Sunday, February 15, 2009


What is Mormonism and why is it relevent to me?

Mormonism is a clever counterfieght of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I waste no words in getting that point across first and foremost. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Church pertaining to Mormonism, began technically in 1820 when a young man - a money digger - by the name of Joseph Smith alledgly recieved a Vision from God the Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ. When God and Christ appeared to Smith, They told him to build the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and preach the restored Gospel of Christ to the world. That is the aim of the Mormon missionaries who approach your door-step. Upon first encounter with you, they will smile, compliment your rose garden, shake the hand firmly, and proceed to tell you their message, offering you a free copy of something called The Book of Mormon. To the Saints, the Book of Mormon is a sacred text in addition to the Bible: however, what they will not tell you is that they believe the Book of Mormon is purer and more reliable than the Bible itself. We will cover this in more detail later on. As you go through meeting with these missionaries over the weeks, you will discover that what they are teaching you runs contrary to orthodox Christianity, though it may not seem so at first. As you delve deeper and deeper into their doctrines, you will realize that what you're looking at is not simply "another Christian denomination", but a masterpiece of satanic deception and spiritual bondage. This answers the question why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or Mormonism, as the outsiders label it) is relevent to you. Millions of souls fall for such a subtle trap and don't see the danger lurking behind it. As we uncover some of their basic teaching, taken from their own archives, not only will you see the great importance of standing up against Mormonism, but you will learn how to answer the men in white shirts and ties who darken your threshold.

The Origins of Mormonism

In a nutshell, Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, claims in his History that he was faced with a spiritual problem many today in Christendom are faced with: Which church is the true church? Which one should I join? In answer to his crisis, Smith was led to James 1:5 in his trusty KJV Bible, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." Taking this passage to heart, Smith says in his History, he went into the woods to pray "on the morning of a beautiful, clear, day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty." (Joseph Smith History 1:14). As he prayed, he was "siezed upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue...Thick, darkness gathered around, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed..." (Ibid 1:15). Using what little strength he had left, Smith called out to God for help, to which God did respond rather quickly, showing up Himself at the scene. Not only God, but Jesus Christ as well! Smith describes it thus:

It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son! Hear Him! My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time, it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) - and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof." He again forbade me to join with any of them... (Ibid 1:17-20).

Later, Smith claimed to have been visited by an angel named Moroni (the earliest versions of Smith's account say the angel's name was Nephi) who told Smith of certain golden plates which were hidden in the earth. Smith found the golden plates, and in 1827 began translating them into English. The language of the plates was said to be "Reformed Egyption", a language no linguistic scholar or professor recognizes, and of which there have been no other ancient documents written in said tongue. The method of translation was most unusual, and resembled a sort of occultic practice prevelant in those days. Smith claimed to have used two seer stones, the Urim and the Thummim, as supernatural glasses. Upon looking at the ancient text, he would see the English translation and dictate it to his scribe. Other accounts mention his placing the plates into his hat, with a stone on top of the plates, burying his face in the hat and by divine intervention dictated the English translation of the "Reformed Egyption" writing. These plates and their translation became the famous Scripture work of the Church: the Book of Mormon. The Latter-Day Saint teaching reference Gospel Principles on page 53, under the chapter entitled "Scriptures: Chapter 10", says of the Book of Mormon:

'The Book of Mormon is a sacred record of some of the people who lived on the American continents between about 2,000 B.C and A.D. 400. It contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ...The Book of Mormon tells of the visit Jesus Christ made to the people of in the Americas soon after his resurrection. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English through the gift and power of God. He said that it is "the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (History of the Church, 4:461)'

Notice the stress is made by Smith that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth, even more correct than the Bible. Compare with the Mormon Article of Faith: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" (Articles of Faith 1:8). Mormons are told that the Bible has undergone many changes throughout the centuries and has lost many of Christ's pure doctrines. If ever there is something in the Bible that contradicts Mormon teaching, then that certain passage in the Bible has not been correctly translated.

A Mormon pamphlet, The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one of many works I have obtained from the Church, has this to say concerning the restoration of the priesthood:

'In 1829, Joseph Smith recieved the same priesthood authority that Jesus had given to His Apostles. John the Baptist...appeared to Joseph Smith and conferred on him the Aaronic Priesthood...Peter, James, and John...later appeared to Joseph Smith and conferred on him the Melchizedek Priesthood, or higher priesthood.' (page 12)

Interestingly enough, the Mormons insist all Twelve Apostles must be present with the laying on of hands for the initiation of the new Prophet. They seem to allow an exception for Smith, who was only 'anointed' by the Baptist and three Apostles, and not all Twelve. It must also be said, though the Twelve are most spoken of in Scripture, there were definetly more. Paul, for example, not among the Twelve, became an Apostle - and not by the laying on of hands - but because he had seen Jesus Himself, who Himself gave Paul his mission. Peter, the head of the Church at the time, recognized that Paul was not a fraud, and indeed extended the right hand of fellowship to him, welcoming him as a true Apostle and brother in Christ. The requriments for Apostleship was first, to experience the risen Christ in flesh, and second to go forth and found churches. The Mormons are convinced Christ couldn't hold the Church together, thereby letting it fall into Apostasy, but they have significant confidence that their "Church" will never apostasize: for they have their Prophets and Apostles guiding it in the "light." And why should they think otherwise? After all, it was Joseph Smith who boasted he had done more than any man on the earth, past or present, including Our Lord Jesus Christ:

"I have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I." (History of the Church, Vol. 6; pg. 408-09)

Among their unique Scriptures, the Mormons have also Doctrines and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price (which includes a passage concerning black skinned people and how "the skin of blackness" was the mark of Cain, a curse from Almighty God).

