Why Mormonism’s Claim is So Crazy to People

Mormonism is either one of the biggest frauds in human history or it is the second most important thing to ever happen on this planet. Let me be clear and immediately state that I believe the most important event to ever take place on this earth was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know the first statement is a bold one, but let me try to explain why its true…

Mormonism makes a bold claim, which is why they also take a lot of heat from other Christian religions. They believe that Jesus Christ established His Church when he was on the earth. That Paul wasn’t kidding when he said that there was “One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism” (Eph 4:5). They believe that before Christ was killed, he bestowed the priesthood upon Peter and the apostles. (Matt 16:19) They were ordained and set apart by Christ himself. (John 15:16) That the apostles held a power that could not be purchased with money, (Acts 8) or acquired at a university. They believe that men should not be paid for their ministry in the gospel which is why they spend countless hours on missions and in various church callings without receiving any monetary gain. (1 Cor 9:18)

As time went on in the first century, the apostles and the Christians were hunted and scattered by almost every group in the region. Peter was crucified upside down in Rome and Paul was beheaded after his 5th missionary journey. The other apostles met a similar fate with the exception of John the Beloved. Before the apostles died, all they did was travel and write to the various churches (who were all actually one church with different locations) in order to keep them in line. The New Testament is primarily a collection of those letters in which the apostles are trying to govern the church. With them gone and no one to lead the church, men began interpreting the scriptures for themselves and twisting the doctrine. Over time, the churches began to fall away from the truth because the apostles were not there to lead them. By 325 AD, the nature of God and the doctrine of the Christian faith was being voted on by pagans in Rome as a political maneuver rather than a religious one. Formal creeds, and a Catholic, or “Universal” church was formed as the state religion for the most powerful country in the world.

If you doubt any of it, I have a 45 volume set of Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene writings sitting on my shelf as a reference. (They are not written or edited by Mormon scholars.) The early Christian fathers witnessed the church fall into deep apostasy and they wrote about it. This is the primary reason for all of the great reformers who came on to the scene to “protest” (protestant) what the Catholic church was doing at the time.  No one believed that Christ’s church was found upon the earth, and therefore many sought to reform what they already knew. These were righteous dudes who deserve our respect, but as sincere as they were, they did not have the power to restore the church. They tried their best according to the knowledge they possessed. Many longed for the day when Christ would restore His church and call apostles to lead that Church once again. Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptist church in America said that “there is no regularly constituted church on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America (1872) by William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

This is where Mormons start getting crazy to people. Mormons believe that a prophet as notable as Moses or Elijah was called in 1820 to “restore” Christ’s church in it’s fullness on to this earth. They claim that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in North America. They claim that an ancient record called the Book of Mormon was buried in the earth and that it contains a history of some of the ancient inhabitants of North, South, and Central America. They believe that this nation was established and the revolutionary war was fought so that religious freedom could prevail. They believe that this was and is the only nation on the globe that this restoration could have taken place in because of this newfound religious freedom that had never occurred in the history of the world. They believe that the priesthood was restored, and that families can be sealed together after death. They believe that there is a prophet and 12 apostles that walk the earth today. I won’t go on but there is plenty more…

greg trimble mormon

But think about it for a second. If all of this is false, it would rank as one of the greatest deceptions in human history. It would give new meaning to the word hoax. BUT if this restoration did actually happen and it is true, it is the greatest message that could ever be shared second only to the message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. IF it is true there could be nothing more exciting for the people on this planet to know at this time. It seems like an outrageous claim, but I guarantee that when Noah starting building an ark, his generation thought that was pretty outrageous as well. When a Prophet is on the earth…few ever accept him. Christ made that very clear when He said, “ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would have accepted the prophets” (Matt 23:29-30)

I am a Mormon for reasons other than logic, but if I was to rely on logic alone… here is my logic on the topic. 

Catholicism claims that they are the true church and that they perpetuated the priesthood through the generations. Therefore Catholicism claims that all other protestant and Evangelical churches are nothing but apostate off shoots of the Catholic church. So…you must think to yourself, if the Catholic church is right…and they do have the truth and the priesthood authority to lead and administer Christ’s church, then they are technically right about protestant Christianity. Any church that broke off from them or received the Bible through them cannot have the fullness of the gospel. However, if the Catholic church never had the authority and it was lost in the early centuries shortly after the apostles were killed, then none of the reformers could have the complete truth or the authority because…well…where could they have gotten it from?

The only Church on the planet that could have a solid argument would be one that claims a complete restoration through a prophet that has had direct communication with God. Anything short of that would place someone in the pool of thousands of reformers that are dividing to form new Churches on a daily basis.

Mormon’s make a claim equal to the almost unfathomable stories you might hear in the Bible. Prophets, apostles, miracles, additional scripture, temples, and a massive missionary force makes the Mormon church stick out like a sore thumb…and seldom do people like sore thumbs.

Though it sounds a little crazy… is not a message like this worth a few minutes of consideration? I thought it was…

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  • Sally Peters

    Thank you for such a well-written article.Ultimately our testimony is based on faith, but logic and knowledge do have their place. IMHO, one needs to examine history and understand the political ramifications that led to the rise of the Catholic church. The corruption, immorality and unholy use of power, just to name a few vices, hardly leads me to believe the clergy was following Jesus Christ, let alone having the Priesthood.

    I recently visited Italy and was totally amazed at the ostentation exhibited in cathedrals and churches. Granted, the art and architecture is beautiful, but at the expense of the parishioners.

    Your article also reminded me of entry in “Especially for Mormons,” that listed 33 conditions that someone would have to be compiled in order to produce a similar record(B of M) under comparable conditions. You’ve probably seen it, but if not and would like a copy, let me know.

    • Greg Trimble

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’d love a copy of what your talking about. Can you post a link here?

      • Sister-Vanessa Ingram

        I have one that is similar to the one Sally Peters is talking about and I had posted it on my blog if you care to look at it anyways. :) Thanks for the post.

        http://beautifullyinspiredmarie.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-challenge-book-of-mormon-makes-to.html

      • Really McPhee

        To Sally Peters:

        I recently visited Utah and was totally amazed at the ostentation exhibited in the many giant Mormon temples, not to mention the sheer number of Mormon churches. Granted, the art and architecture is beautiful, but at the expense of the tithe payers.

        Also, IMHO, one needs to examine history and understand the events that led to the rise of the Mormon church. The corruption, immorality and unholy use of power, just to name a few vices, hardly leads me to believe the clergy was following Jesus Christ, let alone having the Priesthood.

        Thinking is fundamental. Learn your own history before slandering another religion that you know nothing about.

        • Dale

          Comparison = Unhappiness!

          This could be debated, like it has been, for millenia. Why does religion always have to come down to what side is right or more right? We’d be better off loving and respecting each other by looking for similarities and common ground, than slinging sand in each others eyes in the sandbox of religion.

          • Randall

            Unfortunately, some in other faiths fail to see the positive in the culture and traditions of this world. I served an LDS mission to Italy and love their culture and admire their devotion and faith. That being said, I know that the Book of Mormon is a true work and a perfect companion scripture to the Holy Bible. I didn’t trump it up; I read it with real intent and prayed to God the Father with all my heart. I received a witness by the unspeakable power of the Holy Ghost. By the power of the Holy Ghost, one can know the truth of all things.

            Just as the Bible is true, so, too, is the Book of Mormon.

            There is much truth to be found in the religions of the world. Bring all that you have and see if something more can be added to it within the halls and chapels of our churches and within the walls of our temples. You might be surprised.

        • Erick

          Yeah, that was definitely a “pot and kettle” if I’ve ever seen one. Of course, if Temples somehow aren’t considered in the analysis of “Mormon Ostentation”, there is a beautiful mall in Salt Lake City that has debated price tag in the billions of dollars. It’s also getting a cousin mall back east. Finally, Nibley’s 33 points (I think it was 25) is one of the most ostentatious pretenses about the Book of Mormon I have read. The Book of Mormon isn’t even good literature, it’s absolutely empty in terms of real Christian philosophy…and even more empty on the subject when it isn’t just outright plagiarizing the New Testament…and worse, it’s completely contradictory to the known history of the ancient Americas.

          • Larry

            It’s obvious to most that you have never read the B of M, for content, because if you had you could never had made that statement. But hey, We are all Gods children and he loves us all.

        • Melanie

          To Really McPhee:
          I suggest not assuming that Mormons don’t know their own history. It is true that many Mormons don’t know some of the things you are thinking of, and that many who learn them lose their testimonies over it. But the truth of the matter is that all it proves is that the members and leaders of the LDS church are flawed humans. Look at the great Bible prophets and you will realize that God doesn’t call those who are already qualified. Learning some of the darker parts of the history through the last decade has forced me to look at my testimony and ask myself WHY I believe in the church. My faith is not in a perfect Joseph Smith, nor is it in an unflawed church. The church would be perfect if it could be made up of perfect people, but as you and I both know, there has only been One perfect man to live on this earth. Therefore the church is flawed, but still it is not Joseph Smith’s church, nor is it Thomas Monson’s church. It is the Lord’s church. In the process of learning about the things you mentioned, I now have a greater awareness, and a whole new level of understanding, and believe it or not, my testimony is much stronger now than it ever was before anti- and ex- Mormons decided to open my eyes and show me the truth. Anyone who takes such claims about the church at face value without backing up the information only does themselves great disservice. My faith is in the Lord and in His kingdom, and it has never been stronger than it is now.

          • the frogman

            There have been some crazy things done by the leaders of the Catholic church. But the truth of the matter is that all it proves is that the members and leaders of the Catholic church are flawed humans. Look at the great Bible prophets and you will realize that God doesn’t call those who are already qualified. Learning some of the darker parts of the history through the last decade has forced me to look at my testimony and ask myself WHY I believe in the church. My faith is not in a perfect Peter, nor is it in an unflawed church. The church would be perfect if it could be made up of perfect people, but as you and I both know, there has only been One perfect man to live on this earth. Therefore the church is flawed, but still it is not Peter’s church, nor is it the Pope’s church. It is the Lord’s church.

          • Sharon Erickson

            My testimony had increased in the church after having haters telling me what I believe and what is wrong with the Mormon faith. I appreciate t their comments since it made me read the Scriptures deeper and research the history of other faiths. Very interesting studies. The only think I find disconcerting is a church that teaches hate of other religions. Christian cannot reside in such hate.

          • Greg Trimble

            Nice.

          • Anndee

            THANK YOU!!! Perfectly worded. :)

        • Aaron Hardy

          Seriously…I’m sure in His time Jesus Christ would never have called a leader of the church that had vices. Waiiiiit a minute…..

          • http://chruchofthefridge.com profet of the Fridge

            I wanted to link this reply directly to Sharon, but for whatever reason this is the closest the inter webs would let me get.

            Sharon, you say the only think you find disconcerting is a religion that teaches hate of other religions:

            I’d suggest you then check the scriptures that Mormon’s believe are the true word of god, because all those other not mormon religions, according to the scriptures they “… were an abomination…” Do you know what an abomination is? Its not very nice and is pretty hateful.

            Now sure you may not talk much about the scriptures that say there are only two churches, the one that has the authorized priesthood that is sanctioned by god, and the church of the devil/ whore of babylon. But the fact is that assertion is in books that you believe are gods words, So either:

            A) you don’t really believe those books are completely true.
            B) you haven’t even read all of them and had no idea that they said that. or
            C) the fact is you do hate other religions to the extent you believe they are all abominations unto God.

            Which is it?

            Just in case you are in the B) category here are a couple of links

            https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1.19?lang=eng

            https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/14?lang=eng

          • Jason

            Jesus IS the leader of his church. He never appointed anyone else to lead His church……ever.

          • Philip Love

            Are you kidding me, I am a Catholic living in the state of Utah. I went to a Catholic middle and high school, while there we would go to other smaller Utah towns (high in the LDS fate) for sporting events, while there are bus would be vandalized, with sayings like Sinners, Flawed Religion, Follow Christ, and exc. On one occasion during a football game one of my African American teammates even got call the N word by multiple players on the other team.

          • Philip Love

            Further more I was treated poorly in my neighborhood for simply having a different belief. When all the while being taught at my CATHOLIC school to embrace my religion but never question or argue anyone else’s belief. I have great friends within the LDS religion I value it for its beliefs and values, however to think that the you are the ones being bullied with in a state that you run is purely wrong.

          • http://mail2world.com Travis

            This is for Prophet of the Fridge responding to Shanon. The scriptures are the word of God. God can call whoever he wants an abomination. That being said, God also says: judge not lest ye be judged. I think what Shanon meant is that God is no respecter of persons, meaning he can say whatever he wants in the scriptures, it is our job to love everyone. Therefore, religions that teach hate towards other religions are not obeying this law to not judge. All religions should be respected, but that being said, there still is only one truth. It is our duty to share that truth that we believe, and to also be open to other things others believe, so we can find what we believe to be the truth. God talks about abominations and the devil’s church, but he also talks about the second greatest commandment, to love one another. That includes those of other religions. I am a Mormon, but have struggled with my faith in the past due to mean and distorting words of those who don’t follow that greatest commandment, and have come through with a stronger testimony. I have done my research, but what it comes down to is you personally having enough respect for other’s beliefs to look into them, and having enough faith in God to seek his guidance. I have prayed about the bible, and know that it is the word of God, just as I have prayed about the book of Mormon, and know that it also is the word of God. If anyone reading this doesn’t like Mormons, or doesn’t know if their religion is true, pray about your religion, follow the second greatest commandment only second to loving God and show love to Mormons regardless of whether you believe in their church, and before you try and steer them away from their church, maybe ask them a few questions and then read the book of Mormon to find out for yourself. That is the only way you can truly know the truth.

            That goes to the Mormons too, if you don’t like ppl of other faiths and talk a bunch of hateful words, then stop. Do your research about other religions, and show them the respect they deserve. Nobody will ever want to hear what you have to say if it is only negative.

            (but if you just like arguing, then this might be hard for you, just try and remember that those truly faithful ppl to God love you, and that God himself loves you and wants you to find the truth)

        • Thalia

          It is always good to go to the source for your information!! If you want to know the truth about the Mormon Church then find out from a mormon site !! Or Ask a MISSIONARY!! They are so fun!!

          • Greg Trimble

            FOR SURE!

          • Cam

            Or just read momonthink.org for a bit more honesty. I was once a missionary, and as it turns out I was the furthest thing from honest. The Mormon church’s charity status has been REVOKED in Australia for good reason.

          • http://www.SendOutCards.com/1537 Socstar

            People think that church is a retirement resourt for righteous people. This is very far from the truth. It is a hospital for the sick. Being treated inproperly by an individual that belongs to the church and being surprised by it, is the same thing as going to a hospital, and being offended that there are people with broken legs, cancer, and health problems in the hospital. Do we picket the hospital and say, before we will recieve treatment, all rooms must be vacant and every patient released on a good bill of heath? All mankind are sinners. Those who treat others with pride, contempt, decipt, and malace, do so against the teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us have an appointment to go to the hospital and recieve an open hart transplant by the most skilled doctor in the history of the world. Some refuse to show up for their appointment times. Some never make the appointment to start with. If every sin had an oder like smoking does, it would smell so bad in the chappel that you could not even stand to enter it. However, when I smell cigerette smoke at church, it is one of my favorite smells ever. It means someone is in the right place in their lives and trying to draw nearer to God even though they may have other sick patients treat them poorly.

        • Lisa

          To be honest I am Mormon, but I totally understand how you feel and your response here.

          I too travelled in Italy with my children and I went to see pope and the the Vatican and found it beautiful and an amazing work of human hands. Truly it was a great experience and I love the cathedrals and buildings and monasteries etc.

          Recently I went to meteora in Greece and marvelled at those buildings built also to worship God.

          I like to think that though there was corruption in the Catholic Church in early days (as there was in most religions or organisations in the past) that those buildings were built by some who were glorifying their God in building them so beautifully.

          I also wonder that if our own Mormon history has been so debated and twisted that perhaps the history of other churches which were founded even further back also get twisted and only show the bad parts.

        • Rx Hill

          Really? Don’t get into the art business. If you can’t tell the difference between an inexspensive lithograph and an original work, you will loose your shirt. As far as the temples and especially the churches, they are bare bone, minimal, structures designed to stand up to heavy use by the members. LDS churches aren’t art galleries, they are work stations, maintained by the members that use them.
          Stop in some time and meet some of the workers.

          • SDB

            There is a new temple recently built in Calgary, Alberta and it’s just as extravagant as other cathedrals. These are all beautiful to the eye, but the money invested just blows my mind, considering the need in society today.

            My belief is that God and/or Jesus would have to have a pretty big ego to want and expect such extravagance in their name. The peddler who lives in dirt hut and the millionaire in a mansion simply differ only in that one has money and one doesn’t. God and/or Jesus don’t care, we are ALL loved and our prayers are received whether we pray in a temple, church or while soaking in the bathtub.

            I don’t believe in any organized religion. Dogma and doctrine only serve whoever is in “power” as people become sheeple and think they need help in reaching salvation. The Kingdom of God is within us. We need only to go within to connect with our Creator. Living as Jesus taught doesn’t require an organization. Churches may mean well, but I think they’re all flawed. Man is flawed, so it can’t be any other way…imo.

          • Jeff R.

            To SDB,

            I love the point you’re trying to make that we are all loved and how money doesn’t come between us and God, or at least we shouldn’t let it.

            I would like to help you out of a rut of misinformation about temples.

            To begin with, every Bible scholar will agree that God’s people built temples. If they didn’t have the resources to make a temple, God would have them build altars or journey up into a mountain: some symbol of being closer to God. We’re all clear on that.

            The Tabernacle in the wilderness was mad from the finest things the Children of Israel possessed. In fact they gave an over-abundance of these things and were willing to give more before Moses stopped them.

            King David started construction of a grand temple and Solomon finished it. Solomon’s temple is recorded as being one of the most glorious extravagant structures of the ancient world. And yet God commanded its every proceeding. He even sent visions of it to the king.

            You see, it’s about willingness to obey God, to not be attached to the riches of the world. The elegance of the temples represents our very best efforts offered in homage to the Most High, but more than that, it is a symbol of the spectacular blessings that await those who enter.

            In a world full of corruption and evil (Satan is indeed hard at work) isn’t it nice to see something that reminds of God’s goodness?

    • matt

      The problem with your statement is that you assume that the person reading this is Christian or even religious, but to those who are not religious believe that all segments or God based religions especially those 4 major ones that are much bigger than Mormonism are the original frauds and it seems that you agree. Believing that my light has to be dim because a person claimed to be a prophet or son of God over 2000 years ago makes no sense. Not drinking hot drinks or bathing in strong ones make no sense. Being plane Because your afraid of pride when you demonstrate pride whenever you claim you are the true church makes no sense. Claiming to be impartial in politics but contributing millions to campaigns or bills makes no sense. Instead of telling people what to believe perhaps you should listen to science to tell you what is true

      • Thalia

        I have a great place you can listen to some mormon scientist’s . You go to mormon.org and just type in Scientist and it will give you a bunch of them to listen about. You can type in a name too. Sergio Sanchez is a fun one to watch!! Henry B Eyring in the First Presidency of the church is also a scientist. He is very knowledgeable. You will love listening to him. I hope you will give it a try.

      • Tarin Dawson

        No… Science can never tell us the truth. Basic science principles tell us that it can only prove things to be false. And Mormonism or religion in General have never, nor has ever been proven wrong. Even though you might not understand how religion works, or why people believe in it, doesn’t make it anymore false or true. Same with science.

      • Diana

        Amen.

    • Karl

      I have to agree with some of the other comments regarding your post. Calling Italy ostentatious for having nice cathedrals is ridiculous. Living in Utah, the Italy of the LDS Church, I can say we have our share of fancy temples. I can’t comment on the interior of these places as I am not welcome, but I can comment on the shear numbers of the ward, stakes, or whatever they are called. In less then a mile of my home, there are 6 LDS Churches. I have one Catholic Church, and one Presbyterian within that same area. There are probably a couple other churches that are less visible. So while Italy may have large ornate structures, the LDS church certainly matches that with quantity.

      Throwing stones and talking poorly about each others buildings is an example of what is wrong with churches in general. The commitment shifts from serving God and his children to growing and serving the church. Going to church, paying your money, and being in the club is not what spirituality should be about. None of what has been said so far can be called “truth”. It is just belief in what we desire the truth to be. Faith, if you will. Believing you know the truth. At the end of the day, the truth will be the truth, regardless of any of our beliefs.

      • Jeff R.

        Allow me to clarify one thing: no one is unwelcome in the temple. I’m pretty sure those elderly people in white at the front desk have never chased you away.

        Conditions must be met to qualify for entry to the temple. Everyone is capable of meeting these conditions. It is after all the House of the Lord. All must be prepared prior to entry.

        Thank you for your courteous and fair comment. You are indeed exactly right: we need to support and love each other. Christ expects it of us.

    • Cornelia Logofatu

      It is crazy because of an extremely bad force represented by some of the unscrupulous priest.

    • Bill Gorman

      Sally, I enjoyed your salient points in your response. There was another who visited Rome in the 16th century and saw it as ostentatious as you do, Martin Luther. That whole era of 16th century Europe was pandemonium. Puritans and those looking for some type of church polity that they could live with were leaving England and good old King George.

      But Catholics shouldn’t be herded into the wood shed to take the blame for all of Christendom’s error’s of the day. There is also so much that the Catholics had in their care that would have been lost. Post Roman Empire, the terrible famines and infighting between Dukes and Lords over who’s stuff was who’s.The 16th century is indeed an interesting period. Hey, I think we can pop Robin Loxley or to others his better name Robin Hood in there.

      But as the fighting raged and power struggles abounded, the Catholic Church had in it’s possession the most accurate writs and interpretations that one could have. Monks of the period guarded Holy Writ with their lives and some of the most aesthetically pleasing having incredible accuracy were in the possession of monastery’s dotted on the French, Spanish, and Irish that monasteries are known to be dotted the country sides in and about Europe. I say this because much of the most treasured possessions of the church will be found within the Catholic Church. As far as Apostles dying off and not being able to be replaced, the Roman Church has a tradition steeped with history back to the early church is that one can become a Pastor or Priest, Bishop, or Missionary, by the doctrine of the “laying on of hands” that dates back to the beginnings of the church. I’m not a Catholic, and I could never become a Mormon because the vast majority of Christendom has agreed that certain practices and theology they have are simply against the church as she has been meant to be. Liked your not though, and no, I am not a Catholic, western or eastern.

  • Andrew Pixton

    I’ll be straight with you. This article is fundamentally flawed in basically every paragraph. First, I hate the repetition of this claim that it’s all true or all false. That’s a false dilemma, there is way more gray area there with many members and non-members already in the gray (like me). That kind of language is divisive and akin to the kind of us vs. them propaganda dictatorships use.

    The bold claim Christians don’t like is that we don’t believe in the Trinity and Biblical supremacy but instead believe in a human God and an open canon. It has less to do with the restoration, except indirectly because by the restoration we believe those things.

    The time we call apostasy the church fathers saw more as a war of identity. The apostles argued over the true nature of Christ and his gospel and that debate carried over into the later years. There may have been a great apostasy, but there wasn’t a solid unified church and everyone leaving it kind of thing. According to modern historians anyway.

    “No one believed that Christ’s church was found upon the earth” Actually some believed the Kingdom of God would come soon in the form of the second coming, obviously it didn’t. Others believed it was already here in a more spiritual form. Furthermore, Protestants believe that there was some group of “true believers” on the earth at all times since Christ.

    No, Mormons are crazy to people because we have a polygamous space God. He’s an awesome space God and might not be polygamous, but that’s the way they see it.

    The greatest deception in history? Actually that would be something more like 9/11 or the Catholic Church if they were deceptions. Or the Wallstreet scandals, stuff like that has wider and deeper effects than the church. Going back to the black and white view, most non-members range between seeing at a total fraud and seeing as not false but not completely true either.

    The Catholic-Protestant dilemma comes from an old quote by a Catholic priest and is clever except that it isn’t what the Protestants believe. They don’t transmit authority between people, they claim authority directly from the Bible. That’s a different problem of course, but it’s not just us or Catholics. And the entire thing ignores the idea that any non-Christian religions could be true which isn’t fair.

    You assume the reformers and other religions didn’t speak to God.

    Again, none of this is what makes us stick out like a sore thumb. Basically the only thing I agree on here is that the atonement is the most important event to have happened on this earth. Though I don’t think it was an event, but an eternal mission. I had to comment because I want to see more openness and education among members about the world outside our box.

    Regards,
    -A

    • Adam Schraedel

      I’ll be straight with you. Your argument is fairly flawed. I won’t say fundamentally flawed, but it’s full of flaws. First, there is no gray area. In the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the claims are made, as Greg explained, that Christ established one true church on the earth, and that true church is now on the earth again in the form of this church. There is no room for any other true churches, or any other religions. The way I understand God from the Bible and other scriptures, He has given laws and consequences for keeping or breaking those laws. We choose to either keep those laws or not. We follow Him or we don’t. We choose a side. Only one path can take us to salvation and eternal life, and in the Mormon church’s understanding, only one church can take you down that path. The church led by Christ himself. So that doesn’t leave anything in gray. People may have gray opinions about it, or not be sure themselves whether it is true or not. That’s ok, everyone has opinions and has to figure things out for themselves. But truth is eternal, self-existent and stands above opinion, viewpoints or popular consensus. Either the Church is true or it’s not. There are only two options. The doctrine leaves no room for gray area. If the doctrine is wrong, then it’s all wrong. It’s very simple.
      A similarity can be drawn to dictatorships, I suppose. Well, if that’s who God is because he wants his children to follow his ways, then maybe so. However, the intent is never to alienate others or control anyone, like dictators do.

