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April 23, 2010

Glenn Beck to Give Liberty U. Commencement Speech

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University's May 15 graduation.

“Beck is one of the few courageous voices in the national media standing up for the principles upon which this nation was founded,” Jerry Falwell Jr., chancellor of Liberty University, said in the school newspaper's story.

The baccalaureate address will be delivered by Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, whom Falwell called one of the “patriarchs of Christian higher education."

"Both speakers continue Liberty’s long tradition of commencement speakers who are making a positive impact on society in all walks of life,” he said.

In 2008, Focus on the Family pulled an interview with Beck over concerns with his Mormon faith. Christianity Today did a feature on Liberty last fall and has followed Beck's call to "leave your church" if it promotes social justice.

Comments

This is an interesting situation. I understand they are a university and will have various speakers from different walks of life.

However, Liberty boasts, "Liberty University is the largest and fastest growing Christian Evangelical university in the world."

And that

"Everything we do is designed to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world."

I'm not sure how having a famous Mormon speak. despite having similar political and social outlooks, comports with the above statements.

I love how some Christians say other Christians are not Christians. Seems to me the former is not one if they think the latter are not. Who are they to judge?

Many Christians reject Mormons because we do not accept the Trinity. The concept of Trinity was made-up by men in the 4th century. It says that God is a being without body parts and passion, and that God, Christ and the Holy Ghost are the same being. These men came to one correct conclusion: the godhead is united in purpose, but they are 3 distinct personages. A cult is defined as a man-made creed. Those who claim that Mormonism is a cult are often the same people who claim that the Nicean creed accurately represents the bible. The Nicean creed is truly a man-made doctrine. The Council of Chalcedon is likewise. Say what you want, but as a convert to the LDS church, I have been able to come closer to my Savior Jesus Christ, and know Him, better than in any other faith to which I belonged. In my mind, I have settled the issue intellectually via the argument above. More importantly, I have settled the issue spiritually because I know Him and I know that He knows me.

The word "Trinity" is not in Scripture. However the teaching of what we call the Trinity is in Scripture.

God is three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

Each person is fully God.

There is one God.

So God says that God is a Trinity and not just men at a council!

Sadly having a Mormon come speak at a Christian college will likely lead to further confusion of this kind.

The word "incarnate" is also not in the Bible, yet of course, Jesus is God Incarnate. The same is true for the Trinity. No, it was NOT made up by councils, is is taught throughout the Bible. I suggest reading the article by Arnold Fruchtenbaum called "Jewishness and the Trinity", it explains it very clearly, how the Trinity is shown to us from Genesis on.

In the famous verse, the Shema, Deut 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!" clearly demonstrates the Trinity. There are 2 Hebrew words for the word "one" The word "one" for saying that "a huaband and wife are now one" uses the Hebrew word Echad. There are 2 persons, but they become "one".

There is also a Hebrew word that does mean an absolute unity and that is yachid, which is found in many Scripture passages.

In the Shema, which states that there is ONE GOD, it uses the word Echad. This is clearly telling us that there is one God, but yet as we know from other verses, the one God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

If God had intended it to be one and only one, not made up of the triune God, He would have used the word yachid, but He did not.

There are many examples throughout the Bible, where the Holy Spirit is referred to as God, Jesus is referred to as God, and God the Father is referred to as God, yet there is one God. Just because we cannot fully comprehend things, does not mean that they are not true. We cannot comprehend how God could make the universe out of literally nothing, yet He did, and thousands of other examples.

Another thing regarding mormons. In Genesis, it says that God (Elohim) created heaven and earth. And yet in the NT, it tells us that Jesus created all things. To the mormons, Elohim refers to God the Father only. However, in several places in the NT, it tells us that Jesus created heaven and earth..

John 1:1-2 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood[a] it. (still so true today)

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Also Colossian 1:16-17
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It's easy to verify it is referring to Jesus, and not the mormon elohim.

The Trinity is also shown at the baptism of Jesus. As He was being baptized, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove. It's just all throughout the Bible if you read it and study it, it's extremely clear.

Barbara, as a Mormon I can clear up your confusion. We Mormons believe that the God of the Old Testament is Jehovah, who is identified as Jesus Christ before He came in the flesh. So when the Old Testament says that God created the earth, it really means God the Son, or Jesus Christ. This makes it consistent with the New Testament.

You should be grateful that despite the fact that some of you traditional Christians mistakenly believe we Mormons aren't Christians, Glenn Beck is a big enough man to overlook that unintentional slight and visit Liberty University anyway. That is truly a Christ-like response.

jack mormon, I'm not confused at all. I'm sorry, I thought incorrectly that you would know that in Hebrew, the word in Genesis is Elohim in the creation verse. This results in a major problem for mormonism, as you can see. So, like I said, in mormonism, it has their "heavenly father" creating everything, while the NT clearly says that Jesus did. I am wondering why you are a jack mormon so to speak, or is that just your name?

I said it before and I'll say it again, but this time there is this undeniable little piece of Evidence.

The so call Conservative movement or Conservatism as we know it thru the Media, and the Self-aggrandizement Propaganda.

Is nothing more and nothing less than a Politico-religious Coalition. Between Protestants, Romanists, Mormons and who knows what, or who else. Who have found their Means and ways intersecting at their common Focus of Interests.

???

The major problem is that Mormans believe God was once a man, and not that He is eternally God. They also believe they may become a god themselves.

"The idea that the Lord our God is not a personage of tabernacle is entirely a mistaken notion. He was once a man. Brother Kimball quoted a saying of Joseph the Prophet, that he would not worship a God who had not a Father;...He once possessed a body, as we now do; and our bodies are as much to us, as his body to him. Every iota of this organization is necessary to secure for us an exaltation with the Gods."
Brigham Young, True Character of God, Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 23, 1862, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p.286

Mormans also believe God (who was Michael the Archangel) created Adam (who became Jesus).
They teach another gospel, not the Christian gospel of the Bible.

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:8

Barbara, your point about echad vs yachid is interesting. I think you've helped the Mormons in your explanation. Echad means "unified" and yachid means "one (numerically)." So if a husband and wife are "echad" (unified), then it makes perfect sense to Mormons that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are unified, not one (numerically). Your argument basically states that a husband and wife are one person in two people. But clearly a husband and wife are UNIQUE individuals who are unified in purpose. Your explanation has ironically strengthened my belief that the mainstream Christian concept of the Trinity (3 in 1) is wrong.

I must say, I am no fan of Liberty University, but even I am surprised at their choice of Glenn Beck. Surely they are aware how deeply offensive his views are to many Christian communities.