The Mormon Church, led by Smith, then later by the Second Prophet, Brigham Young, declared itself to be God's only true Kingdom on earth. All other churches were the Great and Abominable Church, or the Church of the Devil. The first Mormons understood this as referring to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Pope being the agent of Satan. Today they stay off the subject when speaking to other Christians, whether Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox, but they still see all other Christian communities as compromising the Great and Abominable Church, which keeps back "the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb." (1 Nephi 13:34, from The Book of Mormon). They now admit all Christian churches have elements of the Truth (as do all false religions) but their understanding of the Abominable Church has not changed one iota.

"There is no salvation outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 670)

What do I say when they come to the door?

Upon first encounter, the missionaries will proceed to tell you a brief history of the founding of their Church. They will explain to you that there was a Great Apostasy at the death of the last Apostle, and that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ was lost after that. This is in fulfillment of a prophecy given in Amos:

"Behold, the days come...that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And people shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12)

Mormon Claim #1: God had to restore the true Gospel of Christ through Prophet Joseph Smith because the early church fell into the Great Apostasy.

Hence, as He had done in Old Testament times, God once again raised up a Prophet, Joseph Smith, to restore the true Gospel of Christ. After all, God always led Israel by Prophets: each time a Prophet died, the people rebelled, so God would raise up a new Prophet to restore Israel back to the truth.

A: First of all Israel was not led by prophets alone: God used kings as well as judges. The kings were God's visible head of Israel on earth, representatives of the Supreme Invisible King. The judges were also God's instruments of bringing Israel back in line when they fell into darkness. The judges exercised force over the people if need be, and usually also force over Israel's enemies (Samson slaying the Phillistines, for example). And, of course, the prophets spoke the word of the Lord to the people. They were the visible mouths of the Invisible Mouth of the Lord. So before we start looking at the Old Testament and applying it to Christianity in some way or other, let's make sure we look at it in context. That said, let us take a look at Christ's words to Peter in Matthew 16:18, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Here we have Christ's unaltering promise to Peter and the Apostles ("...the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return..." Isaiah 45:23). Of all words we can trust, it is the Lord's.

Cross-reference this verse with John 14:16,17,26, "...I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever...he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you...But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you." Here we have Promise #2: The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians, but most especially to the Apostles to guide them in all Truth when proclaiming the Gospel and doctrines of Jesus. We see numerous times in Acts where the laying on of hands is used to impart apostolic authority, the Holy Spirit and his gifts (including the promise to guide in all Truth), as well as for other reasons. Match that up with Promise #3 from Jesus in Matt. 28:20, "...lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Now Jesus Himself, along with the Holy Spirit, is with His Church to keep it in line, in pure doctrine, protecting it from falling into oblivion. If the Church were to fall into a Great Apostasy, as the Mormons describe it, this would make Christ a liar when He said "the gates of hell will not prevail". Remember, for such an Apostasy to occur it would only take one false doctrine to be officially taught by the early church:

"Know ye not that a little leaven leaventh the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven..." (1 Cor. 5:6-7a)

Of course, the immediet text is speaking of sin and not doctrinal issues, but the same formula applies to both. All it takes is a little leaven, and the lump is ruined. All it takes is one false doctrine to be officially taught, and the Church is ruined: the gates of hell have prevailed, making Christ a liar.

As for the prophecy in Amos, this is referring to the 400 years of silence, in which God did not speak through a prophet until the day John the Baptist rose up and preached in the wilderness. This prophecy cannot be applied to the so-called Great Apostasy, as we have just seen, or else we must conclude Christ is a liar and is too weak to uphold His Church from darkness.

Now we talked about the kings, judges, and prophets of Israel. All three of these attributes were given unto the Apostles themselves by Christ. They were Christ's visible representatives, Peter being head; they, like the judges, set the Church straight when it wavered, driving out all false doctrine that entered into various communities, and they waged spiritual warfare against the principalities and powers of hell; like the prophets, they proclaimed the Word of the Lord, Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of all the previous words of the Lord spoken before. We mentioned in Acts the laying on hands to bestow authority and the Holy Spirit upon others: to their successors, the Apostles distributed the same promises and attributes Jesus had given to them, thus continuing the bishopric of the Church.

Mormon Claim #2: There is a prophecy in Ezekiel that speaks directly about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, thus proving beyond the shadow of a doubt the Book of Mormon is a true addition to Scripture, and Smith as a true Prophet of God.
A: The passage they refer to is Ezekiel 37:16-17, "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick and write upon it, For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick and write, for upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand." Judah's stick represents the Bible, Joseph's stick represent's the Book of Mormon. This is a complete twist of the text to make it say something it is not saying at all. The Joseph mentioned in this passage is not Smith, but rather Joseph from Genesis, who's son was Ephraim, hence his mentioning in Ezekiel. The sticks are not Scripture, but as explained in the verses following:

"...they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all..." (vs. 22)

These sticks represent the nations, Judah and Israel, which were divided at the time. The sticks in no way in this passage are meant to symbolize Scriptures of any kind. The context of the entire passage is dealing with two communities coming together as one: not two records bearing witness of one another, which is essentially what the Book of Mormon and the Bible are supposed to do. Remember, there is only one interpretation of Scripture, but many applications. The interpretation here is explained in the text: the application can be seen as the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church coming together as one again, the wound from 1054AD being made whole. This would make more sense than the Mormon application, since both Western and Eastern Churches are communities led by their own heads, but ultimatly looking to Christ, the "David" who will one day physically rule on Earth and govern according to His purposes.

