Conversations with Latter Day Saints.

You’ve seen them before: Two young men, dressed in black slacks and a white button down, faces shaven (or likely still bare with youth) and shining with excitement. They introduce themselves as Elders, despite the fact that they are at least 3 years your junior, and ask how they can help you today. They talk about Jesus, and our Heavenly Father, and the Plan of Salvation.

Mormon missionaries are a mission field to themselves. They show up on your doorstep, often without warning, offering another gospel to you, ostensibly shared by an angel from heaven. Of course you’ve read Galatians 1 and remember Paul’s prophetic warning against the followers of Joseph Smith. The question of how to engage Mormon missionaries is a tough one.

One of our primary goals when talking with Latter Day Saints should be to establish a shared epistemology. Epistemology is a fancy word for “how we know what we know.” So in plain English, we must both agree to a way to find out if a claim is true. Unfortunately, Mormons insist that their subjective experience is the way to know truth. They will ask you to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I encourage you to ask them what the spirit feels like some time — they will describe (much like Pentecostals and Charismatics) a feeling of peace, warmth, love, happiness, or joy. Of course these are all good things, but they are not proof of the truth or falsity of a particular proposition. Many things which are untruthful may, in fact, make you happy. For instance, we have all shared the elation of a well executed movie, as the rising action climaxes and the story resolves. The story was a good one; it was not necessarily a factual one, and in many cases may be counterfactual. Many more examples could follow, but for the purposes of our discussion here, this will suffice.

So we must not be fooled into thinking that a good feeling is a truth-telling feeling; after all, our hearts are desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9), and from them all manner of evil flows forth (Matt.15:19). But the truth is found in God’s Word, for His Word is truth (John 17:17). How then do we communicate this to our Mormon friends and neighbors in a way that is winsome, charitable, and convincing? I have found that the best way to do this is by having them do it for you.

When I sit down with some missionaries, I try to get to know them. I learn about their lives before their mission, where they’re from, and what they do for fun. As we talk things inevitably turn to spiritual subjects — after all, you’re both there evangelizing. The killer question to ask: “What is the best way to learn spiritual truths?” Missionaries invariably respond something like “pray about it.” This is a good place to ask them what the spirit feels like, as I mentioned earlier. Allow them to share, and genuinely listen. Get them to clarify that they think prayer is the best way to understand what God wants from us.

The next question is something along the lines of “Should I pray about whether or not to commit murder?” You can substitute “break the law,” “cheat on my wife,” “lie to my husband,” or any other sin that you know they will not affirm. If they don’t outright say it’s wrong to do whatever you ask about, make them clarify why it’s wrong. Often their response will be something along the lines of “Because God revealed it to us; we don’t need further guidance about that.” If they say this, of course, they are overthrowing their own emotionally-driven epistemology for a Scripturally-driven one — they’re moving from feeling alone toward the truth of God’s Word. At this point it’s a simple matter to clarify: “If God reveals something in His Word, we don’t need to pray for further guidance about it, right?

Turn with them then to Isaiah 43:10; this is probably the most important verse in Scripture to share with missionaries. A great way to introduce it is to say “God revealed His testimony about Himself through the Prophet Isaiah.” Have one of them read what God says about Himself there. Then remind them that they just said if God reveals something in His Word, we don’t need to pray about it. We already know that anyone or anything that contradicts God’s testimony of Himself is wrong. From this point on in the conversation, any time they try to contradict the Scriptures, they have contradicted themselves.

This is not a cheap shot to win an argument. This is a powerful tool to overturn a worldview and to set people on the path away from error. You have planted a seed of truth: God’s Word trumps all else. When you part ways invite them over for a free meal. Ask them to bring answers to your questions. Build a relationship with them. And above all pray for them fervently.

I hope that this example helps you communicate the truth in love to the next pair of missionaries you run into. For more information about the LDS church, check out http://www.mrm.org. If you have questions, please comment with them! I’d love to talk more about the subject. Also, please leave your favorite question to ask missionaries below!

May God strengthen and keep you in the true faith, once delivered for all the saints! Amen.

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13 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Evangelism, Theology

13 responses to “Conversations with Latter Day Saints.