Aside from the debate about Beck's misplaced faith, let us not forget exactly why and how he has become famous: he is a provocateur. Over his broadcast and through his speeches he sows the seeds of racial and ethnic mistrust every day. He touts not another 'side' of truth, but deliberately distorts facts and spreads half-truths and rumor with respect to his avowed political enemies. He demonstrates NO respect for the Presidency, let alone President Obama himself. He recently promotes (speaks about) non-violence as an alternative to his Tea Party supporters, all the while stoking the flames of racial discontent and righteous indignation among his supporters. He and his kin are dangerous, and a threat to whatever little unity we had been able to achieve in this nation.

I do understand that universities, both religious and secular, rightly have a tradition of inviting commencement speakers with diverse perspectives. That said, why on Earth would a (so-called) Evangelical Christian university choose Beck as their speaker? I fail to see what possible good can come from having him speak over the lives of these students.

The ONTOLOGICAL notion of the Orthodox Trinity can be expressed in this simple formula:

1+1+1=1

Traditional Christianity affirms that the Bible teaches this contradictory ontological oneness. However, Bible scholars and Mormons affirm that the Bible does NOT teach this ontological oneness.

What disproves this ontological notion? The permanent and everlasting bodily resurrection of Jesus.

If the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are ONTOLOGICALLY one being, then the Father cannot avoid being a resurrected being, and the Holy Ghost cannot avoid being a resurrected being.

If the Father, Son are the same ONTOLOGICAL BEING then:

A resurrected Jesus = a resurrected Father and a resurrected Holy Ghost.

In a comment above, a non-Mormon inaccurately described Mormon doctrine concerning the Father.

Mormon scriptural beliefs:
* The Father is the most intelligent being of all beings in the universe
* The Father has always been an eternal spirit being.
* The Father, like Jesus, created worlds and experienced a "mortal" life similar to that of Jesus Christ. (We don't claim to know the details.)
* The Father, as an eternal spirit, passed through a mortal life to provide the blessings to his spirit children.
* Our world is the not the first "earth" that God the Father has created.
* The Father's name is Adam and named his created son, "Adam" after himself.

Many Christians believe that Mormons teach a different gospel than "a particular evangelical branch" teaches. This is a true description between Orthodox Christianity and Mormonism. However, the same could be said about Catholicism and Protestantism.

So, which one is correct? Citing Galatians 1:8 doesn't identify Mormonism as the "false" gospel but only indicates that in New Testament times, there was disagreement between some groups at that time. Today, there are disagreements too.

So, who has the "true gospel?" How do we know who has the true gospel?

Jesus ordained Apostles and Prophets to keep the doctrine pure. This is God's "program" for true doctrine and accurate interpretations of the Bible and other scripture.

Possessing the Bible doesn't guarantee true interpretations of it (as we can see by the 1000s of denominations).

Something more is needed - namely the power and authority of God through lineal priesthood and the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.

THIS is the difference between Mormonism and historic Christianity:

Mormons declare to the world that 1) the priesthood was reintroduced and reestablished on the earth in the 1830s, 2) the gift of the Holy Ghost was restored, and 3) new Apostles and prophets were called to restore "God's program" to re-establish the truth. There are "living" Apostles today.

Such a restored Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We invite all people to enjoy the blessings of the restoration.


No, if you read the article by Arnold Fruchtenbaum, it is an effective witnessing tool not only to Jews, but JW's, and Mormons. God is one in essence, but 3 persons. The Father spoke from Heaven while Jesus was baptized, and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove. The article has many more statements explaining the Trinity. And like I said, the Bible uses the word Elohim which really means God, but the mormons translate as "Heavenly father" creating the world. Then in the NT

Jews for Jesus, where this article appeared, is used to witness by many people not only to Jews about the Trinity, but JW, and the Mormons. There is one God, but in 3 person, co-equal and co-eternal. Jesus was not born of a sexual union between their Heavenly Father and Mary as in mormonism, and is not the spirit-brother of Lucifer. I'm sorry if you think it's complicated, you might look up the article and see why it is effective, along with the other things he has to say.

Barbara

While Mormons believe that the conception within Mary's womb was literal, Mormonism does not teach that God had sex with Mary. This is repugnant to Mormons.

Mormons understand that traditional Christians accept the 4th and 5th century Creeds that teach God is one in essence and three persons.

We would ask you why YOU accept the creeds when they are not in the Bible and if the traditional Trinity doctrine is in the Bible, then why did the creeds need to be written in the first place.

The theologians and Churchmen of those centuries, using their Hellenistic views, OVERREACHED and created something part from the Bible, that cannot be read from the Bible.

Mormons are not alone in this view. Orthodox Bible scholars (not heretical) agree that the Orthodox Trinity is not a biblical doctrine. Many Christians believe it is Biblical based on their traditional of what the believe the Bible says. But in this they read INTO the Bible meaning that are is there.

The explanation of God as, "One God, but three persons, co-equal and co-eternal" is inconsistent with the New Testament witness of the Godhead.

Mormons don't think it is complicated or true. We can read the Bible and find that the Bible text itself is INconsistent with the Trinity doctrine.

Since the Creeds are NOT in the Bible, they cannot reasonably be used to "test" whether Mormons are Christians, by individuals who claim that nothing can be "added" to the Bible.

This is my last post on this. I do not base my beliefs on any creeds, but what is taught in the Bible. The Trinity is taught from Genesis to Revelation. God the Father referred to Himself as "I AM", and Jesus referred to Himself as "I AM". God in the OT is referred to as the alpha and omega, and Jesus is referred to as the alpha and omega. God the Father is referred to as the Creator, and so is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are told to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are all prayed to and worshipped. The word "Incarnate" is not in the Bible, yet Christians know that Jesus is God incarnate.

Perhaps you can explain how in the book of "ether" in the bom, shiz had his head cut off, then lifted himself up, and then took his last breath? Perhaps you can explain the contradictions between the BOM and the Pearl of Great Price Book of Abraham which says "and the Gods came and formed light", "and the Gods came and formed the planet" It's in chapter 4. Where is the planet Kolob that your heavenly father is on?

It is one of your own prophets that said Mary became pregnant by the heavenly father the very same way that our parents became pregnant with us. Mormons find that repugnant? Perhaps they should take that up with one of their past prophets.

What are some of the prophecies that your "living prophets" have come up with in the last 100 years?

