What is your soteriology (as explained by Blake Ostler)?

Any of these?

“Calvinism.  We can do absolutely nothing;  God does everything for some as a matter of grace to save them from their culpability for original and actual sins and either leaves others to damnation (single predestination) or specifically decrees the damnation of others (double predestination).

Arminianism.  On our own, we can make no move whatsoever toward God.  God must turn us and draw us; however, God gives us prevenient grace that regenerates the fallen will so that we can say “yes” or “no.”  We cannot reach for the gift of salvation or grasp it on our own after regeneration; but we can either accept it or reject it.”

Semi-Pelagianism.  We can take only the first step in God’s direction, but we must be aided by God in this step and then God carries us to salvation.

Pelagianism.  We have all of the resources necessary to have faith and earn salvation.  We can perfect ourselves and no special grace is needed to do so.”

– Blake T. Ostler, Exploring Mormon Thought (Vol. 2): The Problems of Theism and the Love of God, p. 367

205 comments

  1. Hi, Todd. I am fairly new in my walk in the Lord, so I am not too familiar with all the terms you listed above. My personal experience is God chose me, and I responded by seeking Him… so I am not sure if that puts me in with the calvanists or the aremians. 🙂 I am not too worried about it, because for me there are no creeds but Christ, and I have the assurance of my salvation in Him and Thru Him. So I don’t sweat the small stuff. 🙂

    I can say that as a former mormon I believe that the LDS church’s doctrines would fall into line with “palagianism”. Definately a works based religion.

    I am so not about religion now…..

    It’s all about HIM.

    Keep up the good work!

    God bless,
    gloria

  2. Gloria: If you think that Mormonism is just Palagianism or works based, then I suggest that there is very little that you understood about either Mormonism or Palagianism. I don’t wonder why you are a former Mormon if that is what you understood it to be.

  3. Hello, blake.

    Do I know you? Do you know me? I ask because how you could possibly be able to judge if I understood mormonism? I made it clear in my previous comment that I am new in my walk in the Lord, and don’t know much about calvanism, vs. aremnianism. etc. But , Mormonism, now that is something I can talk about in depth.

    Instead of personally discrediting a person ,why don’t you constructively tell us “why” you think Mormonism is not a “work based” religious system.

    I always wonder why LDS attack former mormons personally instead of focusing their arguments on the topic. Whatever the reason being, it sure reveals the fruit of mormonism.

    Kind regards,
    Gloria

  4. Gloria: I’ve written quite a bit on why Mormonism ain’t a works-based religion in the sense that you are using it. Mormons believe that we are saved by confessing Christ — look it up in D&C 76. However, we will be judged and receive reward according to our works. Does that make Mormonism a “works-based” religion as you claim? Hardly. Judgment by works is among the the frequent and stable teachings throughout both the OT and NT — not to mention Israalite and Jewish religions in general.

    I wasn’t attacking you at all — in fact, you agree with my assessment that you really don’t know much about these various “isms” — so why do you feel attacked? I stand by my assertion that there is a lot about Mormonism that you don’t get. I can’t speak to what your own experience within Mormonism was, but it is a vast world apart from mind. Your comments about Mormonism being a “works-based” religion was quite sufficient for me to know that.

  5. Whoops, Gloria, I should have said “I can’t speak to what your own experience within Mormonism was, but it is a vast world apart from mine.” I didn’t mean “mind” in the sense that you are mindless.

  6. Hi, blake. In all honesty you know absolutely nothing about me, or my experience with the LDS faith. You are correct in your assesment that you can not possibly be a judge of what my experience was with mormonism and I would also say how could you possibly say there is a lot about mormonism that I don’t get? That’s like me saying there is a lot of Christianity that you don’t get… I can’t say that in all honesty Blake, without getting to know you a bit. Is that a fair assesment?

    What I did say is I find it ironic that when a person leaves the LDS faith, those that choose to remain all of sudden point fingers at those of us who leave and say “we didn’t get it”…. good grief. How can you even make that kind of judgement call?

    Why do LDS automatically assume that those that leave just didn’t get it — maybe we did “get it” Blake and saw the teachings and doctrines for what they are – false?

    I just think it’s ridiculous how Mormons automatically throw out the “you didn’t get it” assesment, because they simply can’t comprehend that perhaps many of us who do leave simply found something better. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  7. Gloria,

    You said: “I can say that as a former mormon I believe that the LDS church’s doctrines would fall into line with “palagianism”. Definately a works based religion.”

    That is a pretty good indication you didn’t and don’t get Mormonism since your assessment of Mormonism is wrong.

    No need to get all bent out of shape about Blake pointing out the obvious. You are of course free to choose whichever religion you want.

  8. I don’t dismiss Gloria’s assessment at all.

    I have read current LDS books that lift up Pelagius as a hero.

    But who am I? I speak as a fool, too.

    Interestingly, I have not met one active LDS who is in the vein of John Wesly, accepting beliefs on original sin. Isn’t it neat how the Arminian Wesley was drawn to salvation in Christ while reading Martin Luther’s preface to the book of Romans?

  9. Hi, geoff. I am not “bent out of shape” as you say. I am merely honestly pointing out a phenomena that happens all too often with those of us who do choose to leave — many of those who stay behind point to those of us who leave and say “you didn’t get it”. I find that way too simplistic to throw out without really getting to know someone and hearing their heart.

    I was LDS long enough to stand by my original statement that the Mormon Doctrines and Church is a work based church. That is to say, that there is a heavy emphasis on “works”… grace after all you can do…..and my goodness the “do” list is huge for the LDS.

    I guess I am just tired of mormons assuming I didn’t “get it” instead of perhaps really seeking to understand why people leave. This kind of attitude will not be helpful to the many people who do remain LDS and are struggling.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  10. Gloria wrote:

    I guess I am just tired of mormons assuming I didn’t “get it” instead of perhaps really seeking to understand why people leave. This kind of attitude will not be helpful to the many people who do remain LDS and are struggling.

    Great point. Why assume that everyone who brings up the “works” impression are just trying to proselytize ?? If folks in large numbers (we can debate the exact number) have a beef, then maybe there’s something to it, and how can that be made better ?? Demonizing the messenger doesn’t seem to move forward .

  11. Well, we do happen to believe that the LDS Church is the true Church gloria.

    So obviously, if you left, we are all going to think that you “didn’t get it” in at least some sense. To do otherwise would be to admit the LDS Church is not the Restored Gospel. And you can’t fairly ask us to stipulate to that assumption.

  12. Seth,

    What if I “did get” it… that is, I found the doctrines and teachings false and found the truth in Christ Jesus?

    Who are you or anyone else seth to judge if I “got it” or not….. I guess that is a simplistic way to deal with the dissonance that LDS who remain face when their rank and file members start leaving.

    It’s understandable, but it makes no sense.

    Frankly, seth it’s a “cop out” response.

    I say that with all due respect. I am not trying to be smart, just transparent.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  13. For the LDS here who are tooting ” I didn’t get it” why don’t you take some time gents and start sharing “why” you think the LDS faith is not a work based religion? Shouldn’t that be the focus ?

    Please go ahead and try to convince me differently.

    I look forward to your replies,

    gloria

  14. I’m not interested in debating here who is right gloria. I’m already doing that elsewhere.

    I’m just saying that this is why Mormons make these judgments. Because we think we’re right. Nothing confusing about it.

  15. Seth,

    I don’t see a problem with you thinking you’re right seth. I happen to disagree, but hey we are free to think for oursleves and praise God for that.
    What I am challenging the LDS here is to explain and share “why” they think the LDS is not a works based church/religion. I have merely stated that the posts here from LDS have been directed at why “I” don’t get it, and none of you have as of yet focused on what makes you think differently about my assestment ( and Todd’s too) that mormonism is indeed a works based religion/faith.

    I just think it’s a cop out to focus on the person instead of the topic at hand. The topic posted by Tom, was not whether gloria “got it or not” as a mormon. The topic at hand is about “isms”. Why not address the topic instead of the person.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  16. I’ll butt in here (not good looking, but Im not shy) with GLORIA’s comment about ‘not getting it’

    It’s understandable, but it makes no sense.

    It, does to me. In a side-door way, they are actually giving you something of “the benefit of the doubt”, Gloria

    1) the LDS church is the one true church

    2)those with the right heart and the right understanding will accept it as such

    3)Gloria does not accept it as such

    4)since it seems she has the right heart…..she just must not “get it”, and probably didn’t “get it” while a mormon or she’d still be a mormon.

    this may sound presumptious and rather demeaning to her CURRENT religious practice, but really, it’s very logical and consistent.

    am I putting words into the mouths of the LDS posters here to attempt that explanation ???

  17. Gloria: I already addressed the issue. As I said, I have written quite a bit about Mormonism and grace. Click my name and you’ll get why I see clearly that you are simply misinformed. I know, you were in Mormonism for 19 years, at least 15 of which you weren’t old enough to drive a car. As you acknowledge, you know little about Pelagianism — including how to spell it. I suggest that you know little about Mormonism.

    Now I can’t speak to your experience, but it surely isn’t the same as mine when it comes to works.

    But answer this: do you acknowledge that we will be judged by and receive reward according to our works?

  18. Germit: You are correct. Those with an honest and open heart will know the truth of the restored gospel if they sincerely seek to know.

  19. Blake,

    Hello. Thanks for the chance to exchange ideas.

    First of all, you really don’t know me. I say that because if you did, you would know that I was most definately not a mormon for the first 15 yrs of my life. 🙂 If you click on my name you will be led to my blog and can read a little about my life growing up, my conversion to mormonism, and how Jesus led me out to a saving relationship with Him.

    Pretty boring stuff, but none the less you may wish to read it.

    Secondly, I sincerely apologize for my lack of spelling skills. Goodness, I sincerely hope you are more generous and gracious with your own family when they mispell, or make an error blake. I never ever stated that I knew anything much about the “isms” todd wrote about. You can refer back to my original comment on the matter. I am no expert on “isms” blake. I am not an intellectual. ( praise God for that!)

    I am simply a sinner, saved by the redeeming blood of Christ Jesus. I claim to be nothing more and nothing less. Yes, I was a mormon for 19 yrs ( spent 18 mos on a mormon mission and served a bunch of callings too, so I do know something about the church and it’s practices and teachings) .

    That is all I claim to be.

    Kind regards ,

    gloria

  20. Hi, germit.

    I understand “why” they say I don’t “get it” or “didn’t get” I should say. It’s a cop out plain and simple. It’s a way to deal with the dissonance when LDS leave for reasons other than dissafection or unrepentent sin. I left because Jesus pulled me out. Simply stated.

    Instead of taking the high road, and saying ” I am happy for you. It’s great to know that you have found Jesus. I am sorry you didn’t find him in the confines of the Mormon faith, I am none the less so happy that the Lord is King in your life now. God bless you in your walk with Him”.

    Germit,most mormons can’t bring themselves to say that. Why do you think so?
    You mentioned some reasons above.

    I do have one really good friend, who is LDS and served a mission with me, and when I told her I had resigned and was resting solely on the merits of Christ alone, she said she knew me well enough to believe me and wished me the very best. She said it was “the church’s loss” our family exited mormonism, and that no matter what she knows how much I love Jesus and that there is no doubt I will live with God forever. She did cry and was sad, but in no way was she saying ” I didn’t get it” or missed, etc. I personally don’t see how anyone can make that judgement call without really knowing a person. Unless of course they are trying to deal with dissonance.

    I honestly don’t understand why not one LDS poster here has no as of yet, share “why” they believe my assesment of the LDS church being a works based church is wrong.

    Blake, you stated you have written a great deal about mormonism — take a stab at it. Why do you think the LDS faith is not works based?

    Any takers?

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  21. Germit: You are correct. Those with an honest and open heart will know the truth of the restored gospel if they sincerely seek to know.

    Anyone who dares leave a “ONE TRUE CHURCH” will go “bump” into this. Let me be specific: I mean a group that holds that true christianity MUST look like x, y, and z or else….in this case the ‘or else’ is not hell, but it IS judgment in a more diluted form. That’s what you, Gloria, have gone BUMP into. Leaving the one true church and following Jesus are categorically not possible. Now there are some LDS who try some kind of theological ninja to pull this off, but the ONE TRUE CHURCH thing will fight back, and logically so.

    I’ve been a part of an ev. church with a scaled down version of the same mindset: when I left, I was given a very luke warm good bye and a very mushy “well……I GUESS the Holy Spirit is over at ——church……but it’s just not GOD’s best….” So this happens in ev. circles (sadly) as well.

    Seth spoke truly: we just can’t expect someone to accept OUR notion of the ONE TRUE CHURCH because it’s convenient for us.

    I hope this helps.
    GERMIT

  22. Oops… blake you may wish look at your first post to me back in the beginning and compare it to your spelling of the word in your post above. Above you spell it with an “e” and in the original remark to me you spelled it with an “a”…..

    So how does one spell the word?

    Gloria

  23. the interesting thing about the “works view” thing is that in the presence of quite a few testimonies similar to Gloria’s, the theologians go running to why they are all wrong in their impression, instead of trying to figure out HOW they got that impression , and fixing it. I think this is what Gloria was getting at with her comment about “helping those still struggling….”

    rather than focus on those folks, we try to figure out how GLoria got to be so broken…. hmmmm

  24. gloria,

    I deal with criticisms of the LDS Church constantly. It’s rare that I hear a criticism anymore that I haven’t had to wrestle with already at least several times. I’m sure Blake and Geoff are the same story.

    Isn’t it a little unfair to suggest that we are simply hiding from “the TRUTH” with ad hominems?

  25. Germit,
    BINGO! You get it! Wow – I just felt some fresh air passing by me. 🙂

    Focus on they “why” not the “who”……. now if only our LDS readers would understand. Sigh.. one can hope.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  26. Seth,

    I am sure you are dealing with the negative rap the LDS church gets. I hear you. I have to deal with that , the other way around from my LDS hubby, and I hear you, it get’s old. Boy , does it get old . 😦

    I just see this all the time, Seth. LDS can not believe that a former mormon would find something betterin Jesus, and then leave. They can’t make sense of it, so instead of focusing on the “why” they focus on the “person”. I don’t think that approach will help much, seth especially as more and more LDS leave. I think it’s much more constructive to try to understand people, and “why” they left. The fact is, people are leaving. Why not focus on trying to understand “why”?

    No, I really don’t think it’s unfair to call a spade a spade, seth. Not pleasant, but definately not unfair.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  27. Germit,

    I have “heard” of churches like you mentioned above. I would definately run from those. Any church that tells me they have the “corner” on the market I go packing and running ( as my pastor says) .

    We recently, in my church, had a young couple decide to they wanted to find another church to attend. My pastor and congregration wished them well, hugged them and pray for them on Sundays. We all truly want them to grow in the Word and in their walk with Jesus. If our church is not a good fit, we pray and hope that the lord will lead them to where they need to be. I love that.

    God bless,
    gloria

  28. It also doesn’t really help that your experience, while something I’ve seen among Mormons before, just doesn’t really resonate with my religious life in Mormonism.

  29. No of course it doesn’t, Seth. We all have different expereiences. But the fact is that not all mormons are going to stay Mormons. Many thru the years will leave. Your own children or spouse may choose a different route one day. Why not focus on trying to understand “why” they left instead of placing your energies on being critical of them as a person.

    For example, when I chose ( after much prayer and study) resigned from the LDS my hubby went thru a period where he began to be critical of all areas of my life. He began to think I was a bad mom, a poor wife, etc. He was hurting so bad that I had left that instead of trying to understand “why” has my wife left , he focused his energies on attacking the very thing he loved. He has since moved on from that and we have worked thru how futile that paradigm is.

    Seth, in all honesty I don’t think you fall into this category. I have had enough exchanges with you, and I really do think you try to “hear us” out. ( that is those who have left for good reasons) I know you may not understand and agree, but I think you’re a nice enough guy to not take it too personally.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  30. Seth: I can see where your experience of lds-bashers (which I’ve probably added to here and there…..oooops) and LACK of the same experience that Gloria had (feeling of work,work,work… instead of grace) serve as static on the radio , but in the presence of many testimonies the choices are

    1)convince as many of the voices as possible that they are just wrong and

    2)silence those who won’t be corrected

    3)acknowledge that their impressions MIGHT have even partial legitimacy and get to work solving whatever is broken.

    my own experience with ONE TRUE CHURCHES is that they don’t do #3 very well…. really hearing something from the “malcontents” seems so counter-intuitive….so like caving in…

    granted some of those you talk with ARE dyed in the wool malcontents and would prefer that …..well, cant’ type that on a polite web site…..that makes your job harder, but it doesn’t just go away in some kind of theology chess match. You are probably on to that.

