don’t recognize this fact. Trying to be a Christian without living with The Spirit is like pushing a car around the city because you didn’t put any gas in it. You may get to where you want to go, but it will be a constant struggle, and much harder than it needs to be. I’m impressed you were willing to ‘study’ so much about different religions, but if what you found is represented accurately in your article then Christians everywhere have failed you. I apologize for that.
      But even with all that, what church you belong to really matters little. It’s your personal relationship with Jesus that matters in the end. Follow Him with your heart, and you won’t be one of the hopeful ones who stands before Him and hears the words “I never knew you.” And I do believe Mormons have the right ideas, the way your young missionaries do their work reminds me reading Acts. I just wish they would use Gods Word a bit more, and not Joseph Smiths. Smiths book was not a fun read, especially when you do a little research and discover his primary reason for writing it was to attack the Catholic Church.

      • CGDoc

        And who says the New Testament is from God rather has been translated and retranslated over 2,000+ years to serve the desires of other church leaders?

    • Josh Haslam

      The concept of the Holy Trinity throws me off when I think about all the times Jesus prayed. For example when he was on the cross (Luke 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Was he talking to himself if they are one? I believe they are one in purpose, but not one being. What’s your thoughts on that or do explain why Jesus prayed at all if he is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and not just the Son of our Father in heaven.

    • TheProudDuck

      The irony is that while the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be found in the Bible, it *can* be found in the Book of Mormon. See Mosiah, ch. 15.

      The Book of Mormon is more Trinitarian than the Trinitarians. Actually, it goes one full step further, into a kind of modalism.

    • TheProudDuck

      Also, the word translated as “incomprehensible” in the Athanasian Creed doesn’t mean “impossible to be understood.” The word is “immensus,” which sounds like “immense,” but in fact means “immeasurable,” or infinite. “Incomprehensible” is a translation that uses an older meaning of the word “comprehend,” meaning “to contain” or encompass. God is infinite, is what the Athanasian Creed is saying. You can’t box Him in.

      Elder Holland made the same mistake in a Conference talk once. Hey, it happens. We can’t all speak Latin.

    • Marine Mormon

      Basically, what everybody is discussing here is that General Authorities are receiving money. If you go to some of the websites, LDS.org, Mormon.org, etc., they actually have mini bios of the General Authorities. Read, these, and you will find that ALL of them have college educations, and have had good paying jobs. Also, the church teaches about not having unnecessary debt. By having a good paying job, you are able to eliminate any debt that is not needed. No to mention, they are all mostly retired before called to serve as full time church leaders. The best part, the church practices what it preaches. They do not purchase any land, buildings, etc. without having the money to do so. No chapel, temple, or church building is built before everything is paid for. One last thing, look at the online book stores for the church….. There are several literary items from the General Authorities. You may say its wrong to receive money from these items, but I guarantee they are paying their money back to the church through tithing and other offerings.

    • rjl

      Okay, that’s fair. I see where you’re coming from. So here’s my question: if man has always created gods, which you can see in almost every civilization ever to exist, then who is to say that those beliefs do not come from a common origin? One would think, taking into consideration how civilizations evolve and the theory of evolution, that if there really is no God (or supreme being, whatever), that eventually men would be able to figure that out and stop believing. There would have to be a civilization without religion in that case.

      What I’m saying is, I think that the belief that there is a God is, in itself, a part of the common origin that the above writer was talking about. Every civilization that I have ever heard about has had some perception of a divine being, and if that being did not exist, then I think the notion would have died out. But it hasn’t.

    • downtownchrisbrown

      Salvation and exaltation are not the same. Salvation only requires faith, repentance, baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost (the saving ordinances), whereas exaltation requires the Priesthood (for men), and receivng, making and keeping the temple covenants/ordinances. All will be saved from death, most will be saved from sin, however relatively few will receive exaltation.

    • Kat

      Very interesting that people slamming the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in this conversation have not touched on any Godly points made. You have talked about money, and you have talked about gifts, and you have talked about other worldly things. If you want to slam how the church uses it’s money, why don’t you look at the opposite? Look at all the good the church does with their money. A NEGATIVE person or a person looking for fault in the church will always be able to find it. This same person could find something wrong with Jesus Christ himself, if they looked hard enough and read what man has said about him. Why isn’t there a mention of the Bible and the churches connection to the church that Jesus himself started so many years ago. No other church has Prophets and Apostles declaring the good word of Jesus Christ, not one. No other church seals and binds families together forever and believes in improving oneself even after death (As talked about with baptism for the dead). No mention of the fact that the church does not slam any other church in their teachings. Man is free to choose. If you don’t choose what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has to offer, why do you go about slandering and mocking? Just do what it is that you love and enjoy, and worship God in your own way, that is your agency. This is the great romantic freedom we have here in America. Jesus loved, served, and loved some more. He did not go around finding fault with people, it wasn’t in him. We are to become like him.

    • dan

      Call it a stipened if you want. You should check out the compensation for mission presidents. I’d quit my job right now for that kind of a stipened.

      • Guest

        And I bet at least 30% likely a whole lot more of the world’s population would quit their jobs to get as much money as a mission president.

    • PassionateMind

      2 Nephi 28:11-13 & Mormon 8:37-39 state pretty succinctly where the LDS church is right now. And it breaks my heart. 90,000 children belonging to active, full-tithe-paying LDS families in the third world suffer from malnutrition, and about 900 families helplessly watch one of their children die from it each year.

      According to a stake president in one of those areas, the message from Salt Lake is to work harder and be more self-reliant.

      In countries where poverty and hunger reign, harder work and self-reliance isn’t enough. You need first food, and then education.

      Relieving the suffering of others is a basic mandate from Jesus Christ. And they build malls. And apartment high rises. The parable of the talents in Matthew shows clearly the Lord considers “investment income” his own. The rationale that profit made by tithing is pet-project money for leadership isn’t scriptural. The lives of those children could be saved for a pittance. ($15/month per child for supplements that will save them from the life-long debilitating health problems malnutrition brings, let alone their very lives.) A charity has been founded, Liahona Children’s Foundation, to try to meet this need, by a returned missionary (who served in a very poor area in South America) who was utterly stonewalled in his efforts to get relief for these members from the church. (Remember, these are people that pay tithing–offering their widow’s mites, despite their poverty, despite their children’s hunger.) It seems the yellow shirts are on hand wherever there are national disasters & TV cameras, but dire need that continues without news coverage isn’t as important.

      Yes, our church does so many good things. It has wonderful scripture with amazing doctrines of salvation and blessing.

      I’m just so, so sad that our leadership isn’t willing to take care of the “least of these.”

      • Gambit

        This might be off topic a little bit, I don’t remember the Savior giving the widow or poor money or food. Not saying that you shouldn’t but I believe in the law of attraction and that this world isn’t lacking anything for anyone. I believe when the Savior said “Ask and you shall receive (Pray and have faith), knock and it shall be opened up to you (take action)” I think the best thing for a poor person to realize is that, they aren’t poor at all, they are only poor if they think and believe they are. I’ve read a really great book that talks about this that was written in 1910 that is the basis for all we want in this world. It’s called, “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D. Wattles, its free and in the public domain. I would like to quote something from the book that might shed some light on why we teach self reliance. “Poverty can be done away with, not by increasing the number of well to do people who think about poverty, but by increasing the number of poor people who purpose with faith to get rich. The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery”. I just thought that was interesting and when I read your post that’s what came to my mind. Sorry if it’s off topic, but that’s how I would answer your thought about charity. I hope it doesn’t offend you, I’m not trying too at all, so please forgive me if it does.

        • PassionateMind

          Absolutely flabbergasted would be a better phrase.

          You might want to consider spend some time reading in the New Testament gospels. Are you not familiar with the actual teachings of Jesus Christ? Or the miracles He performed? King Benjamin’s address is another gem. He had very specific instructions, given him by an angel, on how his people were to treat the poor.

          I personally accept the principle of attraction . . . but it in no way invalidates the need for charity.

    • Lizzy Smilez

      They are paid in utah

    • 3GrandKeys

      Exactly. Jesus obviously had no qualms about dropping at least a billion of his church-owned for-profit business earnings on revitalizing the SLC downtown and economy. And now it’s wonderful that around the globe church members in poverty can listen to faith promoting tales about how God chose to bless the members in SLC with such an awesome shopping experience. What better reason to have church-owned for-profit businesses than to build a great and spacious building across the street from church HQ for the benefit of all God’s children…er…all God’s children in SLC.

      • Jordan

        It’s called an investment. Remember that story of the talents? The church is using the “talents” they have acquired to bring in more money… So they can provide millions of dollars in humanitarian aid and millions of dollars to help struggling church members across the world, and even the mooches who associate themselves with the church because they know they can get some help from this charitable church.

        Alternatively the church could spend the money that comes in and go broke.

        Go take a finance course and study investments. Why are the rich people in the world rich… They either know how to manage their finances well, or they pay somebody else who manages it well. I dare say there is not a wealthy person on the planet who does not leverage investments to grow their wealth.

    • 3GrandKeys

      And the church’s real-estate development arm came into being with what capital? Why does it even exist?

      • SoundOn

        It’s ok to ask the question as long as you recognize that you don’t know the answer

    • sam

      Everything you are looking for can be found in the Jehovah’s witness religion … before you decide to stick with this one I recommend looking in to that one its not like your typical Christian religions.

    • Mike

      The basic fault of Mormonism isn’t that Mormons are weird. It’s that the entire religion is based on a fictitious account by Joseph Smith who fabricated the entire Book of Mormon. Egyptian hieroglyphics were unknown to modern scholars in 1830 when Joseph Smith “translated” the Egyptian burial scrolls into the entire book of Abraham. Once the Rosetta Stone was found, scholars were able to translate quite easily. They found that Joseph Smith had no ability to translate at all and fabricated the scrolls from his imagination. It’s an excellent work of fiction but there isn’t a single correct translation found in his writings. Smith also had no idea that horses and pigs weren’t introduced to North America until thousands of years after his make believe history but he still lists them in abundance. These facts don’t make Mormons weird. It just makes them blind followers of a religion that has no basis in history or fact. Mormonism, in this case, is a fabrication created by a very imaginative and dishonest man with no translation skills or knowledge of God.

      • Don McGuinness

        Even if Joseph Smith wrote the book of Mormon himself or with the help of the greatest scholars of his day. He would still be one of the greatest prophets of all time. He included over a hundred things in the book of Mormon that are known today that was not known in his day. The odds are over a billion to one in favor of the book of Mormon being true, just based on this fact.
        I challenge all of the best scholars of today to come together with all of their libraries and computers and knowledge and write a five hundred page book in a year, not just three months, and have it be as accurate and perfect in its linguistic form and contain just 10 things that are not known today but will be known 50yrs from now. Any takers? And remember this was supposed to have been done by a backwoods, third grade educated, p lowboy. Every day more and more evidence for the authenticity of the book of Mormon is being found. And everyday those who refuse to look at the evidence stick their heads deeper in the sand in hopes that it will go away.

    • Kyle B.

      If anyone has questions or doubts about the business side of the church or the payment of GA. Here are some great links:

      http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Business (Business: Church Participation in Business)
      https://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/11/questions-and-answers (section 4)

      As well that which the GA’s earn doesn’t come from tithing but the business income that church producs.

    • Dave

      I’ve got to say, this seems more like some talking points taken from conference talks rather than something which you truly researched. Granted, it’s a blog so it’s not like you would always go incredibly in-depth. But it just seems too superficial in both your arguments and your proofs. Everyone pretty much already pointed out that General Authorities receive a salary (or a stipend, or whatever you want to call it to try and make it sound as if they’re not paid). Never mind that the Bible supports a paid ministry (e.g. 1 Cor 9:11-14). But really, all one has to do is look to the earliest disciples of the Apostles. Those who were taught, baptized, ordained, and commissioned by the Apostles. Look to their writings and you will not find the LDS church. It stands to reason that if those immediately following the Apostles did not teach LDS doctrine, then your interpretation of Christ and His Church is likely also wrong.

      • Origen 2

        Those that followed the early Apostles are more in line with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than you might think. Origen, often considered the first Christian theologian, believed in a pre-existence, a concept now found in the LDS Church but not in Christianity generally. Irenaeus, Clement, Justin Martyr and Theophilus believed in theosis. The writings of Ignatius and Tertullian (not to mention Paul) suggest baptism for the dead. I could go on all day here. In my New Testament course at an evangelical college they explained that these early Christian Fathers just hadn’t figured it all out yet. I guess that’s one explanation.

        • Dave

          I’d be interested to see which specific writings those supposed LDS teachings are found in. Because I can clearly show Apostolic Succession via Bishops, Real Presence of the Eucharist, Primacy of the Pope, etc. from the ECFs. And it doesn’t surprise me that an evangelical college claimed they hadn’t figured it out yet. That was a protestant college. If they had admitted the ECFs had figured it out, then they would have to acknowledge the ECFs were all Catholic.

          “They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.

          See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.”

          -Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (and disciple of the Apostle John), Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 6:2 -7:1. (I only use/cite shorter recensions) circa 100 AD
          If you just look at the ECFs and Scripture, it all fits like one amazing puzzle for Catholicism. LDS teachings and the LDS church exists in neither.

    • Kage

      I’m non LDS and never once did a Sunday school session consist of tearing down another religion or church…. We discussed The Lord and The Lord alone…. I don’t need to travel the world or study religions to know u are mis-informed there. Also, you speak of doing things for your lord to prove to him…. How many young men are pretty much forced to go on LDS Missions…. The pressure on them is real and I know plenty that only go because they are expected to by their family. I feel bad for them knowing their religion puts that kind of pressure on them…. When my religion definitely doesn’t! I’m free to love and praise The Lord how I see fit.

    • CGDoc

      Greg, Believe you touched on some very great points in your narrative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and how they mostly likely would be how Jesus would want his true church. Don’t believe that anyone can argue the fact that man has totally destroyed any sense of a “true church” over the past two thousand years. Over the years, I have come to believe that the LDS Church is the finest church that man has ever created. Please note, I said that man has ever created because I don’t believe that it was created by God. But if satan would ever want to seduce followers to a church, he would include a lot of good stuff but just enough bad stuff to be the ruin of souls.