      The Restoration of the gospel is the reason we don’t believe in the Trinity or Biblical supremacy. Sure people don’t usually go around saying, “The Mormon church is false because they believe in the restoration!” But the restoration is why we are different, it’s why we have other teachings and other scripture. The Restoration and the Book of Mormon are fundamentals of our religion; without them, we would have no religion. So the Restoration is the fundamental reason that people don’t agree us. Maybe they don’t see it in those terms, or use those words. But it is directly the reason they don’t agree.

      The original apostles never argued with each other over the true nature of Christ and His gospel. They tried to tell other church leaders who were getting it wrong. Hundreds of years later in the great councils, leaders there argued over the nature of God and came up with the doctrine of the Trinity. But not the apostles among themselves.
      The original church wasn’t unified for very long, because of the falling away. And this wasn’t something where individuals left the church in droves, but rather it was the church’s teachings and doctrines being changed. The churches as organizations fell away from the truth, not, as you say, an everyone leaving it kind of thing.

      “No one believed that Christ’s church was found upon the earth.” An unfortunate oversight in wording, I think. Not to speak for Greg, but I think he was referring to the reformers. Or perhaps not, I could be wrong. I’m not sure about that one.

      I can’t really argue with your reason why people think Mormons are crazy. It is weird when you put it in that light. Although personally, I don’t know what kind of God there is who doesn’t exist in and manipulate outer space…seems kind of pointless.

      He said one of the greatest deceptions. Not the greatest. You bring up prime examples of great deceptions. I think part of the reason this church would be such a great deception is because of it’s length, almost 200 years, and the ability it has to get people to essentially give up their lives in service to the church. Yes there are so many churches, with many possibly false deceptions, but very few demand of it’s members what this one does, and on such a large scale. However, deeming what is greater or greatest is of course, a matter of opinion. I would say there’s some gray area here, as with all opinions. But not with truth.

      In order to have it between us and the Catholics, you have to believe that God has authority and grants it to His children on earth. This is, of course, another fundamental point of our doctrine, but it may not be as important to others. But if we accept that man needs God’s authority to progress to salvation, there are only really two options: Catholic or LDS. As for ignoring non-Christian religions….it’s completely fair. It’s not fair to oppress them or suppress their teachings of course. But I don’t think any of their religions teach that others could be true, or that Christianity is also real. Maybe they do, I’m not an expert on all religions, but I doubt it. Regardless, this is speaking to a Christian audience, so it’s based on the assumption that you already think Christianity is true, which in true Christianity, doesn’t leave much room for other religions. So for the sake of this claim, it is a very fair assumption to ignore other religions. And I don’t think any of them are offended that they’re not considered true by Christians.

      I scanned his article again, and nowhere do I see an assumption that reformers and other religions didn’t speak to God. Again, not to speak for Greg, but I personally think that the reformers spoke to God all the time. How else would they feel like they were close to Him at all? And he said that they were great people who deserve respect. I think that includes speaking with God. The other side of the coin that you didn’t mention is whether God spoke to them. We believe that God has influenced or inspired many righteous people across the ages, even during the great apostasy. However, there’s a difference between inspiration and direct revelation and authority to restore and lead His church. Which didn’t happen until the restoration.

      It’s unfortunate that many of these things, though they should be seen as fundamental and interesting differences between our church and others, are overlooked; instead random things associated with the church that are strange out of context are overplayed and twisted to drive people away. I think temples, additional scripture and the missionary force are things that are largely recognized as different and weird by other churches.
      Christ’s mission is eternal, but his atonement was a single event that impacts and acts in eternity.

      I don’t like seeing members of the church unaware of the world around them or of differing viewpoints. Especially in our day and age, it’s important to be aware of other people’s opinions and be able to relate to them. I am all for openness and education of everyone about the world outside their own box. I comment not to argue or cause contention, simply to try and contribute openly to that education.

      Respectfully,

      -A

      • Greg Trimble

        Thanks Adam. You saved me a lot of time.

      • Dave

        @Gray area and truth:
        I do believe there is a gray area when it comes to truth. You say, the church (or a principle) is either true or false, with no middle ground.
        I don’t believe that, because to that standard our church would be false as well.
        Let me explain from the bottom down. Have a mental look around your ward. Does everyone in your ward perfectly understand all of the doctrine? Does everyone have full knowledge about the full truth, even in the not-so-frequently-talked-about areas?
        I certainly don’t. And a I don’t think anyone can. Though members we are still human.
        If you read the scriptures you will find that almost every prophet struggled with some subjects. Have a look in the Doctrine and Covenants or at Christ’s apostles before the Atonement. Have a look at great people like Oliver Cowdery, who was one of the Three Witnesses and the second Elder of the church. Without him, there might not even be a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Still he couldn’t get his mind around some things and even left the church (/ got excommunicated).
        I don’t think it is possible that there could be anything like a 100% perfectly true church, because though God runs this church he does so through humans. And humans are bound to make mistakes.
        I heard a quote from some church authority once (no idea whom it is from) who said that there is no such thing as a perfect error-free revelation, because revelations are given through humans.

        And if there are no perfect revelations and no perfect prophets, how can one expect that the message is still perfectly 100% pure when it is taught to three-year-olds at church.

        • Adam Schraedel

          I look at it this way. As you said, we have no perfect prophets, because they’re all humans, and thus revelation given through humans is liable to become flawed. I hope you’ll forgive me for not taking that “quote from some church authority once” as a factual statement until you have some sort of citation. But I’ll respect the idea because it is valid. Men are not perfect. Most are far from it. I’d put myself very far from perfect. And that can safely and inoffensively be applied to all people and all members of the Church as well.

          However.

          To me, saying that the church and it’s core doctrines can’t be 100% true because the members and leaders of the church are imperfect, means that God will never be able to work a perfect work.
          As you said, He is limited by our imperfections. We make mistakes. We’ll never be able to understand all the things He does in this life, no one will. Many people have huge misunderstandings about the doctrine. Of course they do, they’re human. But that’s not the issue.
          The issue is that (if) God lives, He’s perfect, and has a perfect plan to save His children, then He has got a way for that to happen. A path that we must follow. The path leads perfectly back to Him, and He set it all up perfectly in His infinite wisdom. But just because the people walking along that path stumble and fall sometimes doesn’t mean the path is flawed.
          So when we say the church is true, we don’t (or shouldn’t) mean that everything that ever happened in it’s history, everything that was ever taught by a General Authority, across any pulpit, in any primary classroom, is complete, unaltered, untarnished truth. That nothing has ever gone wrong. That’s foolishness, as you say. But there has to be a truth, perfect and pure enough that we can at least grab on to it, that will lead us safely back to Him. We won’t comprehend it all fully, but that’s ok. We can still have faith that it’s His Church, led by His leaders, through His revelation. And that it is true.

          Hopefully that all makes sense. It’s not about every word that comes out of every member’s mouth. It’s about the core doctrines, the basic truths, and about being in the Lord’s kingdom on the earth.

      • Megan

        Thank you for this comment. I was raised in the Catholic church (a very active member–and I still have a great love for it). But I can declare with certain faith this is God’s restored gospel. As a Catholic, I’m actually quite untroubled by the imperfections and mistakes of those chosen to bring the gospel back to the earth. I myself am imperfectly striving to serve. God has always and will always use imperfect people to bring about His works. Have their flaws stopped the “rough stone rolling”? No.

      • Zach

        Sorry Adam, I am mormon and let me tell you there are plenty of grey areas :) you should never forget that any church/ religion is lead by people more often than by divinity. As is the lds church, which constitutes to mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes even those we regard as prophets. Prophets of old made fundamental mistakes and so do the ones of new. Does that mean everything falls apart? No, certainly now. However, grey areas exist because of the errors made by leaders and the incapabilities of the followers. Everything set becomes eternal doctrine given from God when in fact it isn’t. Now its up to you to figure out what is and what isn’t ;)

      • http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1024 Pied

        There is no grey area in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, there are definitely a grey areas when it comes to the Church. The church is God’s Kingdom on the Earth which is a ‘vehicle’ to teach and learn the Gospel. The Church is not perfect because it is led by imperfect beings.

        Things said across the pulpit are not doctrine until they have gone through the necessary process to become so. But as for the Gospel, it is the Plan of Happiness by means of the Universal Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.

        As for the Restoration I absolutely love the talk given by Mark E Petersen.

      • fuul

        “Only one path can take us to salvation and eternal life, and in the Mormon church’s understanding, only one church can take you down that path.”

        This is NOT true – as a matter of definitions. Most of the non-Catholic Christian religions teach Salvation == “Salvation-from-Death”, and that it comes by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, and that when they are saved they will essentially live as Angels singing praises to God for Eternity….

        And of course Mormons ALSO believe that ALL men – even non-Mormons – will accept that Christ is their savior (here or in the after life) and they will ALL be saved from Death through the Atonement, and at the very least they will essentially live as angels/messengers for God where they will no doubt be singing a lot (in one of the lesser kindoms)…

        So tell me, where are the other Churches teaching a false doctrine here? It sounds to me like they are correct, just not complete. We should be embracing them for believing in Christ and for accepting Him while they are still on the Earth, rather than telling them they will not be Saved! They will ALL be saved from Death, just like they believe they will!

        They are our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and I just think that it is wrong to tell them that they will not be Saved! What a horrible thing to say (even when a Church leader says it)! We should be rejoicing with them that we have all accepted Christ and that we’ll all be Saved through him…
        (and then we should tell them about Exaltation.)

    • Greg Trimble

      Andrew – Check out this article from Elder Holland. It might change your mind on the stance you’ve taken. https://www.lds.org/new-era/1995/06/true-or-false?lang=eng

      • Matt

        Adam, I think anyone would agree that it’s important to understand others viewpoints. I think what Andrew is trying to get at though is that sometimes we shouldn’t stop there….sometimes we can find value in also trying to understand why others’ viewpoints might be right, even when they contradict ours.

        While I agree that there is no gray area with truth, and that truth and error is not subjective, there is a lot of gray area in the interpretation and the application of truth. Greg, the article you cited by Elder Holland is all about how the entire validity of the Mormon faith stands or falls on the truth of the Book of Mormon. This is true. It’s sound logic. If the Book of Mormon isn’t true then the entire Mormon movement is a fraud. But there are parts of the LDS Church that can fall without the Book of Mormon being proven false. This is evident by the fact that there are dozens of other Mormon faiths who also believe in the Book of Mormon. The “all or nothing” mentality that a good portion of our members have is dangerously naive. I am a fully active, temple worthy member of the LDS church. I fully support and believe in it. But I value understanding why others believe contrary to me. And as I’ve studied other faiths with this attitude what I have found is that most people out there are good people. Most people believe in good principles and do the best they can to align themselves with truth. Many of these people even do what we do–they ask God in prayer what is true. We often tend to think these people are only “hidden from the truth because they know not where to find it.” But many people do not believe in the LDS church even when they have found it and prayed about it simply because they interpreted the gray area in this spiritually chaotic world (not to mention the gray area within our own church) differently than we do.

    • Dan

      Andrew,

      From a logic standpoint there is no false dilemma here. Joseph used language that was so bold and made such fantastic claims that he left no grey area behind. The choice is binary, either Joseph saw God or he didn’t. Either he was called as a modern prophet and given priesthood authority from heavenly messangers or he wasn’t. Those are the only logical choices. To believe in a grey area with Joseph is to misunderstand or to be ignorant of Joseph’s claims.

      Furthermore, your attack based on divisiveness is a logical fallacy. The level of a divisiveness of a statement is not relevant its veracity.

    • Sam

      When it comes to truth, there is light and there is darkness. Light comes from God and darkness comes from the devil. Only if a prophet is called of God and is directed by this light can he be authorized to lead God’s church. Saying that there is a lot of “gray area” is irrelevant when speaking of the truthfulness or divinity (or the fraudulence) of God’s church, because God only imparts truth to his children. Any amount of confusion or darkness is an effect of the adversary and can only be overcome with communion with God. I know that the LDS church is God’s church, and any blurps or foibles in it’s history since 1820 are a result of the less than perfect ability to resist darkness and only accept the light; however, as its history has also shown, when confusion and mistakes enter the church God always directs the prophet and apostles to take the right action to dispel it and shed the light of truth on everything. As I said, I know it’s the true church, and that testimony I have from God, through communion with Him, and anyone and everyone else has to do likewise or remain in the darkness. There really is no other way.

  • ben eggleston

    Great article Greg. This is the seconditions one I have read so far. Thanks Ben

  • Alina

    “I am a Mormon for reasons other than logic, but if I was to rely on logic alone… here is my logic on the topic.”

    We need to obtain a testimony to know if the Book of Mormon is true.

    Problem is, you can’t logically obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon; you only obtain a “testimony through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

    I’m pretty sure all BYU Church History professors know the history that gives a stink to the Church but the difference between the current LDS professors and the excommunicated ones is that the latter relied on logic to base their testimony.

    That can be also explained for the Pope and DaiLai Lama, they are intelligent individuals with scientific backgrounds, but it is faith that drives them to follow the teachings they believe in, not their knowledge of science and past world history.

    This can also explain why illiterate and uneducated people are religious: some missionaries I knew had very poor reading skills and probably never came close to finishing reading the Book of Mormon but they knew it was true because they obtained that testimony by the Holy Ghost, not brains or logic.

    I am LDS but agree what the poster said about your statements being flawed.

    • Greg Trimble

      Curious…which statements do you consider to be flawed?

      Regarding my testimony that you so graciously quoted, did you overlook the part that said “I am a Mormon for other reasons than logic”? There is nothing wrong with aligning logic with the Spirit.

    • John

      ” is that the latter relied on logic to base their testimony.”

      Such a ridiculously ignorant comment that has absolutely no basis in reality. Many of the scholars excommunicated from the Church still have testimonies and were excommunicated for views that the church now fully accepts and admits to. Please don’t continue to spread mormon folktales. You do more harm to the Church then you can imagine.

    • Paige

      Here is how you use logic for establishing that this is the true church (for oneself of course):

      1. Read and study the doctrine.
      2. Pray about it.
      3. Be receptive to and be worthy of a witness from the Holy Ghost, wait for the witness.
      4. Once you have received it, know that because you received that witness that you have felt the truth in your heart, or in whatever way the Holy Ghost has spoken to you, that it came to pass because the doctrine was true.
      5. Remember that witness when you have doubts, and repeat the process with those things that are worrisome to you.

      My testimony is founded on logic. Not by “conventional” means, such as scientific experimentation, of course. But the Christ taught that if you pray about it it shall be revealed to you (Matthew 7:7-8). Since I have had the Holy Ghost witness the truth in my heart I cannot deny those experiences. They happened. They were real: they are proof. Yes, it was my experience. Sure I can’t extend the reality of my experience to others–but I know it is true. Why is this logic? Merriam-Webster defines logic as, “a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something.” To me, its pretty reasonable to think that because an undeniable, recurring experience happens to me when I do as Christ said, that yes: it is true.

      Feel free to disagree all you want, you can tell me that I’m wrong: I don’t care.

  • AD

    1) So Greg says “They (Mormons) claim that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in North America. Joseph Smith is a prophet who has SEEN the FATHER, But John 6:46: Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father” Therefore Joseph smith as a Prophet is a fake & is false because NO ONE in the Bible has SEE THE 1st person of the Triune God = Father

    2) Greg says, but if I was to rely on logic alone… here is my logic on the topic.
    Catholicism claims that they are the true church…” & goes on about attacking the Catholic church! Are you serious!? What logic is there when you go after the Catholic church? GREG says NOTHING about the Bible vs the Book of Mormon. He says NOTHING on Christian Orthodox Doctrine (Doctrine of Trinity, Doctrine of Christ) Vs Mormon Doctrine (God is 3 gods, Jesus is literally the spirit-brother of Lucifer). That is the ISSUE my friends!
    This Mormon person (Greg) is using more LIES to defend a LIE. Wow, my heart breaks for the Mormon people because I love them so much that I want them to know & see the truth of the Real Gospel of the Bible only. :) I love you as a person Greg, but my friend, wake up & compare Mormon Doctrine vs Real, truthful Christian Orthodox Doctrine. be blessed brother

    • Greg Trimble

      Andy – How do you figure I was attacking the Catholic church? I love Catholics. Half my family is Catholic…

      I love you too man…but I do want to ask one question. I love the Bible and I love Christ. I have confessed His name and try to be the best disciple I can be. Am I going to be any worse off than you at the last day if Mormonism turned out to be false?

      Much love

      • Robert Doran

        “Am I going to be any worse off than you at the last day if Mormonism turned out to be false?”
        Yes. You lose everything.
        We are both going to die someday. We both have something to gain and something to lose. One will gain everything and lose nothing. The other will gain nothing and lose everything.
        It is impossible for two statements to be contrary to each other and both still be true. Only one can be true. The other is not true. Mormonism and Christianity are contrary to each other and have messages that cannot be reconciled. They are foundationally antithetical to one another.
        If Mormonism is true and Christianity is false:
        Me; when I die and Mormonism is true, I still have a second chance at redemption. There is no recognition that I am separated from God for all eternity. I have an opportunity to believe the missionary’s and be baptized by proxy by living LDS church members doing their Temple work. I really don’t lose. I still get to go to Heaven in death even though I disbelieved in life. I won’t have it as good as you in the Celestial Heaven, but I won’t be burning in Hell, either. (Where the Worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. Mk 9:44-48)
        I gain Heaven but lose the opportunity to be exalted to the third heaven.
        You; when you die If Mormonism is true you advance through your exaltations and remain Sealed to your wife for eternity. You continue to procreate and populate your own world. You gain everything in this life and the next.
        You gain everything and lose nothing.

        If Christianity is true and Mormonism is false:
        Me; I gave my life to Christ. I asked Jesus to come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. My sin is placed upon Jesus and He took my punishment upon Himself on the cross and forgave me. My sin is wiped away and it is removed as far as the East is from the West. The Righteousness of Christ is imputed to me and I enter into the Joy of The Lord forever. I will die and be “absent from the body and present with the Lord”.
        I gain everything and lose nothing.
        You; believed, lived and taught Mormonism. The teachings of Joseph Smith and The Presidents are false, anti-biblical and heretical. The very foundation of Mormonism is false and contrary to the bible. Therefore everything else that is built on that foundation is doomed to ruin for all eternity. You believed in a counterfeit Father, a counterfeit Jesus and a counterfeit Holy Spirit. It was all a lie. And there is no second chance after death. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, (Heb 9:27) you will die in your sins and be cast into outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Mt 13:42, 13:50), into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: Mt 25:41
        Yes. You gain nothing and lose everything.

        • Greg Trimble

          No seriously…I love Jesus Christ! Jehovah of the Old Testament, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I have tried to live His teachings and have given my life to Him as well. I worship and regard Him as my Savior and the Savior of the world. Are you saying that I’ll still be damned even though I’ve done all of that?

          • Joshua Dawes

            Sadly yes, by assuming it is anything done by your power, you have missed the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not based on “even though I have done all that.” It is based on Christ’s redemptive power and Paul says in Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” You have missed the point of the gospel to try to add anything to Jesus Christ. He was the final prophet. The entire old testament was written to point towards Christ and to assume that his work was not sufficient and we were in need of some other prophet to restore us is just saying that his sacrifice wasn’t enough. If you add or take away anything from the gospel you have missed Christ. I pray that you can see that. I pray that Christ would reveal his sufficiency to you.

            Best

          • Greg Trimble

            You are certain there were no more “prophets” after Christ?

          • Abby

            Let it go, Greg. You cannot reason with some people. I am LDS, and when it comes to death, I am not the least bit afraid. I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives, no matter how hard others try to convince me that I believe otherwise.

          • Greg Trimble

            I love these people. I love to hear their opinions!

          • Joshua Dawes

            Yes I can be sure. Scripture is layer upon layer on top of each other. All of it simply builds upon itself. When you try to add things that do not agree completely with scripture you have yet again messed up the gospel. Again refer to Galatians 1. I can say that there were no prophets after Jesus. All of the old testament pointed toward him. It is all about him! The entire scripture is pointing toward him. Your books that you add to your belief aren’t all directed toward Christ, therefore you have changed the gospel which Paul specifically says is against God’s will.

          • Kyle

            Exmormon/ former RM/ BIC/Bishopric here.. .and I have a very simple question… Greg.. do you really believe that the Noah’s ark/ Flood story in Genesis.. is literally true? I believe that for the LDS church to be “true”.. That biblical story would also have to be true.. unlike many Christian religions who can accept a metaphorical explanation. How in the world.. can any educated person .. in 2014 believe the biblical story of Noah’s ark.. to be literally true? I’m hoping I don’t need to explain the absurdity of it being true.. not only is it impossible in 1000′s of ways.. the argument that God could have made it happen.. simply isn’t a good argument either. .since there simply is NO evidence that it did happen… in fact.. there is tons of evidence that it DID NOT.

            I’m so curious as to your explanation. but.. assuming it will be something vague .. like many mystery’s in heaven.. that haven’t been revealed yet.. etc.. but I’d love to see an explanation of something as basic as this.. that actually make sense… thank you.

          • Greg Trimble

            Kyle – I would consider the anatomy of a cell “absurd” and the concept of life to be “impossible” as well…and yet…here we are. :) Much love!

        • Matt

          I would also like to chime in here. I was raised “born-again” Christian until I was 20. When I converted to the LDS faith my view on Christ and the Atonement didn’t change that much. I still believe just as much, I still try to love my neighbor just as much, I still try to follow in his footsteps just as much, I’m probably more grateful for the atonement now. I actually live my faith throughout the week rather than just Sunday afternoon. It’s just that now I have a better understanding of where we came from, why we’re here, and where we’re going. So Greg is right: Even if Mormonism was a big scam, we still believe in Christ and devote much time, and physical and mental energy to serving him. So by mainstream Christianity’s standards, we will be okay. We will be judged according to our faith in Christ. Those mormons (as in any christian religion) who don’t do those things will not receive eternal life.

          In fact, if mainstream Christianity really is “the way,” I would then argue that by adhering to the following two conditions, ANYONE will be saved, regardless of their religion: Love the lord they god with all thy heart, love thy neighbor like unto thyself. God won’t blame us for the confusion that mainstream Christianity and the reformers have bestowed upon us in regards to all the little details. Baptists, methodists, mormons, jehovah’s witnesses, lutherans, Catholics, pentecostals… we’ll all be saved if we as people are genuine and truly try to follow the two great commandments. After all, God did promise that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so it isn’t fair that his doctrine is different depending on which pastor you happen to talk to. The trinity is the only real constant. But no where does it say that believing in the nature of the trinity is required for salvation. So it’s not fair to say that mainstream Christianity is the way because mainstream Christianity is really hundreds of ways, each depending on the pastor hired to teach your congregation.

          • Greg Trimble

            Well stated :)

        • Melanie

          Robert-
          I want to know too. Why is believing and trusting in Jesus not enough? Where did Jexus say that we also have to believe the correct details ABOUT him? Why are Mormons doomed just because we got some details wrong? If we believe in different Jesuses, yours sounds awfully harsh.

          • Jason

            Some details wrong?? That’s a huge understatement there. :) We are not saved by our faith, but by the object of our faith. If you are drowning in a pool and you ask someone to throw you an anvil, no matter how much faith you have in that anvil, it isn’t going to save you. In the same way, if you have faith in the wrong Jesus……well….you get the point. :)

        • Spencer

          One problem with your logic. Mormonism is a name given to members of a specific faith that is Christian in all aspects of the word.

          This has nothing to do with being Mormon or not; it is the ever so present negation that Mormons are Christians (which they are).

          • Greg Trimble

            huh?

          • Spencer

            Sorry Greg,
            My comment was directed towards this comment “ROBERT DORAN SAYS
            MARCH 23, 2014 AT 1:25 PM”

            good insight though, I really enjoyed your entry.

        • Sammy

          Interesting you say this, because before I got baptized into the Mormon church, I first went to EVERY other church I could find. I studied them immensely. And the thing that really bothered me in every religion I found was that they believed they were the only true church, and the only ones “getting into heaven”. I just couldn’t fathom why Christ would atone for the sins of one small church in Oklahoma, and everybody else is out of luck. The fact that the LDS church believes we will ALL be given a chance is something that, to me, made absolute sense.
          I grew up in a family that was half LDS, half anti LDS. I have heard all the arguments on both sides. The fact is, you have to get the information for yourself, and from the right sources. Another thing that drew me to the church was that I was always told to pray for answers. No one told me I had to join the church because it was the only true church. I found out for myself, which makes it all that much more precious to me.
          I have nothing but respect for other religions, and don’t believe we should be degrading them in order to prove our own point. Them being wrong doesn’t make us right. Having the truth is what makes us right.