Mormon Claim #3: The Book of Mormon has much archaeological evidence backing it up as authentic and historical. The events described in it have been verified as true, and many of the cities and various locations have been found.
A: This is no doubt one of the most untrue statments the missionaries could ever tell you. Whether they do it willingly, or whether they truly believe there is evidence supporting the Book of Mormon, I do not know. I suppose the latter would be true, since majority of missionaries do their missions out of sincerety, and whatever they may tell you (as far from truth though it may be) they see it as truth, and are in a sense like children who don't know any better. This gives us all the more reason to show them the light of Jesus Christ [of orthdox Christianity]. No reputable archaeologist has ever verified the statement that there is evidence for the Book of Mormon. In fact, just the opposite, they repeatedly declare there is absolutly no evidence whatsoever verfifying the Book of Mormon accounts. No currency, walls, architecture of any kind, burial grounds, documents, etc., from the Book of Mormon have been found. It is impossible to wipe out an entire civilization and leave not a hint of a trace of the slightest remain. Any reputable archaeologist will tell you this. The so-called "evidence" the missionaries claim to have is only verified by LDS sources, not contemporary sources. In addition this, I have provided an official statment from the Smithsonian Institution: National Museum of Natural History regarding this issue:

"The Book of Mormon is a religious document and not a scientific guide. The Smithsonian Institution has never used it in archeological research and any information that you have recieved to the contrary is incorrect. Accurate information about the Smithsonian's position is contained in the enclosed "Statment Regarding the Book of Mormon," which was prepared to respond to numerous inquiries that the Smithsonian recieves on this topic."

You may obtain your own copy of this Statment by writing to:

Anthropology Outreach Office
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History MRC 112
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560

This is just one outside source condeming the Book of Mormon as unfit for archaeological support. Others, including National Geographic, have issued such statments. The missionaries may look at you and say, "That is a biased source. They have contemp for God's word (the Book of Mormon) so they are hiding the facts." This is interesting when considering the Smithsonian Institute also issued a statment concerning the Bible, which I have also provided:

"Much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the Old Testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These biblical records can be, and are, used as are other ancient documents in archeological work. For the most part, historical events described too place and the people cited really existed." (Smithsonian Statment: The Bible as History)

You may obtain your own copy of this statement as well by writing to the above address. Now the Bible is also God's Word, according to even Mormon theology; yet the Smithsonian (as well as other sources too many to name here) finds the Bible as "accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity." But no such luck with the Book of Mormon, which is supposed to be the fulness of the Gospel, purer than any other book on the planet. Outside, unbiased, non-Christian sources see the Bible as accurate historically, but these very same sources do not feel the same way with the Book of Mormon. If I am to give the Book of Mormon any chance at all, I want to make sure it's verifiable. I already know the Bible is verifiable, thus it gives me a reason to look deeper into the Word. But with the Book of Mormon, I don't even have a reason to consider it as an accurate historical account, let alone "the fulness of the Gospel."

To be fair, and to show that I have given Mormon apologetics a chance (but have found them to be wanting), I will provide one example of an alledged Book of Mormon archeological find. In 1 Nephi, a man named Lehi is said to have travled with his family south-southeast (1 Nephi 16:13; 2:5; 16:14,34). In chapter 16:14, he and his family reach a place and call it Nahom. The claim made by LDS is that they have found a stone with the Hebrew letters NHM printed on it, thus being a stone from the land Nahom. What they will not tell you is that the Hebrew NHM does not neccessarily translate as 'Nahom', but may also translate as 'Nehem, or Naham,' and so to say it should only be Nahom is incorrect. Lastly, NHM is a tribal name, and not a location-name. (cf. Aston, Book of Mormon Studies 7:1, 1998, p. 7).

Mormon Claim #4: God has a body "of flesh and bone as tangible as man's." We can be sure of this because Christ Himself says He does nothing except that which He sees the Father do. Jesus rose again with a body of flesh and flesh - therefore Heavenly Father must have done the same thing. We were made in God's image, therefore God must have a body Himself. There are also innumerable Scripture passages that deal with God having a body: for instance, the strong arm of the Lord, the eyes of the Lord, the feet of the Lord, etc.
A: The missionaries will quote to a list full of verses from the Old Testament that describe God as having a body of flesh and bone. When discussing this issue with a set of missionaries, I asked them to give me these Scriptural references. And they did, gladly. After they finished, I mentioned they forgot one passage: Psalm 91:4, "He (God) shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings thou shalt trust." Now He's a chicken. I asked them what kind of language that was, they said "figurative." I asked them how they determined figurative from literal, they answered that it depends upon interpretation. They kept using that word, "interpretation", throughout our dialogue. That fascinated me. I asked them to interpret something for me then: John 4:24, "God is spirit." Now jump over to Luke 24:39. Jesus appears in resurrected form to His disciples in the upper room, "Behold my hands and my feet, [see] that it is I myself, handle me and see: for a spirit does not have flesh and bone as you see me have."

