HONEST QUESTIONS FOR HONEST MORMONS

 Some Mormons resent comments critical of their faith...inferring persecution. How do you think Christians feel to know your missionaries are going throughout the world day after day telling people that ALL the churches are corrupt, ALL their professors are corrupt, and ALL their creeds are an abomination in God's sight -- i.e. all churches are APOSTATE? Isn't this a pretty extreme criticism of our faiths?

Please understand that we reserve YOUR right to say such things, whether true or false. We would simply ask, do YOU affirm our right to RESPOND to these serious charges? Are you a FAIR enough person to be willing to hear our side of this story? If so, visit "Apostasy and Restoration" at Mormonsinshock.com

2. Do you know for sure where you will end up after this life? I John 5:13 indicates we can be sure...and Romans 4:16 speaks of that certainty as well. If you are UNSURE, we may have something better to offer you. Will you check it out? Mormonsinshock.com.

3. Is your testimony strong; your faith unsinkable? It can be. Unsinkable.htm 

4. We love to discuss "faith" issues. Your scriptures indicate (Doctrine and Covenants 71:7-9) that you are SUPPOSED to talk with your "enemies" and confound them or shame them. We are here....we are listening. e-mail us with any questions or comments at Sainttalk@cableone.net

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Unsinkable Faith for LDS: the SOS test

Is your faith "seaworthy? Is it able to weather whatever spiritual storms may come? All who claim any level of confidence in the Bible, regardless of what "label" they may wear, can benefit from this three part test.

S.... Scriptural test. Testing the method used to test the validity of one's faith

O... Objectivity test Testing your ability to be open-minded in applying the Biblical test method.

S.... Subjectivity test: Testing your experiences - feelings of the spirit, miracles, healings

THE SCRIPTURAL TEST.

ACCORD (agreement) Isaiah 8:20 "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (New revelation must agree with earlier revelations)

SAME GOSPEL TEACHING: Galatians 1:6-9 If one teaches any other gospel than that which Paul

proclaimed, they were called accursed. (Plan of salvation must match up)

SAME DOCTRINES I Timothy 1:3 "...charge some that they teach no other doctrine..."(than Paul taught).

(Teachings about God, Christ, Heaven, Hell, the Church, Sin, Man, etc... must match up)

You may have little interest in such tests...but the fact is that the Bible tells us we are SUPPOSED to do this. I Thess 5:21 is in the form of a command: "Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good." The verse before it spoke of prophecies... so we are back to the idea of checking out a prophet's messages. I Timothy 4:1 indicates the reason for the testing..."many shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." There's that word doctrine again. And Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets (Matt. 7:15) These are commands to be OBEYED, telling us to check out our beliefs!

THE OBJECTIVITY TEST:

This is not as easy as it sounds. Many who THINK they are being objective, simply cannot be open-minded. Why? To say, "my beliefs may be wrong" is a TOUGH thing to do, perhaps because pride may be involved. And when one's faith is the hub of his or her social and/or economic WORLD, there may be a huge price to pay for such HONEST objectivity! Many just won't consider having to pay the price. Do you still think you are objective? Allow me to choose two TEACHINGS (doctrines) and apply the Biblical test to them.

Test teaching #1 What awaits us beyond this life? Let's narrow this salvation teaching down to the real choice that Latter-day Saints need to make here. Is it Heaven/hell(followed by the lake of fire), or is it Three degrees of glory, possible Godhood, and outer darkness?

The Bible says in Rev. 20:15 that if one's name is NOT in the lamb's book of life, that person will be cast into the lake of fire; Rev. 21:24-27 says that if one's name IS in the book of life, they will be in the new heaven and earth with access to the very throne of God (similar to Celestial glory)

The LDS Church indicates that there are further options than these given above, but I would simply ask, "What other options can exist besides name in book, and name not in book? Translation of these verses is not the issue...as the Joseph Smith Translation reads exactly the same here! Even D & C 101:65-66 gives us ONLY two options! For many more scriptures to evaluate on this, both from the Bible and the Mormon revelations, visit just4LDS.com

Test teaching #2Apostasy and Restoration of the Church? This has been selected to evaluate because it is foundational... if there was no complete apostasy of the early church, no restoration would be needed, and the LDS Church is left with no reason for its existence. What does the Bible say about it?

First, let's look at scriptures proposed by the CHURCH on this subject: II Thess 2:3 speaks of an apostasy (means falling away), but if you study the context, it is talking about a FUTURE time when the antichrist (man of sin) is revealed and is then destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. That hasn't happened so this cannot be proof of a HISTORICAL apostasy.

Another passage LDS present to prove the total apostasy concept is I Tim. 4:1. But it only says that SOME will depart from the faith, not all, as does II Peter 2:1-3 (many, not all). It is not logical to say that because the church lost some members (so to speak) there no longer was a church, necessitating a new start.

Another proof passage is Amos 8:11 which speaks of a famine of the hearing of the word of God. But this chapter (see verse 2) is addressed to Israel. The general boundaries of historical Israel are mentioned in verse 14 (Dan was in the North, Beersheba in the South). This passage cannot refer to a world-wide church apostasy. So far as I know, all passages LDS present to prove the total apostasy theory fall into the category of either PARTIAL apostasy, FUTURE apostasy, or ISRAEL'S apostasy.

What other scriptures are there on this subject?

Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, (literal verb form) "I will keep on building my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."

Eph. 3:21 Paul prayed, "unto Him (God) be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages..."

Psalm 100:5 "His truth endureth to all generations."

