The view from my sister’s front porch in Rexburg

What do you think of the scenery?  My sister gets to see this view every day from her living room bay window.

the weekend 127

She doesn’t go to the church across the street.  Her husband is a Baptist minister.

Here is their missionary church in Rexburg:

Saturday setup for a chuckwagon feast

Saturday setup for a chuckwagon feast


inside worship area

inside worship area

You all must meet my brother-in-law.  He is great.


  1. It’s “Y’all”, not “You all”. When was the last time you were in South Carolina? 😉

    That building in the right background in the first picture – is that an LDS temple?

    Anyway, let me suggest that when your sister or your B-in-L looks out that window, they make the sign of the cross and say:

    “Saint Michael the Archangel,
    defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
    and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
    by the Divine Power of God –
    cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits,
    who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

  2. May I recommend that your sister NOT pray to an archangel or anyone else other than God and that she pray earnestly for God to work in the hearts of those who go each Sunday that that building and the “temple” in the distance.

  3. Dunno, Todd. It has been around the RCC for a long time. Pope Leo XII mandated its use in a specific liturgical situation (along with other prayers, at the very end of low Mass), in the late 19th Century after he was said to have had a vision of the Church under attack by satan throughout the 20th century. These “Leonine prayers” were removed in the wake of Vatican II, but perhaps are making a comeback as many Roman Catholics return to the traditional Latin Mass.

  4. Todd, I happen to agree with you that Greg should not be praying to Michael — looks like a fundamentalist Baptist and a Mormon can agree on something after all.

    However, Greg believes firmly in the One-Substance Trinity. Therefore, how could praying to an angel or an idol, for that matter, have any consequences of any kind, in your view? Are there consequences for actions done by believers in the One-Substance Trinity?

  5. John, when I pray, I worship. So I don’t pray to a subordinate god, an angel, or an idol.

    But in some of Greg’s prayers, maybe it is like calling someone on the telephone for help.

  6. Todd, if Greg believes sincerely in the One-Substance Trinity, he is saved regardless of whatever else he might do since works do not matter, is he not?

  7. “But in some of Greg’s prayers, maybe it is like calling someone on the telephone for help.”

    Interesting analogy.

    One of the most profound-but often overlooked- statements in the New Testament is “we are members one of another.” Why? Because, as Christians, we are “members of Christ”. This is true whether we are “in the body or out of it”. Hence, there is no difference between seeking the intercession of those in heaven and those who remain here on earth. Thus, Christians worship together, and when they do, especially in celebrating the Eucharist, the angels and Saints, “all the company of heaven”, are present also.

    Invoking the angels? Well, as Hebrews puts it, they are “ministering spirits” and in Revelation, we find Michael throwing satan and all evil spirits out of heaven. Then, of course, there is the ministry of Raphael in the book of Tobit.

    Again, there is an analogy between the “one substance” (better, in English: “essence”, “being” or even, “nature”) of God and the one “substance” of humanity”. Christ, as God, is “of one substance” with His Father and the Holy Spirit and as man, “of one substance” with us. John and those who think like him are perhaps making the same mistake that some of St. Athanasius’ opponents made, confusing “person” and “substance”.

  8. Greg, God is not an alien who has created us humans only for the purpose of misery in life and eternal torture in the hereafter (through no fault or choice of our own), as is the case in the predeterministic mindset. Rather, he is our Father in Heaven and we are his children — and he wants as many of us as possible to return to him and become like him, as any good father would (as many as will choose to accept him and believe in him). As his children, I do not think we are of a different species than he is.

  9. Uh, can you say “non sequitor?”

    I reject the Augustinian-Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election and predestination as much you do.

    But THAT has nothing to do with the ontological difference between Deity and humanity, nor with the unity of the two in Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, nor with the intertripersonal, communal, eternal unity of the Divine Nature, nor with the possibility of sharing in the communion of that Nature, in, with, and through Christ.

    It is interesting that you compare the orthodox, historic doctrine of God with the idea that God is “alien” to humanity. Different? yes. Immeasurably different. And yet, humanity is CREATED in the “image and likeness of God.” “And God saw that it was very good.”

    I think, however, is that what you are attempting to do is ground the possibility of a proper relationship between God and humanity in a monistic ontology of generation rather than in the LOVE of God. The tri-personal God eternally exists in love. That God CREATES in love, and that God redeems and reconciles in love. God loves humanity, not because we are literally his children, of one IS love, and we were created for no other reason than to be loved by God and to love God in return.

  10. And yet, humanity is CREATED in the “image and likeness of God.” “And God saw that it was very good.”

    Exactly — we are his children and his goal for us is to become joint-heirs with Christ through the efficacy of Christ’s Atonement, which we must choose to accept or reject. The choosing itself is already an act, a work. Further works are necessary (i.e. receiving binding ordinances that are valid because performed through the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood) on our part to invite the Atonement into our lives since we must choose individually whether to do so or not.