    • Pahoran

      To Ad,

      While there are many things you could criticize the LDS church with if you choose, when using Biblical verses you would do well to use them in proper context. Your use of John 6:46 is one you may want to consider contextually berfore employing as a tool to disprove the claim that Joseph Smith was visited by the Father and Son, and that no one has ever seen God the Father.

      To your viewpoint of John 6:46 we could also add John 1:18 and 5:37. However, there must obviously be some context here, else several other passages in the Bible are frustrated. In the KJV, John 6:46 reads ” Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath aseen the Father.” The crux here is the middle clause – “save he which is of God”. You interpret it to mean that is ONLY Jesus. Correct me if I have mistated your view. However, it is easy to understand this verse as referring to servants of the Lord, prophets and apostles, as well. They are also “of God”.

      Matt. 11:27 says the Father can be revealed to whomsoever the Son wills to.

      Stephen the Martyr saw the Father and the Son, as recorded in Acts 7:56.

      When Jesus tells some Jewish men who are questioning men that they have neither seen his shape nor heard his voice at any time (Jn 5:37), he is not saying that no prophet ever has, he is saying that THEY, these supposedly “wise” professors of religion, have not. Keeping in mind who is being spoken to and why can be helpful.

      Jesus is right that no “man” can see God and live. This is true with reference to the natural man. Man must be purified to a degree, transfigured if you will , to behold Godly glory. The scriptures have examples of this as well. With reference to natural man not being able to recieve any spiritual gift, of which the privelge of seeing God is, I would refer to you to Paul on this subject. You can read what he has written about this in 1 Cor. 2: 7-14. He also elucidates upon this in Heb. 12:14 where he states that righteousness is a prerequisite to being able to see God.

      Lastly, consider 1 Jn. 3:2, where followers are promised that when God does appear to them, we will be like him.

      None of these verses I post here are to try to “prove” anything to you about the veracity of the LDS church claim to the restoration fo the gospel, except that the verse you shared (John 6:46) does not need to be any kind of stumbling block to the concept of the Father being witnessed by those whom Jesus wills it.

      • Greg Trimble

        Pahoran is one of my favorite dudes in the Book. Nice comment.

      • Brian Barton

        Well said! So common in discussions, especially biblical discussion. Verses taken out of context in an effort to prove their point of view.

        • Jason

          Like 1 Cor 15:29?? ;)

      • Jason

        When talking about this issue, we tend to forget one very important verse. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
        Later in Luke, Jesus tells us that a spirit does NOT have a body of flesh and bone. So, either Jesus is wrong about God the Father, or there are other explanations for these other “sightings”.
        For instance, Acts 7:56 does NOT say that Stephen saw God the Father. It says he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. So, unless Jesus was wrong, we already know that God does not have a physical “right hand”. The KJV actually says “Jesus standing ON the right hand of God”. Well now THAT would be interesting to see! :)
        Luke 22:69 says Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
        So the power of God has a right hand as well??
        There is obviously more depth to scripture then what we think we are reading. Even when we think we are reading it in context, we need to be careful.
        Likewise, is Heb 12:14 saying the righteous can see God here in this mortal life, or just that we need to be righteous in order to see God when the time comes? What I do know is we are made righteous through Jesus Christ. It’s called the Great Exchange. We give Him our sins, and He gives us his righteousness. 2 Cor 5:21

        Just some food for thought. :)

  • Mike

    I agree with Andrew and not to pick on the author of this blog, because I think your views are common in the church, but if the church is really going to grow, we need to speak more educatedly and get out of the mindset that Joseph smith had of “us against the world” which is stating to be changed by recent new discourse in the church. Our knowledge of religious history has to extend outside of preach my gospel or just the books on the missionary bookshelf if for no other reason, to prove we actually study this stuff outside of the mission.

    Your article is very emotionally driven, and insensitive toward other religions, and again, these are just problems us members of the church tend to have.

    • Fatz

      The Bible is the #1 best selling book every year and has been for year’s to the point that it’s been removed just for that reason. Every year it’s sale’s was always off the charts. This story alone show’s Gods greatness and how every time like in the beginning how lucifer wanted to be like God and so much wanted to be God. For that reason God through him out of Heaven along with 1/3 of his followers to earth. Now 1st of all, The Bible is a complete book. It has a beginning, middle and a end. So back to the story above. Every time and I mean every time where there is good lucifer now known as satan, along with his demons will show up to bring confusion in any given moment and his #1 mo is to start a lie in any way possible. For he is the father of all lie’s. Now when a lie is started it must tell another lie to cover the 1st lie, then another lie to cover the 2nd lie and so on to the point the lie starts changing and next thing you know it brings about confusion. In the garden of Eden satan was at his tracks in the beginning telling 1 lie that lead to another and another. Like God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit there are 3 in 1. The Bible has many books but it speaks of 1 God. Just like Water, it’s steam, it’s a liquid but it’s water. Here satan lie’s and adds brings confusion to the Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Bible speaks about many will come in my name. Here satan brings his confusion again. The Bible speaks about if any one adds to the writings of this book God will add to that person the plagues. Here satan starts a lie to say “A angel moroni” found the plates gave them to J.Smith and the book of Mormons was added as thee other Bible. Funny that very lie repeated it self with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now here’s my point. Would I want to follow a Church that made there own lie’s “Nope” LDS back then said Black people could not join LDS. Now it’s alright. Were they covering up the 1st lie or did someone say there giving of 10% would help fund the building program. Back then they said as to prompt healthy living don’t drink any Caffeine. After buying share’s into Pepsi-Coca cola…etc Rules just got changed – Now here’s what I mean about a lie can change over time. The devils no fool he will even use a bate to get you in first then once in, it’s to late. See the 1st lie was don’t drink any Caffeine, meaning Coffee, Soda, Tea…etc but after buying share’s into Pepsi-Coca Cola – To cover the 1st lie was “Any Caffeine” Now the story change to it’s Okay to drink Pepsi and Coca Cola. Confused-So does that say I can drink Coffee and Tea to or only Pepsi and Coca Cola. lol. Now last point, did the so called 12 mormon apostles get this word from God because the 12 are like the most connected same as J.W believe cause if so that’s not something I would wanna follow. Why have someone in between me and God. I don’t need no 12 holy dudes, a pope, watch tower…etc. God said I am the way and the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me. John 14:6. One God, One Book. Right Choice. Amen

      • John

        No offense meant, just reconsider before posting a serious comment trying to persuade others to your philosophy when it’s satiated with flaws.

      • JOHN mccarthy

        Fatz, don’t believe everything you read! Do your own study and not what others have concluded from anti-mormon literature… Some of the statements you have stated have been proven to be false and by some of your comments, it seems you obviously have interpreted or misunderstood some things you have read.

        I have had friends quote things from anti mormon literature and after I showed them things in context or in writing they were surprised. eg To say the Bible is complete is debatable.
        Do we discount books quoted by ancient prophets from the ‘books’ they had and are not in our current scriptures?… Are they written by prophets that God had inspired?
        (Bible Dictionary) The so-called lost books of the Bible are those documents that are mentioned in the Bible in such a way that it is evident they were considered authentic and valuable but that are not found in the Bible today. Sometimes called missing scripture, they consist of at least the following: book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14); book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18); book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:41); book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29:29); book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29:29); book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29); prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9:29); visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22); book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12:15); book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20:34); sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33:19); an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5:9); possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:3); an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4:16); and some prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude (Jude 1:14).
        To these rather clear references to inspired writings other than our current Bible may be added another list that has allusions to writings that may or may not be contained within our present text but may perhaps be known by a different title; for example, the book of the covenant (Ex. 24:7), which may or may not be included in the current book of Exodus; the manner of the kingdom, written by Samuel (1 Sam. 10:25); the rest of the acts of Uzziah written by Isaiah (2 Chr. 26:22).

        …and as for the comment referencing Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
        Revelations was written by John about 90AD and it is known that it wasn’t the ‘last’ book to be written chronologically. You can add your own thoughts but this refers to ‘The Book of Revelations’ and not the Bible, which was compiled centuries later.

        Black people were allowed membership but Priesthood authority was held from them till ‘their time’. Does this make the church wrong? No,… an example of a peoples ‘timing’ from Christ’s era, is found in Mark 7,
        25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

        26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

        27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

        28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

        29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

        Christ came for the Jews, but being a Greek she was deemed ‘unclean’ but her Faith healed her daughter. Her ‘time’ had not come when the Gospel would be taught to them.
        In Acts 10 it tells us of another occasion when the ‘gentiles’ time had arrived,
        28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

        I could spend all day going through your concerns but mine is not to convince you of anything, just to inform you that all is not as you have read… All I ask is you do your ‘own’ study ,looking for truth and ask God if it is so… it is your right but ask in faith (James 1:5).

        • Greg Trimble

          wow…nice

    • Becky

      Mike,

      I don’t believe Greg was implying that Mormonism is “us against the world” and I don’t think Joseph Smith meant it in the way you are assuming. But let’s consider that all the events in the history of the world and all the events taking place now are nothing more than effects of one original battle- the Savior vs. satan. In that sense, there is no room to incorporate or merge the ideas of other religions into the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, Satan has taken dominion over so many of the practices and beliefs in the world. It has slowly become his territory. And for that matter it IS “us (believers of the true, restored Gospel of Jesus Christ) against the world.” It is a battle in which there are only two sides.

      I do agree that we need to show love and compassion to all religions; but loving them as the Savior loves them does not mean that we take their beliefs into consideration only to manipulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is constant.

  • rachel

    As somebody who went too school for anthropology i studied Abraham religions. My peers would argue with me about the fact i am lds and could not fathom why i was a member of such a crazy church to put it loosely. I would make references basically as you put it and when presented this logically many of my classmates investigated and several converted. Thank you for this article. It will be awesome to share with my peers.

  • Scott

    Thanks for the article Greg. You reminded me of that ridiculous blind faith creates haughtiness and arrogance. I’m so glad that I have woken up to all religious lies. Maybe someday you will too. It’s great to not believe obtuse fairy tales anymore. Here’s to hoping that you get out someday.

    • Stacy Godnick

      Scott,
      Please read your statement again, when it comes to arrogance
      your statement wins the price.

      • Stacy Godnick

        That’s prize not price, finger not very nimble.

  • Tara

    Good read

  • Phil

    You say that, “if all of this is false, it would rank as one of the greatest deceptions in human history”.

    Not so, it would just be the deception of one man – Joseph Smith. History, especially recent history shows that it has not been difficult for one charasmatic man to fool huge numbers of gulible people

  • Robert Doran

    “With them gone and no one to lead the church, men began interpreting the scriptures for themselves and twisting the doctrine. Over time, the churches began to fall away from the truth because the apostles were not there to lead them.” His whole argument hinges on these patently false, wildly inaccurate, self serving and misleading sentences. Jesus said I will come to you. I will send the comforter to you. The Father will send The Holy Spirit to be with you. Jesus had to ascend into heaven so that the Holy Spirit would continue his work through His church. Jesus told his disciples “Greater works than these” you will do. (Jn 5:20 and 14:12) Why? Because Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit is God. God the Father is God. This is one God manifested in three forms throughout human history. From the Old Testament, to The Cross, and continuing on through today. God is transcendent. God is just as present on Earth today through the Holy Spirit as he was with Adam, the prophets and the disciples. He’s not bothered or surprised by man. (Psalm 2) God’s power cannot be diminished because a couple guys decided to have a vote. Let them have their vote. God has always kept a remnant. He has always preserved His Word and His people. What kind of puny, weak, ineffective, short sighted god would be caught off guard and his will for mankind overthrown by his creation? That says in no uncertain terms that god’s creation is indeed more powerful than he is because he can’t even manage to preserve His revealed Word to His creation. If I believed Greg Trimble’s comments, I would have to throw away everything the bible stands for. This mans blog tells me that the God of The LDS church is weak and cannot even manage to preserve his revealed word to mankind for much more than a couple hundred years before it became totally corrupted. But of course, this is precisely what has to happen for the LDS church to thrive. And this is how Mormonism justifies itself. It has to be this way for Mormonism to have any hope of connecting itself to the bible. The LDS Church has to piggy-back onto the bible for it to be considered mainstream, while simultaneously gutting it of its core message so that it can be refilled with the false prophesies and plagiarisms of Joseph Smith. How else could it be The One True Church containing “The Fullness of the RESTORED Gospel”? The only way Mormonism can stand as a true religion is if the message was corrupted and was in need of restoration. “Mormonism is either one of the biggest frauds in human history or it is the second most important thing to ever happen on this planet.” It is fraud. Period.

    • Murlin

      The bible itself bears testimony of the lost truth, and need for restoration. This doesn’t mean God is weak, but the truth is we are. Isaiah speaks of a marvelous work and a wonder Isaiah 29, Jer. 16, The Savior himself testified of a loss of truth prior to His second coming see Luke 24, so did Paul 2 thes 2:1-3! Contrary to it pointing to Gods weakness, it was a part of Gods plan, it was needed because of mans weakness, not Gods!

  • Mark B

    Greg I respect your efforts and testimony in writing your viewpoint which I agree with wholeheartedly. I appreciate the civilized discourse with these comments.
    I wish you would have tied a little bit better the fact that the 1st greatest event and 2nd greatest event in human history are not mutually exclusive but are found intimately intertwined and if a sincere soul that has to use both logic and a longing for the truth through the Holy Ghost that speaks to one’s mind logic and reason as well as to one’s heart truth, love and peace. If someone were to use both of these God given gifts (and millions already have and continue to do so) their logical mind and sincere heart will know the truth of Christ’s Atonement and the truth of Christ’s love for us by establishing his Church again on earth so we have the true vehicle to come unto Christ.

    I understand the premise of your article and respect that. I am just trying to add more perspective and value to compliment your words.

    • Greg Trimble

      Thanks Mark!

    • Stacy Godnick

      Yeah Mark,
      Thank you!

  • Michael

    Very good article Greg.

    Thank you for stating things so simply. I often find myself being questioned by others concerning our church in general, and I often want to just say what you have, but it often escapes me or comes out a bit off.

    What everyone reading this should understand is that Greg isn’t perfect. You’re not perfect. And I am not perfect. What Greg has shared is his testimony, and of course his reasoning that accompanies it. If you find it to be “flawed”, you should remember that it is a human error, and shouldn’t judge too much against it. Otherwise we could spend forever nit-picking every little thing we all have to say about anything.

    The thing about a testimony is that it is the personal, powerful witness that someone has of something. Regarding religion, a testimony comes through the teachings and whispering of the Holy Ghost to our hearts and minds. It provides us with a divine witness of the truth, and cannot be refuted or denied. Anyone can talk about points of history and whether ‘this’ or ‘that’ happened, but very few can claim that they’ve received a divine witness about the truth. Also, if you are truly willing to follow God, you will be earnestly looking and listening for His direction. If you listen to Greg’s testimony with an open heart, then you’ll feel the Spirit of God trying to teach you. It may take time, not everything is done on our time table. And if you do this with a real intent to follow what is true, then you can receive your own personal witness. But this only comes if your intent is true. If you look for flaws, then I’m sure you will come up with some.

    I personally share the author’s beliefs. I know that Jesus Christ did in fact establish a church when He walked the earth, and that He did ordain apostles to continue to direct this organization with His authority. I know that the truth of this was lost for a long time, but that our Heavenly Father, our God, loves us so much that He wanted the truth to be established in its fullness once again, and He did so by calling Joseph Smith to be a prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson (the current prophet) is also called of God. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel of Christ, and that one can obtain his or her own knowledge of its truthfulness through earnest reading and prayer, asking God to know of its surety.

    In the end, we’re all aiming for happiness and peace. We’re not trying to make our religion ‘better’ than those of others. We want to simply share the great joy and light that has been brought to our lives. Please remember this and be respectful.

    -Michael

    • Greg Trimble

      Well said Michael! Thanks for posting!

    • Michael Anderson

      I see that fast and testimony meeting has done its job nicely.

      “It is not unusual to have a missionary say, “How can I bear testimony until I get one? How can I testify that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the gospel is true? If I do not have such a testimony, would that not be dishonest?”

      “Oh, if I could teach you this one principle: a testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!” – Elder Packer

      What BKP is saying is that one should lie about their worldview until this lie becomes “the truth” to them (and eventually to others as well).

      • Daniel

        Really? You honestly believe he is telling people to lie? Just keep lying until you begin to believe it? That’s not what he is saying at all. His audience with that talk (from which you are taking his quote out of context) is to those that have already taken the steps necessary to become fully committed to serving the Lord as full-time unpaid volunteers doing missionary service. In doing the Lord’s work, they are in need of His guidance through the Holy Spirit. If a missionary testifies of truth the Holy Spirit will confirm the truth to both the giver and to the receiver. A missionary can reaffirm what they already know by sharing it with others. In testifying of truth they will feel the truth of what they are saying because the Holy Ghost will confirm the truth of it. The key element here is the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

        • Michael Anderson

          I’m sorry, I almost forgot about the self-confirming spirit phenomenon. It must be true since your already biased brain has confirmed the truth of it to you. Since when has “going with your gut” been the best way to determine things? You should know that the truth doesn’t always give you a good feeling. If you were to find out that you were deceived about something your whole life, would you feel good about it? No! You’d probably go into denial and fall back into the lie that has brought you so much comfort.

          You missed the part that says “How can I bear testimony until I get one?” So the spirit isn’t going to tell you that your testimony is true until you bear your testimony? Seems a bit backwards. If you take a moment to think about this logically, you’ll see that it doesn’t quite make sense. It’s a very cunning trick used to get you to believe something that you might initially feel comfortable with. Very cunning indeed.

          • Michael Anderson

            Excuse me, that should read: It’s a very cunning trick used to get you to believe something that you might initially feel uncomfortable with.

    • Stacy Godnick

      Michael,
      Thank you

  • Uti Makasini

    I totally agree with Greg and Adam. I would like to add a lot of other things but just to cut it short cause Adam’s reply is about as long as the article itself. lol people listen up. I am not a Mormon….. I might be a Christian , because I love and believe in my Master and saviour Jesus Christ. Most of all I am a Saint. And am a proud member of his Government on earth. There is no other way to our Father but through his program which is only found in these last day (day 13) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

  • http://www.scott-thormaehlen.com Scott T

    I think the article is a great start to get people interested in where we came from and why we are where we are today. It isn’t insensitive towards other religions as it does not pick on the details of other religions. Maybe I am speaking for Greg, but his point is 1) that God gives his authority to man via direct contact, and that includes seeing God like Joseph Smith did, like Moses, and like all the prophets 2) there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and this fell away after the 1st Century. The article is a great summary of the events described by the Bible and of the history surrounding 1st Century Christianity and what was needed to bring the Church back. I wrote a book that was published last May, ‘Day of Defense: Positive Talking Points for the Latter Days’, (Cedar Fort, Springville, UT – May 2013). I just wanted to say that this article and the article about LDS theology being liberal with salvation, I appreciated because there are two topics that I write about. Others include: polygamy, pre-existence, the Book of Mormon, man’s potential to be like God, and other issues people have trouble connecting with the Bible. Good work Greg!

    -Scott

    • Greg Trimble

      Thanks Scott! I’ll check out your stuff!

  • Bomann

    Good dialogue and discussion points. Perhaps one point we all can agree on is that whatever truth we can embrace in our lives will help us become more like our Father in Heaven. The LDS church produced a short video years ago. I believe it was titled “What is Real?”.There was a thought presented in that presentation that one can make beautiful music by using the keys of the piano and that one might compare the keys of a piano to various eternal truths. Thus the more keys you possess…the more truth you may have access to…and the more opportunity to grow and become like our Father in Heaven. I like that thought. We should all be open about our approach to being tolerant and ever-learning. I think that is what Christ would say to all of us. People of all faiths will be found in that place many of us refer to as “heaven”. But one common denominator in those found there will be those who come to understand and accept Christ in their hearts…and became sincere in trying to implement that truth and related truths into how they live each day.

  • Jonathan

    Your lemonade stand link in your bio is broken. I did find it via FCW. :)

    • Greg Trimble

      thx bro! :)

  • Neal

    I agree 100% with what the author has posted (and i’I’ve been saying this same thing for years). Our doctrine leaves no gray areas when we claim to be *the* Church of Jesus Christ, that He himself established. If this is the one and only Church, then by default, the others cannot be.

    Now, that does not mean that the Catholics or protestant churches do not include truth, require faith, or are not full of God-fearing, Christ-centered people. Indeed they are. Members of other faiths are full of good works, love for their fellow man, and show faith on a daily basis. And I think THAT is how you have to approach it. We cannot back down from the claim that this is His one true church, but we can “lessen the insensitivity” of that claim through inviting others to bring the truth they have and gain more with us. The problem is how to convince happy, stable people that there is actually more to gain? That they can be happier? That’s what is hard.

  • Matthew

    As I was reading each comment I noticed something each of you were doing which is not congruent with Christ teaching. You all argued whether or not a certain church was false or true.

    Many of you quoted scriptures as if to throw them at each other like they were rocks. Just like in the time of Christ the the different Jews argued and quoted the law(scriptures) but we see this was done by them to a fault and it eventually caused the destruction of God’s chosen.

    Why do you persists in this same behaviour knowing well by those scriptures what your eventual outcomes will be?

    The scriptures show that God has worked through his prophets in all ages and this pattern will likely not change.

    Christ came to do two things, first his message was from our Father in Heaven and it was this: the kingdom of God is at hand. Why this message and not another? Second, Christ came to be the perfect sacrifice, he suffered, bled and died. Why? Because God promised all those who did the work’s of God on earth that their efforts would not be in vain by not being able to return to God and live with him after this earth experience. He then promised a savior and for those who loved God with all their heart might mind and will obeyed this God and His chosen Savior would find rest again with that God.

    Why then is their time to argue over which church is true when we see in scriptures that ALL who have chosen this path are eventually deceived and destroyed.

  • http://facebook Tina P

    I have been reading everything that people are saying. first off i am a convert to the LDS church so i have worshiped in other religions. Second the mormon church will always have people trying to knock our beliefs and our doctrions so be it. Being a convert to the mormon church i have never felt more at home any one complaining about our church have you ever been to a mormon service i am going to say no.the mormon church is very family oriented. can you tell me about anyother church that is debt free and still helps families when needed,or the bishops(or other clergy men ) that don’t get paid for what they do,or involves everyone in talks on subject that are important ie. faith ,love for others service and other subjects being needed at that time it can even be mothers on mothers day and fathers on fathers day. Do any other churches do service for others like visting people every month just to see how they are doing or take meals to people that need it . So you can have your religionn and i will gladly keep mine in the begging i told you i was a convert do you think i would really be as happy as i am today staying in my old church which by the way was presberteryan tina p

  • hearthealthy

    I don’t think people think Mormons are crazy at all. I have never had a single person tell me that. On the contrary, I have had people tell me how happy I seem, how wonderful my marriage and my family is, and how they admire my lifestyle and efforts to avoid vices, addictions, and things of the world. My response is always in agreement that I have truly been blessed and I give all glory to God.

    • Gary Turner

      Really I hear people telling me I am crazy for being LDS all the time. The only thing that has changed is now more often I hear all Christians are crazy, especially if we don’t embrace and accept certain things in our society like sexual preferences.

  • Matthew

    One more comment.

    It seems there is only on kind of philosophy and it is all of mankind. This includes logic and the other variables of philosophy. All the different philosophy’s of man are amazing work’s but they all lack.

    I truly enjoy a study of philosophy but it lacks any trust in God and all philosophy denies the love of God.

    All things pertaining to man will be destroyed at some point in time including time and our place in it.

    Instead of using the philosophy of man to support our beliefs and justify our understanding, why don’t we try to learn how to use the Spirit of God and trust in his ways only. Let man do as they will but no man who gives up the philosophies of man and learns to desire the things of God with all his heart might mind and will, will ever be deceived. And that’s the truth. So don’t argue the things of God with the tools of man.

  • Evandro

    Thank you (like many other said before me) for this testimony of yours. I’ve read it all and read some comments below aswell and i can honestly and faithfully say that no matter what people say, all you wrote can only be compreended by one mean only: James 1:5-6 (sorry don’t know if it is correct because i am not a native english speaker and do not know all the names of the Bible books in english).

    Unless ANY of you that commented here do what it says in the scripture you will never know what is THE THRUTH!

    I gained my testimony from The Church of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints through it and i can say, without a doubt, that i belive all that i am teach and all that i teach. If the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and if the Lord “will never do anything if he has not reveal it to His servants the Prophets” then we can say with 100% certanty that we have a prophet today. THIS is what I belive.

