You Must be Born Again

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The human need to be born again is the most important need that anyone can ever hope to be met, over all material, religious, social, hedonistic need and beyond this is what we were created to be, in past weeks I have looked at our seperation from God as well as our need being met only in Christ . Being born again is a one time event that happens when you give yourself to Christ. This does not occur in a church service or through any kind of ritual or work of any kind but it is between us and God. Whether you are brought up in a nice Christian family or you come to it later in life from any kind of background your sinfulness, need for Christ and therefore need to be born again is the same.

As this blog goes on people will see that I have many issues with the teachings of the Mormon church, however no matter what I think of the LDS church teachings or the teachings of any church, I cannot say that a regular member of one of those faiths is not born again just because they may believe other things that are unbiblical. Being born again can be something anyone from any background can experience, regardless of their faith background, however it comes from nothing but faith in Christ, even a works loving Mormon can be born again, but they have to cast those works aside and the belief that they make them any more saved than whoever you may consider to be the worst of humanity.

So where does this teaching come from? It comes from a conversation between Jesus and a religious man called Nicodemus, quoted below.

John 3:1-9

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;

this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”…………………………

So we must be born of water, this means being born of our mother, and be born of the Spirit this means be born again (water being the first birth) in Christ.

As quoted above this makes us a new creation the old has gone the new has come.

From personal experience I was amazed at how when I became a Christian my desires simply changed, I didnt think right I have found religion must be a good boy, I thought actually I just dont want to do those old things anymore, I want to do things Gods way, this does not mean I think I am better than anyone, if anything most of the time I feel worse about my behaviour as I am so aware whenever I do sin of the fact that there is a better way to live, however due to being born again I know that I am loved, secure and accepted eternally and this is nothing of my works, and is never at risk because of my mistakes.

In the talk Ye must be born again by Elder David A. Bednar  Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
in the Mormon church (http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-690-8,00.html) we see a different view.

He says this

Just as a cucumber is transformed into a pickle as it is immersed in and saturated with salt brine, so you and I are born again as we are absorbed by and in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we honor and “observe the covenants” (D&C 42:13) into which we have entered, as we “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3), as we “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart” (Moroni 7:48), and as we “serve [God] with all [of our] heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2), then:
“Because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters” (Mosiah 5:7).
The spiritual rebirth described in this verse typically does not occur quickly or all at once; it is an ongoing process—not a single event. Line upon line and precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God. This phase of the transformation process requires time, persistence, and patience.
A cucumber only becomes a pickle through steady, sustained, and complete immersion in salt brine. Significantly, salt is the key ingredient in the recipe. Salt frequently is used in the scriptures as a symbol both of a covenant and of a covenant people. And just as salt is essential in transforming a cucumber into a pickle, so covenants are central to our spiritual rebirth.
We begin the process of being born again through exercising faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, and being baptized by immersion for the remission of sins by one having priesthood authority.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

The difference to some will be obvious and to some it will be subtle, however in this section we see that faith in Christ is a necessary ingredient, however being born again ceases to be a one time event and instead becomes a process dependant on your observance of commandments,  how strongly will you serve God determines whether you will eventually be born again, and at the end it talks about walking in the newness of life, however the killer problem here is that this asks people to walk in the newness of life without having actually recieved the newness of life, this says live Gods commandments in your own stregth, this is impossible and throughout the old testament we see people trying to live Gods ways and constantly failing which is why we see this in

Ezekiel 36:26

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Being born again is having a new heart and a new spirit within you, it is literally God taking someone stone cold to His ways and His love and making them alive and new and righteouss, not weighed down by the pressure of performance but lifted up by the new life God has put in them.

Just like being born is a one time event that does not go on over a long period of time (you can see I havent gone through hours of labour 🙂 being born again is not something you earn it is something you recieve.

People have asked how do you know if someone is born again? I will quote one of my great influences Shawn Mccraney and say, you will simply not be able to stop yourself worshipping Jesus, you will not be able to help but be overawed just at the mention of His name, the person of Jesus will become a totally new unexplainable passion for you, because He has changed you, can you agree with the apostle Paul in this statement?

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Thanks for reading please comment.

15 thoughts on “You Must be Born Again”

  1. Bobby,

    I am a life-member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in my understanding of the Restored Gospel, LDS teachings are in agreement with 99% of what you have written here. Let me summarize what I believe that we have in agreement:

    1. As fallen people, we have a need to be reconciled with God through the Atonement of Christ (Romans 5:10, Jacob 4:11).
    2. We must be born again, as new creatures in Christ, having received a new heart (Mosiah 27:26, Ezekiel 36:26-27).
    3. Being born again is not something that you earn; it is something that you receive. Unfortunately Bobby, you implied at the end that the LDS people do not believe this; however, we very much do (Romans 5:16, D&C 88:33).
    4. Being born again is not something that happens automatically by being born into a Christian environment or by simply and routinely “going through the motions” by going to church or involving oneself in a particular faith’s rituals. It involves a much deeper commitment not only generated by but sustained through love of the Savior (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/preserving-the-hearts-mighty-change?lang=eng).
    5. When we are born again our desires change. We no longer have the previous desires to serve mammon, and we have strong desires to follow Christ http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-divine-gift-of-repentance?lang=eng&query=%22desires+change%22).
    6. This does not mean that we are perfect; we still make mistakes, but we when we do make mistakes we are more aware of it. Even when we step away from Christ we feel the loving and merciful arms of the Savior around us and we recognize that His is a better way live life than our own ways (Romans 8:35,380-39, Alma 5:33).
    7. We cannot become prideful in thinking that we are better than others (Jacob 2:16, Proverbs 16:18).

    This is just a basic summary. If I had more time I probably could have written more. In fact, as far as I can tell, there are only a few things that you wrote about that LDS doctrine would not agree with.

    1. Whether or not being born again is a single moment or a process.
    2. That Mormons work towards salvation either without or with less need of the Savior. (Your exact wording was “even a works loving Mormon can be born again, but they have to cast those works aside and the belief that they make them any more saved than whoever you may consider to be the worst of humanity.”

    Part of our belief in the process of being born again has come through modern revelation which I recognize that you do not believe in. Since you don’t believe in it, I don’t think it would be beneficial to quote any.