The same Greek word, pneuma, translated as "spirit", means: a current of air, breath, a spirit, and is used both in John 4:24 and Luke 24:39. There is absolutly nothing physical about pneuma's use in Greek.

In the Josepth Smith Translation of the Bible, Smith claimed "revelation" that John 4:24 had been translated incorrectly, thus in the Mormon KJV it reads under a footnote: For unto such hath God promised his Spirit...This changes God from being Spirit to simply having a spirit, as all human beings do. Smith claimed the verse was mistranslated, thus correcting it, but every ancient manuscript of the New Testament (15,000 copies for the NT alone) all translate this verse exactly as is: God is Spirit. Sir Frederic Kenyon, one of the great authorities on New Testament textual criticism, says:

"The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. This can be said for no other book in the world." (Kenyon, Frederic G. Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941; pg. 23)

None of these ancient authorities translate John 4:24 as Smith alledgedly recieved revelation to do so.

When the missionaries say Christ does nothing the Father does not do, they assume the Father must have risen from the dead Himself on some other world. The Scriptures actually tell us that God the Father raised Jesus up from the dead, and that Jesus did not do this of His own will or power. Christ saying He does nothing the Father doesn't do is to be understood from the context of the entire Bible that Christ does everything within in the will of the Father. Time and space does not permit for such detail and referrences to cite for this particular subject. But as we have clearly seen, Christ Himself says God is not a physical being: He is Spirit.

The answer to the claim that we are created in God's image, therefore God must have a body, is simple. "Image" and "likeness" are man's spiritual nature, not physical. God is invisible (Col. 1:15). When looking at it in context, including the passages from John and Luke, we see how ludicrous it is to assert God the Father must have an exalted body.

Mormon claim #5: You will know the Book of Mormon is true if you pray about it and get a "burning in your bosom".

A: Since when do feelings tell you whether something is true or false? Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?" Feelings are deceitful, and can be dangerous if we let them lead us. God has given His gifts of logic, reasoning, and the ability to discern by waying the evidense. All these three gifts, when used to test the validity of Mormonism, show just how un-credible it truly is. God doesn't ask us to go by the "warm fuzzies", for all we know that could be heart-burn. "But," the missionaries tell you, "it's not really YOUR feelings, it's the Holy Spirit inside you." The Holy Spirit is not imparted to unbelievers who pray about the Book of Mormon, therefore He cannot tell them yea or nay.

Mormon claim #6: Joseph Smith spoke many prophecies that came true. He is thus a true Prophet of God and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is legitamet.

A: The truth is there are a number of prophecies which Smith said "in the name of the Lord" that have not been fulfilled. In the Mormon scriptures, Doctrines and Covenants 84:2-5, 31, we are told that 'Zion' will be built with a Mormon Temple at Independence, "in this generation...which shall not pass away until the temple be built..." In 1870, Apostle Orson Pratt reiterated this prophecy. "This generation" has long since died, and still no Mormon Temple sits on the ground in Independence. The temple lot is not even owned by the LDS Church! This is just one simple example of a myriad of false prophecies Smith proclaimed "in the name of the Lord." God says that is just one prophecy fails to come to true, we can know that the one who uttered it is a false prophet (cf. Deut. 13:1-5).

What to do before entering into dialogue with Mormons

Pray. Ask God to open their minds and hearts to Him, to the Truth. We have only covered a smidgen of Mormon doctrine, and have not even touched upon other issues such as: the Adam-God doctrine ["Adam is our father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." - Brigham Young, Second Mormon Prophet, Journal of Discourses 1:50-51], Jesus being the spirit-brother of Lucifer, Heavenly Mother [not to be confused with the Catholic doctrine of Mary - Mormonism's Heavenly Mother is a goddess], blood-atonement, Mormons becoming gods, salvation earned by works and not by God's grace (Catholic doctrine: works come after grace and expand our faith), polygamy requried for salvation, monogamy being evil, the contradicting changes to Smith's First Vision account throughout the years, the curse of black skin to the neuteral spirits in heaven, the exculsion of black men to the LDS priesthood, and the list goes on. Most if not all of these doctrines have been kept hidden away from the Mormons of today, but they still are just as authoritative and accurate Mormon theology as they were back then. The Prophets spoke, thus it is divine Scripture. Make no mistake: if Mormonism had the power it did over its people back in the day, it would still practice said doctrines. They have never deemed any of the said doctrines as false, but merely have hidden them for now. Such an example is when the government pressured the LDS about its teaching on black men not allowed the priesthood. Suddenly, a "revelation" was given to the Prophet Kimbal: Let black people obtain the priesthood. This goes in direct contradiction to the previous Prophets who said black people would not get the priesthood until the end of time, when the 'curse' would be lifted and they recieve white skin. The missionaries of today, if they know these facts, won't dare tell you - or, if they are unaware of them, should have the right to know about what their church has taught previously. And we should be the ones telling them. After all, they deserve to know the saving grace of Christ and be free from the errors of suger-coated occultism.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dialogue with a Mormon on Salvation

This began on a group discussion on Facebook. A certain Mormon made a comment on how the Temple ordinances are essential for salvation, to which I replied:

You say the temple ordinances are essential for salvation. See this is the danger of adding to salvation. Christ said whoever believs in Him, repents of sins, and is baptized, will enter Heaven. this is salvation: simple profession of faith in Christ and following Him every day. When you take a free gift such as salvation, and attempt to earn it by good works, not only do you make a mockery of that free gift, but you also endanger yourself by thinking you may become worthy enough to get exulted. Ecclesiates says all our righteousness are like filthy rags. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace ye have been saved through faith, not of yourseleves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should bost." Have been saved, past tense. Its a sealed deal. Good works come after our salvation, and helps us endure with salvation till the end of our lives. As the holy Council of Trent describes it "Grace precedes works".