  1. I like this. It is well thought out. However, any member of the church who is familiar with the scriptures would not be taken in by it, or confounded by your logic.
    First, the way to learn truth is revealed in the scriptures.
    “…behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…” (D&C 9: 8-9)

    Now, I realize that you do not accept the Doctrine and Covenants as scripture, but the LDS do, and so you need to consider it when conversing with them.
    Of course, a really learned member would quote from the Bible when Jesus says “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16: 13)

    Then, if you question the feelings of the Holy Spirit, they would quote Luke 24: 32 when those on the road to Emmaus stated “…one to another, Did not our heart burn within us…” They would then quote Acts 2: 37 when those who heard Peter were “…were pricked in their heart…”

    Now, you suggest posing the question about praying to God about breaking the law or other such acts. You then say that “Often their response will be something along the lines of “Because God revealed it to us; we don’t need further guidance about that.” You think would trap them, and yet you miss the point that they would have already prayed about what is said in the scriptures. It is not simply the fact that it is contained in the Bible, but that God has confirmed what the Bible (or other scripture) says through prayer. So, again, it all comes back to prayer and the testimony of the Holy Spirit.

    You then bring in Isaiah 43: 10 as the master stroke, but the LDS would point to D&C 130: 22 which tells us that “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.” They would also point to the Pearl of Great Price where it is recorded that Joseph Smith “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 and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JSH 1: 17)
    Then, since God cannot contradict himself, they would explain that Isaiah was speaking of the Godhead, or the ruling counsel over heaven; being one entity, but made of three different and distinct beings.

    So, your logic, while interesting, and fairly constructed, would not pose any problems for the member who knows his scriptures.

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    • Shem, thanks for your reply! I’m really excited to see your blog, and I’ve followed you. I hope we can have some fruitful dialogue, both here and in the future.

      While it’s easy to point to how D&C tells us we ought to discern what is true or not, what you’ve done is begged the question; that is, you’ve assumed that what you’re trying to prove is true. Actually, more accurately, you’re asking the potential convert to assume that D&C correctly teaches us how to discern spiritual truth. But this is exactly the thing in question! By assuming it to be true, one gives up the questioning entirely and finds an answer, but that answer has not yet been justified.

      Appealing to John 16 wouldn’t help, because Jesus isn’t telling the disciples to look inward to their feelings to tell if the Spirit is speaking to them. He is simply telling them of the coming Holy Spirit.

      Pointing out instances in scripture where humans responded with emotion to the proclamation of the Word of God (like Luke 24 and Acts 2) does not mean that emotion is how we know something is true. You have not sufficiently demonstrated that we know the Scripture to be true because we have prayed about it. In fact, the Holy Spirit commends the believers in Berea as more noble than those in Thessalonica precisely because they compared what Paul was saying to the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-11). So the standard that the early church used was, contra your position, Scripture, and not prayer.

      Your final paragraph demonstrates an extremely ad hoc understanding of Isaiah 43:10. It doesn’t even really deal with the text. How do you get that understanding out of God’s testimony of Himself? “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Doesn’t sound to me like it has much if anything to do with three different gods in one Godhead. Could you explain a bit more?

      I’m sorry I don’t find your case very convincing. Perhaps you could lay it out a bit more clearly for me? As it stands, my original post is still effective when I talk to the Missionaries. Would you say that your Missionaries don’t know their Scriptures? Anyway, hope to talk soon!

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  2. Johnny

    I think we can have some great discussions. I look forward to it.

    “Actually, more accurately, you’re asking the potential convert to assume that D&C correctly teaches us how to discern spiritual truth.”

    I am no more guilty of this than you when you assume that the Bible tells us how, or that you assume reading the Bible is the way.
    However, I am not asking the convert to assume anything. I am pointing out what I believe God has told us, and then inviting the investigator to test it. You advocate the same approach to your method.

    Now, I think we need to clarify something. The testimony of the Spirit is not an emotion, but a sensation. That sensation brings peace and causes emotion, but it is not an emotion. When the two on the road to Emmaus said their bosoms burned within them they meant it rather literally. They felt a physical sensation of warmth within their bodies as a result of the presence of the spirit and its testimony. Simple emotions are not the same as the presence of the Spirit.

    As to using the scriptures being contra to what I said, it isn’t. The doctrine and Covenants clearly states “that you must study it out in your mind” before you pray, and that is what the saints in Berea were doing, and why they were commended. We can never understand what we do not read.