    Nevertheless, having been taught by the Holy Ghost that being born again is process, I feel confident that as I live a Christ-centered life (receiving strength through Him to do so) I am placed in a state of grace wherein I am constantly being remade into what God wants me to be. The Atonement is not just a onetime thing that helps me to become born again; it helps me every minute of every day to become more like Christ.

    My understanding of Protestant theology is that after being born again, the individual becomes a new creature and has a stronger desire to serve God. Therefore, keeping the commandments is done out of love for the Savior and not in done to “buy” or “earn” salvation, because that would be the equivalent of making oneself their own savior (which is not only impossible but is also sin in of itself). Please correct me if I am wrong, I don’t want to misrepresent your faith.

    But the truth is that this is also exactly what the LDS people believe. So my question to you is this: If Latter-day Saints believe in being born again, and in the importance of living a Christ-centered life not because we think we can “earn” salvation but to show our genuine love for the Savior, (we do believe this) than does it really matter if being born again is a single event or a process?

    As to your statement that Mormons are “works loving” people who rely less on the Savior by saving themselves, I have already shared enough of that to show that that is not true. LDS teaching states that no matter what works we do, we are still “unprofitable servants.” In says in Mosiah 2:20-25:

    20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

    21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

    22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

    23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

    24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

    25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you (emphasis mine).

    The LDS Church does not believe that we are saved by our works, for nothing that we could ever do would ever come remotely close to what Christ did for us. It is not possible to repay what Christ has done for us, what he is doing, and what he will do for us.

    We are taught to obey the commandments because of love of the Savior. If we were to go to church every Sunday, do all of our home teaching, go to the temple, or do any of the other works that are required of us for any selfish reason it will not avail us anything.

    The Gospel, according to LDS teaching, is a gospel covenant: God does for us all that we could never hope to do for ourselves (overcome the Fall, break the bonds of spiritual and physical death, etc.) and in return we must simply receive that gift by living an obedient life that would make that gift meaningful. The simple fact that God has offered us, perpetually unprofitable servants, a covenant in which we might become something more than fallen people is evidence of God’s love and Gods’ Grace.

    Once more, LDS doctrine says that the works that we are commanded to do (the scriptures are full of commandments to be kept) do not “buy” or “earn” us our salvation; they are the means by which we receive the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And we could not even receive the gift without the divine help that comes through Grace of God. Therefore, according to LDS teaching as I have always been taught, there is no part of my being saved that isn’t either heavily or completely dependent on the Savior.

    Therefore your statement “the killer problem here is that this asks people to walk in the newness of life without having actually recieved the newness of life, this says live Gods commandments in your own stregth, this is impossible” is incorrect as well. Elder Bednar did not say anything of the sort, nor do the LDS people interpret what he said as such. The teachings of LDS leaders has always been that it is essential to salvation to receive a newness of life and that we could never obey the commandments by our own strength. Christ gives us the “newness of life,” we cannot obtain it without Him. And in my own life, I can testify that without the strength given to me by the Grace of God, I would never be able to obey the commandments or to feel the love of the Lord even when I make mistakes. And I am not alone in my thinking amongst Latter-day Saints, I assure you.

    At the end, you quoted Galatians 2:20, which says:

    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me

    I would also add verse 21, which says:

    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    These verses have been some of my favorite since I first studied them some years ago. And I can feel Christ living within me; it was He who suffered and died for my sins and it is through Him that my salvation is assured. He gave me, an unprofitable servant, a gospel covenant by which the Grace of God will overcome the “natural man” within me (1st Corinth. 2:14, Mosiah 3:19).

    All I have to do is receive that gift.

    Cory

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    1. Thanks for that Cory, due to Christmas time being upon us my response will be a little slower than usual but you have give me some stuff to think about there, I will reply soon thanks a lot.

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      1. Bobby,

        The first time I read through your post I missed it when you said “So we must be born of water, this means being born of our mother, and be born of the Spirit this means be born again (water being the first birth) in Christ.”

        My understanding of LDS theology would disagree with the statement that being born of water means being born physically from our mother. I would say being born of the water would entail being baptized by a man who has been “called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Article of Faith #5).

        I think I should probably amend my original statement that “LDS teachings are in agreement with 99% of what you have written here.” I was using a bit too much hyperbole. However, I still believe that the majority of what you wrote would be fine by my personal understanding of LDS doctrine.

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    2. Now then Cory, sorry for the delay in replying, I try and have a little break from all this stuff over Christmas and past experience tells me that when I get into these discussions I end up thinking about them a lot etc, so thought I would save that till after the big day.

      So anyway I hope you had a great Christmas bud and I am glad you took the time to comment on this blog. We are a UK Based ministry but understandably a lot of our attention comes from the US, is that where you are from?

      Anyway you said two things I am really going to pick up on here, which I think are the crux of your differences with me.

      (1) You believe in ongoing revelation and that shapes your thinking on the matter.

      (2) Being born again is a process not a one time event, this comes as a gift, all you have to do is receive that gift.

      Ok so firstly the ongoing revelation. Let me say on this blog you are always welcome to quote the teachings of your Prophets and verses from your scriptures. While I may not accept them as authoritative it does help me in my understanding of where you are coming from and it grows my knowledge and understanding of Mormonism. I do not see it as sufficient to simply read an “Anti-Mormon” Book as you would likely call them and say thats it I know Mormonism. I have been studying your faith for around 10 years reading from many sources, pro/negative/ and in-between (if there is such a thing) and what I have found is on pretty much any issue of significance there is a mass of inconsistencies, this I feel explains the reason why there is so vast a spectrum of views in the Mormon Church. You will know probably better than I do that there is no systematic theology in Mormonism and that you can pretty much believe whatever you want and be a Mormon.

      So on the issue of being born again Joseph Smith said:

      “Being born again, comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 162).

      Joseph Fielding Smith (10th Mormon Prophet) said:

      “Through baptism and confirmation they are born again and thus come back into spiritual life, and through their continued obedience to the end, they shall be made partakers of the blessings of eternal life in the celestial kingdom of God” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:223.).

