(CNN) – A holiday card that falsely claims to be from "the Romney family" and highlights Mitt Romney's Mormon faith was anonymously sent to Republican mailboxes across South Carolina earlier this week.
The source of the card is unknown.
View entire card [PDF]
The mailer, which says it is "Paid for by the Boston Massachusetts Temple," displays a quote from Mormon apostle Orson Pratt saying that God had multiple wives:
"We have now clearly shown that God the father had a plurality of wives, one or more being eternity by whom he begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus, his first born, and another being upon the earth by whom he begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world," the quote reads.
A copy of the glossy brochure obtained by CNN offers holiday wishes from "the Romney family": "We wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a joyful New Year," it says.
The card focuses on the Republican presidential candidate's home state of Massachusetts, displaying a photo of the Mormon Temple in Boston as well as a snowy photo of the Public Garden in Boston.
The mailing also quotes from the first Book of Nephi, part of the book of Mormon, in which the Virgin Mary is described as "exceedingly fair and white."
Romney spokesman Will Holley condemned the card.
"It is sad and unfortunate that this kind of deception and trickery has been employed," Holley said. "There is absolutely no place for it in American politics."
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
I apopreciate your tolerance of all religion's but this country was founded on a set of values, not on God or under god or around god or any other manner of god.
"(its a nation under God, of course)" It is not a "nation under god". Nations are human constructs. God is never, ever mentioned in the constitution or pre-amble.
You say that the oath can be taken on any "religious" text, although admirably open minded, that is completely wrong. Nowhere in the constitution does it specify taken the oath on any text, religious or otherwise, so you could do no text, or you could take an oath on a copy of "Democracy for Dummies"
Wow~! I'm pretty amazed at how many have drunk the Kool Aid. May I ask, what flavor? All religions are nonsensical – that is, in fact, the definition of religion. The elephant in the room is that whatever the religion – IT HAS NO PLACE IN AN ELECTION! What the candidate will do about the economy, healthcare, the war, the deficit, the declining middle class and the abuse of the Constitution is what should matter to everyone. Get a grip and lets discuss ISSUES! Every election has dirty tricks. I, for one, still don't believe Bush ever won a presidential election. So there.
M = Great post mate, couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks...
Fascinatingly dirty piece of work. Can you imagine how much this little stunt cost? Is it to discredit Romney? To start rumors on other candidates involvement? It's so twisted!
Boy, this dirty trick has stench of Karl Rove all over it. Or someone like him.
I'd bet on Fred Thompson or Giuliani and doubt Huckabee has got the funds, anyway. The Republican establishment isn't too thrilled with either Romney or Huckabee. Maybe they're involved?
Shouldn't be difficult for journalists to track this down. Right?
Huckabilly was not even a blip on the radar until the illegal, bigoted, anti-mormon push polls started.
Huck used anti-catholic bigotry to attack and tear down sen. Brownback.
Huck the bigot...it goes right along with his hole campaign of innuendo, lies and bigotry.
Huck is the most corrupt GOP candidate..almost as corrupt as the other politician from Arkansas...Hillary.
Huck is not presidential.
Who cares what their religion is, but not fixing the the Warren Jeff's problem in Utah looks funny to voters. Utah has a lot of welfare from the many wifes and children and we as tax payers foot the bill. Please sign me up for the free benefits as I pay my bills like so many people do. He slipped through this whole process without one person confronting him on this issue. The other issues will still be here 4 years from now and we will be no better off---–sad, but true.
Mormonism is an extraordinarily racist and sexist religion.
That much is true.
When will people realize that all religions are by nature bigoted and exclusionary? The "my god is better than your god" mantra has caused more killing, rape, pillaging and misery than any other human enterprise.
Kathy, I gotta ask this, because it flies in the face of reason: Why–why in the world–would we lie about what we believe? How does that make any kind of sense? If we would like someone to eventually believe what we believe–and that's the whole point of the missionaries–how would lying about what we believe stand up to that? How can you believe that someone who hates the Mormon church would be the best source of information on it?