  31. Gloria: your story about the young couple making a church change with your pastor’s knowledge and blessing and prayers is SPOT ON….that is how it’s done: the church is so much bigger than your group or mine. You have a great pastor.

    GERMIT

  32. Germit,

    My pastor rocks! He is awesome! So is my former pastor, who pastored this little church before he and his lovely wife moved back to CA. It’s all about Jesus to these folks, and the focus is on Him and not buidling up the church or it’s programs. It’s all about buidling up the name of our Lord!

    Yes!!!

    gloria

  33. Gloria: I acknowledge that you may have experienced a “works based” religion as a Mormon. I have no doubt that you could do the same in your present religion. That has not been my experience — and I have explained at length why this impression is a misimpression. So take me up on my offer and read what I have written about it. I read your story on your website before writing the first response to you here.

    I have asked several times whether you believe that we are rewarded according to and judged by our works. I ask that because I believe that you in fact accept and believe that — and if you don’t you’re out of line with virtually every writer of scripture in any dispensation. We are saved by grace and judged according to our works. So there is an appropriate role for works in the gospel and failure to recognize that is failure to recognize an essential aspect of the gospel message.

    So here is why you get the reaction from me and Seth that you do. We know that works have a place in the gospel. It is an appropriate place. Grace has a vital place in the gospel message — but it ain’t the only thing there is and it ain’t all said and one once you have been saved by grace. You seem to think that salvation by grace is the only important teaching of the gospel. It ain’t. Once justified, the task is to move onto the process of sanctification and ultimately glorification in a fullness of Christ and Deity.

    So what I see you are saying is really that Mormons believe that they save themselves without Christ by their own works. You know that is false. You know that Christ and his atonement and grace are central to Mormonism. You know that LDS scriptures teach taht we are saved by bending the knee to confess Christ as Lord as D&C 76 says.

    That is why what you say about Mormonism comes off as a fraud to us. It is incomplete and inaccurate and fails to accurately present Mormon teachings. In other words, it creates an impression that anyone who has been on a mission knows is not fully accurate. It is appropriate to call you out on this misrepresentation that you know enough to know that it is both incomplete and misleading.

  34. I guess I’ll butt in here and say that I believe we’ll receive different levels of rewards & honor in heaven according to our works. And it works the other way too: I think there will be different degrees of dishonor & shame in hell. That there will be different degrees of rewards and punishments in the next life according to works is solid biblical doctrine which evangelicals should feel comfortable embracing.

    Also, Blake says “ain’t” a lot, which is the blog commenting equivalent of nails on chalkboard for me. Blake, I demand that you stop butchering your contractions.

  35. Thing is gloria,

    I’ve heard the theological idea that people are all offered salvation through Christ – but THEN are given differing rewards in heaven according to their works.

    You want to know where I heard this?

    It wasn’t Mormon sources.

    It was conservative Evangelicals!

    This is not a new concept for Evangelical theology. I’ve found that Evangelical ministers (not Todd as far as I know) tend to talk a LOT differently about the whole grace vs. works subject among themselves when they don’t think there are any Mormons around listening.

  36. And where is Geoff? Has he been searching in his closet for his “Pelagius is my homeboy” t-shirt?

    Tonight, I just got done watching the flick, “Forever Strong” – seems like a championing of robust freewill.

  37. I just popped in to see what I missed Todd. This conversation ain’t really my thang. ( That was for you Jack) Debates with huffy exmos almost never are worth jumping in on. (And as I said Gloria, you are free to join whatever church you choose despite Augustine’s wrong ideas about free will)

  38. Blake: thot of an analogy that might prove helpful, of course it may not. Suppose you worked for a company where 20% of the employees claimed they were being harassed. They were sure of it. This is odd, because the company has a very well written policy AGAINST all forms of harassment. When considering these 20%, how helpful is it to refer them back to the company policy, accurate and well written as it is ?? Are these people “frauds” because the other 80% never experienced what they did ??

    It strkes me as a little odd that your response to Gloria’s experience of something is to address her theological understanding of mormonism, when her experience may be tied to a more complicated set of conditions. Blame her if you want, but this will be harder for you, Seth, and others, when the person sitting in Gloria’s chair is someone from your family or a close friend. You might want to address your approach now, before that happens.

    GERMIT

  39. Germit: Look, if you are already among the saved in Christ, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ are, then why harp on salvation by grace? After all, salvation by grace is already an accomplished reality and the task at hand is the works of a true Christian fruit and the process of sanctification which is both God and human working together. So if Gloria experienced an emphasis on good works in her Mormon faith, that is because that is the true calling of a Christian — works of love.

    Let me add that the notion that Mormonism somehow is not a religion of grace, but merely and only a religion of works, is simply false witness. Gloria knows better given her experience. I’m not blaming her — I’m calling her out on something she knows just ain’t so. She knows about the emphasis on the atonement of Christ and its gracious and tender mercies given as a free gift in Mormon discourse and scripture. So saying that Mormonism is only a religion of works is not only false, it is a knowingly false assertion.

    In addition, your comments about the “only true Church” are both myopic and more than a bit ironic. You see all evangelical churches as one big tent with different views. Thus, it would be inaccurate to start making distinctions about which of them is the true church because, in your view, they all are. Fine.

    But you definitely see Mormons as not “in the true Church.” So the very sense of judgment that you rejected in your former church still permeate your approach to Mormons.

    Moreover, what would you say to a Muslim or Buddhist? Would you say: “Oh, your approach without Christ is just as valid and saving as mine with Christ”? I doubt it. You still have a notion of a true religion that saves and false religions that don’t.

    Jack: I just ain’t worried about my contractions. I’m not a woman and I’ve never given birth so I ain’t really acquainted with contractions.

    Todd: If you think that grace is somehow inconsistent with robust free will, perhaps you ought to take it up with all those Arminians.

  40. ” So take me up on my offer and read what I have written about it. I read your story on your website before writing the first response to you.”

    Blake,

    With all due respect, I really have little interest in reading about LDS theology and doctrine. I did that for the better part of 19 yrs, and have had my fill in all honesty. I would much rather spend my free time reading God’s Word and spending time with my kids and husband and sharing the good news. No offense, I am just being honest. I am sure you are a bright human being who has a desire to become the best person you can be. Most LDS are. I don’t knock you for that.

    I must add though, in all honesty Blake that “if” you had spent anytime reading my blog you would not have made some of the statements you made to me earlier here. But, that’s ok, I forgive ya. 🙂 I am not going to focus my remarks on that.

    You asked me about “rewards” and judgements. According to the Bible, all of us will be judged. Rewards though is a different thing that eternal life and salvation. For Christians our spot at the wedding supper feast with the Lamb has been secured thru the works and person of Jesus. Those whose names are in the Book of the Lamb will be judged for their good works that glorified God. They will be crowned with crowns. You can read all about that in the book of revelation. Those that did not accept the Lamb and did not have their names written in the lamb’s book of life will be judged before the great white throne . They will not take part in the first resurrection and their eventual resting place is the lake of fire. The Book of revelation speaks so clearly, you can read there about it.

    All my works will be judged by the Lord, Blake. But let me make it clear that my works are to glorify my father in Heaven, as Christ taught — not to secure a place in the eterinities. That place was secured by Jesus. We glorify God when we have good works. That is the purpose of our good works. Jesus taught that very plainly. If a Christian truly professes Christ, and has been born again the Holy Spirit dwells within them and there will be good works and fruit — but not because of what they are doing, but the work of the Holy Spirit in their life.

    I am justified thru the grace of Christ and sanctified by the works of the Holy Spirit.

    Works do have a place in the Christian life, Blake. We just don’t beleive they “earn” us anything. My good works are as a result of what God is doing in my life, not because I am “good person” Blake. Because Christ lives in me, there is good fruit. That is a result of being in Christ.

    ” You seem to think salvation by grace is the only important teaching of the gospel”.

    Blake, I never said that. That is simply not the truth. When I did I say that? The message of the free gift of salvation thru grace is the resounding message of the gospel of my Lord Jesus — that is why it is called the ” Good news” !! Because it is precisely that — GOOD news!! It’s great news, actually!! What better news could be shared than a sinner being saved by God’s grace??? With that said, there are many other things that Jesus taught that are important for Christians to read and understand and apply in one’s life.. but I make no apologies about the fact that the resounding message of the Bible and the Good News is that Christ Jesus, came down from His throne and became flesh and dwelt among us and died for our sins and paid the full price. Praise God for that!! But yeah, Jesus did teach us a bunch of awesome stuff about “how” to live as a Christian, but that does not have to do with “how” we gain eterna life. There is only ONE way for christians, BLake and that is thru the WORKS of Jesus, not may works.

    ” So what I see you are saying is really that Mormons believe they save themselves without Christ by their own works”.

    Blake I never said. Again you are saying things that are not true. The only thing I said here is that I believe the LDS faith/church is a “works based Church” or religion. I truly believe that, and I say that because of my own experience living the LDS faith for 19 yrs and from all my study of LDS teachings. The BofM does state you are saved by grace AFTER all you can do. Does it not?
    I believe the LDS gospel is works based. I said that before and I stand by my assesment.

    ” It is appropriate to call you out on this misrepresentation that you know enough to know that is both incomplete and misleading.”

    With all due respect, Blake, now you are saying ” I know enough” …. before you were saying ” I didn’t get it”. .. and know it’s ” I know better, tsk , tsk.” What’s it going to be… I missed the boat with the LDS doctrines or I know enough to know better?

    Bottom line, Blake is I stand by my original assesment that I believe the LDS Church to be a works based religion. You are saved by grace by the atonement of Christ and “by obedience” to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. What gospel, Blake? The LDS gospel correct?

    What I am calling you out on and other Mormons , is the fact that the gospel proclaimed by Joseph Smith is a fraud and a misreprensentation of what Jesus taught.

    Jesus taught that He is the WAY the truth and the light. That no man cometh to the Father but by HIM. He never taught that the way is thru a church membership, or thru LDS ordinances. He taught such a simple and beautiful message… that unfortunately has been twisted by many thru out history.

    My heart’s desire Blake is to see the LDS people come to Jesus. I desire and pray for them to know Jesus as the ONE true and eternal God. Not a “god” among gods… but the ONE true and living God. The I AM of the OT and the Christ of the New Testament.
    It is my prayer and my hope and my desire. I can also honestly proclaim that this is the desire of God — that not one soul should perish but have everlasting life thru Jesus.

    I appreciate you taking time to read and hear me out.

    I will be praying for you, as well as other LDS that your eyes may be opened to see Jesus …….

    Gloria

  41. Geoff,

    Huffy exmormons?

    Do you know me?

    How much time have you gotten to know me, Geoff to make that assesment?

    Man, am I grateful that Jesus will be my judge and not the mormons. His mercies endure forever.

    Kind regards ,

    gloria

  42. ” Interestingly , I have not met one active LDS who is in the vein of John Wesly accepting beliefs on original sin.”

    Nope. You sure won’t.

    Didn’t you know we’re all born perfect and not accountable until age 8?

    As a mama to 10 kiddos, I can attest that kids are not born perfect without sin….. innocent yes, but not perfect. Some of first words out of the mouth of babes and toddlers are:

    “Mine, me, NO”……..

    Perfect, without sin — I don’t think so.

    God bless,
    gloria

  43. gloria,

    If you’re going deal with Mormons online, you’re going to eventually have to bite the bullet and read some of the new theological work being done.

    I seriously doubt you’ve read much Mormon theology that isn’t contained in standardized LDS Church-approved materials.

    This isn’t knocking you or anything. It’s just a statement of statistical probability. The vast majority of lay Mormons don’t bother much with theological writing. Most, in fact, don’t even read the Church-approved stuff. I’m assuming you were one of the diligent members who read the Church-approved stuff. But that doesn’t mean you’ve really sampled LDS theological writing.

    Have you read anything from B.H. Roberts?

    Orson Pratt? Sterling McMurrin? Eugene England? Robert Millet? Stephen Robinson? Blake’s stuff wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

    I’m not saying everyone has to read these sources.

    But if you intend to engage Mormonism seriously online, you will need to engage the proper literature. Otherwise, you will continue to open yourself up to charges of ignorance.

    I’m not the best-read person out there either. But I’ve at least made an attempt to read Evangelical theology articles and books.

  44. Hi, seth.

    In all honesty, I can not say I know a thing about “evangelical theology”… and I most definately don’t call myself an evangelical. I am simply one thing, a disciple of Jesus, a Christian first and foremost. I have no creeds but Christ and my authority is God’s Word.

    So, as far as what you are saying about evangelical theology, I would have to claim “clue less” on that.

    My heart’s desire is to see souls won for Christ – not to evangelicalism.

    Excuse me for my lack of intellecutualism. I am no intellectual when it comes to religion or anything else. I am simply a sinner saved by grace, trying to live for Jesus and share the G O O D news.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  45. gloria,

    There is nothing wrong with being a humble follower of Christ, or not having read Blake’s stuff, or anything else outside the Bible.

    Peter, James and John were but humble fishermen. There are plenty of wonderful people out there who never read any book but the Bible. In a lot of poor countries, it may be the only book they own. There’s nothing reprehensible about this.

    But if you haven’t read the theological material – don’t make theological claims.

    It’s really that simple.

  46. You can declare your faith, and report the sort of behavior you have personally encountered.

    But don’t make claims that you really understand what this ENTIRE Mormon theological system is about if you can’t back it up.

  47. Seth,

    Is the new theological work being written scripture for the LDS and can it be categorized as cannon and doctrine?

    I thought that the LDS should stick to the standard works and General Conference? Since when do the theories of Steven Robinson constitute doctrine for Mormons?

    When ever I bring up any other writings , I hear LDS cry out ” it’s not doctrine just theory”…. what do you think? I don’t think spewing out ‘theories’ of LDS authors really helps.

    In all honesty, when I come online I pray. I know it sounds crazy and simple but I ask the Lord to help me when I write, and in what I share. I ask God to pen my words and to speak the truth in love.

    My heart is not to so much to focus on mormonism, seth but to share the GOOD new that Jesus really is God, has always been God, and gosh, my God really did die on the cross to save us and redeem us. That is where my heart is, Seth. I really could care two hoots about what Millet ( and I have read a small sampling of his work ) or Blake has to write and share. I would much rather spend my time studying God’s word and sharing it.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  48. Seth,

    Thanks for the chance to exchange thoughts.

    You wrote :

    ” But if you haven’t read the theological material — don’t make theological claims”.

    What theological claims did I make here, other than I believed the LDS Church is a works based religion. I stand by that assesment, based on my 19 yrs as a member, and as a missionary, etc. That is all I have said , seth. “If” I did want to make theological claims, that is most definately a freedom I have is it not? I know you are nice guy, seth ( I say that sincerely) — but you are sounding “bossy” right now.

    As far as reading Theogological material — the greatest theological material I can get my hands on is right beside me on my desk here….. the Holy Bible. Does that not constitute theological material?

    In all honesty, I really could care less what the intellectual theologians are saying, Seth. I would much rather be spending my reading time in God’s Word — My God is the greatest theologian of all time. I would much rather read what He has to say then some guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to humankind. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  49. ” But don’t make claims that you really understand what this entire mormon theological system is about if you can’t back it up”.

    Seth,
    I know sometimes that online is not the best way to convey “tone” in one’s writings.. but once I again I say you are sounding “bossy”… and I really don’t think you are that way in real life. I like to give you the benefit of the doubt. 🙂

    “If” I make claims, that is my perogative, Seth. Plain and simple.

    Secondly, I back up any claims by using LDS scriptures. Is that not fair?

    I don’t take the writings of Seth or Blake or some other LDS theologian as the doctrines of the LDS faith. When sharing what the LDS teach or believe, I think it’s fair to go to the LDS scriptures. Is that not fair, seth?

    For example, I used the passage from the BofM :

    “you are saved by grace after all you can do” as a premise for the argument that the LDS church is a work based religion. The “do” part is stressed heavily in the LDS church, is it not?

    I also used the example from the articles of faith.