I pray that you will read the Bible and pray to the Holy Spirit so that you can read it without the bias you have been taught. Jesus died for all of your sins, you cannot earn your way to heaven. Your wife does not have to wait for you to call her by her "special name" to go to heaven, she can go there by belief in the triune God, and because of the shed blood of the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, for our sins. You cannot go there by your own works. Many people believe we're in the end times and I pray that you find the truth first. I believe that many are into mormonism because of the great family life. Well you can have a great family life PLUS eternal life, by believing in the God of the Bible. Jesus died for all of your sins. You will not become a god, but you can have eternal life through Jesus because of His shed blood on the cross. God is eternal, He invented time and space. He did not evolve. It was satan who said "God didn't really say that, did He?" yet, mormons believe that adam and eve falling in sin was good, so that they could evolve into gods. Please stop believing satan's lie before it is too late!

The Trinity: Jesus Christ’s church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17), and that they have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:1-3)


A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration? The Nicene Creed’s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one." Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity.


. Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. For example, it was an emperor (Constantine) . who introduced a term, homousious, which defined the Son as “consubstantial” (one being) with the Father. Neither term or anything like it is in the New Testament. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.” Furthermore, 11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were non-Trinitarian Christians http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/01/richard_price.php The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts and the Founders.

Barbara, I feel bad that you spout off the same old anti-mormon rhetoric that we've all read hundreds of times and that has been addressed ad nauseam. It's clear that you get your material from anti-mormon websites. Mormons don't believe most of the stuff you say, and the rest is half-truth. Please learn the truth about Mormons. You shouldn't go to a Toyota dealer to learn about a Honda. Go to the Honda dealership!

Let's be clear: Mormons are Christians of a sort, the heretical sort.

To make a potentially helpful analogy: The Nation of Islam is to Sunni Islam as Mormonism is to historic orthodox Christianity.

The biggest problem Mormons have is the Book of Mormon itself. Christians cannot accept another source of revelation, the canon is closed, sorry.

David, I have just 2 questions for you. 1) when did the canon close? 2) where in the Bible can one find the doctrine of a closed canon?

I don't need anti-mormon literature, all I need to do is use your own 3 books. I quoted the book of "ether" in the BOM for the funny story about shiz losing his head, then lifting himself up, and then breathing his last. Then I used the Pearl of Great Price and the book of abraham. Believe me, there is plenty of material there to use against your own church if you just read it for yourself. Do you read the Pearl of Great Price and compare it to the BOM? They say opposite things. It's funny also that they supposedly quoted from the KJV in the BOM, in the story that was supposed to have taken place BC, and the KJV was written in the 1600's. It's hard to know where to begin with all the contradictions. But it's easy to see that the whole religion follows satan's lie to adam and eve that they can be like God. That should send off alarms that something is terribly wrong. Smith took that lie and now mormons think they will have their own planets.

Barbara, if you don't read anti-Mormon literature, where did you learn that Mormons "have their own planets"? Because that simply isn't in any Mormon doctrine. So, again, where do you read such things?

Tco,

Hello, this may seem kind of strange seeing as you don't know me but I started reading your conversations and back and forths and was intrigued to say the least and just wanted to ask a question if I may. I am just a freshman college student at Cedarville University so feel free to write me off and continue your posts between Barbara and you.

Here is the question:
You said to Barbara that, "It's clear that you get your material from anti-mormon websites. Mormons don't believe most of the stuff you say, and the rest is half-truth. Please learn the truth about Mormons. You shouldn't go to a Toyota dealer to learn about a Honda. Go to the Honda dealership!" Seeing as you appear to be a mormon (thus asking you would be going straight to the source) from your comments I am interested, what do you believe?

Signed, Sealed, & Committed in Christ,

Nick

Nick,

I believe in our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that the story as given in the New Testament is true. I know that he suffered in Gethsemane by paying the price for our sins so that we can be forgiven of our sins and that he died on the cross and overcame death so that we can all overcome death someday and be resurrected. I love Him with all my heart and get quite emotional when I think of all he has done for me and each of us. I believe that I will never, ever be able to repay Him, but will devote my life to serving Him.

I believe the Bible to be the word of God. I also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I believe God has not closed revelation to us, that he continues to reveal His word to us. I believe there is a prophet on the Earth today, to lead and guide us just as Moses, Abraham, Enoch, led and guided God’s people. I believe the Church that Christ set up on the Earth 2000 years ago eventually apostatized and therefore needed to be restored upon the Earth. I believe that God restored the original Church through Joseph Smith 180 years ago.

I also believe that there is a movement out there to discredit Mormons. They continue to insist that Mormons really believe such-and-such despite the fact that in my lifetime of being Mormon and associating with Mormons and studying official Mormon doctrine I don’t ever seem to come across Mormons who believe such-and-such. If I believed the things “they” say about us, I wouldn’t be a Mormon.

I’m limited to 1500 characters (not to mention a busy Sabbath Day ahead of me). Please visit mormon.org for more of our beliefs.

Pete, I am a master's degree candidate in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida, and hold a B.A. in philosophy from Clemson University.

The concept of the Trinity is NOT a creation in the 4th century. It is borne from the Semitic literary practice of hypostasis, where a trait of a god occupies an intermediary position between abstract concept and concrete personality. Jesus himself used this kind of language in Matt 11:29-30, when He spoke of taking up His yoke. He was identifying Himself as God's Wisdom, and quoting a passage from the Wisdom of Sirach.

I know it is traditional Mormon teaching about the Trinity you are expousing, but this is one argument that traditional Mormon apologists lose every time. The concept of the Trinity is Semitic, not Greek.

There are many things that Mormon theologians can argue with traditional Christians as far as interpretation of scripture, but this isn't one of them, friend.

As far as Beck is concerned, more power to him! Good call Liberty U!

Another Little piece of Evidence on the unholy Alliance/Coalition between Protestants, Romanists, Mormons etc can be found in this link.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/promos/politics/blog/mccain-mexico533.jpg

Follow it with this one.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/07/04/mccain_being_blessed.jpg

Now, question everything.


???

Sounds like they have become more interested in politics.

Pete:

When Mormons and other Christians discuss the concept of the Trinity they often speak past each other because our terms are defined a little differently.

Specifically, Mormons reject the notion that God is a singular ontological being of three persons. For example, when we look at any reference in the Bible, Christians view it with the presupposition that God is “one” ontological being. In the post New Testament era, this concept arises out of the controversies during the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries and culminates in the declaration of “doctrine” through the statements in the Creeds. These creeds have had a tremendous impact on the Bible teaching in traditional Christianity.

Mormons completely reject the creeds and the conclusions formed as a result of the Arian heresies and other controversies.