      You mentioned all the splinter groups that have evolved over the past two thousand years of Christianity yet there was no mention of the splinter groups that have evolved from the LDS Church in the past 170 years since Joseph Smith’s death. That brings me to the crux of my argument about the LDS Church. I do not in anyway believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet or for that matter a good person. For a person to be a prophet, they can NEVER be wrong or deviate from what God wants for his people. There are SO many instances where his life seems to be in conflict with the will of God. First and foremost, the issue of polygamy

      which in my mind only illustrates that this person was a sexist that wanted the best of both worlds. Even in Temple proceedings, a wife must tell her husband her Celestial Kingdom name but a husband does not need to tell his wife his sacred name. Then people think that Warren Jeffs has a loose screw.
      Then what about his run for the Presidency? If he was a prophet, wouldn’t he had known he didn’t have a chance of getting elected. Don’t understand the whole thing of Blood Atonement thing because it really doesn’t sound Christ like. Why did Smith join the Masons then so many of the LDS Temple rituals end up so much like the Mason rituals. Then it filters down to Brigham Young who ruled the Utah territory with an iron fist. Nothing happened in Utah without his approval. This leads to questions about the Mountain Meadows Massacre and his role in that event.
      All of these questions and we haven’t even started to discuss some of the theology of the LDS Church which is very questionable. Then there are those Mormons that leave the Church and are shunned for life as if they were by any other cult.
      If you want to have a logical discussion you just can’t focus on the good things but also must address issues that make people at Disneyland talk bad about the Church in the first place.

    • grant davis

      Love this line of thinking!

    • Weird. Meanwhile because I object to the official stance against my identical twin and against two of my six sons who are gay… I am unable to attend the wedding of my daughter. So I get told I am damned by this Church in ways subtle and not-so-subtle which no other church would ever presume: Because. Families are only forever if you are not gay or agree to not love and not abandon family members who are.

      • Don McGuinness

        The church has never told you that you are damned. They have not told you that families only if some members are gay. These are things from your own imagination. I assume your daughter was married in a temple and you where not allowed to attend. If that is the case it was not because any of your family members where gay or that you did not love your daughter or for any of the reasons you have posted. I am fairly sure that the reason was explained to you, If you took the time and effort to ask. One can not enter into the House of God (a temple) once it has been dedicated to God. His house can not be defiled. It was the same in days of Old in the bible. Gentiles could enter the outer court. IE. the Visitors center, but not the inner sanctuary of the temple itself. As a matter of fact, if a gentile was to enter a temple he would have been killed on the spot. Today, you would not be killed on the spot. But, that being set aside. You know why you where not able to attend your daughters wedding and you are being disingenuous in your depiction
        of the reasons.

    • Eric

      Does the ‘we all know that everything you read on the internet is true!’ Sarcastic statement include articles about how logical it is to be a mormon.
      You’re smug response is indicative of an inability to talk about real facts Mr Anon

      • Just the facts

        I don’t see facts or evidence in either comment (yours or Anon’s).

    • Eric

      So what you are saying is that all you have to backup your position is feeling only. Ok I get it. So much for logic. While we are talking about logic please answer me this question : why is it that Gods supposed one true church , full of all the practical blessings for humanity, can only resonate with less than one tenth of one percent of the worlds population? Either god is quite the elitist of the message is lacking. Or could it be Ssaatttaannn!

      • Epistemologist

        Epistemology generally accepts sensation as a source of knowledge. Google it. It isn’t science because it isn’t reproducible, but science is not the only source of true knowledge (e.g., imagine I see something you didn’t; it would actually be illogical to limit my beliefs to your knowledge base).

    • Scott Seely

      Why does everybody start this discussion of the true church with finances. The church never discuses finances. If you want to know the truth go do its doctrines. I start with the Book Of Mormon. We are called Mormons because of this great book. The Bible supports it’s truth. A second witness of Jesus Christ. For he truly came to America after his death and Resurrection in Jerusalem

      • Eric

        Yes please start to explain the book or mormon. If all you’ve got is warm and fuzzy burnings to back you up then you’ve got the same kind of evidence the heaves gate followers had. Your problem is that you cannot verify the BOM.

        • Ramon

          Yes, confirmation bias

        • Moroni Martin

          We can describe only how it is true to us, based upon our living of it, the feelings we experience and the fruits that we witness. You can only truly know it by living it. It’s like if I were to describe to you a beautiful walk I had been on…you could read and rebut my experience on it all you like, or read thousands of reviews about it, but you won’t fully understand or appreciate it until you walk and experience it yourself.

          I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know it because I try to live it as best I can, and the experiences I’ve had when doing so are a witness to me of its truthfulness. That is my verification, but you will need your own.

          I challenge you to give yourself to the experience for a couple of months. Don’t just read about it…experience it. Any who take up this challenge will not be sorry they did.

    • Scott Seely

      why was the Book of Mormon left out of this article. We are Mormons aren’t we.

    • Matthew Murphy

      Utah was and is the Crossroads of the West. Brigham Young settled the Salt Lake Valley and as an entrepreneur he saw an opportunity to turn a profit. The Church was able to provide supplies and shelter for those migrating to California or various other regions for various gold rushes. Brigham Young invested most, if not all, of the profits into the Church and Deseret Industries. Now let me clarify. The Church is the religious side and Deseret Industries is the business end. These original profits continue as an investment to this day by providing various forms of relief in humanitarian aid and “paychecks” to cover the Church leaders’ expenses. Tithing being that of members’ donations has never been used in the payment of General Authorities. The Church is not taxed because it is a church; Deseret Industries is not taxed because it is a charity. Tithing is used for members’ needs, whereas, Deseret Industries is used for the needs of Church members AND the rest of the world. When the aid is not free, it is at a severely reduced cost. If you require more information on the history of the Church, I recommend reading “The Mormon Experience” by Leonard J. Arrington and David Bitton.

    • Schlumpy

      I have recently been enlightened to why we Mormons might be considered “soooo weird” and it is bo our own omission of a portion of a very important scripture. We repetitively state that we are the only true church, but other churches who have portions of truth find that condescending. I would. The scripture in D&C 1:30 says we the “only true and LIVING church upon the face of the whole earth”. It’s the living part that really makes us stand out. A living prophet who receives real time revelations for us means we are not a dormant or stagnant – we are LIVING!

    • Danniegirl

      Can someone give me some historical evidence for the people groups and events that happened in the Book of Mormon? From what I’ve studied and heard, these groups never existed and from what I read, those scriptures contradict some scriptures in the Bible.

    • Homeroast

      Technically, the Church itself doesn’t pay them–they sit on the boards of Church owned companies (Deseret Books, Bonneville Broadcasting and so on) and are paid well for it–though as GBH said, below what is “normal” for such a position in the world today. Also, the Church itself is registered as part of a Sole Propriety Corporation with the US Government, being owned by the President (fall out of the Utah War) for which he is also paid for.

    • Homeroast

      Chase, I’m a member but even I don’t buy that line of logic. There is zero archaeological, biological, or technical evidence for the BOM to be true, and quite a bit saying it’s not. No scientist outside the Church treats it as such–including the Smithsonian.

      • Chase_Observes

        I legitimately feel bad for you. I don’t even know how I could continue being a member believing that ZERO archeological evidences exist for the BOM. Luckily, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    • Heather Gutierrez Garcia

      Matt. 7:13-14 Jesus said MANY will be lead to destruction (hell) and only few will make it to heaven. Why do Mormons think Jesus got it wrong and teach the opposite? The Bible is oober clear; there are no runner up heavens to go to. The three heavens spoken of in the Bible are the first – the earths atmosphere (Gen. 1:14) second- space, the starry heavens (Deuteronomy 17:3; Jeremiah 8:2; Matthew 24:29) and third where God dwells (Rev 2:7, Rev. 7:15, John 14:2 etc.). Heb. 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” There are no second chances like the Catholics teach, we have one time to accept Jesus (the real one) as our Lord and Savior and commit our lives to him. Notice when Jesus said many would enter the wide gate that leads to destruction? The word destruction in the Greek is olethros which means ruin or doom. Hardly a third place runner up heaven that Mormons believe in.
      Only Satan would make you believe there is no hell, the very first lie he told was to get man to question the Word of God and the Mormons do just that (Gen. 3:1).

    • Don McGuinness

      Perhaps I was not clear enough. One can not enter the temple if he or she is not morally clean And do not, to the best of their knowledge and ability obey the commandments of God. The interview with the Bishop of a ward and the Bishop of a stake is designed to determine if that individual qualifies. Now, One can be disqualified if they break the word of wisdom, are not honest in their dealings with their fellow man, associate with groups who are in conflict or against the teachings of the church, if one does not support and sustain our prophet and leaders of the church, does not pay a full tithing, if they feel that they are not worthy to attend a temple, if they have unresolved issues with family members, etc. It is not JUST paying tithes. Tithes is just one of the commandments of God that must be obeyed in order to enter a temple. As to the perception of where the money came from to build a temple and if it was clean or dirty money is in the mind of the individual. The tithes and offerings of all of the members helps to build the temples, not just one man or organization. I am sure that to some even this will not be enough of an explanation as to what is required to enter a temple..

    • Don McGuinness

      Do you know what plagiarism is. It is writing down the words of another individual and claiming them as your own. Joseph Smith never did that. In the book of Mormon the words spoken by any individual is identified. Isaiah for example is identified and his words are identified as being spoken by him. If you call this plagiarism? Then it takes place all throughout the Bible. Even Jesus would be guilty, since he quoted the prophets. As for the witnesses who left the church? Not one ever recanted their testimonies. They held fast to what they witnessed until their deaths. And just because you say that there never was Nephites, or Laminies, etc does not make it so. As for the book of Abraham? Remarkable new evidences are coming forth that shows it to also be accurate. And the parts that where missing from the facsimiles that Joseph put in are also being shown to be accurate. You might be well served to come up to date with your information instead of relying on information that was proven wrong many many decades ago. You make many false assumptions based upon a lack of knowledge on your part. Maybe you can begin here http://www.fairmormon.org. Educate yourself.

    • AMS

      I appreciated your testimony. Thank you for sharing.

    • Janet

      Our church has Sunday school and we’ve never torn anyone down, we focus on the scriptures….we also believe that when we die we WILL see our loved ones again and live in peace…we don’t think thateveryone is going to hell if they don’t belong to our religion …. we believe that if you do good , good things are waiting for you 🙂 we also believe that tithing should be what you can give…Not a strict percentage…we believe that if you helped the single mother down the street buy diapers, it’s s form of tithing, i guess we’re just s religion of love, and of trying to show the world the love of our savior!God bless you and your family 🙂

    • Krista

      I am nondenominational Christian. I have many friends with many different beliefs including Mormon, Catholic, and Agnostic. I love all of them dearly, and am respectful of their beliefs. In fact, I hate having religious debates. But after reading a second article from this blog that a friend posted, I felt the need to defend my beliefs.

      – First, claiming to be the “one true church” does not make it factual.

      – As far as the trinity not being mentioned in the Bible: The word “trinity” itself is not used, but there are many verses that refer to God as three persons. Here are just a few:

      Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

      2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

      1 Peter 1:1-2 To God’s elect… who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.

      -The Bibles does say that faith without works is dead [James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.] The point being that if we truly believe in and love God, we will live our life according to His word, and do good in the world so that others will know His glory. You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. However, that alone does not assure us salvation. We as humans, are unable to live the totally sinless life necessary to make it into Heaven. Doing good things for God’s kingdom does not undo the bad that we have done. The only thing that can cleanse us of our sins is realizing that God sent his son to save us, that Christ became the sacrificial lamb for our sins at the cross, and accepting Him as our Lord & Savior.

      Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

      Romans 10:3-4 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

      -I have never been in a Sunday school class dedicated to tearing down or damning anyone. There are more extreme versions of Christianity that may do so at the pulpit and in their personal lives, but I want them representing Christianity just about as much as Mormons want Fundamentalist Mormons representing them.

      -As nice as everyone going to Heaven and being happy sounds, according to the Bible that isn’t going to happen. Matthew 7:13-14 says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” God loves us, and would love for us to be with Him in Heaven, but he gave us free will to choose whether we want to live eternally with Him, or eternally separated from him. Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
      -1 Corinthians 15:29 has many interpretations including martyrdom and water baptism, a literal baptism of the dead is just one of them.

    • Christian Ace Stettler

      Go look in the mirror, mate 🙂

    • leslie

      While the apostles and prophet receive living allowances as they devote their full time to the work of administering to the church, the vast rest of the leadership of the church including stake presidents and their counselors (over 7-8 congregations), mission presidents and their counselors (leading and caring for missionaries in geographical areas), bishops and their counselors (over wards or congregations) throughout the entire world receive nothing from the church. They sustain themselves and offer their time and service for free because of their devotion to Jesus Christ and his gospel.

    • AlliOop

      I’ve seen a lot of opinion in this discussion of being a paid or lay ministry, and that a stipend must therefore make them paid ministers; but I’ve seen very little reliable reference sources. Here’s one from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stipend: “a fixed sum of money paid periodically for services or to defray expenses.” Many posts here are making up their own definitions or trying to prove or disprove that the GAs or mission pres’s are not lay ministers. I don’t get ‘paid’ for ministering in my church, but I do claim miles and other expenses on my tax form, as I assume others do, too. I’ll also put in for reimbursement of things I’ve purchased that go directly to my service or the people I minister to. Does that, therefore, make me paid? Additionally, many posts here have been on the secrecy/privacy issue of financial records. Every church which has a tax exemption status has that right. The IRS can do a “church tax inquiry” under certain circumstances (source: http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Churches-&-Religious-Organizations/Special-Rules-Limiting-IRS-Authority-to-Audit-a-Church). This doesn’t make one church’s financial records more secret than another’s – it’s a point of their right. With that said, the only source that had close to merit was given by Will Roberts, but he appeared to use it to further his agenda than what is was really intended for. His source points to a 2006 Mission President’s handbook and uses it to show just how the Mormon Church wants to *hide* the ‘fringe’ benefits of being a mission president. In reality, I would assume, it is not to *hide* those things (since those books are net kept very secretively or privately), but it goes along with the fact that every church needs to educate their members who use church funds on how to use those funds so as not to destroy that tax exempt status that churches have. With the size of the Mormon Church, I can only imagine they would not want to break any tax laws and lose that status, so it behooves them and other church entities to train their members using church funds on how to use/report/not report those funds. Everything can be twisted to they way you want to think it to be. Look at the bigger picture, for Heaven’s sake [pun intended]!

