A Mormon Conspiracy?

In one recent discussion with a critic of my faith, I was given a list of reasons why Mormons aren’t Christian (standard stuff: we don’t agree with 100% of the critic’s doctrines and interpretations of Scripture, so we must be worshipping a different Jesus – see CultMaster 2000 for details on how to do this.) I get this all the time now. His rant included this statement: “Now days with a Mormon Presidential campaign, the LDS community sees a need to be merged with the Christian community.” Ah, that’s it! Mormons apparently are just beginning to profess faith in Christ in order to help out the Romney campaign. Our departure from our traditional demonic roots is part of a conspiracy to help Romney look better. And based on that hair, it seems to be working.

But I suppose this conspiracy goes back even before the start of the Romney campaign, all the way to 1820, when our religion began with Joseph Smith praying to know which Christian church to join, and having the First Vision in which he saw Jesus Christ and heard the voice of God saying “This is my beloved son. Hear him!” And so began the great Mormon conspiracy, teaching Mormons to look to Jesus Christ and “hear Him” right from the beginning. And since the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our members join by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to make a covenant to follow Jesus Christ; we are taught to pray in the name of Jesus Christ; we remember Jesus Christ each Sunday when we partake of the “sacrament” to remember the sacrifice of his flesh and blood and the Atonement He worked for us; and we are taught to look to Christ for salvation and to study His word in the Bible and in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. This is a deep and sinister conspiracy, carried out faithfully for almost 180 years to raise a people that appear to believe in Christ just so we can launch a presidential campaign in 2007 to send a Mormon to the White House. Joseph Smith surely foresaw all this and designed this great conspiracy just for this purpose. Wow, did he foresee the future and plan all that just for this moment in history? Now that’s one heck of a false prophet.

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Author: Jeff Lindsay

139 thoughts on “A Mormon Conspiracy?

  1. Hi, actually, the post is being a bit disingenuous. In it, you say that Jesus appeared to Joseph, and he heard God’s voice from heaven. What really happened, is that both God and Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith. It is by this that the church makes its claim that the Father and Son are two different personages which both have physical bodies. The voice heard from heaven according to the church was the voice of the Holy Ghost. That the church says is proof according to the church that there are three persons in the Godhead. Father and Son with bodies of flesh and bone, and the Holy Ghost who is a spirit personage. Now, considering this, your critic is accurate, because mainstream christianity believes that the Father, Son, and Holy ghost are one. Made up of one substance, do not have bodies of flesh and bone. Therefore, it can not be the same Jesus. Therefore, your critic is correct that mormons and mainstream christianity
    do not worship the same Jesus.

    Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.

    And the truth shall set you free.

  2. Rick, thanks for the post. So would you say, then, that the disciple Stephen in Acts 7:55,56 was not an authentic Christian when he reported having a vision in which he saw Christ standing on the right hand of God?

    Latter-day Saints fully accept the declaration of Christ that “I and my Father are one.” The oneness of God, however, has been an issue of great controversy among faithful Christians for centuries, because there are many different theories about HOW the Father and the Son are one. Interpreting the scriptures differently on this unclear and hotly debated topic doesn’t make one non-Christian, unless your working definition of Christian is “someone who thinks exactly the way I do.” I’m sure that’s not how you see it, but many people use that as their working definition, and so we find that attempts to paint Mormons as non-Christian end up excluding (unintentionally) many early Christians as well, sometimes even Jesus Christ. (Example: “Christians must believe that God and the Son are fully co-equal,” but Christ said “My Father is greater than I” in John 14:28. Out He goes!)

    The nature of the Godhead and the meaning of the oneness of God has been an area where reasonable and faithful Christians have disagreed among themselves for centuries. The Nicene Creed and the creeds from other great councils in the fourth and fifth centuries were post-biblical attempts by committees of men (not apostles and prophets of God) to deal with some of those issues. Some Christians believed God and the Father were distinct Beings who were one in purpose and heart, fully united but still distinct, with Christ being subordinate to the father (e.g., the Arian controversy). Others took a path influenced more heavily by Greek philosophy (Neoplatonism) and advocated that to be truly divine, God and Christ had to be of one immaterial substance, one Being somehow having three fully co-equal persons. The latter definitions came out on the winning side. But those who lost these debates, while sometimes condemned for heresy, were still counted as Christian. They were faithful Christians before the non-revelatory decisions were handed down, and they didn’t suddenly get cast out as non-Christians because of what the winners saw as a doctrinal error.

    So yes, we may not agree with all of your doctrines, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to say that we are not Christian for not accepting creeds that aren’t in the Bible, especially when your filter for Christianity would exclude people like Stephen and even Christ, based on their testimony.

    A good place to understand the true nature of the oneness of God is John 17, the great intercessory prayer of Christ to the Father. Look at verses 11-13 and 21. Christ prays that Christians might be one, just as Christ and the Father are one. Isn’t that a pretty strong clue that the oneness of God is not oneness in substance, or a oneness in the form of a single immaterial Being, but a oneness in heart, mind, and purpose?