Prior to Christianity, hypostasis (A Greek word) was used by Aristotle and Neo-Platonists to distinguish between the inner reality of a thing, as opposed to its outer form. In early Christianity (after the NT era) Tatian and Origen used hypostasis to denote being or substantive reality to describe the union of Christ’s humanity and divinity. The hypostatic union is the primary feature of the Nicene Creed affirming that the humanity and divinity of Christ are made one in the Logos.

A brief definition of the doctrine of two natures can be describe thusly:
“Jesus Christ, who is identical with the Son, is one person and one hypostasis in two natures: a human and a divine.” Hypostasis relates to the Father as defined by the first council of Niceea. It declared that the Father and the Son are of the same substance and are co-eternal.

For Mormons, where the Nicaean fathers went amiss is they made a categorical error. They declared that the Father and the Son are “of the same” substance (which Mormons believe as beings in reality) but they erred when they declared that they are the same “ontological” being.

Mormons affirm and believe that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are separate ontological beings of the same kind of substance (divine) but who have three independent and separate conscious “spirit-minds” and independent wills which they unify by independent conscious choice into a unification of purpose.

Mormon doctrine is consistent with the anthropomorphic God(s) of the Bible. There is no evidence for a passionless, formless, immaterial God in the Bible.

Mormons believe and affirm the Trinity of divinity – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but reject the notion that they are the same ontological spirit being (Creedal addition to the Bible.)

Consider what non-Mormon Bible scholars have to say about the origins of the Orthodox Trinity:

“When we turn to the problem of the doctrine of the Trinity, we are confronted by a peculiarly contradictory situation. On the one hand, the history of Christian theology and of dogma teaches us to regard the dogma of the Trinity as the distinctive element in the Christian idea of God, that which distinguishes it from the idea of God in Judaism and in Islam, and indeed, in all forms of rational Theism. Judaism, Islam, and rational Theism are Unitarian. On the other hand, we must honestly admit that the doctrine of the Trinity did not form part of the early Christian-New Testament-message. Certainly, it cannot be denied that not only the word "Trinity", but even the explicit idea of the Trinity is absent from the apostolic witness of the faith. The doctrine of the Trinity itself, however, is not a Biblical Doctrine…” Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of God (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1949), 205, 236.

The new “Godhead” conceived in the Nicene Trinity was not taught in the Church prior to the Council in 325 A.D. Edwin Hatch, (bio here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Hatch) an emeritus professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Oxford taught,

"And if the doctrine of God now espoused by the various sects is foreign to the thought of the primitive Church, what was the Godhead of the early Church like? Indeed, we find in the early Church the true doctrine of a Godhead consisting of three distinct persons who are completely separate in substance, but one in will - the Father presiding over the Son and the Son over the Spirit." [Hatch, E., The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church, (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1957,) p. 124.]

Justin Martyr, a follower of Christ from 100-161 A.D. wrote that God abides

"in places that are above the heavens:" the "first-begotten," the Logos, is the "first force after the Father:" he is "a second God, second numerically but not in will," doing only the Father's pleasure. He also maintained that the Son is "in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third." --[Justin Martyr, First Apology 13, in Davies, J.G., The Early Christian Church, (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1995,) p. 97.]

Other Bible scholars state:

"...no doctrine of the Trinity in the Nicene sense is present in the New Testament ... there is no doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense in the Apostolic Fathers ... to judge the Apologists by post-Nicene theology would be grossly unfair. Isolated passages could be cited to support the notion that the Apologists taught subordination within the deity" - William G. Rusch, Lutheran Scholar ("The Trinitarian Controversy. Sources of Early Christian Thought", Fortress Press, 1980, 2,3,6)

"... it is absurd to imagine (as some fundamentalists seem to do) that Christians today, armed with no knowledge of Christian history but only with their Bibles, could arrive at orthodox theories of, say, the Incarnation or the Trinity ... tradition helps us to grasp - as we see preeminently with the doctrine of the Trinity - that a doctrine or idea can be deemed normative for Christians despite the absence of any clear proof texts specifically teaching it" [Stephen T. Davis, Conservative Protestant Philosopher, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Claremont McKenna College, "Philosophy and Theological Discourse, St. Martin's Press, 1997, 47-68]

"... thus the New Testament itself is far from any doctrine of the Trinity or of a triune God who is three co-equal Persons of One Nature" [William J Hill, "The Three-Personed God", Washington, D.C., The Catholic University of American Press (1982, 27]

I have no problem with Christians worshiping God in their own way. I believe that all men must be able to worship God “according to dictates of their own conscience”.

However, the doctrine of the Trinity is not a Biblical doctrine per se and Latter-day Saints should not be rejected as Christians or asked to believe the Trinity doctrine to be Christians.

I think it is sad that most people waste their time writing such long and very bitter/hateful defenses. No one is ever going to convince the other in situations like this. It is only a chance for someone to boast in their knowledge and throw it around.

Because it pertains only to the subject of the article above I will write a deeper explanation of why this decision may have been made.

As far as Liberty's decision to bring Beck on read Falwell Jr's writing yourself. They have two ceremonies during graduation. One is a Baccalaureate Service where they bring in a speaker who is usually an outstanding individual of our faith who will preach the Gospel and charge the students and family with a purpose the go out from the University and be a mighty influence for God.

During the commencement ceremony they will usually bring in a Big "Mover and Shaker" in the conservative world to challenge the students socially and politically.

As Christians, we need to stop putting up dividing walls between us and others even denominationally. All it does is separate and it does nothing to unite. Do we really think that a Christian can not learn anything from an extremely conservative social and political voice that may not be right on par spiritually with them?

It's amazing how critical Christians can be when it is not necessary. Many will find a way to bombard an extremely conservative school (like LU) with cynism just as they would an extremely liberal school (Baylor etc...). Bottom line.....I am sure Beck is not there to give out Spiritual advice on graduation day, but what he will have to say will no doubt be effective.

Bravo Liberty!! Dont back down to those stuck in the mire and the mud. Remember there is only one difference between a rut and a grave. It's the dimensions.

So, a man whose highest level of education is high school (and it's pretty obvious) is going to keynote at commencement for an institution of higher learning. This makes perfect sense.

Birds of extreme feather flock together.

Affirming the Godhead as three persons, in some sort of sincere way, is to me a cornerstone in identifying what is "Christian." So, non-trinitarians aren't Christians if one asks me...but are maybe post-Christian, Christian influenced or something to that effect.

Is the Mormon trinitarian understanding that understanding? It doesn't sound quite like it...but I may just not "get" it.

