I received a reply from our Mormon defending friend. You can see my response to the original email here.
A tactic I’ve noticed that seems to be more common among amateur Mormon apologists is “denialism.” I discuss any controversial topics, at least I didn’t think so. I simply restated common Mormon beliefs in an unflattering way. However, this person has denied that many of the topics I mentioned are actual Mormon teachings. And he continues to deny it even after the evidence is presented in the form of direct quotes from Mormon “prophets.”
Here is a continuation of the discussion.
I notice that you didn’t say whether or not YOU believe God was once a man.
my answer to that is that i have no definitive answer and i love god and accept him as he is.
And here I thought you were just avoiding the subject. Since you don’t have an opinion on the matter, does that mean you question the truthfulness of the teachings of Joseph Smith Jr, Brigham Young, Spencer W. Kimball, Orsen Pratt, and Lorenzo Snow?
Some pretty important members of the Mormon religion have expressed this as true. Perhaps you’ve heard of a few of these people:
If a historical tidbit seems inflammatory, we should read it in context with the time, setting, and conditions under which it was said.
I never said the belief was inflammatory, only that it was a Mormon belief. If you disagree that this is a Mormon teaching, please explain why. I provided quotes from 4 Mormon prophets, 1 Apostle and a member of the council of the seventy to support my claim.So far all you’ve done is
So far all you’ve done is say the quotes need to be taken “in context” (implying that I have somehow taken the quotes out of context), but you have failed to provide the correct context or clarify the actual meaning of the quotes I provided.When Brigham Young says ”
When Brigham Young says “He [God] is our Father–the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are,” what possible context could that be read to make it mean anything other than that God was once a man?
Many of Jesus’s own statements could appear inflammatory when taken out of their cultural and historical setting. Examples are when Jesus is preaching to “resist not evil” (Matt. 5:39), or when Jesus is being led by Satan (Matt. 4:5), or advising others to eat flesh or drink blood (Matt. 26:26-28). If the perfect master’s teachings can be made to appear preposterous when taken out of context, how much easier would it be to ridicule his imperfect servants’ statements?
Are you saying that you shouldn’t resist evil? Or that any other of Jesus’ teachings are wrong? If not, I don’t understand why you would use this example.You’re claiming that I have taken the quotes about God being a former man out of context and that I have somehow perverted the meaning, then you use Jesus’ teaching of “resist not evil” as an example. Please explain the correct context for each quote, and why they should be taken to mean anything other than exactly what they say.
You’re claiming that I have taken the quotes about God being a former man out of context and that I have somehow perverted the meaning, then you use Jesus’ teaching of “resist not evil” as an example. Please explain the correct context for each quote I provided, and explain why they should be taken to mean anything other than exactly what they say.
In addition to which, Joseph Smith once said: “This morning I visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that a prophet is always a prophet; but I told them that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such” (History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 265). Prophets, express personal and private views on many topics, including doctrine. These comments, if they are out of harmony with revealed scripture, can be rejected. Certainly, they are not doctrinally binding comments.
Are the sermons given by the “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator” of the Mormon church during General Conferences (which are translated into multiple languages and transmitted via satellite to church members all around the world) simply “private views?” Or is he “acting as” the prophet at that time?One of the quotes I provided was from a speech given by Spencer W. Kimball during the priesthood session of General Conference in 1977. Another quote was from Brigham Young as quoted in the
One of the quotes I provided was from a speech given by Spencer W. Kimball during the priesthood session of General Conference in 1977. Another quote was from Brigham Young as quoted in the Journal of Discourses, which is a collection of Conference sermons and talks. Wouldn’t giving an address to every member of the church in an official church meeting qualify as “acting as” a prophet? If not, I’m not sure what would.
If the belief that God used to be a man is not a Mormon belief, as you appear to claim, can you please provide some quote from a Mormon prophet “acting as such” clarifying this issue?