Matt. 13:24-30. In the parable of the wheat and tares, the owner of the field says to let both grow together until the harvest.

(Note that He does not plow it under and start all over.)

Luke 1:33 "And of His kingdom there shall be no end."

Even the story in the Book of Mormon ( III Nephi 28) suggests there could not have been a total apostasy. It tells of the promises Christ made to the 3 apostles He authorized, to continue to live and bring men to him. (You can't have it both ways -- either the total apostasy theory is wrong, or this story is wrong.)

Unfortunately, we may be "dead in the water" on this test before we ever begin if we choose to believe Joseph Smith in the first vision statement he made, that ALL the teachings (creeds) of the churches of his day were an abomination in God's sight. Why? Most such churches were believing JUST WHAT THE BIBLE SAID! This is complicated by the fact that the original articles of faith Smith set up for the LDS church had many points IN COMMON with the Campbellite Church's teachings of his day, such as salvation through repentance, faith, and baptism. (You can't have it both ways! Either ALL the teachings were not abominable, or Smith adopted abominable teachings. Which is it?)

The Subjectivity Test:

MANY MANY faithful church members rest their faith on this test. The problem with subjectivity, however, is that it doesn't always work when we look at MANY case histories, rather than a select group of testimonies. I have a friend of a friend, who went into the Roman Catholic Church, and immediately felt a spiritual sense of peace, and it led Him to feel that that church was the place for Him.

I know of several who have told me that when they applied the Moroni 10:4-6 test, they did NOT get any burning bosom witness that the Book of Mormon was true, and one BYU student told me that the answer he got in that test (while at the university), was a "NO!" answer. (That's what I got after the sincere prayer.) Considering how many converts per year LDS missionaries make in comparison to how many persons the may ask to read the Book of Mormon, it would appear that there are MANY who are NOT getting the desired result from the Moroni 10 test. If such feelings measure which church is "true"... then MANY churches are true. But that cannot be because Brigham Young said that no man will get into the celestial kingdom without the approval of Joseph Smith. (Compare his words to acts Acts 4:12 which says there is salvation in NO OTHER person but Christ.)

Another reason to question the subjectivity test is that there is are false spirits out there (I Tim. 4:1) who can counterfeit one's feelings. That should be a simple matter, compared to giving one a FALSE VISION (Isa. 28:7, Jer. 14:14, 23:16). Remember when Moses' staff turned to a snake and the magicians copied what he had done? Matt. 7:22 speaks of unbelievers being able to prophesy, cast out demons, and do wonderful works (the Greek wording has the idea of working wonders). Matt. 24:24 speaks of them doing GREAT signs and wonders, "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Miracles and healings and visions ABOUND throughout the world. I have heard of Indian Gurus who could perform miracles that go far beyond "magic tricks." Just google these words and you will find an unending list of stories of miracles and healings (the fact that some may be bogus only verifies to me that Satan is a counterfeiter). But they are not all bogus!

I have a book called "MegaShift" by James Rutz which documents the rapid growth of Christianity in 3rd world countries primarily BECAUSE of the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit through MIRACLES, HEALINGS, and VISIONS. One church in Africa has in its membership literally thousands who have been healed of AIDS. They have the doctors' statements (both before and after) to show to document the healings. The book also states that literally hundreds of thousands of people in the Muslim countries (primarily) have had variations of a vision of a man in white who tells them "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to God (the father) but my me" (John 14:6)... and some do not even know who it is that is talking to them. MANY thousands of these are converting to Christianity at a possible cost of their very lives, and most will UNDOUBTEDLY suffer persecution for their choice, as Muslims. This vision phenomenon has been verified by other Christian organizations who have a presence in these near east and middle east and far east countries: Far East Broadcasting Company (radio - they get letters), Campus Crusade for Christ, Voice of the Martyrs, and the TV 700 Club. In my own church is a Missionary Aviation Fellowship member who visits such countries, who states he has had a Muslim come up to him on the street in Asia when he went there, and ask him the meaning of that vision which the man had!

Unsinkable faith? Faith can ONLY be as good as its object. Consider this: All the faith in the world in a leaky boat won't keep it or you afloat; but just enough faith to get on board a seaworthy boat is all it takes to keep you afloat. So it isn't the STRENGTH of our faith that matters, it is the OBJECT of our faith that is all-important. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way which seemeth unto man to be right; but the end thereof are the ways of death." What SEEMS right MAY be WRONG! Don't trust your soul to a "leaky" boat. It is WISE to be skeptical of a boat that appears leaky! The plan of salvation is a heaven/hell choice! Are you sure you are ready for that either-or judgment? For more information on these things, visit Just4Mormons.com

I consider my faith in CHRIST to be unsinkable! NO one can find fault in HIM! Specifically my assurance of gaining "heaven" on the judgment day is based on the value of His blood sacrifice as sufficient to fully save me if I put my faith in Him. Eph. 2:8-10 says "For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast". The literal verb form rendering of this verse reads like this: " For by grace through faith you HAVE BEEN AND NOW PERMANENTLY STAND AS SAVED..." Note here... it isn't "after all that you can do" that you get grace; it is when you BELIEVE! I John 5:13 says those who believe can KNOW that they have (this means NOW) eternal life! That's the "unsinkable factor!" (If it depended on our future performance, we could NEVER "know"!) Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." He is STILL saying that to multitudes today! Churches are groups of people, and God never told us to make a church or prophet the object of our faith. It is faith in CHRIST HIMSELF that saves, period. He will NEVER let us down; HE makes my faith an unsinkable faith.

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