    I think it’s fruitless to use the writings of Blake or some other LDS writer — because the LDS people as a “whole” do not take their writings to be ‘doctrine.’ Is that fair to say?

    In all honesty, Seth I think LDS may wish to shut me up.

    It’s understandable.

    They hope I’ll go away. 🙂

    You may not hear it in your tone when you say ” don’t make claims” etc. It comes across seth as you trying to intimidate me to silence. I have seen this over and over again — especially from LDS men. My husband even has been known to do that from time to time. It doesn’t work and it just makes him look dictorial and bossy.

    It’s understandable.

    Those of us who were LDS and have come out for Christ have a message to share with the world about the LDS church, and it’s not good for LDS PR.

    But it doesn’t help seth when you start saying “don’t do this or that”………

    Let’s dialogue without telling each other to “shut up” and be quiet. I have yet to do that to you, Seth about your thoughs on the Bible or Christianity.

    Kind regards,

    gloria

  50. P.S.

    I have read “some” of Robinson, Nibley, Roberts, and I really can’t stomach Millet……… I have a fairly large LDS library of books. ( lots of books written by LDS prophets in particular) oh yeah and I really would focus on conference talks while I was LDS. ( I taught the 4th sunday in RS and also for about 5 yrs taught from the manuals on the teachings of the LDS prophets) So yes, I have read outside the LDS standard works.

    But in all honesty , I don’t read this anymore. I would much rather be reading the Bible, Lucado, or Graham. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  51. Blake: thanks for the back and forth. A list of things while I work off my mexican leftovers (courtesy of the most lovely Mrs. GERMIT….GOD bless her)

    you won’t hear me go on and on about the grace and works very much, and if you do, I’m MUCH more sympathetic to YOUR view than TODD’s, or MARKCARE’s, or….. believe me, I’m in the corner of SOME kind of free will and getting off our collective asses…..but I’m preaching to the MTC, I think…

    My posts before were short, and necessarily incomplete: let me commend you on knowing some of my theological leanings that would have to have been seen “between the lines”. Yes, I definitely DO believe in ‘one LORD, one FAITH, one baptism’…. I’m not a modernist , or post-modernist, who will squish that to mean everybody gets in..
    I know that truth has boundaries or is meaningless .

    So, as you’ve alluded to, I do uphold some kind of “us and them”, but I’d maintain it doesn’t look very much like , not only the lds package, but any particular INSTITUTION that wants to wear the ONE TRUE CHURCH label. I see the church as a collection of born-again ones, a community of faith, not an institution. This does not automatically make all institutions evil, but it’s a different animal than the church. Nothing new here for you, assuredly, you’ve seen this model of the church , and many others, no doubt.

    You are quite right that BOTH our models of church include some measure of judgment and have an “us and them”. I make no excuse for that, and I’m sure you don’t either. We disagree on what is our baseline for church, and so we disagree on what is righteous and what is unrighteous judging. More could be said on that, but I’ll leave it at that.

    I still find your approach to Gloria, and those like her interesting, and not that unusual. Yes, you obviously see things in vastly different ways theologically. But I’ve personally been in churches where the “work like a dog” thing was in affect (you have mentioned this yourself as possible for ev.’s) and it was NOT related to abherent theology, it was leadership style/ community groupthink….etc etc. My point is that some peoples’ impressions might be MORE than just pure theology, but you seem insistent on going back to that. Or so it seems.

    Lunch is over: enjoy the late spring weekend with those you love
    GERMIT

  52. gloria, I think it is a worthwhile project to engage not only what your LDS acquaintances believe, but what their theological system ALLOWS them to believe as well.

    Theological writings are a valuable resource for learning what other thoughtful people have written on a subject.

    The reason for this is that no person is an island. It’s not just you, Jesus, and the Bible. There is a lot of benefit you can derive from engaging what other people are thinking about religion. I’m not just talking about Mormon scholars. Scholars in your own tradition have a lot to offer you as well. I’m sure Todd could clue you into some very nice books that you would enjoy.

    I’m not telling you to be quiet.

    I’m just saying that if you make overbroad claims about what Mormon theology is, expect Mormons to call you on it. If you are going to go about saying that “Mormon theology is like this… and it can’t be any other way”… well… you’d better have done your homework. That’s all.

    Look, I find Blake abrasive on occasion too. But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. You’ve made some broad, sweeping, and categorical statements about what Mormonism “is” regarding grace and works. He has called you on it and pointed you to resources that you may engage if you wish.

    You can respond that you are just a simple Christian mother trying to follow Jesus and don’t have time to dive into all that. And that’s fine.

    But you then don’t get to cry foul when other LDS challenge your caricature of Mormonism.

    Fair is fair.

  53. Now gloria, let’s talk about your quotation of 2 Nephi 25:23:

    I think that Mormons and Evangelicals alike often misread this passage.

    They read it as a call to do everything that is humanly possible for you to do. Of course we know that no flawed human being ever really does “all they can do.” So what is going on here?

    You have to read this passage in light of other Book of Mormon passages.

    First, I’d recommend reading the verse in light of 2 Nephi 2:3-9 – where Lehi is saying farewell to his family and gives one of the Book of Mormon’s keynote addresses on the Atonement. Lehi makes it clear that “salvation is free” on condition of belief in Christ.

    Also look at the language of 2 Nephi 10:24:

    “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.”

    Another fairly clear endorsement of grace as the key to salvation.

    And then King Benjamin’s speech in Mosiah 3:17:

    “And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.”

    In fact, I’d recommend most of King Benjamin’s speech on this subject. Especially Mosiah 2:17-25 (I’ve never seen a clearer statement that it is only by grace that any are saved – not even in the Bible!). There’s also a portion of that Mormons typically read as a laundry list of stuff you are supposed to be doing in Mosiah 4:12-16. This is wrong.

    Note the key word in verse 12 – “if.”

    If what?

    If you go through the conversion process to Christ that Benjamin has been talking about. IF you do that, THEN all those good works flow forth as a result.

    Final scripture for you – Alma 24:11-12:

    “And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do, (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain—

    Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.”

    This is where the group of Lamanites accept the Gospel and bury their weapons.

    Did you catch the key phrase in verse 11?

    “all we can do”

    What was “all” they “could do?”

    To repent.

    Period.

    Hope you’ll take another look at these verses and reconsider what the Book of Mormon is asking you to do.

  54. Seth,

    I appreciate you taking time to share your remarks. You say theological resources are valuable. If you enjoy that, Seth great. I am glad you have that kind of time on your hands. This mama of 10 doesn’t.

    If you were to look on my nightstand you would see the following:

    1. The Bible
    2. A book on the history of the Reformation
    3. A book on the 23rd Psalm by Max Lucado

    I am going to the library today with the kids and on my list to get is a book on the writings of Martin Luther.

    Honestly, Seth as you can read above none of the books are LDS related. I really do not have the slightest interest. I am being transparent here. Just like you may not enjoy the writings of Max Lucado.

    As far as crying “foul play”… I called out foul play based on the fact that Blake came on here and said I didn’t get it while a Mormon until I pressed him. Then he says I should know better. Re-read thru the comments. That is all I cried out foul play on.

    My assesment that the LDS church is a works based religion is based on LDS scripture, teaching, tradition and on my own personal experiences with the LDS church. I don’t recant that statement.

    Bottom line , the LDS church does teach it is grace AFTER all you can do.

    For me, and for christians all over the world……..its about GRACE fully and completely.

    Kind regards,

    gloria

  55. Hi, seth. Thanks for taking time to share these passages. Now , I call this profitable dialogue. 🙂

    I am heading out to the library with the kiddos….but I’ll read thru these later and comment back.

    Thanks again.

    The sun is shining brightly here… hope you are enjoying your day,

    gloria

  56. For you spell checkers, I meant “aberrant theology” and not “abherent theology” which I guess would be a theology that prevents you from 1)sticking to yourself (ew !!) or 2)sticking to others (dont’ go there)

    GERMIT

  57. I stand by that assesment, based on my 19 yrs as a member, and as a missionary, etc

    this is the disconnect, as I see it: GLORIA is giving you an assessment based on her experience; Seth and friends want her to give an assessment based on some kind of Mormon theology (irrespective of her experience) Back to my analogy of “harassment and the HR protocol handbook…”

    this is why it seems weird to me to call her words “fraudulent” or a “misimpression”….. I mean , “misimpression ” of WHAT , really ??

  58. GERMIT,

    Problem is, she said “Mormonism IS a works-based religion.” And I think she meant exactly that.

    That’s very, very broad declaration. And she can’t validly make it just based on her own experience of Mormonism. Not when the experience of others contradicts it.

  59. “mama of 10” . . . wow . . . blessings to you, Gloria. And blessings to you for keeping close your Bible on your nightstand. It is what you need for a lifetime of rich, wise, and joyful adventure in serving the King. Always the Word. Always sufficient and satisfying. Because it is always about Him.

    Seth, what are the dates/time periods for those Book of Mormon quotes? And what do the quotes mean by using the word “saved”?

  60. Ok, Seth, let us take the Boy Scouts program that undergirds the developmental years for all LDS boys . . .

    Is it good deeds based or grace based?

  61. Gloria: “My assesment that the LDS church is a works based religion is based on LDS scripture, teaching, tradition and on my own personal experiences with the LDS church. I don’t recant that statement.”

    Now we’re getting somewhere. What scriptures do you claim make the restored gospel a “works based religion”? What teachings do you believe make it works based? How do you support your claims?

    Germit: Many of your suggestions are well-taken. Gloria is the world’s authority on her own experience and I have said repeatedly I don’t quibble with her about what she has experienced.

    I do however suggest that she ought to see her experience in a broader context. It is appropriate for Christians to exhort and inspire each other to good works. It is more than appropriate to note that we are judged according to our works and will receive reward according our works.

    Further, as both Seth and Jack comment, she could get the same experience in any ev church — at least when Mormons aren’t around.

    Finally, as you can see, Gloria’s assertions aren ‘t based only on her experience — but on what she claims can be established by LDS scripture and teachings. The problem is that she hasn’t identified any LDS scriptures or teachings to back up what she knows is a controversial and inflammatory claim. I invite her to do so here if she thinks that she can. I submit that she knows better given her experience.

    Gloria claims to read the scriptures only — which is fine for one who believes in sola scriptura. But it is customary for one who claims to have LDS scriptures and teachings to back her rather strident claim that “Mormonism is a works-based religion” to actually quote them or otherwise identify them.

  62. OK, SETH, I’ll concede a little, but her statement seems to be “based on my experiences, Mormonism is…..” You want to underline MORMONISM IS….but she could just as validly underline IN MY EXPERIENCE…… back to the workplace thing: if 20% say “I’ve found it to be a hostile envoronment…” are they wrong because 80% have NOT found it that way ??

    I can see your point, though.

    GERMIT

  63. Blake wrote

    Further, as both Seth and Jack comment, she could get the same experience in any ev church — at least when Mormons aren’t around.

    Well said, Blake, and I am 10 times as harsh on “works based evangelicalism”, and have already commented a little on easy believism…. I will be preaching about true christianity NOT being some kind of strict moralism till the day I die, while coaxing myself and others to get up off the couch and act like we’ve been given Jn 10:10. A paradox, I know, Jesus doing what HE sees the Father doing….but without a relgious check list.

    trying to stay between the rails
    GERMIT

  64. Gloria: “Bottom line , the LDS church does teach it is grace AFTER all you can do.”

    This statement, “after all we can do,” is taken from 2 Ne. 25:23 — yet as Seth pointed out, it doesn’t mean what you say it means. Why did you ignore what he already pointed out?

    In the context of the Book of Mormon you are misunderstanding and misreading it. What it means is that because the ability to choose to accept Christ, our free will, is a result of prevenient grace and the atonement, even after all that we can do by our free will, it is still ultimately by grace that we are saved. The grace came first and our ability to accept what is offered by God follows from this prior grace. Thus, it is the exact opposite of the way you interpret it!

    Ironically, this statement of prevenient grace in the Book of Mormon is actually a scripture about salvation by grace. In fact it is in alignment with the Arminian view of grace which you stated above was more like your own experience that you freely accepted the grace that God offered.

    Now in your defense, in my experience many Mormons have read it and understood it just as you appear to.

  65. Blake: I do. And I have a big beef when no gospel of grace is interjected and made prominent in a culture of good deeds and moralism gospel.

    All the eagle scouts are born depraved sinners. Jacobus Arminius would preach this.

    But this will not be sustained or even acknowledged for belief in S.E. Idaho.

    There is a 2009 flick called Dog Days of Summerville. The main character shows the town for what wicked sinners they all really are. They hated him.

    I wonder what would happen if the main character did the same thing in Happyville?

    What is it that we need salvation from? Why do we need salvation? These are the first questions. And my fear is that Mormonism in 2009 is still not even on the same chart with Arminianism when it comes to soteriology.

  66. Todd wrote:

    And I have a big beef when no gospel of grace is interjected and made prominent in a culture of good deeds and moralism gospel.

    I could hear THAT sermon all day and into the night….and while maintaining a push toward praxis AND good theology, I’m trying to bang the same drum in my corner of the kingdom: the kingdom is NOT about “Do this, and this, and this” it’s being made ALIVE, and then following a living Savior. One huge problem we have is that very little, if anything from work, school, sports, etc, really mirrors this GRACE first principle: most everything out there is some kind of “if this, then that….” or pragmatism glossed over in KJV english; the gospel of grace is something radically different

  67. Todd: “I have a big beef when no gospel of grace is interjected and made prominent in a culture of good deeds”

    Oh no! Not a culture of good deeds. What would you prefer, a culture of bad deeds? How about a culture of no deeds? Haven’t you read anything about the place of good deeds in the judgment and reward for works? And again — after all that I have said about Gloria’s misrepresentations — are you saying that there is no gospel of grace in Mormonism?

    Todd: “moralism gospel”

    Just what does that mean Todd? Are you asserting that there is no morality to the Christian gospel?

    Todd: “All the eagle scouts are born depraved sinners.”

    No they’re not! They are born innocent. Could you tell me what they had done at birth to be worthy of your unsupportable judgment that they are depraved sinners? This is the most pernicious doctrine of Calvinism — the entirely unChristian and false doctrine of original sin and human depravity.

    However, I will grant that all scouts are depraved. I learned nothing but immoral practices in the Scouts!

    Arminians believe that the atonement made us free to choose to accept grace. They believe that original sin does not deprive us of the power to so choose. That is very different from Calvinism where God simply foists on us a life where we are condemned before we do anything at all and can even understand what it is to be condemned.

  68. Blake,

    As with most people you misrepresent Calvinism because your human pride can’t deal with your utter lostness. You also clearly misunderstand the very nature of what atonement is, how Christ made propitiation for His elect. The only thing that is offensive about it is the offense of the cross itself. Your works of self-righteousness don’t make you “worthy”, the only thing that can make one “worthy” is the completed work of Christ. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God. That righteousness is an alien righteousness, apart from ourselves, in spite of ourselves. One does not stand in the presence of God justified because you know a secret handshake or you didn’t drink coffee but only through the justification that comes through faith in Christ, a faith that itself is a gift from God through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

    You may be familiar with mormon doctrines, shifting as they constantly are, but you are completely clueless as to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  69. Todd, mormonism is not on the same chart with arminianism because even as in error as I believe arminians are at least they understand who God is.

  70. Ouch, Seth. I really do like you, but man you are beginning to change my mind. I want to keep thinking you really are a nice guy.

    Maybe today is just an “off” day for you.

    I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, as I know you are an attorney and I can imagine it’s pretty stressful.

    Was the “run along and play part” really necessary?

    Kind regards,

    Gloria

    ps. I just finisihed up dinner, and I must say gents… you have been busy. I haven’t forgotten your passages from the BofM you posted and I promise I’ll get to it, when I have some time away from the kiddos. 🙂 Family calls…….

  71. I have been reading this and can’t help but comment on Blake’s response to Todd. ALL are born depraved sinners. The Bible says we are born in sin. There is a difference between having sin embedded in our very beings that just naturally comes out as we grow and being innocent and not realizing that what we are doing is sin. Innocent does not equal sinless. Just a thought as a mother of four young children.