  • Jeff

    Greg has presented us with a very “fair” article and it is, by his own volition, his and he is clearly not trying to speak for the Church as a whole. One of my friends made this a Post on FaceBook and I try to read everything my friend Jacob posts because he is a genus.
    Having said that, I found it most interesting and the statements herein resonated with me. I myself am a convert to the Church and for the first few years I believed the teachings of the missionaries because of the simple logic I found in those discussions. They asked me to pray about it, and I did, but found no direct answer from God whether if the Church was the only “true Church” or not. All of the instructions I received made prefect sense to me so I joined. I found out later that is the wrong way to believe in something spiritual.
    Trials got in the way of my happiness and because my faith was not based on a Spiritual Confirmation, I fell away. After a few years of being tossed to and fro, I met a beautiful girl who was grounded in the Gospel and had/has a sound testimony of the Restoration, the Priesthood, of God and His Son and of the Atonement. I fell in love with her and we did marry.
    She claims she could see the goodness in my heart and that I had potential. She also encouraged me to attend our meetings and to set goals, one of which was to go to the Temple and be sealed together as a family. This forced me to reevaluate my membership and my testimony and to do something a proud man finds very hard; to be humble.
    Being humble isn’t something that I found to be easy or even desirable to a proud (natural) man, therefore it took me several years to get comfortable with kneeling and saying sincere prayers. I have found that my Father hears and answers prayers, guides me as I lead my family and He challenges my prideful ways each and every day.
    I can say, with all my heart, and soul, that I know that Joseph Smith did see God, angels and other Heavenly Beings, translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God and did established the rightful Church again upon this earth to stay until the Lord says “It is finished”.

    Thank you Greg for sharing your testimony and allowing others to feed from its spirit and even those who wish to mock. Being a disciple of Christ is not an easy task; study the live of any follower and it becomes a series of attempts to change their path. Keep the faith, love the Lord, obey His commandments.

    • Greg Trimble

      Thank you Jeff!

  • Nicole

    To AD:

    I don’t understand how you interpret the following passage from the New Testament? Acts 7: 55-56 KJV

    “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

  • Justin

    Very well written, as a returned missionary who has studied in depth the logic and history of the church on top of having the faith and the testimony of it’s truth, I can really appreciate this, and I hope more people have the opportunity to read it.

    • Greg Trimble

      Thx Justin!

  • fubeca12

    Nice post.

    1. The restoration is second only to the gospel of Jesus Christ in importance? The way I see it, the Restoration IS The Gospel of Jesus Christ in it’s fullness without the generations of omissions, misunderstandings and misapplications as prophesied. People seeing “second only” could continue to think the restoration is separate from the Gospel of Christ (as is all too common).

    2. Finding the comments section not at the end of the article was odd.

    • Greg Trimble

      Check it again fubeca… I said the Atonement is the most important event.

  • Anonymous

    I’m gonna be frank with you. You claim that Mormons have the only direct connection to God, but if we look at the book you claim to be holy, except your own additions contradict many of the assertions from it, the Bible, and not the Pearls of Great Price and your other books, it give us the truth. If you claim the Church needed reformation (which I agree with) but needed a new truth, you’re wrong. Because the true word of God is all in the Bible. And I realize I’m just drawing hate because this is a Mormon blog and all that, but you can’t just assert your religion as true based on untrue “facts”.

    • Greg Trimble

      No hate brother. Only love to you!

  • Ruth

    Well I’m daft, I just wrote a far too lengthy note on here and didn’t save it, so here’s my shortened version due to the latish time here in the UK.
    I’m also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I truly feel no different to anyone I meet on a daily basis religious or not. One of the teachings of the gospel is trying to live like Jesus with all of our heart, and one thing that the Saviour did whilst He lived on this earth was to unconditionally love everyone. We believe it isn’t our place to judge anyone whatever they choose religious or not. That God has given each of His children freedom to choose, meaning we can believe what we may. Some of my closest friends have no religion, some are Muslims, some Catholics, Jewish, Atheists etc. I feel no different, because I believe we are all Gods children and because we are human we are bound to think/believe countless things differently. Of course I believe in the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is Jesus Christs restored gospel on the earth today and is here to bless every single one of Gods children. I do not know the author of this blog, but I’m sure his feelings are the same. Of course no one is perfect so there will be people who will wrongfully judge and seem to look down on others religious or not. – I often sadly find myself being hypocritical and if gives me that short sharp slap in the face that I need reminding me that I have a long long way to go in loving others the way my Saviour Jesus Christ does. I hope that one day I can be like Him as He truly loves everyone, regardless of their differences. What a wonderful place the world would be if we all lived like Jesus. Take care everyone…

    • Greg Trimble

      I like your attitude! :)

  • Drew

    I’m a former mormon (though still on the books) and I don’t want to take specific issue with anything you wrote because I know spiritual beliefs are dear and sacred, and because this appears to be a personal blog (yet it showed up on my facebook feed!).

    However, I will say that since I’ve left the church I’ve had a number of people (non-members) tell me their thoughts on mormonism- thoughts they didn’t dare share with me while I was a believing member, out of fear they might offend me. Their comments had a similar theme– basically, they couldn’t believe that I could belong to a church and believe that it had divine origins when the church has such a bizarre (some would say shady) history. You’ll often find that people don’t believe mormons are crazy due to their outlandish truth claims with regards to it’s foundation. Rather, they believe it’s crazy because it’s history (actual church history, not the oversimplified/watered-down history the church usually teaches) is….well, crazy.

    All that aside, mormons are generally wonderful people and communities are often better off because of them. Much love!

    • Greg Trimble

      Love you to Drew! Thanks for the post!

    • Pied

      Your comment really struck me. I am a practicing Mormon who knows quite a bit of our shady history (the one they don’t teach in church, lol). My brother refers to this sanitized history as the Disney version. I have to struggle with myself to not just lecture someone when I start hearing this version. I wish we could just own up to our history and teach it. One last thought, I wish we could change the curriculum in the church and get it off Gospel Principles and the Teachings of Latter-Day Prophets and focus on the Savior. Members I think are starving from only getting milk (brought on by Correlation) and are hungry for the meat.

  • Mark

    My whole family is Mormon. I grew up a Mormon and went on a mission. I was completely dedicated to it and wanted nothing more than to see those I loved join the church.

    I left the church 6 years ago. I have found that the theology of the Bible is not compatible with many Mormon beliefs. There are even instances of the BoM and the D&C being at odds. I left the church based purely on unsound theology.

    I strongly urge every member of the church to research not only the theology and gospel principles of their own faith and other religions, but to look at their own history as well.

    Look at what Egyptologists say about the pearl of great price facsimiles. Look at the person of Joseph Smith ( not just what the church tells you about him). Look at how many actual phrases were changed in the BoM (not just grammatical errors). Read the quotes from journal of discourses that state very clearly that numerous general authorities stated that Joseph said he saw two angels and not God and J.C.. Ask yourself why the 3 and 8 witnesses stated that they had only seen the plated in visions/dreams/spiritual vision. There is too much to ignore.

    Christ is the way to salvation, as I know you know, but where in the Bible or BoM does it state that temple ordinances, WoW, tithing, marriage, etc are necessary to get to heaven. If Jesus set up his church, why didn’t he preach these things. If God’s laws are eternal, why were they first introduced in the D&C?

    It is only by grace that you are saved, not by going to the temple monthly.

    Please look a little closer at your religion and at the fundamental teachings of Christ.

    • Greg Trimble

      Brother… Can I ask you? Some of the things you’ve left here…you’ve left without citations. Do you mind leaving sources for your claims? Second… how has your life been improved since 6 years ago? And lastly, if I remain LDS, do you believe I will be punished in the end since you have stated rightly that it is by grace that I am saved? Come back to the fold brother!

      • Stacy Godnick

        Awesome response
        Greg.

      • Mark

        Greg,

        Instead of taking up space to document every single one of my concerns, (this would take hours), please read this: http://cesletter.com/ . If you have not already, it is a letter from a return missionary, whom at 31 years of age, starting finding holes in the church history and theology. A CES director asked him to air his problems, and this is what he received.

        This is not the most detailed account of the discrepancies I found, but it is a good starting point.

        To your second point, my life just after I left the church, was awful. I felt completely ostracized by my family and other church members that found out that I left. Over time, my relationships with my family have gotten better, and I found a Biblical church in which, I am very much involved. I have more, and closer friends then I did as a Mormon. I feel the spirit on a constant basis.I have a personal and deep relationship with my Savior, and I can honestly say, that I am much more happy today than I was in the LDS chuch.

        Lastly, I cannot judge you. I do not know your heart. I do know that, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. I will ask you this simple question. Do you believe you need Joseph Smith to get to heaven/celestial kingdom? If God’s laws are eternal and Temple ordinances are so important to getting to heaven, why didn’t Jesus or his apostles teach us these things? Furthermore, why aren’t they taught in the Book of Mormon if the “fullness of the gospel” is taught therein? Again, I don’t know your heart and I cannot condemn you, that is not my place. God is the only one that can judge. I can only say what Jesus and the Apostles taught, and that is that Salvation is found in Christ and no one/thing else. Not Jesus + temple ordinances, not Jesus + Joseph Smith, not Jesus + the word of wisdom, ect.

        I appreciate your candor and invitation to come back to the fold, but I will invite you to do the same. I invite you to look deeply at your faith. Read the Bible like you don’t already have the truth. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” I Corinthians 3:18.

        • Roberta

          Love it Mark!!!
          May God keep blessing you!
          I have a friend who is afraid of leaving LDS because she knows her family will turn their back on her.

          Correcting the date I posted before.
          23 September 2017 Sign in the Heaven: http://youtu.be/_1y_hLqVXf4
          Revelation 12

  • Nicki W.

    I feel like the answer for anyone seeking the truth is to ask of Heavenly Father directly. To ask if it’s true and let the spirit manifest to each individual what it is. And for that individual to be fully open to that response. For me it was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As I progress in the gospel and learn new things and deepen my knowledge the Holy Ghost confirms those feelings to me, it’s undeniably amazing. You want the truth, we want to share it, the rest is up to you and Heavenly Father. He won’t leave you wondering if you ask.

  • Worsham

    I have taken time to read all posts and reflect….It is my hopes that there are more people posting against this claim, against this message, against the mission of Christ Church and against everything LDS folks worship and believe. It certainly indicates which side of the battle they are on…..I say that because it only add comfort to me because…just as back in Biblical days, Satan had a very clear purpose and plan of destroying what God wants. So anyone that post negativly against GODS wants or plan and negatively against the LDS Church; it truely adds CONFIRMATION that Satan still has his pittiful plan going strong with blind followers and that I am on GODS side of this battle. I am Keith Worsham and I am a Mormon.

    • K

      Wow. If I agree, then I’m confirming your beliefs, and if I disagree, I’m confirming your beliefs? How convenient.What if I just say I don’t care about them one way or the other? Would that work?

  • Atticus_Finch

    The post is interesting, but it strikes me as a logical fallacy (false dilemma) to say that those two extreme statements (“the biggest fraud in human history” or “the second most important thing to ever happen on this planet”) are the only possible alternatives. There are also plenty of other explanations and alternatives that are less hyperbolic. I can think of dozens, but I’ll mention just a few: Joseph Smith could have been mentally ill. He could have exaggerated for well-intentioned reasons. Mormonism could be a predictable result of Christian syncretism, or it could be a uniquely American manifestation of what Max Weber described as the human need for theodicy and soteriology. Though I respect your belief system, the logic of your argument, in this post, is flawed.

    • Greg Trimble

      Joseph Smith was mentally ill? I’ve heard a lot… but never that. Scholars that don’t believe his claim describe it as a work of genius if he was able to pull that off on his own volition…but not ill. Thank you for posting…honestly I truly appreciate it.

    • Keith

      http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/weber1.html

      Max Weber, the sociologist that you referred to, was mentally ill…
      The logic of your post is flawed.

  • http://thejooseproject.blogspot.com Justin R.

    From Orson F. Whitney’s “The Strength of the Mormon Position” as quoted by Elder Richards in his book “A Marvelous Work and A Wonder:”

    “Many years ago a learned man, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, came to Utah and spoke from the stand of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. I became well-acquanted with him, and we conversed freely and frankly. A great scholar, with perhaps a dozen languages at his tongue’s end, he seemed to know all about theology, law, literature, science and philosophy. One day he said to me: ‘You Mormons are all ignoramuses. You don’t even know the strength of your own position. It is so strong that there is only one other tenable in the whole Christian world, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. The issue is between Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, your are wrong; if you are right, we are wrong; and that’s all there is to it. The Protestants haven’t a leg to stand on. For, if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom we cut off long ago. If we have apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we claim, there is no need of Joseph Smith and Mormonism; but if we have not that succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and Mormonism’s attitude is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the gospel from ancient times, or the restoration of the gospel in latter days.”

    • Greg Trimble

      ahhh. yes… I was wondering when someone was going to post this :)

    • Lori

      How about you are all wrong? Even a possibility? Have you ever had the humility to ask yourself that question? You are all so certain of your viewpoints, there is no way you would recognize the truth even if it was staring you in the face, begging for a hearing.

      • Greg Trimble

        Definitely. I’ve asked myself that question many times. If someone can show me something that is better than what I already have, then I must consider that. (A little play out of Oscar McConkies playbook). So ya… just let me know if you’ve got anything that you think I should know that will bring me more happiness. :) But good question!

        • Lori

          Well, I don’t know how happy you truly are, but you seem pretty happy given your responses to those who disagree with you. I commend you for responding so happily to those who disagree and allowing their voices to be heard. However, you are not really responding with any substance to opposition.

          You say you have considered that you may be wrong. How? Just in relation to the Catholic Church (and it’s offshoots)? What about the Bible? I know Mormons believe the Bible, but have you considered that the Bible may have some not-quite-true, more the writers’ opinions in it? I mean, the latest manuscripts we have of the New Testament Gospels date 200-300 yrs. after Jesus’ time. Obviously, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write those manuscripts. It seems you take the truth of the Bible at face value and go from there to argue Mormonism is right. I would be very interested to read a response to the Greek Orthodox commenter below.

          I could offer you my religious philosophy as a possibility it will bring you more happiness, but I do not believe it would really matter. How do I know what brings you happiness? For some people, knowing the unvarnished truth brings happiness. For other people, it is feeling they have an answer for all their questions that brings peace and happiness. Some people are more happy keeping an open mind and don’t need to feel like they know the truthuntil they see it with their own eyes. Some people find it exhilarating to be surprised by new truths. Some people find happiness in power or being right. Some people find happiness just living without thinking about religion.

          Like I said, you seem pretty happy right now. I don’t seek to change your mind about your church, just to challenge your assertions.

          • Greg Trimble

            Lori – Thanks for your post. I wish I could respond to everyone. I just don’t have the time… :) I’m just so grateful for anyone that takes the time to post. Even the people that really hate what I’ve written. I love them all. As far as considering my beliefs wrong…I think everyone has had to consider whether what they are doing is wrong. I especially had to consider all of that before I went on my mission. I didn’t want to waste the best years of my life on a hoax. I have no way of articulating the things I’ve seen and experienced to somehow prove that my belief is true. I just feel that it is true based on hours and hours of research and what I would believe to be a spiritual confirmation. All I know is that the Book of Mormon didn’t just come out of nowhere… and it didn’t come from and uneducated 14 year old. I’ve read that Book countless times and it makes me a better person. I can’t see why some people hate the book so much. I don’t consider the Bible infallible in the least degree. It has been translated over and over again. The fact that the Bible has so many translations and contradictions makes me believe even more that we are in need of additional light and knowledge. However, I do love the Bible and accept any errors that are contained therein as the errors of men. The Mormon church is full of the errors of men, but the doctrine is sweet to me. I haven’t found anything in the Bible that would condemn me for being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and therefore conclude that if I happen to be completely deceived in the end, it will still be alright for me because I have taken every other step that all other Christians have taken. I know that probably doesn’t make sense, but it is really logical to me…and that is what makes me happy!

  • John J.

    Thank you for the very interesting and insightful post, Mr. Trimble. I very much appreciated reading your insights into the Mormon “claim.”

    I come from the Eastern Orthodox Church and my comments reflect the questions and objections I have concerning the various claims you made in this blog post.

    For reference, I will quote your passages that I want to respond to directly before doing so.

    You say:

    “Mormonism makes a bold claim, which is why they also take a lot of heat from other Christian religions. They believe that Jesus Christ established His Church when he was on the earth.”

    1. Actually, the Orthodox Church believes the same thing. We are a very historically-minded Church and affirm the historical importance of both Christ coming into the world, condescending into history, into time, and also the very real Church He established on earth. We like to say that the so-called “Birthday” of the Church begins at Pentecost.

    At least with respect to this aspect of the Mormon claim, we are in agreement.

    You say:

    “The New Testament is primarily a collection of those letters in which the apostles are trying to govern the church. With them gone and no one to lead the church, men began interpreting the scriptures for themselves and twisting the doctrine. Over time, the churches began to fall away from the truth because the apostles were not there to lead them.”

    1. There are a number of things wrong with your following claims, historically and logically.

    Are you aware of how the early offices in the Church came to be?

    You are historically and factually wrong to say that the apostles only went around and wrote things in order to keep the churches in line. They also went around the Roman empire and baptized others and ordained the first bishops and priests.

    The earliest bishops in the early Church could trace their ordinations back to the apostles themselves. In ecclesiastical terminology, this is called “apostolic succession” and the concept is simple enough to grasp. When the apostles themselves baptized and ordained new “leaders” they transmitted to them the very apostolic tradition that had been given to them by Christ.

    These “men,” more properly understood as bishops, presbyters, and priests, did not just go “interpret the scriptures for themselves” since, well, the Christian New Testament was not in existence yet.

    Read that one again, please.

    When the apostles (i.e. someone who had an experience of the risen Lord) were all dead, the very “men” (bishops, priests, presbyters, etc.) who YOU say began interpreting Scripture for themselves and twisting it, could not have done so because none of the New Testament writings we see today in the Christian New Testament canon were considered sacred scripture then.

    Quite simply, it took a few hundred years for the early Church on the whole to decide which books/writings would make up “sacred Scripture” alongside the Old Testament. The apostles themselves did not have a New Testament yet, they also only considered the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as sacred scripture.

    The Truth, which you say the church began to fall away from over time, was not something found IN the New Testament that somehow some early Christians misinterpreted. The Truth of the Church was there from the beginning. The New Testament is itself the surviving written record of what the early Church had always believed. One reason among many why certain apocryphal books never made it into the Christian canon was because of the content of those books. If the content of the book did not conform to the living apostolic tradition of the church that was there since the time of Christ, it was not to be considered sacred scripture.

    My own two cents herein for why the Book of Mormon also cannot be considered sacred scripture, for that very reason among many.

    And again, just because the apostles were not around to lead the early church after they died, that is precisely why they ordained leaders in the various church communities to do that leadership and teaching. The office of the bishop in the early church was quite literally an office of teaching and preserving the apostolic faith as much as it was leading a community.

    You say:

    “By 325 AD, the nature of God and the doctrine of the Christian faith was being voted on by pagans in Rome as a political maneuver rather than a religious one. Formal creeds, and a Catholic, or “Universal” church was formed as the state religion for the most powerful country in the world.”

    This is a comical statement.

    I believe you are referring to the first ecumenical council, by your mention of the year 325 AD. That council was indeed called by the emperor Constantine (and called in Nicea, which is no where near Rome, actually) but not a single Pagan was there to vote on any religious matter.

    Your abuse of the historical record is shocking in this one section. Where is your evidence to support the claim that Pagans were voting on matters at the first ecumenical council? Do you know how ecumenical councils work? Have you even read the literature from those who were actually AT the first ecumenical council? Only Christian bishops were allowed to vote at the ecumenical councils and among those, only those where not in schism with the church and heretical.

    And you want to talk about political maneuvers? Ok, well yes, Constantine did call the ecumenical council and one could reasonably say that it was done in part to address a political issue (from Constantine’s perspective) of wanting to unite the empire and stop the divisions among Arian and non-Arian Christians, but at the same time, do you also recognize the fact that Constantine did not have a vote himself in the council? He presided over it but did not draft any doctrines or creeds, statements or articles of faith. That was left to the bishops themselves. So your argument is overstated at best and flagrantly inaccurate at worst.

    You say:

    “If you doubt any of it, I have a 45 volume set of Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene writings sitting on my shelf as a reference. (They are not written or edited by Mormon scholars.) The early Christian fathers witnessed the church fall into deep apostasy and they wrote about it.”

    I would love to see this. Let’s see exactly which “church fathers” you want to provide and let’s read into the context surrounding their statements. Please, definitely share and we can go through it.

    You say:

    “Catholicism claims that they are the true church and that they perpetuated the priesthood through the generations. Therefore Catholicism claims that all other protestant and Evangelical churches are nothing but apostate off shoots of the Catholic church. So…you must think to yourself, if the Catholic church is right…and they do have the truth and the priesthood authority to lead and administer Christ’s church, then they are technically right about protestant Christianity. Any church that broke off from them or received the Bible through them cannot have the fullness of the gospel. However, if the Catholic church never had the authority and it was lost in the early centuries shortly after the apostles were killed, then none of the reformers could have the complete truth or the authority because…well…where could they have gotten it from?”

    The Orthodox Church, in a similar fashion, also claims that we preserve the fullness of the Truth because we have perpetuated the priesthood through the generations.

    But this needs qualification, as it relates to your claim.

    We believe in the Truth of the Church because of the apostolic tradition and faith that has itself been preserved in the priesthood through the generations.

    To be clear, it is the continuing apostolic tradition that we say affords us the fullness of the Truth.

    To critique the Catholics here, I as an Orthodox Christian would also affirm that the Catholic Church cannot be preserving the “fullness” of the Truth because the apostolic tradition that they have allegedly preserved through their priesthood has changed over time. The Catholic Church has introduced new dogmas over time and believe that the apostolic faith given to the apostles, was but a “seed” of the Truth, whereas the Orthodox believe that the fullness of that Truth was given to the apostles by Christ.

    Herein lies another Orthodox critique of the Mormon Church; namely the fact that the Mormon Church has introduced new doctrines and dogmas which were not originally present in the deposit of the apostolic faith.

    But I digress.

    The main problem with your main contention in the quoted passage above is that your Mormon claim rests squarely on the perceived assumption that the Catholic Church (or in my case, as I am sure you would assert, the Orthodox Church) has somehow “never had the authority and lost it in the early centuries shortly after the apostles were killed.”

    But here again, that is a very loose claim to base your objections to these other Church’s authority on.

    I have, in fact, provided ample holes in your seemingly solid foundation.

    You cannot look back into history from your own biased worldview as a Mormon and just re-invent history to suit the claims of your Church. You, unfortunately, are coming from a place and a Church that only arose in the middle of the nineteenth century. You necessarily have to retroactively go back and re-work history to give your own Mormon Mission any sort of meaning across time.

    But again, your historical claims are lacking and full of more holes than a wedge of swiss cheese.

    I hope to hear an honest refutation of my contentions and maybe I can better help set your own historical awareness straight.

    • Greg Trimble

      Holy cow man. Give me some time to look at this. Should be fun. Thanks for taking the time to write all this. Anyone who cares that much I can respect for sure regardless of what you believe. :)

    • http://kristopherorr.com kristopher orr

      Thank you for a well written and logical reply. One of the very few on here.

  • Leigh

    I only have one thing to comment on. I read a reply from someone that said
    ““Am I going to be any worse off than you at the last day if Mormonism turned out to be false?”
    Yes. You lose everything.
    We are both going to die someday. We both have something to gain and something to lose. One will gain everything and lose nothing. The other will gain nothing and lose everything.
    It is impossible for two statements to be contrary to each other and both still be true. Only one can be true. The other is not true.”

    I believe that both of these statements are false. This is where our religion (Mormonism) has the most liberal and merciful understanding of our Heavenly Father and his Son. There is a place for all of us. There are opportunities for growth and movement and new understanding after this earthly life. The Lord doesn’t love one of us more because of our religion, He just knows that knowledge now can bring us greater happiness and real joy. We aren’t favored, we just have a greater responsibility. When we (Mormons) teach about the plan of happiness, this term doesn’t just apply to us, but to all children of our Father in Heaven. The only people that we believe will be punished have committed sins against the Father himself. The rest of the plan (degrees of glory) is Father’s way of blessing us, not punishing us. The Atonement applies to us all regardless of our professed faith. The Savior won’t just be the champion or Latter-Day Saints, but for all of us upon this Earth.
    I love good people. I wish that all could see things the way I do, but I know that won’t ever happen. I hope that we can all work together toward a common goal of uplifting and preparing people for His second coming. There are a million things that I don’t understand and so I am grateful for my Savior’s Atonement that swallows my imperfections. I hope to be perfected in Him and through Him some day. I hope to see you all there and we can talk about how silly our squabbles were when our eyes had not yet been opened to a perfect knowledge.
    And just for the record, I have a testimony of this restored gospel. I believe Joseph Smith really saw the Father and Jesus in that grove of trees. I believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I believe in prayer and family and the healing power of the Savior. I believe in his prophets, both living and dead. I believe that the most important thing we can do in this life is make a habit of turning to the Savior when we get derailed (daily).
    That was a lot longer than I anticipated. I hope this helps with any venom that is felt for Latter-Day Saints. ( I am not an English Major, so be gentle in your criticism :)

    • Lori

      I think you very clearly stated your opinion, and I feel your testimony of the things you believe is sincere and precious to you.

      You also said that you love good people and wish that they could all see things the way you do. You then lament that will not happen. I wonder, have you ever thought they maybe these good people have insight too offer you that your viewpoint has not yet considered? Maybe they have something good and useful to offer you from their own viewpoint? Perhaps something even a person just like you could find beneficial? You see, this kind of sentiment, that you wish everyone could be just like you, is what many people find so off-putting about Mormons or Mormonism. It comes off as very arrogant and self-centered. I can see from your comment that you are not arrogant, but simply feel you have the truth. I am only pointing out that this is not the way other people may see it. I think this could be where the venom you speak of for your church is born.