      Apostle Bruce Mcconkie said:

      “The second birth begins when men are baptized in water by a legal administrator; it is completed when they actually receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost, becoming new creatures by the cleansing power of that member of the Godhead. Mere compliance with the formality of the ordinance of baptism does not mean that a person has been born again. No one can be born again without baptism, but the immersion in water and the laying on of hands to confer the Holy Ghost do not of themselves guarantee that a person has been or will be born again” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 101).

      And LDS official manual true to the faith says:

      “Being Born Again. Through the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, you were born again in to a new life” (True to the Faith, 2004, p. 25).

      So the question is, is being born again something that happens at Baptism? Or is it a process that for some never happens, or happens at a certain point later in life after baptism?

      There are the two views I have come across from Mormons, obviously your view is that it is a process that did not happen at your baptism and confirmation so that’s what I will deal with, but the presence of these differing teachings is why some LDS people think its an event at Baptism.

      While I appreciate your view is that ongoing revelation is where your view of this comes from my argument is that this is totally at odds with the Biblical teaching on the matter. While I appreciate the LDS view states that you bring completion to the Bible my argument here is that you are bringing total utter conflict to it. You can shrug and say thats fine the bible is corrupted anyway but then I want you to show me where in history the specific quotes I am going to bring were corrupted. If you can’t then you are merely just using that as a convenient but baseless point.

      Or you can show me that I am wrong in seeing a conflict, either way I am merely accepting this challenge from Brigham Young.

      “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 126).

      So onto point 2, being born again is a process. So this leads to my first question are you born again? If not why not? If so when and why and how did this happen?

      In my experience of speaking to other Mormons on this view they tend to draw quite heavily on this idea I quoted earlier

      “Being born again, comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 162).

      Being born again comes when you have purged yourself of all (or as much as you can) of the imperfections in your life, like in 2 Nephi 25:23 they have done all that they can do, Jesus makes up the rest and they experience new birth. Is that consistent with your view?

      Either way my argument is that without being born again it is impossible to do anything that pleases God, and therefore impossible to do anything that would cause God to grant this birth within you on the basis of anything you have done.

      Ephesians 2:3 says that we were (before conversion) by nature children of wrath, Isaiah 59:2 says But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 64:6 says But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses (good works) are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

      In our fallen state we have nothing to offer God and nothing good in and of ourselves to prove to Him that there is anything we have to offer. But as you will be pleased to know there is hope.

      Ephesians 2:8-10

      8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
      10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

      We are saved through faith NOT OF OURSELVES its His gift. This is because if it was dependent at all on us we would be utterly, eternally lost. There is no room for boasting because there is nothing we can do to make it happen, but rather we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works that He has prepared for us.

      Our old selves had to die so that we could be created (again) in Christ Jesus to do good works. So therefore Galatians 2:20 and 21 very much stand.

      20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

      21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

      Righteousness does not come by the law, nor any laws and ordnances of any church movement (yours or mine) which is in conflict with the words of Joseph Smith.

      Being born again has to be a one time event as until the old man is put away God cannot even hear our prayers as we are so lost and dirty to Him. Hence as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says in the present tense if anyone is in Christ He IS a new creation, not He will be.

      If you are not born again, you are not in Christ, meaning you are a child of wrath with no good works that could ever please God and no prayers that He would ever hear. If you are in a movement that is teaching you that you are still in Christ if you are not born again by virtue of your church membership or ordnances etc then you are in a Church movement that is keeping you on the road to hell just with some added comfort.

      Thats enough for now talk soon.

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  2. Bobby,

    I’m glad that you think that Christmas should be spent with family and not on a blog. Don’t worry about the delay. And yes, I am from the United States.

    I disagree with you a good deal more than what you wrote in this last post than I did with your original post. Let me quote you directly where I disagree with you.

    1. “…I feel explains the reason why there is so vast a spectrum of views in the Mormon Church. You will know probably better than I do that there is no systematic theology in Mormonism and that you can pretty much believe whatever you want and be a Mormon.”

    I find that the teachings of the LDS Church are very clear and that your statement that in Mormonism “you can pretty much believe whatever you want and be a Mormon” is not accurate. You can’t be a Mormon and not believe that Jesus is your Savior or that God speaks through prophets. If one didn’t believe theses things there would be no point in being a member of this Church, and if one were to teach ideas that are contrary to official LDS doctrine, it could result in disciplinary action. But again, this is not even an issue. LDS theology is very clear on the issue even if we disagree on matters of systematic theology.
    ]

    Let me clarify my view of what it means to be born again, which I feel is very in line with LDS teachings. I might not have made it clear in my previous post. I believe that being born again is a process, and that part of that process is being born of the water (baptism) and receiving the Holy Ghost. These are essential parts of the process but they are not the whole process. And, it is possible to undergo these two parts of the process without being fully converted; it is, as I have said, a process. Being born again involves many things which draw us nearer unto Christ, including repentance, developing faith, etc. Baptism by water and the Spirit help us in this regard. Furthermore, I find this process described in the Bible and in other authoritative LDS Scripture. The quotes that you shared from Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, and the True to the Faith manual are consistent with this as I understand them. (On a side note, I have not read nor will I probably ever will read Mormon Doctrine, the Journal of Discourses, and Doctrines of Salvation because they are not official publications and often contain the author’s opinion, and in the case of the Journal of Discourses, transcription error. I limit my study of the Gospel to the scriptures and the words of the living prophets and apostles.)

    2. While I appreciate the LDS view states that you bring completion to the Bible my argument here is that you are bringing total utter conflict to it. You can shrug and say thats fine the bible is corrupted anyway but then I want you to show me where in history the specific quotes I am going to bring were corrupted. If you can’t then you are merely just using that as a convenient but baseless point.

    I didn’t entirly understand the first part of your statement here. What exactly did you mean when you said “you bring completion to the bible…”? Did you mean the LDS teachings, the Book of Mormon, or modern revelation? What exactly do you believe that I think brings completion to the Bible? For now I will answer this assertion assuming that you mean LDS teachings/doctrines in general.

    The LDS view does not bring “total utter conflict to it (the Bible)” any more than the New Testament brings conflict to the Old. It all has to do with how things are interpreted. The LDS view might bring confusion to your particular interpretation of the Bible, but it does not bring conflict to the Bible itself. Christianity interprets the Old Testament very differently than the followers of Judaism do. That doesn’t mean that one is in conflict with the other and that the two are irreconcilable.