  72. Yeah, cassie!!! I am so happy to read some thoughts from women on this!!! 🙂

    I just wanted to write and say , that as a mommy of 10 kiddos, I whole heartedely agree with your statement. C

    The Bible states:

    ” For *ALL* have sinned and come short of the glory of God. ” Romans 3:23

    ” There is *none* righteous, no not one. ” Romans 3:10, Psalms 14:1-3, 53:1-3

    ” For there is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not.” Ecc. 7:20

    I have been raising kid for a bit of time now….. I have been blessed with 10 of them, and God bless each one of them… but born perfect without sin? I don’t think so.

    As soon as a baby can it screams and yells for food, for diaper change, to be held, etc.

    As soon as it can utter a word, it says ” mine, me, and NO”

    As soon as it can hold things, it grabs, pinches , pulls hairs and smacks…….

    As my mom says we spend the first 18 mos of our children’s lives teaching them to speak and walk…. and then we spend the next 18 yrs telling them to shut up and sit down! “:)

    Children, especially young children need to be trained up and taught about what is right and wrong. They are not naturally perfect, but in their “natural” state selfish, self centered and down right “me” centered.

    At least my 10 sure had to be. 🙂

    God bless,
    gloria

  73. ” The only thing that can make one worthy is the completed work of Chirst.”

    Amen!!!!!!

    I agree with Isaiah — my righteousness is as filthy rags…. the only thing that is “right-eous” with me, is Jesus. He has made me right with the Father thru His atonement.

    God bless,

    gloria

    ps. good to see you here arthur. 🙂 Even if some may not think so!

  74. ” no they’re not! They are born innocent. Could you tell me what they have done at birth to be worthy of your unsupportable judgement that they are depraved sinners?”

    Blake,

    I agree that children are born innocent.

    I know that from raising my 10 kids.

    But I can say one thing for sure, after raising these kids and helping my mom in a daycare she ran for over 25 there is no way that kids are born without sin. Their very natures scream differently ( and yes they do scream!)

    When Adam and Eve fell, so did all of humankind.

    ” Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12

    ” Therefore as by the offense of one judgement came upon all men, to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of on the free gift came upon all men unto justification”. Romans 5:18

    I know mormons don’t believe that. But I share this passage because truly because of one man sin entered our world, Blake and by one man, Jesus — we are justified.

    So, yes, Blake boy scouts are sinners too.

    So are you and so am I. We are all sinners. For all have sinned. Romans 3:23

    That’s why we need Jesus so much.

    He was made “sin” for us. 2 Cor. 5:21

    I am praying for you, blake!!!

    gloria

  75. Blake,

    I have not ignored what Seth said. If you had been reading along, Blake you would have read that I had to take off for a bit……and I told seth I would read thru the passages he shared and comment. I do have a family, and I do have to take care of them. 🙂 Good grief, Blake I surely hope you extend some grace to your wife & kids.

    Kind regards,

    gloria

  76. Blake,

    You asked “why” I believe the LDS church is a “works based” religion. You also asked for further documentation to back up those claims. Correct?

    My I direct you to the final Chapter in the LDS published book: Gospel Principles. As you know Blake, this book is used as a manual for the Gospel Principles class taught during the 2nd hour in many wards and stakes in the LDS church.

    I quote directly from the manual. It speaks for itself.

    ” Latter – day Saints are taught now is the time to fulfill the requirements for exaltation. Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said ” In order to obtain exaltation we must accept the gospel and all it’s covenants: and take upon us the obligations which the Lord has offered; and walk in the light of understanding of the truth, and live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of god.” ( Doctrines of Salvation. 2:43)

    1. We must be confirmed and baptized a member of the Church of jesus christ.

    2. We must receive the holy ghost.

    3. We must receive the temple endowment

    4. We must be married for time and all eternity

    In addition to the *required* ordinances there also must be laws we have to obey to qualify for exaltation. We must —

    1. Love God and worship him.

    2. Have faith in Jesus Christ.

    3. Live the law of chastity

    4. Repent of your wrong doings

    5. Pay honest tithes and offerings

    6. Be honest in your dealings with others and the lord.

    7. speak the truth always.

    8. obey the word of wisdom

    9. Search out your kindred dead and perform saving ordinances

    10. keep the sabbath day holy

    11.attend your church meetings as regularly as possible to renew your baptismal covenants.

    12. Love and strengthen your family members in the ways of the lord.

    13. have family and individual prayers every day

    14. honor your parents

    15. teach the gospel to others by word and example

    16. study the scriptures

    17. listen to and obey the words of the prophets

    18. develop true charity

    Whew!!! I am exhausted just typing these all!!!

    Now, I seem to recall that you said that the LDS church is *not* a works based church/religion????? Really.

    Regards,
    gloria

  77. Hi, todd. The Bible is awesome!! I can’t get enough of it.

    God bless,

    gloria

    ps. FYI, I thought you would love to know that my kids, have all been saved too!! Yeah, Jesus!!! Well that is all except the youngest 2 ( they are 5 and 6)……… the rest of the kids read the gospel of John and gave their lives to Christ. The Word of God is amazing!!

  78. ” Problem is she said , ” Mormonism IS a works -based religion” . And I think she meant that exactly.

    Yep, I sure did and I still do.

    Kind regards,

    gloria

  79. Todd: one reason that i liked your comment so much is that GRACE is such an affront to ALL of us. This isn’t a Mormon vs. evangelical thing or a Calvinist vs. Arminian thing, it’s a more basic struggle: it’s just the nature of us as fallen people to treat GRACE as something foreign, alien, unnatural (in every sense of the word). We are all the older brother saying “man, this is so unfair….I’ve worked, he hasn’t…” GRACE is an affront to what our ‘gut’ tells us.

    This is a big deal because any believer, or group of believers can start with grace and devolve into something else. It’s necessary to have regular “GRACE checks” to make sure we are following IN PRACTICE a path that lifts up GOD”s radical gospel. IRonically, it’s only then that we will see the works that are proof of a saving faith.

    I appreciate your efforts to help me find and follow Jesus
    GERMIT

  80. Germit,

    Have you seen the you-tube video on this very concept about being “good enough”… i think it’s called are you good enough…. anyways it’s an awesome clip. Todd, have you seen it? You should post it on here… it may help the LDS to understand that NONE of us are good enough…. without Jesus stepping in, we’re all filthy wrotten scum bags. And yes, for LDS readers I mean that seriously.

    God bless,
    gloria

  81. Hi, seth. I took some time and I read thru the passages you shared here. I do appreciate you taking time to share with me.

    It appears that the passage from 2 Nephi 25:23 contradicts the other passages you shared with me. The other passages state that salvation cometh thru grace and the passage in 2 Nephi states after all you can do. That is a direct contradiction.

    Most LDS that I have spoken with, in real life, actually I would say all LDS that I know in real life, believe in grace, but definately after all you can do…… they do not believe in grace in the same way that it is spoken of in the Bible or how born again believer’s believe.

    Coupled with the fact that there is a long list of “to do” with in the LDS church for it’s members, I still stand by my original statement made here that the LDS church is a works based church.

    Grace is sprinkled into the theology……. but remember:

    ” we believe that thru the atonement of Christ all mankind are saved BY obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel”.

    Grace + works is not the same as sola gracia.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  82. P.S. I also openly declare that there are a number of christian churches out there , that are “works based” or works focused too. The LDS church is by no means the only works based religion out there. I think germit spoke a bit about that as well.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  83. Hey all, I just came back from seeing a high school graduate celebration tonight. And yes, my friend earned his eagle scout rank this year. It is quite an achievement.

    But I desire all the eagle scouts in I.F. to sing the song written by one redeemed Arminian:

    “Long my imprisoned spirit lay
    Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
    Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
    I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
    My chains fell off, my heart was free;
    I rose, went forth and followed Thee.”

    This particular Eagle Scout sings this song of the redeemed.

    Germit: The book, The Prodigal God, submerged my heart this year in gospel grace. Blake, as Seth did, needs to read the book for a different angle. My sinful, prideful, moralistic heart was convicted.

    Gloria: Glad you could meet Cassie. She is a dear sister in our B.B.C. family.

    I am leaving early tomorrow morning to catch the second half of this Compassionate Boldness conference in Salt Lake City. I hope to meet many for the very first time.

  84. gloria, one thing you need to know about me is that there are people out there I don’t feel any particular reason to be civil toward.

    Now, you posted a laundry list of things Mormons are supposed to be doing. But I saw no indication there that any of those works are “earning” salvation.

    Without grace, there is no salvation for any Mormon. This has always been understood from the beginning.

  85. Also, we lawyers tend to be a bit snarky. It’s in the blood.

    But I just read Zeezrom’s story in the Book of Alma. So maybe there’s hope for me yet.

  86. I never can find your responses when they’re threaded in somewhere waaay up in the comments gloria. So I’ll just respond here.

    I think the passage in 2 Nephi 25 is grammatically awkward. A better rendering of it would be “after all we can do, it is by grace we are saved.” So I don’t see a contradiction there.

    No more contradiction than the Epistle of James has with the Epistle to the Romans.

    If you can reconcile those two books with each other, what makes you think I can’t do the same with passages in the Book of Mormon? Does the benefit of the doubt only apply to the Bible?

    By the way… the phrase “sola gracia” means that grace is most important in the equation. But is does not mean grace is alone. Just like “sola scriptura” does not mean “only the Bible.” Sola scriptura – as I have heard it explained by several Evangelical ministers – means that the scriptures come first and foremost. But they are not alone.

    So, the phrase “sola gracia” does not really convey your meaning I think.

    I think the phrase you would be looking for to describe your view would be “SOLO gracia.” Which is grace-only and nothing else. “Sola” allows for additional components in the equation.

  87. That’s too bad, seth.

    I sure hope that I am not that way. I am truly sorry if sometimes I rub you wrong or anyone else for that matter. I so want to have Christ shine thru me, and yet sometimes I miserably fall short. That’s why I love Jesus so much, because I fall short so very often….. oh wretch that I am……….. I apologize if you have felt I have directed any personal attacks towards you.

    As for the ‘sola gracia’ vs. solo gracia……..I meant to say ‘grace alone’. Thanks for clarifying that to me.

    I sure hope you all enjoy a great evening,

    gloria

  88. The other day, my two-year-old daughter walked up to her father, slapped his ass, grinned and ran off. She is definitely depraved.

    Or maybe she just watches her pervert of a mother a little too closely.

    Gloria ~ Ouch, Seth. I really do like you, but man you are beginning to change my mind. I want to keep thinking you really are a nice guy.

    With Seth, I find that things go better if you start out thinking of him as a snarky bastard and expecting him to be one, then if he treats you nicely it can be a pleasant surprise. That way, you’re never disappointed. Works every time!

  89. Why , good morning, geoff……. now you wouldn’t having anything constructive to add to this topic now would you???

    Regards,
    gloria

  90. Or maybe she just watches her pervert of a mother a little too closely.

    can we expect a Half-a-Jack blog site out any time soon ?? this could make internet history….I’m sure the advertisers are already lining up

    🙂 GERMIT

  91. Gloria: I’m on board with the concept of human depravity….some days I’m a walking BILLBOARD for human depravity…but meditating on how rotten I am doesn’t seem to help. I will check out the You-tube, but I’m holding onto the reality that as GOD’s kid, HE wants to love on me. I’m sure as a multi-mom, you can appreciate that.

    Have an awesome weekend
    I was bragging on your testimony to my wife just yesterday

    GERMIT

  92. germit,
    I hear ya’. That is what is so awesome, and simply dumb founds me….. that God would die for us and love on us, knowing full well what our flesh is like. Can I just say, when I realized that I was floored……. we serve an awesome God!!!!

    Have a great day! The sun is shining outside brightly and the SON is shining in my heart too!

    gloria

  93. HI, seth.

    I direct you again to Gospel Principles — a BooK Published by the Corp. of the First Pres. of the LDS church ( an official publication)

    chapter 47: Exaltation

    ” IF we prove faithful and obedient to ALL the commandments of the Lord we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted just like our Heavenly Father. Exalation is the highest reward that our Heavenly Father can give His children.”

    Very clearly this points out to the reader that the LDS church teaches that one must “prove” oneself “faithful” and “obedient” to ALL the LDS gospel commandments in order to enter the celestial kingdom and receive exaltation. ( eternal life in god’s kingdom)

    Seth, these are action words — prove oneself and being obedient require action on our part…. these are verbs… that is requiring action on the part of the LDS believer.
    Thus my original assesment that the LDS church is a works based church. No where in the entire chapter on exaltation does it state anything about grace. Nada. It clearly states that a person must “do” in order to receive…. or as some say “earn” in order to receive.

    I have asked both you & blake what salvation means to you. I ask because I think it’s essential to to make clear that we are talking about 2 completely different things.

    Most LDS want much more than to be “saved” they want to be exalted. Exaltation is very different than the “general” salvation the LDS church teaches will be extened to all who have kept their first estate.

    Here is what is definition of exaltation according to the LDS church:

    1. live eternally in the presense of heavenly father and jesus

    2. they will become gods

    3. they will have their rigtheous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also.

    4.they will have everything that our heavenly father and Jesus have all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge.

    Then it goes on to list the “requirements” or “to do list” for LDS on how they can become exaltated……

    This does not strike you as “earning it”? It sure does to me.

    Again I stand by my original assestment and statement that the LDS church is a works based religion.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  94. Arthur: I believe that you are depraved by nature. I’m not.

    I’ve dealt with the doctrines of original sin and natural depravity in vol. 2 of Exploring Mormon Thought. I deal with all of the scriptures which are commonly wrenched by Evs to supposedly support the doctrine of original sin. There isn’t a single scripture that supports that notion that we are sinful or sinners at birth. It is a depraved doctrine that leads parents to judge their innocent children as deserving of hell. Actually, it is the parents who treat their children as if they deserved to be eternally in hell that deserve to go to hell.

    Now it’s time for you to move along. If you are going to assert that I don’t understand Calvinism, then I suggest you at least show why and give some argument rather than making an unsupported assertion. If you can’t back up your assertion, then move along.

    Gloria: You really don’t get it. Read D&C 76. To be saved means to be saved from death and hell and the wrath of God. We are saved when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord. We don’t do anything to merit it — it is a gift of salvation that is given to us and all we can do is freely accept this gracious gift of love when given.

    There are no requirements for this salvation which is given as a gift. However, recognition of Jesus as Lord naturally entails a fruit of repentance and forgiveness of sins. Repentance is the act of removing everything in our lives that gets in the way of having a relationship with Jesus and his Father in which we grow in the process of sanctification.

    Salvation is quite distinct from exaltation or glorification. Salvation is a gift. However, exaltation and glorification depends on our willingness to freely accept a relationship and continue to grow in relationship with God through works of love for others. You do believe in works of love for others don’t you?

    Do you believe that somehow we are trying to earn our salvation when we do works of love for others? If you do, then you don’t get anything about what Christ taught or being Christian.

    Exaltation has to do with rewards for works and judgment by works. You do believe in reward and judgment according to works don’t you? You see, you really don’t get it. You don’t understand the relation of salvation and grace and reward and works at all — and it isn’t just LDS thought that you don’t get, it is also the biblical scriptures that make the same distinction.

    Your comment demonstrate a basic failure to grasp the restoration and its doctrines.

    You also don’t get evangelical doctrine. The EV view is that at birth we are all sinners deserving of eternal damnation — not for anything we’ve done but because we are born that way. Look at the scriptures you cite to supposedly support the pernicious doctrine of original guilt. They all speak about what we do to become sinful. None speaks to simply being sinful.

    Jack: Yeah, kids can be little devils; but I always see the divine in them. Do you believe that children are born deserving of eternal damnation?

  95. ” Now it’s time for you to move along……”

    Blake,

    Is that your way of telling someone to “shut up” ?

    I seem to recall Seth did the same thing yesterday.

    It seems to me Arthur has some great things to say … and he is a former LDS too… so you really don’t want him to speak do you?

    Maybe you LDS gents may wish to take a refresher course on D & C 121 — I believe you should be exersing persuation, long suffering, gentleness and meekness about now eh?

    The fruits of mormonism are coming out loud and clear now.

    Arthur — I am glad you are here. We need to get Darrell over here too. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  96. Okay, I guess I had better introduce myself. I am Cassie a wife, mother, and sinner who deserves hell, but am saved by God’s grace alone.
    Blake,
    I respectfully disagree with you. How do you interpret Ephesians 2:2,3? I think the “and were by nature children of wrath” says quite a bit about whether we are sinless when born.