    • Acadia

      My sister is a Mormon and from my dealings with them they are are some of the nicest, kind, and giving people I have met.

      What I don’t like tho is since January of this year the guys on their mission have stopped stopped by my house 6 times. Every time I am nice to them tell them my sister is a Mormon and belonged to their local church until she moved to utah . I then tell them I’m not interested give them my name and write down my address and ask if they could put me on a list of places not to come to. But that never happens. I read they were going to stop the door to door stuff but apparently not. 6 times I have been patient and nice. If they keep coming tho I’m just going to call the cops. Then remove them from my property. At Witt’s end with that stuff.

    • Augusto

      Did you study the LDS doctrine to the core as you sais you did with other religions? If so, then you know that the church back in the day of Joseph is A LOT different from what it is today. I understand that time changes people and institutions, but please stop with the only true and living church restored by God. If the church changed what God restored, then it is the same apostasy that you mormons claim others are.

    • JessKaren

      Honest question. With what biblical reference are you believing that everyone will be saved?

      Edit:

      I do see where you are coming from and works are an important fruit of salvation. But we are saved by grace through faith. Not by works. Works are merely the fruit of your salvation.

      Ephesians 2: 8-10

      8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

      Please do not forget about the whole bible and ignore this:

      Jesus’ response:
      Luke 13: 23-24
      23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

      This is true in the bible, but not true according to your belief.

      In response to you saying “The doctrine as it is found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon.”

      If you are going to use the bible, logically, you cannot use the bible and the book of Mormon collectively. Especially if you believe that all will be saved when the bible makes it clear that is not so.

      Revelation 22: 18-19

      18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

      I am truly not trying to condemn or tear you down, I am just showing you the truth since you are so keen on logic. You must see the whole picture. No arguments here. Just care and truth. Thanks for your time!

    • Guest

      Ohh I see because no one needs food, gas, supplies to live.

      Again most of my money from my paycheck goes to things I need to live off of, the same as the so called “stipend” it is income to me and I am getting paid for it.

    • Guest

      Yeah because the poor starving kids in Africa could not have benefited more from it than the rich people in Salt Lake who can afford a $10,000 dollar rolex. Honestly the rich people who drink gold flakes in their hot chocolate have it so hard. When they leave the temple they don’t want to see a poor homeless guy begging for money. They deserve to walk around without seeing those who are actually in need. Their need for expensive clothing is more important than a person’s need for food.

      And you know what a so called charitable organization should be able to help the rich people of the world as much as they want.

    • Guest

      What isn’t liberal is what those people won’t get. By focusing on a very specific definition of salvation that is unique to mormonism, the big picture of what people don’t get is left out.

      I understand what the mormons believe is salvation but I do not understand why you think it is I have to accept that definition.

    • Guest

      Many believe Joseph simply copied the book from another book. So……… People fabricate things all of the time. There are some pretty amazing books out there with all sorts of detail.

      Others would also say he went to death for marrying 14 year olds girls, and not admitting to it. Then destroying printing presses that said anything bad about him.

      • Curious

        Where did he copy the book from?

    • Guest

      No they are weird.

      Which is partly why Mittens did not loose the election. There are also many people who had such a negative view of Romney it transferred to Mormonism in general. Romney did not do as much good for the church as people seem to think. If he was such a great ambassador for the church why did baptism not significantly increase after he ran and after the missionary force also significantly increased.

      • Don McGuinness

        If anyone joined or would join the church because of Mitt Romney, then they do so for all of the wrong reasons. One should ONLY join the church once they have gained a testimony of the truthfulness of it. I am a convert. I attended other churches. Primarily The Church of God. I had no reason to doubt that God would answer my prayers. He had in the past. When I read the Book of Mormon, had the discussions with the Mormon missionaries and asked God, with a sincere heart, wanting to really know if it was all true or not. God answered me by way of the Holy Spirit speaking to my spirit, in a more powerful way than the Holy Spirit had ever spoken before, that it is true. The rest was just learning the details.
        God answered me. I can not and will not every deny that. To do so would be to deny the spirit and to turn my back on God. I testify of this in the Holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen

    • My wife and I recently returned from serving a mission in the Pacific-not paid by the way. Also as an FYI- we’re not retired. My wife recently turned 52 and I am 55. We had the opportunity to work with several Mission Presidents in our responsibilities. Several of these MP were not retired and left jobs or farms to serve the Lord for three years. Every single MP and their wives we encountered were serving their missionaries 24/7. They were frequently called in the middle of the night to care for a sick missionary in a third world country. Sleep? I don’t think one ever got a full night’s rest. Eat? The motto was eat when you can because it may be a long time between! Paid? They received money to cover appropriate expenses: food, utilities, gas, lodging etc.

      When I think of wages or being “paid” I think of the amount that I am paid for my time. Mission Presidents, GA, Bishops, Sunday School teachers etc. are not paid for their time. We can’t pocket and profit from wages because our time is not compensated.

      As a side note my wife and I are both converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are also working and saving money to serve another non-paid mission in two years.

    • Ramon

      If I use google to get to lds.org, than lds.org is not true based on this logic. LOVE IT! Fallacy of logic LOL.

    • Ramon

      I read the Chronicles of Narnia and had good feelings. It was more than a dreamworld of magic, it was true. I don’t care if it can’t be proven… Narnia exists and Aslan came back from the dead to save the Narnians. Don’t tell me I’m wrong with your google!!!

    • Ramon

      I will give you 2 different years where the LDS church has caved to political and/or social pressures: 1890 and 1978. I will let you do your own research on that.

    • Ramon

      I thought the article said that Mormons were more liberal with salvation. Who’s right Bob or Greg? Maybe Bob is a different type of Mormon than Greg. Damnation or multilevel kingdom?

    • Phinfanlv

      Wow.. same grasp of the definition of “logic” as the definition of the word “scientific”.

      You know, it’s faith based stuff you’re peddling here. You don’t need to pretend it is logical or scientific in your blog posts. If you were more honest about it you could be more respected for it. But the shellac you are giving it, the veneer of pseudo-logic and quasi-science you put on post after post, that just makes it look like you’re trying to convince yourself that you believe the things you are writing.

    • Chase_Observes

      CGDoc, what you just said is factually incorrect. This was published last year and it shocked the scientific world. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131120-science-native-american-people-migration-siberia-genetics/

      • Josh

        Your intention is noble, but unfortunately this article does not, in any way support the account of Israelites sailing across the Pacific Ocean. A close reading of the article reveals that scientists believe the Eurasian DNA found in Native Americans was likely introduced in the Old World, before they crossed the bridge between Russia and Alaska. Not saying this proves the Book of Mormon is false, but it also does not support your argument.

      • DNA guy

        Chase’s point is useful even if the bone was pre-Lehi. If the bone shows Eurasian DNA, and current Native Americans do not, then we know that current Native Americans do not have all the DNA markers of ancient Americans. So studies showing current Native Americans lack Eurasian DNA isn’t evidence against the Book of Mormon.

    • Chase_Observes

      I’ve probably read more about “BOM anachronisms” than you’ll read about anything in your lifetime. Pick up any book regarding BOM archeology and you’ll find cases of horse bones being found in Mesoamerican digs by non-LDS teams and them refusing to carbon date them because they assumed that they had to be modern. The transoceanic Jaredite voyage mentioned in the BOM lasting 344 days? Science confirms that the current flowing from the old world to the new world takes exactly 344 days to make its trip. I could go on for hours. No touchy feely here. Just evidence, logic, and reasoning.

    • RenegadeMstr

      What an absolute deceitful article, beware of individuals who claim to have studied various religions. This is a typical mormon startegy to establish his so called “Credibility”, this goes along with other strategies they use when they meet you, is that they will always try to establish what you do for a living, and they use this information to try to mentally work their angle on you. This exposes their carnal attitudes, their pride and self righteousness also.

      These religions do not have creation in common, they all differ to each other for example Islam teaches that Jesus was created from clay and is not divine. Even Buddisms origins are different to Christian theology, in fact they too more than one branch or you could call it denominations.

      Greg states in his article that these religions whose worshippers strive to become more like deity, in fact isn’t this the same lie Satan told eve in the garden of Eden? – Genesis 3:5

      Response to the “One True Church” and “So Where Is The Church That Christ Established?”

      God revealed his plan of Salvation right from the begining. That he will bring forth a saviour through the seed of the woman – Genesis 3:15

      The reason we have many denominations and diverse religions is becasue men have twisted scripture and ideas to benefit themselves – Matthew 15:8-9

      You say “I came to the conclusion that Christianity made the only claim that appealed to my eternal perspective on life”. – So your conclusion is based on your own perception of life, such carnal thinking will lead you into error and deceit. If you read the bible (KJV) and let it interpret itself, the Holy Spirit will show you eternal life – Galatians 6:8

      Jesus set up one church

      Who is the one Lord? Jesus Christ, What is the one Faith? Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, What is the one baptism? The Holy Spirit. Those who argue that baptism of the Holy Spirit is no more are in serious doctrinal error John the Baptist explained that he baptises with water but Jesus who is greater than he, comes with the Holy Spirit and fire – Luke 3:16, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Acts 1:5, Acts 11:16

      You do what most people do and quote just the one verse which will always be misinterpreted by the masses. This is another deceptive tactic that the Mormon Chruch uses to show the world that they are Christians, of course this is not true. They don’t even believe the bible that’s why they made up their own Gospel, which isn’t really a Gospel at all, in fact they have 4 major works that contradict each other which is the Book of Mormon, The Book of Abraham and the Pearl of great Price and Doctrines and Covenants among other literature that they use to deceive.

      Eph: 4:4-5 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

      The one body, is the body of Christ, his body is the Church!

      How does Christ stand in the midst of his congregation and declare His Name? Only in certain buildings at certain times?

      Matthew 18:20 spells doom for those who would so assert: “For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.” His Presence with us is through the Comforter, the Holy Spirit – John 14:16-17, who fulfills Moses’ wish that we could all be prophets and not have to be dependent upon special priests to teach us – 1 John 2:27.
      God’s Presence is not localized “in temples made with hands” – Acts 7:48; 17:24.
      Our body is now the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells within us – 1 Corinthians 3:9,16,17; 6:19-20, Ephesians 2:20-22, just like Jesus referred to his own body as a temple – Mark 14:58, John 2:19-21.
      And as believers exercise dominion over the entire globe, Christ is correspondingly present Matthew 28:18,20.

      The Jewish scribes and priests told believers in Christ that unless they observed the ceremonial requirements of the Old Covenant they weren’t being faithful. Their purpose was not to make obedient patriarchs out of the new converts, but to gain power over them – Galatians 2:4.

      There are abundant more scriptures from God that teach what the true church is, The LDS Church teaches that the true Church from the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 27:8 – says that the true church must bear his (Jesus) name.

      LDS Church’s title has not always had Christ’s name since its foundation on April 6, 1830. The Mormon scripture Doctrine and Covenants 20:1 reports that the original name of the church was the “Church of Christ.” In 1834, the name was changed to “The Church of Latter-day Saints” (History of the Church 2:63). This took place at a priesthood conference at which Joseph Smith was present. The vote was unanimous. Note that the name of Christ was completely omitted. This was the church’s official title until April 26, 1838 when it was changed again to its current name.

      Moving onto…

      Should Pastors be Paid?

      Specific verses in 1 Timothy springs to mind, here we need to keep in mind the historical situation in Ephesus where Timothy was ministering. Some of the elders had fallen into false teaching and were leading some of the flock astray. Paul wanted to affirm the office and ministry of the leaders who were doing their job well by encouraging the church to continue supporting such men financially – 1 Timothy 5:17-18; but also to give some guidelines for the correction and, if necessary, censure, of those who were in sin – 1 Timothy 5:19-25.

      The Nature of God –

      You couldn’t find “The Trinity” anywhere in the scriptures? Of course you won’t find it in the scriptures, it’s a term used by Christians to describe the nature of God, The term is NOT found in the bible. As a Bible beleiving christian one of the most important Doctrines to believe in is the the Nature of God, The One What? and the 3 Whos? You can see the abundant scriptures that God is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – 1 John 5:7. Jesus says, I and the father are one – John 10:33, among other things – John 5:18 and John 1:1.

      The Nicene Creed was establish to combat Arianism at that time, Arianism attacked the Deity of Jesus Christ. Mormons/LDS use this all the time to attack Christian credibility, but other than the Catholic Church and some other denomination use the Nicene Creed. As a Bible Beleiver who beleives that the Bible (KJV) is the true inerrant word of God does not need such creeds period!

      And here we go again Greg’s Carnal Mind at work again “The description of God I found in the Mormon church was logical.” you say this becasue you are trying to make the Nature of God fit your own carnal/mortal description. Once again quoting a single verse to justify your descision, John 17:3 in context is Jesus speaking to the the Father, for us to know the son is to know the Father. And who belongs to Jesus Belongs to the Father. The following verses 4 and 5 say that Jesus finished his work, it is completed, and verse 5 even shows that Jesus existed with the father before the world was. Which LDS teaches that Jesus was a creation of God the father and is a heeretical doctrine as Jesus is always eternal with the Father.

      I’m Saved If You’re Saved –

      Greg says he searched the New Testament and found it to emphasise the need for us to work the works of righteousness. If this were true, If salvation were by works of any kind, then somewhere the Scripture would have to tell us exactly how much one must work in order to be saved. Would Sunday morning and Sunday night church services be enough, or must one go to every service, including Wednesday nights? And must one also tithe his income and give to the poor? Exactly how much work is required before a man can go to Heaven? You do err, not knowing the scriptures Greg. The book of James, known by many to be the half brother of Jesus who, did not beleive in Jesus while he ministered and became a beleiver after Jesus’ death writes faith without works is dead, what does he mean by that? well, it’s important to know that James is addressing believers NOT unbelievers! He says show me your faith without works and i’ll show you my Works BY my faith. The works he goes onto explain in the later chapters involves giving/charity and showing love to the disadvataged or the poor, this is completely different to following the Law. James writes that Faith is unseen and can only be seen by God, when we show our works BY our faith it is an outward profession of faith so that men can see that you are a believer much like water baptism, you can not see someone being saved by the baptism of the Holy Spirit but being dunked in water is an outward profession to show you are a believer.