My salvation is not dependent on my husband. My salvation is dependent on my acceptance of the Savior's gift of sacrifice on my behalf in payment for my sins. If my husband doesn't measure up to that same requirement, he misses out. What is said about that is that for the full measure of paradise, we need each other; that would make his eternal happiness as dependent on me as mine is on him. But only because the joy of family life here is also available eternally, and I'd rather choose my companion here–as I did–and work with him together to build an eternal family than to risk not having him. I'll move on to eternity without him if his choices render him unfit for God's kingdom and mine render me fit–but neither of us is fit without the Savior's gift.
As a female in the Church, I have access to all the gifts and knowledge I need to fill the service I'm in. I speak in Church, I teach in Church, I serve in leadership positions, I work with men, women, and children, teens, adults, babies. Believe me, if I felt that the men in the Church were keeping me from being all I could be, I'd have had no part in it from the very beginning. I don't believe that's God's plan for his daughters.
Additionally, when Ivan and Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the Church did not react. It acted pro-actively, and had boxcars loaded and enroute so that as soon as the roads were passible we were able to go to the railyards and gather materials to assist in the recovery effort. The Church beat both FEMA and the Red Cross to the site.
Food Storage–I was always taught that the purpose of Food storage was to guard against emergency–such as hurricanes, when access to fresh food may be impaired. Food supplies that need no refrigeration and little preparation came in handy. It has come in handy for many families as well who have faced sudden unemployment. Having food storage supplies enabled them to rebuild lives and livelihoods without resorting to debt at a time when they least needed debt. When our leaders talk about food storage, "end of the world" scenarios are never a part of the discussion. It's always about general emergencies. We're also encouraged to guard against things that can exacerbate emergencies, like debt and self-inflicted bad health. What a horrible bunch of stuff to teach–sound economic and medical principles.
To Thena – you asked if that was an accurate quote, about a fair and white virgin in 1st Nephi.
I was raised Mormon, and yes that's an accurate quote. The Mormon church's history with race is not good, even though Joseph Smith was an Abolitionist. There are passages in the Book of Mormon that inveigh dark skinned people (whom the early Mormons referred to as possessing "the Mark of Cain") to study the scriptures and cleave to the LDS gospel so that they may become "white and delightsome".
This is not to say that Romney is a racist – but you have to keep your eyes open to Mormon history. It is a history that the official church tries to run from or revise at every opportunity and I think you can see why.
It was a nice card but the white part might be mistranslated by a non mormon
Joseph Smith said when he was a very young boy, he was told that his name would be known for good and evil among ALL NATIONS, KINDREDS, AND PEOPLE. It is intresting that someone would dare make that claim but yet here you see it, right here on this comment board. This story has one of the largest strings of comments on this whole site! Both sides are represented very well. If God exists then so does Satan, right? If The LDS Church is true wouldn't make sense that there would be A LOT of very passionate people against it? If you want to know if the Book of Mormon is true as well as know the Bible to be true (as I know both to be the word of God) read them yourself and ask God if it is true. Don't ask anyone on this site or any other site to TELL you what it true or not, if there is a God (and I know there is one) he will tell you what is truth.
Thanks everyone for proving the prophecy about Joseph Smith to be true. It helps my faith to see so many for and against Joseph. I am thankful that God has told me through the Holy Ghost that he was a prophet (not a perfect person, but a prophet – there is a difference) and that Jesus Christ is my Savior and NOT someone leaving comments they really know nothing about or experienced themselves. That is what makes "Mormonism" different. If you want to know it is true or a "bunch of tales" (as people have said) you can as God because he loves everyone EQUALLY (God does not play favorites – He loves everyone of every religion and everyone who does not have religion) and He will tell you.
Thank you all!
This entire debate is HILARIOUS!! Who needs late night comedy when we have RELIGION?!?
Seems to be in line with the "white and delightsome" principle supported by Mormons (although they've backed off from the racist history in recent years). If the quote is correct, I'd rather see Mormon's try to explain the quote than to cry "unfair".