      Another commenter mentioned that the critisicm or vitriol against the Mormon church is what convinces him/her it must be true. This seems strange to me because, although a large number of people disagreeing with something I believe would not itself dissuade me from that belief, I would at least check out their reasons if only to better understand their position. It seems some Mormons do not even want to hear disagreement. They are so certain of their view, that even the unheard arguments against it are evidence of its truth!

      • Leigh

        Lori,
        I should have put a little smiley :) after my lamenting comment. It is hard to get across a feeling in words. I really feel like the fullness of the gospel will only truly be realized after this life. I do think there are a few hoops we will all have to jump through, but I believe that we ALL will have the opportunity to do so. I think we all have something to learn. I appreciate that there are good people like you willing to share your beliefs. Keep up the good work. I will do my part to keep up the good work in my neck of the woods. I would love to send you a Book of Mormon and I will read any inspired literature you are peddling ;) I am being absolutely sincere.

  • http://www.ldshistory.us/eldenjw.htm Perry L. Porter

    Hey Greg, what happened to my comment?

    I posted it 5 hours ago?

    Did it got lost?

    Should I post it again?

    Thanks

    Perry

    • Greg Trimble

      This post crashed my server…sorry. It should be up there.

      • http://www.ldshistory.us Perry L. Porter

        Wow it did load really slow the other day, and no I don’t see my post…. :(

  • Che

    Ask the typical “Christian”, one of the 30,000 sects, or Catholic, what happens to anyone who never hears of Christ, the atonement, etc. Can they be saved and live with God in heaven? The answer is no. Is this how a loving, caring Father would treat his children? Or would he provide a way, even after death and no knowledge of Christ, to be taught and given the choice to accept or reject Christ’s teachings? There is only one church that professes this opportunity for all of God’s children….The Mormons, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why would I join any other? And ask yourself, why would the founder of the Baptist Church leave it, become a “Seeker”, seeking, waiting for a restoration of the original Church? And, how can 30,000 sects of the “Christian” Church be ONE as the Bible states the Church should be when they can’t even get along in most everything Christian? Talking about FLAWS, just read a little “Christian” history. What a disaterous mess.

  • knotty5

    This is facinating! I have always wanted to hear an othodox POV!Greek, Eastern, etc. i dont care which. I just find the othodox view so interesting. PLEASE do research this and post!!! I am so interested in this discussion and hope that the orthodox believer will continue to share.(Perhaps sans the snarky comments…) I think I need more information on why the authority comes from tradition rather than keys in church leadership. Also, who gets to decide who the leaders of the church are and why ecumenical councils get to decide on doctrine rather than by revelation or do they believe that individual leaders are entitled to personal revelation as they serve in the councils? Thanks again for this lively discussion!!!!

  • knotty5

    One more thing…I once heard an atheist author on a radio programcalled “Radio West” state that people might not crticize Joe Smith as much if they remebered that Moses probably had a lot of life lived to add to his narrative but that was not included in scripture. She compared it to sausage making, I think. Abraham had a son with his wife’s maid and Lot slept with his daughter in law. Paul may have had marital problems and Joseph of Egypt amrried outside the covenant. I am not up to date on all of my popes but I know their lives were far from perfect and a pastor from a local mega church in CA was just arrested for child pornography on his church computer.I do NOT say this to justify wickedness in any form. I just say this in HOPE that we can gaiin some perspective on the actions of the flawed men and women that God has to work with when building His kingdom on Earth. Yes, the LDS church did and does only have the same flawed people to work with. Joseph Smith included. Let’s also remember that he was 14 when he claims to have seen God and Jesus. Most 14 year olds are not perfectly mature or have a flawless perspective on life. We are told that by their fruits you may know them. The fruit of Abraham turned out to be very sweet but delayed. The fruit of Joseph Smith’s sacrifice is that millions of lives have been changed and washed clean from the sins fo this world because Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon as a socond witness of the Jesus Christ’s grace adn perfect love for all of God’s children, preached from the Bible words of Jesus Christ, and brought back to the earth apostolic authority and keys to govern THE church of Jesus Christ preparatory to His second coming.
    The lens of history can be so valuable as we make value judgements about leaders and their flaws and failings. Jesus Christ was and is the ONLY perfect, unflawed person to walk on this earth but that doesnt mean there arent a lot of good people trying to recognze His will in their lives and make the world a better place as well. Thankful I am that by His word and revelation we are governed and not by tradition and the arm of men. Even great men like Joseph Smith.

    • Greg Trimble

      Classic!

    • Lori

      This argument that people who do not believe in Joseph Smith do not believe because he was not perfect is a straw man argument. That is to say, you set up an argument you would like to refute rather than the actual argument being made. Many people, who have looked into it, do not believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet who saw God and Jesus because the evidence convinces them Joseph Smith lied about seeing God and Jesus.

      The fact that he lied about many particulars in his life and did not always conduct himself with decency probably plays into this assessment (it does for me), but the hard facts are essential. One fact being that he did not even mention this vision to anyone until 1832. That is 2 yrs after he formed his church. Early church members only heard about angel Moroni coming to tell him of the plates (even with this vision, in some early accounts, that angel was called Nephi). There is no record of his vision of God and Jesus from any newspapers, in any papers or journals kept by church members, enemies or even his own family members before 1832. The first record in 1832 is written in Joseph Smith’s own handwriting and only mentions seeing “the lord” who told him all the churches were wrong. There are several subsequent accounts that were written by various scribes at his direction that differ somewhat from this and each other.

      Also, there is no record in any newspaper or other accounts of any revival or excitement about religion in his area in 1820. This puts the lie to his claim that he was motivated to pray about which church is right because of the excitement and the fact that his mother and several siblings had joined one of the churches. His own mother recorded in her journal her joining of that church (I think it was the Presbyterians) after the death of her son Alvin. Alvin died in 1823, and it just so happens there are lots of accounts of the religious excitement and revivals in late 1823 on into 1824. There are more little facts and implications on this point but I will stop here.

      Seeing God and Jesus Christ is most certainly a bold claim which requires solid evidence, or at the very least, an ability to keep the story straight. Would you forget the dates, details, and whether or not you had told anyone about it if you had seen God and Jesus? Even if you could not recall the date, you would at least recall what motivated the prayer that triggered the vision. Joseph Smith’s inability to do any of this combined with his dishonesty and unsavory actions in other areas of his life prove to some people that he was never a prophet of God, and that is why people do not believe. Their lack of belief is not because he was not perfect.

    • K

      Actually, Joseph Smith only claimed to have seen God and Jesus Christ 18 years later, in 1838. He said it happened in 1820, when he was 14. But he didn’t get that story fleshed out until much later. No 14-year-old’s perspective here. There are many variants that were told until he finally wrote it the “official” way when writing his history. Before that, it was two angels, or it had no devil. Or it was when he was 17. Or so on. Oliver Cowdery was challenged about the 14 vs. 17 thing, and he insisted it was 17, and it was two angels. It seems the Moroni thing when he was 17 was invented to reconcile the conflicting stories. It’s so hard to keep track of what you say off-handedly when all you’re trying to do is show off your dowsing cred. Sticking to the peep stone story would have been so much less fatal.

    • James

      I am neither Orthodox Catholic or Mormon…anymore. However, I am a little confused at the logic here. Mormons claim that because of sin and corruption, the Orthodox church lost the authority to administer the Gospel. If this line of reasoning is valid, then why, didn’t Abraham, Moses, even Joseph Smith lose this authority? They too were men and sinned and at times probably were not worthy of priesthood power.

  • Uti Makasini

    I ran out of patients reading all the comments lol. There are people who have connected all the dots. And there are people who have not all the dots to connect. I will be bold and leave you people my testimony. Mormon is only a nickname. I am a Saint. I can also write a book of my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also of many personal spiritual experiences that you wouldn’t comprehend correctly. The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints is the Church of Jesus Christ. There is one other church, but Satan is the founder of it. One truth or numeral lies. Keep searching for the rest of the dots and you’ll find it for sure.

  • Bonnie McQueen

    I loved the article, catchy, pulled me right in, and into the discussion. I have to admit, I wanted to hear what the people who think Mormons are crazy had to say!
    Here’s the deal. True believers in Christ, people who personally know him by using the Scriptures, for their true purpose, and by spending time on their knees, recognize truth. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, who’s mission is to testify to those who are seeking truth, ALL mankind, not just Mormons, have access to the powers that be. Our Father, and our Savior, know us each and every one, intimately.
    People are welcome to judge, however they see fit, and we love them, and are willing to ease their burdens, regardless whether they love us or hate us, or are indifferent.
    After the divine Restoration of the Gospel through a chosen, humble, willing, young, Prophet of God, Joseph Smith, and the “marvelous work and wonder that has followed”, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has one purpose, and that is to prepare the Earth for the second coming of the Savior Jesus Christ. That is happening in a great way as we speak. We invite all whom want to know the sweetness of the Atoning Sacrifice of the Savior, and do not have that gift, to know what that FEELS like, what it means, and who they are.
    The Church is service based as previously mentioned, no paid ministry. No one here is doing anything for money. And I have never experienced a group of people happier and more ready to not only serve in callings, but who seek out and watch for the opportunity to lift even the smallest burdens from their fellow man, member and non-member alike.
    I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, as is Thomas Monson this very day. And none of this is coincidence, or the work of anything short of the mission of Jesus Christ himself.
    Whether through organized effort, or just by the still small voice of the Holy Ghost, the work is rolling forward. We seek and follow the guidance of our sweet Prophet, President Monson, who has dedicated his life to the Savior and this work. We align our lives with the highest standards of goodness we can. We care for our Family Members who has passed before us. We care for our Families here, and make them priority in our lives, knowing we get to keep them forever. We hope for the best in all things, and overall seek to be a beacon of hope and light to the world. And in these times, those two things seem to be in short supply.
    I feel so lucky and blessed to have this Gospel, beyond imagination really, and to know and believe my Savior, Jesus Christ.
    So, to those of you, who feel harshly toward us, try not to please. We will respect your positions and opinions, even if we don’t see eye to eye. When it all shakes out, we’re all Brothers and Sisters here. If I’m ever stranded on the side of the road, I hope SOMEONE, ANYONE stops to lend me a hand…..

  • Mapuana

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church. The church is not based on the philosophy of man. It is based on Christ and his teachings. The members of the church are at differing levels in the knowledge of the gospel. We are continually learning. Some study more than others the scriptures and the gospel. There is much to learn. It’s like going to school! We have children in the 8th grade that are still learning, and adults with an 8th grade education. Still, we have adults who are valedictorians in their specialized field. Likewise, we have members of varying levels of knowledge in the gospel. We do not base the truthfulness of the church on the precepts of man, nor do we base the truthfulness of the church on the flaws of mankind. Man are given the choice to choose what they may. Because our choices may be somewhat skewed, It does not mean that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t true. It is true!!!! If you truly would like to know if this church is true, PRAY!!! The Lord is not a respector of persons. If you truly desire to know the truth, humble yourself to ask the Lord, and then ask Him, he will manifest the truth unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. By the Power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of ALL things!!

  • Karla

    I have only one question for you. If you died tonight and stood before God and He asked you why He should let you in to His kingdom, how would you respond?

    • Greg Trimble

      Through the merits and mercy of His Son…

  • Russ Cutler

    Interesting comments, especially the ones who are so very proud that they have no religion at all and through the use of their back-handed compliments, put down people who believe in God. I’m a life long Mormon. I served a 2 year mission in the “Bible Belt” and had the privilege of daily confrontations with hostile “Christians” who hated me just because I’m a “Mormon” I learned what tolerance is NOT. As a Mormon, I believe that each is free to “worship how, where, or what they may.” I allow all men that same privilege of worship. I’ve discussed religion with people of virtually every faith on this planet for most of my life. My faith has become stronger because of it. There is much talk about “The Church” and how it is “imperfect” because it is run by imperfect humans in the comments above. This is an error that needs to corrected. The “Church” is the DOCTRINE, it is not the body of people. Christ Himself established the DOCTRINE. People then chose if they wanted to follow the Doctrine or not. True, nobody can follow the Doctrine perfectly, as we are flawed humans. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRUE because of TRUE DOCTRINE. Christ told us there are ordinances such as baptism that must be performed to return back to the Father. Those ordinances must be performed by “One having AUTHORITY”. Good intentions don’t cut it. The road somewhere is paved with good intentions. AUTHORITY matters. God and Christ are perfectionists and insist that things of an eternal nature be done “Perfectly” or they don’t count. Following True Doctrine with Authority given by Christ Himself by the LAYING ON OF HANDS makes the ordinances valid. Hands connect with a person and make the experience of the ordinance real and tangible. Just like a hand shake can be passed on, a person can’t deny that they have felt a handshake, and they can’t deny that they’ve had hands layer on their head, which are traceable all the way back to Christ Himself in an un-broken chain. Every Priesthood holder in the “Mormon” faith can trace where he got his Priesthood authority from, all the way back to Christ just like a genealogical line. So, TRUTH matters. DOCTRINE matters. AUTHORITY matters.

  • Jill

    I loved this article. Thank you! All the comments have been intriguing to read. I love all your responses. You’re so awesome. I’m so grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!!

  • Janie

    So, How would you explain your method for finding out the truth of any of these claims? All the claims of mormonism which are many and the claims of catholicism? how do you determine truth?

    • Greg Trimble

      Great question. I believe in studying everything, analyzing the facts, and asking God for direction. :)

  • Helena

    Thanks for this! (Nicely written, aside from a few apostrophe problems.)

  • Cal

    The perpetuation of the false dichotomy that the church is either all true or all false is an unfortunate one and I hope it stops. Even science, which I see as having done more for human progress in the last 300 years than every religion put together in the history of time, does not make black and white claims. It operates on probabilities.

    I invite you to consider some things. Consider ceasing to perpetuating this damaging mentality. Consider what a crappy world this would be if all your decisions had to be made as part of a pre-packaged ideology, and you could only accept or reject them as a group, 100 percent. Consider that you are probably surrounded by faithful members who have no doubts whatsoever that the church is a beautiful, colorful, sometimes ugly, sometimes amazing mixture of not just black and white, but gray and a whole spectrum of color. Consider those who feel forced to the sidelines by the mentality you encourage in this article, because that they feel the evidence points to your religion being doctrinally or scientifically false, but they want to fight for their testimonies and stay and participate. You are pushing them to the sidelines and patting yourself on the back for being pious. You seem like a nice guy so it’s not intentional I’m sure, but you are indeed attempting to define a line that doesn’t exist, and then pushing people onto one side or the other with a smile and a “love ya bro, but stand over there please with the other doubters.”

    There is falsehood in the church. Pick a sunday school manual and there are church historians who can tell you the significant and disturbing historical errors, purposefully packaged as half-truths and “white lies” because they are less disturbing to lay members than the truth. The LDS church is paying a huge toll in membership for its lack of honesty about its history. All religions are suffering a huge toll in membership because of their continual spurning of science and civil rights. A person can refuse to look, put cotton in their ears and repeat their testimony over and over, or they can face it, embrace it for its humanness (or leave it behind if that is what they choose) and move forward. If you feel blissful in the church, consider the popular saying that ignorance is bliss, and maybe those who don’t feel so blissful are just a little less ignorant and are having to learn how to deal with that. Many have done so and remain in the church happily. Many have decided that they church is not for them, with a completely clear conscience. Few if any of these people, who I am comfortable saying probably understand church history and doctrine far more than you, take the “all true or all false” seriously. No offense, but your language suggests that you truly do not understand this.

    Also, Joseph Smith’s claims are certainly not the world’s biggest hoax if they are false, or even the second. Mormons have been flattering themselves with this rhetoric for a long time. The size of a hoax is usually measured in how many people it fools. Judging by the small size of membership, I’d say not many people have bought into it. Most branches of mainstream Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, buddhism, communism, and a long list of “ism’s” after that have you beat by a long shot. Consider for a moment that if we are classifying religions and ideologies as “hoaxes” or “truth” then you may as well throw them all out. Stop claiming that they have some good and some bad, because guess what? They all claim to be 100 percent true, just like Mormonism.

    I probably sound angry but I’m not. Hopefully you are the kind of person who can distinguish between a dissenting opinion and an attack. I feel strongly about the damage this mentality causes and I see a lot of people hurt by it.

    • Greg Trimble

      Cal – Nothin but love man.

    • Amie

      Cal, thank you so much for your reply to this blog! You said everything I was thinking! I was born and raised in the church, and most of my life believing that it was 100% true. But several years ago, when faced with some hard questions about the church, I began doing some research. I stuck only to LDS sources, as I was a true believer, and didn’t want to read any anti-mormom literature that I believed would be twisted by half truths and mis-representations. However, what I found in my research threw me for a loop! I kept digging up stuff that I had been told “half truths” and mis-representations about all my life – by the church itself! I felt deceived, naive and so stupid! There were so many thing buried right there in church records and documents that had be completely mis-represented! What a shock.

      For 7 more years I struggled with this horrible shock to my faith in secret. When I tried to talk my LDS to family or friends about my struggles, they became defensive, make excuses, and deny the truth in anything I was saying! Funny, because I found these things mainly though sources like FARMS, or the Journal of Discourses, and BYU sources. If I talk to nonmember friends, they would latch on to the church being a “lie” and try to convince me to leave. But I loved the church! I love my friends there, my community. And I believed in the standards taught and many of the principals. It was terrible!

      Over the last year, I finally reached a breaking point and had to start to tell the world the truth! I didn’t believe! I loved the church, but could no longer say it was 100% true ever again. The day I finally told my feelings openly, it was like the clouds in my mind parted, and blue sky came out. Years of depression and fear fell away, and I have never been more happy, clear headed, and at peace. Years and years of reading, and fasting and praying for the “revelation” that the church was really true had never once given me such a feeling of love, peace and calm.

      Today, I recognize the good things in the church. There are so many good people and great standards and ideas. But Greg Trimble, I am sorry. This is not “Christ’s one and only true church.” Nor is it the “biggest hoax” in the world. It’s a big hoax – but not nearly the biggest. It’s just when you a true believing Mormon, you can only see the world through your Mormon glasses. And the real reason that everyone others thing that Mormon’s are crazy is because they don’t have those glasses on, and they see a totally different terrain. I know. I took my off, and discovered and amazing world that is full of good and bad, and beauty and love and hate and anger and all the shades in between. It has nothing at all to do with Mormonism! Jesus wasn’t teaching an ancient form or Mormonism at all. If you took the glasses off, you might see that.

  • Aaron

    I wager that most people don’t care about the Mormon “claim” to be the true restored church.

    If you really want to understand why people think Mormons are crazy, just go watch the “All About the Mormons” episode that South Park did. That’s just a small taste of why people collectively roll their eyes at Mormonism. And with good reason.

    • JOHN mccarthy

      Southpark! great reference source lol

  • http://www.ilovethebookofmormon.org Ben Arkell

    Greg, if you’re crashing servers with posts, we’d love to have you do a guest post on our site! Great work!

    • Greg Trimble

      Granted that server wasn’t that sweet…but 100,000 visits a day was a little strain. I’d love to post someday in the future. :)

  • RT

    You had me at, “one of the biggest frauds in human history.”

    Fact: If I lived my life exactly like Jesus Christ, I would not be able to obtain a temple recommend.

    Fact: If I lived my life exactly like Joseph Smith, I would not only get excommunicated but, also jailed for having sex with minors.

    Joseph Smith Quote – Fact: “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . ” (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409).

    I am a 21-year convert to the church and just found out about Joseph’s polyandry. I cannot tell you how upset I am.

    Joseph Smith was evil. Period.

    • AP

      I understand how you can be upset to hear things that may or may not be true. Romans 10:17 teaches us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Because of the faith I have gained, it would not matter to me if Joseph Smith did the bad things that some people say he did. When I asked God in the name of Jesus Christ if Joseph Smith was His prophet I received my answer and the same when I asked about the Book of Mormon, etc.

      Before I did know for myself, even though I had studied and had been taught a certain way, I promised that I would follow the direction the Lord gave me no matter where it would take me, even if it took me away from the church and culture I grew up in.

      Once God gives you knowledge directly through the Holy Spirit, no deed or saying of any man can take that away. Please pray for knowledge that only God can give and when He tells you to go a certain direction, go that direction with all of your heart!

      • Aaron

        When your epistemological framework results in you believing that you have received spiritual confirmation that a documented con-man was a prophet of god, then it’s time to reevaluate the reliability of that epistemological framework.

        By the way, here’s an object lesson in circular logic:

        Q. How do you know that the Book of Mormon is true?
        A. Because I prayed to God and the Holy Ghost confirmed it to be true.
        Q. How do you know that when you pray to God he will have the Holy Ghost confirm that something is true?
        A. Because it says so right here in the Book of Mormon.
        Q. How do you know the Book of Mormon is true?

        • Mike Shaw

          Haha. I did that and the Holy Ghost confirmed to me that the Book of Mormon is not true. But according to a learned Mormon leader, that was not God speaking to me, it was Satan. So apparently it is possible to pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Christ and have the devil answer you.

    • Pied

      RT, in my opinion Joseph did questionable (and terrible) things. His statement where he compares himself to Christ and hearing about the allegations of polyandry make me want to hit him… And if I have to listen to the his eulogy where he is again compared to Christ I think I might run out of church screaming.

      More and more contention is rising because members are finding out about our real history. I think the church has done itself a great disservice by focusing so much on the ‘infallibility’ of the modern day prophets especially Joseph Smith. I have a hard time when members say that we should be praying for a testimony that Joseph Smith was the prophet of God. I think instead we need to leave him out of the equation and pray about the doctrine of the restored Gospel.

      Also, as members I think we also forget what the Book of Mormon is. It may or may not be a literal history of the inhabitants of this New World, but that is not the main purpose. As it states on the title page, it is another testament of Jesus Christ, and within its writings we can gain a better understanding and relationship with our Savior.

      I am also not a fan of the idea that the restoration occured in the early 1800s and that was it. I believe it has been happening over a larger period of time and is still happening (Article of Faith 1:9). I am referencing Mark E. Petersen’s The Great Prologue given at BYU ( http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1024 ).

      Anyway, I also wanted to leave you this link to Mormon Stories. A podcast by John Dehlin. And if you need to talk to anyone RT, I am more than happy to. I know it is frustrating to not be able to talk about these ‘sticky’ topics with other members who may not know what you know.

      http://mormonstories.org/john-dehlin/

      • RT

        Thanks, Pied!

        Yes, Joseph did things and behaved more closely described as a Warren Jeffs type than a Gordon B. Hinkley, that’s certain. My initial involvement with the church did not revolve around Joseph though. My interest was the family, unity within the ward(s), serving others, etc. After reading John Dehlin’s page, I can relate very much with what he stated.

        However, when my son left seminary one morning and came home to tell my wife & me that he would leave the church if polygamy came back into practice, we assured him that polygamy was of God and that he needed to be faithful. After much insisting that polygamy was NOT of God, he completely refused to hear our reasoning. With that, my wife set out on a church-history based explanation of how polygamy WAS of God so that she could speak with some accurate authority to our son and tenderly educate him about this higher spiritual law. She figured that he was just viewing multiple marriage* from a temporal mindset, not a spiritual one.

        O.M.G. !!!!! Yeah, the church really needs to be careful when they encourage people to ‘learn church history’……WHOA! Well, I can tell you that I learned a new word at 41 years old: Polyandry*, as in more than one husband.

        *This denotes the other part of plural marriage no one talks about when speaking about Joseph. And, his actions alone with this one issue are enough to completely disqualify him as a descent human being.

        Long story short, I miss working with the youth. I wish the church would not herald J.S. so much because he was a con-man, narcissist, lying, deceiving, rat. Again, more akin to Warren Jeffs than Gordon Hinkley.

        Look up again why Oliver Cowdery left.

        Know what really sucks? It really sucks when one realizes that that picture of Joseph Smith & Oliver Cowdery translating the plates by candle light NEVER HAPPENED. No, it never physically happened as depicted in that artwork. Nope. What REALLY happened is shown on an episode of South Park (Vile, piece of crap cartoon indeed). Yeah, when someone has been in the church 20 years and finds out that Joseph put a rock in his hat and buried his head in it to ‘translate’ the Book of Mormon by watching South Park, that kind of shocks the system. I hate to say it but, South Park is more accurate about Joseph Smith’s translation that any primary class, YM/YW, or gospel doctrine class I ever attended for 20 years…..that sucks.

        Still willing to serve others. Still want to help out where I can. Still love the YM I worked with for years and wish them well with their involvement in the church in as much as it is constructive for them. The church was a ‘net positive’ for me for the first 20 years. I wish I could say the same for my son & wife, both of whom grew up in the church and had their respective worlds crushed by the horrible truth of Joseph Smith.

        Thanks for your comment, Pied.

  • Whole lot’a love

    Our invitation to everyone is the same, read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and ask your loving Heavenly Father if it is true, if it is from him, if it completes the Bible. We do not claim that it replaces the bible, but adds to the doctrines that are taught inside that holy book.