    Also, I would never, ever, shrug and say “thats fine the bible is corrupted anyway.” Nor would any knowledgeable, practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Bible is the word of God. Our church leaders quote from it, and base their sermons on it. I have never heard the idea taught in LDS circles that the we believe the Bible to be corrupt. If we thought it was corrupt we wouldn’t use it at all. We consider it to be the Word of God. I love the Bible. I love the words that it contains because I draw nearer unto Christ when I study them. The modern leaders of the LDS Church are clearly in this boat as well. The idea that the Bible is a corrupt book is foreign to what I have been taught my whole life. And I don’t know a Mormon who would disagree with me. Brigham Young’s quote, about using comparing the Bible to LDS beliefs is correct as long as one accounts for the fact that every denomination interprets things differently than others. LDS teachings are in agreement with the Bible, though I admit that it might be in conflict with your personal interpretation of the Bible.

    You might have uncovered quotes that show that we don’t believe that the Bible is completely “inerrant” (although this depends on how one defines “inerrant”). That is true; we don’t believe that the Bible as we have it know is perfect. But I also don’t believe that it has to be for God to do His work.

    Nor do we believe that the Book of Mormon or any other scripture is, either. God is perfect, His servants who record His word are not. Neither, in my own opinion, are human languages capable of perfectly capturing the word of God. How grateful I am to know that God gives us imperfect servants (Who, guided by the Holy Spirit, do a remarkably good job of doing Gods work!) so that we look to God rather than imperfect mortals or an imperfect book as the ultimate source of knowledge.

    3. Being born again comes when you have purged yourself of all (or as much as you can) of the imperfections in your life, like in 2 Nephi 25:23 they have done all that they can do, Jesus makes up the rest and they experience new birth. Is that consistent with your view?

    I would say that it comes close, but it does not accurately represent the LDS view of being born again. Being purged of sin is definitely a huge part, and Jesus does give us the new birth that we are talking about. But the way that you have worded it puts more responsibility on the individual than LDS teaching does. And your wording does not show how we much we rely on the Savior. According to LDS belief, we are to rely “wholly upon the merits of him who is might to save” (2 Nephi 31:19). We do this by taking Christ’s yoke upon us, enabling Him to carry the loads we would never be able to carry ourselves (Matthew 11:29). I am taught to rely wholly on Christ, not on myself, because I will ultimately fail. And I am taught to put Christ’s yoke upon me so that He can carry the load I cannot carry myself. In other words, I cannot “purge” myself of any sin whatsoever; only Christ can do that. All I do is come unto Him; and Christ, according to LDS belief, also helps us to do that because we couldn’t even to that by ourselves.

    It is possible that you have come to this conclusion incorrectly interpreting 2 Nephi 25:23, some people do. However, the idea that we put forward our best efforts and then the Atonement kicks it is contrary to LDS beliefs.

    4. We are saved through faith NOT OF OURSELVES its His gift. This is because if it was dependent at all on us we would be utterly, eternally lost. There is no room for boasting because there is nothing we can do to make it happen, but rather we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works that He has prepared for us.

    I would agree with you that we are not saved of ourselves. We could never do for ourselves what Christ did for us no matter what good work we accomplish. I would add that to try would be not only pointless, but also at least semi-blasphemous because it would be making ourselves our own Saviors, and by so doing, would denigrate what Christ did. I bring this up only because you seem to be under the false impression that the LDS Church teaches that we can save ourselves and that by ourselves we are not eternally lost. Not so. According to LDS teachings, we need Christ to be saved; we are hopelessly and utterly lost without Him.

    I’m Ok with most of your interpretations of the scriptures you shared from Ephesians, Isaiah, and Corinthians, though there might be a few things that I would word differently. I have no desire to “bible bash” over squabbles about the interpretations of scriptures. Suffice it to say that the LDS Church teaches that we are a fallen people because of the fall of Adam and that there is a wide separation between humankind and God as a result of the sin that came into the world. And it is only through Christ, our Redeemer, that we can rid ourselves of that sin, becoming new creatures in Christ to become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

    Your statement ” I want you to show me where in history the specific quotes I am going to bring were corrupted. If you can’t then you are merely just using that as a convenient but baseless point” is incongruous and irrational. First of all, you are speaking as if I have already asserted that those Bible passages you quoted were corrupt; I have done no such think. They are not corrupt. I still have never heard an LDS person point to a specific verse and say “that is corrupt!” and use that as an excused for sidestepping certain Bible passages. We do not sidestep the Bible; we believe in as much as you do. The fact that we interpret some things differently does not mean that we believe it is corrupt as you describe it.

    5. Righteousness does not come by the law, nor any laws and ordnances of any church movement (yours or mine) which is in conflict with the words of Joseph Smith.

    I’m okay with this. Again I bring it up because you seem to be under the impression that the LDS Church actually does believe that righteousness comes from by obeying the law. It comes by Christ, and Christ has given us the law to help us come unto Christ. In other words, if one desires to come unto Christ, it follows that one must follow the teachings of Christ in order to do so. But the law is not the Savior, Christ is the Savior. We believe in these ordinances because Christ is in them; he is in baptism, confirmation, and the ordinances of the temple. Thus we see that in LDS thought, when someone is saved it is because Christ was there every step of the way.

    6. If you are in a movement that is teaching you that you are still in Christ if you are not born again by virtue of your church membership or ordnances etc then you are in a Church movement that is keeping you on the road to hell just with some added comfort.

    I’m okay with this too. The good news is that I have never heard the idea taught that we are in Christ simply by church membership or ordinances. In fact, just the opposite is true. The idea that we can “go through the motions” to be exalted is foreign to LDS belief. We can’t mechanically go through motions by being baptized to be saved. The individual must accept Christ and allow Him to make you a new creature. You seem to think that we believe otherwise. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a “movement that is keeping you on the road to hell just with some added comfort.”

    Here is a question for you: do you think that being born again requires effort on the part of the individual? I would say that it does require effort, or a “good work” or two. But that it is not the effort or good works that is responsible for being born again. It is Christ, who makes us new creatures. But it still requires some effort, on our part (however, like I said above, Christ helps us out in every level).