I agree with Mr. Will Holley that kind of bigotry should be condemned. But more important I find it alarming that Mr. Will Holley did reassure potential voters that the damaging statements are also false. With the background of the State of Utah where the Mormon religion is based having to disavow polygamy in order to become a State,
I would like to know more about Mr. Romney's religion.
The Book of Mormon offers an account of people who lived on the American continent two thousand years ago. There were various groups and some emphasis is given the color of the skin of each group. However, all groups, regardless of skin color, were at times faithful and prosperous and at other times unfaithful and eventually not prosperous. In describing the dark skinned people, called the Lamanites, the Book of Mormon reads, " . . . they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all–they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God . . . (Alma 53:20-21)." In terms of racial intolerance, the Book of Mormon prophet, Jacob, not only do not teach such intolerance but even cautioned their people against it specifically. Jacob said, referring to the Lamanites, "Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins (Jacob 3:9)."
No approved teaching of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint has ever condoned racial intolerance, or persecution of people for any other reason. It did, however, refrain from giving the priesthood of God to blacks, as per a revelation from God. Many blacks were baptized into the church and waited for the day when every worthy man could hold the priesthood. President Spencer W. Kimball in 1978 declared that, " . . . the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood . . . ." Since then, all men who are worthy are ordained to the priesthood.
Our current prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, has encouraged Latter-Day Saints every where to be more open about our beliefs. I hope this clears up some of the confusion. In 29 years of church attendance, I can say, as I hope all of my religious counterparts can, that my leaders and fellow worshipers are taught tolerance and humility before God. Good luck to everyone in the primaries and may we put the most important things first in our lives regardless of whom we support for president.
as a democratic mormon from south carolina, i can easily explain that our church does not support any one particular candidate, even if he/she may be a member of our church.
i'm voting for OBAMA !!
but to defend my belief that i have in my church, i am still floored that some ignorant or uneducated people dispute on whether we are Christians or not.
the name of our church is :
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints
Rev. Al Sharpton once declared that Mitt Romney does not believe in the same Jesus Christ as he does. Hate to break it to you Al, but there is only one Jesus Christ, and He is the one whose name our Church bears. So is your question answered? Of course we are Christians.
As to our church being a cult... I would say these select FEW are trying to create problems through their hate/misunderstandings about our church.
If you'rve ever been to one of our churchs, you'd notice that the doors are always open for anyone who wants to visit, you don't have to be a member (someone who has been baptised) to participate in our worship (talks, prayers, hymns, scripture study), and if you don't agree with anything our church teaches that's up to you. God doesn't take away a man's agency to follow his own conscience, why would our church do that to other people?
Get the facts straight people. Learning about our church from your neighborhood preacher probably isn't the most accurate way to learn the truth.
Did you learn how to walk from hearing others talk about it, or did you actually get up on your feet and do it for yourself?
Found this also in the Book of Mormom..... http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/contents
And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
2 Nephi 5: 21
And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites; 3 Nephi 2:15
Someone who believes the above is NOT someone I personally want sitting in a powerful government position declaring what the destiny of others should be. Mind you, that this election isn't about a candidate's religion for me, but about integrity. I would not someone who believes the above to run the white house, but someone who is for the people....all people, regardless of the color of their skin or backgrounds.
We need someone who is willing to represent us all. We need someone with true integrity. I'm voting for change. It's time out for foolishness. We should be sick and tired of the corruption and lies. We have voted unwanted candidates in office in the past because of a lack of competent, forthright candidates. 2008's election has a varied group of competent individuals. We as a people need to stop complaining and make a difference by voting. Use your pointed finger to exercise your voting power!!!
