Utah trip almost over, reflections.

Well I have one day left and then I am back home to sunny North East of England. This has been easily my favourite ministry trip of any kind and I have done a lot more learning than I have, shall we say teaching this week.

I have been to a session of general conference, visited institute classes at Weber state university, been to Provo, as well as meeting Christians like Bill Mckeever, Shawn Mccraney, Aaron Shafovaloff and others and have had a great time.

I have had the chance to meet a Mormon man named Eric who has been a Mormon many years, and through this meeting and others have grown in my respect for these people.

Many Christians and myself at times can look at the Mormon people and think how can they believe that it is crazy etc, however from being around the people and in the culture and having dialogue, I can see exactly why and how intelligent people can believe Mormonism, the Mormon people in many cases deserve genuine respect for their commitment, and love for their faith and what it represents. And I would challenge Christians reading this to have genuine respect when speaking to people in the LDS faith as they are not crazy they just believe a faith that is contrary to the bible.

Being in general conference I was there when the announcement came for 5 new temples and there was a genuine sense of awe in the crowd people looking at each other and smiling amazed at this news.

When the prophet Thomas S. Monson walked in people stood straight to their feet out of respect and were looking at him who they believe is God’s mouthpiece to the world again with a sense of awe, right before singing the classic LDS hymn we thank thee O Lord for a Prophet.

So in terms of commitment and sincerity towards their faith Christians should come to Utah to learn from them as well as preach to them, however this sense of awe I am talking about did not go towards Christ the true centre of Christianity in that same way. I think back to my home church and the worship and adoration Christ recieves each week and when I think of this general conference session the closest we came to that was when the new temples were announced.

In the book of Mormon 2 Nephi 25:26 says this  And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins.

This is often what is quoted to born again Christians when we say what I am saying, however to LDS people reading this I would say look past just what is said and look at where the real passion and devotion lies in the LDS church, the unspoken things, when people are bearing their testimonies on testimony sunday who gets more glory, Christ, or Joseph Smith or Monson? Look in the bible at the heart of Christians in there, the apostle Paul yearned to die to be with Christ, He knew nothing of exaltation or seeking Godhood for himself. Its not enough to say all of the things in our church point to Christ, does the person of Christ recieved glory over everything? When Jesus was sat with Mary and Martha he praised Mary sitting with him while Martha ran around getting things done.

So this blog despite my new found rise in respect for LDS people is very much going on, however with love and not with a desire to win arguments (as I do not always do that anyway) and not with a desire to put people down but with a desire to share biblical truth, look at the background of Mormonism and its beliefs and let people reading decide for themselves.

30 thoughts on “Utah trip almost over, reflections.”

  1. How can you respect a cult that believes Jesus came from space?!!!! Joseph Smith was an armed looney, a fraudster dude! A convicted criminal! He supported the death penalty and also that black people didn’t have souls!!! He also believed that whites and blacks should not reproduce together. It’s scary that more and more churches are opening. It’s as mad as Scientology.

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    1. Hi smelly Pete good to have you here, if you read this post in the context of my other posts, (like a good exegete 🙂 just kiddin) you will see that I absolutely see Mormonism as a religion that is not Christian at all and has many issues Mormons need to face.

      However I respect and love Mormon individuals and was just trying to show that they as individuals deserve respect and love, in my last posts and posts to come you will see that love being shown through showing truth and giving them things to think about, however there is a fine line between having problems with Mormonism and individual Mormons and please keep reading and keep me right, as you will see I am no liberal.

      Thanks for posting 🙂

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  2. Hi Bobby,

    Looks like you had a great time. I would love to make a trip like this sometime. Did it cost much, if you don’t mind me asking?

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  3. I had a friend who was a Mormon once but he refused to give the leader more money when he got a pay bonus so they threatened to beat him so he left and he told me all about it. Eventually he became a born free Christian but left that too when his car was damaged in an accident. He needed a car to get to work but lost his job and even tho he prayed hard every single minute for a miracle nothing happened.

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  4. Arent the mormons the ones that practice sacrifice of animals? I was speaking to a Catholic guy once and he said they drink blood – Jesus’s blood. When I said that it was impossible he said they did it every sunday in the church and sometimes during the week. Where do they get his blood from?!!! Religion is mad. I believe in ghosts though cos I saw one in my Grandma’s outhouse.