      None of these carnal/fleshly works grants salvation, it is being born again of the spirit – John 3:1-21 will give you the context.

      For our best works are nothing but filthy rags in the holiness of the Father – Isaiah 64:6

      And that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23

      Our works will be tried by fire – 1 Corinthians 3:13

      If we do not believe in the Lord, our works will count as nothing, if we do everything in the name of the Lord we will be rewarded according to the work, many will profess to Jesus about their works and wonders, LDS will quote Matthew 7:22 but they fail to quote the outcome said in verse 23 which says “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that WORK iniquity”.

      Salvation comes through Faith in Jesus Christ Alone and not of your own self righteous works.

      Eph 2:8-9

      John 3:16

      John 3:18

      There are abundant passages in the bible Old and New Testament writings, Hebrews is the Bibles Hall of Faith!

      If you try to approach the Lord via your works in accordance to the Law, God will judge you by the Law, – Galatians 2:16-17. If you put your Faith in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ then the father will impart through his grace, the free gift of Salvation to you. No man is Justified by the Law, only our Lord Jesus Christ was able to fulfill the Law.

      The Mormon Church Is The Most Liberal With Salvation –

      This is down right deceiving, Why do I say these things? I grew up with Mormons and my family are Mormons too. I was recently saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t say this to hurt people, I say this to stop people from being deceived. Greg again is makes this section about how it fits into his carnal mind. Think about it, you say you read the bible which either is untrue, or you do not hear what is being said in the bible due to your carnal mind trying to make Gods words fit into you’re liking.

      For an LDS person, you need to work for your Salvation, you need to pay your tithes, you need profess Joseph Smith as a true prophet of god, you have to believe the Current Prophet is of God, you have to perform Temple Ordinances, Baptise the Dead, Temple Marriage, Secret Handshakes, none of which are in the Bible!

      I remember the last Mormon missionaries I spoke to I asked the question if he had read the bible and the book of mormon and he told me he is currently studying the bible and that he may have read the book of mormon once…as a family, which he was dancing around the question. Jesus says on the sermon on the mount, let your Yes be a Yes and your No, be a No, anything more is from the evil one.

      LDS Missionaries do not reveal everything to you when you speak to them initially, if they did most would certainly run for their souls.

      Greg implies that other Churches spend their time tearing people down, really? LDS members don’t do that? I know when you start asking questions about their faith the teeth and claws come out, you get shunned and they steer away from you.

      Families are forever?

      Everyone has the opportunity to be together forever, you start by accepting the Gospel and hear the message the Holy Spirit is trying to convey to you. Greg quotes 1 Corinthians 15:29 and again misleads and incorrectly interprets this verse which says, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead”? Notice how Paul says “They” instead of “We”, at the end of his statement he asks the question, who is he talking about? Jews? Christians? or some other group, north of Corinth there were certain Pagans who would be at the sea baptising for the dead, if you do some research about Corinth you will understand who he was talking about. There are no teaching about sealing families together, all believer will be together! Greg is mocking the God of the bible and his kingdom to come by saying that beleivers will be trumpet blowers and harpists, if he did read the bible then he would not make this statement.
      It’s funny that he says Mormonism makes him happy, maybe it does but all the times I have visited a ward of the LDS church, everyone there looks so tired and you can see that the effort they make to go to church service looks burdensome to them.
      To Greg Trimble, I’m hoping you and others are reading this response to your deceptive article and that your pride, self righteousness and mocking of God has not gone unnoticed and you should take heed to the warning in Revelation about adding and removing from Gods word, and you will find this very same waring in two other places in the bible going all the way back to Deuteronomy.
      Greg Trimble is a deceiving spirit and doing the will of his father, the Devil. The Devil knows his time is short and will pervert the word of God, add, subtract and twist Gods Word. The devils time is short and he will try to take as many souls with him into the lake of fire.
      Please don’t take my word for it, take Gods word for it, it is pure and has been preserved. Beware of the false New Age/Order Bibles, Stick with King James Version, it is truly inspired by God. God Bless you all! Amen!!

    • Uthgoul

      That’s a very good point, and while I appreciate a good discussion, I do ask that we do so without sarcasm as your post seemed to contain much of it, but there is a difference between saying “I believe” in an intellectual context and actually putting faith in the Lord. This is where we progress to the idea of Sanctification (from Sanctify which literally means “to set apart” or to make holy).

      We are called to accept Christ as our savior, John 3:18 teaches “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”. Good works are not a currency which earns us heaven, they are a sign of once who has truly accepted Christ. Matthew 7:15-20 states “15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

      Salvation through belief in Christ is what makes a tree “good”, without belief we bear only bad fruit or worse, look to Isaiah 64:6 “6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

      The key to the understanding is on the equivocation with the word “faith.” In the “faith without deeds [or works] is dead” line, “faith” is inauthentic faith.

      Said another way, real faith will lead to real works – i.e., good works done for God’s glory. Inauthentic faith will lead to no works or works done for self-glorification. Either way, inauthentic faith isn’t faith at all.

      Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    • Don McGuinness

      As for teaching in the old church that are similar or the same as LDS teachings today. They are there. You just have to look. Many of them have been altered to a degree. Such as the partaking of the sacrament, baptism, confessing ones sins, etc. But even deeper doctrines can be found among some of the earliest writings of the early church fathers such as Clement of Alexandria.. For example his series called the Stramota. Look in book 7 chapter 10, I believe. He speaks of eternal progression, the deification of man, etc.
      Now you may find it difficult to find these books. I attempted to get a set from a Catholic book store and they could not locate them for me. Yet some of the quotes from them are referenced in other Catholic books. Some Catholic professors that I have spoken to will acknowledge four volumes of the series. However there are eight. I have a feeling the four that they will not acknowledge go against modern day teachings. But you can find them online and read them freely. You might be interested in how close the early church was to the modern day LDS church.
      And by the way God speaks to Prophets not profits. And I also can trace my priesthood lineage back to Jesus Christ, who gave it to Peter.
      Claiming continues priesthood lineage does not prove it. One can write their own history. As to why God has not spoken to the Popes etc should be a sign of the lack of that authority. Since God has always acted through his Prophets. It is written God will reveal nothing lest he first revealith it to his servants the prophets.
      None of this is intended to insult you, but rather to enlighten you and encourage you to research further.

    • Don McGuinness

      No Mormons do not believe in magic underwear or magic of any kind. Mormons do have sacred garments that represent certain covenants made with God. Covenants with Go is common in the scriptures. Even in the Old Testament priests had their garments that represented their priesthood. The Garments that Aaron was to wear are described by God in the Old Testament. So if you find it funny or offensive then perhaps you don’t understand your scriptures as well as you may have thought you did.

    • Don McGuinness

      I saw a comment in one of the posts that said Mormons hate on gays. Nothing could be further from the truth. We love everyone. We are against any sort of marriage that is not between a man and a woman. But that does not denote hate. Or hate of individuals who disagree. We have openly gay members of the Church. However they do not act upon their urges. If they do then they would be subject to the same rules that would apply to anyone who has sex outside of marriage. It is disingenuous to accuse us of hate just because we do not believe in the sexual gay lifestyle. Just because one does not agree does not mean one hates. At least not in our church. Perhaps hate for such things is taught in other churches and that is being projected onto us. In other words if you hate then we also must hate if we both agree something is not the right thing to do. This is not necessarily the case.
      I have a good friend. We have known each other for almost 40 yrs. He is gay and has been married under state law. I don’t hate him or his partner. I love him as a friend just the same as I always have.

    • oy

      Great job Greg. One suggestion is to end the piece with “why the family in front of you loves Christ and their faith in Him.”

    • Katie Painter

      There is only one way to enter the kingdom of heaven- and that is through the belief in our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Not through our works- nor through Joseph Smith. Our works are a product of our belief- no man will enter the kingdom of heaven based on works. Our works “are like filthy rags” in comparison to our lord and savior. Please read the bible and study it closely. Pray for the truth. You will find it.

    • john

      Problem with this is its your logic. If were talking to religious people in this article wouldn’t you like to reference God’s purpose over human “logic”? After all theres over 6 billion people with human logic and one God. So in that if we believe a religious text such as the Bible is the word of God, we should really try to understand “logic” through those lenses. (See Deuteronomy 29:29 and Romans 9)
      You are correct in saying the Bible does not mention the specific term Trinity; it is a term developed by understanding God as a whole. Before making a statement of “logic” it is necessary to have done research regarding why one might believe what they believe. Jesus though acknowledging God as his father and here to do the will of his father also claim to be God. (Isn’t that why the Jews crucified him?) John 1:3, john 5:17-18, John 17:21 (you quoted John 17:3 but didn’t include this) Mark 2:5-7 – isaiah 43:25, 1Timothy 3:16, Colossians 1:17, etc.
      My point is this, either Jesus is a liar or he is God, and there is only one unforgivable sin. (Matthew 12:31)

      My apologies if this appears combative I just have a desire for the truth and hope to encourages others in it. I will be praying for you.

    • Mike Prodigal

      Yes, let’s apply logic to where there is none. What’s wrong with being weird or different anyway? Mormons are weird, plain and simple. You put on very strange clothes in your temples and stand in a circle and chant, that’s weird. You all believe that coffee is as bad as alcohol and cigarettes, that’s weird! Women are criticized if they have more than one piercing in their ear or if a man has a beard or a blue shirt on sunday, that’s weird! Mormons rely on the MPAA to decide their movie viewing choices, that’s weird! Mormons believe in a book that was translated by the means of a magical rock in a hat, that’s weird! It’s okay to be weird if that’s what you believe in. Why are you so worried about what everyone else thinks? You should celebrate your unique views and beliefs, especially if it makes you a better person.

    • Ramon

      Read lds.org and the article they posted in December 2013 about Race and the Priesthood. The LDS church admits that the ban was because of racism from within the church. Joseph Smith ordained blacks to the priesthood before the ban. Brigham Young created the ban through his own personal beliefs. The church admits this in the recent article. You may want to do your research and I’ve given you a source that is from the LDS faith. Elijah Abel preached and served various missions for the LDS church many years before 1978. He was never hung. He died of old age. He was never allowed to be sealed to his family or enter into any temples built during his lifetime. Maybe you should do some research on Jane Elizabeth Manning James an African American women also. I don’t think her being sealed to Joseph Smith’s family as an eternal servant had anything to do with the reason for the ban that you presented. The church admits the ban was never doctrine in it’s own article. You may need to find out what the LDS currently teaches since you are sharing outdated “doctrines” on this website.

    • Brian

      Greg, my name is Brian Roberts. I responded to your article on your logic of joining the Mormon church. Please read.

      http://answeringmormons.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-response-to-greg-trimble.html

    • Pingback: The Logic Behind Joining the Mormon Church | Kyle's Weekly Thoughts()

    • Dan

      Great job Greg! Very well
      written and thought out. I couldn’t agree more. To comment on the
      few comments I read below about paid clergy, I’ll say this. Most of the
      General Authorities that do receive “stipends” or reimbursements
      for living expenses leave high-end, well paying jobs. If they weren’t doing what they do, they
      would still be working or retired, living it up in a condo in the tropics or
      something… yet again, another sacrifice. For example, Elder Russell M.
      Nelson was the first doctor in Utah to perform a successful open-heart surgery
      using a heart-lung machine, which he helped create. I’m sure he was very
      well to do before becoming an apostle. In the comments I read that Jesus and
      his disciples went with neither purse nor script and to rely on the goodness of
      others, which is absolutely true, just as they are today. They are relying on the goodness of others to
      fit their expenses. Nothing they receive
      is for gain. They are not
      building a nest egg with what they receive from the church… no point since
      most are called to this position until the day the die. All they receive is for them to be able to
      preach the gospel full-time; all provided by all of the members of the
      church. I pay my tithing and fast
      offerings and would GLADLY help pay for the expenses of these wonderful leaders
      to live comfortably so they can continue this marvelous work. Essentially with the magnitude of members,
      receiving stipends and reimbursement is the optimal way to continue preaching
      the gospel in this modern day with millions of members. Maybe look at it from a different
      perspective. When Jesus was here on
      earth and if he had millions of members at the time, his apostles would be much
      busier than they were. I know I’m not
      changing anyone’s opinion, but search your heart and ask your Heavenly Father
      with a sincere heart if this is his church.
      I have seen miracles, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that this is
      his church, restored in our day. I have
      studied many religions and believe that many have wonderful things about them,
      but for me, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has it all. Never have I attended a class or rallied with
      fellow members to tear down or say hurtful things about other religions or
      people. I personally put aside my
      differences and try to serve him better.
      I know I fail many times and I hope that I don’t offend anyone with what
      I’ve said as I feel I was rambling.

    • Debra K Shattuck

      Baptisms for the dead is mentioned only briefly I the new testament. John or Paul I can’t remember.. but it is only mentioned and is really neither pro nor con . Nothing written there is enough to base doctrine on. He actually seems to imply he is merely aware of it but not endorsing it or in favor of it. I don’t think critical thinking is part of this religion. I have many LDS friends. And in their defense I do believe in their sincerity and their devotion I hope I am not offending them with my post.

    • Moroni

      Greg, I really enjoyed your article – it has made my day
      Thank you so much – God bless you brother.

    • Antje B.

      If you’re mormon and you have a relationship with a same-sex-partner you lose your eternal family.. So eternal families are not forever. This church and its rules brings pain to people’s core and divides their soul. It brings good too, but it’s not as perfect as described.

    • Drew Reese

      Greg, I must say that your observation is way off about the church. I don’t want to debate each issue in a public forum, because that tends to lead to un-needed contention with all the other readers. As a former Mormon, and now Christian Pastor, I would love to clear up some misconceptions you may have, if you are interested in discussing this topic. My prayer is that one day the entire “Church” as the bible describes being the body of believers, and not a denomination can come together despite our differences, and worship our Savior in harmony and unity. God Bless you brother!