This apparent misconception about Mormon beliefs has been around for a very long time. Surely you can find one quote from someone trying to clear this up and give the “official” church opinion on the subject. (If you can find something explaining why the views expressed by Mormon Prophets during General Conference sermons should not be accepted as actual church teachings, that would also be helpful.)
How can you believe something without knowing what it is you believe? Something that is “impossible to comprehend” is also impossible to believe.
blessed is ye that has not seen but yet believe.
You didn’t answer the question. I understand how you can believe something without seeing it (I believe Australia exists even though I have never been there), I don’t understand how you can claim to believe something without knowing what it is that you believe.
If you don’t know what you believe, then in what possible way can you be said to actually believe it?
What color shirts do the missionaries wear when then deliver the gospel to the souls trapped in Spirit Prison? If the gospel is not shared by missionaries, how is it shared?
it is shared in whatever god allows knowledge to be shared in the spirit world ive never been there to see it myself. if you think that we belive that missionaires knock on doors and have them slammed in their faces in the spirit world then you have a very earthly take on what spirit life is like.
I have no take on what the spirit life is like, and apparently neither do you or you would have offered some alternative rather than simply telling me I’m wrong.
Why is a physical body necessary?
because god thinks it’s necessary and that’s good enough for me. i do not question god’s ways he knows what’s best i don’t.
Have you ever spoken with God yourself? If not then you are unquestioningly taking the word of someone else who may or may not have actually spoken with God. You’ve moved your faith from God to man. It’s not “God’s ways” you are necessarily following.
How does getting dunked underwater change your ability to make an agreement with God?
read the scriptures. ”unless you are born of water and of the spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of god”.
That’s not an answer. I’m not asking what the scriptures say, I’m asking why it’s necessary. Why do you need to get wet to make an agreement with God? Please, rather than regurgitating some verse about baptism, please try to actually think about the question before you answer next time.
Why does God need a living person to get wet before he can enter into an agreement with a deceased person?
the same can be asked of the living person.why does god need a living person to get wet before he can enter into an agreement with the living person?
I did ask the same question about living people, you didn’t answer that one either.
Come to think of it, you haven’t actually addressed anything so far. You’ve accused me of taking things out of context, while not providing the correct context. You’ve claimed my “take” on spirit life is wrong, without providing a correct “take” or explaining how you know my “take” is wrong. You’ve quoted scripture to address a question, when the verse quoted didn’t actually answer the question. Now you’ve repeated my question – and still haven’t answered it.
Why is the living person able to force the hand of God?
they do not force god’s hand they are instruments of god’s will.
If God is unable to enter into an agreement with the spirit of a willing deceased person until some random living person get’s dunked in a bathtub on his behalf, then the living person is more powerful than God.
Again, this video was to address a few specific issues with Mormon beliefs, not a be-all-end-all video designed to address every single problem with every Christian denomination. (I didn’t even address all the problems with Mormonism.
regardless, the issues raised about Mormonism can be paralleled to issues in the bible and in other christian sects.
I agree, there are issues with other flavors of Christianity as well.
Mormons are almost non existent on the face of the earth. why pick on them? might as well pick on people who sing to trees or people who scream in pillows when they are frustrated. most people don’t know what a Mormon is and many of them laugh at Mormons and make fun of polygamy and call Mormons racist and satanic. remind me as to why you bother to pick on us?
When did pointing out the problems with Mormon doctrine become “picking on Mormons?”
Don’t feel flattered. I haven’t singled out Mormons. I had an entire series called Tough Questions for Christians detailing questions I have about standard Christian dogma. (Most of the questions also apply to Mormonism, but not all.) I had a series of called Wacky Bible Stories showing some of the absurd stories found in the Bible. I started a series of Tough Questions for Muslims, and I was invited to be a guest on a Christian Podcast called Intelligent Christianity, which was hosted by a Lutheran. I point out absurdities wherever I find them, the fact that there aren’t as many Mormons as there are members of other religions doesn’t make their beliefs any less absurd.
Come to think of it, I probably should have made a Tough Questions for Mormons series. People would probably enjoy a more detailed questioning of the Mormon religion.
Thanks for your email,