Well that ignited another Mormon's passion against my view, so he decided to post a lengthy answer in the discussion board. I hope this will be educational to any reading it seeing the mind of the cults, Mormonism in this case, in action explaining their concept of salvation to unaware inquiring Christians. Their statments make them appear to believe in salvation exactly the same way we do, but when one digs deeper he finds that the Mormon's view on salvation and the Catholic's view on salvation are two entirly different things indeed. Now I didn't bring up a lot of quotes as I normally do from Mormon sources in regards to "works then grace", as opposed to the Catholic's "faith then sacraments then works". So hopefully you'll benefit from this discussion. The Mormon's name is Walker Wright:

I had this online conversation with a Catholic who did not know I was Mormon on the subject of grace:

CATHOLIC: The issue in Catholicism is that God's grace saves us but that grace is received through faith, good works, and sacraments. Thus the amount of grace one receives, i.e. closeness with God, could vary by the individual and the life they choose to lead.

ME: "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." Since "grace" in Greek means "favor, loving-kindness", it seems that we receive more grace for how we respond to it. From my readings, I understand that the more we respond to grace and are empowered by it, the more we are sanctified. One will feel of God's grace and, if responsive, will grow in it and be lead to baptism and so forth. Grace empowers, but isn't irresistable. Would that be an accurate way of putting it?

CATHOLIC: You, sir, have an excellent understanding of grace. God does not force us to love Him, for if He did we could not. Therefore the key aspect to grace is its non-oppresive nature, how it is always offered but only received by choice. Thus the more you respond to grace, the more saturated you become by it. Reading your comment made me smile, thank you.

ME: I do have a question for Catholics though: can you begin to feel of God's grace before sacraments? Or does it all come ONLY through sacraments?
CATHOLIC: Excellent question! Yes, you can begin to feel God's grace prior to the Sacraments. The ordinary ways that we think of receiving grace is through faith, good works, and Sacraments. However, God's grace can work in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. People receive actual graces throughout their day and lifetime, even if they do not have sanctifying grace. And the Church recognizes the myster of grace to operate in "non-ordinary" fashions as well as "ordinary."

Apparently I had an "excellent understanding of grace" in his eye. And from what I've read from other Catholics, you can fall from grace. Therefore, grace is received and maintained through faith, good works, and sacraments/ordinances. Our temple ordinances are "sacraments" to us. They are grace-infusing ordinances. I believe these to be part of the esoteric teachings of early Christianity. Just because they do not fall under your idea of "sacraments" does not make them so.

You place a lot of emphasis on "for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do", as do Protestants. Your interpretation of this off. Nephi just prior to this phrase says, "be reconciled to God". What does he mean by this? His brother Jacob in an earlier chapter said, "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." We are told to reconcile ourselves to the will of God. If you recall, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Your own Robert Sungenis spoke of Noah's righteousness being the way that he received this. Noah had reconciled himself to the will of God and found grace in His sight. This is what Jacob speaks of. At the very end of the BoM, Moroni says, "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot." You must remember that the BoM was written for "the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations." It is for the purpose of bringing people UNTO Christ. Hence, Moroni's message is how to come unto Christ; how to become a Christian. What is "all that we can do" as Nephi puts it? I would venture to say that is to reconcile yourself to the will of God or "deny yourself of all ungodliness". This language is similar to that of Isaiah and Ezekiel ("cease to do evil" or "turn yourselves from all your transgressions"). This is repentance. What is all that we can do? Jesus said to the rich man, "if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." The man did this, but we lacked the faith to follow Christ. We are to get ourselves in line with God's will. This comes through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and the gift of grace. However, we are saved by grace after doing these things, for we go from "grace to grace" as explained above. Clement of Alexandria said, "Being baptized, we are illuminated. Illuminated, we become sons...This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing." Baptism is equated with grace or at least with receiving grace. This agrees with the BoM: "they were baptized in the waters of Mormon, and were filled with the grace of God."

Touching on "grace for grace": The BoM says, "Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all." The D&C states, "For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace."

"For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified,-as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches,-and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God." - The Council of Trent

This fits perfectly with "grace for grace" (notice this is for the "justified").

"If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Corinthians 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10)." - The Council of Orange

We believe that good works are always influenced by the Holy Ghost, for "that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." (Moroni 7) However, you must realize that I am in no way bound to councils held in the 5th century and beyond.

Our sacraments go a bit further than yours and the rewards are much greater. To take on a Protestant approach while you yourself are a Catholic is beyond me. You use the same futile arguments that we have a works-based salvation as Protestants use against you. Its absurd. The merit from our faith and works are gift from God and is not given not because we deserve it. The only reason that faith and works have any power is because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, hence "salvation is free" (2 Nephi).