  11. Sorry, John. There is a Christian priesthood – the priesthood of Christ, the “Melchizedek priesthood” (“Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek”) if you like, but it ain’t found in the “Smith succession”; it is found in the Apostolic succession of those Churches which descend directly from the historical ministry of the Apostles themselves (or those offshoots which have preserved the Apostolic priesthood). I refer of course to the bishops, the High Priests, and the presbyters, the priests, of these Churches.

    Therefore, the “binding ordinances” of which you speak are literally of “the traditions of men”. Joseph, for whatever reason, tried to reinvent the wheel.

    And, of course, choice is an issue, but not to the point of refusing to incorporate into Christ, by baptism, chrismation, and the Eucharist, those who are too young to choose, but whose parents choose for them, or those who, because of mental status, cannot choose. “Allow the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    I wonder how many children of age seven or eight, having been brought up in a Mormon (or Baptist) household, are actually CHOOSING.

  12. Greg, it’s not the Mormons who believe in the damnation of infants who die without baptism. As for whether 8 year olds are old enough to actually choose Christ, it’s been revealed that it is the age of accountability and therefore it is appropriate to baptize children at that time but you are right that everyone must make a meaningful choice of their own to accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ so some people might do so in a fuller sense at some point after they have already been baptized and as they continue to study the Restored Gospel.

    The Melchizedek Priesthood is the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God (Doctrine and Covenants 107). The “Smith Succession” is found in the Apostolic succession — although the authorized priesthood was taken from the earth in the centuries following the deaths of the Apostles, the resurrected Peter, James and John, Christ’s appointed presidency of the priesthood while he was on the earth and in his 40 day ministry, appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and conferred the priesthood on them, reestablishing the Apostolic succession in the latter days.

    Only ordinances performed by virtue of this Melchizedek Priesthood (or the Aaronic Priesthood under the direction of the Melchizedek Priesthood) are binding through the sealing power. Of course, faith in Christ is universally valid and has saving power — but at some point each person must choose to submit themselves to the will of God in receiving these ordinances as an expression of faith and obedience in order to truly become joint-heirs with Christ (i.e. partake of the resurrection of a celestial body, having shown themselves capable of living according to a celestial law).

  13. John, Augustine used the baptism of infants “for the remission of sins” as an argument for his version of the doctrine of original sin, not vice-versa.

    OTOH, St. John Chrysostom can ask: “Why do we baptize infants, who are sinless?” He answers: “So that they can participate in the Kingdom of God.”

    There is no need to posit the damnation of unbaptized infants in order to support the sacramental incorporation into Christ of small children. What this is about is the fulness of salvation – sanctification, theosis, not just “fire insurance”. Do we wait to bathe them, feed them, given them medical treatment until they can “choose”? Of course not. Do we deny them, when born in the United States, citizenship of same until they can “choose”? Of course not.

    That “age of accountability” thing: not invented by Mormons, BTW, “revelation” or not. It was Aristotle, I think, who first posited it. Anway, does that mean that a child of this age should have all the rights and responsibilities of adulthood?

    As for the rest of it, well, since there was no Great Apostacy, there is no possibility of, or need for, a “restored Gospel” (or a “reformed Gospel” for that matter).

  14. Mormons understand the salvation of infants who die without baptism (a href=”″>Moroni 8). The question is, why did your Catholic cousins (until recently) need an ad hoc theory of limbo to deal with the mental anguish resulting from the doctrine of the damnation of infants who die without baptism?

    The fruits of the Great Apostacy are readily apparent. More than a Reformation was needed to bring the Church back to the doctrines taught by Jesus Christ, particularly since the lead Reformer wanted to force Christ’s own teachings and doctrines into a Pauline mold, rather than the other way around (I mean, it’s pretty brash to actually take a condescending or dismissive tone about the Sermon on the Mount — which is the Constitution of what it means to be a Christian — because it clearly emphasizes the importance of doing things such as keeping the commandments as the duty of a disciple of Christ and in order to be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven).

    Thankfully, the Lord provided for the Restoration of the Gospel in the latter days in preparation for the Second Coming — the angel has flown in the midst of heaven bringing back the everlasting Gospel, as foreseen by John the Revelator (a href=”″>John 14:6). When the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and quoted passages from Malachi about the need for the sealing power and other scriptures to him, he ushered in a true Age of Enlightenment. We can be grateful for the perseverance of those first Latter-day Saints in accepting the Restored Gospel despite all adversity and hardship so that we today can participate in the saving ordinances.

  15. “The question is, why did your Catholic cousins (until recently) need an ad hoc theory of limbo to deal with the mental anguish resulting from the doctrine of the damnation of infants who die without baptism?”

    Uh, that would be my ROMAN Catholic brothers and sisters. Answer: primarily because of Augustine.

    You won’t get an argument from me about the Sermon on the Mount, not that Rome or the other Orthodox have a problem with it either. The question, however, is to what end to we do things? To make God love us? No. That was the perceived message that Luther, et. al., were reacting against. To be transformed into the image of Christ? Yes.

  16. What a lovely little church. God bless your sis and brother in law for reaching out to the LDS in Rexburg Idaho! If I am ever in the area, I’ll have to stop by and say “howdie”!

    God bless ~~

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