As a liberal, I do label people as they prefer to be labeled. So, if Mormons call them selves Christians...I'll call them Mormon or LDS Christians if Mormon or LDS by itself isn't adequate in conversations.

Here's the deal.

Regardless of whether Mormon = Christian to you or not, I can assuredly say that Liberty University does NOT consider Mormons to be Christians.

I went there. I know.

That's why this whole thing is ridiculous. If I were graduating this year, I wouldn't attend commencement.

What a load of Jesus-hijacked, political garbage.

Like him or not, Bill Gates also "only" has a high school diploma, he dropped out of college. Just because someone doesn't think like you do, doesn't make them less intelligent. Chances are, they are far more intelligent than you are.

I think it's hilarious that Mormons over the last decade and a half have been now referring to themselves as "christians" since before that time, they would have completely distanced themselves from Christendom. In their view we have an incorrect, apostate understanding of the NT, Jesus, salvation etc. But it's all strategic PR just to gain more influence, because the average Christian, much less citizen, doesn't know the difference.

In their old TV ads, their logo used to be, "The church of jesus christ of LATTER-DAY SAINTS" (emphasis theirs)" their new ads now are "The church of JESUS CHRIST of latter-day saints" (emphasis theirs).

Lastly: GLENN BECK?????

@barbara


...and chances, are, probably not.

Wil,

You are simply incorrect that "Latter-Day Saints" was emphasized on the previous logo. The previous logo had all words of equal size (except for "the" and "of"). You can see it on this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints#Latter-day_Saint_public_relations

While it may be that the Mormons back in the 1840s wanted to distance themselves from the so-called Christians that were trying to kill them, it is not true that Mormons EVER distanced themselves from the Gospel of Jesus Christ or EVER thought of themselves as non-Christian. This is another favorite myth of the anti-Mormons that circulates without anything to back it up.

I find it curious that no one commented on how Beck called people to leave their church if it supports social justice.
From my understanding of reading the Bible, Jesus was all about social justice. Supporting the widows, supporting the disabled, the sick, the poor, the imprisoned, etc.
If Beck is telling people to leave their church because it supports Christ's teachings, then Beck needs to be thrown out as a heretic, and telling Christians to not follow Christ's teachings. He need to go back and read the Gospel, especially Matthew 25. Glenn Beck is a goat.

Sherlock,

Beck very clearly articulated on that original radio episode that he was talking about social justice in the sense of government redistribution of wealth. He also clearly articulated that he fully supports charitable giving (without govt involvement.) He personally gives over 20% of his gross income to charity, so he has some credibility as one who truly believes in charity. I believe most Christians would agree that charitable giving (or social justice if you choose to use that verbiage) should be voluntary and never forced. That is all Glenn Beck is trying to say. Don't make it more than it is.

God, Jesus and Holy Spirit have always been - none were created - in gensis God says let us make man in our image - Jesus was at the creation - he is one with God and took on flesh to show us what God is like

as for glenn beck - i do watch him on fox news and admire the fact he digs up what is wrong in america when other more conservative so called christian leader do not speak up - he is telling us the truth and we are listening - dont know if anything wil be done in washington to change the way the country is fast falling into a completely no moral country

This is not a discussion about Mormonism. Or, rather it should not be.
It is about a man who is standing up for morality in America. He is attempting to get us back on track. If you don't like him don't listen to him, don't support him.
If you like what he has to say run with him the whole mile.
Keep up the good work Glen. Glen=A truth bringer!

The bizarre choice of Beck by a Christian university tells me one thing: they are radical conservatives first and Christians second, and therefore have no credibility on either score.


I'm glad Glenn Beck is not a Christian because if he were, I'd have to leave the church. He's not a follower of Jesus and ignores all His teachings.

He is a symptom of the moral decline of this country and I would urge everyone listening to him to realize that you are turning over your God-given free will to a false prophet who will lead you to the eternal lake of fire.

When I was at Liberty they thought of Mormons not only as heretics and not Christian, but (like the almost all the rest of the world) sinners in need of a Savior. Wow... How political compromise changes our theology in practice.... Looking for Truth from Glenn Beck, either theological or political, is like looking for wisdom from a Guru of any other world religion. Follow the devil and you will pay the consequences.

Terribly misguided decision for a Christian university to allow one who is not a believer and whose life and actions do not reflect the fruits of the Spirit to occupy such a place of prominence and give such an important address. What possible spiritual qualification does such a person have to dispense wisdom to students who, one must assume, have a serious commitment to Jesus of Nazareth?

Seems that conservative politics and social outlook have trumped the gospel and the glory of our Lord, and that is unspeakably sad and tragic. I have also, unfortunately seen the flip side of this equation in discussions with certain evangelicals for whom the greatest sin is not that one not believe in our the Lord Jesus Christ, but that one be a "liberal."

It's time for all of us to heed anew the command to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."

Peace.

if you take the Bible seriously: Glenn Beck is an not only a “false prophet” but an anti-Christ. An anti-Christ is literally one who is "against-God". Glenn Beck is against God?? Think seriously: Start with Proverbs 6:16-19: arrogance, lying, sowing discord are all against God. Glen daily makes up facts and distorts truth: I John 2:21, "no lie is of the Truth (God)." He degrades, devalues, and distorts anyone he disagrees with, especially leaders (of the “wrong” political party) while we are asked in I Peter 2:17 to "Honor the King" (have respect for rulers and authorities). He creates more anger, hate, and fear by his distortions: "Mark those who cause divisions... they serve themselves, not Christ... and fool simple minded people." (Romans 16:17,18) The one who sows seeds of distrust, hate, fear, distortion, tells lies, and manipulates people for the sake of political power is NOT GOD.... but another power. Stop and think people!

Jesus clearly states that his Kingdom is not of this world. He did not come to give people wordly power and material wealth, nor to create a 'Christian' nation state. His kingship is over individuals who accept Him, His Abba's lordship over them, and who live accordingly (in and through the Father's love). To be truly 'Christian', people must relate to God and one another directly, and not through the filter of political idol-ologies. Glen Beck's primary belief is in his political ideology, not Christ. That is also where Falwell and Liberty University also fail-where people serve a nation-state (however gifted), seek after worldly-power and material wealth as primary human motivations, profess political ideologies as 'truth', they err.