    Psalm 51:5? Genesis 8:21 where is says “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”

    I consider one of the most loving things I can do for my kids is teach and show them how we are all sinners deserving hell. If they don’t understand what they are, they won’t understand what they need.

    With that being said, I do believe that there is an age of accountability. I believe that if a child dies before they are able to comprehend and make a choice they will go to heaven. I think the age is different for every person as everyone matures differently, but I do believe we are born sinners.

    Question: If we are not born sinners, why was it important for Christ to be born from a virgin? If we are not sinners from birth He should have been able to be conceived as we are and take it from there?

  97. ” Gloria: You really don’t get it”.

    Blake,

    I appreciate the chance to dialogue with you.

    Yesterday you said I know better and today you say I don’t get it……. sir, what is it going to be ? I get it or I don’t?

    You say we are saved when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Hmmm……. saved for a mormon means general resurrection, correct? I believe the LDS teach that all who have kept their first estate will be saved. Even the non believers will get some degree of glory is that not so? So, really this statement is not a true statement. Because the LDS teach that all who are on the earth today have kept their first estate and will be “saved”.

    ” There are no requirements for this salvation”.

    Yes, you are correct. The LDS teach that there is nothing required. The LDS teach that even the non believers will not go to hell. Even though the Bible clearly teaches that those who don’t have their names in the book of the Lamb will be cast in the lake of fire and brimstone.

    ” And whosever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. Rev. 20:15

    ” Salvation is quite distinct from exaltation or glorification”.

    Correct. I stated that here quite clearly… so I guess I do get it! Yipee!!

    ” However exaltation and glorification depends on our willingness to freely accept a relationship and continue to grow in a relationship wtih God through *works*…..”

    Actually Blake you are incorrect. I refer you to Gospel Principles chapter 47 that lays out quiet nicely what “is” exaltation.

    ” Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life that God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He posseses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become Gods ( notice the BIG “G”) like our heavenly father. This is exaltation. ”

    — Gospel Principles, Chapter 47 pg. 290

    There was a list of 18 items that needed to be completed to meet the requirements.

    **NEVER ***on this list does it say anything about a personal relationship with God. ( Hey, I though McConkie said it was inappropriate to have a personal relationship with Jesus?)

    The list is quite clear, Blake.

    I think a book published by the Corporation of the President of the LDS church is more authoritive than your views.

    ” Exaltation has to do with rewards for works and judgement by works”

    Again I stand by my statement that the LDS gospel is a works based gospel/religion.

    ” Your commentes demonstrate a basic failure to grasp the restoration and it’s doctrines”

    I disagree with all due respect, Blake.

    Actually I did “get it” . That is precisely the reason I am no longer a Mormon.

    I really thank you Blake for taking time to share with me your thoughts. I know that for you the LDS gospel is everything… it’s understandable you get frustrated with folks like myself or arthur who have experienced the redeeming grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s understandable you wish to point a finger and say “you didn’t get it”… I understand.

    With that said, Blake…. there is nothing that can compare to the JOY and security we have in Christ now as born again beleivers.I think I can speak for arthur and the other Christians here that are posting. Jesus is everything to us. Not a church, not a religion, not a series of rituals and ordinances…… but JESUS.

    That may be hard for you to understand.

    I really do hope and pray that one day you too may taste of His goodness and partake of the living waters He so freely offers,

    Gloria

  98. Cassie: If we are all sinners at birth, as Gloria says, then how could there be an age of accountability? Do you accept the view that the atonement of Christ covers young children until this age of accountability?

    I am confused. Say a child dies. That child is a sinner in your view. Sinners deserve hell according to Ev thought. Why do you say that this child will nonetheless go to heaven? Is there some scripture to back this view? I agree that this is the only loving and sensible view — but it flatly contradicts everything else you say about us as sinners at birth and you have no scriptural support for you belief. Instead, you seem to accept the LDS view on this issue.

    I too am saved by God’s grace alone — if alone means nothing I did earned it and Christ accomplished everything necessary for my salvation before I ever did anything. However, I freely accepted his grace. God doesn’t coerce us with grace. Do you believe that God coerces us with grace?

    The Calvinistic doctrine is that we are unable to freely accept grace because we are depraved and naturally reject grace when offered. Thus, God alone determines who will receive saving grace. Some do. Some don’t. God choose to damn or leave to damnation by far the vast majority of us mortals on such a view — even tho he could save them all.

    Which is? Are we depraved and unable to freely accept this grace; or are we made free and able to freely choose to accept this grace? You speak as if it is both. It obviously cannot be both.

    Ephesians 2 surely does not support the doctrines of original sin or depravity. In context it reads: “1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

    Note that it is the nature of persons who have committed “trespasses and sins,” who have given in to “the desires of the flesh and of the mind” who are evil “by nature.” The notion of nature, physis in Greek, does not mean that we are that way merely because we are born. It is the nature of people who choose to “walk according to the course of the world” who are evil by nature. So this scripture has nothing to do with original sin or being born naturally evil. It deals with those who have freely chosen in the past to walk in the way of sin.

    Further, neither Gen. 51:5 nor Ps. 8:21 have anything to do with being born sinners or depraved and deserving hell and eternal damnation at birth. They deal with the imagination of a youth — the Hebrew term usually referring to an adolescent.

    Frankly, it is this kind of wresting and gerrymandering of scripture that is the hallmark of Ev proof-texting.

  99. Gloria: I have no desire to dialogue with Arthur when he merely asserts a bunch of mindless statements without any support. Babble is not worth wasting my valuable time on.

    You seem to think that there is some tension in my asserting that you both don’t get it and also that you should know better. However, both statements are true. You both know better and also don’t get it. You know that LDS teach that we are saved by Christ’s gracious atonement. You know that your treatment of LDS doctrine is not accurate and presented in way that is both misleading and just not true. However, you also don’t get the role of works in the gospel message. You also don’t get that there is more to Christ’s gospel than the refrain of salvation by grace alone.

    Here is an example. You say: “You [Blake] say we are saved when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Hmmm……. saved for a mormon means general resurrection, correct?”

    Well, if you had even read what I wrote in the immediately preceding post or D&C 76, you would recognize that this statement is both misleading and incorrect. I stated very clearly in my post (and D&C 76 makes clear) salvation consists in being saved from death, hell and God’s wrath or punishment. Do you disagree? That seems to be a view of salvation that Evs ought to accept.

    Your notion that all are saved who keep their first estate depends on what you mean by “keeping a first estate.” If it means that we are saved in a kingdom of glory, then all are saved except sons of Perdition — eventually. Those in the telestial kingdom suffer wrath in hell until the second resurrection but will be eventually saved. So your statement of salvation in LDS thought is just misinformed.

    All are saved who acknowledge Christ as Lord. Phil. 2:10-11 acknowledges that all will bend the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. It also says that everyone will eventually acknowledge Jesus as Lord. John 17:12 states that Christ saves all that the Father has given him. All are given to Christ except those who reject him. It follows that all those except those who fall from grace because they put Christ to open shame after having accepted the gospel are saved. See Heb. 6:6.

    Again, you assert: “The LDS teach that there is nothing required. The LDS teach that even the non believers will not go to hell.”

    Ahh, not quite. The non-believers fall into two groups. Those who accept Christ but are blinded by traditions of humans and those who are rapists, liars and so forth who suffer in hell until the second resurrection. It is in D&C 76 — look it up. So many non-believers go to hell (for a time). Some (the sons of Perdition) go to hell eternally. So your statement is just misinformed.

    The ch. that you cite from Gospel Principles doesn’t disagree with what I said about exaltation. Everything on that “list” is a means of developing a relationship with God and demonstrating love for others. However — and this is crucial — did you notice that Gospel Principles is not scripture and is not binding on me as a Mormon? In this particular instance I don’t disagree with it. However, sometimes I do and it doesn’t both me at all that I do.

    So here is the problem. I say that LDS believe in salvation by grace. In response you cite a list that is required for exaltation. In response both Seth and I point out that you are misinformed because salvation is not the same as exaltation. You then respond by saying that there is a list of things required for exaltation so Mormonism is a religion of works. I point out (repeatedly) that Jesus (and everyone else) taught that we are judged by and receive reward according to works and that doesn’t make Jesus a teacher of a religion of works. Exaltation is simply the teaching of the rewards received in judgment by works. Your response? Nothing. Nada. Nicht. Niente.

    Can you see why dialoguing with you may be frustrating? You don’t respond to what is said. You ignore what is said and pretend that what you say somehow responds when you acknowledge it misses the point.

    If your understanding of Mormonism is based on Gospel Principles, then it is shallow indeed. That is rather a beginner text.

    In response to my statement that” Exaltation has to do with rewards for works and judgement by works”, you respond: “Again I stand by my statement that the LDS gospel is a works based gospel/religion.”

    Yeah, I know. I don’t think that any amount of clear demonstration that you just don’t get the role of works in judgment and reward and their place in the gospel message is going to get thru to you.

    And BTW, I have already tasted of the living waters of Christ’s atonement and life-giving life living in me. I am not in a position to judge whether Christ lives in you — but I can see that you don’t understand these doctrines. I know that is hard for you to understand.

  100. Blake,

    You may favor bullying Gloria to make yourself feel good but let me assure you I am uninterested in your blanket assertions. Nor am I interested in “moving on” when this isn’t your blog. If Todd wants me to move on, I certainly will. You have demonstrated by your comments that you don’t understand Calvinism. You demonstrate by your continued membership in mormonism that you don’t understand the Gospel. I am sure you are convinced that in your book you have overturned one of the central tenets of the Bible, but your self-delusional confidence doesn’t make it true.

  101. Cassie: “Question: If we are not born sinners, why was it important for Christ to be born from a virgin? If we are not sinners from birth He should have been able to be conceived as we are and take it from there?”

    The doctrine of virgin birth has nothing to do with original sin. It was important for the writers of the gospels of Matthew and Luke because it established that Christ is literally God’s son and literally both human and divine by nature. Neither the writers of these gospels nor any other writer in the entire history of scripture ever — ever — uses the virgin birth to push forward an agenda regarding the nature of human sin.

  102. Cassie, you are precisley right. In Ephesians Paul is addressing Christians, those who were once dead in sin and were made alive in Christ. He is contrasting the unregenerate dead sinner with the new creature in Christ. We are sinners because we are humans, the the offspring of Adam.

    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Rom 5:18-19)

    The one trespass by Adam led to death for all man, the one sacrifice by Christ redeemed those who have faith in Him. We are sinners by being human, you and me and Blake and Seth and Todd. All of us and the only way to be justified is to have Jesus Christ, very God of God, as our savior.

  103. Gloria, you and others will notice that Blake doesn’t deal with anything I said, he simply waves his hand and dismisses me. Sorry to say, I don’t dismiss that easily especially when dealing with smarmy bullies.

  104. ” I have no desire to dialogue with Arthur “………

    Blake,

    I can understand “why”.

    Not wanting to dialogue with someone is your perogative, truly. But you went beyond that Blake and told him to “run along”. That is condescending, don’t you think? Again, the fruits of mormonism — especially mormon priesthood is coming out loud and clear. I don’t know if you noticed, blake but you don’t own this blog, so really todd is the only with the “authority” to run someone out of here, eh?

    Blake, can you not see what you are doing here?

    Loudly and clearly you are showing yourself to be a bully.

    You want to hush up arthur and discredit me.

    Why is that?

    Because we are former mormons who know too much.

    I honestly feel sorry for you Blake.

    All I can say, is I’ll pray for you. Pray that you will receive the grace of our Lord, so that you in turn may be able to extend it to others that come your way.

    May God open your eyes to see, and your ears to hear.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  105. Arthur,

    I am glad to see you are not intimidated by the mormon preisthood here.

    I will say the best way to deal with a bully is the way Christ dealt with the bullies in His day… confront them boldly and call a spade a spade. 🙂

    God bless,
    gloria

  106. Gloria: There comes a point where the best that can be done is to say no further dialogue is fruitful.

    Your last post was both unchristian and condescending . . . and judgmental. Telling Sido to “run along” hardly compares the nonsense and superiority of your last post.

    The problem, Gloria, isn’t that you know too much as an ex-Mo. It is that you think you know so much . . . when it is very clear that you don’t.

    Please don’t pray for me. Such hypocritical and vain prayers are an affront to what is really loving and real prayer. Further, such hypocritical prayers won’t do me any good and they can only do you harm.

  107. Blake,

    Oops! I meant to say ” move along”…… it was seth that told arthur to “run along”….. both of you basically have sent the same message….. “we don’t like you Arthur, you know too much, and it weakens our arguement”…….

    Not going to work, guys. Might want to try something else.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  108. Blake,
    I have no Scripture to back up the age of accountability. I will have to do a little Scripture digging and see what I can find. I do know II Samuel 12:22,23. That seems to indicate that the baby went to Heaven.

    I see nature as something that is born in us. It is my nature to become defensive. I can work on it and supress that. I can fight each battle with it Christ’s help, but it is something that will always be there and has always been there.

    I am sure you read the right ones, but just in case, It was Gen. 8:21 and Psalms 51:3. I don’t know Hebrew, but how can you be sure that is means adolescent?

    Gloria already mentioned Romans 5:12. What is your view on that?

    I am also curious about my quesion on Christ being born from a vrigin? Why do think that was important?

    As for your question of God coercing us with grace. The Bible makes it very clear that it is everyone’s choice. I don’t believe God coerces us with grace. I am not sure where you were going with that question, but there is my answer to it.

  109. Blake,

    I am sorry if you took offense. I know email is not always the best way of communication.

    It’s understandable that you took offense. I refused to submit to your interrogatio. Mormon men don’t like that.

    Arthur is not going to be bullied by you either.

    You have fed the common notion that those who remain LDS feel a need to discredit those who have left. You have only proved the point , Blake.

    I said it before and I will say it again, I honestly pity you blake.

    Your intellectualism and theories and doctrines in the end will not save you. It is only the blood of the Lamb that can cleanse you from sin, and cleanses me too.

    I have asserted to be nothing more than a sinner, Blake. Redeemed by my precious Jesus. I also claimed to be a former mormon that spent a great deal of her life in the confines of a works based religion.

    That is the only thing I have ever claimed to be Blake.

    It’s too bad that you felt the need to intimidate, and bully those of us here who speak frankly concerning our experiences with the LDS faith.

    It’s sad, but it happens so often that it’s to be expected.

    I will continue to pray for you. It is after all my “free agency” is it not?

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  110. Sido: ” You have demonstrated by your comments that you don’t understand Calvinism. You demonstrate by your continued membership in mormonism that you don’t understand the Gospel.”

    Well, there you go again. You make assertions but nothing but sheer bravado to back them up. You call me “delusional” and then accuse me of bullying? This is truly a case of looking in a mirror and seeing what you are, isn’t it Sido?

    Your non-existent argument, your name-calling, your unchristian conduct is enough for me to freely choose not to waste my time with you.

    Here is the challenge. Show me something I say about Calvinism that you believe is inaccurate. The problem is that I understand Calvinism and its sadistic “god” only all too well. It is a god who leaves some to damnation when he could save them. It is a “god” who coerces into “salvation” by irresistible grace.

    If pointing to Gloria that her statements about Mormonism is simply inaccurate is “bullying,” then so be it. However, it is hardly “bullying” to call her on her BS about Mormonism.

    As for your and Cassie’s reading of Ephesians, it is not addressing Christians as those who were once sinners. It is addressing those who have actually sinned; not those who were born in sin. It surely doesn’t teach anything like original sin.

    I deal with Romans 5 at length in my book. A competent exegesis takes more space than this post really allows — suffice it to say that death comes upon humans as a result of Adam’s sin == that is, we are all human and all alienated from God’s glory as mortals. It doesn’t make us sinners at birth. Romans 5 addresses those who have actually sinned and thus partaken of the status of an alienated mortal who must be reconciled to Christ. It doesn’t teach original sin.

  111. Cassie: “I am also curious about my quesion on Christ being born from a vrigin? Why do think that was important? ”

    I think that the virgin birth was important for the writers of Luke and Matthew because they saw it as the explanation of how and why Jesus is God’s son. It explained his inherent divinity. However, it rather clearly was not important for the writers of Mark and John. They don’t mention the virgin birth and don’t even seem to know about it.

    Cassie: “As for your question of God coercing us with grace. The Bible makes it very clear that it is everyone’s choice. I don’t believe God coerces us with grace. I am not sure where you were going with that question, but there is my answer to it.”