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the LDS people are trying to “work” themselves into Heaven. While I do not believe that this is correct; I do however think that some “work” is necessary on our part. We would call that “the gospel covenant”, by which we receive the gift of exaltation. We don’t earn the gift because then it would stop being a gift and become some kind of salary or wage. But if I didn’t have to do anything at all, if it didn’t require any kind of effort, then I don’t think that the blessings of Heaven would do me any good. I would be like the child who gets an amazing gift on Christmas only to ignore the gift and spend all day playing with the box it came in. (Mind you that while I am working Christ is carrying me every step of the way, and that the minuscule efforts that I make, while necessary, are insufficient and insignificant to bring about salvation in of themselves.) Would you agree or disagree with this?

    On another side issue, you said: “I do not see it as sufficient to simply read an “Anti-Mormon” Book as you would likely call them and say thats it I know Mormonism. I have been studying your faith for around 10 years reading from many sources, pro/negative/ and in-between.” I am glad that you feel this way. Many people who are hyper-critical of the LDS Church are not so open-minded. By the way, I do not throw around the “anti-mormon” claim around quite as much as others do, though much of what you write is against my faith and is misleading and inaccurate.

    Another question: what is the purpose of this blog? I understand it when a ministry uses various evangelism techniques to bring others into their congregation. The LDS Church does that. But our missionaries do not have lessons dedicated to showing the doctrinal errors of other faiths, or anything of the sort. I don’t understand it when a ministry spends so much time and energy tearing down another faith. If your ministry has something to offer the public (and I believe it very well might) then why not show the world what you believe in and let it be at that? Why tear down others’ faith at all? It is not Christ-like to use such blatantly untrue arguments, such as “Mormons don’t really believe in the Bible,” (undeniably bearing false witness against your neighbor) against the LDS Church.

    Cory

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    1. Thanks Cory some great points there and I’m looking forward to replying fully in next few days. Before I do though can I repeat my question of are you born again? And what is your reason for that answer? You have shown you think it is a process but I’m interested on where you are in that process?

      Thanks for that I’ll give you a full reply soon.

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    2. Also you said salvation is not of works to the extent I said. Can you tell me what is required then for someone to receive the fullness of salvation, or exaltation? Thanks a lot.

      As I said I will be replying in full to what you said but I just want a couple of things clarifying first, thanks a lot.

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  3. Bobby,

    I can’t find where you asked me if I was born again, but the answer to that is that I have felt the Atonement of Jesus Christ work within me, I have felt the “new heart” that has been given me and I still feel the Atonement working within me to make me more Christ-like each day as I follow the teachings of the Savior. This happened not through a single highly spiritual incidents (although there have been many of them) but through many incidences over time. I can see a huge difference between what my heart is now as opposed to what it was many years ago. I have a new heart, and have been born again. This is reason for my answer; I have felt it in my life.

    As to your question relating to what someone needs to do to be saved, according to my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one needs to accept Christ as their personal Savior and follow His teachings. It would do no good to accept Christ and then disobey His word. His teachings also help us to accept Christ in the first place, so it operates in a wonderful, circular way.

    If somebody were to accept Christ and then not follow His teachings (fall from grace, so to speak) I would worry for that person. Granted when you truly accept Christ one loses the desire to do evil; however, it is possible for an individual to reject Christ even after having learned the truth (Hebrews 10:26-27, D&C 20:32). I have met many people who are of the “eat, drink, and be merry” mentality who have told me that they feel that they have accepted Christ, been born again, and consciously do not follow Christ. I explain their behavior in one of two ways:

    1) They weren’t really born again, or
    2) They have fallen from grace by disobedience to God’s word.

    I am sure that you would agree with me that “cheap grace” will not avail such individuals much in the eternal scheme of things.

    But again, Christ is what saves us, not our own works or obedience. Our obedience helps us to become godly people that God can bless with eternal life. Living a disobedient life rejects can lead one to reject Christ.

    And when you respond, please don’t forget the two questions that I asked you:

    1. Do you think that being born again requires effort on the part of the individual?
    2. What would say the purpose of this blog is?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Cory

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    1. Now then Cory Happy New year, hope your having a fun day over there. Sadly my breaks over now and its back to a lot of talk preparations etc for stuff coming in January.

      Thanks for the clarification there on the born again issue, I originally asked if you are born again on my comment on December 26, 2012 at 11:42 am, just under where it says “So onto point 2”. But that’s no big deal I can quite often miss things, just to make sure I don’t miss anything here I will start with answering your 2 questions.

      1.Do you think that being born again requires effort on the part of the individual?

      No I don’t. Remember that I biblically explained how without going through the experience of being born again and being made righteous in the sight of God its impossible to please God. Our good works are as filthy rags to Him. Therefore we could spend out life doing good things by any standard and that would not change our inner nature, that can only be done by God. It’s done in us when we stand before Christ and admit our total hopelessness without Him and we give our entire self to Him. You can call this is a work if you want but its a work of desperation and realization of having absolutely nothing to give this great God and the only actions that occur on our part is an intellectual and emotional trust of the one that died for us.

      However if this does not result in an outward change of life then its impossible that an inward change of heart has occurred.

      2.What would say the purpose of this blog is?

      So ultimately the question is why do I seek to evangelise to Mormons and why do I do this whole Ministry. Which is a fair question.

      I explain this in possibly more depth than I will here at this link http://upfc.org.uk/audiovideo1.html Go half way down and you will see the two halves of a radio discussion I had with a Mormon last year, you might find it interesting.

      But for here and now ultimately I see the Mormon gospel as an utterly and completely distorted version of the Christian Biblical gospel Jesus said come to me and drink, I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to God but through me. In theory you may agree with this, maybe you actually do but the LDS Church does not go with this statement in truth. If you want to be in the presence of God for eternity in the Mormonism I see, you must be an active member in good standing, tithing, going to the temple, wearing the underwear learning the tokens and name to repeat back to God in the next life. You must get married, if your a male you need to hold the priesthoods which requires worthiness which is largely from your standing and activity in the Church and so on.

      But Jesus just said come to me, simple as. The peasant woman in Luke 7:50 was declared saved because of her faith, not her baptism (hadn’t happened yet) and certainly not her church activity, she was born again because of her faith.