Kathy from Sarasota–
I am a mormon and the scripture you quoted about grace and faith (Eph. 2:8-9) is true. At the same time, we learn in the Bible that faith-without works-is dead...and James 2:14-26 support the Book of Mormon scripture that you quoted in 2 Nephi 25:23. Plain and simple as stated in the Bible, faith cannot suffice without works, and works cannot survive without faith. The question is posed in verse 14, if a man have not works "can faith save him?". The answer is given crystal clear in the ensuing verses.
James 2:14-26 (I personally like verses 22 and 26)
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
The scripture in Eph meshes nicely with James. The sacrifice of the Savior and the grace of God allow us to even have the opportunity to be saved. Without it we would all be lost. It allows us the opportunity to have faith in Him. Without the sacrifice, faith could not exist. Eph simply supports James by saying that works in and of itself will not save men.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Hi Kathy from Sarasota,
I've not yet abandoned our conversation. Now that the holidays are over and I've returned to work, I don't have the spare time I did.
I'd like to thank "Yanqui" and "R" for joining our conversation and you for the tone that has been maintained as well as the apology – thanks.
Yes, I'm familiar with Billy Graham, I grew up less than 20 miles from his Mansion, Headquarters and Training Center. The HQ and Training Center are easy to spot, but I used to be able to point out his home in the Mountains near Black Mountain NC. My Sister-in-Law's Sister was his personal secretary, up until she retired – many years ago now. I have a great deal of respect for him. I am less familiar with his sons work.
But respecting Billy doesn't mean I think he is right. Princeton and Wikipedia define a CULT as: a term designating a cohesive group of people devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be outside the mainstream and an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices. The term has been high jacked by evangelicals and the like to mean something it doesn't. So if you want to call Mormonism a cult – go right a head I won't be offended. But with these definitions you might be. A little humor there.
At any rate, I do have to make a correction to something I said earlier, the "MM" website(s) doesn't actually ask you outright for donations, they are just trying to get you to buy their wares that really amount to little more than Religious Pornography – to coin a phrase.
You mentioned the Anti-Christ. Theologically, Mormons do not deny that an Anti-Christ may be coming or is perhaps present with us. We just think that focusing on such things detracts us from focusing our lives on Christ, so you don't hear us speaking of him too very much. As a matter of CUSTOM (note I didn't say doctrine) we believe that there are different types of Anti-Christ that we personally need to be more mindful of. Some are people; those who teach false doctrine, tare us down or destroy our self respect or encourage us to deny the Christ, some are things: addiction, pornography, greed, etc. You get the idea.
Kathy, I'll do my best to answer your questions at least briefly, my last post was rejected 3 or 4 times – I think because it was too long. Motivation: Kathy, I grew up in multiple Bible belt towns, in the hotbed of anti-mormon fervor in the 70’s and 80’s. In other words I’ve heard it all before. It all comes back around to Money and Power base. When any part of your local preacher’s living is based on the money he gets from you. He is going to view anyone that upsets that apple cart as a threat. The LDS Church’s clergy is 95% un-paid. There are 15 leaders who are technically on the payroll, but as I understand it, even for them, if they are independently wealthy before they are “called” to those positions they do not draw a salary either but the Church will pay their expenses. Other leaders also get some expenses repaid, but they receive no salary from the congregation nor the Church. This money comes from Tithes paid privately by members (not a single collection plate anywhere) Back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s Mormon Missionaries would arrive in an area and entire congregations would leave their old Churches and join the LDS Church, so Anti-Mormon Ministries were born and have become an industry unto themselves. I’ve listened to the “Bible Answer Man” himself say “I don’t really have anything against most Mormon Bishop’s, they are good men, but every one of them would steal your entire congregation if he could”. To them it was a matter of professional courtesy not to “steal” from each other – they said as much. I asked myself at the time – are they really concerned about the souls in their congregation – over and over again the answer was, nope it was a business, a compassionate one at times, but a business just the same. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard preachers in church and in revivals say things like: “If you pay my hotel bill tonight I’ll come back tomorrow”. My wife’s grandfather’s Baptist Minister came to him on his death bed and told him that if he didn’t donate to the baptism font fund that he would die and go to hell – I kid you not, on his death bed in front of my wife’s Grandmother – they later became Mormons. The LDS Church simply isn’t run that way. The Lord’s church shouldn’t be.