    I ask because it is the Calvinistic teaching, based on the doctrine of original sin, that we cannot freely accept grace. As a result of our sinful nature, we are unable to choose anything good like accepting grace according to Calvin. Therefore, our sinful obstinence could be overcome only by irresistible grace — a grace that is not accepted by us but God’s irresistible action on us that causes us to accept the grace we would othewise freely reject.

    So I asked because if you accept that we can freely accept grace, as you do, then you reject the Calvinists view of original sin also.

  112. ” However it is hardly bullying to call her on her BS about mormonism”

    Gosh, I thought mormons weren’t supposed to cuss?

    Just kidding, truly . I have been known to use a four letter word from time to time. ( ask my husband) Trying to lighten things up a bit here.

    Ah the flesh is weak,

    gloria

  113. Cassie: I didn’t answer your question yet about Rom. 5.12.
    As I said, I have dealt with this question at length in my book and it would be irresponsible to try to deal with all of these issues in a post like this. Suffice it to say, Romans 5 deals with Christ overcoming what Adam did. Adam brought death and an alienated state of being into human life. (Adam, by the way, just means humankind — it is a universal designation for mortals represented by the symbol of the man Adam).

    All Mormons agree that death entered the world through Adam’s sin — or at least through our becoming mortal as Adam did. (I believe in evolution and so I read the scriptures in light of a belief that there was death on hte earth long before Adam was supposed to have lived).

    We exist in a state of alienation from God as mortals that was overcome by Christ. That is what Romans 5 means by “sin,” it means a state of alienation as a mortal. It doesn’t mean that we are culpable for what Adam did as the doctrine of original sin teaches. Romans 5 teaches that Christ reconciles us to God the Father and thus overcomes this “sin” or alienation from God. We also all live in a state of alienation from God until we are reconciled to God thru Christ.

  114. I got where you are going with it now. We are born sinners. We cannot save ourselves. God sent Christ as the payment for our sins, without him then we are damned to hell. How is such a gift not irresistible? It is our choice to freely accept it or not. I don’t know what “teaching” that puts me in. I tend to try to stick with Bible teaching. 🙂

    So you think the only importance of the virgin birth was so that people could recognize He was the Son of God?

    Blake, I have to say I am really enjoying this! Thanks for the discussion.

  115. ” We are born sinners, We cannot save ourselves. God sent Christ as the payment for our sins, without Him we are damned to hell . How is such a gift not irresistable?”

    Amen, Cassie.

    Beautifully stated.

    The message of grace unmerited is simply beautiful and definately irresistable.

    God bless,
    gloria

  116. Cassie: I of course believe that you are correct that we freely choose to accept God’s gracious offer of loving relationship and we don’t earn it and don’t merit it. However, your position seems quite inconsistent to me. Here is why. You say: “How is such a gift not irresistible? It is our choice to freely accept it or not. I don’t know what “teaching” that puts me in. I tend to try to stick with Bible teaching.”

    Now if grace is irresistible, then we don’t freely accept it. Instead, we are compelled by the nature of the grace to accept what we otherwise would not freely accept. God decides for us. On the other hand, you say that we also freely decide and choose to accept it. But if it is done freely, then it is something that we could resist.

    I suspect that we are dealing with two different meanings of “irresistible” here. In one sense, my wife is irresistible to me. I love her and so I choose to find her irresistible. God is also irresistible to me in this sense because I know his loving acceptance and tender mercies toward me. That seems to me to be the sense of irresistible that you use it. You seem to use it to mean “very desirable.” It is still something that I am free to choose to be resistible.

    How could anyone deny God’s love when he is so great? Well, it makes no sense, but scads of people in fact deny God and his love so I know that his love is resistible despite the fact that it is very persuasive and inviting.

    However, in the sense that Calvinists who believe in original sin and depravity use “irresistible grace,” it means that the person is caused by God to accept saving grace when, if left to their own choice, they would resist it due to their depraved nature — a nature that results from original sin. Thus, it is not their choice to accept grace but God alone who moves in them to cause them to accept grace. In fact, such grace operates in a way that causes a result that is contrary to what the person would freely choose on their own. That seems to me to be the perfect description of divine coercion.

    Moreover, on such a view God could irresistibly cause everyone to accept his saving grace, but instead he leaves most of humankind to hell — all those who didn’t hear about Jesus and “accept” him as Lord because God didn’t cause them to do so by granting irresistible grace. That doesn’t seem like love to me. In fact, it is perfectly clear, to me at least, that such a being is not loving but quite capricious and arbitrary. You see, our salvation has nothing at all do with us or our choice to accept Christ; rather, it is all God choosing who will and who will not be moved upon by irresistible grace to be saved.

  117. Gloria: “It’s understandable that you took offense. I refused to submit to your interrogatio. Mormon men don’t like that.”

    This is a perfect example of bigotry and sexism at its worst. Can’t we do better?

  118. Man, I don’t check in on this blog for a day and look at all the fun I’m missing out on.

    Blake ~ Do you believe that children are born deserving of eternal damnation?

    No, I don’t. But I’m not sure I believe that they’re born innocent with a free ride to heaven should they die young, either.

  119. Hi, blake. I thought you chose to no longer continue to dialogue with me? If you wish, hey I am gain. 🙂

    As far as an example of bigotry and sexism… I agree many mormon men do offer a fine example of sexism.

    Thanks for taking time to respond and for giving me another chance to share.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  120. Blake, yes, I was using it in the sense of, who wouldn’t desire that. Unfortunately, people can resist God’s gift and love. That is Satan’s goal to keep people blinded so that think that they don’t need God’s grace and love.

    This subject sure is complicated isn’t it! Romans 9:14-22 comes to mind. I won’t type it all here, I know you will read it. Wow! Curious to see what you think of that passage.

  121. Gloria: Does your husband know how you feel about him?

    And the example of sexism and bigotry is not mormon men — but you! Look at what you said and pay attention to your own sexism and bigotry. Are you blind to your own generalizations and unjustified judgments about Mormon men?

  122. ” Gloria: does your husband know how you feel about him?”

    Hi, blake — I appreciate the continued dialogue. 🙂

    Well as for my husband, I would honestly have to say he is most definately not like you. He doesn’t put me down and say I “don’t get” it and all sorts of silly things. He’s really good about cutting me slack when I mispell a word or two. 🙂

    My husband has his moments when he does get on his “I am the patriarch” kick, but he knows that doesn’t get anywhere with him.

    When was the last time you read D&C 121 …. I actually like the admonition to the LDS men to be long suffering, kind meek, gentle, patient, etc. It’s actually a beautiful passage…… combine that with Ephesians 5 and the counsel for christian husbands… and I think it’s lovely.

    In all honesty I have had enough experience with LDS men to know that many of them sure like to strut their priesthood authority — my husband would even agree with that one. 🙂

    Sincere regards,
    gloria

  123. Cassie: I’ve also exegeted Romans 9 at length in my book. It is unfair for me,jhowever, to assume that you’ll care to read it. This is long, but here goes:

    The critical issue with respect to the doctrine of election in Romans 9 is whether it is corporate or individual election – or some combination. Arminians have argued that the election of Christians is like the corporate election of Israel. That is, God elected the Israelites as a race to be his people. Thus, election is not about individual election, but corporate election. For example, William McDonald, argues (convincingly in my view) that Ephesians and Romans do not focus on individual predestination to salvation. Rather, the context of both passages is the election of the Church as the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:19-23; 5:32). Paul saw the Christians as a body “in Christ” who constituted the New Israel. Thus, Ephesians and Romans actually discuss the corporate solidarity and election of the Church as the successor to an apostate Israel. It is the Church that is elected (thus the reference is to “us” and “we” as one body and one Church in Ephesians 1:3-12 rather than to individuals) and chosen before the world to be the New Israel. If a group of people have been ordained as God’s people, then the issues of unfairness related to predestination largely disappear, for membership in the group of people can be an individual choice even though that group of people has been elected by God to be his own people. What is true of the nation is not necessarily true of each of its members, so that electing Israel does not entail that any particular person is elected to salvation or favor in God’s electing grace.

    Romans 9 states that “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.” (Rom. 9:13) It explains that God hated one and loved the other so “that the purpose of God according to the election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” (Rom. 9:11) It also discusses God’s act of hardening Pharaoh’s heart and that God will have “mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom. 9:18) Paul then asks a rhetorical question: “How then can he ever blame anyone, since no one can oppose his will? But you – who do you think you, a human being, are, to answer God? Something that was made, can it say to its maker: why did you make me this shape? A potter surely has the right over his clay to make out of the same lump either a pot for special use or one for ordinary use.” (Rom. 9:19-21) Paul then concludes: “God has … with great patience gone on putting up with those who are the instruments of his retribution and designed to be destroyed; so that he makes known his glorious riches ready for the people who are the instruments of his love and were long ago prepared for glory. We are that people, called to him not only out of the Jews but out of the gentiles too.” (Rom. 9:22-24)

    Thomas Schreiner argues that even if election in Romans 9-11 is seen as corporate election; nevertheless, corporate election entails individual election. Schreiner points to Hebrews 12:16-17 which compares Esau’s selling his birthright to the danger of individual apostasy from salvation. Schreiner argues that in this passage Esau’s rejection of God is both individual and eternally damning. He then argues that it is plausible that Paul could have thought of predestination in the same way. He also points out that the reference to the one “on whom” God has mercy or compassion is singular in form in Romans 9:15. Thus, he concludes that Romans 9 may be addressing both individual and corporate election to salvation and damnation. However, Schreiner assumes that Romans 9-11 addresses salvation and damnation, yet nowhere does the text explicitly address either subject. Further, Schreiner commits the fallacy of division when he argues that a decision to elect a corporate body unavoidably deals with every individual affected by it so that in electing a corporate body the individuals within that body are also necessarily elected. The fallacy of division is committed in reasoning from the properties of the whole to the properties of its parts; or from the properties of a class or collection to the properties of its members when the transition is not warranted. For example, the fallacy is committed when it is reasoned that Mr. Young must be quite wealthy because he lives in Delaware which has the highest per capita income in the United States. Similarly, if God has elected the Church to salvation it does not follow that God has elected any particular member of the Church to salvation, for it is possible that the faithful members of the Church are saved without all of its members being faithful.

    Now Luther and Calvin saw in Romans 9 a statement that God chooses some for glory and some for damnation as a matter of predestination of individuals. However, the notion that Paul is addressing individual predestination to salvation or damnation ignores the context of the discussion. Paul begins the discussion in Romans 9 by referring to the election of Israel as a people: “They are Israelites; it was they who were adopted as children, the glory was theirs and the covenants.” (Romans 9:4-5) He then moves to explain how God remains just notwithstanding the fact that God’s covenant is no longer limited to Israel: “It is not that God’s promise has failed. Not all born Israelites belong to Israel, and not all the descendants of Abraham count as his children, for ‘Isaac is the one through whom your Name will be carried on’.” (v. 6-7) The reference to Jacob and Esau is not a reference to them as individuals but as representatives of the nations that descended from them. Paul is actually quoting Malachi 1:1-4, which refers to two races of people who descended from Abraham’s two sons, Jacob and Esau. “Jacob have I loved” refers to the Israelites and “Esau I have hated” refers to the Edomites. (Malachi 1:4) Jacob received the birthright and thus was the recipient of the covenant promises made to Abraham and Isaac. Paul is not referring to individual predestination at all, but to election of Israel as a nation. This reading is confirmed because Paul follows the discussion of the potter and clay by concluding that God called Israel by grace:

    Just as it says in the book of Hosea: I shall tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people,’ and I shall take pity on those on whom I have no pity. And in the very place where they were told, “You are not my people,’ they will be told that they are ‘children of the living God.’ And about Israel, this is what Isaiah cried out: Though the people of Israel are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant will be saved…. What then shall we say? That the gentiles, although they were not looking for saving justice, found it, and this was the saving justice that comes of faith; while Israel, looking for justice by law-keeping, did not succeed in fulfilling faith, and so they stumbled over the stumbling stone.” (Rom. 9:25-32)

    In the context of Paul’s entire argument, it is fairly clear that he explains that God can choose to elect whichever race of people he desires as his elect people – or no race at all. In fact, God has chosen to grant grace to gentiles so that “the remnant” that will be saved now includes gentiles and not just the race of Israel. Romans 9 in its entirety refers to corporate election. It is an essential part of Paul’s argument throughout the book of Romans that God has chosen to include gentiles within the corporate body “in Christ” by grace. Thus, God’s righteousness is vindicated because he remains faithful to the covenant even though Israel is no longer God’s chosen people exclusively. In essence, reading Romans 9 as referring to individual predestination has been corrected by the New Perspective on Paul (which I discuss in chapter 8 of my book) which sees the discussion as part of a larger argument about the inclusion of gentiles in a corporate election of the body of Christ. The vast majority of Pauline scholars view election in Romans 9-11 as a corporate election.

    I don’t believe that Paul addressed these issues in the ways that Calvinists and Arminians do. However, even if the scriptures contemplate such a view of predestination, it ought to be rejected. The doctrine of predestination entails either that God chooses some people to be saved and the rest to be damned (double predestination) or that he chooses to leave them to damnation when he could save them by granting them irresistible and prevenient grace (single predestination). Such a view is simply unacceptable when speaking of the God of love. The view that God arbitrarily elects some for salvation and others for damnation is contrary to love because it is unfair and it is makes love impossible.

  124. P.S. If you noticed I said “many” mormon men… not all…… I have been blessed to know some mormon men who are honestly kind, generous, gentle and definately not struggling with and inflated ego syndrom. In their defense, I would say there are a few LDS men who fit into that category. But you must admit, Blake the LDS paradigm is rather patriarchal, don’t you think?

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  125. P.S.S. wow, I am sure chatty today……:)

    I stand by my original statement that you did indeed engage in interrogation type tactics or “cross examination” methods employed by attorneys…. now you don’t happen to be an attorney do you?

    I do not recind my original comment.

    I called a spade a spade. I loved that when Jesus did that, and oh how I wish I could be as suave as He was… but no such luck. I usually flunder and mess up big time.

    Say what you wish about me , Blake but I will not be intimidated or bullied.:)

    Regards,
    gloria

  126. Blake, I started reading your last post and was interrupted by my four children. 5,4 2, and 9 months. 🙂 I will read it tonight when they go to bed so I can concentrate and not just skim.
    I am glad you posted it, I like to try to understand where people are coming from. Thanks. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

  127. ” That is satan’s goal to keep people blinded so that they think they don’t need God’s grace and love.”

    I have seen that first hand. People reject the gospel of grace because they feel they don’t need God’s help ……

    It’s so sad……

    gloria

  128. Gloria: I think we’ve spotted the real issue here: “In all honesty I have had enough experience with LDS men to know that many of them sure like to strut their priesthood authority — my husband would even agree with that one.”

    First, nothing I have said or done here is done with priesthood authority.

    Second, you’re the one who asserted that Mormonism is a religion of works based merit. What did you expect, that we’d all go slinking off in fear that if we respond you’ll judge as exercising unrighteous dominion?

    Third, saying you don’t get the role of works in the gospel isn’t a put down but a call to be more charitable in the way you characterize Mormonism rather than caricature it.

    Asserting that Mormon men like to strut their priesthood authority because of what I do or say is just a sheer assertion of bigotry and sexism. I am not all Mormon men, what I have said and done isn’t due to any priesthood authority and your generalizations are just unjustified.

    That said, I’m glad that you don’t judge your husband the way you do all other Mormon men.

    Tell you what, I’ll cut you a ton of slack and all kinds of charity in your spelling if you’ll quit caricaturing Mormonism as a religion of works.

  129. ” Tell you what ,I’ll cut you a ton of slack and all kind of charity in your spelling if you quit caricaturing Mormonism as a religion of works”

    Hi, blake …. this is actually getting fun. 🙂

    As for your challenge above, NOPE, no can do, blake.

    Why?

    Because it would be a lie…. and a blatant one at that.

    I have from the beginning stated that the LDS gospel is a works based gospel/religion. I base that on my own personal experiences with the LDS faith for 19 yrs, and from it’s own teachings and doctrines.

    Blake, come on … we all know here that LDS do not believe it’s by grace a faithful LDS is exaltated and glorified….. everyone here knows enough about the LDS gospel to know that it’s “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the LDS gospel”. It’s so clearly stated in the Articles of faith.