    As to Isaiah 43: 10, I agree what I said is not convincing, but then I was stating a conclusion without the reasoning behind it. This was done for the sake of brevity. For a more in depth discussion on this point I would ask you to read my blog post on the Godhead (https://shematwater.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-godhead/). While it does not discuss Isaiah 43: 10 directly, the same reasoning I give for 44: 6 would apply. If you still have questions feel from to ask, though I might suggest doing it on that thread.

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    • Shem, thanks again for replying.

      By asking them to test your doctrine by the standard presented in your doctrine, you are asking them to assume that your standard is the correct one by which to test doctrine. I have not assumed, of my own will, that Scripture is the standard: Jesus has set this as such, and given that He has risen from the dead, He seems rather trustworthy.

      I would point a seeker to particular historical evidences that they can look at for themselves, like the documentary history of the New Testament. The LDS cannot and does not point seekers to those things, but rather tries to convince them that the subjective experience they’re having must be from the Holy Spirit.

      You may make a distinction between the sensation and emotions, but it doesn’t really matter to my point: Encouraging people to use their own subjective experience as a standard of truth is not the example nor the command given by Christ through His disciples. If you can point out somewhere in the Bible where it is taught that we ought to use our own subjective experience to judge whether doctrine is true, I will recant my point. And again, someone having an emotional or experience oriented response toward the Word of God does not count.

      I may respond further to your misunderstanding of the Trinity later, but suffice it now to say that you’ve constructed an incredibly ad hoc explanation for both Isaiah passages. It’s also clear to me that you haven’t taken the time to truly study the doctrine of the Trinity. But to force your understanding and theology of the Godhead onto that passage, rather than allowing your theology to be shaped by God’s testimony of Himself, is simply a bad idea. Before God there was no God formed, and after Him there shall be no God formed. This clearly and totally refutes the doctrine of eternal progression.

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      • Your answers are interesting, but I still have to disagree.

        “By asking them to [use] the standard presented in your doctrine, you are asking them to assume that [it] is the correct one.”
        No, I am asking them to test it to see if it is the right one. They cannot know it is the right one until they have tested it. It is just like any other experiment. You make a calculation as to what the right method is, and then you test it to see if it produces the desired result.

        “I have not assumed…Jesus has set this as such…”
        How do you know that? Because the Bible says so. Then you are assuming the Bible is correct without any outside verification.
        Also note that I have the words of Christ in the Doctrine and Covenants that clearly teach the method I have given. Thus I have the same claim you do in regards to my doctrine.

        “The LDS cannot and does not point seekers to those things”
        Because those things are just as subjective as anything else. History, archeology, and all those other evidences that people want to use are very subjective fields of study.

        “but rather tries to convince them that the subjective experience they’re having must be from the Holy Spirit.”
        We don’t try to convince anyone of anything; at least we shouldn’t. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

        “Encouraging people to use their own subjective experience…”
        First, I think we need to clarify that there is very little that is subjective in the communication of the spirit. Yes, one must be able to recognize it and accept it. But then, when one hears a voice on the phone one must also be able to recognize and accept it, and yet that conversation is hardly subjective.

        “If you can point out somewhere in the Bible where it is taught that we ought to use our own subjective experience…”
        The Bible teaches us to ask God when we lack the Wisdom in our selves to settle the issue (James 1: 5) and Jesus promises that those who ask any question in faith will receive and answer (Matthew 7: 7). So why is it that you tell us not to ask?0

        “To force your understanding…of the Godhead onto that passage, rather than allowing your theology to be shaped by God’s testimony of Himself”
        My theology is not shaped by one passage, but by all scripture. As God cannot contradict himself, than the meaning of the Isaiah passages must be in line with the meaning of other scriptures. for instance, the baptism of Christ records three distinct beings, not one. Also, Christ prayed to the Father. Take this with the other scriptures that God has given us and there is nothing ad hoc about what I say. I am simply using additional resources to expand my understanding of God.

        “Before God there was no God formed, and after Him there shall be no God formed. This clearly and totally refutes the doctrine of eternal progression.”
        Actually it doesn’t, when placed in proper context. But, to establish that context would require me to use additional scripture outside the Bible that most Christians accept. As you reject those scriptures you will also reject the explanation, as you have shown.
        Of course, I am not asking you to accept the doctrine, but to understand it.