      Obviously there is the LDS view of God once being a man, us being able to become Gods and the view that Jesus earned His exaltation in His incarnation and therefore the atonement was not a sacrifice on His part ultimately (see this post if you want to discuss that http://mormonisminvestigated.co.uk/2012/06/09/a-different-jesus/)

      So all of these and many more things combined tell me that members are not in a Church that is teaching them to look to Jesus alone for their salvation, thus I see a false gospel that does not save people.

      So this blog and my ministry are devoted to reaching out to the people I am massively passionate about which is the Mormons. I love you guys and don’t see you as anything but great people that need Jesus as much as anyone else.

      I think you ask somewhere in your comments do I think a Mormon can be born again? My answer is a resounding yes, but this is despite the teachings of the LDS Church rather than because of it.

      So moving on to your other comment. (dated December 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm)

      I am glad that you see that we disagree. Does my head in when Mormons keep saying they agree with me haha.

      1 I stand corrected that you cannot believe ANYTHING and be a Mormon. I heard that said by a Mormon on the Mormon Matters podcast, I am not sure how Orthodox he is in his mormonism however there are many areas I see Mormons come to me with different views on which I would consider to be very important. Such as was God once a man? Can we become Gods? Was Jesus born of a virgin? Being key ones.

      I appreciate you disagree with me on the being born of water and the Spirit meaning. However think about it, to be born again you must be born a first time, this is birth by water, the natural birth. Being born of the Spirit is the spiritual regeneration that is the 2nd birth. Your perspective ignores the first literal birth, therefore you believe in being born again, again.

      Again being born the first time is a one time event, as is the 2nd it just makes logical sense. I appreciate we disagree on this and am not too interested in going in circles.

      On an interesting note you said this:

      I probably ever will read Mormon Doctrine, the Journal of Discourses, and Doctrines of Salvation because they are not official publications and often contain the author’s opinion, and in the case of the Journal of Discourses, transcription error. I limit my study of the Gospel to the scriptures and the words of the living prophets and apostles.

      This is helpful as it helps me to understand what kind of Mormon you are in the sense of where you base your beliefs in the world of Mormonism. Many other Mormons would consider these books authoritative and therefore will have very different views on many things to you. Here are some statements made about the Journal of Discourses by your church.

      “Dear Brethren. — It is well known to many of you that Elder George D. Watt, by our counsel, spent much time in the midst of poverty and hardships to acquire the art of reporting in Phonography which he has faithfully and fully accomplished; and he has been reporting the public sermons, discourses, lectures, &c., delivered by the Presidency, the Twelve and others in this city, for nearly two years, almost without fee or reward.
      “Elder Watt now proposes to publish a Journal of these reports, in England for the benefit of the Saints at large, and to obtain means to enable him to sustain his highly useful position of Reporter. You will perceive at once that this will be a work mutual benefit, and we cheerfully and warmly request your co-operation in the purchase and sale of the above named Journal, and wish all the profits arising therefrom to be under the control of Elder Watt.” [signed] BRIGHAM YOUNG, HEBER C. KIMBALL, WILLARD RICHARDS” (Messages of the First Presidency 2:119. This message is also found in the beginning of volume one of the JD).

      In the first issue of the JOD which was originally a magazine it said this in the intro:

      “It affords me great pleasure in being able to put in your possession the words of the Apostles and Prophets, as they were spoken in assemblies of the Saints in Zion, the value of which cannot be estimated by man, not so much for any great display of worldly learning and eloquence, as for the purity of doctrine, simplicity of style, and extensive amount of theological truth which they develop.”

      No lack of confidence in the correctness of this set of sermons here. However this is an era of Mormon teachings that the Mormon Church of today would rather forget due to the mass inconsistencies and problems raised by this work, however at the time it was very authoritative, with the seal of approval of the Prophet Himself, which according to the 14 fundamentals of following the Prophet by Ezra Taft Benson can never lead the church astray.

      Anyway

      2

      My understanding on the completion to the Bible point is probably better explained here:

      “There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 310. See also History of the Church 5:425).

      “The Latter-day Saint use of the Bible differs from the Judeo-Christian norm because it is not the sole LDS source of authority (see Scripture: Authority of Scripture). The Bible is interpreted and understood by Latter-day Saints through four important means: (1) other LDS scriptures, which enrich and give perspective to an understanding of biblical teachings; (2) statements of modern prophets and apostles on the meaning of some biblical passages; (3) the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible; and (4) personal revelation through the gift of the Holy Ghost enhancing the comprehension of the scriptures. Consequently, Latter-day Saints are not left without information about the meaning of many difficult passages that have divided the entire Christian world for two millennia” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1:107).

      I can appreciate now that you would not go too far down that road but rather say that my interpretation of it is off which is fine again that helps me understand where you are coming from on this. Someone I know who since left the LDS church said “Well thats just the bible” when I tried to share a passage of scripture with her, as her Mormon worldview was that you cannot trust the Bible.

      Anyway thanks for the clarification.

      3

      This issue is written all over Mormon Scripture, here is some more.

      1 Nephi 3:7: And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

      Alma 11:37: And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

      Moroni 10:32: Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

      Doctrine and Covenants 25:15: Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.

      Doctrine and Covenants 58:43: By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.

      Doctrine and Covenants 1:31: For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.

      This tells me that righteousness comes from keeping commandments, do you see something different here?

      4

      If you are ok with my interpretations here then you cannot agree with what I just quoted above from your scripture.

      5

      I am under that impression, again see above.

      6

      I do appreciate that you by no means think its by heartless, glory seeking works that will see someone in the celestial kingdom, not at all, your God sees the heart just like mine does. However as well if your honest you will know that heartfelt genuine efforts must go hand in hand with faith to receive exaltation. Biblically this is not correct, our works contribute NOTHING to our righteousness before God and making the born again experience happen. Its all His work in us so that we may then do good works as a result of this gift of salvation (as faith without works is dead) but works do not at all help us obtain this gift.

      As Romans 11:6 says

      And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace

      If its faith and works, sorry bud its works you cant have a gospel of both as anything that is not grace alone is a gospel of works.

      Romans 4:5 also says:

      However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

      Does this sound like Mormonism to you?