    I will cut you this slack……. LDS theology does teach a little about grace… it is sprinkled in here and there… they definately believe it’s by grace that men are “saved” ( LDS definition of salvation) ….. but it’s a fact that LDS teach that there are “requirements” for receiving eternal life and exalation. Eternal life, which is life eternal for mormons in the presense of God, is not a free gift…. it is a gift that one must comply with the requirements.

    Blake, it’s obviously so work based. It’s so blatantly obvious, how can one not see it?

    I posted a list of “requirements” … and those aren’t “works” that a person has to do? Each one of those require action on the part of the LDS.

    Compare that to the beautiful and yes irrestitable message of grace that Christ offers us? He offers us eternal life, not based on our merits, Blake but on the merits of the ONE and ONLY perfect one…… JESUS.

    So, my answer to you is nope.

    I will not and can not recant my initial statement that the LDS gospel is a works based gospel.

    Again, I appreciate the chance to share — it’s been very useful for me…….

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  130. Blake,

    I never said I didn’t “get the role of works” in the LDS gospel. I never said that blake you did about me. I understand clearly what is required by LDS to receive and gain exaltation.

    In fact , I got it so well…. I went packing and running…….. or shall I say Jesus picked me up by my britches and snagged me out…..

    Praising Him for that!

    gloria

  131. Blake,

    I also want to add, that by no means are the LDS men the only patriarchal group of men out there. There are other denominations that also practice patriarchy. It’s not just an LDS thing by any means.

    As I said earlier, I have met a few LDS men who genuinely are not in love with themselves and are pretty humble guys.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  132. Gloria: You say: “P.S. If you noticed I said “many” mormon men… not all.”

    Well good try. What you previously said and what I am responding to is this generalization that you stated: “It’s understandable that you took offense. I refused to submit to your interrogatio. Mormon men don’t like that.”

    Note that you didn’t limit it. I’m glad that you see that a generalization is bigoted and unjustified.

    You also said: “I have been blessed to know some mormon men who are honestly kind, generous, gentle and definately not struggling with and inflated ego syndrom. In their defense, I would say there are a few LDS men who fit into that category. But you must admit, Blake the LDS paradigm is rather patriarchal, don’t you think?”

    There are a few good Mormon men. Gee thanks, it is big of you to admit that a few good Mormon men exist.

    Finally, I admit to asking questions to get at the truth of matters. What is wrong with that?

  133. Gloria: I know you never said it. What I said is that you’d never see or acknowledge that you just don’t get it.

    So let me ask again: do you accept that we are judged by and rewarded according to our works?

  134. Gloria: “I also want to add, that by no means are the LDS men the only patriarchal group of men out there. There are other denominations that also practice patriarchy. It’s not just an LDS thing by any means.”

    Gee, it’s good to know that we aren’t the only bad ones out there in your view.

  135. ” Gee thanks , it is big of you to admit that a few good mormon men exist”

    You’re welcome, blake.:)

    ” Finally , I admit to asking questions to get at the truth of matters.What is wrong with that?”

    I knew you employed those tactics.

    So do the pharasees.

    Jesus was so good, though at answering them…… He has the beautiful ability to answer their questions with a question back…..oh how I wish I had that skill! It’s not going to happen most likely but one can wish, can they not?:)

    It’s been fun, blake. Really. I am sure you are a nice guy in real life whose just trying the best they can to live the LDS gospel and have some fun in the midst of all of it. Really when one stops to think, we are all humans… hopelessly flawed… and struggling along our way ………it’s sobering.

    I hope you enjoy a lovely evening, it’s lovely here……..

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  136. Asserting that Mormon men like to strut their priesthood authority because of what I do or say is just a sheer assertion of bigotry and sexism.

    I have to agree with Blake on this one, Gloria. Implying that Blake’s behavior in this conversation has something to do with the LDS priesthood/gender system is pretty sexist.

    I’ve seen plenty of Blake’s exchanges on blogs, both with men and women, LDS and non-LDS, and I’ve never seen a discernible difference in the way he treats women from the way he treats men. He’s a bit snippier with critics of his faith (who isn’t?), but that’s it.

    The patriarchal nature of the LDS church and what effect that has on Blake’s behavior (if any) shouldn’t be the subject of this conversation. Whether Mormon men at large are overbearing patriarchal jerks who like to oppress women also shouldn’t be the subject of this conversation. We have Feminist Mormon Housewives for that.

  137. Hi, jack. I appreciate taking time to share with me.

    I can honestly tell you things, about other LDS women I know Jack that would make you think differently. I could tell you things about what my own husband’s priesthood leaders told him to do when I left the LDS church that would make you cringe. It’s not pretty, and I am not going to post the garbage here, but let’s just say I say what I am saying for a good reason, Jack. I speak with women who are leaving the LDS faith, and the things they go thru , and the abuse from the men in the LDS faith would knock your socks off…

    If you want we can share offline, as this is pretty personal stuff, that would be shocking even for readers here.

    Let’s just say, jack, my claims about many LDS men being oppressive is not being said out of sheer frustration with Blake, but based on expierences I have had and other LDS women I know personally in real life have had.

    If you wish to email me, please do at pickeringfamily@earthilnk.neet and I’ll share more, or we can exchange phone numbers.

    As for my statements about Blake — I stand by them.I feel he was trying to intimidate and bully me, Jack and then telling arthur to “move along” what is that?

    When I have ever said to someone be quiet and be gone with you simply because they think differently than I do.

    Jack, you have never been LDS and do not understand what it is like for we LDS women who do choose to leave. It’s horrific in many ways.

    Like I said, I’ll be happy to chat online about this if you wish.

    God bless,
    gloria

  138. ” gee It’s good to know that we aren’t the only bad ones out there in your view”

    Why, blake why ever do you care what I think? I didn’t think it mattered.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  139. ” So let me ask again: do you accept that we are judged by and rewarded by our works”

    Blake,

    I wrote and shared extensively about this question yesterday. You can look above and scroll and see what I wrote about the place of works in a christian’s life.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  140. Gloria: “I have from the beginning stated that the LDS gospel is a works based gospel/religion. I base that on my own personal experiences with the LDS faith for 19 yrs, and from it’s own teachings and doctrines.”

    Well, your anecdotal experience is interesting, but it just isn’t an accurate view of what Mormonism really is or how those of us who faithfully practice experience it. Your personal experience cannot be universalized or generalized to the entire religion. It is just a fallacy in reasoning.

    Gloria: “Blake, come on … we all know here that LDS do not believe it’s by grace a faithful LDS is exaltated and glorified”

    Do we? I’d say that not only do I not know any such thing, it is simply a caricature and misinformed. We enter the way to exaltation and glorification only by fully relying on Christ Have you ever read 2 Ne. 31? First, we are saved by grace because of our faith in Christ. We are only on the path toward exaltation because of this grace which continues to cooperate with our own works of love as we grow in the light of Christ.

    19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
    20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
    21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the eFather, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is fone God, without end.”

    That pretty disagrees with your assertion.

    Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel is necessary for growth in sanctification and exaltation, not salvation. Further, if we love Christ, then we keep his commandments. (The gospel and epistles of John say this at least 17 times!). The person who has accepted Christ will naturally seek to do what he commands. He has commanded us to be baptized in his name. Those who are baptized are saved in this sense.”He who believes and is baptized shall be saved…” – Mk 16:16; “baptism doth also now save us” – 1 Pe 3:21

    I know, you don’t believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. Look at Mk. 16:16 again.

    Gloria: “Eternal life, which is life eternal for mormons in the presense of God, is not a free gift…. it is a gift that one must comply with the requirements.”

    Salvation doesn’t entail having eternal life, or the kind of life that God lives, tho it does mean having everlasting life, which is endless life. Can you show me a scripture that says that those who are saved have eternal life also necessarily because they are the same thing?

    And no, it is not blatantly obvious that Mormonism is simply works based. It is focused on the Christian life of works of love. Is that a gospel of works to you? You might want to look at Gal. 5.6: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.”

    Once again — you think that salvation by grace is the only doctrine of the gospel. It ain’t. For those who are in Christ, the focus is actually on the next step of sanctification and works of love and the judgment by works.

    Yes, you posted a “list” of things to do. They are works of love. The problem is really a do-nothing easy-beliefism and cheap grace that doesn’t realize that the Christian’s life manifests works and that by those works the Christian is judged and receives a reward of glory in Christ. Good works just aren’t the bad thing you think they are.

  141. Gloria: “Jack, you have never been LDS and do not understand what it is like for we LDS women who do choose to leave. It’s horrific in many ways.”

    Here is the problem Gloria. You think that your experiences can be generalized and somehow apply to every person who is or has been LDS or tries to leave the LDS church. It just ain’t so (sorry Jack).

    And Jack, thanks for the even-handedness. I know I sometimes come off like a bull in a china closet . . . and that is because I’m sometimes like a bull in china closet. It is also this darn internet and posting that limits the interpersonal exchange — more than 95% of communication is non-verbal and we lose all of that with these darn blogs.

  142. Blake,

    I participate in a ministry that actively helps mentor LDS who are coming out of the LDS faith. I have met many women who have gone thru some pretty ugly things because of what their husbands, who are LDS chose to do or their leaders. It’s not something that I have generalized it based on fact not fiction. I know these women, talk to them, pray with them….. and honestly blake if you heard their stories it is heartbreaking.

    Not only am I basing my statement on what these women are going thru but what I personally went thru with my own husband and his leaders. It wasn’t pretty. Thank God we are beyond that now, but it was a pretty awful time for me & my kids who chose to come out of the LDS faith.

    I am not making this up or generalizing.

    As I said before, I am sure you are a really nice guy in real life. I agree that sometimes online conversations just don’t cut it…… I would much rather sit with you over a cup of coffee ( or soda for you) and share. Hey, we might even find out we are pretty nice people in real life.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  143. Gloria ~ I’m not denying that you’ve had bad experiences with men in the LDS church, and no, I’m not claiming to know what “it’s like;” my own experience with LDS men has been different than yours, but that doesn’t make your experience wrong. I’m just saying that I don’t think Blake behaves the way he does because of his gender, I think he behaves that way because he is Blake. Not because he’s a man.

    I had lunch with a long-time friend of Blake’s in March and I mentioned that I thought Blake came off as awfully harsh in our exchanges. He just chuckled and said Blake’s always been that way in his writing. I’ve known Blake’s friend for years, he’s a much gentler man in his exchanges, and I believe him.

    And Blake, I hope you’re not offended by what I write here; you scare the hell out of me, but in a way I kind of like ya.

  144. This post has made me really proud of the Mormon crew, and rather pitiful of the Exmo crew. I’m sure that’s to be expected. You rock Blake.

  145. Gloria: Whether based on your own experiences or the experiences of the sampling of women you mentor, it is still and unjustified generalization. If you have been treated in an unloving way, then that is unjustified. It doesn’t, however, justify you in being bigoted, making generalizations or caricaturing Mormonism as you have done in our exchange here.

    I am open to the possibility that we just caught you on a frustrated or bad day (we’ve all had them). But really, yor limited experience just doesn’t justify your broad generalizations. I’ve heard the same kinds of complaints from wives of Ev men — and of the overbearing scriptural fundamentalism and treatment of women and children. If you think that this is a uniquely Mormon problem then I think that you are myopic.

    Nothing I have said should be read to justify any person who has treated you with anything less than love.

  146. Jack: Isn’t it a good thing to have the hell scared out of you? I mean, really, who wants to have a lot of hell in them any way?

  147. Jack,

    I think if blake wants to “dish it out” he better be willing to take it back. 🙂 When you tell someone in essense to “hush up and leave” well what is one going to think, jack? An a former mormon I see this all the time. They want to hush us up and tell us to “run along”. It’s not going to happen, Jack.

    Bottom line, is I stood up to the bully on the block, and my mama taught me a long time ago how to stand up to the bully… face them squarely and stand your ground.

    regards,
    gloria

  148. Proud of what, PC?

    Proud of the bullying and interrogation tht is employed here? Proud of your mormon buddies telling people to hush up and be quiet? Yikes. I don’t think censorship of ideas and thoughts is something to be particularly proud of.

    Kind regards,

    gloria

  149. “if you think this is a uniquely mormon problem then I think you are myopic”

    Blake,

    I have stated this earlier ( do you read all the comments left here?) and I state it again….. I most definately do not believe that patriarchy or overbearing men are found solely in the LDS faith.

    I know this exists in other religious groups.

    Most definately.

    My experiences with LDS women over the years and in particular the last few years, lead me to believe that spiritual abuse by men towards women does indeed exist in the LDS church, as well as spiritual abuse by eccliastical leaders towards memebers. I also believe it exists in other churches as well Blake — even within christian churches.

    Sadly abuse has no boundries or does not discriminate.

    Maybe you don’t mean to come across the way you do … but honestly when you told arthur to hush up and move along…. well that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I have always been known to stand up to a bully – online or off. 🙂

    Just being transparent here,

    gloria

  150. gloria,

    If it’s not a unique thing to the LDS, why imply in your comments that it is?

    And if you’ll read my comments carefully (can’t speak for anyone else’s) you’ll note that I wasn’t trying to “hush you up.”

    I was encouraging you to speak of your own experiences in the LDS faith and offer your thoughts on it.

    It’s just I was requesting that you make it clear in your comments that they are YOUR experiences. I just don’t like people generalizing from their own experiences, and acting like that is the definitive statement on “everything you need to know about Mormons.”

    And, just by way of full-disclosure here, one of the reasons I dislike this practice so much, is because it’s a failing I demonstrate myself regularly. So don’t think I’m talking from a position of moral superiority here.

    But your experiences are merely a window into what the Mormon religion is. It is not the whole building.

  151. Seth,
    You’ve done a really good job of describing the nuance that I feel some commentators are missing. I really agree with your latest entry to the post. Thanks for expressing that so clearly.

  152. Gloria ~ I would point one more thing out. You yourself have said some pretty patriarchal stuff on your blog. Referring to Ephesians chapter 5, you said:

    What a beautiful passage on marriage! A godly man should love his wife , enough to lay down his life for her as Christ loved us…….when a husband loves his wife like this, then the wife is easily able to submit to his headship and reverence or “respect” him.
    God knew that men needed to be respected and women needed to be loved. He created us that way. Women have a need to be loved and cherished and men have a need placed in them by the creator to be respected and reverenced.

    Loving, benign, servant-leader male headship is still a form of patriarchy, and the feminists I know would recoil at the notion that men crave respect while women crave love. Personally, I kind of like having both.

    Trust me, I’m no fan of the LDS gender system, but what you advocate here doesn’t sound at all different from how Mormons say male priesthood leadership and presiding in the LDS church is supposed to work.

    I hope you and your lovely ten children have a good night.

  153. I am proud that the LDS members, such as Blake and Seth have been able to put of sophisticated and solid arguments against the puerile attacks from former members. I am also proud of some of the Evangelical bloggers for not automatically defending some of those puerile attackers or their attacks.

    No one here has advocated censorship. But if you can’t play with the adults and adult logic, don’t cry when they don’t take your crying as a serious argument.

  154. Gloria: It seems to me that you try your best to make yourself into a victim of what you simply label bullying. We’ve merely pointed out where you caricature Mormonism and unjustly generalize and judge Mormons (especially Mormon men who you claims almost without exception turn Mormon women into their victims in the name of the priesthood). What you call bullying just ain’t (sorry Jack) — it is just a request to knock off the caricature of Mormonism that you know (or at least should know) isn’t accurate.

    You seem to be offended that you were somehow silenced or censored. What? Who tried to do anything like that? No one here has told you to move on or shut up. If you assert otherwise, point out where Seth or anyone else did that. It simply hasn’t happend.

    We did tell Sido to “move on” because we have experience with him here and elsewhere on the blogs. While he calls names and asserts what he cannot and never even tries to support, all while in the name of Jesus. I have little patience with such tactics and vain use of the Lord’s name. However, how have we even tried to censor him?

    We really have reached a point where you call foul and blame every Mormon man (except a few) for how bad you say we are acting.

  155. Hey Todd, I made a comment and it’s not showing up, but when I try to re-post it, it tells me it’s a duplicate comment. Could you check your spam/pending filter for it?

    Thanks. 🙂

  156. I spend a day in SLC and come back tonight to see the conversation.

    Fished it out, BJM.