    • Ikaika

      I really enjoyed how simple and straightforward this is. 🙂 Thank You!

    • Gina Cabrera

      The false Mormon church is based on lies, deception and the make believe fairy tale it’s founder Joseph Smith dreamed up. Mormons entered the world teaching that all prior Christianity was corrupt and an abomination to god. Lying is another part of Mormon culture, and it’s false and deceptive tactics Mormons use are all part of the big lie. For Mormons, loyalty and the welfare of the church is more important than the principle of honesty. Joseph Smith, who had 41 wives claimed that the golden plates which were revealed to him and written in a ‘reformed’ Egyptian hieroglyphic, and we know that there is no such language. These texts are the product of the imagination of the founder of this church, a uneducated, perverted, treasure digging farm boy from Upstate New York – A con artist who based the founding of his religion on translations found on the missing golden plates. Theses plates have never been recovered -LOL

    • Gina Cabrera

      Joseph Smith taught the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on the earth, and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fullness of exaltation in the celestial glory.” (William Clayton, Joseph Smith’s secretary, Historical Record) Good luck with that one guys!

    • joe bloe

      Wait. why is paying full time ministry staff wrong?

    • atreus

      I’m not a GA, but I have been a Seminary Teacher and I never received a penny front ANY entity of the church. Hoeever I WAS RICHLY compensated in blessings from the Lord. #IJS

    • Dave

      Greg! You studied a lot! Now….. Go study the real/full history of your own church.

    • Melis

      They really don’t get paid. Some do write books and they make money from that such stuff, but that is not the church paying them. They decided to write a book and they got paid for a book. That is very different than getting paid for doing your church job. I know a few GAs and money had come up. They do not get paid to be GAs.

      • Scott

        Melis, Oh my, you really don’t know what you’re talking about. They really DO get paid. There was a time when the GA’s served on boards of corporations, but that ended some time in the 70’s or 80’s. If your GA friends deny getting paid, they are lying. Just see President Hinckley’s statement referred to above. The key words in that statement are “in comparison.” You’ll notice he didn’t state a definite number, because most members of the church, as well, as non-members, would be shocked at the “living allowance” plus benefits that the general authorities get paid.

        • mch

          There is a difference between getting paid and getting paid be the church. Getting paid to serve on a board of a corporation is not the same as getting paid by donations to the church.

    • CGDoc

      Really? You think the government doesn’t know?

    • Ryan

      Somebody already beat me to the fact that the GA’s get paid a stipend. The difference between me and the other people stating this fact is that I hope they get paid well. They have brought more value to my life than any other organization on earth.

    • Mayan Fox

      So you believe then that the Bible is translated perfectly? Every version?

      • Debra K Shattuck

        Some of the current translations are debated on various points but are essentially true to the original. BOM is a story. A retelling in many areas of other stories in the bible. It is as though Lewis made a religion of of Narnia. There is absolutely no documents or artifacts or corroboration on any point therein.

    • Ryan

      The idea that if someone does something for free can be called benevolence has the wrong idea about service. Someone can do something for free but still benefit in other forms, and in some cases the true intent may not be there. However, no matter what is done there are always returns whether it be financial or otherwise. I serve others so I can help them, it gives me a sense of fulfillment, but I also serve others because I want to make it back to God and look him in the eye and tell him I did everything I could while I was here on earth. Couldn’t that be considered a return on my service (investment). It is worth more than money.

    • Sugar

      How would you know when the church is not transparent with their money

    • 8-Cow Wife

      Considering the political influence on the translation and copying of thousands of manuscripts, not to mention human error … is it any wonder that a reasonable person of faith would add such a qualifier?

      The Book of Mormon was translated by a prophet of God directly from plates, which were also translated and compiled by a prophet of God. Making that qualifier unnecessary.

      • LukeR

        I would love to see any of these gold plates that Joseph Smith supposedly received. Or for you to locate the places in the maps that are within the Book of Mormon. There have been no land masses that can be identified from the Book of Mormon, or any proof that the extremely large battles that are described ever took place. There is so much evidence pointing to the fact that the Book of Mormon is in no way comparable to the Bible, which is God’s true word that has been proven again and again.

      • Debra K Shattuck

        Whaaaaaa
        ?

    • mtgirl

      Greg, thank you. Great article

      • Greg Trimble

        Thank you for reading!

    • UtahDad

      Greg,

      Thank you for sharing your message. I found it to be very inspiring and faith promoting.

    • Holishopper

      What about Eph 2:8-9?

    • Spencer Tutagalevao Te’o

      My family is sealed for time and all eternity. We follow our living prophet Thomas S. Monson and we know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church of our Lord Jesus Christ here on earth.

    • rickbob

      I am truly astounded that the focus of almost ALL of the comments have to do with “paid clergy”. Let’s compare a Catholic or Protestant clergy with LDS clergy and their pay rates. Virtually ALL Catholic and Protestant clergy are paid – Priests, bishops, pastors, ministers, etc. I can’t speak to the Catholic ways of doing things, but if a pastor or minister gives a message or teaches doctrine the congregation doesn’t like, they can fire him (or her) and put together a search committee to find a pastor whose teachings are more in line with the congregations’ views. Not so in the LDS church. We believe, literally, that unit leaders are called of God, by inspiration They are “beholdin'” only to the Lord.

    • blackinutah

      When can we talk about how racist the church is?

    • Heavy D

      you don;t even need science. I know that the BoM is nonsense through the power of South Park.

    • Justen

      Logic is the wrong way to go if you want to be LDS. Better to go on faith.

    • Eileen

      City Creek was acquired and transformed because the other mall was bringing in business like tatoo shops and bars, and the church wanted to keep the areas around Temple Square, clean and safe for those coming to visit temple square. The atmosphere would have been drastically different with these other types of businesses. Lets face it, people don’t act responsibly when they are drunk.

    • Jordan Hansen

      Man. Everyone gets hung up on the paid deal. Who cares? If you are bashing the LDS church then no matter anyone says, you won’t accept anything for a logical reason we do certain things. Soooooo go away and worry about your own disbelief. Also, I am so sick of everyone trying to defend the LDS church as a Christian church. The name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If that isn’t considered “Christian” then who cares? If the bible is translated wrong then it is wrong. The Book of Mormon was translated once with what I believe to be the help of God. So to whomever says that we try to justify the presence of the BOM by saying that the Bible needs to be translated correctly I say,”so?”

    • Joy

      So sad. 🙁 Read the book of Hebrews and then maybe the book of John…

    • Joy

      The priesthood was meant as a shadow of Jesus (Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5)

      And the sacrifice He made for our sin

      Where He died once for all, and then rose again (Heb. 10:10)

      Our only High Priest, He forever lives (Heb. 3:1, 7:24, 27)

      The prophets foretold about His life (Luke 18:31)

      He tore the veil so we could enter in (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:19-20)

      Oh, Jesus is the end of the law

      So that there may be righteousness for those who believe (Rom. 10:4)

      The Law and the Prophets bear witness of Him (Rom. 3:21-22)

      The fulfillment of every word, Jesus (Matt. 5:17)

      The Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell

      In a temple made with human hands (Acts 17:24)

      But the temple of old was a symbol of Jesus

      Dwelling in our hearts when we love Him (John 14:23; 1 Cor. 3:16-17)

      He abolished in His flesh the enmity

      The law of ordinances nailed to His cross, whoa (Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14)

      Oh, Jesus is the end of the law

      So that there may be righteousness for those who believe (Rom. 10:4)

      The Law and the Prophets bear witness of Him (Rom. 3:21-22)

      The fulfillment of every word, Jesus (Matt. 5:17)

      All who rely on observing the law

      Are under a curse for from grace they fall (Gal. 3:10, 5:4)

      If you just keep one part, then you’re bound to the rest (James 2:10)

      And if you don’t keep it all, you work yourself to death (Gal. 3:10-11)

      That’s why Jesus is the end of the law

      So that there may be righteousness for those who believe (Rom. 10:4)

      The Law and the Prophets bear witness of Him (Rom. 3:21-22)

      The fulfillment of every word (Matt. 5:17)

      In Him alone you can be sure

      Just let Him make you free and pure

      Jesus

      Jesus (By Adam’s Road-couldn’t have said it better)

    • Kirby

      Excellent post Greg. I wished we lived nearby I’d love to sit and talk about what you you’ve learned. I especially love your concept of “one common origin.” I believe this and consider seeking for truth in life very similar to the act of mining for gold. Loads of ‘material’ must be shaken and sorted through to find nuggets of truth. Its even fun when you have a standard to compare. Great post and good look making money as an entreprenuer.
      D&C 50:24
      D&C 93:28
      Kirby

    • Because I love Him

      I don’t know why we are getting hung up on this “paid or non-paid’ clergy subject. I think we are “looking beyond the mark” here. I believe the LDS leaders are “non-paid” clergy, you may disagree, I don’t care. You believe what you want about that, and I will believe what I want about that. The one thing we can agree upon is that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. However, I also believe in the Book of Mormon to be true, so that being said I believe Joseph Smith to be Prophet of God and that he restored the Priesthood and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in it’s fullness. Therefore I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the “only true and living church, upon the face of the whole earth” with which the Lord himself has said, “am well pleased”. So despite what you may think about paid or un-paid clergy, it doesn’t matter to the salvation of my soul. I believe that the LDS church is Jesus Christ’s one and only true church, and I would be glad to give up all that I have, my time and talents and all that I posses into building up the kingdom of God upon the earth. The Lord doesn’t really need our money, he wants our faith. He requires a willing heart and mind. And I’m willing to give up all that I have for Him, because I love Him.

    • Sarah_Gomez

      My dad is buddhist, my mom is Catholic and I have tons of Mormon friends. I’m an atheist. Atheism rules all religions because “anything that does not exist does not!” 😉

      I still respect that some people need to believe in “something” to live a moral life… as long as they aren’t religious fanatics pushing their agendas on those who aren’t interested, i.e. LDS trying to ban gay marriage in Utah.

    • Scott

      Putting no paid clergy at the top of your list of things that designate the “one true church” basically takes the LDS church out of the running. It is true that no stake presidents, bishops, etc. are paid, but all general authorities receive a “living allowance” plus generous benefits. President Hinckley’s statement that they “are very modest in comparison with executive compensation” and that their incomes “come from…business income and not from the tithing of the people” doesn’t alter the fact that they receive their income based on their positions of leadership in the church.

    • Scott

      10dragons, You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in the homes of general authorities, and although they didn’t name numbers, two of them were forthcoming enough to admit that they do, in President Hinckley’s words, receive “a living allowance” “on a monthly or even annually basis,” which is far more than travel expenses.

    • Joshua K.

      If a business, than why died the federal government if the US allow it to function tax free?

    • Eric

      Greg, I am not a mormon, but I would like to know more and I have a few questions: There is a lot of argument in the comments about what constitutes being paid, and it seems like there is a lot of room for controversy on this subject. Why is this an important piece of the logical argument for mormonism as the one true church? Also, what defines the one true church? Is it the bureaucracy of the church, the traditions, the sacraments, etc.?

    • JoanO

      Apostle Matthew Cowley gave up his law practice to serve the Church. When asked how he got by, he liked to say he ‘WAS ON CHURCH WELFARE”. The Church met his needs and that was it. If he needed a car, one was assigned to him. He was assigned a place to live. His time serving among islanders in the Pacific and New Zealand, particularly during WWII, meant living conditions were far from deluxe. While he lived in Salt Lake City, a local appliance merchant would donate appliances to the General Authorities who needed them. One time he was given a new refrigerator. When the appliance arrived at his home he asked, “Is it empty or full? I prefer full.” (This story is often attributed to J. Golden Kimball, but it actually came from Cowley.)

    • Bruce

      Regardless of my religious beliefs. I can not respect a religion that performs baptisms of the dead. If we truly had “free will” as we are supposed to according to the bible. Then both any Jewish and Christian faith should respect that people have free will and the right to choose their religion. To go and baptist a person after death if they aren’t even apart of that religion is an ultimate screw you and your free will.

    • guest

      what a presumptuous and offensive comment.

    • Steven Lee

      First off, I like your article overall–your education of different religions clearly demonstrates a comprehensive view free if pejorative remarks.

      Second, I just want to make a brief, stereotypical observation based on discussions with others and my own observations of others’ opinions of your faith. The reason why LDS maintains a less-than hospitable reputation from non-LDS is because of the following perceived beliefs that members of your church either once held or still hold:
      1. The relationship between “mormons” and LDS is skewed, confused or unclear. Most outsiders don’t understand if there is a difference, and if there is, what that difference is.
      2. The Book of Mormon. Personally, I don’t understand why Protestants in particular take such offense to the idea of additional sacred texts since they omitted the apocrypha from their canon, but to suggest there are other writings on par with the Bible is a deal breaker for most Christians. And the perceived view here is that your church makes this claim.
      3. Polygamy. I realize this is a touchy subject, but it should be said nevertheless. The fact that many of your members in the recent past supported this institution essentially crossed the line between “church” and “cult.” I know many/most of your faithful don’t subscribe to it–it’s just that one bad apple, etc.
      4. Heaven. Many non-LDS outright reject the belief that when a man dies, he essentially becomes the center of his own heavenly universe and, assuming his wife/wives pleased him in this life, he will call her/them to him in the next. Again, perhaps this is not the “official” mormon view, but it is the externally perceived view.

      The challenge for your members to engage in any substantial interfaith dialogue or even to be taken seriously requires addressing these (mis) conceptions first. Other faiths have this problem too–including SDA and Muslims. For some reason, which I do not know, mormons are particularly singled-out, at least here in America.

      Please understand my intention here is not to offend–sincerest apologies if I have.

    • levi

      Who says the greatest test in life is faith, and which of the 10,000 gods are we supposed to have faith in? And how do we get this faith, by beliving and asking god if its true, and then he gives you a good feeling. And youre supposed to have faith in that feeling. And then you know because you have had a feeling you can’t deny. Well the same people who drank the coolade followed this formula, same with JW, mooneys, scientology. They all have this faith, they all know there religion is true, and have great feelings to prove it. So which one do we belive?