      Your gift analogy does not work. As a gift is a gift, my little boy did not earn his train set for Christmas but believe me he is playing with it like mad, that is Biblical salvation. I am living in the benefits of a right standing before God, of a changed heart when I once was hostile to Him and I am loving it. I don’t have to go to Church I get to. I don’t have to love my wife and kid, I get to, I don’t have to do this ministry and have conversations with great guys like you, I get to.

      That is Biblical salvation.

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  4. Bobby,

    I’m sure I missed it when you asked me if I had been born again. Sorry for that.

    And I also appreciated it when you redacted your statement that Mormons can believe anything. Such a statement shows how incoherent and baseless much criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really is. I’m glad you realized that. If I might make a suggestion, it might help you if you got your information from Mormonism from the official sources which I have spoken of in previous posts. A single statement from a random person in a podcast that few LDS people even heard is not a great source.

    Unfortunately, it looks to me that on issues such as faith/works we are going in circles. I have no wish to spend so much time going back and forth in such a way. Just so that other people who might read this post are not confused, Mormon theology does not say that we have to “work” our way to exaltation. One last time, we follow the commandments not because we believe we can save ourselves; we follow them for the following two reasons:

    1) Love for the Savior (John 14:15)
    2) To accept our inheritance being “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

    Exaltation would be meaningless otherwise. I believe that my “gift” analogy still works. If you don’t receive a gift, it does not avail you anything. Your statement at the end “That is biblical salvation” is not correct. That is your interpretation of biblical salvation. The evangelical Christian interpretation is not the only one.

    We are saved by Christ and not by our own works. And while it is necessary to come unto Christ and follow His commandments, we do not save ourselves. And while there are many Latter-day Saints who for whatever reason have a limited understanding of the Gospel, this issue is very clearly understood by the LDS people. I have never met a Mormon who didn’t understand that it is only by Christ we are saved.

    There are many quotes from early church leaders which I don’t feel were interpreted in the way that the LDS Church does. I don’t feel that correcting them one by one would be beneficial for anyone since it appears that your opinions have already been made. Please let us interpret the words of our own leaders and scriptures. People can learn what we believe by going to http://www.mormon.org.

    Cory

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    1. Thanks Cory you have again explained your perspective but it does not all all line up with a basic honest reading of Mormon material. For the sake of people reading I am going to explain this further.

      So you said this:

      Mormon theology does not say that we have to “work” our way to exaltation. One last time, we follow the commandments not because we believe we can save ourselves; we follow them for the following two reasons:

      1) Love for the Savior (John 14:15)
      2) To accept our inheritance being “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

      Lets think about this logically first. In Mormonism there are three levels of heaven. The telestial, the Terrestrial and the Celestial, there are even 3 levels of the celestial, how do we get into the higher ones?

      Your 3rd Prophet John Taylor said this:

      “Hence, through His atonement, believers in Christ, and those who obey His law, partake of His glory and exaltation, and are inheritors of the Godhead; whilst those who do not obey His law although resurrected cannot inherit this exaltation; they are raised from the dead, but cannot inherit a celestial glory without being obedient to a celestial law, and thus we come again to a scripture quoted before.” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, 1950, p. 175. See also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, p. 51).

      Essentially your saying I am reading it wrong, surely a non Mormon could not understand the words of your Prophets like you can, I am sorry I am not buying this for a second. You only get exaltation as oppose to the lower levels of heaven if you OBEY the appropriate laws, thats what it says, so thats what it means, simple. Would you prefer to hear this from an up to date Mormon manual, no problem.

      Gospel Principles manual, chapter: Exaltation.

      To be exalted, we first must place our faith in Jesus Christ and then endure in that faith to the end of our lives. Our faith in Him must be such that we repent of our sins and obey His commandments.

      He commands us all to receive certain ordinances:

      1. We must be baptized.
      2. We must receive the laying on of hands to be confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
      3. Brethren must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and magnify their callings in the priesthood.
      4. We must receive the temple endowment.
      5. We must be married for eternity, either in this life or in the next.
      In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to:

      1. Love God and our neighbors.
      2. Keep the commandments.
      3. Repent of our wrongdoings.
      4. Search out our kindred dead and receive the saving ordinances of the gospel for them.
      5. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament.
      6. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord.
      7. Have family and individual prayers every day.
      8. Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
      9. Study the scriptures.
      10. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.

      Here is the list of requirements to receive exaltation. In the earlier days of Mormonism they said it like it is, you have to obey laws to earn exaltation. Today they wrap it up in the language of it being an expression of faith. The problem is that they are putting levels on these so called fruits of faith, and so many fruits of faith result in so much eternal glory.

      So it says Our faith in Him must be such that we repent of our sins and obey His commandments.

      It almost sounds ok, the problem is that really this is saying the same thing as this:

      8th Prophet George Albert Smith

      “We are living eternal life, and our position hereafter will be the result of our lives here. Every man will be judged according to his works, and he will receive only that degree of glory that he has earned. (Conference Reports, April 1945, p. 139.)” (The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 30).

      Just the one in the gospel principle manuals sounds a little better to the untrained evangelical ear, however in reality they are saying the same thing, the works gets you the glory. A lack of works gets you a lesser glory.

      As I said Romans 4:5 is clear, to the one that does not work but believes in Him, they are the righteous ones. This is so far away from Mormonism its no surprise your church is not accepted as Christian by millions of Christians.

      You said my interpretation is not the only one, fine your church is not the only church but it doesn’t stop you believing it, this is no argument. All the way through our discussion you have provided little or no basis for your statements but rather just told me my interpretation is wrong. I am interpreting the Bible and your Prophets by simply reading what it says.

      And to finish there are many Mormons that do not think they are good enough for exaltation, while your interpretation of Mormonism is interesting to me, again its by no means the only one and I am going to trust the words of your Prophets over the words of you to understand Mormonism.

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      1. Bobby,

        I feel like I am wasting my time because we are going in circles. Since most of your responses have required me to restate what I have already said (and what LDS teaching is very clear on) this will be my last reply.