    Heading for bed. May tomorrow thunder in praise to the glorious God of the I-15 Corridor! It was fun driving down and up I-15. On the way home, while lost in my thoughts, I ended up on I-84 West. I got back on I-86 West to I.F. and was pleasantly surprised by a big interstate billboard showcasing Ephesians 2:8-9! Powerful words. Our church family recently memorized together these words.

    Goodnight all. I will take some time to read through the thread later.

    (Oh, and we also memorized Ephesians 2:10. A must to memorize.)

  157. Cassie: With children 5, 4, 2 and 9 months, you’ve got far more important things to do than read my posts. Take some time for yourself so that you can bless the lives of your children.

  158. Blake: “I’ll be charitable about your spelling if you quit caricaturing LDS beliefs”
    Gloria: “No can do, I must continue to caricature LDS beliefs because otherwise it’d be a blatant lie.”

    Sometimes I wonder if Evangelicals really believe some of the stuff they say.
    “It’s good to caricature LDS beliefs”
    “We should also believe portions of the Bible that have been mistranslated are STILL the word of God.”
    I sometimes fear they’re just being contrarians, just negating something simply because a Mormon said it.
    Sad.

  159. Seth,

    I clearly pointed out that you and Blake both told arthur to hush up… “run along now” and “move on”…. no you did not say that to me personally. I have felt like Blake was trying to intimidate me. That is what I pointed out.

    I have never told you to run along now, seth when you post on my blog. In fact I think I am pretty courteous and respectful towards those who share opposing views.

    I do appreciate the chance to share thoughts and even when we disagree.

    I just will not tolerate this “hush up” kind of attitude that I see displayed here….. or shall I say “run along” or “move along” attitude. I don’t think you or Blake own this blog and really don’t have the authority to make that call.
    That is simply what I was trying to say.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  160. ” gloria: “no can do, I must continue to caricature LDS beliefs because otherwise it’d be a blantant lie”.

    Hello, PC.

    If you go back and read what I shared here, I most definately did not write what you stated above. You may wish to go back and re-read things before you post. Just a suggestion.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  161. Hi, jack.

    Thanks for taking time to share. I always appreciate hearing from you and sharing thoughts.

    What I shared on my blog about marriage comes directly out of the good book – -yep the Bible, and I make not apologies for it. God tells men to love their wives…… love them so much that they could even lay down their lives for them…. to love them more than their own flesh. God also tells women to respect their husbands.

    That is God’s word.

    Now, that is totally different than the LDS model of marriage. So very different. If you wish to talk more about this, I would be happy to, not sure if it’s “on topic” or not with this thread.

    But in no way am I advocating a system where men abuse women or control them in any way. That is not the biblical model, jack and I think you know that.

    I am not sure if you understand what I am saying here today. Both Seth and Blake openly tried to hush up someone here who was sharing their thoughts ( arthur) … these men were out of line to tell him to “run along” and move along. Especially since this is not their blog.

    Secondly since I first posted here, Blake has openly been trying to intimidate me thru questioning and really much poking at my experiences as a mormon. What do you expect me to do, jack – just smile pretty and say all is well?

    I called him on it. I called him on the bullying he was doing towards Arthur and I refused to recant my original statement that the LDS church is a works based church. I feel he was trying to intimidate me, and I wouldn’t back down. I called a spade and spade, and yes LDS men have done this before, I have seen it personally with my own two eyes and experienced it first hand.

    Again, I just want to say jack if you want to hear the truth about what happens with women when they leave the LDS I would be willing to share. Believe me, if you heard these heartbreaking experiences you would understand why I say what I say about what has gone on here.

    Just my 02,
    gloria

  162. ” no one here has advocated censorship”………..

    What? Are you kidding? Come on , PC…. what does “run along now” and “move on” mean? It means scat, be gone, go away…..that’s not censorship? They basically told someone to go away because they didn’t like what he had to say. That is censorship. It’s called silencing someone.

    That is nothing to be proud of.

    Have you noticed that I never once told anyone here to go away or to run along or to go? Either did any of the other christians here.. only the LDS did that.

    Regards,
    gloria

  163. Blake,

    Bottom line, You have no right to tell Arthur to “move along”. Is this your blog? I didn’t think so. By telling someone to go away, or to “move along” you are basically censoring them. You are telling them :I don’t want to listen to you, go away and be quiet. That is the message being sent.

    I am sorry if you have little patience, Blake. Perhaps you should spend some time reading over Galatians 5. Patience is one of the gifts of the Spirit.

    Finally, unlike Jack — you most certainly do *not* scare the heck out of me.

    As always I do appreciate the chance to express myself and exchange ideas. Thank God we have that freedom in our country!

    Regards,
    gloria

  164. Todd,

    I hope you enjoyed the conference. I would love to hear what was shared when you have a moment down the road.

    God bless,
    gloria

    ps. I love ephesians 2: 8-9

  165. PC,

    I agree. I appreciated your comments tonight, Seth.

    Thanks for taking time to share.

    Regards,

    Gloria

    ps. I also want to say I didn’t hear you trying to hush me up seth – but the honest to gosh truth is that you did just that to arthur. I know you may not like what he has to say…. but he does have the right to share, just as you do and no one should be told to run along or move on. All of us have things to share that are of value to us and honestly may be hopefully of value to others. Hope that makes sense.

  166. gloria,

    As Blake said, we both have encountered Arthur before numerous times.

    I rarely ever see a post from him that isn’t chock-full of wild accusations, gross generalizations, poor arguments, and angry misdirected rants. I’ve tried to engage him before and found it pretty-much the equivalent of talking to the exhaust pipe on my vehicle.

    His comments here were just more of the same and I have no interest in talking to him. I got snarky with him – but I didn’t for a moment harbor any delusions that it was going to “shut him up.” Arthur is quite convinced he’s right, and nothing I say is going to change that.

  167. Hi, seth.

    You have your reasons for not wishing to engage with Arthur. I just don’t think it’s your call or blake’s to tell him to “run along” or “move along”. The message sent was :
    ” We don’t want you here, go away”.

    Perhaps you didn’t intend that to be the message?

    The last time I checked, this blog was owned by Todd Wood. Not blake or seth, or myself. We don’t have the right or authority to tell someone to ‘run along’. The least we can do is be civil , and if you don’t like what he has to say, you can just ignore it.

    All of us have things we may wish to share or express. Hey, others may not like what we have to say. We can always chose to ignore it or not read it. But none of us have the right to “try” to silence one another or to push some one away. I guess I just feel we should extend human dignity to one another as crazy and cooky as we may all sound! 🙂

    I am off to church this morning — I sure hope you all enjoy a beautiful Sunday!

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  168. I was being deliberately patronizing and condescending.

    Having dealt with Arthur before, I honestly don’t think he cares what I think. He’s not about to run off crying just because I made fun of him.

    And if he does, I’m not going to lose much sleep over hurting the feelings of a standard factory-issue attack-drone from the CARM boards.

    Yes. I’m a mean old man. But the internet rolls on nonetheless.

    And with that, I think I’m done with this tangent. If people would actually like to discuss something relevant to the original post, I’m game.

  169. Gloria ~ We can discuss what I think of Ephesians 5 sometime if you want; arguably the passage itself is patriarchal. I was just pointing out that your interpretation of it really isn’t equality, either. Christians for Biblical Equality just released an article in their monthly magazine debunking the love/respect myth. The money quote: “The truth about love is that true love is also respectful. The truth about respect is that it can and should be loving. If it is not connected to love, it is probably not respect.” (Mutuality, Spring 2009, p. 11)

    I’m not going after you and saying you’re a patriarchal jerk or anything. I’m just saying, be careful. The patriarchal system you loathed in Mormonism is more pervasive in evangelical Christianity than you may think. Seems like a shame to escape hard patriarchy and overt abuse only to embrace soft patriarchy and veiled condescension.

    I think I’ll do my own post sometime on what my experience with men in the LDS church has been.

    You’re free to respond to Blake and Seth in any way you want, and I encourage you to stand up for yourself, but I still think telling Blake that he’s strutting his priesthood is sexist. As for Seth and Blake telling Arthur to “run along,” well, personally, when I’m on someone else’s blog or forum, I try not to say anything to the effect of “you’re not welcome here.” I don’t think Blake and Seth meant to de-invite Arthur—I think that was their way of saying they had no interest in engaging him—but I can see how it came off wrong.

    Well okay… admittedly I did once upon a time tell Rick Hurd to “shove off or I’ll have to start whacking you across the muzzle with a rolled-up newspaper.” And then everyone got sad when he left for good! But he had it coming.

  170. ” I was deliberately patronizing and condescending”

    I figured as much, seth. I do though appreciat you being a big guy and openly admitting doing so. I like that quality in a person — someone who is willing to be transparent with their intentions.

    ” And with that, I think I’m done with this tangent.If people would actually discuss something relevant to the original post.I’m game”.

    Ditto for me too.

    I’ve said all I need to say.

    Enjoy the day,
    gloria

  171. ” … be careful. The patriarcha system you loathed in Mormonism is more pervasive in evangelical christianity that you may think. Seems like a shame to escape hard patriarchy and overt abuse only to embrace soft patriarchy and vieled condescension”.

    Thanks for the heads up, jack! I have already seen this is some congregrations. When I was looking for a good church to attend last year, I called up a baptist church in the nearby town close to mine. I had a list of questions to ask the pastor. In our conversation he did say that if my husband was unhappy with me becoming a christian or getting baptized as a christian that I should submit to him, and then he mentioned that his wife and daughter dont’ wear anything but dresses..and boy I knew right away that was not for me. I had just come out of legalism and the last thing I needed was more of it!

    So, I hear you loud & clear on what you are saying.

    I would like to read the article you were speaking about . I think I will look it up – can I find it online?

    Thanks again, Jack for sharing your thoughts.

    gloria

  172. Gloria ~ I would like to read the article you were speaking about . I think I will look it up – can I find it online?

    It’s only available to members of CBE and subscribers, but check your e-mail inbox. I sent you the PDF of the entire issue.

  173. Ok, now that I have read the thread, let me say several things:

    1.) Arthur Sido – Keep on commenting. And thanks for the hat tip to Gloria’s blog.

    2.) Gloria – I need to add your blog to the sidebar of HI4LDS. Another Christian gal bloggin’ for Jesus!

    3.) Cassie and Blake’s conversation is of keen interest to me.

    Cassie, I have Blake’s second book. Chapter 4 is entitled “The Implausiblity of Original Sin” (pp. 119-144 with 32 endnotes.) A paragraph is spent on Romans 5:12. And Blake does interact with evangelical Millard Erickson for a spell. You are welcome to browse through any of the book.

    The chapter does not even begin to close the argument against believing in original sin or that man is totally depraved. To tickle your curiosity, type in the HI4LDS box, “Original sin” and click on search. Alan Jacobs titled a book last year, Original Sin (HarperCollins). I have highlighted five very interesting quotes.

    Also, put me in with Thomas Schreiner for believing in corporate and individual election.

    excited about this new week,
    et

  174. btw, Cassie, the music and your singing was beautiful this morning in the service of the King. All glory to Him.

    thanks

  175. Gloria: Let’s put your rants about how unfair we have been to poor Arthur and your claims of censorship to rest. You quote only the “move on.” Look at my post more carefully. What I actually stated was: “If you can’t back up your assertion, then move along.”

    Satisfied? You don’t have a problem with a request to actually back up his bogus assertions do you? Backing up what one claims with some sensible data or evidence simply is the only way to have a fruitful dialogue — and it is a request that Arthur never fulfills.

    Your rants about how unfair we have been to poor Arthur can stop now.

  176. Jack: the Rick Hurd muzzle whapping thing would have made great YOU TUBE…. let me know if you get something like this on video…could help pass the S_L_O_W afternoons.

    GERMIT

  177. ” Your rants about how unfair we have been to poor arthur can stop now.”

    Here is another fine example of you blake trying to push people around. Blake, really come on now. Who are you to tell people when to “stop” and when to proceed? Says and what authority do you have to command anyone to do anything? Pleeze.

    This just is icing on the cake to my statements about your behaviors here on this list from a few LDS men.

    May I kindly remind you Blake this is not your blog. Period. You have no authority what so ever to tell someone to stop anything.

    As I said before, I am not scared by you, blake. You most definately do not intimidate me in the slightest.

    Have a super day — the sun is shining outside, the kids and I just returned from berry picking and we are going to go in and make some cold lemenonade.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  178. ” Gloria: Let’s put your rants about how unfair we have been to poor Arthur and your claims to rest. ”

    Oh pleeze blake, really. Who died and made you god?

    Again another fine example of “dictating”. Something LDS men can be very good at, if someone falls for the bait.
    Ain’t gonna happen anytime soon here. 🙂

    Regards,
    gloria

  179. gloria,

    May I kindly remind you this is not your blog either.

    Blake can set whatever he wants here until Todd decides to ban him.

    He can even tell you to shut up if he wants.

    Note – he hasn’t said anything of the sort. But he darn well could if he wanted.

    The end.

  180. ” The end” …….

    The end of “what” Seth?

    Blake or you can do whatever you wish. That is most definately the freedom you have . If you or blake really feel like telling me to “shut up” seth you have that right. Go right ahead, if that really makes you feel better. …… but rest assured that I also have the freedom to say NO, I don’t have to shut up and NO I don’t have to put anything to rest or to “stop”.

    These kinds of exchanges only add to the belief I have had for sometime that some LDS really do try to “hush up” those of us who do leave and have something to say. Yep, it sure does.

    Sorry, seth it’s not going to work.

    I would never tell anyone to “shut up”. I don’t tell my kids that and they are pretty loud. You see I believe in human dignity and the right for people to share their thoughts and feelings even when I disagree. I believe that people have the right to think for themselves with out someone telling them “be quiet” . YOu see I don’t ascribe to the theology of ” the prophet has done the thinking for you” anymore. Nope, this girl thinks now, and Praise God for that!

    You know seth, you are welcome to come to my blog, and share your thoughts and expierences and I promise to not cut you off, or tell you it’s done or stop or “the end”. You are welcome to share and express without censorship or me telling you “it’s time to put it to rest now” or stop. Nope you won’t see that from me.

    Why can’t you and blake give others the same courtesy?

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  181. Gloria: Come on. I asked for Arthur to back up his claim or recognize that he has nothing to add to the discussion — put up or shut up. Is that such a hard concept for you?

    It isn’t discourteous. It isn’t out of line. It isn’t muzzling anyone. It isn’t censorship. It isn’t hijacking a blog. It isn’t even rude. None of your overreacting rants have even a smidgen of merit in my view. It is simply what one has every right to expect when strident claims about another’s religion are asserted.

    Gloria says: “Something LDS men can be very good at,”

    You really don’t get what constitutes bigotry and sexism, do you? I am calling you a sexist bigot. Yes, you!

  182. Well, even Todd Wood on HI4LDS will throw out some rules from time to time.

    *************

    This particular thread is now closed for further comments.

    *************

    (Gloria, I just pulled your comment off. Friend, feel free to further exchange with Blake, just not on this thread.)

  183. Hi, todd!

    I just wanted to write you a short note and apologize to you. I am so sorry if I came across in any way as being mean spirited here with my exchange with blake. It is so frustrating dealing with intellectual mormons, and some times my flesh is week. I was convicted today after reading blake’s last rant on me to forgive — called to forgive I guess.

    I hope that you will let that last post of mine be posted. I really want blake to know that I forgive him for what he has said here to me and to other LDS.

    I understand why he feels a need to do what he does.

    Their blindness is so apparent and yet when he bullies, it’s hard not to stand firm agains the bully.

    I hope that my remarks did not lead to this thread being closed, and if they did I just want to say I am sincerely sorry.

    I am a new christian and growing in my faith — and so many times I flub up and fall short of what our Jesus wants and desires.

    I just wanted blake to know that I forgive him.

    Sorry again and I hope what I am saying here makes some sense.

    Thanks & God bless,
    gloria

  184. And best wishes to you, Gloria.

    And again now to all . . . .

    Take a nice evening walk. Meditate afresh on God’s glorious salvation by grace.

    ********

    This thread is closed. Really. 🙂

    ********

  185. It is truly a historical moment.

    If you all could only hear my laughter now.

    (But I can’t find the key so I am now pulling the switch for the night, gents)

  186. Ok, so I will let Jessica pop on before I lock this ol’ thread down.

    And thanks BJM for teaching me the tip on wordpress. I really haven’t paid much attention to controls.

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