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    1. Hello All thanks for comments, Roger they do not practice sacrifice of animals (that I know of), Pete did not convert any but had some good talks and learned a lot, interesting story you gave, and Vince will PM you on facebook about it, thanks for comments.

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  5. Yo no problemo dudo. I think Mormons have got it wrong ‘cos if Jesus was an alien he’d need a spaceship and where is it? If they can find Bethlehem they would be able to find a huge spacecraft somewhere buried. Unless he flew. I think the Superman story was based on Mormonism wasn’t it? The idea of a superhuman come from space with a mission to save humanity and he spoke to his father for advice but the government wanted to kill him. Maybe Jesus was like a superman!!! Invincible J.C. flying through the universe. Maybe he goes to other planets and tells them the Bible. If he can fly through space he can do anything! But still, he never listens to what I say. I used to send prayers to the dude all the time but he never spoke back and so I got a bit paranoid but I’m okay now. I’m gonna start wearing that damned superman T-shirt!!! Is it a bird? No it’s God!!!

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  6. Just picked up this link from seeing you on Heart of the Matter – interesting to see a Brit on there! Been following it on & off for a couple of years now on the internet, having lived with an LDS family and gone to high school in Utah for a year when I was 18. It was nearly 20 years ago now, but I am still in touch with several of my LDS (Mormon) friends. I am a Christian myself and have a real concern and respect for my friends who are LDS and I beg anyone out there not to lable the Mormons as “mad” or “stupid” or anything else like that. Yes some of their beliefs seem incredible and crazy; Mormonism itself is a deception and unbiblical – but most of the people themselves are lovely, genuine and helpful people, many of whom have grown up with the religion. Particularly in Utah, it is part of the fabric of the community, and very hard to break away from. I doubt few, if any would be “converted” to “proper” Christianity on the basis of a factual argument about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity (I know it’s tempting- I’ve tried it myself!) – they truely believe themselves to be Christians – and who am I to judge in individual cases – but make no mistake, Mormonism is not Christian, whatever the leadership might want you to believe.
    May God bless you and use you in His service to the LDS community – glad to know there is someone in the UK with a heart for them, who understands that they are not “crazy” but deceived.
    God bless you too SmellyPete! I’m sorry that you feel your prayers went unanswered. I’ve been there too – I’d be willing to risk saying that all Christians feel that way at some point. There are explanations for this, but waaayy to much to go into in a comment on a blog! God is definately there, but doesn’t always answer all our prayers the way we want. There is one He’ll always answer though – if you genuinely want to know the truth about Him – ask Him to reveal Himself to you, but you need to ask yourself if you are prepared to respond to Him when He does…

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  7. Sorry, not Moomins, Moonies. The Korean lot with the mad leader….not Kim Jong Il, the other dude. They all get married in baseball stadiums in mass groups and worship him as the Second incarnation of God. If you think about it, there are a lot of strange cults out there: like the ones that nod their heads at the wall and the ones that carry knives around. It’s all crazy but you have to admit it takes a lot of guts to believe in it all. What’s the best religion?

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    1. Well its a tough one to say which is best, that makes it all a bit like a sales pitch or something.

      All I can say is I know Jesus and have seen Him change so many lives like my own that there has to be something to it, ultimately its up to you, have you visited many churches?

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  8. Read most of your articles. Good reads, and I learned something new about the possible correlation between Methodism and Mormonism (feeling based confirmation). Keep up the good work.

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  9. I haven’t seen Jesus myself or seen him change people’s lives – I don’t know where I would go to see him. I don’t think that I would want to believe in spaceships. I don’t think I’d wanna go through this route. I don’t think Jesus or his God would be a dsiciple of Darth vader or Captain Kirk. I don’t know maybe he was an alien which could make sense – the star of Bethelehem could have been a UFO but if it had crashed in Bethlehem they would have found it by now unless that’s why they’ve built a massive wall around Palestine. It could be in there I guess. They haven’t looked because of the problems they’r having but they should some radiologists because they might find it and then prove we are all alien after all.