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      • Shem, it seems you’re missing my point.

        If your scriptures are the one under consideration, then using the test prescribed by your scriptures seems highly likely to indicate a false positive. This is obviously problematic. It’s a bit like letting the man on trial be his own judge.

        I am appealing to the Bible as it is common ground between us. If it is not common ground, that is, if you do not accept the Bible as the word of God, then please let me know. Then our conversation must take a much different direction.

        History, archaeology, and evidence are, by definition, objective things. We may hold opinions about the objective facts, but the intentions of those opinions is to get at the truth of the matter. The goal is to separate fact from fiction; that is the whole question in our exchange here as well.

        It is strange that you would move from subjectivizing external evidences like history to objectivizing the internal experience. It’s almost as if your definition of those terms has been inverted. As it has been described to me by your missionaries, the experience of the Spirit is an entirely subjective one — “it feels differently for different people” is something I’ve heard missionaries tell me many times. On the other hand, it would be nice if perhaps the Spirit did speak to us like a voice on the other end of the phone — a voice that was objective, external, and accessible to anyone willing to listen. It would be incredibly helpful if the Holy Spirit had left us some sort of recorded Word that we could all read and listen to… I wonder where we might find something like that?

        Beyond the fact that you have decontextualized James 1:5, a verse that speaks to people who are already believers (see vs. 1) about how to suffer as a believer (2-12), you’ve also confused wisdom and knowledge. Again, the question is how do we know that the Book of Mormon is true or false? Wisdom is applied knowledge. So when James entreats us to ask God for wisdom (sophia, in the Greek) it is asking God to guide us in the application of what He has already taught us, not a revelation of new knowledge (which would be gnosis, in Greek). In fact, God has granted Christians the wisdom to apply what He has already taught us in His Word to the Book of Mormon and the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints and to expose the error. Likewise, as I showed in my original post, what God has already revealed is not up for discussion (murder, adultery, etc). Would you instruct a man to ask God whether murder was wrong?

        Re: your last two paragraphs, it only makes sense to reinterpret Isaiah 43:10 as you have if you already believe in multiple Gods, which is not what the Jews or the Christians have ever believed. In other words, the only reason to reinterpret the Bible the way you have is if you already accept the other resources. But the other resources are exactly what is being questioned here, so as they do not speak about God as the Bible does, we ought to reject them as innovations. Showing that the Scripture teaches three distinct persons does not disprove the doctrine of the Trinity, either, as we confess that God is three persons and one substance (a distinction you fail to recognize in your post on the nature of the Godhead, thereby strawmannirg the doctrine you attempt to overthrow).

        I hope to hear from you soon!

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  3. JosephB

    You and ShemAtwater’s comments have been an article all in its own. I’ve loved reading the peaceable debate although it took two days to do so because halfway through reading the comments the 10th grade caught back up with me.

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  4. I am going to post my reply in three different posts so that none are too long.

    Shem, it seems you’re missing my point.
    “It’s a bit like letting the man on trial be his own judge.”
    This same reasoning would apply to your reasons for accepting the Bible because it says to.

    “If it is not common ground, that is, if you do not accept the Bible as the word of God, then please let me know.”
    The text is most certainly common ground, but the interpretation is very different.

    “History, archaeology, and evidence are, by definition, objective things.”
    Historical facts are objective, but history is very subjective. The same is true of Archeology. The objects may be objective, but the interpretation that archeologists give them is very subjective. I like the way this web-page puts it http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/htd_history/historians/historians_hats_06.shtml. At the end it says “The gaps between what the sources tell us, and the past reality that is now lost, is another reason why various people have doubted that the historian can really be an objective, ‘scientific’ analyst”
    Here is another great essay on the subject. http://community.mis.temple.edu/jgoodwin/2011/10/17/samplework1/
    As for the subjective nature of archeology, read this http://sultanaeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Motel-of-the-Mysteries-Macaulay.pdf.