I go to Liberty and when I heard that he was speaking I was somewhat disappointed. I, too, thought it was rather political to have Glenn Beck speak at our commencement ceremony. However, if one looks at the past speakers of Liberty's graduation then it should be no surprise that we went with Beck. John McCain spoke in 2006 when Doc was still alive. I'm sure we can predominantly agree that he is not exactly at the forefront of Christian politics. Chuck Norris was obtained through Mike Huckabee after Jerry Jr. endorsed him and last year, Ben Stein, who is Jewish and an economist, spoke. So, after considering these I realized since when is it wrong to open our campus to allow him to speak? I don't agree with him on his spiritual beliefs but that doesn't mean he's not allowed to speak to our graduates before they walk. Cut Liberty and Beck some slack already. Just because the school happens to encourage students to be actively engaged in politics doesn't mean that they're turning their back on their fundamental beliefs as a Christian school.

Regardless of Liberty U's previous invitations to such unbelievers, this is a serious error, and L U should repent in dust and ashes and UNINVITE Mr.Beck.albert

Note what the Bible says is the test for a prophet: "When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has NOT spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." This Scripture shows that mistaken (false) prophecies are a clear indication that the so-called prophet is NOT from God. The Bible also teaches that false religious teachings are of the devil.

Joseph Smith gave quite a few false prophecies during his lifetime. He prophesied:

Jesus would return within 56 years; That the temple of the New Jerusalem would be built in Missouri within his (Smith’s) generation; That ALL nations would become involved in the American Civil War; That “the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree” (he said these events would happen in “not many days”); And that the prophecy of Isaiah 11 was soon to be fulfilled.

Smith's false prophecies show he was NOT a prophet of God. And one must wonder about ANY book that teaches we can all become GODS of our own planet.
See the details of Smith's prophecies by Googling “Joseph Smith's False Prophecies” at Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (http://www.carm.org/false-prophecies-of-joseph-smith)

Y'all arguing Mormonism or Beck? Dude's currently famous, or infamous if you like. Some Universities like having current famous people give their commencement speaches. So it all works. My Alma mater voted one of our profs to do the speach every year. I liked that better. More personal touch. Why invite someone who's never met and worked with any of the students to give the send off?

Philip,

I find it ironic that you hold prophets to a higher standard than even Mormons do, despite the latter's emphasis on the importance of continued, modern-day prophets.

By your standard, many of the prophets in the Bible would be "false prophets." There are numerous examples in the Bible where prophets made mistakes and were reproved by the Lord. Some even made prophecies that apparently did not come true, if we assume the prophecy was recorded correctly. See this link for a list of Bible prophets who don't hold up to your standard.

http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Prophecies/The_prophetic_test_in_Deuteronomy_18

Isn't it also possible with many prophecies that we don't understand the true meaning behind it? Or maybe the prophecy we transcribed incorrectly? My point is that we shouldn't be quick to judge a prophet, even those in the Bible.

Again, it is truly ironic that only those who wish to discredit Mormons find your assertions troubling, because Mormons do not. We understand that prophets are human, we sometimes misunderstand, and transcriptions may not be accurate.

TCO - in response to my quote of what the Bible says is the test for the whether the words of a Prophet are actually from God or not, you sent me a website in which near the top of the page it quotes Harper's Bible Commentary:"The problem with applying Deut. 18:22 to a single, individual prophecy is that some prophecies can be fulfilled in complex ways or at times much later than anticipated by the hearers." Yes, this is certainly true of SOME Biblical prophecies, HOWEVER, of those key Joseph Smith prophecies that I listed in my previous post, EVERY ONE of them Smith worded in such specific ways so that they can clearly be judged as absolutely FALSE! WHY? Because he gave SPECIFIC time periods to each of them. No slight-of-hand OR theological gymnastics will ever change the obvious fact that these prophecies were not from THE LORD, as they DID NOT come true within SMITH'S "prophesied" time limits!!!

Philip, Mormons do not share your view that prophets are infallible. In fact, Mormon scriptures (Doctrine & Covenants) recounts how Joseph Smith disobeyed the Lord and was reproved by the Lord. You don't have to convince Mormons that Joseph made mistakes! It's right there in our canon! 

When I see statements attributed to Joseph (as you quoted above), I ask myself: How accurate is the quote? Sometimes, quotes from that time period were recorded in someone's journal weeks or months after the fact. If the quote is accurate, what was the context? What was the setting? Was he speaking as a mouthpiece for the Lord, or just speaking his mind? (Prophets are human beings and have opinions; they certainly aren't omniscient.) I'm not bothered if these questions are largely unanswerable. These statements are not in our canon. And they do not invalidate the marvelous work Joseph did to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The troubling part of your posts above, however, is that by your standard, you would have to reject Jonah as a prophet, since he gave a specific time frame on his prophesy to the people of Ninevah, which did not come true. You would also have to reject Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Nathan, and Samson, since they also gave specific prophecies that clearly did not come true. (See the link again in my previous post.) But I believe they were prophets, and I suspect you do too. 

It's fine to have an opinion that Joseph Smith was not a prophet. But don't hold him to a different standard. And be honest in acknowledging that the scriptures are full of examples of the infallibility of God's servants. 

The Bible states in Revelation that nothing should be added or taken away from it. Book of Mormon attempts to add and is, therefore not inspired by God. God does not hate Mormons, nor should Christians, but Mormonism and Christianity do not line up. God the Father is The God and not a god. Jesus is His Only Son and not Satan's brother. These are a couple things in my limited understanding that are differences and Glenn Beck should not speak at a Christian University graduation.

Scott,

Mormons agree 100% that man does not have the authority to add to the word of God. The passage you quote at the end of the Book of Revelation is correct. And no one has added to the Book of Revelation. Virtually all Biblical scholars agree that this verse was written only in regards to the Book of Revelation.

When John wrote that in the Book of Revelation, the Bible as we know it did not exist. In fact, many (non-Mormon) Biblical scholars believe it was written before the books of Jude, the three epistles of John, and maybe even the Gospel of John. Regardless, the Bible as we now know it (all of the books of the Old and New Testaments) was not compiled until about 3 centuries later. Until that time, the books of the Bible were circulated individually (or in small compilations).

Incidentally, Deuteronomy 4:2 has a very similar warning from God against adding to the word of God. Surely, you're not suggesting that everything after Deuteronomy is not "inspired by God."