As for Pastor Bill Keller’s death threats from Mormons, sorry don’t believe it. Not happening from active, faithful members and certainly not from Church Leaders. They are either coming from some Lune or he’s making them up. If they were real, the FBI wouldn’t wait for him to ask them to get involved.
End part I
Also, I must point out Kathy that you used that term again; “Traditional Christian” The term “traditional” is only a matter of perspective and by itself lends no credence to the subject. Please allow me to remind you that all Protestant Faiths trace their doctrine no further back than the 16th or 17th Century. Prior to that, Christian doctrine was under the control of the Catholic Church which, by the way, believes in salvation by a mixture of faith, works and grace. Martin Luther invented the concept of salvation coming by faith alone (Sola Fide, is the Latin term I believe). It didn’t exist before that – history indicates that it was his invention. The Faith vs. Works argument is circular in nature. For the very act of having Faith is a “work”. Mormons do not believe in “working our way to Heaven”. Here again, you’ve been led astray as to what we believe. We believe in following scripture, not just some of it. There have already been some excellent scriptures quoted by both sides of the discussion. So I will just say this. More than once Christ commanded us to obey him (If ye love me KEEP my commandments). Obedience is a work by the way. He also commanded us to do quite a number of things; Like Baptism for instance – he said we couldn’t get into Heaven without it. He didn’t say it was just a sign of faith before the body of Christ, he said it had to be done. In Luke 17 he also said that he that does his duty, but just his duty is an “unprofitable servant”. In short, in order for Faith to work, it depends on two main ingredients: Obedience and Grace. We must do our best to work obediently to accomplish the things the Lord has asked us to do, like baptism, among many others. The most important ingredient however is the Lord’s Grace, no matter how hard we try, our works will not get us through Heaven’s door, we will always be found wanting and only His Grace and Intercession will save us. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our “Salvation”. Mormons believe that the doorway to salvation is through: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by immersion, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, followed by hefty doses of enduring obedience and overwhelming measures of the Lord’s Grace when it’s all over. In other words “Saved by Grace, AFTER all we can do”. Those teaching that salvation comes only by confessing Faith in Christ are guilty of cheating the souls of their flocks just like the Priests in the middle ages were guilty of selling "tickets to salvation". They are only putting out part of the story. You quoted Eph 2:8-9 and well you should have but verse 10 says that we were created…unto good works and we should walk in them. Since Christ commanded us to do some very specific “good works” in this life, I don’t think Paul was just telling us we just had to be nice to each other.
In reference to your question about: “going to Hell if you don’t believe Joseph Smith”. I said before that we didn’t believe we had “exclusive” rights to the path to “Heaven” and I meant it. It may surprise you to learn this but we don’t believe you’re going to Hell just because you not a Mormon and we don’t believe your preacher is a hireling of Satan either. But Protestants certainly believe that we’re going to Hell if we don’t share their 16, 17 and 18th century views – don’t they. The Mormon definition of Salvation is a little more complicated that the Protestant Heaven & Hell scenario – again the LDS view is a little more rooted in scripture. I’ll urge you to study Christ’s comments about “Many Mansions in my Father’s Kingdom”, Paul’s references to multiple degrees of glory (one of the sun and one of the moon etc) and the 3rd Heaven Paul speaks of in 2Cor 12:2(KJV). Then seriously ask a Mormon Missionary to explain it to you, they have flip charts and everything to walk you right through it. There is a Hell and it is a seriously awful place, Mormons normally refer to it as "Outer Darkness" where there will be weeping, wailing and nashing of teeth. But, and of course I'm not the Judge of this, but I'd bet you're not headed there.
Works are the result / proof of a GENUINE, SAVING faith... that is what these verses are implying.
Verse 14 ... " though a man SAY he have faith, and have not works.." It is implied that this faith is not genuine because if it were, good works would FOLLOW. This verse sets up the CONTEXT for the rest of the verses. The NIV Bible explains...