    “We may hold opinions about the objective facts, but the intentions of those opinions is to get at the truth of the matter.”
    And history consists of those opinions. When a historian writes an article or a book they are not trying to recount the facts, but to interpret the meaning of those facts as they apply to modern times. That is what history is, and that is very subjective.
    For instance, historians agree on the fact that King Josiah read book of Law to the Israelites from which he based his religious reforms. This is recorded in 2 Kings 22. Now, that is an objective fact. However, historians debate on the origin of the book of Law. Few accept the Biblical account that it was a lost book written by Moses that was found while repairing the temple.
    The prevailing theory goes something like this: The northern Israelites wrote their records using the name El for god, known as the ‘E’ documents. At the same time the southern Israelites wrote records using the name Jehovah, known as the ‘J’ documents. Josiah, wanting to strengthen his kingdom through religious reform, took these two different sets of records and abridged and combined them into the book of Deuteronomy, then claimed that he found a lost book in the temple.
    So, which opinion is true? Which historian is accurate, and which has written better history?

    “The goal is to separate fact from fiction; that is the whole question in our exchange here as well.”
    I agree, and I do not have confidence in mortal historians or archeologist to separate that very well in their work. I do not believe that looking to the scholarship of mortals will ever lead us to the truth.

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  5. “On the other hand, it would be nice if perhaps the Spirit did speak to us like a voice on the other end of the phone”
    There are many forms of communication. Just because the form changes does not mean the communication is not objective evidence. I used the example of a phone call, but maybe it is a letter. Some may use smoke signals, or Morse code, or any number of ways to tell the same thing. Just because I receive a phone call and you receive a letter is not proof that our communication is subjective.

    “So when James entreats us to ask God for wisdom (sophia, in the Greek) it is asking God to guide us in the application of what He has already taught us, not a revelation of new knowledge”
    First, where does James limit his admonition to the Knowledge God has taught us? He simply says to ask if you lack wisdom, and does not limit that to any specific area of life.
    So, a person has just received the new knowledge that Joseph Smith received Gold Plates from God which he translated into the Book of Mormon. They have also received the knowledge that that book admonishes them to pray in order to gain knowledge regarding its truth. Here are two knew pieces of knowledge, and the question becomes how to apply that knowledge. Should the person pray as the book says? Should they ignore the claims being made? These are questions that need to be answered. So, following the instructions in James, the person asks God for the wisdom to know what to do with this new knowledge.

    “What God has already revealed is not up for discussion (murder, adultery, etc).”
    Of course it is up for discussion, as long as a person has not been convinced that God did in fact reveal it. That really gets to the heart of this discussion. The question is how we know what is revealed from God and what isn’t. If there is something that both parties agree has already been revealed than you are right that there is no need for discussion. But on any point of disagreement discussion is the only way to get at the truth.
    You keep approaching this from your point of view, but I am not sure you see ours. For me there is no need to discuss the doctrines of the LDS church because I know they were revealed by god and thus are true. By your reasoning they are not up for discussion and should simply be accepted.

    “Would you instruct a man to ask God whether murder was wrong?”
    If he thought it was okay, or was trying to rationalize it, than yes I would. I would point him to various scriptural passages, and then tell him that he needed to ask God. Until it has been revealed to him personally there is always a need to ask God.

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  6. “It only makes sense to reinterpret Isaiah 43:10 as you have if you already believe in multiple Gods”
    I agree; but seeing as we do believe in multiple gods than it makes sense for us to see the passages in this way.

    “which is not what the Jews or the Christians have ever believed.”
    Again we come to the subjective nature of history. I would argue that these very passages, as well as many others, show that they did believe in multiple gods, but that the doctrine was corrupted when they fell into apostasy and lost the inspiration of the Spirit.

    “But the other resources are exactly what is being questioned here, so as they do not speak about God as the Bible does, we ought to reject them as innovations.”
    Again, go back to what I said regarding James 1: 5. I know I am a very proud man, and I am working on that. But I think we should all be humble enough to seek the wisdom of God on these questions.

    “Showing that the Scripture teaches three distinct persons does not disprove the doctrine of the Trinity”
    I never claimed it does. Although, using all scriptures, the Doctrine and Covenants clearly disproves the Trinity. However, using only the Bible I don’t think it is possible to prove the trinity wrong. However, I think we can effectively demonstrate that the Bible also does not prove the trinity true. There is no passage in the Bible that cannot apply equal to the doctrines of the trinity and the Godhead. Both doctrines can be supported, from the same passages, and with equal clarity and strength. Thus, a person truly needs to ask God for the wisdom of how to deal with the knowledge of these two doctrines.

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  7. Shem, thanks again for responding. I think we’re getting off track here, so I’m going to let a few of your points go unanswered in order to focus on what matters. If you feel like I have let something go unanswered that is key to your argument, please let me know.