        LDS theology says that Christ saves us, not our own works. Our own works could never atone for our own sins; they could never do for us what Christ did for us and what he is doing for us. We obey the commandments, repent, become baptized by water, receive the Holy Ghost and the ordinances found in the temple, and endure to the end because we draw closer unto Christ by following His commandments and therefore receive the gift of eternal life. While these “works” (if that is what we want to call them) are an essential part of our being saved, they are not by themselves sufficient. Nor do they even come close. The quotes that you shared do not say any such thing, and what I have said about the matter is in agreement with what the apostles and prophets have said. You have given your own foolish commentary about the LDS view of salvation after having quoting sources which describe the importance of obedience and saving ordinances while ignoring other quotes which stress the incomparable importance of Christ.

        Any commentary about the LDS view of salvation that ignores the single largest part of LDS theology (Christ and the Atonement) is inaccurate, baseless, confused, and either incompetent or deliberately misleading.

        When I asked you earlier if being saved and born again requires effort, you said quite clearly that it did not and that our works are all like “filthy rags” in the eyes of God. I do not believe that this response is coherent with the rest of your writings, for you have often described at least 2 “works” that a Latter-day Saint must do to be saved (and though you would never call them that, they are indeed works); both would involve a substantial amount of effort. You have described at various times how first a Latter-day Saint must reject the doctrines of Mormonism, and second, accept your version of the Gospel. There can be no doubt that this would require a substantial amount of effort.

        Many scriptures in the Bible show the importance of obedience, works, and how we will be held accountable for our disobedience. Here are a few of them. You have conveniently left them out of your writings because they contradict many of your arguments.

        • 2 Corinthians 5:10
        • Revelation 22:12
        • Romans 2:5-8
        • Romans 2:13
        • 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
        • Hebrews 10:26-27
        • James 2:24

        Bobby, I hope that one day you can learn to let the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints define their own beliefs instead of providing your own misguided commentary.

        Cory

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      2. Thanks Cory I will give kind of a closing statement too.

        Firstly I will always let Mormon members explain for themselves what they believe. You have clearly and honestly in many areas laid out to me what you believe, and that’s fine. However I will let Mormon Prophets and Apostles tell me what Mormonism as a whole teaches, in my mind there has been a clash here between you and them, you disagree that’s fine, here we are.

        Secondly regarding the quotes you gave from the bible talking about the significance of works, let me just quote myself from an earlier comment on this discussion.

        . I am living in the benefits of a right standing before God, of a changed heart when I once was hostile to Him and I am loving it. I don’t have to go to Church I get to. I don’t have to love my wife and kid, I get to, I don’t have to do this ministry and have conversations with great guys like you, I get to.

        As a born again believer I gratefully serve God passionately and happily, producing works that are fruitful and pleasing in His sight. This is only possible because He has already placed a new heart within me, making me into a new righteous creature who was a child of wrath and is now a child of God by His grace.

        Before this though my works were as filthy rags to Him, its only by His work in me, making me born again that this changed.

        So to finish here is my question to you and any other Mormons reading this.

        When you stand before God and you are asked why should I let you in? (He probably wont ask like that but humour me) what will your response be? What will you appeal to, to show that being with God for all eternity is what you deserve?

        Will you appeal to your Church activity to ANY extent?

        Will you shake His hand, showing the signs and tokens that you learned in the temple, proving you are worthy of celestial glory?

        Will you appeal to the fact that you always faithfully tithed,

        (“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming. For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:23,24).

        When I stand before God I will appeal to nothing of myself. I will point to Christ and say I trusted Him.

        If you can agree with this, then my argument is on the one hand your not believing Mormonism fully, but secondly praise God you are in Christ and saved. You mentioned earlier that I think you have to leave the Mormon Church to be saved, not at all. You just need to trust in nothing but Christ for your salvation and look forward to an eternity with Him, and no other human being not even your family. Paul said to live is Christ to die is gain, I want to go and be with Him. (paraphrase Philippians 1:21+)

        So if this is you, stop learning handshakes in the temple,. stop wearing your garments, stop doing anything that your church tells you makes you worthy. Stop going to temple recommend interviews, and just love Christ, and love the people around you Mormon or not by helping them trust in Christ and nothing of themselves, for salvation is the gift of God so that no one may boast. For we are created in Christ Jesus, we are His workmanship and we have good works to do that He has prepared for us.

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  5. I am currently transisitioning away from Mormonism so maybe not an expert. But I have realized I (and obviously others) were pretty prideful when holding certain callings (Eld quo. HP group, Bishopric, or gospel doctrine teaching) believing (deep inside) I was truly elect versus these “other sheep” that probably couldn’t understand doctrine or get spirit even if they were taught by Christ himself. Especially, reading bible scriptures and discounting the LDS inference concerning the “true” word of God —– Prophets 1st, our “revealed” scripture next, then the Bible (as far as it is translated correctly). By demonizing the true Word of God (Bible) it is no wonder Works versus Grace are emphasised —– especially since works and earning eternal life will keep the tithing coming in. Every time the Bishop bore testimony he would emphasize how he was doing all he could and hopefully his effort (10-90%?) was going to be enough for Christ to make up the difference —– how self centered/prideful a thought that he could do more or even some of what Christ did! Even when I was an LDS teacher I always emphasized following the Spirit versus Prophets and scripture and what was most important was relying on Christ (vs Prophets,etc.) and developing a relationship with God and Christ —– I was never challenged by the “others”. LDS people and everyone need to wake up —- We are humans and will sin and will continue to sin and fall short! We are totally dependant on God and Christ for everything (remission of sins or eternal life, current life). So xxxx number of temple endowments, XXx testimonies (even though D@C states we will be forgiven of sins by bearing testimony —- which is terribly false doctrine) or serving in any position for any number of years, or paying $xxxxxx in titihing is never enough to do anythng for getting us clean before God or “earning” eternal life ——- which is what God taught me. Therefore, what I have felt that by being truly “born again” is a one time event with personnel growth and santification (majority good works with the correct mindset) process after. :LDS infer that it is just opposite —— good works earn you the right to be “born of God”. I personnally felt true freedom, I was more and more amazed at Gods creations, completely different feeing inside in everything I do, feeling much differently about things of God than before, serving others feeling much different, and more willing to be open to the Spirit and react to whatever impressions I receive. In order to be “born again” you do not need to belong to a religion —– you need a RELATIONSHIP with God! I do feel LDS can be born again but the cards/stumbling blocks are stacked against them thanks to Joseph and the other so called “prophets” after him.

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