In verses 14-20,24,26 the word faith is not used in the sense of genuine, saving faith. Rather, it is demonic (v 19), useless (v 20) and dead (v 26).
Verse 17... " Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." Of course faith without works is dead because it is no better than the faith that the demons have ( verse 19). Note that Faith is PRIMARY and works follow in response to the faith. The scripture from the Book of Mormon implies that WORKS MUST COME FIRST and then Grace is received. This CONTRADICTS the scriptures in the Bible.
Verse 21 standing alone would seem to support your claims but in the context that was set up with the beginning verse (14) and ESPECIALLY the following 23rd verse CLEARLY states that we are justified by FAITH..... " Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was credited to him as righteousness".
Other verses that support justification by faith alone....
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith APART from observing the law.
Galations 2:15 & 16
" We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile' sinners know that a man is NOT justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and NOT by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
From your comments it seems to me that I left you with the impression that works is all it takes. The scriptures clearly state that faith and works go hand in hand. There is no way to confuse "faith without works is dead". Faith is a must. Works (obedience) is must. There is no altering/confusing/spinning that statement. Faith alone is dead.
My best friend is a born-again and we've had this discussion many times. He insists that if you say you believe in Christ then you are automatically saved. That after that point of saying that you accept Christ, there is nothing you could to jeopordize your salvation....that you will go to heaven. He says that you could rape and kill a million people, but if previous to doing all of that you said you believed in Christ, then you would still go to heaven. How is that possible? I can't find any scriptures that supports that claim.
Going back to James.....the question is rhetorically posed in verse 14. It is then answered in verses 15 and 16 with an example of how faith is nothing if we don't take care of our fellow sister or brother that is naked or hungry. It uses Abraham as an example in later verses showing that he exercised his faith and obeyed. The immediate verse after says "that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." I don't know how much more clear it can be.
I could go on and on, but I think that Cephas makes other great comments and that they suffice.
Kathy of Sarasota
What Bible are you reading from? I personally use the King James Version not one that has been changed by modern man...and his definitions which I have been told by my Evangelical friends tend to water down the real meaning.
I'm glad you haven't abandoned our conversation yet and thank you for accepting my apology. And I want to start out by saying that I greatly admire your sincerity and honesty.
The issue of whether Mormonism is a cult is really not as important to me as the actual doctrinal issues so I'm just going to skip over that. Although I would like to say that the definition that you guoted does seem to me to define Mormonism mainly because of the more unusual beliefs but then again as a friend (who unfortunately is an atheist ) reminded me; there are unusual beliefs in every religion including Christianity.
As to the anti-Christ issue. It is clear in the Bible that there is an ongoing battle with God and Satan with the goal of Satan being the taking of as many souls as he can until God stops him. As the Bible states... God will ultimately win but until then Christians believe that we need to/should fight for those souls as well. We need to fight the anti-Christ. He is God's enemy and therefore our enemy. And that, without a doubt, is what I believe Bill Keller's mission is...to stand up against Satan. And believe me... he does not just come after the cultist religions... on a regular basis he critisizes our own Christian church leaders for not standing up to Satan's works for fear it will negatively affect their income / offerings. And I don't doubt for a minute that the anti-Mormon movement started the way that you described. No question that the desire for money and power are the reigning motivation of many – even among the self proclaimed 'religious'. Selfish desires are our greatest human weakness and Satan's "ace in the hole" so to speak.
Cephas, do you honestly believe that the people at the top in the Mormon religion are immune to this weakness? Is not Romney's bid for the white House an attempt to strengthen and empower the Mormon establishment?... of course you will say no to this but I find it very plausable and probable. I have read several things about the Mormons plans for getting a man in the White House but I won't repeat them now. And I understand how you wouldn't want to believe that a Mormon could result to sending death threats but your lack of belief is somewhat irrational because there are always 'bad apples' in every bunch. And the bad apples in this scenario are the ones who are aggressively trying obtain that goal of putting a Mormon in the most powerful position in the world. I'm going to include some words from Bill Keller's daily devotional – this one was written several days after he made his well known statement: " A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Satan".