    It breaks my heart to hear so much hatred towards each other, whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, or Mormon. Heavenly Father loves us all, with a love that we cannot comprehend. We all have our carnal flaws, all of our Churches and it’s members have carnal flaws. But we don’t have to be so ugly to each other about the mistakes and the horrors that have happened. Isn’t that what the Atonement of Jesus Christ was all about? He bore our burdens and suffered our sins so that we could leave them behind.

    In the end, we will all meet our creator, and in the end his infinite wisdom and justice and mercy will be shown. We all will receive joy, we all will have a new and better understanding of God’s great love for us. At that time will look back on these moments, when we bashed others in his name (I highly doubt he would appreciate that.) And we condemned others for having faith, for striving to be good, for helping others, for loving God with all of their heart, might, mind, and strength, with shame and horror.

    Love one another, as Jesus has loved all of us. The first great commandment was to love the Lord thy god with all of thy heart, might mind and strength. There are some who seem to have forgotten that the second is like unto, to love thy neighbor as thyself.

    I have friends of many faiths, they love me and respect me and I love them and respect them. Let’s dig a little deeper and show a little more compassion and understanding towards each other. We are all on this journey called life and it is hard enough as it is. Don’t fling hate and hurtful words towards others for your own pride and satisfaction. I can promise you they aren’t winning any of us any points in the records that the angels are keeping.

  • Elder Jerry Davis

    Currently serving senior mission in Long Beach, CA

  • Mark

    Greg,
    Nice blog. I’ll probably have more to comment on in the future, but for now just one thing. After listing a mostly accurate summation of early church history and befuddlement, early in the “Mormonism’s Claim…” article, you let us know that “…If you doubt any of it, I have a 45 volume set of Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene writings sitting on my shelf as a reference. (They are not written or edited by Mormon scholars.)”. I think we’d all agree that when asking the question “What did the early Christian church believe?”, sources written by those in authority are the places we should look whenever possible.
    I have a volume entitled “Mormon Doctrine” by Bruce R. McConkie, general authority and apostle of the Mormon Church. Can I assume this book accurately sets forth what Mormons believe, just as you have used the authority of the Nicene Fathers to represent the early Christian church? Why or why not.

    • Greg Trimble

      Mark…your a smart dude :) I know where you’re going with that. McConkie’s book (especially the first edition lol) doesn’t set forth the doctrine of the LDS Church despite it’s name. It was written as reference material for common questions and definitions for Church. It is correct for the most part but is far from an infallible work as both you and I know. He had flaws and he definitely admitted those flaws. My point in referencing the Nicene volumes is that I don’t know what other books to look in other than the writings of Eusebius or Philo etc… to find out what was going on between 100 A.D. until 1820. Let me know if you have any good reading material for me! :)

  • Tyler Mears

    The reasons why Mormon’s claim is so crazy to people has nothing to do with the so called restoration, it has to do with the person who started the church. It’s hard for people to believe the claim of a man who made his living by stealing and lying to people. Smith was a known fraud who later married multiple girls under the age of 18, one Helen Mar Kimbal only 14 years old. Smith also sent men overseas on missions and then married their wives while they were gone. I could go on and on about him, blood atonement, Brigham Young taking married women for his own, and blatant racism, but those just scratch the surface as to why people see the LDS church as crazy. Joseph Smith’s claim about the restoration is nothing special. Many people have done similar things that Joseph Smith did like Ellen G. White, the founder of the 7th Day Adventists.

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  • LUCIO D

    I believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ leads The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Church is perfect. NONE of the members of the Church are perfect,not even our prophet. I am far from it and honestly, I don’t know if I will be worthy to enter God’s eternal kingdom.

    Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and this is mine. I will die today if it meant that I would be granted automatic access into God’s kingdom. I would die for Christ today.

    Everyone can debate as much as they want, write as much as they feel impressed to do so and the only thing that really matters is what your heart desires. Unless we have a true desire to know if there is one true church or not, we will never know.

    One’s own faith will lead them to the truth and having their own personal testimony. I have seen so much in my life which may or may not be proven scientifically, I have seen the lives of many change simply because they gained a testimony, and I have also witnessed many lives suffer because they lived outside the standards of the Church.

    I have seen so much and I have know too many to not believe that there is a Christ. I cannot look up to the stars and imagine that this was just something that happened without some sort of divine organization or plan. Sure, evolution has taken place, but someone had to have had a part in that plan.

    How can the human body be so perfect and so complex at the same time? How can everything about the history of time and especially about my own life just be a coincidence?

    I don’t need to read your articles and you don’t need to read my thoughts. The real source of all this is not the Church, it is God.

  • Chanel

    I didn’t take the time to read all the comments, so I apologize if this is redundant. I, too am Mormon, and have heard before that if not us, then the Catholics. However, I disagree, the Orthodox church has just as strong a claim on the truth as the Catholic church and maybe an even stronger one. Just a thought. Good post.

  • Margaret Ames

    I only got to paragraph three of the original article as far as my critic. I am a Christian, but not because of anything I did, but because Jesus died on a cross for my sin. Yes, I take the action of accepting this sacrifice and claiming its promise for myself. If you read and study the New Testament of the Bible, you will see that Christians are not under the law, but saved by grace. It is a free gift, I don’t receive it because I obey laws. The New Testament is not just a bunch of letters written by apostles to keep the church in line. The Bible is the revelation of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. People do not fall away from the Bible’s teachings because they don’t have apostles to lead them, they fall away because of sin. As far as the nature of God – my Bible says it never changes no matter who votes about it. God never changes. To: Andrew Pixton – Jehovah God is not now or ever was He human or as you say a human God. To: Adam Schraedel – I received full, 100% salvation the day I repented of my sin and asked God to save me. My salvation is a free gift of God by His grace, not something I can earn.

    • LK

      Saying you’re “saved” doesn’t make it so. Paul said by their fruits shall you know them. He also said we need to WORK out our own soul salvation. It’s always good to teach scripture based on the context of when, where, why, and to whom it was written. Stating the Bible is the revelation of God shows a lack of understanding of what the Bible truly is. It is a compliation of writings of inspired prophets, apostles, and disciples. The followers of Christ in His day had and used what now closely resembles the first 5 books of the OT.
      If you truly believe God is unchanging, it would make perfect sense that He would have prophets and apostles like days of old to instruct and inspire His children to follow His way! And as far as the majority of the NT, they are mostly letters written by Paul to the Church located in a region, (Thus 1 & 2 Corintinian were 2 letters or epistles Paul wrote the saints in Corinth. To the saints in Galatia he wrote Galations and to the saints in Rome he wrote Romans), and he wrote to particular brethren in the Church, thus Philemon, Titus, Timothy, etc. They were all letters of instruction, rebuke, love, and encouragement.

  • Dallin Young

    Umm… So I am going to take a step back here and talk about something that does not look to have been discussed at all in this entire blog. This is actual evidence such as sculptures, artwork, myths, history, and most importantly that we have discovered and been able to translate from the Aztec, Mayan, Zapotec, and other mesoamerican civilizations that do not say a single word about lamenites, nephites, Zarahemla, Jesus, or anything else discussed in the Book of Morman.

    One of the most interesting facts that I found when discovering these cultures is that we can actually read their writings! This is a development that has taken place within the last few decades because of the few sources that we have from Jesuits and other priests during colonization. This language is absolutely not Hebrew, Egyptian, Arian, or any other old world based. Their language is based on phonetics which means they have multiple symbols or words that can have multiple meanings but have everything to do with the context that they are used. This is why it has taken scholars so long to decipher the language.

    Their gods, creation story, and myths have no comparable basis in any old world gods, but they do bare striking similarities to one another’s that can be traces to the oldest artifacts in the earliest of civiliations.

    I have been to the pyramids in South American and seen the artifacts first hand. Joseph Smith was simply a great story teller and salesman. There is no evidence to support his claims and if you don’t believe me do your own research into the mesoamerican civilizations. They are astonishing, unique, and complex in their own right.

    • Greg Trimble

      Dallin…great first name. Thats the name of one of our apostles. :) Regarding your comments… I have books that say the exact opposite. Who knows right?

      • David

        Greg – I’m sure that you have a few books that claim the opposite of what Dallin speaks of. As a matter of fact, I could write for you one more. And therein lies the problem.

        There’s a body of evidence that supports Dallin’s statements, and they come from a diverse and populous background of individuals and scientists who’ve entered the field of study with no preconceived notions to prove. Virtually none of these people conclude that mesoamerican civilizations are connected in any way with the Mormon narrative.

        On the opposing side, there exists a very limited number of books written primarily by LDS scholars that simply attempt to rearrange the facts to try to make the argument that mesoamerican civilizations are ‘BOM peoples’. None do so very well, and when presenting evidential claims merely rely upon circular references.

        This is why even some notable LDS scholars have had to reassess their faith, after years of research yielded results different from what they initially wanted to believe – Thomas Ferguson and Simon Southerton are but two notable examples.

        What’s interesting about the whole exercise of trying to prove that mesoamerican civilizations are part of then BOM narrative is that not even the CoJCoLDS, nor any modern prophet, has gone on record making this same claim. They’d be going out on a limb to do so, even as one would expect that a modern-day prophet could certainly put the question to rest had he the direct hotline to God. Rather, the effort has been driven by folks eager to ‘prove’ the narrative by linking to some sort of physical evidence. The choice of mesoamerican civilizations was a poor one as the differences between their history, theology, culture, government, leadership, language, timekeeping, cities, habits. sports, foods and livestock is about as different as can be from the BOM storyline.

      • Dallin Young

        Ha yes homie I am named after Dallin H Oaks and am a direct decendent of Brgham Young (and related to Steve Young! whoop whoop). I grew up Mormon and know the BoM extremely well.

        I am sure that you do have books that say differently, as did I. But they do not account for any of the the new evidence that have been released in the last couple decades when this research into mesoamerican history has really taken off. We know the names of kings, empires, shamans, gods, etc.. the list goes on.

        For me the biggest red herring is their calendar system. I am sure that you are aware of the Aztec and Maya calendar system that is said to the the most accurate in the world. Well they also had a very precise system of measureing time that they used to place all their kings, leaders, and events chronologically. None say anything about Mormon events.

        One of the main straw grabs is Quetzalcoatl, whom Mormons use and relate to being Jesus ( I read every “Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites” book that came out so I am familiar with this comparison as well). Well once again you can trace the origins of this god back to the earliest civilizations as well as many of the other gods :/.

        • angelea

          My opinion on the Aztec and Mayan theory you have is certaintly interesting and i don’t want to teach Any false doctrine but when one takes a trip down to those ancient ruins and you have a Mayan decendent who is also a member of the church tell you what the other tour guides are saying but can reference what your being showed to the book of Mormon it show a clearer picture the Mayans have several gods that correspond with our teachings. They have the downward facing god representing when Christ came down from the heavens to minister unto them. They have the faceless god representing the holy ghost and so on. Of course one could say you used a church guide to feed you lies but in my mind and by the pictures that I have seen of these depictions I’m convinced. also being a history major we have NOT decifered all of what the Mayan texts have said because each symbols has multiple meanings the same with the hygrogliphs in eygpt. Also a lot of what is said in the bible ( old testament) has yet to be proven by science but we still believe it happened. This is just my opinion and if you disagree that is fine :)

        • Alicia Garcia

          Dallin: It’s important to remember that the Church has never asserted a geographical location for the Book of Mormon, and in fact, has urged the same of its members. Members from Joseph Smith’s day to ours have often tried to impose a Meso-American setting, and it hasn’t worked well. However, there are other possibilities, such as a northeastern U.S. setting that do work out much better. The mound builder civilizations are my favorite candidates for BoM peoples. The location of the Hill Cumorah should be the first clue. Upstate New York. There may even be DNA support for this idea. Try this info for instance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_X_(mtDNA)

          I encourage Mormons to not fear looking into the so-called “shady” history of the Church or other questions that are thrown out there on a regular basis by detractors of the Church. I regularly dig into these questions, bracing myself against the idea that I might find facts that are so out of harmony with my beliefs that I will be forced to choose to leave them behind. To my very pleasant surprise, the opposite has occurred. The trick is to do your own research and not just rely on regurgitated “facts” that everyone is passing back and forth on the internet. Some of this involves threads of information that are very difficult to sum up in soundbites, which so many seem to prefer these days. As it turns out, true information is not so easily gleaned. In my experience, it takes some real effort and an open mind. So far I have settled to my own satisfaction:

          1. possible setting of the BoM (as mentioned above)
          2. Joseph Smith’s alleged polygamy/polyandry/pedophilia
          3. Supposed issues with the Book of Abraham

          Do I still have questions and even doubts? Yes, because I’m a thinking human being. And I have the power and the resources to research them and find answers one way or the other. I’m not afraid of the truth, because it sets me free.

          On the other side of the equation, I have a legacy of generations of faithful members of the Church, whose lives, like my own, have been immeasurably enriched by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the LDS Church. I can’t easily discard that, because I see how much it gives me on a daily, even hourly basis.

          I believe in God the Father and in His Son Jesus Christ. I believe that they love ALL of us, and gently lead us when we allow them to, to a greater understanding of what it means to be like them, which is their greatest desire and the purpose of our life here. More tolerance, more understanding, more study, more prayer: these are what is lacking in most of our lives, Mormon or not. Especially mine.

          • RT

            Alicia,

            It is hard to reconcile one’s love for those in their ward, stake, ‘church family’, etc., and the doings of Joseph Smith. I am not here to destroy any ideas you have of the church. I was where you are now. I have traveled a little further down the road and cannot tell you how upset I am with how the church paints Joseph. I never let Joseph Smith’s sins affect how I worked with young men in the church. However, if everything is predicated upon J.S.’s testimony as far as the ‘church being true’, I will tell you that Joseph Smith was killed in jail for a reason. That reason is not because satan wanted him dead, or satan wanted to kill truth, or any of the other statements like that. Joseph Smith was killed because of the kind of man he was. He was a destructive narcissist psychopathic sexual predator. That is what’s true. Now, are there good things about today’s church? Absolutely. But, heralding a man as flawed as Joseph Smith is a deal killer for me after 22+ years a convert to the church. Put this way:

            If I lived my life exactly like Joseph Smith I would be in prison for life for sexual crimes and excommunicated from the church. Truth.

            …..and Jesus didn’t drink grape juice…..that perfect being drank wine. And, if he did it in 2014 as a member of his own church, he could not attend his own temple.

            I wish I could extract the good things from today’s church and attend that group.

            #StillSearchingForTruth

      • James

        Actually Greg, as a member of the church for over 25 years and formerly devout Mormon, I have to say it is pretty obvious that the basis of the claims of the LDS church is pretty thin on a consideration of just the factual claims able to be examined.

        The apologist scholars for the church are now the prime movers behind the development of Mormon doctrine and their work is neither inspired nor convincing.

        The absolute device used in the first paragaph of your post, which echoes a quote of former church president Gordon Hinckley, is actually also a very convincing reason to reject the church on the basis of one false claim. It’s either all true or not. There are no shades of true.

        Hang in there.

        • Greg Trimble

          Thanks James. God speed brother!

  • Michael

    Thanks for the article! I was wondering where you got the Nicene literature, I think it would be fascinating to read. Many people forget how in harmony the early-Christian teachings were with Mormon doctrine.

    • Greg Trimble

      I got it from a Christian book store. I was turned on to the set from a Christian preacher who told me he used to use the Book of Mormon and 2 Ne 2 to teach the fall to his congregation because it was the best explanation of the fall that he could find. We had a lot of respect for each other. He for the Book of Mormon and I for the early Christian fathers… :)

      Here you go: http://www.christianbook.com/the-early-church-fathers-38-volumes/9781565630819/pd/30815

  • Cameron

    With all that has been said the sure way to know truth of the Book of the Mormon, the Bible, the Atonement is to ask God himself. Others can help us and direct us by answering questions. We can look to the scriptures for guidance and revelation, but we need to ask God himself to know the truth of things.

    I grew up believing the Book of Mormon upon my parent’s words and words of other church leaders. But, having read and studied the Book of Mormon and prayed about it, I know that it is true, because God himself told me it was true through the influence of the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). Through feelings and thoughts the Holy Ghost was sent as a messenger to answer that prayer and many other prayers regarding questions and thoughts I have had.

    To the posts about the mistakes of “men” such as Joseph Smith or other church leaders. Did not Peter himself deny Christ three times? Yet, he was the lead Apostle after Christ’s death and resurrection. Peter like many others died defending Christ and his teachings, and miracles followed him, yet he was not a perfect man. Just like anyone of us is not perfect though we are commanded to strive to be perfect like Christ is.

    Regarding the posts of the unknowns, mistakes, or supposed origins of the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon did not come about the way the prophet Joseph Smith said it did, where did it come from? Surely he could not have gotten it off the internet back in the 1800′s? Unless he had an amazing imagination and writing ability to write 531 pages of numerous events involving different characters. These different characters also have their own styles of speech and analogies. Whether you agree with the doctrine in the Book of Mormon or not, he also at a very young age would have to have had a very good understanding of Christ’s teachings and a knowledge of Biblical Prophets who are referred too throughout the Book of Mormon. I could go on, but I believe that is enough to know that he could not have made it up, he found it and translated it with the gift and power of God and I know that to be true.

    To claim that we are the only Church that has the fullness of the everlasting gospel and the priesthood necessary to perform all the necessary ordinances is true. To claim that we are the only good people in the world is completely false. I had the opportunity on my mission to provide service in putting together food boxes for the needy. In all about 12 different Christian churches were involved. It was such a joy to have all these different denominations together serving other as Christ did. And I know that God has a plan for all those who diligently follow the Savior and our Heavenly Father, even those who didn’t have a chance to hear or haven’t heard yet all will have a chance in God’s Plan.

    I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true, I know that Jesus atoned for the sins of all mankind and that if we strive to do our best in keeping his commandments and following his teachings we will be blessed beyond measure. I know Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God just as Noah, Moses, and many others. I know that God has not forgotten his children and still speaks today through a living prophet. I know that the Bible and its teachings are true and we are blessed to have it. I also know that the Book of Mormon is true and those who wish to know if is true need only read and study with real intent and a yearning to know of its truth, and by doing so can ask God the Father in the name of Christ if it is true.

  • charles rivera

    Mormonism doesn’t sound crazy to people for the reasons you present. All religions make fantastical, unbelievable, self-serving claims. Mormonism sounds crazy because its beginnings are suspect, the main canon of scripture fraudulently created and its historical claims demonstrably false and yet its adherents firmly accept it without consideration or reflection. They do so because they are conditioned to accept and believe or be cut off. The LDS church’s greatest disadvantages are its relative young age and its own insistence on rigid record-keeping, plus a plethora of repulsive practices such as, you guessed it, polygamy.

  • rox

    I wish so deeply that people would spend this much time looking at what is being done in the world and debate it with as much energy. Imagine where we might be right now if all the time and energy spent on man’s interpretation of God had been spent on maintaining our planet’s resources and growing a developing a harmonious society of equality and sustenance for all. I agree that there is “Only one path can take us to salvation and eternal life” and it is love; nothing more, nothing less. All the energy and time spent on debating these matters gives me a feeling of man when he thought the sun revolved around the earth, there’s a self-centeredness in it that keeps the truth from surfacing. WE are spiritual beings on a human journey, we are all born of the same dust and will return to that oneness when we leave here. Man created religion to guide and control the masses, yet if you think with your heart, which is the first organ that develops in a growing fetus- not by chance, but by design, then you know any exclusion, inequality, or suffering in your thoughts is not the living the truth. As beings of star dust, there is no difference in the value of men over women, adults over children. One sex should not have rights of abundance over the other. Where anyone acts with love there is truth and if you need a religion to act with love, then so be it, but for all our sakes, spend this debating energy on learning what is happening to our world and act upon it- Fukishima, GMOs, War with Russia. You’re arranging deck chairs on the Titantic if you do not learn the truth of the here and now and continue to focus on the past, which you can only debate as opposed to the present, which you can act in.
    “It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil — which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.”
    -Richard P. Feynman

    Mahalo for reading my view, aloha

  • Mike Shaw

    The Mormons I know are some of the finest, most upstanding people I have had the privilege to call friends but you have hit on the head; Mormonism is either one of the biggest frauds in human history – or not. Bear with me; I started reading the Book of Mormon a few years ago when given a copy by Mormon missionaries. As you know, it claims to be the history of a civilization that came to the Americas from in Jerusalem in 600 BC. I got to that part that says when they arrived they found “upon the land of promise…the ass and the horse…(etc.) which were for the use of men (Nephi 18:25).” Hold up! There were no horses in the Americas around 600 BC, only a few fossils of prehistoric extinct ones. The Spanish brought horses to the Americas in 1493. When I pointed out this fact to the Mormon missionaries, they ignored it and said that I should read the Book of Mormon and pray about it with a sincere heart. If I do, I will receive a testimony from God, like they have, assuring me that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet. Over the years I have found that this is the standard response when the Book of Mormon is measured against the truth. Truth goes out the window. It is all wiped out with the “pray to Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ” test. It reminds me of a passage in the Bible “because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved…for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).” Therefore I don’t believe that Mormonism is not the restored Church of Jesus Christ but an elaborate form of Free Masonry.

    • Carol

      http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Anachronisms/Animals/Horses

      Not all people expect you to “just pray away” your questions.

    • Collette Willardson Jeffs

      Animals referred to in the Book of Mormon present a complex question. For one thing, the names translated in English as horse, cattle, goat, and so forth, do not necessarily refer to the species which spring to our minds upon reading those terms. Animal naming practices among new settlers worldwide warn us against such oversimplification. For example, the Nephites discovered both “the goat” and the “wild goat” on the land they first settled (1 Ne. 18:25), so “wild” likely does not mean what we at first suppose,. for the text indicates that both creatures were found apparently untamed in the forest. Clearly we are unsafe in assuming that the creatures involved in the record here are identical to those animals we think of as goats.

      The semantics of animal (and plant) labels is a problem in interpreting all texts of another age. Even a description only four hundred years old—that of Diego de Landa about the Yucatan Peninsula—makes statements which natural scientists cannot clarify today. Transferring linguistic labels and knowledge from one culture to another is fraught with problems. Thus, the Spaniards referred to the American bison (our “buffalo”) as a cow; the Delaware Indians called the European cow by their name for deer; and the Miamis labeled our sheep “looks-like-a-cow.” Meanwhile, the Mayan lowlanders whimsically termed the Spanish sheep taman, which roughly translates as “cotton you can eat.” Bishop Landa considered the brocket deer of Yucatan a “kind of little wild goat.” He also noted that the tapir had the size of a mule but a hoof like an ox, yet a Spanish name given to it translates as “once-an-ass”! 42 We see that terminology is a complex puzzle which has to be carefully unraveled.

      Here is an article that talks about “horses” in the Book of Mormon :

      Using scientific and historical evidence to establish which animals were actually present in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica gives several possibilities for each of the animals mentioned in the Book of Mormon. For example, an animal potentially in the “cattle” category is the deer; observers with Cortez’s exploring party observed semi-domesticated herds of deer in Maya country, 43 and a tribe in El Salvador was reported to herd them routinely. Other evidence indicates that the alpaca, a South American animal related to the camel, may have been present in southern Mexico, and figurines of llamas bearing pack burdens have been unearthed as far north as Costa Rica. Figurines showing humans riding on animals, one unmistakably a deer, have been found in Mexico and Guatemala. 44Perhaps, then, the deer could have been called “horse.”

      Taken together, the clues available make it difficult to accept the view of conventional experts that Mesoamerican peoples in pre-Columbian times had little interest in and made rare use of animals beyond hunting them.45 Not every statement about animals made in the Book of Mormon yet fits scholarly findings, but the two pictures have come much closer in the last couple of decades. More research will probably indicate plausible resolutions of the remaining matters.

      full article: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1984/10/digging-into-the-book-of-mormon-our-changing-understanding-of-ancient-america-and-its-scripture-part-2?lang=eng

    • Kenneth

      Hey, Mike. Lots of interesting comments here. I wanted to reply to yours because your story interests me. It makes me think of the stories of a lot of people I got to know on my mission.
      I knew a gentleman, of Middle Eastern descent, who accepted a Book of Mormon, read from it, and would accept our visits from time to time. But when we taught him about God speaking to him through answers to prayer about the Book of Mormon, he had serious difficulty. He accepted what we had to say, although I’m not sure how well he understood due to language issues.
      But when we came back to ask how his prayers had gone, he said he had prayed, then opened his scriptures to a verse (apparently randomly), and read it to find his answer. This verse he construed to mean that he shouldn’t listen to us anymore. This was notwithstanding he had not exactly followed our instructions, or those in the Book of Mormon itself. He chose to ignore all else we had taught him, and all the other evidence he had before his eyes.
      The point to this story is that it is very tempting to think that we know and understand something- the scriptures, in particular- such that when an opportunity to learn comes up, we have already determined whether or not we will accept the lesson. This is based on how badly we want that lesson.
      What I am saying is that it would be a shame for you to dismiss the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and His attempt to reach you personally because of horses.
      If you want to question something, question the miraculous event of Jesus Christ and the Father coming down from Heaven to visit a 14-year old nobody. Question the claim that after thousands of years, Christ re-opened the heavens on large scale again, sending prophets, angels, and precious truth, according to prophecies made thousands of years before, fulfilling them to the letter.
      Or, perhaps, question the claim that Christ loved, lived among, and taught the people in the New World as well as those in the Old.
      Whatever you do, do it honestly, and do it thoroughly. Don’t stop at the horses. I promise you that you will find that evidence once knowing the truth has become the most important thing in the world to you.