    • Gina Cabrera

      Mormonism is a caricature of Christianity on its best day. The False Mormon Church has managed to deny or distort every major Christian doctrine ever taught down through church history. Traditional Christianity and Judaism make a clear distinction between what is spiritual and what is temporal, while Mormon theology specifically denies that there is such a distinction. As you know Mormons rely on texts that are not recognized as Christian, specifically the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, all while Mormons claim to be Christians. The World Council of Churches and the US National Council of Churches has denied membership to this “cult,” because Mormons have refused to recognize the basic tenets of Christianity – Nothing new here folks

      • Clay

        Mam, The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It does not denote any of the teachings of the bible. It compliments it. It is a second witness that Christ lived. It has restored some of the most plain and simple teachings that have been lost since Christ was on the earth.

        The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are revelations given to the early church through the early prophets. “Surely The Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets” Amos 3:7. You use these writings as a pitfall when they are only another testimony of the truth. Please read them for yourself.

        One thing to understand is we are not a reformation–we are a restoration. We claim to have God’s true original church

      • I Fight for your freedom

        Proof? True Christianity requires prophecy and revelation. I’m not particularly concerned if a “Christian” group organized by a political government doesn’t count Mormons as Christian. I care more about my belief in Christ and my faith in HIs power to save. I don’t require you to believe what I believe, and it’s pretty ignorant to assume that man-made authority gets the final say on who believes in Christ and who doesn’t.

      • Really, Gina?? And you believe these groups have the authority to define Christianity? What, in your opinion is a Christian? Webster defines the word Christian as: “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ, or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Have you read any of the books you mentioned as “unchristian”? Highly unlikely because if you had, you would discover that is precisely what they all have in common–the teachings of the Master, even Jesus Christ. The fact that these books have not been recognized as such does not mean they are not true. Chances are, the ones who are the loudest in denouncing such books as not Christians ARE the ones who have not read them. You see, things have not changed much since the Master walked among us. His teachings were not recognized by the Pharisees, nor the Sadducees, nor the Levites, not even the Sanhedrin, who were in charge of the law. No, They had the Torah. Where in the Torah does it say to turn the other cheek? Or to love your enemies? Or to pardon more than seven times? Etc., etc.That’s why they crucified Him. That’s why many now are dying to crucify Mormons. Similarly, the religious of this day can not bring themselves to read anything but their Bible. Now we (those of us who are Christians) know the Jews of old were wrong. Do not wait too long to find out you are wrong too. Read for yourself and find out how Christian these books really are and how Christian the Mormon faith truly is. What if you were to find out this work is prophetic? From Daniel to Isaiah to even Christ himself, spoke of and foretold of this great work to come forth. I can send you references, if you would like. Read for yourself. It’s all in there. Do not let someone else tell you. Discover the truth.

    • jacklstickney

      Great article that made sense to me. This logic is so simple that it makes detractors’ eyes bleed (as seen in many of the comments below). Let them keep their incomprehensibly complicated ‘Gospel’. I’ll stick with Gospel of Jesus Christ in it’s simplicity.

    • Jess

      so many individuals are set on proving different religions, especially Mormons, wrong. We are just fine the way we are. We follow the commandments, as with most Christian religions so are you really concerned about our salvation or just on proving us wrong. I’m sure god on judgment day is going to say… Ya you followed all the commandments but you believed in the Book of Mormon so…( I do believe the Book of Mormon to be a true testament of Christ don’t get me wrong). The point is we feel we are in the right church, we are striving to be our best because in the end, that’s what really matters.

    • GodsWordisPerfect .

      Not biblical at all. When you search for a true church, one just needs to study the Word of God because it will point you to the true church. LDS has a lot of doctrines that are not biblical at all.

    • Rod

      Well, there was a killing involved…

    • Spencer Lee

      Good, but a few problems. A) GA’s (as meg mentions) do get paid. B) The BoM actually refers to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as one being (I am the father and the son), not to mention the fact that J. Smith also favored a Trinitarian view of deity. C) I have had many sunday school classes devoted to debunking other religions, similar to what you do in this post. D) This post operates on the assumption of Christianity being true, which is a problem and illogical in of itself.

    • Clay

      The Book of Mormon states over and over again the killing of millions of the inhabitants of the land. People who study populations call this bottlenecking. Many genetic markers are lost as the general population dramatically decreases and replenishes through the years.

      They were also not the only inhabitants of the American continent. If they intermarried, which is highly likely they could lose more genetic markers of identification. To top it off we killed 92 percent of all the native population when the Spanish brought European diseases.

      For the same reason we can’t prove The Book of Mormon is the same reason you can’t disprove it.

      • Nordel

        It could be argued that if you make a claim where we would expect to find mountains of evidence, such as DNA evidence or even archaeological evidence (how about just one single Nephite artifact.. JUST ONE.) that it is reasonable to conclude that a hypothesis such as the Mormon claims about the Nephites, etc., then you reach a critical point where it becomes a completely unbelievable and unreasonable belief.. In the same way that leprechauns COULD exist, hypothetically, but it’s unlikely that they do, the ridiculous historical claims made in the Book of Mormons fall into that same category.

        You are shifting the burden of proof. For a claim to be believed it must be DEMONSTRATED. Otherwise the default position is disbelief.. It’s not anyone’s job to disprove your claims. It’s not logical to believe something until it is proven false. If you applied that standard to everything and not just your own pet beliefs, you would be put in the position of believing everything, even contradictory claims until they are proven wrong. Do you believe in unicorns? How bout Zeus?

        • I Fight for your freedom

          Are you seriously advocating that religious belief must be scientifically proven? At what point in the history of the world has anyone ever been able to prove or disprove God? No credible scientist would take that position, because it’s not a possible one to take. All you can do is form your own conclusions based on what is available, and that is what this author has done–researched various scripture, anthropological studies, various cultures and religions, and decided this is the one he believes to be the most true. Can you prove unicorns NEVER existed (hint: you can’t) or that someone didn’t at some point attribute the power of God or Satan to someone they named Zeus? It’s not logical to label only one church or belief set false, since none of them can be proven false, just as it is not logical to label atheism false since that can’t be proven either.

          • Nordel

            The time to believe something is when it’s proven. Things don’t get a pass just because they are “religious beliefs”.

    • Clay

      Given that most churches all break off from the Catholic Church and it started 300-400 years after Christ should be enough to tell you may be there is more.

      It’s like trying to find everything written from the American Revolution, starting a church about it, having a group of priests vote on what is true 700 years later, and giving it another 1000 thousand years to your super great grandkid that probably won’t even get it in English. I imagine what you give may have some faults and typos. It’s not a clause, it’s there, because we have lost some of the most plain and precious things from Christ’s day.

      We are a restoration, not a reformation.

    • LukeR

      “No matter “where” it happened, we testify “that” it happened”. If you tell of these great cities and battles that took place, then why can’t they be located? Why are there not supporting evidence such as buildings, roads, weapons, other remains of events, etc.? The fact is that the Bible says that events took place and that there is evidence supporting that the events actually took place.

    • ronald

      How could you say ” evil”? Have you ever met an LDS person who is living his religion? They are the most giving and service oriented people. The church teaches to follow after Christ. You have a right to think as you like but “evil” is not a good description.

      • Nordel

        I live in UTAH. I’ve met plenty of LDS people. I was raised LDS. Some of them are nice, some of them aren’t. I’m talking about the church. Do you not understand the distinction between a church and it’s people?

    • Nordel

      Evidence you say, huh? Some guy (who is a known crack pot in the scientific community) writes a book, doesn’t publish it in any peer reviewed scientific journals so it can be verified by geneticists, but instead offers it up to Mormons who ALREADY BELIEVE. And then puts it on some pro Mormon website with an agenda, as an apologetic to be argued against non-believers.. How is that science, again? I don’t believe you know how the scientific method works, my friend.

      • I Fight for your freedom

        It’s as valid as someone claiming to have scientifically proven a negative. That’s not how the scientific method works either.

    • Nordel

      And yes, you are right. It’s not good enough.. I actually have standards for evidence. Just because some guy, no matter how many letters he wants to put behind his name, makes a claim, doesn’t make it true. You’re gonna have to do a hell of a lot better than that. How about doing the hard way, the scientific way. Publish in some journals, start building some consensus, and most importantly, let the experts put your idea through the gauntlet of peer review and see if it holds up. As far as the Mormons claims of Native American’s Israelite ancestry, it hasn’t even held up to even the tiniest bit of scrutiny.

    • Nordel

      Wow, I really wish you would bother reading up on the actual science, and not just the Mormon crackpots that so desperately would like to believe the BOM, and will twist evidence to say that it supports their views on history. Why hasn’t a single artifact been recovered that substantiates anything in the BOM? Why isn’t there a single shred of evidence in the DNA to show Israelite ancestry? Talk to a few of the real actual experts about it, and then tell me what they say..

      • Nordel? Why do u care. You sound like you deeply dislike Mormons?
        Not sure why u care whether the Church Of Jesus Christ of latter days saints is true or not true? I am asking in a very kind voice. Just seems like u have a deep seated anger towards the church? What am I missing in your point? Thanks for a response.

    • Mike

      I am a convert to the church, and I have been bombarded through the years with the claims people try to make that you described above. I had a similar incident one time at Six Flags Magic Mountain when I went on the day of their “Hallelujah Jubilee.” The people in line for the coaster called ‘X’ started talking to me and asked if I was there with my church group. I told them that I was just there for the rides and to have fun. Frankly they asked me if I went to any church, and with a smile I told them the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the ‘Mormon’ church. They started their discussion by asking what I believed, and they turned it into a nice discussion about how I don’t believe in being saved by grace, and that through works I’m denying God’s gift of grace and thereby will be damned to heck. I told them that I believe in both, and told them that according to what they’re telling me I’m saved, and that I’m also saved according to what I believe in. I almost wanted to ask them: “so you’re saying I can cheat, I can lie, I can rob, rape, murder, or do anything bad I can think of, and then just confess Jesus in my life while in my prison cell and still get to go to Heaven, yet because I believe I have to do good things in my life that Heavenly Father asks me to do, I’m going to heck?” But of course, our church leaders ask us not to do it. It’s just best not to argue with anybody because contention is of the devil. Through that discussion I’ve come to know more than ever, the church is true! I like that video by Brad Wilcox where he makes a point on that subject matter that we’re not trying to earn Heaven, we’re trying to learn Heaven.

    • Eli Lloyd-Lee

      People who serve in different positions throughout the Church come from all walks of life, from teachers to doctors to trash collectors. One’s profession does nullify or qualify one for a position.

    • Eli Lloyd-Lee

      The Church of Jesus Christ is very transparent. They have nothing to hide. Their records are made public. Twice a year during a conference held by the Church, the financials are read for the entire Church.

      • St. Donnan

        The LDS Church never releases their finances, but simply announces that their internal auditors find their finances in order, whatever that means.

    • Eli Lloyd-Lee

      It sounds more like jealousy and misguided information. Not factual or realistic. Everything is open to the public if you know how to use the resources properly.

    • I Fight for your freedom

      No, actually if someone says science has conclusively proven something false (which any scientist will tell you is virtually impossible–science is THEORIES and proves probabilities, not conclusive fact) the burden of proof is theirs. I’m not the one saying that I have proof of something, so I have no burden of proof.

      • Nordel

        I’m sorry that you’re too lazy to actually look up the DNA evidence on the lineage of Native Americans. Or maybe you don’t care if your beliefs are true.

      • Nordel

        What does science have to say about the PROBABILITY that the Native Americans are a lost tribe of Israel?

    • I Fight for your freedom

      Which Christianity? If you ask the Catholics everyone else is apostate.

    • Dan

      I can take any side and argue science, theology and religious philosophy with anyone. But I am full throttle LDS because was absolutely smashed by the Holy Ghost several decades ago and continue to get smashed by the Spirit of God every day. I was not a truth seeker nor was I having a life crisis at the time. In retrospect, I definitely was capable of wrecking havoc upon the earth with my huge testosterone fueled ego – but thankfully we’ll never know what damage I could have produced on the earth by now. The most courageous thing a human being can do is throw down in private and cry out to God to make Himself known. If you don’t think the prospect of a visit from the most powerful being in all the universe, or his celestial representative, is scary – you are totally fearless. The Lord knew i’d never have the courage to sincerely seek Him out, so He did a royal intervention on me in order to get me to help Him in His work.

      Argue and debate all you like. Unless you get true revelation from the Holy Ghost, you will never get beyond argument and debate. I don’t argue or dispute about the true gospel. I don’t ever do it. It’s a sure fire relationship killer. I’m too busy trying to live the gospel, serve the Lord, and call others to Christ. There is more light and truth in one short home teaching visit then can be found in the entire Summa Theologica.

    • Josh

      Why do you Mormons think god was a exalted being and was a man instead up being a eternal being? Why do you believe that god walked the earth and was sent by his god?

      • SoundOn

        I’m confused by your questions. Do you not believe that Jesus Christ is God or do you just not believe that He was resurrected?

        • Josh

          i thought that heavenly father was eternal from beginning to end as it says in the bible. why would god be a mortal.

          • SoundOn

            You are correct that Heavenly Father is eternal, but if you believe that Jesus is God then I assume that you also believe in his mortal ministry. Why is it so strange to you that Mormonism teaches that as man is God once was? If you believe that Jesus is God then you believe the same thing. Am I wrong?

    • So what you’re saying is if all my living expenses are reimbursed by my company, my company isn’t technically “paying” me. Got it.

    • Bastion

      Sigh. Wish I could hide a thread — can’t get past the “money” thread to see if this was asked…
      Anyhoo, nice chart, but unless I’m visually-impaired, where is LDS on the chart?
      I mean, if it really is the “true”, most-Christian Church of Christ, where is it?
      You can’t possibly be asserting that it is the same as the 30 AD version…

      • SoundOn

        Yes, that is exactly what the church is claiming. We believe that the true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth.

      • Ender Wiggin

        That picture was a small piece of how churches evolved through time. I found a better one, enjoy: http://funki.com.ua/ru/portfolio/lab/world-religions-tree/ Since you asked Greg “where’s the LDS church” I’ll save you some time looking for it. Go to the bottom right of the circle just above orange bold line its about 8 lines up “Mormonism or Latter Day Saint movement”.