Please refrain from misrepresenting our doctrine in this case. You will find it really is an expanded version of yours.

And for the record, I am aware that some Church leaders have used the word "earn" in relation to salvation. However, they too would've understood that though we are "rewarded according to our works", that our works only have such power due to the Atonement. All Church leaders emphasize this.

"not given not because we deserve it"

it should say "and not given because we deserve it"

Unfortunatly many Catholics who try to dialogue with the cults concerning salvation are unaware of the meaning of salvation in your theology and may also be unaware of the Catholic teaching regarding salvation. What the Catholic said to you may in his mind be accurate, but perhaps the way he worded it makes it sound like something else entirely. I noticed he didnt give you any references. First off, he said:

"The issue in Catholicism is that God's grace saves us but that grace is received through faith, good works, and sacraments. Thus the amount of grace one receives, i.e. closeness with God, could vary by the individual and the life they choose to lead."

Actually, grace is recieved through faith alone for Initial Justification, through the sacraments after the Initial Justification, and good works merely are results of our faith, and it is by God's grace that we do good works. You don't know whether you're saved or not in the now. A Catholic may be assured of his salvation in the now, but cannot be sure of it ten years from now, because he just might fall away. Salvation to us is not exultation to deity, as Satan once told Eve, and which you also believe. The jesus you put your salvation in is significantly different from the Jesus of orthodox Christianity. In Mormon theology, He is not God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father, God the Son, second Person of the Holy Trinity, One God in Three Persons forever and ever. In your theology he is merely the firstborn spirit child, brother of Lucifer, born from a god who was once a man on some other worl who achieved salvation (godhood). To the Catholic, salvation is a done deal, a continueing process, and a future event. I am saved, I am continuing to be saved, I will be saved. In your theology you wont know until the end of your life if you have that salvation or not. Right now you just hope to be a god. Whereas we as Catholics have the assurance as St. John writes in his letter. As for clarification and references concerning the Catholic doctrine of salvation, I refer you to the Catechism:

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"

162 Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: "Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith."44 To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith (Mk 9:24; Lk 17:5; 22:32) it must be "working through charity," abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church (Gal 5:6; Rom 15:13; cf. Jas 2:14-26)

169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation." Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

183 Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk 16:16).

To sum up, if any doubt be left in your mind, I quote the infallible Council of Trent on this subject:

On Justification, Ch. VIII
When the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, "without which it is impossible to please God" and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because NONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT PRECEDE JUSTIFICATION, whether faith or works, MERIT THE GRACE of justification. For, "if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise," as the Apostle says, "GRACE IS NO MORE GRACE."

The Scripture itself clearly says, Walker:

Eph 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.

After Initial Justification, the person must be baptized as Christ commanded. If for some reason on his way to baptism he dies, he will still enter Heaven, the Church calls this "baptism of desire".

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (Catechism)

Walker, as the first Christians, namely, the Catholics (and East Orthodox), we have every right to preach salvation as our forefathers taught it and died for it. Mormons have every right to believe what they want, I'm a firm advocate of that and I'll fight for Mormons' rights if ever they're taken away in this country. However, they absolutly do not have a right in any way to take our words, phrases, Scripture, give them grammatical makeovers by applying different meanings to the words, and call themselves Christians. As a startling contrast, let me show you how the Mormon doctrine of salvation differs quite extraordinarily from biblical and orthodox Christianity:

"All of us have sinned and need to repent to fully pay our part of the debt. When we sincerely repent, the Savior’s magnificent Atonement pays the rest of that debt. (2 Nephi 25:23)" [James E. Faust, "The Atonement: Our Greatest Hope," Ensign, Nov. 2001, p. 18.]

"How are you going to get your resurrection? You will get it by the President of the resurrection pertaining to this generation, and that is Joseph Smith Jun. Hear it all ye ends of the earth; if ever you enter into the kingdom of God it is because Joseph Smith let you go there. This will apply to Jews and Gentiles, to the bond, and the free; to friends and foes; no man or woman in this generation will get a resurrection and be crowned, without Joseph Smith saying so. The man who was martyred in Carthage Jail, State of Illinois, holds the keys of life and death to this generation. He is the President of the resurrection in this dispensation, ..." (An unpublished Discourse given October 8, 1854. Also found on page 99 of Eugene E. Campbell's book entitled, "The Essential Brigham Young").

"He that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fulness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ" (JOD 9:312 [Young]).

I noticed you forgot to add these things in your rebut. But allow me to show some things more disturbing:

“There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receiveforgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had theireyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to HAVE THEIR BLOOD SPILT upon the ground, that the smoke thereofmight ascend to heaven as an OFFERING FOR THEIR SINS; and the smoking incense would ATONE for their sins, whereas, if such is not thecase, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world. (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

Your obvious reply would be "Well thats just Brigham Young, we dont actually teach that anymore". That amazes me, because Brigham Young as you very well know I'm sure stated that all his sermons were good as Scripture. Therefore what he just said concerning blood atonment is Scripture itself.

Fascinating, not only do you delibertly twist the meaning of "salvation" by failing to tell other Christians you mean "exultation to godhood", but you also fail to mention that you'll never know if you are saved until you die, and furthermore you fail to mention that the General Authorities once openly taught Christ's blood was insufficient. If you are worried about context please dont be, I would be happy to look at the 1800s edition of your own sources with you and we can read them entirely in context, but it would only prove my side correct.