Mormons love the Bible. In fact, we spend twice as much time in our official Church-wide Sunday School curriculum studying the Bible than we do the Book of Mormon. So I mean no disrespect when I ask you to honestly consider the following: if the Bible contains all truth (the common tenet among most Christians), where in the Bible do we learn that the canon is closed?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, known as the Mormons, teaches that God the father used to be a man on another planet, that he became a God by following the laws and ordinances of that God on that planet and came to this world with his wife (she became a goddess), and that they produce a spirit offspring in heaven. These spirit offspring, which includes Jesus, the devil, and you and me, are all brothers and sisters born in the preexistence. The preexistence spirits come down and inhabit babies at the time of birth and their memories of the preexistence are lost at the time. Furthermore, faithful Mormons, who pay a full 10% tithe of their income to the Mormon church through Mormon temples, have the potential of becoming gods of their own planets and are then able to start the procedure over again.

Is it Christian? No.

This is not simply an opinion that they are false; it is a fact that they teach abberant and unchristian theology. In fact, Jesus warned us about such groups when he said in Matthew 24:24 that in the last days many false Christs and false prophets will arise and deceive many. Mormonism is exactly that, a manifestation of a false prophet: Joseph Smith, who taught all these things.

The Bible does not teach that God came from another planet, or that he has a goddess wife, or that we can become gods. In fact, the Bible clearly and definitely contradicts those teachings. But, the Mormon Church responds by saying that the Bible is not really trustworthy, that the true faith was lost, and that its leader, Joseph Smith, restored the so-called "true" Christian faith: god from another world, becoming gods, goddess mother, etc. Of course, the Mormon Church's claim is not true.

Linda, there is so much wrong with most everything you posted. If you could point out where that information is found in the LDS canon, that would be helpful. It would also be impossible, because it's not there. It would be nice if Mormons were judged on what actually constitutes official doctrine rather than perpetuating these myths. 

I'll help Linda out. Mormons make great deniars of what their own books say, and what past Presidents, and Seers, have revealed to them, when it is embarrassing to them. They pretend ignorance.

Planet Kolob is in your Pearl of Great Price, book of Abraham 3:3-4, 9.16.

I don't want to quote all the rubbish but here is an example:
9 And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one aplanet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same border as that upon which thou standest.

Never heard of Kolob REALLY???

Amazing. Liberty invites a known liar and charlatan to serve as inspiration for its students, and the best the commentators can do is talk about Mormonism. No wonder the church is in such a mess.

Barbara, I apologize for not being specific in denying the so-called Mormon beliefs posted above. Of course I've heard of Kolob--it's mentioned in our scriptures! (There really is no church doctrine about it other than the scripture you quoted, so any extrapolation about Kolob is just conjecture or speculation.)

I'm not going to re-read all the postings above, but here are some of the silly comments above that are simply NOT a part of LDS Church doctrine and NOT part of our canon:
* that Adam became Jesus.
* a sexual union between God and Mary.
* that we get into Heaven by our works, without the grace of God.
* that we will get our own planets.
* that Mormons used to distance themselves from the Christian label.

One of the big problems with the so-called beliefs you love to assign to us is the imaginative extrapolation you make. For example, we believe we can become LIKE God. We do not believe we will replace or surpass Him. We will always be subject to Him. Based on this clarification of our doctrine, don't you see that some of the imaginative conjecture that anti-Mormons accuse us of believing is out of line?

I am not embarrassed by the doctrines of our Church. In fact, I LOVE the doctrines of our Church! I only deny the silly conjecture and outright lies. But if anti-Mormons stuck with our canon, they would lose the "shock value" that they rely on to turn people against us.

Mr. Beck's writings and rantings do not reflect Christian agape. Teaming up with an unbeliever to promote secular national values is hardly advisable. An unequal yoke is an unequal yoke.

Frank, please enlghten us to Beck's specific lies, don't give generalizations.

It seems that after reading the article the reason for the invite is that Liberty has a political bedfellow in Glenn Beck. Plus I am sure that plenty of $$ is involved. Sometimes politics trumps orthodoxy.

Mr. Beck's writings and rantings do not reflect Christian agape. Teaming up with an unbeliever to promote secular national values is hardly advisable. An unequal yoke is an unequal yoke.Posted by: Bennett at April 29, 2010

Agree with Bennett in that.!

It seems that after reading the article the reason for the invite is that Liberty has a political bedfellow in Glenn Beck. Plus I am sure that plenty of $$ is involved. Sometimes politics trumps orthodoxy.Posted by: Basil at April 30, 2010

Agree with Basil in that! Will also add that, $$$$ very often trumps Orthodoxy.


???


TCO: I realize you are sincere in your belief, I only wish to point out a few statements from your LDS “prophets” that contradict the Bible so that you may further study if your beliefs are truly Biblical.
You stated: “I'm not going to re-read all the postings above, but here are some of the silly comments above that are simply NOT a part of LDS Church doctrine and NOT part of our canon:
* that Adam became Jesus.”
Yes you are correct in denying this but; it is true the LDS teach that God was not always God, and that Adam WAS God the Father (or Michael the Archangel), and that he (Adam) is the Father of Jesus.
“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 349)
“Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He now is” (Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 123)
“When our father Adam came in the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organized this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken- He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do” (Brigham Young, in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 50)
“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed unto me--namely that Adam is our father and our God… Well, says one, ‘Why was Adam called Adam?’ He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He with the help of his brethren, brought it into existence. Then he said, ‘ I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this, in a mortal state. I was faithful, I received my crown and exhaltation” (Deseret News, June 18, 1873, p. 308)
Note: Brigham Young stated that he had “never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 95)
This is the major problem with the LDS calling itself a “church of Jesus Christ” because it presents Jesus Christ as a created being, and even Father God as a mortal who only attained his exhaltation by being faithful. (Faithful to what?)