    I quite like the idea of the Catholics but I don’t believe the Pope is Jesus. How can he be after all these years. I don’t know why the Church of England believes God is English and some of the other Christian groups just seem to be too small and don’t make much of an effort. What’s the point of having a big church full of 4 people? I might like to get interested in Buddhist stuff cos the Chinese Jesus said there was reincarnation and oftentimes I feel like I have been here before and have lots of dejavu feelings. I was in Philapdelphia many months ago and although I never had a map and just knew where I was going and how to get there. I think the best one must be the one that has the most people following it.

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  10. Actually I do know someone changed by Jesus. I had a friend in colleage who was always taking girls out and having a good time and then one day he said he was on his way to a date and he saw a bible on the sidewalk so he got out of the car and picked it up and when he read it it said he should stop taking girls out so he did and then from that point on, he had good luck with everything he did. He was always having bad luck and then it changed so he stayed away from girls and bars and was doing really well. He said that the Bible was his saviour and if we read it we would have good luck too! I might read it

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    1. You should read the bible Pete great book, just so you know I deleted your last post on spontaneous combustion, please try to stay on topic if you can, I dont know if your here for a laugh or you mean the things your saying but you are welcome here if you really wanna chat about this stuff.

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  11. I don’t get this, do you just wanna me to say stuff that you want? Man this is like censorship. If the Moonies can prove Jesus came from outer space they will need to show evidence cos no one has found a way of doing this and he can’t have flown. THIS IS A SERIOUS POINT.

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  12. I’ve gone away and read the Bible – the “real” Bible by the Catholics not the Mormon one of the Free Love one or the Moonie one and I have a few questions dude but first can I ask you what a “trusted scholar” is? I ask you this because you call other people’s Bibles or writings “heretical texts”? Which is the proper non-heretical text man? Who wrote it and where do I get it? I’ve looked on Amazon but they just sell The Bible.

    Okay, frankly dude a lot of this makes no sense and I gotta ask some questions.

    Not only inthe Bible but on all the God channels it says God answers prayers. But to me he doesn’t as I have explained. I’ve heard people say I prayed to God for a new job and they might get a new job but I’ve never heard anyone say “my daughter had got terminal cancer and I prayed to God and now she’s perfectly fine.” God only seems to do miracles that are easy and could be a result of something else but won’t do big ones like save an aeroplane full of people – most of which will be praying – from crashing intothe ground. If prayer worked, people wouldn’t need operations and rescuing from mines by men – they would just prayer and God would do it. Like Superman dude as I said. If you need faith why did J.C. show people miracles? And I know Christians with loads of faith and a lot of them have major problems, such as my uncle’s wife has bad lungs but she prays all the time. It says in the Bible if you ask for help he’ll help but he doesn’t. Not at all. Which is why I’ve stayed away from it all. It doesn’t matter how much you play with beads or sing songs or whatever, he doesn’t help. Bad things happen millions of times every day but there are billions of religious believers so why doesn’t he help? Why do we have murderers and illness and train crashes and wars and starvation and infidelity and cruelty?

    It says in the Bible the rich will find it difficult to enter heaven. So why do so many Christian groups have big expensive churches? Not only Catholics but all sorts of Christians. a lot of them on TV preaching and going on wear expensive clothes and have expensive dental jobs. Doesn’t strike me as what the real J.C. would want dude.

    Also many Christains go on and on and on about what other people do. This to me is hypocrisy. You yourself call Mormons unstable cos I’ve read your other posts. Shouldn’t you just be concentrating on yourself instead of calling other people heretics and unstable? That puts me off Christianity the most, the self-righteous people.

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    1. Hey thanks for that Pete some great questions there sorry I underestimated you before!!

      God answers prayers however its not always the way we want, in biblical and modern times God has and does heal people of various diseases and issues, however sometimes when asked in prayer these healings do not happen. This can be due to a lack of faith in those asking as the new testament repeats many times we should ask in faith. Or It could not be Gods time.
      When you come before God in prayer you have to be submissive to His Lordship over you and your requests which means waiting with patient faith or even accepting that this for whatever reason is not His will. God has the right to take things away as well as give them if He really is the creator all powerful God over everything.

      There is nothing wrong biblically with having money or a lot of money its just important that you are a good Godly steward of that money (something I am not great with) however in cases when people in Christian ministry are clearly putting too much money in the wrong places yet they carry on in ministry it is a reminder that we here by Gods grace and true Christianity is not a matter of performance but a matter of submitting to God and being open to Him changing your heart and attitude throughout life, which is a lifelong process. However ultimately only God is the judge and knows people fully.