        This religion tree illustrates what Greg was referring to, that the larger majority of Christian churches broke off from a different earlier church, making their claims to truth weaker than the original. Also to explain the tree, Christianity “breaks off” from the bold purple line describing the “Ancient Israelite Religion”. No Christian would claim that their doctrine doesn’t include the Old Testament thus the idea exists that Christ’s church is the same as was taught in the Bible New and Old Testaments (since the beginning, or creation of the Earth). If Christ’s church didn’t exist since the beginning of time than what good is it?

    • Nae

      Samochief, up until now I have not commented but after reading your post I feel compelled…
      My husband is currently serving as Bishop to our ward. In his professional career he gets up at 5 am comes home at 6 pm eats dinner and is back out the door, sacrificing his time and energy for many many hours a week. Our time together is usually spent visiting people he could not get to when he was on his “Bishoping” schedule. Also at least some of most Saturdays and ALL of Sunday are spent in service and we receive NO compensation nor do we expect any. We make this sacrifice because we really do believe that when you are in the service of your fellow man, you are in the service of your God.

    • SoundOn

      The bible supports growing assets. The parable of the talents specifically refers to money. Yes it should be applied to all our blessings, but it does teach that we should increase all our assets including wealth. However, you are correct that we are not to set our hearts on material things or we are worshipping mammon rather than the God who is the source of our blessings.

    • SoundOn

      Different details that confirm the same story. If you notice as you read the Bible Paul did the same thing as he recounted his vision.

    • Jessica

      One point… Jesus Christ wasn’t Christian and he did not preach Christianity. He did not make the Christian church. He was Jewish. Preached his Jewish religion. And claimed his Jewish religion along with his race. So to say that all religion comes from one place (Christianity) is false. If that were the case, then we, as Mormons, would be studying Jewish religions. Jesus Christ changed some parts of his true religion and his followers called it the Christian church. There is no logic to join any church whatsoever. No religion is more true than another. ALL religion was made my man himself.

      Now I’m not saying to not be spiritual. I’m a very spiritual person and I have my beliefs and morals. I do the right thing and hope to go to heaven. But I’m not religious. I will never put all my eggs in one basket like that.

      That’s all.

    • SoundOn

      Mormonism has always taught that we should adhere to the two great commandments and love our neighbors, including our gay and lesbian neighbors. Anyone who belittles them is acting outside those teachings.

    • Tiave Oto

      Michael you presented no facts. You need to pray about it. If you live righteously you will be blessed in this life and more importantly the next. Maybe The Lord wants to bless some general AUTHORITIES in this one lol

    • Tiave Oto

      Pray about it

    • Tiave Oto

      Maybe If you live righteously you will be blessed in this life and more importantly in the next. Maybe The Lord wants to bless some general AUTHORITIES in this one lol life is good my friend. Be happy. We all are blessed in different ways. 🙂

    • David

      Saying the LDS Church is the “One True Church” is like saying “Vanilla is the One True Ice Cream”. Does Chocolate only have PART of the Ice Cream? Is Strawberry an “Ice Cream” only as far as the recipe has been translated correctly? For that matter, Is Vanilla the “Restored” Ice Cream – and all others are Apostate Flavors?

      Uniformity of thought isn’t a guarantee of “Truth”. Ever notice a foreign dictator always manages to win 100% of the popular vote?

      Now, “McDonald’s” are the same whether you’re in Singapore, Cincinnati, or Siberia. Would you say their adherence to conformity is “proof” that McDonald’s is the “One True Hamburger”? Of course you wouldn’t. McDonald’s doesn’t even carry Fries Sauce!

      My wife and I are born again Christians. We feel as “at home” attending a Baptist church as a Nazarene church or a Four Square church. Why? Because all Christian denominations have the Essentials in common – just like Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry have all the Essential ingredients to qualify them as “Ice Cream”.

      Now, Mormonism simply does not have the Essential Doctrines of Christianity in common with the many (or any) denominations of Christianity. So, while you may claim to be “Ice Cream” – and you may look like the greatest Vanilla on Earth – you are just not “Ice Cream”. Perhaps you are “Vanilla Pudding”. Peace.

      • Ender Wiggin

        I’ll see your metaphor and raise you a better one. If every religion were a different make/model of vehicle, you may say “This one has a better interior (embossed wood, leather bucket seats, etc)”. You may say this or that color appeals to me more, or this one has cup holders or power steering. Every vehicle (religion) fits different people and there are plenty to choose from. The One True Church (the LDS church) isn’t valid because it fits everyone best, its valid because its the only vehicle with gas in the tank that has the ability to actually get you where you want most to go! So you may choose to sit in a different vehicle because it “fits you better” but unfortunately it won’t get you very far.

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    • christa

      Michael, if you are sick and tired of the church, then quit harping on it and go find something you are pleased with. I’m sure your constant comments only add to your fatigue of the subject.

      • Michael Larsen

        Well, because my entire family is LDS, and that is the ONLY thing they talk about. Also, if the LDS church claims to be the “One and only true church” then you need to be able to stand some justified criticism, and back up what they say is true.

    • Christa

      I wouldn’t want their crazy schedule and responsibilities for anything. When a G.A. comes to our area for a conference, they stay with the stake president, not a fancy hotel.

    • Christa

      Great article Greg!

    • KEL92

      Where did you learn that Uchtdorf* (not Uctdork) is what I wanna know??

    • Joe

      I like the article and how you walk through your reasons. I personally do think they fall short or leave quite a bit out. How do you reconcile Jesus’ Church as He set it up. One example, how He granted the authority to the Apostles to loose and bind sin.

    • Clyde

      We live in a world CREATED BY GOD…. That being said, The trail to the top is equal to life as we know it to be, guided, educated, loved, ups & downs, likes & dislikes, AND for those who believe IT IS ALL IN DIVINE FLOW, so hitch a ride and lets get going. Many roads to the Top. So lets make our own way, LIVE, LEARN, GROW through LOVE. Lets make a difference. Blessings. XOXO

    • AM

      I respect my LDS family members but do not respect a book rewritten by man ( and changed over 150,000 times) called the Book of Mormon stating ” this is as holy as unto the Holy bible” I cringe to read that- putting a book above or even equal to the Holy Bible??

      – I don’t believe most men and women will go to heaven. I believe in the trinity, and the unchanged word of God. To follow a modern day prophet who is known to have been very unrighteousness in his polygamous and business dealings, and whose writings of the chosen nation has Been factually, historically and biologically disproved- this is following a FALSE prophet! He was a con artist- such as the papyrus that he said were lost scrolls but were factually proved to be Egyptian upon proper interpretation. You cannot put a mans filter of Gods word and expect Gods blessings- it’s blasphemy of His holy word. The Mormon temple rituals and doctrine of a Jesus does not match the true Word of a God-

      I am not in belief that this is a true Christian faith, but rather a highly organized cult religion of mostly nice people. My brother in law left the church and was treated horribly. How Christian is that?

      • Don Guild

        I suggest you read your bible again, what you have said is incorrect. The words in the Book Of Mormon have never been altered. The doctrine that they talk about are supported in the bible, It was not written to replace the Bible, but to support it. The book was not written on Papyrus. Do you even know how the bible was put together and by whom and how many times it has been re-written and changed. I doubt it. The idea that the trinity is all one person is false, they are 3 separate entities with one purpose. When Jesus was on the cross, do you think he was praying to himself, no. he was praying to his father. The holy ghost helps us to draw nearer to the Lord.

    • Don Guild

      How do you expect the members of the church at the upper levels to travel all over the world spreading their message to manage the expense if not compensated for travel expenses. Should they be using their own money. Are you completely nuts. Did you know that these people who take these positions are expected to liquidate their companies and holdings. Their is no bishop or clergy in the ordinary church branches that get paid to preach or run their churches, everything they do is voluntary and takes an incredible amount of their time. All talks given in the church are done by regular members, they are assigned a topic to speak on, they they research the work before giving a talk in the church, they are not paid either. How transparent is the Catholic Church, were everyone is paid and housed. Do you think the pope pays his own way, They even have soldiers to protect the pope and Vatican. Their trapping in the churches and Basilicas are unbelievable. Even the wardrobes they wear are expensive and paid for out of contribution in the plate that is passed around, It disgusts me and I am sure that Jesus would also be appalled , but no one complains about them do they. Get a grip.

      • St. Donnan

        Such ignorant comments by Mormons as usual. Your pride will condemn you and save you not. You know nothing about Catholics, their devotion and sacrifice in service to the Lord.

    • Loren

      With the title for His post being “The Logic behind joining the Mormon Church,” it certainly seems like Greg wants us to believe:

      1. It is logical to join the LDS church
      2. Greg’s reasons for joining/remaining a member of the LDS church are logical.

      I have a big problem with claim #1 listed above, but that would probably be a discussion for another time (Greg said he has yet to hear a logical reasons why the LDS church is “so weird.” If he asks nicely I will give him lots). I want to push back a bit on #2. To do that I will try to identify the reasons Greg gives, and see what sort of reason/logic they possess. I certainly realize the limitations of responding in this way. I may misunderstand Greg at points, and I know he likely has other reasons that he has not written about (family/cultural pressures, figures of authority, feelings that led him this way, etc). That said, if these reasons really do constitute Greg’s logic for remaining LDS, I think we will see some pretty bad logic at work.

      1. Greg’s study of world religions led him to believe that Christianity made the “only appeal to [his] perspective on life,” and that “other religions fell short of promising a future worth pursuing.” So, Greg’s first step seems to be, which religion has the best end game, or at least, which one agrees with my perspective of life. Now, I happen to agree that Christianity has the best end game (I mean traditional Christianity, not Mormonism), but that is a horrible starting place. If we are trying to find spiritual truth, shouldn’t we start by asking, “How do I discover spiritual truth,” and seek to find it. We can’t start the process with the deck already stacked with my end game in mind. A further discussion is needed here about the differences between the LDS and traditional Christian teaching’s found in the Bible, about what the after life consists of. These are Radically different ideas. Our question should be, how do we figure out which one is true. Greg seems to try to answer this with his next point.

      2. Greg claims the true church will be an institution which claims to be the “one true church.” Greg looks around and identifies several institutions that make that claim, and reasons that we should then pick from that short list. This might seem logical, but its not. First, Greg is right about something, and that is that there is, in fact, only one church (if by “church” we mean what Jesus meant). There is only one body of Christ, composed of all those who find salvation in Him alone. I think Greg’s big mistake is thinking that by “church,” Jesus meant an organization united under centralized human leaders. The word church means “called out ones.” It is a people, not an institution. That “called out” people (aka- the church) may find themselves in any number of institutions. As the Gospel spread, Christians organized themselves into institutions to be more effective at growing more and better Christians in their particular culture. Greg is right, there is only one true church, those who find salvation in Jesus alone. That church has stood the test of time, and has spread all over the world in various local expressions. One should not mistake differing denominations for different churches. However, over the course of history, institutions have arisen that want to claim to be part of that body (the church), but have wandered from the truth of the gospel; they changed the good news. As the apostle Paul taught in Galatians 1:8-9, we should not think those people are part of the church, even if they want us to believe they are. The gospel is the gospel, and if you change the gospel, you are not part of the true church. If you share the same gospel Jesus and the apostles taught, then you are part of the one true church. An important question then should be, who teaches the same gospel Jesus and the Apostles taught, which is recorded in the New Testament. I realize many LDS people believe the Bible got corrupted, and that plain and precious truths went missing over the years, but I would challenge the LDS member to find evidence of that. Real evidence, not something you heard in a priesthood meeting. Show me a scholar who thinks the Joseph Smith Translation (Joseph’s restored Bible) better represents the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testament.

      3. Greg tries to use the litmus test of paid ministry to figure out which church is true. I like the idea of putting religious claims to the test. It is something the Apostle Paul says we should do. We should all be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures to see if what a person teaches agrees with what God has revealed. That test alone should give someone a red flag about many beliefs taught by the LDS church. The Bible gives us lots of tests we can use to guard against false teachers and false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 tells us we should look at the testable prophecies a self-proclaimed prophet gives. If a prophet speaks words for God that do not come to pass we do not need to follow or fear that prophet. Joseph Smith claimed that the temple would be built in Independence in a generation (D&C 84) and several Apostles and Prophets after him reinforced that “this generation” meant the people living when the prophecy was given would not die (Orson Pratt and Lorenzo Snow both propagated that view). That never happened and the lot Smith dedicated to the rearing of that temple sits empty and vacant to this day (and is not owned by the LDS church). In D&C 114, Smith also prophesied that an apostle (David Patten) of the LDS church would go on a mission at a specified time with certain people (the other 11 apostles of the LDS church). Patten did not survive to see that day, and thus did not go out with those 11 at that time (I know LDS people today like to think Smith was talking about Patten was going on a mission in the Spirit world, but that stretches the prophecy beyond its limits). Smith also claimed that the Old Testament would be corrupted after the time of Jesus and the Apostles (1 Nephi 13). This prophecy was dramatically disproven by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Further, Deuteronomy 13:2-3 tells us that if a prophet comes along and leads people away from God, even if they do produce signs and wonders, we should not follow them. Smith led people away from the Biblical understanding of God (Monotheism), and so should not be followed. Jeremiah 23:9-15 tells us that we should consider the lifestyle of one who claims to be a prophet. My opinion may not be worth much, but a dude who marries 34 women, over 10 of whom were married to other men (who were alive), fits the bill as an adulterer. I guess that is “kinda” begging the question, since if God told him to do it then it would not be sin, but I have a hard time thinking God would have a prophet send a man away on a mission so he could marry his wife (probably a topic for another time). Lastly the Bible also tells us to watch out for people who use magic/occult as their source or strength (Jeremiah 14:14, 23:13, Isaiah 8:19). Smith had a history with the occult (glass looking), and had, on his person, a Jupiter Talisman when he died. Ok, all that is to say, let’s test people who claim to be prophets, but lets do it in a Biblical way. Is that how Greg thinks we should test religious leaders. No, instead Greg makes up a test. His test is whether or not the religious leaders of this or that church get paid.