You also stated: “One of the big problems with the so-called beliefs you love to assign to us is the imaginative extrapolation you make. For example, we believe we can become LIKE God.”
(Which is the same statement that Satan tempted Eve with in the garden)
You continued: “We do not believe we will replace or surpass Him. We will always be subject to Him. Based on this clarification of our doctrine, don't you see that some of the imaginative conjecture that anti-Mormons accuse us of believing is out of line? “
No, I consider what your own “prophets” contradictory statements have said concerning your supposed assent to godhood. For example:
“The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy” (Journal of Discourses, XI, p. 269)
(This statement is contrasted by your own “Book of Mormon” which states: “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord” Jacob 2:24.)
You stated: I am not embarrassed by the doctrines of our Church. In fact, I LOVE the doctrines of our Church! I only deny the silly conjecture and outright lies. But if anti-Mormons stuck with our canon, they would lose the "shock value" that they rely on to turn people against us.
I understand that you want to defend what you believe. I only ask that you look at the actual teaching of the LDS and compare them to the Bible. I would be very embarrassed by the ever-changing “canon” of the LDS that contradicts the Bible.
Such as:
“No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…Every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are- I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent” (Journal of Discourses, VII, p. 289)
So much for Jesus being the only mediator between God and man!
On the “Restoration of Truth” page of the LDS website www.mormon.org, it is stated:
“Incredibly, even Jesus Christ was rejected. Following His death, many people began to drift away from or distort Christ’s true teachings. As a result, God withdrew His authority to direct the Church that Christ had established.”
When did God ever withdraw his authority to direct Christ’s church, since the scriptures state that He would build it and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?
Then, on “The Great Apostasy” page of the same website it states:
“Because the Church was no longer led by priesthood authority and revelation, error crept into Church teachings. Good people and much truth remained, but the gospel as established by Jesus Christ was lost, resulting in a period called the Great Apostasy.”
What an incredible slap in the face of Jesus to say the Church was no longer led by a priesthood authority!!!! Jesus is the only priest after the order of Melchizedek (having no beginning or ending of days) and He has an unchangeable and untransferable priesthood. He alone is our High Priest and is ever interceding for us at the right hand of God the Father. The Aaronic priesthood was no longer needed and the veil was ripped in two from top to bottom signifying this. Jesus, by the way, came from the tribe of Judah and not the tribe of Aaron. Furthermore, if a person is born again through a personal regeneration by belief in the incarnate God, Jesus Christ, then they become part of a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and a “kingdom of priests to God His Father” (Revelation 1:4-6). If the LDS is “restoring” the “true gospel” then exactly when was it completely lost? There will always be false teaching until Jesus returns, but that does not mean there ceased to be a remnant of the true believers who held the truth in their hearts. Why is the teaching of the LDS so in conflict with the Bible (which contains the original true gospel)? The “restored” cannot change the original or it is then not a restoration but “another gospel”.
I’ll end with the Bible verse I previously posted:
"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:8
I pray you will let the Holy Spirit direct you in the true scriptures of the Bible, which does not contradict itself.

Me- "Hey what to you think about them getting Glenn Beck to speak at graduation?"

My Roommate - "I actually really like that he's speaking at this year's graduation."

Me - "Why?"

My Roommate - "Because now I know that I won't have him as my graduation speaker."

[Room erupts into laughter]

I am not a Mormon, I believe in the Triune God. However, I do not agree that inviting Glen Beck to speak before a Christian audience will somehow be detrimental to or confusing for any Chrisians in that audience. Have you listened to Glen? I have. Despite what he believes doctrinely, and I don't think he will even try to convey any of that, he has a Christian world view when it comes to the direction this country is taking and what values and worldview this country started with by our founding fathers. He often invites David Barton on his show to discuss faith and the history of our country.

Tim,

I appreciate your zeal in defending your beliefs. Please understand that you are doing exactly what I have posted about previously--going outside of our canon to state our "beliefs." Most of your sources appear to be from the Journal of Discourses or similar publications (not in our canon). Here is our Church's position on it:

"The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It includes practical advice as well as doctrinal discussion, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest. ... Questions have been raised about the accuracy of some transcriptions. Modern technology and processes were not available for verifying the accuracy of transcriptions, and some significant mistakes have been documented. The Journal of Discourses includes interesting and insightful teachings by early Church leaders; however, by itself it is not an authoritative source of Church doctrine."

When someone says, "Mormons believe such-and-such," what they really SHOULD be saying is "Brigham Young (or whomever) once said such-and-such." It would be honest to acknowledge that that "such-and-such" is a belief NOT accepted or endorsed by the Church, is NOT in their canon, and is rejected by mainstream Mormons.

As for the Great Apostasy , if I understand right, you believe that because the Spirit of Christ remained in people’s hearts and because people continued to teach about and accept Christ, that there was not an apostasy. We would agree that that aspect of Christianity continued all along. Most Christians throughout the last 2000 years have been genuine, honest, good people who have accepted Christ and strived to live as Christ would have them live. That isn’t what we mean by the Great Apostasy.. When we say apostasy, we are talking about the “official” capacity to run Christ’s Church. Christ organized His Church with apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, teachers (see Ephesians 4:11). Do you really believe that organization retained its integrity through the ages? Reformers like Martin Luther and John Wycliffe recognized the corruption. The Bible even tells us that there would be a "falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12). It sounds like you’ve taken our belief in the Great Apostasy personally. It in no way rejects continued belief in Christ; rather, it acknowledges the corruption that developed and the need to restore things as Christ originally set them up.

You believe our doctrine is in conflict with the Bible. We do not. We fully accept Galatians 1:8, and like you, believe those who preach any other gospel will be accursed. We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth, the SAME gospel that Jesus Christ taught and established. Of that, I have no doubt.

TCO, After reading all the entries in this thread, especially yours, I am struck by several observations. It seems you want to denigrate the position of a prophet. You seem to say that prophets are not perfect and shouldn't be held up to be perfect. That goes against what the Bible says. If a prophet makes a prophecy that is proven to be untrue, that prophet is condemned to death. That has to do with the role of a prophet, not their record of being sinful human beings. But you go on to cast everything that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young said in error into some scrap heap of the annals and archives of your church library and say they are no longer regarded as equal to the truth yet you cast no judgement on these leaders of your church. You are doing what Obama did about Rev. Wright. No, you are worse because you don't even distance yourself from them. If you did, you would have to relegate the Book of Mormon to the same scrap heap.
Maybe if you get rid of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, you can get yourself back to being worthy of calling your religion a Christian religion.

Timothy,

I do not denigrate the position of prophets. I merely acknowledge that they are human and are NOT perfect, despite your assertion. If you believe prophets are perfect, you should be prepared to reject some parts of the Bible since it records some failed and inaccurate prophecies. (I'm not going to rehash this point--my post above is sufficient.)

You would have me reject the Book of Mormon because of some alleged statements made by Joseph Smith. You have it backwards. It is precisely BECAUSE of the Book of Mormon that I know Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God. When I read the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost testifies to me that it is of God, in the VERY SAME WAY the Holy Ghost testifies to me when I read from the New Testament, in the VERY SAME WAY the Holy Ghost testifies to me that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the ONLY means whereby we can attain salvation. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is of God and therefore I KNOW that Joseph Smith was called of God to bring that book to us. If I were to deny or reject these things based on a few unverifiable or otherwise inexplicable statements, I would have to reject the same Spirit that testified of Jesus Christ to me. I cannot reject these things because God knows that I know the truth.

I encourage you to come to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, not by focusing of some obscure statements, but by reading the Book of Mormon with an open mind and asking God to tell you if it is true. Don't take my word for it. Take God's word for it.