  • Alexander

    This article was well written in my opinion. I do not happen to follow any strict belief held by men, but the ideas on Jesus Christ and the Corruption of Men screams out to me. I hope that you continue to write articles of this nature so that I may enjoy them and think on the nature of the truths I find within it.

  • LT

    It’s been assumed that Mesoamerica was the setting for the Book of Mormon by many members for a long time. However, recent findings seem to suggest we may have assumed wrong. Much has been discovered right here in North America in areas surrounding the Mississippi River, especially the St Louis area. These discoveries include artifacts, DNA, earthworks. I’m no expert, and I’m not making any claims, but am finding these discoveries to be very interesting. The first I heard of this was from a video entitled “The Lost Civilization of North America” (not done by Mormons).

    • Greg Trimble

      Glad someone posted this… Thanks

  • R G

    This is laughable. How is any of this logical?

    The logic stretch in is Jesus himself. What logical conclusions lead you to believe that Jesus resurrected? Or even that God exists? What logic leads you to make the leap of faith in a supreme being? Furthermore what logic leads you to believe in the God of Abraham over all the other ancient Gods?

    It’s one thing to just believe, it’s another to say that it is truth derived from logic. Faith in God is not the latter.

    • Greg Trimble

      All things denote that there is an intelligent designer in my mind. To not believe that someone intelligent designed all of this would counter any logic in my brain. Paley’s watch argument is a good example of how I feel. :)

      • R G

        What “makes sense” to you is not necessarily a “logical conclusion.” I hate to argue semantics, but the distinction is a big one.

        The “watchmaker” argument is not a logical conclusion, but a profound lack of knowledge of DNA and evolutionary proof. Just because it makes sense in your mind, doesn’t mean it is logical.

        I would also argue that the watchmaker alludes to *any* God – not necessarily the God of Abraham. What logic points you to choose this particular God? Or that Jesus really resurrected and died for your sins?

        These events are, by nature, an exercise in faith – and by definition- not of logic.

        I have no issues claiming your belief in these things, but claiming that logic dictates or requires the belief in them is being disingenuous.

  • Horace Greeley

    This sort of if/then “proof” (see, e.g., 2 Nephi 2:13) requires assumption upon assumption to reach a conclusion. It also ignores that, because of Mormonism’s relatively young age, many of its claims –unlike those of more ancient religions–are provably false: the content of The Pearl of Great Price bears absolutely no relationship to the papyri from which it was “translated”; DNA evidence (actually read the damning evidence and Church’s laughably meritless retort); countless Book of Mormon anachronisms; and on and on and on. If you want to have faith, have faith. Fine. But when you attempt to establish the provability of Mormonism’s claims, you must consider the fact that the counter-evidence is overwhelming and requires exactly none of the assumptions necessary to support continued belief.

  • Haley Johnson

    Hi, I really enjoyed this article. However, I wish that you would have written it with more in-text citations on some of your claims and a formal bibliography. I liked that you quoted the Bible, but would be interested in your other sources too!

  • Mike

    False Dichotomy: This article could easily substitute Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists or Scientologists in for Mormonism. Without changing anything else and could be used to buoy up the faith of those who believe in those systems of worship. Mormonism is not unique, it is not special, it is not great, it is one of many, many, many faith traditions manufactured by mankind before they were educated enough to see through it.

  • the frogman

    If you want to claim that the Book of Mormon is true, then you have to accept that there are testable claims made in the Book of Mormon that would also be true. Native Americans are not Lamanites. No archaealogical evidence of any of the cities, peoples, or wars mentioned in the Book of Mormon has ever been discovered. There are things that can be placed in the realm of truth, and there are things that fall squarely into the realm of science. Whether or not Alma talked with god, you might have to take on faith. Whether or not Native Americans are descended from Israelites, however….

    • the frogman

      ^things that can be placed in the realm of faith …

  • Bp

    Question? Why? Why? Does it matter whose faith is the right faith? Why can’t it be as simple as believing in God, or a higher power? Why can’t it be that simple? I don’t believe that any one faith is better or opens more doors to the kingdom of Heaven than any other. I believe that as long as you have faith and follow simple moral guidelines there will be a place for you.

    • Greg Trimble

      Which guidelines? … and where do you find those guidelines? I do like your attitude though…

  • Stanton Cole

    I think the inherent problem with the majority of the arguments I have read, is that they are hinged on the “religion”, Catholicism, Mormonism, Christianity. All of these rely on man and his fallibility. Jesus (who is God with skin on) says, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man can come to the father except through me. Doesn’t say, no man can come except if he is a good Catholic, Mormon, or Christian. It says, He is the only way, end of discussion.

    I 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, and 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. Revelation 22:18-19 ESV

    • Greg Trimble

      Consider the fact that John was referring “this book” as the book of Revelation. ta Biblia = a collection of books. The Bible is a collection of books. John was only referring to one book. Deut 4:2 says the same thing rendering the entire New Testament un-usable if your quotation is referring to the whole Bible. Thanks!

  • Sara

    I am Mormon but I understand that people believe what they want and I will not push my faith on people but I will answer any questions to the best of my ability and tell them if they want to learn more I will direct them to the missionaries. Because of my faith I believe God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph in the Sacred Grove. I felt the Spirit there. Why is it that people feel the need to inform other religions that they are wrong? Where do they get the right to say what is correct? I will never tell someone there religion is wrong I will state what I believe. Every religion is always trying to get converts but telling an investigator that their currently religion is wrong sounds ignorant and rude. If because I am mormon and you think I will go to hell for it well then that is what you believe but I will be the bigger person and not bash your religion I will just hope that others in your religion are not so rude and ignorant and think they have the power to say who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.

  • JustSaying

    Let me first say that I am not now, nor have I ever been, LDS. I am also not now, nor have I ever been, Catholic. I was raised in a Southern Baptist home and believe that everyone has the right to believe what they choose and worship as they see fit. However, I have grown up around both LDS and Catholic families and studied various religions (though by no means will I call myself an expert). I can say that I have met very wonderful people from all faiths who by no means want to offend or harm anyone with their beliefs. Having said that, I have also seen that all religions are ultimately run by humans – people, as flawed as the next. While the Mormon church may have been started under the best of intentions (and I will give you that divine intervention of God and Jesus. Who am I to say that that did not really happen) through the centuries, it has been past down to people, just as the Catholic Church has. (Yes, we could argue that the Catholic Church never truly had the priesthood, but they could argue the same about the LDS church. The fact is, none of us were there so we, ourselves, don’t truly know and it all comes down to faith). All religions have turned into political entities with laws and by-laws for how these organizations (for that’s what they truly are) are to be run and how new leaders are appointed. As much as we all like to believe that God’s hand is in all of these processes, it is, in fact, run by humans. We all know that humans are bent toward greed, corruption and self-interest. While it’s true that bishops, missionaries and people in callings within the LDS church are not paid, are you telling me that your Prophet has an outside job that supports his living? The Pope certainly doesn’t. I’m sure Catholics would say that he is not paid for his service, but he is earning his living somehow. From the tithings of his believers, perhaps? I do not presume to know where the Prophet currently lives, but I’m guessing it is not in a one bedroom home or a ramshackle apartment. Most heads of churches I have ever encountered actually fall into the “wealthy” category and live in a higher end neighborhood that most middle class families could never even consider. Of course, we all know where the Pope lives. So I have a hard time with the idea that the Pope, Prophet (President of the LDS church) or any other leader of a major religious group claim to be doing the Lord’s work simply for the joy and privilege of serving God with no monetary compensation for it. Whenever people are encouraged to put their faith and trust in a human, rather than God, there is always a tendency toward corruption; despite whom that human says they work for. To be clear, I am a Christian. I believe in God and in His son Jesus Christ and I encourage anybody to worship as they see fit. Just my comments to an opinion made public.

  • angelea

    Can I just say that we (those of Christian faith) believe in the bible no matter if we are of the LDS faith or not. we of the lds faith just have another book to add to what the bible is saying. Its always good to have more than one resource to follow. I know there going to be some hateful comments about how the book of Mormon is just propaganda or something or other but when one studies the Bible it talks about books from prophets that are not even placed into the pileing of those great prophets (mostly in the old testiment ) so I can’t fathem why it is hard to believe that there is no other works commissioned by god outside of the bible. Any thoughts this is just my opinion

  • Danny Gilmer

    The Aaronic priesthood is not valid this side of the cross and the Melchizedek priesthood belongs only to Christ who is not only our Savior but He is our great High Priest. The Aaronic priesthood ceased at the death of Christ on the cross and only Jesus today holds the Melchizedek priesthood where he ministers on our behalf in heaven. We can go directly to our High Priest (Christ) in heaven with our prayers without the need of an earthly priest. “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1) For he( Jesus )is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him (Jesus)” (Heb. 7:25)

  • Michelle Morrison

    What about the Holy Spirit? The Great Counselor whom Jesus sent after he ascended. The point of the Holy Spirit coming was so we could always hear from/speak to/commune with Him. That’s why Jesus told the apostles he had to leave, so that the Holy Spirit could come. I am not a Catholic or a Mormon, and I have heard from God through the Holy Spirit. The idea that when the apostles died we lost all contact with God is ludicrous. As Peter 2:9 states we are a “royal priesthood”. I suppose you would contend that I am mistaken or delusional in saying I have “heard” from God, but just as you are so sure of your testimony, I am sure of mine. What God has spoken to me has been confirmed in the word, in my circumstances, the prayers of others, prophecy, and actual events. In the end, I am suspect of any religion or faith that claims the people of that faith cannot directly communicate with their God. It’s just a way for leadership of said faith to control the body. That said, I feel no need to argue with Mormons about who is right and who is wrong. I am sure of my faith, and they are sure of theirs. Little either of us will say to each other will probably matter. We probably pray the same prayers over each other “May they be enlightened to the real Truth!”

  • BStar

    Here is some logic to ponder…
    The LDS “Mormon” Church began in 1830 and has existed for appx. 184 years. There are almost 15 Million LDS Church members worldwide. If you divide 15Million / 184years this reveals that the Church grows by about 81,521 thousand new members each year or appx. 815,000 thousand new members each decade.
    There are over 7 Billion people on this planet right now.
    In comparison, the Mormon Church membership represents only 00.21% percent of the entire global population.
    At this growth rate it would take the Mormon Church over 800 years to reach 1.0% percent of the global population and over 25,000 years to reach 30%!
    You can apply this to every organized religion in the world, even the Catholic Church, and you will find that no organized religion on this planet stands a chance at any future dominance.
    Also, consider that over 100 Billion people have existed on this planet!
    Questons:
    1.) Is God a bad CEO with an unsuccessful business plan?
    2.) Could a God be considered just and merciful by creating one small Church and one small passageway into heaven that only a fraction of a percent will follow?

    Seems like God created a whole lot of people just to let go to waste.

    • http://www.NoelleCampbell.com/ Noelle Campbell

      Except you forget that Mormons believe that you can be taught the gospel after you die. You can be baptized by proxy. So lets take those 15 million people in the church and have them each be baptized for 200 people over their lifetime, that haven’t been properly baptized, because obviously some have, the percentage of those ‘wasted’ people get a lot smaller, don’t they?

    • Nancy Beatty

      I’m wondering if you could give me the statistics when Jesus walked the earth. And it was the MAJORITY who were shouting..’Crucify Him’. The wonderful thing about God’s plan is that there is salvation for all. God is not a bad ‘CEO’. The only ones who will ever suffer in the afterlife is the extremely evil who do not repent. No one ‘goes to waste’. Everyone no matter their circumstances is a Child of God and is precious in His eyes. I have a personal relationship with Him and so many others do too. We are not crazy, it is REAL! When God proves Himself to you, on a daily basis, how can you deny Him! I cannot! I will not!

  • Luke

    “The only Church on the planet that could have a solid argument would be one that claims a complete restoration through a prophet that has had direct communication with God.”

    Doesn’t everyone who follows God have that?

  • Mac

    I have read all these reply’s and find it interesting that 1 there is only 1 GOD 2 why are there different of shoots of the Mormon religion flds community of Christ, if they all started from the same place what happened? there is only truth and 1 truth at that look within yourselfs there is where you will find out more..

  • Steve Angell

    Here is the problem I have. One of the first things Rome changed was the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day. This was to appease the pagans who worshiped the Sun God on the first day. This is well documented. http://www.sabbathtruth.com/sabbath-history/how-the-sabbath-was-changed

    My question is if the Chruch was restored why not the Sabbath, Feast Days and Clean food? All of which the Apostles lived every day of their lives. The LDS Church is very much like the Catholic Church just with a Prophet instead of a Pope. It is nothing like the Church during the days of the Apostles though a bit like the Church around 300 AD.

    Temple work reminds me far more of the High Places and pagan Temples than any teaching in the Bible. Mormon Temples are nothing like the Temples in the Old Testament built to support animal sacrifice which Christ did away with. The Holy of Holies was used to communicate with God but Christ tore the vail making it clear he would speak directly through his Spirit (Holy Ghost) from then on. Though of course He will have a Temple when He returns.

  • http://www.jakemdrew.com Jake Drew

    I have always found the Mormon religion fascinating. I also think you have written a very nice article. When reading about the history of the Mormon religion and the Book of Mormon there are always several questions that leap out at me. It has been several years since I have studied this topic, so please forgive me if my facts are not 100% spot on. I honestly ask these questions as a sincerely interested individual, and I hope you read them with this fact in mind.

    1. It is my understanding that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon using the “golden tablets” given to him by the Angel Moroni. Some accounts I have read state that this translation was done with Moroni’s assistance of divine insight and others state that Joseph Smith often used a “seer stone” while an assistant transcribed his visions. In reading the Book of Mormon there are multiple passages (even chapters) which quote the Bible verbatim. It is my understanding that in Joseph Smith’s first 1830 version of the Book of Mormon, these same passages quoted verbatim the common King James Bible available at the time (the 1811 version I believe). This version of the King James Bible was translated long before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found at Qumran starting in 1946. My point is that there are many, many, many, translation differences in what we read today as the “King James Bible” and what was written in the version of the King James Bible quoted in the original Book of Mormon. These subtle differences are due to scholar’s greater understanding of the old languages after many years of scholarship and new materials found in the 900+ texts discovered at Qumran. These obvious translation errors have been updated in later versions of the King James Bible.

    So I have always wondered… Did Joseph Smith copy these same translation errors verbatim from the King James Version he had laying around? Did the Angel Moroni mess up the Reformed Egyptian translation? Was the “seer stone” fuzzy? What are the chances that numerous slight translation errors would have occurred in the exact same places on the Golden Tablets and the King James Bible at that time? Or, is the current translation of the King James Bible and all the scholars work from all the findings regarding these scrolls and ancient languages incorrect? What do you think?

    2. Regarding the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses… Are these divine and inspired works or common Egyptian funerary documents? Why is there such confusion on this topic?

    3. Do you believe Joseph Smith was shot and fell to his death from a second story window after shooting 3 people at the Carthage Jail? I have read multiple accounts which state this. However, many of my Mormon friends disagree that this is the way it happened.

    These are my top 3 questions regarding Mormonism. The whole story in the Book of Mormon about God cursing the Lamanites with “dark skin”, and racial priesthood restrictions standing until 1978 is interesting to read about as well. I honestly find the whole history fascinating though. All the little facts are just amazing. The Meadows Creek Massacre is terribly sad, and I think very few people know that Utah was denied statehood for almost 50 years due to the practice of polygamy. Mormons have definitely fought, survived, and even thrived over the years.

    I think that anyone should be able to believe and worship in any way they see fit. I honestly would just like to learn more about these topics and I have had trouble finding anyone (Mormon or otherwise) who has additional information.

    Thanks for reading!

    • Kyle

      Great questions, Jake! I am no expert on any of them, so the best I can do is refer you to a few sources I know of and share a few thoughts.

      1. I have seen a few article that discuss this question. Here is one of them: http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon_anachronisms:Translation_Errors_from_the_KJV The other articles I’ve seen were in a journal published by some BYU professors. I wish I remembered the exact journal name.

      2. The best source that I know of for this is a book by Hugh Nibley entitled One Eternal Round, which I think was published just a couple of years ago. I have been looking forward to reading this sometime.

      3. Yes, from my understanding, when a large mob (dozens of men) stormed the jail, Joseph fired a pistol several times at those coming up the stairs. I do not know if he hit or killed any of them. If he killed any (or even several) men, I do not see anything wrong with that type of self-defense under those circumstances. I’m confident that I would have done the same thing in the attempt to save myself and my friends.

      I agree with your conviction that “anyone should able to believe and worship in any way they see fit.” I think that’s crucial in a pluralistic society.

  • Wendy

    Dear Greg: I read through as many of the comments that were posted here as I could before wishing I was born on another planet.

    Your article was wonderful – your information not flawed, your history correct.

    I was raised in the Church. During my teen years and my early twenties, I decided that being a “mormon” was just too confining. I wanted to do things a little differently. So I began investigating other churches. No one could have been so fast to ridicule the faith as I was, save Alma (the younger). I went to Baptist churches, Methodist churches – hit all the protestants. I investigated, very closely, the Catholic church. Wondering if anything was true, I then investigated Judaism. After that experience, I belonged to a group that worshipped not God but the elements of the earth itself (druidism – yes, it still exists). I believed myself an intelligent woman and could not come to grips with anything that flew in the face of complete evolution. I believed science equaled cold, hard facts (it doesn’t, by the way).

    After all of this searching and finding mostly flawed thinking in these places, I began to understand the plan of salvation.. Humans/mankind are flawed. We are not uber-intelligent, we pick and choose what we wish to believed based on what we hope God will accept within us that we don’t wish to change. Some of us repudiate the existence of God because if there was an omnipotent being we would, simply put, be screwed in the “afterlife”. If, they say, there is one. Wouldn’t it be nice to to soothe ourselves with the belief that nothing we do in the here and now will have any consequences later? Sure would make being a complete jerk a lot easier less bothersome.

    Each “religion” I went to, believe it or not, hated mormons. Not just a little – for most it was an all-consuming, fire breathing hatred that made me think, historically speaking, of the days when the world went on witch-hunts. It was beyond reason and logic. it was beyond any explanation ever given to me. People hated mormons because they didn’t believe in the same “Jesus Christ” (is there more than one?), because Mormons were haters (really? all of them, you say?), because Mormons were people who always wore hats (still coming to grips with that one as I own no hats and never did), because they didn’t read the Bible, but made their own (absolutely laughable and so untrue), and the list of reasons went on and on and on.

    To make a very long story a bit shorter:; many, many years passed. Something happened to me that was life-altering – I had an epiphany. At once and, beyond doubt, I understood the some very fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I saw elements of it in every religion I had chosen to investigate – all of them, believe it or not – save Judaism, which does not sanction Christ.

    Another round of church attendance became the order of the day. The last church I went back to was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the true name of the mormon church). I was amazed that I remembered absolutely nothing from my youth. I had to learn it again, if I ever really understood or knew it in the first place. Every lesson touched my heart. I could hear, see, feel the righteousness of this doctrine. Was it flawed? No, not the doctrine. People within the church? Yes, they are flawed – as all people are. But it wasn’t the people speaking to me that brought me around. It was the doctrine, plain and simple.

    Each of us, I believe, must go through this event on our own. Your conversion and my conversion are probably not the same. The faith of millions of people can not be compared one to another. I say this to your detractors – to the detractors of the church. Don’t knock it until you’ve opened your own heart and listened. If it doesn’t speak to you, then move away from it. But open your heart and hear it. It works the same for every religion on earth, listen to what you hear within their teachings. Your heart, humble and faithful, will hear the truth when it is uttered. If science is all you can believe in, then have the purity to know all that science is teaching – there are many flaws there because it is a religion of man. Man is not perfect. For myself, I put my faith in what I know is perfect. Faith is understanding and believing in what you cannot see, taste, feel or hear for proof. This is especially hard for some people. Faith is trusting yourself enough to listen with your heart and see with your heart and feel with your heart.

    If you only want to present facts to yourself then you will not hear truth. Facts are misleading too often and impurely offered as well. Our schools, for instance, teach, for fact today, events that happened fifty years ago in a light that those who lived fifty years ago would be stunned to hear. Facts are alterable with a simple paragraph of words written on paper by someone whom we wish to believe knows more than we do.

    An eyewitness to the storming of Normandy Beach will not see WW2 in the same way that it is presented to students of history. But you will hear the absolute horridness, the sheer despair and the indomitable will to survive in his voice. And there is where you find truth. It’s in one’s heart. I am one of those who believes firmly that my Heavenly Father implanted this ability in me – this way to know the truth – in a hope that I would one day listen to it. You don’t have to believe that – you can believe what others tell you more than what your real self tells you. It’s a matter of trust. Who do you trust more, yourself or someone who is telling you what to feel?

    Yes, I am a member of the church. I don’t pridefully go around telling others that my church is better than their church but I have been known to invite some of my friends to come and “listen”. I’m that kind of person – when I find a good deal at Macy’s on shoes, I will pass that word around, too. That statement oversimplifies the gospel and it is not meant to – I like people, for the most part, flaws and all. I want to share good things with them, which is why I answer questions readily on my faith. Do I push them and tell them they will go to hell if they don’t agree with what I have said? Absolutely not.

    Greg, you will speak eloquently many times, I think, for the Lord and for our faith. I applaud your courage in doing so. It will never be met without some disdain and accusations. While I often get a little miffed at non-members who think they know about our religion more than we, the members, do, I try and remember that they didn’t get my epiphany. And then I remember that, if they desire one, it will be given to them as well.Desire being a key word. I know, now, that humility and contrite spirit means that we put our “worldly selves” away for a little bit and listen with the same grace and open mindedness that we see so often in little children.

    I tell people to find something they believe in, something they know is true. Not something that someone else tells them is the truth, but something that their very being testifies to them is true. If they do this they will find their way eventually. And it is all that a Mormon missionary really does – they invite others to listen for that truth. Those of us who remain in the faith do so because we have “heard” it’s truthfulness in our hearts.

    For those of you whom this comment offends, I sincerely apologize. I do not believe I am better than anybody. Quite the opposite, in fact, I believe I have a long way to go. I do not believe that, because I am a member of my church, I will be entered into the glory of heaven. I believe that I will be judged on my faith and the way I follow my beliefs. And I believe much the same for many of you as well. Instead of talking about other beliefs – magnify your own. Stand up for your faith in an arena where it is needed – not to put down someone else’s faith. You cannot tell a person who knows, in their heart, the truth is wrong.

    Greg’s talents in expressing righteously and accurately what he believes in is a gift to those of us who feels what he feels. For those of you who don’t believe, why bother to mock, demean or belittle what he says? If you hope to shake his faith, you will not succeed. For those of you within the church who argue with his stated beliefs, why do you do so? There was nothing offensive or self-righteous in his remarks. He did not self-aggrandize nor did he make any comments that belittled others.

    Greg, for my part, I wish I was able to express myself as eloquently as you do in what I believe. I wish I could better say to those who I consider on a “mormon witch-hunt” that their opinions will never over-ride what I have heard with my own heart and believe with the very fibers of my being to be true. Intelligence is a wonderful thing but the wisdom to understand that some things cannot be proven is much better.

    Sincerely,
    Wendy

    • Greg Trimble

      Wow Wendy! What an amazing post. You’re story should be told over and over again. You’ve seen both sides and have a great story to tell… Thanks so much!

    • JollyO’lMe

      Wendy… you’re an inspiration! I too have had the opportunity to study other faiths. Not because I needed the validation of my own (I am a Church member), but because I just wanted to know. And it was after all of that research, and much personal tribulation that I found it! My very own testimony of this most beautiful, awe-inspiring, hope-giving gospel. I love my faith. Heavenly Father is everything and everywhere… yes, you are correct, there are bits and pieces of truth in every faith, but as Greg puts it so perfectly in this article… our stance is a bold stance! But, I wouldn’t want or expect anything less from His teachings, principles and promises…. I wouldn’t want anything less from the Truth! Hugs! <3

    • James

      Wendy, you demonstrate that all others you judged on people and opinions while back with what you were familiar with as a child you judged on doctrine. This is not an honest comparison. There are good and bad representatives on both sides. When one chooses to only see the worst of the “opponent” and the best of the “proponent” they have set themselves up for blind failure. This principle is true on all sides.

  • Hector

    This is a great blog, if only to hear the open discourse on the subject of our religion. Before I became a convert to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, I had my share of experiences with other churches. A susbtantial focus of their meetings was dedicated to point out the flaws of religions, including the mormon church. While I absolutely loved these people as my friends and brothers and sisters, I knew I had to sincerely pray to God to find His truth for my self. It was their attacks on the church and its beliefs that spurred a curiosity in me. I love the plain and simple principles that the Church of Jesus Christ has taught me, which when I have put to practice have filled me with joy and enriched my life. I invite all who have sincerely want to come unto Christ to listed to the Missionaries and follow the Spirit’s promptings.

    • Greg Trimble

      Very well stated!