"For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified,-as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches,-and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God." - The Council of Trent

I love how you try and take our holy councils and hope that if you quote only part of it it'll somehow match up to what you're trying to say. Lets look at Trent once more in context shall we?

On Justification, Ch. VIII
When the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, "without which it is impossible to please God" and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because NONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT PRECEDE JUSTIFICATION, whether faith or works, MERIT THE GRACE of justification. For, "if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise," as the Apostle says, "GRACE IS NO MORE GRACE."

"For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified,-as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches,-and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God." - The Council of Trent

Not only is your baptism invalid according to Christianity, since you worship three seperate gods and not the Triune God, you are baptized into paganism and heretical teachings, commonly know as the doctrine of the demons. As stated before, you have absolutly no right to take our words, phrases, Scripture, and give them twisted meanings and reinterpret everything the apostles and their disciples died to uphold. I assure you I am not attack it from a Protestant viewpoint, but they are entirly correct when they emphasize salvation through grace alone and not by your personal works. Trent agrees. Good works are done by us with the help of the Holy Spirit, but they do not save us. They justify our faith, and our faith justifies us before God.

Since you and the missionaries have a habit of not revealing things in their proper context I figured I might as well do it for you. Once thats done, we see two entirly different teachings. One the doctrine of Jesus Christ, the other the doctrine of the demons. If you're still unsatisfied with your own sources which I quoted I have plenty more which Im sure you would not be happy with. Unfortuantly the Catholic you spoke with didnt know enough about your church and its take on salvation. Your sacraments promise you godhood, the same promise Satan made to Eve.

The Jesus of the Catholic Church promises us salvation as in being given the chance to come to Him and one day reign with Him forever, not as gods, since God knows no other gods (Isaiah), but as joint heirs. If youre concerned about the accuracy of the biblical translation I have the original manupscrits and we can certaintly take a look at those if such is called into question.

“It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet MEN CAN COMMIT SINS WHICH IT CAN NEVER REMIT. As it was in ancient days, so it is in ourday; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be ATONED for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves, cannot remit, but THEY MUST BE ATONED FOR BY THE BLOOD OF THE MAN. (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

Just for added measure :)

"I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 13:95).

Indeed, you do have an excellent understanding of grace...just not the grace of Jesus Christ.

So you see, there are major differences between our Catholic salvation and the "full salvation" of Mormonism. You and I both agree at least that salvation is synonomous with "eternal life." Here's eternal life from your Prophet's own mouth:

"Here, then, is eternal life — to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one." (King Follet Discourse)

"Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation ... They [those who obtain eternal life] will become gods." (Gospel Principles)

Once again, you are in error saying your view of salvation and sacraments are merely an expansion of ours. They are entirly seperate things. If any Catholic believed this doctrine of Mormon salvation he would be anathema.

Since not all Mormons will enter the Temple, not all Mormons recieve "full salvation" - which is why you work and hope to earn your way in. What a sad story. All I have are simply the sacraments my God in human flesh, Jesus Christ, gave to me when He said "This is My body, this is My blood; Recieve the Holy Spirit, whatever sins you forgive and forgiven them, whatever sins you retain are retained; a man must be born of water and Spirit." The sacraments of marriage and the priesthood give grace indeed, the same grace I recieve from eucharist, confession, and one-time baptism. I am indeed assured of my salvation in the now, but not ten years from now. Yours is a different story. You need the Temple to become a god, while I already have grace from Christ as His brother, God's child, bearing my cross until the end of the road. If we show the same love, the same character Christ showed, as St. John tells us, we can know we are saved. Paul warns us to run the race so that we be not disqualified, but this is only AFTER our salvation has been given to us (past tense).

The change in your doctrine is subtle, deceptive to the inquiring Christian, and deceptive to you, a victim of the doctrine of the demons. Believe what you want but when you dare label yourself a Christian, be prepared for heavey offense from the Body of Christ warring against the powers behind the Mormon kingdom. I will pray for you. I dont do or say any of this because I hate Mormons, I do not at all hate Mormons. According to Christianity you are damned to hell because you worship a false jesus christ, a false god, a false holy spirit, three seperte gods simply united in purpose. You adhere to Lucifer's doctrine of man becoming god. According to Catholiscm you are heading for hell, and my friend the Lord is not willing that any should perish. According to your doctrine Im not going to hell, i'll get a second chance in the afterlife. You, Walker, will not, neither will any Mormon. This is why Catholics and Protestants alike have been trying to reach you. Protestants are in error yes, but they have the same Triune God we do, the same Jesus Christ, the same grace imparted from Him unto them. You do not because you reject the Jesus of traditional orthodoxy, as Hinckley boldly stated, and you bring in another gospel along side the Bible (which Joseph Smith added and took away in his unique translation).

So you see my friend, it is out of love that we disagree with you and disagree boldly. Like I said I'm praying for you, the Jesus of Christianity loves you.

It sounds like we couldn't begin to really have a good debate because as you have pointed out, salvation to us is not the same thing to you. I totally agree. It is hard for us to have a good debate because of such vast differences. You hit a lot of different subjects in your "rebuttal", including deification, blood atonement, and so forth. Hard to stay on topic when so many things are brought up, but I see the point you were trying to make.