For the nearly 8 years I have been writing the Daily Devotional and the over 4 years of doing the TV program, some of the most viscous attacks on our technical infrastructure, on me personally, have come when I expose the lies of the satanic Mormon cult. This time was no different, except it was at an unprecedented level of ferociousness since I was taking on their greatest hope to capture the most powerful office in the world. We had our website and servers attacked relentlessly all weekend. I've received 12 death threats so far in addition to the scores of emails telling me that "someone will visit me when I least expect it." I refuse to live in fear and having dealt with these types of threats for the past 8 years, have learned how to use the common sense the Lord gave me and ultimately trust Him to watch over me as I serve Him each day.
I know Bill Keller's words are harsh, and you may still choose not to believe his claims but as I said earlier, I believe there are bad apples in every bunch.
And speaking of bad apples, your wife's grandfathers Baptist Minister definitely fits that description... really there are no words to describe what he did. I'm sure that he was a big motivator in causing your wife's relatives to switch to Mormonism. His is a perfect example of the kind of poison and damage that selfish human desires produce.
Ok... now your statement about the Catholic's belief that they believe in salvation by a mixture of faith, works and grace has got my feathers a little bit ruffled... I know about as much about the Catholic's doctrine as I do the Mormons but from what I do know I believe they are not on the right track either concerning alot of things. But the question I have now is why Bill Keller doesn't critisize the Catholics in the same way as the Mormons if they believe the same doctrine concerning salvation. I am going to present that question to him and hopefully he will answer me. I am very confidence that he has a justifiable explanation. When I get an answer I will pass it along if this blog is still up. He did certainly condemn the Popes words last year stating that a non-Catholic could not enter Heaven. ( and he made a public call for the Pope to step down )
I don't agree with the idea that Martin Luther 'invented' the 'concept' of salvation coming by faith alone. The official doctrine may not have existed before him but the concept was certainly there from the beginning when the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:28 ...For we maintain that a man is justified by faith APART from observing the law.
and in Galatians 2:15 & 16
" We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile' sinners know that a man is NOT justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and NOT by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
You stated that "Mormons don't believe in working our way to Heaven" but the scripture in the Book of Mormon doesn't seem to support that: For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, AFTER all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23, pg. 100).... it states that works are required!!
If you believe in following all of the scripture then what about the verses I quoted above?
Interpretations and context of the scriptures could make us go round and round forever it seems. There has to come a time for everyone when you just have to make a choice as to which belief is correct.
I choose to believe in the doctrine that says that we can ONLY be saved by the grace of God thru our faith in Christ and not by anything else. And in response to his saving grace I will HUMBLY do all the good works that I can. If after receiving the knowledge of his grace I do not produce good works then as James explained, my faith would not be real or it would be of a different kind... " a mere intellectual acceptance of certain truths WITHOUT trust in Christ as savior". ( the demons believe this much) ( NIV text note for verses 14-26 of James chapter 2 ) This Christian doctrine does not exclude the importance of good works, it is merely stating that good works are not to be included in our saving grace. They are to be separate. " For a man is justified by faith APART from observing the law. ( Romans 3:28)
Cephas, doesn't it make more sense and is more reverential to give God FULL credit for the gift of our salvation. Why do Mormons insist on receiving part of the credit thru good works? There is no way we can do ANYTHING to make ourselves righteous.
What is the harm in giving all the credit to God and also doing good works. Do Mormons think that if you don't include the requirement of good works in order to receive salvation that people would just not do any / or enouph good works? In other words that we must be forced to do good works? That God's love and the gift of grace that He has given us wouldn't be enouph to prompt us to show our gratitude thru good works? That doesn't say much for one's faith does it? If we are not prompted to do good works out of love and grace then the problem is not in lack of good works it is in our faith.