      To his credit, Greg seems to want to ground his claim in the Bible. He claims the Bible speaks against paid ministry. He says he sees this in “multiple scriptures,” but only cites one. Greg cites 1 Corinthians 9:18 where Paul says something profound, but not what Greg wants to say. Paul says he has surrendered his right to make a living on his preaching. So, the Apostle Paul says he had a right expect compensation for spending all his time and effort advancing the gospel, but he forfeited that right. It turns out that 1 Corinthians 9 actually makes the case FOR paid clergy. Paul says, “Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some milk?” (1 Cor. 9:7). He quotes from Deuteronomy (25:4), saying, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” From that verse Paul reasons that God teaches us “If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” (1 Cor. 9:11). Paul concludes his thinking on this topic in verse 14- “In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.” I’m not sure how Greg missed that. We should always try to understand the context of a verse before we try to teach others with it. Paul was able to advance the gospel as he traveled around starting new churches based off of a trade (tent making). That was not always the case, however, as Paul was helped materially by the church in Philippi. Paul was concerned to not let there be a stumbling block that keeps people from trusting his message, but apparently he felt the church in Philippi was mature enough to support him, and he accepted their material blessing (See Philippians 4:14-20). Paul even says that the Philippians support was pleasing to the Lord. Paul also taught a similar thought in 1 Tim. 5:17, saying, “the laborer deserves his wage.” Paul is talking about the one who is advancing the gospel full time being able to make a living, “wages,” in so doing. Paul is actually quoting Jesus here (see Luke 10:7). In fact, in Luke 10:10, Jesus says that a community that fails to provide for those who are proclaiming the kingdom are cursed. I know this is likely a paradigm shift in thinking for many LDS, so I don’t expect them to take my word on this. Study the scriptures. In fact, study your own scriptures. Doctrine and Covenants 42:70-73 says that the Bishops and the appointed helpers of the Bishops are to be “supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop.” Joseph Smith changed lots of doctrine, but practically speaking, he seemed to think the church should run the same way it had been running for 1850 years, where those who worked for the Lord full time were enabled to do so due to gracious contribution of God’s people. It is actually the same pattern we see in the Old Testament where the ministry of the Levites was supported by the gifts the rest of Israel presented to God. I love God’s consistency on this point. Maybe LDS bishops don’t get paid today because the higher ups want that money flowing up, not out. Just think, who does get paid in the LDS church (hint, mission presidents and up)? Side note- interestingly, the LDS church is one of the largest employers in the State of Utah. I doubt there is another state in the union where a particular religious group is one of the (if not the) top employer of the state.

      Greg states that when money is involved in church governance, compromises are sure to be made because of man’s fallen and natural condition. I wonder, have many LDS members looked at Joseph Smith and how he got/used his money. Where did it come from; he was not independently wealthy. He even got in trouble for printing his own money. He set up banks, and credit systems, and you are telling me pastors are suspect…

      4. Greg says that the concept of God described as trinitarian was “voted on by politicians and then ratified by a Roman conqueror, emperor, and Pagan.” Greg’s proof of this is: the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible. Well, Greg, guess how many times the word “Godhead” is used in the Book of Mormon to describe God (that’s right- Zero). The term “trinity” was coined (made up) in the third century to describe a doctrine that had long been the doctrine of the church. The councils did not make the doctrine up; they protected the doctrine that the church had always taught up till then from being watered down by false teaching (Arianism in that day). The Nicean Creed was not voted on by politicians or ratified by the Emperor Constantine. Constantine called the gathering of Bishops and church Elders, and supported the council’s near unanimous condemnation of Arianism (the teaching that Jesus was created). The Church has constantly taught that The Father, Son, and Spirit are three persons, unified in one essence (being). We ought not minimize either the distinctiveness of each person or the unity of the persons. There is nothing illogical about saying there is only one God who has eternally existed in three persons. It might be difficult to grasp, it might be hard to explain, but it is not illogical. If I said there is one God, and there are three Gods- that would be illogical. Let me tell you another thing that is illogical- saying that Eternal Progression has always been going on, that there is no first cause. Saying that God has a Heavenly Father, and his father has a father and so on ad infinitum- that is illogical. If there is no ultimate cause, no First God, there could be no subsequent ones. If there is a first God, that is the God I want to know and worship. The Bible maintains there is only one God, who created everything that has ever begun to exist.

      Question for LDS folks, “Was the Eternal God once created like you and I.” Saying that God is Eternal and that he was created is illogical. Does God still owe worship to his God? If he does still owe worship to another being then he is not God for God owes worship to no one. Did God stop owing worship to his God? That would also be illogical, as God never becomes less worthy of worship. I will always worship God, who created and saved me. Either way, the Mormon view of God and Eternal Progression is illogical, not just in the, “its hard to explain” way, but in the “it actually does not make logical sense” way.

      4. Greg claims works are necessary for salvation. Greg, I agree that works are a demonstration of a saving faith. But we should also be clear; salvation comes through faith, not by works. Works flow from salvation, not for salvation. That is the Biblical view. I don’t know any Christian who would tell you to not serve Jesus- or who would tell you to not obey God. We do tend to emphasize that your works cannot save you. They cannot even be part of the answer. The answer is Jesus. What are the works God requires, answer- Believe in the one God sent. Look it up- John 6:29. 1 John 5:11-13 says we can know today that we have Eternal life because of what Jesus did, not what I did. Now, if, when you remove the fear of punishment or blessing of reward from the equation, you loose all motivation to honor God, it shows honoring God was never really your intent and your works were ultimately self-directed. Christians are freed to love God- to actually work for him out of love because he has already given us Eternal life when we trusted in Jesus.

      5. Greg thinks Mormons are the most liberal when it comes to Salvation. This is simply not true. There are plenty of universalists out there (people who think everybody is ok with God one way or another). Oprah is more liberal in her thinking on this issue. That does not mean it is right. The question should not be, how liberal with salvation is this institution. It should be, “Is this institution’s position on salvation as liberal as God’s.” I understand LDS folks believe that because of Jesus resurrection all people get saved (salvation). This was likely nice holdover from Joseph Smith’s father’s universalist leanings. Greg says that some people will move on from this life and will inherit a glory that will suit them. If that “glory” for some includes eternal separation from God- well, that’s just what I call Hell. If you think you can be eternally happy separated from God, I think that means you have an impoverished view of God and your purpose.

      6. Greg thinks it is logical to look toward a church that has an eternal perspective regarding the family. Greg- I understand that you really want that to be true- but don’t call that logical. Emotional, Wishful thinking, what ever, but it is not logical. What we should ask is, “Does my view on the family square with God’s view.” I’m not sure what you think Christians believe about the after life, but I’ve never heard the view you make fun of taught. But here is the bigger point- even if it was what Christians believed, it would be no more logical or illogical if it was in fact what God taught.

      Please don’t go around quoting 1 Cor. 15:29 as proof of baptism for the dead. Paul is not advocating the practice any more than he is advocating worship for the unknown God in Acts 17. In both cases Paul is pointing to a pagan practice his audience knew of to show that they really do believe in what he is teaching. In 1 Cor. 15, Paul is showing them that they don’t really have a problem with the resurrection, for if they look to their own pagan practice they will see they already baptize for the dead, thus showing they believe in a life to come. Paul’s point is that the resurrection of Jesus should not be hard for them to believe.

      7. Greg also believes the LDS church resembles the New Testament church. Really? How many malls, and temples did the Apostles of the New Testament church build? Why does the LDS church have 15 apostles? Where do you see a prophet with two councilors leading the New Testament church? Where do you see people being called Aaronic priests. Where in the New Testament do you see people being called Priests of the order of Melchizedek? Where do you see the New Testament church clamoring to build temples (fact is, you wont see that in the Book of Mormon either). Where do you see the church members being told where to go to church, where to serve, etc.

      In conclusion, Greg’s “logic” seems to be this: He chooses to be a Mormon because he is drawn to an institution that claims to be the “one true church,” that teaches what he wants to be true about the afterlife, that does not pay some of the clergy (at least those at a low enough level), that does not promote a conception of God that is difficult to understand (even if it is ultimately illogical), and that asks you to work for salvation. You can call that a lot of things, but you would not call that flawless logic.

      I’m sure this post is too long to have anybody actually read it, but my hope is that Greg’s post, and this response can form into a discussion on these topics. I hope my tone comes across. I am not irritated or irate, I do disagree with Greg though, and hope my tone is no more triumphalist than his.

    • Michael Larsen

      Like I stated before, no-one below the stake level gets paid. (appreciate your attention to detail) All I said was that the LDS church is lying when they say “We have no paid clergy” Seminary teachers, quorum of the 70, quorum of the 12, Mission presidents, the 1st presidency all get paid. How is that so hard to understand?

      • Karron Combs

        I taught Seminary for four years straight, and then two more years later on. I certainly didn’t get paid! I don’t know any Seminary teachers who get paid. Maybe in Utah, they do, I have no idea, since I have always lived “in the Mission field” abroad and in the US. (Shaking head at the bitterness of Mr. Larsen’s posts.) I think, Mr. Larsen, you are very very envious of anyone who holds a position that may hint of any sort of power. The gospel, sir, is the focus of the members of the church, or should be, not who holds what calling. (rolling eyes here)

    • Tim

      Here’s the problem I have, Paul wrote that the ox should not be muzzled for his work, this is regarding pastors earning a small amount so they can pay their electric bills, or feed their families while they serve. Nobody I know is getting rich being a pastor in my denomination. And if you want to broke fast become a minister.

    • Tim

      Another one of his topics was that the bible teaches most will make it into heaven, but Jesus taught that wide is the path that leads to destruction, and narrow the path that leads to heaven!

    • SoundOn

      We have been reading different histories or at least reading them differently. Nowhere do I read that Joseph Smith speaks differently than what is written in the Bible on this subject. The Bible clearly speaks of Jesus being a seperate personage from His Father does it not?

    • Nordel

      Dude, you have got to get off of this 100% certainty thing. That’s not what it’s about. You can’t use that as an excuse forever and not get called on it.

    • Nordel

      A website is DNA evidence? You wanna maybe connect a few more of them dots first?

    • Nordel

      You’re right. Not good enough. Not by a long shot.

    • St. Donnan

      The LDS Church teaches the most blasphemous and damning doctrines about God. There is no salvation in rejecting the true and living God. Mormonism is a pagan cult that ensnares true Christians with false hope, false promises, and false gods. Mormons are truly deceived and must repent of their heresy if they want to be saved. They will not be saved by Masonic temple rites which invoke the power of Lucifer and his priesthood. Open your eyes and worship the only true and living god, and serve the Lord with all thy heart.

    • mch

      This is a great article. I actually see evidence of three people in that Scripture. Jesus Christ who is coming out of the water, the spirit that had just descended on Christ, and the voice of the father speaking from heaven. if they were all one person it would be some act for Christ to make his own voice come out of heaven while splitting his spirit between his body that was in the water and the form of a dove that was witnessed descending upon him. throughout Scripture it seems that Christ purpose is to teach people about himself and his father.if Christ the Father and the Holy Spirit are indeed one person it seems counterproductive and confusing to the people he was trying to teach to make it as apear as though they were three separate beings. the only logical conclusion is that there were in fact three separate beings: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who as Christ teaches are one in purpose.

    • mch

      So as I have been reading this I have had a few thoughts. First, the quorum of the 12 represent a diverse professional background including a pilot. Car salesman, church education, doctor, printer, lawyer, professor, business etc… Many of them, though not all, were financially successful before giving up everything to do full time church work. Members of one quorum of the 70, the 12, and first presidency are given living stipends. If you want to call that getting paid and chalk it up to career advancement, go ahead, fact is most became GAs at a personal financial loss. I would hope that they would have investments and some sources of personal income in addition to their living stipend, if for no other reason than to be able to take their grandkids to chuck e cheese. Here is where I see the difference: in other churches tithes go to support the church including its clergy. In the LDS church tithing is only used for building and upkeep of buildings not even for helping the poor. Church members donate to a number of funds including fast offerings that are donated to the poor. GA salaries, as had been pointed out in an earlier post comes from buiness investments, not donated funds. Because of this, GAs are not beholden to financial doners for their livelihood, leaving them free to guide the church based on the inspiration they receive. The church is wealthy, to me this seems to be in accordance with Christ’s teaching regarding being a good steward of the talents (the one most blessed was the one who received 5 and returned 10). The argument that the church has money supports the idea that it is acting in accordance with Christ’s teachings.

    • Peter Piper

      Smith actually did make an attempt to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon. He even had a revelation from God telling him to sell the copyright. The attempt failed utterly however.

    • Peter Piper

      And yet all the local leaders have to go about church business on their own dime, don’t they?

    • Peter Piper

      I’ve heard repeatedly that it’s a great thing that mormon clergy are unpaid. Great, but the problem with this system is that you then end up with amateur clergy. In the major denominations ministers go to theological seminary or divinity school and also study counselling as part of their training. I really don’t see why I’d want to go get counselling from someone who knows no more about it than I do.

    • Dr.G

      Joseph was killed for marrying teenagers and lying about it. He also started a bank that cheated many people, he was running for president of the United states and he committed a felony destroying a printing press. His death had nothing to do with defense of his religion or the book ofmormon educate yourself

    • TarHeelGuy

      Of course most of the apostles were common laborers. It’s not like IBM and Bank of America had millions of white-collar jobs for people back then.

      People today with the skills of leadership tend more towards white-collar professions than not.

    • Good karma

      I love seeing the GAs in their Range Rovers with 22″ rims pulling out of their gated mansions. Oh, that’s right, I’ve never seen that except for the mega-evangilist and TV preachers.

      Can’t wait to see Uctdorf kickin it shirtless on his yacht with his babes. Oh ya, you won’t see that. Still wondering where all those book royalties are going. Why rack it up if you arent going to enjoy it. They all live modestly on a lot less then they made before full time church service.

    • Since you “borrowed” the denominations chart above from a site and deceitfully failed to give credit to its author (not a good example for a Mormon to set) why don’t you have a look at another page on the same site that you took the chart from? I mean, since you are quoting it and all – here you go: http://truthforsaints.com/Difference%20Between%20Cults%20Sects%20Denominations/Mormonism%20LDS%20Beliefs/

    • TWANA KANESHIRO

      Good article, Thanks!