  • Raine

    I enjoyed reading this article it really made me get back into researching theology and I am thankful for that. I wear the Holy Cross that Jesus died on to always remember what he did for our sins and to show others that I live by the way of Christ’s teachings. Everyday I pray to shine Gods light and give all the glory to him by living my life by his holy way. I ask God to give me wisdom, knowledge, peace and love to take a stand for his truth by using the bible to be my guide. I am human however and make mistakes when communicating, so I apologize ahead of time if I offend anyone.
    I suggest we not interpret the bible, but read it, it speaks truth right into your soul & heart. If its not of Jesus it is of the Devil. Jesus is not the brother or spirit brother of the Devil because Jesus the one true God created all things, including Satan. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15 but Col. 1:16 says “By Him (Christ) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. Visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. ALL THINGS were created through Him and for Him.” There is no comparison between Christ the Creator and Satan the Creation from Christ.
    People can help and give more to the people by evangelizing, without a single monetary unit. Tithing is important for the reason that everything given to us belongs to God, Tithing is returning to God what is his and it is an act of faith. I have given time, money and help to people my whole life and have been blessed immensely, I do because I’m convicted to by the Holy spirit, not because of anyone telling me to and certainly not a specific amount. Do what God tells you to with what you have, how you can. Tithing is between God and the believer, it’s entirely based on the believers faith. If a believer is required or told they “should” by a denomination to tithe rather than give freely or willingly it is no longer an act of faith it is an act of ritual based on guilt.
    I believe the church is the bride of Christ, the church is when 2 or more are gathered to worship and fellowship, not a doctrine nor a building. I’ve never read anywhere in the Bible stating that we will become Gods. Maybe I’ve overlooked that? In my opinion, If that were true then our very Lord who is a jealous one would be unnecessary, basically telling us that he cant handle the whole universe that he needs us (and only the very “best” of us) to be a God of their own world. If one believes in the possibility of many Gods it is no longer a monotheistic belief/religion. Yes Mormons say they believe and worship one God, but also believe in the possibility of becoming a God themselves. Who then will the people of the other worlds worship? The one true God, or the person who became the God of that world. God commands us to worship HIM, alone. None above or before, none after him, so he would not allow a people of another world to worship anyone else. So we become Gods then create spirit children because Everyone came from our Heavenly parents, but that is not biblical, Christ the creator created all of his children, we all came from one father.
    A family member is not allowed to attend their own child’s/siblings wedding because they are not worthy to enter the temple. Is that biblical? Who are they to judge who can or can not enter a building. Jesus never turned ANYONE away, how can the people of the Temple say “you’re not good enough or worthy to enter this holy place” And what makes it so Holy? Who decides? Biblically God shows that a sense of unworthiness was much more preferred by God rather than a human feeling of virtue. EVERYONE sins and sin is sin there is no degree of sin. In Gods eyes no one sin is worse than the other, therefor simply stated: we are all unworthy of temple entrance, we are all unworthy sinners, which is the Reason Jesus died for us. The temple’s entire purpose was to meet the needs of unworthy sinners. Who sees a doctor more, a healthy person or a sick person? I believe Religion/denominations were created by the devil to separate and divide people, now the world is confused. I love EVERYONE even if you have done me wrong, but not religion. I believe the point of life is forgiving, living and loving people like Jesus Christ did. Shining Gods light speaks higher than anything. If people cant see the Joy in your life when you have the holy spirit than nothing you say matters. If people would stop placing themselves in church buildings and religions and focused on Jesus Christ I believe we could have a unified world focused on Jesus Christ, after all God is Love.

    • BringTheRain

      In the parable of the 10 virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-12, those found unprepared to go to the Lord, were told “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.” The 10 virgins were unprepared to enter the Lords’ house, they were not allowed in; so when you say, “A family member is not allowed to attend their own child’s/siblings
      wedding because they are not worthy to enter the temple. Is that
      biblical?” Yes it is biblical. If you choose to not view this scripture in the way it is read, then perhaps you will understand the Saviors’ intentions towards the unworthy in the temple as found in Matthew 21:12 which states “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold
      and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers,
      and the seats of them that sold doves,”

      It is amusing that this scripture uses the word “doves” whereas another translation says “pigeons”. I find this amusing because above this post someone has a problem with Joesph Smith because the word “horse” is used in the Book of Mormon, and they feel that it should not be because it does not make sense according to the animals at the time. I firmly believe that translation is not a perfect science, but it does not make the intention of the word any less true.

  • Bob Jones

    I have gone through most of the current comments and yes I believe that the Church is true, not by logic but because of the spirit of truth, the same spirit that told me many years ago that Jesus was the Christ. As to those who continue to insist that the Church has it all I leave you with this quote from President Gordon B, Hinckley. To me enough said. If you need any other guide as to living your life google Gordon b. Hinckley and select his quotes.

    “This [divine authority] [ speaking about the Priesthood] must be our great and singular message to the world. We do not offer it with boasting. We testify in humility but with gravity and absolute sincerity. We invite all, the whole earth, to listen to this account [the first vision] and take measure of its truth. God bless us as those who believe in His divine manifestations and help us to extend knowledge of these great and marvelous occurrences to all who will listen. To these we say in a spirit of love, bring with you all that you have of good and truth which you have received from whatever source, and come and let us see if we may add to it. This invitation I extend to men and women everywhere with my solemn testimony that this work is true, for I know the truth of it by the power of the Holy Ghost. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
    ― Gordon B. Hinckley

  • Pingback: Why People Don't Like The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith

    • Roberta

      Christians do not believe that LDS church is crazy! We do believe you guys have been deceived and there are lots of falsehood preached by the LDS. I read and hear you guys always saying we hate the church, but sincerely we don’t!
      The same way you believe we are in the dark and want us to be saved by your teachings we believe you are in the dark and need to know the true Jesus.

      We do believe all of us should at least have some knowledge of the Hebrew language because then we’d understand that Elohim is a plural for God, right there it’s proof of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even though some Jews can not understand that mystery because some do deny Jesus being the Son of God. Yahweh (Jehovah) is just another of so many names that God has.

      Islam has the same first concept as Mormonism. Both prophets had an angel showing up to them, even though Galatians 1:8 says
      But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

      They both had many wives including under age girls. They both killed in name of what they believe to be in the name of God. Islam also believes that is thru works that they can acquire salvation.None of Mohammed prophecies became true so none of Joseph Smiths.We are not haters for pointing these things out, we love you, we just would hate to see you guys when in front of Abba say as it is in
      Matthew 7:22-23

      22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

      As a Christian I believe in bible prophecy, those that have been fulfilled, those that are being fulfilled and those that are to be fulfilled.Just an example: By NASA satellite Revelation 12 and 13 will be fulfilled in the beginning of September 23 of 2014

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViuNs6LL8Lk
      Show me anything like this in the BOM and I’ll throw my bible away and become Mormon myself.

      That is the best way to determine that the bible is truth and does not need any other book. God is a complete God all knowing, would Her really need to send another Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ? Why, the first Good news was not good enough? Wouldn’t He be able to send Joseph Smiths first so the gospel wouldn’t be corrupted?

      You guys claim: you believe in the bible if it was translated in the right way, so who does determine that?

      I know I am still a hater just to point these things out, but God the all Knowing knows my heart and He knows everything!!
      Love you in the True Jesus Christ, the Yeshua HaMashiach

      Sorry for my grammar as English is not my first language

      • ex-lds Christian KJV AV1611

        To the poster of this article and all the members of the church:

        I was a convert. I was a “temple-going Mormon” for years. But, I have seen the light. What is the truth? Well, if you perform your due diligence by doing the necessary research of things like the revisions that have been done to the BOM since the original (why would “the most correct of any book on earth” ever need such revisions!?) or prophecies by church prophets that did NOT come to pass, you will find unequivocally that the church is, indeed, one of the “greatest frauds” in human history. It is a very ingenious counterfeit. But, it is a counterfeit just the same. Do your homework. Do REAL research. Read the literature that the church doesn’t want you to, instead of the writings of their apologists. THEN a real discussion can be had on this issue.

        The bottom line: the LDS church is a massive fraud perpetrated by this universe’s heavy-weight champion deceiver – Lucifer himself. The real Truth and Light to be found on this earth at this time is the AV1611 King James Bible. NOT any of these twisted later editions that are changing words to change the nature of Christ and his divinity, etc…

        Also, the BOM does, indeed, contradict the KJB (AV1611) many times! For example, as one poster above mentioned, in that NO MAN HAS SEEN OR CAN SEE THE FATHER! Only Jesus could be seen by men on this earth. As far as your BOM “burning of the bosom” testimony… we can – and ARE – misled by Satan in this exact way! In fact, THAT is the preferred method of conversion: read it and pray about it. That is the open door for Satan to give such a false witness! By all means, DO NOT USE YOUR INTELECT AS THE BIBLE SAYS AND ANALYZE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE AND COMPARE IT LINE UPON LINE, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT TO THE KING JAMES BIBLE!!! Satan doesn’t want THAT, because, in doing so, his fraud is EXPOSED!!! The part about “so far as it is translated correctly” baloney is the churches default for all things that are not copacetic between the KJB and the BOM. Convenient, no!???

        DO NOT BE DECEIVED, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS! Do your OWN homework! Perform REAL research beyond the churches own literature! And, you will see that the only thing between YOU and GOD THE FATHER is the SON. Not the church. Not your tithing settlement. Not some card in your wallet that says you’re “worthy.” (Because you AREN’T – you are human and CANNOT be!) Not some silly ordinance performed in a temple. Just our savior, Jesus Christ. We come TO the Father, TROUGH the Son. That’s it. No other middle man (or multi-million-dollar corporation) required.

        Your Brother In Christ,
        MS

  • Ursula1815

    How can people be sealed in Marriage for all eternity when Jesus in Matthew 22:30 shot down the argument of the Sadducees about the woman with seven husbands who all died. Jesu said that do not marry or are given in marriage.

    Also, the definition of God is “That of which nothing greater can be thought.” Therefore, how can you be a “god” of you own little world when you die? If there are many “gods,” the logical answer must be that there is something greater than all these little ‘gods.’ Since there can logically be only one God–you can’t be Him or become Him. The One True God must be eternal or it is not GOD but only an imitation.

    • Nancy Beatty

      We also believe that some will not marry nor be given in marriage when they die. That is a solid strong belief in our church. I have read and studied that passage and I understand clearly what it actually ‘means’. Jesus said said several times during his ministering. ‘let him who have ears hear’. (Mark 4:9 is just one of many examples throughout the scriptures.) When you have really studied the doctrine as a whole and see all of the plain and amazing truths that are all unified as one, it all becomes so clear. I was not raised as a member of the church, I studied many also. When I learned the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it was like all of these puzzle pieces of a scattered puzzle were finally coming together in one place.

      As to your second point. Yes, if you want to put it that way, somewhere in the vast eternities, I hope to be like my Father in Heaven. I want to live up to highest expectations, just as we would our earthly parents. I have children, and I don’t expect them to stay living in my house forever being my little children to the day I die. The scriptures are specific, We were made in God’s image. How is it that we expect our children to grow up into adulthood and we are designed that way, but suddenly we weren’t created in God’s image when it comes to growing up and being like Him at some point?
      Put yourself in a Loving Heavenly Father’s hands. What would be your ultimate goal for your offspring. To always be a lesser creature? Or to continue letting life evolve forever and ever?

    • Heber Frank

      @Ursula1815 Mormons also believe that “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage,” In other words, there are no marriages ever performed in heaven. That is because all eternal marriages have to occur and be sealed on earth BEFORE the resurrection. Remember that Jesus said, “There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” This clearly says that the faithful will have eternal family relationships and other eternal blessings.

  • marc

    In my life, I, like many, have been exposed to the concept of faith. Faith in a god, usually faith in The GOD, but faith regardless.
    From my catholic father I was exposed to the concept of the trinity, the triune godhead where God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit combined to act as one in thought and purpose.
    From my Mormon mother, I was exposed the BoM, and the writings of JS, and his explanation of the lost tribe, and the concept of further revelation.
    While in college I chose to minor in comparative religions and discovered mankind’s need to have an explanation of or world, usually thru a god.
    Today, I am far removed from that time in college, and age coupled with experience have allowed me to arrive at a few questions and a conclusion concerning your thesis.
    Why did Jesus teach us to pray to his father, thru himself as the sacrifice? If Jesus was in fact God all along, why did he ask God while on the cross, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’
    If God is truly the alpha and the omega, how could Christ die? if only part of him died, was that the real terms of the needed sacrifice?
    Did the Torah, written as a guide for God’s chosen people require ‘further’ revelation? Did the new testament factually leave out explanations God wanted his people to have? With in the books of the bible, all of the prophets were men of faith, men of God when he chose to use them. Knowing this, how can one explain why God would chose a 14 year old who changed both his story and his testimony over the years while continuing to claim his position as a prophet? Did God make an error when the new testament opened Gods promise to all men of all the nations? or did it need a Mormon Prophet in the 1970′s to correct gods apparent error?
    As a man of faith, Jesus told us no sect or creed would be allowed into heaven, but all men of good heart. Did he err in not telling us God’s real plan according to the Mormons? If Jesus is the ‘first’ of God’s creations, how could he have omitted such truths Mormon Prophets now claim they are privy to?
    Your initial question(s) were classic sophistry. So reasonable, so assured, so comforting, and yet one has to believe that God the father speaking thru his son Christ Jesus waited until JS was given the word from God’s own mouth that Mormons would be made as gods, with their own worlds to govern, and the authority to baptize the dead, and marry them as well to effectively change the offer God had made to mankind 2,000 years ago?
    I learned from the bible, ‘by their works you will know them’…and for me, creating new words to be accredited to God borders on blasphemy. I can not find fault in faith of any man, I am not a judge. I can not tell you Mormons will or will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, again, I am not a god or even The God.
    I am but a man, who was given by his creator the gifts required to learn, to question and to recognize a red flag when I see one. I see far to many within the BoM to ignore.
    Thank you for an interesting blog. it is always a joy to hear a serious discussion between people of faith.

    • Nancy Beatty

      http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/8-8-billion-habitable-earth-size-planets-exist-milky-way-f8C11529186 Blasphemy? I think your thinking to small here Marc, no offense intended. Do you think Joseph Smith had even a real inkling of what might be out there on a scientific basis when he got his revelations from ‘God’. The scriptures are clear, we were made in God’s image. I know what my parents want for me and what I want for my children. Success beyond our own. I think since we are all God’s children, He wants the same for us that He has. I don’t think he want’s us to stay ‘children’ forever. Again we were made in His image. I believe that all the good and pure desires we have are from Him. I believe he wants to become ‘Gods’ like Him, but ofcourse he will always be our Father. Nothing will ever change that. We will just be grown up like Him at some point. I don’t see where the blasphemy is in that. He loves us. He wants us to obtain ultimate happiness and success. Just as we desire the same for our children. If that is what God wants for me, I can’t call His plan blasphemous.

  • http://www.thisisimperfect.org/ Ryan Trimble

    A friend shared this post on FB with me. This was my reply:

    Umm, yes, the reason Mormonism is considered crazy is because of views like this.

    This guy is clearly regurgitating the story that has been fed to him by those who demand his obedience at threat of social shame and eternal damnation. It’s an outlandish, egocentric, and segregationist story.

    And this “authority” he speaks of, what is it? He imagines it is something real, but it is an idea that was formulated by the men who wish to win his obedience. They may legitimately have his interests at heart, at least in some respects. But I think they are more concerned with upholding an ideology for the sake of upholding it, which is known as dogmatism. And last I checked, it’s unproductive.

    Yes, this claim is crazy, that the message of Mormonism is the greatest message the earth has known second only to the atonement of Jesus (also an unverifiable story).

    There are better, less divisive ways of spreading love through the world. And I think they have to do with recognizing our humanity and the fact that we can empathize with others. Religiosity is not needed for such a message. If a religion promotes love, cool, I’m all for it. But ideas of supreme authority, correctness, “we have the greatest message the world has known” bullshit is just that – bullshit. And anyone who wants to try to rescue this guy’s argument by citing all the good that Mormonism does or the ways it can promote love is simply trying to eat their cake and have it too. This message is not consistent with acceptance and love. Granted, many aspects of Mormonism can be, but those aspects that do can be experienced and enjoyed without such destructive messages.

    My own view is that if one’s religious institution is not willing to abandon such elitist positions, then one should abandon that religion. Because not only is it the rational thing to do, it’s the loving thing to do. It expresses a love for self and humanity, as opposed to “authority” and correctness.

    I mean, just visit this guy’s blog. The comment section is riddled with antagonism (either for or against his views), divisiveness, and dogmatism. There are other blogs and articles out there that speak simply of embracing humanity and loving people and you won’t find a single disparate comment. I wonder why?

    • Greg Trimble

      Hey Ryan! Nice last name dude. Anyway…thanks for taking the time to post here. It’s just a belief man. You are in control of your own emotions and how you react to them. I don’t freak out when a Buddhist tells me that I should have no attachements and that I’m going to come back to earth as a cow someday…you know? Of all the comments that I’ve read, you are the first to require foul language to get your point across. In addition, you’re comment here seems to be the most heated without providing any kind of solution or suggestions…save that other blogs and articles are simply speaking of embracing humanity etc. You can’t be all things to all people, and no matter what you do…you can’t please everyone. In my mind, if there is a prophet walking the earth today…that seems like a pretty big deal. That’s all I’m saying :) Much love to you man.

    • Josh

      Ryan, your argument is paradoxical. You’re essentially saying that it’s wrong to say someone is wrong…think about it…

  • Karen

    Or Christianity, like all other religions, is the perpetuation of man’s need for meaning in his life and is as much a myth as the pantheon of Greek and Roman gods.

  • sinner saved by grace

    Christ IS the church, and we (believers in Christ) are the body – those in Christ, those who have union with Christ, make up His church – Christ’s church is not a building, it is the people – Christ is part of the triune God – God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Ghost – any other claims by any human that they are God or equal to God is heretical and blasphemous – the Bible teaches that over and over and over. Man is a sinner in need of redemption and Christ was sent to earth to redeem man. He redeemed us by His life, His death, and His resurrection. All that we could not do to be reconciled to God and justified before God, Christ did for us. He is our propitiation. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, and that’s all we need. When Christ came, he was the final prophet, priest and king. I say Hail King Jesus and thank you for my salvation. There can be no salvation through our works; “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. Eph 2:5-9. It doesn’t matter whether you be Jew or Gentile, or Baptist or Catholic or Mormon, or Muslim, or Buddist or Aethist, or White or Black or Yellow: If you believe that Jesus Christ came and stood in your place and died for your sins, then you shall have eternal life with Him. And that’s really what this life is all about.

    • http://www.NoelleCampbell.com/ Noelle Campbell

      How can the Bible be the infallible word of God if he didn’t write it? Does everything you quote from your mother come out “infallible?” Do you quote her exactly? How can you expect it of the men who wrote God’s word if you can’t even do it for the person you love most??

    • Heber Frank

      The Bible is a “record” of the Word of God. The REVELATION to a true Prophet of Israel is the infallible, inerrant word of God. The prophet is a man, and no man is infallible and inerrant. And nothing that any man does is infallible and inerrant. The prophet makes a record of the revelation he received, and that is what is given to the people. And even though he is moved upon by the Holy Ghost to make that record, it still is the works of men. The Bible does not say “itself” is infallible and inerrant– it says the Word of God is. Setting the Bible up on a pedestal as infallible and inerrant is IDOLATRY. So yes you are a sinner.

  • Heber Frank

    In John 16:12-13 Jesus promises further truth to his true disciples, when they are prepared, until they have ALL truth. This is a promise for more revelations like the Bible revelations. The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are just the beginning. Greg, if you are ready for further revelation, I recommend you read the Second Book of Commandments (1961 to present).

  • JollyO’lMe

    jhmart… you rock!

  • Jen Johnson

    You are completely flawed on your view of Church history and development of the Bible. And Mormonism is a provable fraud.

    • LDSconservative

      “And Mormonism is a provable fraud.”
      ??????
      Prove it.
      All you did was mud-sling. I’m dirty–from the mud you threw– but I don’t know why–you threw it.
      Can you (WILL YOU) tell me why?

  • Heber Frank

    Hi gump: It is ironic that you end your quote (from Galatians, Chapter 1) with verse 10. In the next two verses Paul makes it very clear that the Gospel that he was teaching was NOT given to him by another man (like at a Seminary for instance) but rather it came BY REVELATION:

    11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    Thus, the “old time religion” that many love is not the same Gospel that Paul taught. The Gospel that Paul taught was led by men who received REVELATION. That of course, is also the hallmark of original Mormonism: it is the Gospel taught by men who receive REVELATION.

  • Awake

    “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:2, 3 KJV)
    As Mormons, we have been deceived! It’s plain! It’s simple! We have been filled with teachings of men (our so-called prophets). Teachings of Christ and God? Yes, but teachings MINGLED with the inventions and false doctrines of men, specifically the man who claimed to commune with Jehovah, Joseph Smith.
    Therefore, we have been blinded. Especially, those of us raised in the church since birth. We never had a chance to see for ourselves that the Bible really is the word of God. The apostles warned us, “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by GRACE, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so.” (Hebrews 13:9 NIV) These verses talk about people like us who have added “strange teachings” to those of Christ. Christ’s message was simple. Read the New Testament as a child. Read it again like you hadn’t ever been taught about the Book of Mormon. Read all of Romans. Read Hebrews. Be open-minded. Christ came to fulfill the law. All Joseph Smith did was establish a new law that detracts from what Christ had already come to do.
    Joseph Smith did not know the righteousness of God and so sought to “establish his own and did not submit to God’s righteousness.” like it says in Romans 9:3 above. The temple ceremony that Joseph Smith created from a MAN-MADE secret society (the Freemasons) is testimony of this. The creation of doctrine such as polygamy or the new and everlasting covenant is also testimony to this. All these extra “works” that the imagination of Joseph Smith created to supposedly perfect the saints, have done completely the opposite. These false teachings cloud our vision and take our focus off of Christ and his grace. We begin to focus on all the wonderful works we are doing in the church in our quest for perfection. Yes, as Mormons we have a “zeal of God” like it says above in verse 2, but unfortunately for most of us our zeal is based on our WORKS: Did we do our home teaching this month? Did we go to the temple? Did we attend church? Were we worthy to take the sacrament? Did we go on a mission? We start judging ourselves and each other based on all these works. Christ came to take the emphasis off of works. This is one of the central themes of the New Testament. “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. (Ephesians 2:8, 9 NIV) Christ fulfilled the law. There isn’t a laundry list of ordinances, or secret handshakes, or works that we must do to be saved. 
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9 KJV) Why doesn’t the LDS church teach this???
    We didn’t need a new prophet. Jesus fulfills the role of prophet in these last days. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these LAST DAYS he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things…” (Hebrews 1:1, 2 NIV) The LDS church doesn’t teach this either.
    We didn’t need a restored church. All true believers are unified into one. Christians, or believers in Christ, are unified as one church. Christ said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will NEVER pass away.” (Luke 21:33 NIV) If his word never passes away, then there is never a need for a restoration. Where does Jesus say we need temples? Where does he say to make sure we baptize all the dead people? Believe in Christ and you will be saved. This is what the disciples taught. Our works don’t impress God. It is our faith in Jesus, our Savior… not our faith in the church or Joseph Smith that impresses God. 
    I challenge all my brothers and sisters in the church to read the New Testament again with an open heart and pray to know the truth. I’m so glad I was able to come to and have an open mind. Now I can see what is truly important. I can have a true relationship with God without being blinded by the LDS dogma I have been raised with.

  • r.l.flewellen

    I really appreciate this. I converted to the church about a year and a half ago. I’m still learning about the church and religion in general so it’s nice to get an additional representation of the information.
    I’m always one for logic and of all the religions I have explored, this one has been the most logical to me. There is very little that I find needing dispute or argument, whereas in the past I attended church services that left me with nothing but questions and arguments.
    So thank you for presenting the information and in such an unbiased way. I didn’t even know you were a member until you said that you were. I was able to read this without expecting a bias one way or the other. Excellent writing!

  • EG

    Before the restoration by Joseph Smith there were many people who believed that Christ’s true church no longer existed and that a restoration would be necessary. Some of these people who voiced this were prominent and well known to us today.

  • Bill-D

    I think the LDS have a very complete package. Like most denominations, there is more to it than repenting and believing that Jesus died for our sins. To do this (D&C 10:67) makes one a member of the true Church that Jesus talked about. More than that make one part of an organization, and all other rules are how one related to each other in the organization and how to keep the organization going.
    The LDS gives a member access to friends, church members, and an organization to be a part of. The member, in turn must give obedience, time, and funds to further the organization. Over time, the organization may become a cooperation, whose major function is to perpetuate the cooperation.. I think that being the “right” way has little to do with anything. Facts will never get people to believe of disbelieve. Most are VERY happy with what they have. The same is true for many marriages, no real love, but the comfort and not being alone is enough to get people to stay.
    I am really tired of the “my club is better than your club” and “my church is truer than your church”. As I wrote above, the Church are the believers, NOT the organization.
    God bless you all.

  • Curtis

    Sooo… my question is about the book of Abraham. How could anyone give credit to a guy they supposedly translated a scroll to religious scripture from that what was obviously an Egyptian burial scroll from a civilization that had completely different religious beliefs long before the bible was written ?