      I dont call Mormons unstable (those please correct me if I am wrong) I say that the Mormon gospel is not Christian. However I have respect for Mormons as in reality they are living out a harder religion than mine, I am just trying to show Jesus did not do what He did to make it so we have to perform for our salvation (or exaltation), this blog is done out of love for Mormons, some will believe that, some wont.

      So if you want a self righteous person its not me, however if you want someone who loves Jesus, is confident of His acceptance by God and wants others to know about it then that is me, there is a difference between these things but it is easily missed.

      I love your questions mate please hang around

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  13. Thanks dude!

    Alrighty, it’s great to hear such openness and love from a dude into religion. Usually people get violent if you ask them questions about God and all that.

    I still don’t think God answers prayers because the only prayers I have heard been answered is the little stuff, like people will pray that their team wins and they win and then they’ll say God did it. Not really, it was the players do you see what I’m saying. God never came down from heaven and stopped planes flying into the trade towers and stop the tsunami from crashing onto a beach and drowning children. If God was so great and powerful why would he make some soccer team win and let babies die? Why would he stand by whilst the Waffen S.S. went round telling everybody they were doing God’s work by exterminating Jews in World War 2? Why didn’t he came down and open the gates? Why do trains crash killing mothers and fathers leaving orphans? Why does God let countries invade other countries? I bet every night around the world thousands of homeless people pray for warmth but God doesn’t do anything. He might appear in a pizza every now and again and everyone takes photos of a silly shape that just looks like J.C. but is that the only thing he can do??? Why bother? Religious organisations just tell everyone what not to do – don’t have sex, don’t have fun (some tell you not to dance and even shut yourself from society like those ones with the beards), don’t eat pork on a Wednesday, don’t go out unless you wear a full face mask. Nothing is positive, it’s all no, no, no, no, no. You seem like a regular dude but there are a lot man that are crazy!!! They go berserk when someone draws a picture or they come knocking on your door telling ya you’re going to hell cos you don’t give em money or go to church every day.

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    1. Well all I can say mate is I have found Christianity to bring a lot more freedom than it has restriction which is the difference between Christianity and many groups like Mormonism that can be over bearing with restrictions.

      Please stick around and feel free to comment whenever and hopefully a regular dude like me can do you some good 🙂

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  14. Wow dude, I like this derestricted Christianity! Do you have any rules that you follow or do you have your own personal rules. I invented some of my own rules

    1. Don’t be evil.
    2. Be nice to people and animals (unless you are eating them which is important)
    3. Share what you have with people that deserve it.
    4. Support your country
    5. Be loyal to your parents
    6. Obey the rules
    7. Do what you’re told by people that know more than you.
    8. Don’t do to other people what you shall not want done to you.
    9. Don’t kill people unless you’re in the army and fighting a war
    10. Don’t have abortions
    11. Don’t donote your sperm
    12. Don’t get divorced unless your wife/husband beats you
    13. Listen to what your God tells you.
    14. Believe in God
    15. Educate yourself (it’s your responsibility)
    16. Keep clean
    17. Give money to hungry people in Africa
    18. Be kind to homeless people
    19. Don’t spread rumours
    20. Never swear.

    These are obviously based on a lot of religious rules but I don’t think they should be absolute. For example, you need to share but not to the extent you have nothing left and i don’t believe that if someone slaps you on the face you should let them hit you again on the other one. you must always stand up to bullies.

    I don’t think you should stop having fun like Mormons do as you say their religious rules are too severe and they can’t even drink or have fun. This isn’t fair. Also I don’t think God should let people die as he does because then that must mean that God is evil because if people do terrible things or don’t do things to stop terrible things he sends them to Hell so if he does or doesn’t do the same things to stop terrible things it must mean he is…going to Hell or at least is very unpleasant.

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    1. Mate you are brilliant interesting post, I follow the bible and all it says (well most of the time), Jesus said if you love Me you will keep my commandments, I love Him so I keep them, the issues with Mormonism are we have a whole set of commandments that contradict a lot of what Jesus said so there in lies the problem.

      Talk soon

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