    As it stands, the major question between us is whether or not the Book of Mormon and D&C should be accepted as Scripture. We agree that the Bible is the word of God. I would hope that we also agree that the Bible predates the discovery of the Book of Mormon. Even if it contains information that happened at the same time as the history recorded in the Bible, the Bible predates it in the order that it came to the attention of the Church.

    As a point of clarification, it is because we agree that the Bible is the word of God that I have not begged the question in the same way you have regarding the authentication of a text. If we both already accept the Bible as God’s word, then I don’t need to prove it to be God’s word in order to get you to accept it — it’s an extraneous step. But if we both agree the Bible is the word of God, and you are claiming there is more that God has for us to read, you must show me why I ought to believe it, and saying “because my doctrine teaches that you ought to pray to see if my doctrine is true” doesn’t cut it.

    Here is an argument that sums up what I am trying to point out.

    1. God cannot contradict Himself.
    2. The Bible is a true and authentic record of what God has revealed.
    3. Mormon doctrine contradicts the Bible.

    Therefore, Mormon doctrine cannot come from God.

    Now, you could show one of the premises to be wrong, and thus invalidate my argument. To do that you would have to demonstrate either that it is in the nature of God to be self-contradictory, or that the Bible is not a true and authentic record of what God has revealed, or that later Mormon doctrine does not contradict what the Bible teaches. But to do that you must work from the Bible forward, not in the reverse as you have been doing so far.

    By the way, you must pardon my tongue-in-cheek earlier. When I was mentioning that it would be great if the Spirit spoke to us all directly, I was perhaps overly subtle. What I was pointing toward, and what you have (ironically, I think) mentioned, were the letters, as you put it, that the Spirit has written for all of us to read: The Holy Bible. That’s exactly what we ought to be using to establish the truth of any further revelation, like the Book of Mormon.

    Simply by admitting that there are objective facts of history you have established that history is an objective thing about which we can hold true or false opinions, which was my point. And while no human can lead us into perfect Truth (except when they repeat what Christ has revealed to us) of course some individual can be more or less correct about these so-called subjective disciplines you’ve listed.

    As I said, I want to stay on track here. If you’d like to have a conversation about the Trinity another time, or if you’d like to discuss other points, I’d be happy to do that. But our conversation here is summed up above and I’d like to see you respond to the points I’ve raised here. If you feel like I’ve missed a key point in your argument, please sum it up briefly and I’ll re-read what you’ve already posted as well and respond. Thanks again, Shem!

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  8. Johnny

    you did seem to miss a very crucial point that I made. Once again you return to the idea that the Bible is common ground, but you ignored the point that “The text is most certainly common ground, but the interpretation is very different.”

    Because of this difference in interpretation our common ground is not as common as you suppose, and nor is your argument a convincing one, because it is dependent on your interpretation.

    Take your three steps.
    1. God cannot contradict Himself.
    I agree.

    2. The Bible is a true and authentic record of what God has revealed.
    I agree to a certain point, but I believe that errors have crept into the text.

    3. Mormon doctrine contradicts the Bible.
    No, it only contradicts your interpretation of it. It does not contradict our interpretation of the Bible.

    As such, your conclusion that “Mormon doctrine cannot come from God” is only true if you can prove that your interpretation is the correct interpretation. As such is dependent on subjective opinions it is impossible to prove, and thus your entire argument becomes one of “It is true because I believe it is true” just as much as my argument is.

    You say that the main question is “whether or not the Book of Mormon and D&C should be accepted as Scripture” but your original question regarded all truth.
    Your original article was intended to show how you prove to Mormons that one should not trust the feelings of the Spirit, but should rely only on the Bible as a source of truth. So far, you have given nothing that would be convincing on this point. The reason being that you are trying to force your interpretation on the other person.

    For instance, you said that “someone having an emotional or experience oriented response toward the Word of God does not count” as an example of the communication of the spirit. Why doesn’t it count? Because you have decided that it doesn’t. Because it goes against your interpretation of the Bible we are not allowed to put forth our interpretation.

    Here is the real problem with the discussion: I can prove nothing regarding my doctrine using your interpretation of the Bible, and yet I am being told that if I can’t than I have been proven wrong.
    It just doesn’t work.

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