As for forgetting to post things in my rebuttal, I did no such thing. What you want me to do is post every single prophet or apostle that has ever talked on the subject. Your Brigham Young quotes have nothing to do with anything frankly. We are not discussing "blood atonement" or "resurrection". We are discussing grace.

I have had this discussion many times. Perhaps you overlooked my Moroni 7 quote saying that all goods things are inspired by God. However, we must respond to this inspiration. Would this not fit with your infused grace/cooperation with grace doctrine? I always say that faith is the root. I constantly say that in my arguments. Why do you think I mentioned the rich man? He supposedly was keeping the commandments (which Christ said was essential for life), but he lacked faith. He would not come unto Christ and be perfect. He lacked faith. Without this faith, he could not be saved. Our works do not save us. It is only our faith in Christ and His atonement. We have faith, but one that is accompanied with works (for "faith without works is dead"). We believe that these ordinances, including baptism, the sacrament, and temple, to be sacred covenants showing our acceptance of Christ's grace and a channel for the Spirit. We believe we must repent and do what we can, however it is Christ's grace that will take us all the way for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Repentance involves setting yourself in line with God's will. It is inspired by God. It is the Spirit touching you and moving you to do so. It leads you to make covenants or commitments to Christ that you might fully accept the His atonement and be sanctified by it.

No one fully understands the workings of God and His grace. I don't pretend to. But to say that we somehow are works-based and you are not is beyond me. Without Christ, all would be lost. Without Christ, no faith or works would matter. But you are right: we are completely different and I feel no need to align our doctrines with yours. I still feel that you have misrepresented us. Remember, we are "SAVED by grace, after all we can do". After repenting, His grace is "SUFFICIENT for us". Granted, His grace would've been working in our life to even lead us to Him, but in grand scheme of things it is only after we have faith, repent, and come unto Him through covenants that the Atonement can work in its fullest sense on our behalf.

If you would like to reply, feel free. i only joined to post these comments. But I debate already a lot in the Mormons are Christians. I may or may not respond if you reply.

'Your Brigham Young quotes have nothing to do with anything frankly. We are not discussing "blood atonement" or "resurrection". We are discussing grace.'

Thats exactly what Brigham was saying too, Walker. Why dont you say the same thing he did?

Your own sources and quotes already blatantly say enough about how yours is a works-faith doctrine. Ours, as Catholics, is faith-works. "...after all we can do" as Brigham and your other prophets and apostles understood and taught it, is that grace comes only after you've basically merited it. So to say you believe exactly as Catholics do is incorrect. Your own missionaries admitted that themselves when I discussed this with them, mind you they and I were into the debate deeper and I had a backpack full of their own papers and writings which didn't reallyt give them any choice but to admit what I was saying about the Mormon concept of salvation is accurate.

'Perhaps you overlooked my Moroni 7 quote saying that all goods things are inspired by God.'

I read that passage in the 1830s edition Book of Mormon and am well aware of it.

'However, we must respond to this inspiration. Would this not fit with your infused grace/cooperation with grace doctrine?'

Absolutly not. As stated in my above posts, grace comes before works, only after Initial Justification can good works spring forth and be inspired of God to help us on the road of salvation. The Scripture that says "work out your salvation" simply means doing good works within your salvation. In the Greek text its blatantly implied that the salvation has already been given to the person working. The Catholic doctrine of cooperation with grace simply means that the person comes to Christ of his own free will. This is the cooperation. He does not do x-number of works, or recieve x-number of sacraments, all this comes after Initial Justification. Your doctrine says opposite.

Thats ok if you dont reply to my posts, I meet with Mormon missionaries all the time and my debates are in person. I'll just continue writing my viewpoint and backing it up with authoritative sources, and if somehow it gets deleted from this group it'll be made available in my own group 'An Expose of the LDS Church.'

Yes we can discuss the Trinity, that's fine. And true what you say, the differences is our deities. Mine is the Triune God, yours are the Three Gods united in Purpose and Mission. So most defintly clarification on who has the right God is a must before entering into doctrines of salvation.

We may be uncovering some little interesting notes on Joseph Smith in the process, from History of the Church, among other authoritatve sources, just to let you know. After all, like you say, it all falls down on Smith and Book of Mormon, the cornerstone of your faith.

Just sidenote for anyone reading this: Notice the word "after" in the passage. "...for by grace are we saved, AFTER all we can do." Time element. Have to do all that we can first, then we are saved by grace. Thats simply what the text says. Anything contrary to what the text says is only their 'interpretation' of the so-called sacred text of the Book of Mormon. Wow...don't know about you but I'll stick with the grace of Christ BEFORE all I could ever do (which, btw, isn't much at all because no matter what I do I cant make myself worthy for Him)

Alma 11:37 - And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their asins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that bno unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

If a man on his deathbed cannot be saved in his sins, what condition must he be in to be saved? The opposite of "in", which is "out", outside of your sins. Now how does one do that? How does one completely remove himself from all his sins in order to be saved? Christ said it's impossible, as did the Apostles, as does the Catholic Church. Once again, excluding the fact your salvation means godhood, we can see just how different you doctrine of justification is dark and impossible, yet for us as Catholics we have the Hope of salvation without fear of having to rid ourselves of all sin. If we die saved, yet with a sin in our hearts, Christ promises us that we will be made clean, either in this life or the next.

So far I have not recieved a response. When he posts one I will be sure to repost here.