    So are you still committed to saying that we aren’t Christian because Joseph Smith, like Stephen, saw Christ on the right hand of the Father? Serious question. Sometimes people do think about what I right and actually respond, one way or the other. Others just throw out the next anti-Mormon argument. But in any case, thanks for writing and best wishes.

  3. The problem with this type of discussion is the foundation. This is not an honest attempt of some inquisitive individual to find out what we believe. Rather, it is probably more frustration with the fact that Romney both has more votes and delegates than Mike Huckabee, and that even if Romney does not progress in the primaries – Mike Huckabee certainly doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    There is ample information on this blog that has already covered our differing views on things. We hold on to these differences because not only do we know them to be true – but they distinguish us from that which is not complete.

    To say that someone isn’t Christian because they do not believe the Godhead to be one in essence has always mystified me. Are the Catholics Christian because they hold to the Nicean Creed – although they pray to others than God? Heaven forbid.

  4. Hate to post off topic…but I just noticed that your “christ.org” link on your page goes to “christ.com” which is not the link for the mormon.org site.

    Also…Mormons are Christian…just for the record

  5. “This is a deep and sinister conspiracy, carried out faithfully for almost 180 years to raise a people that appear to believe in Christ just so we can launch a presidential campaign in 2007 to send a Mormon to the White House. Joseph Smith surely foresaw all this and designed this great conspiracy just for this purpose.”

    *snorts* 😀

  6. Hi Jeff,

    I will avoid the political slant of your post and really look at the dialogue between Rick and yourself.

    The Bible states that ‘no man shall see God and live’ .
    Exodus 33:20 “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. “

    So if Rick’s claim is accurate that Joseph Smith actually met with the Father and Jesus in body AND both at the same time – do you choose to believe God’s spoken Word from the Bible or the witness of Joseph Smith ?

    If you believe the Bible account of God’s unchanging message (see why Moses had to hide in the cleft of the Rock – another wonderful message for us today), then who did Joseph Smith meet with ?

    I would encourage you to take a look at Rev ch 4 and Rev ch 5 and see what the key differences are in the setting of both chapters. What has changed ? Is it possible that the Godhead can change as chapter 5 would suggest ? Why ?

    Why does one have to fully understand the nature of the Godhead, ‘Trinity’, or any perceived doctrines on these matters to accept the Gospel message and believe in Jesus? Will any man (excluding Jesus) have that full understanding of the total nature of God, before the true restoration of the ‘righteous’ back to Himself ?

    Teranno4x4

  7. It is not always fruitful to try and explain ones position based on the Bible. For example, teranno has quoted:

    Exodus 33:20 “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. “

    However, you cannot ignore verses such as:

    Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

    Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (right from the same chapter you quoted)

    Clearly we could all attach varying interpretations to each of these verses (“well, Moses didn’t really see God face to face”). However, given that the author of this post is LDS, there is obviously something that some don’t understand. Let me continue…

    It is a fundamental doctrine of Latter-day Saint theology that each dispensation stands independent of others in terms of knowledge and understanding of the Gospel plan. This implies that our beliefs are independent of what is written in the Bible – although we happen to believe the Bible (and in my argument, more than others). Joseph Smith once said “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers”.

    Hence, to try to explain our beliefs away by an appeal to the Bible is fruitless. We rely on revelation and wisdom of modern prophets. Although others disagree, this is what we stand by. One may appeal to the Bible and verbalize an apparent contradiction – but we believe in constant revelation, and that the canon of scripture is not closed.

    We’ve learned from modern scripture and revelation (and I would argue from a correct understanding of the Bible) that man may indeed see God face to face. However, this would require a change over his body so that he could endure His presence. This is called ‘transfiguration’. It happened to Jesus on the mount. Our belief in this does not require others to believe it, but we still hold to it. But to try to contradict a Mormon’s belief by interpreting the Bible in a certain way will not accomplish anything – simply because our beliefs are not based on the Bible in the sense that other Christian denominations think they should be. Thanks for reading.

  8. “…because our beliefs are not based on the Bible in the sense that other Christian denominations think they should be.”

    That’s a good way of putting it. Another way I heard:

    “Our religion is not based on the Bible; it’s based on what the Bible is based on: revelation from God.”

  9. Since I think that the religious angle is well covered already, I’ll take the political one…;-)

    I’ve found it interesting when I mention to non-LDS co-workers of a certain presidential candidate from Arkansas that keeps throwing my church under the bus, that they look at me as if I’ve grown horns. Yeah, I know, I’m a Mormon, so my having horns, is probably expected by some.

    When I explain some of the stuff he has said, they confess they had no idea about it. Therefore, are Mormons too paranoid, about the religious bigotry being shown by Huckabee, or is Huckabee simply giving the secret message to his fellow religious bigots in broad daylight and no one sees it?

    Dan

  10. When the Southern Baptist Convention produced thousands of anti-Mormon videos misrepresenting our faith and sent people out to Utah to hang them on the doors of Mormons, they surely didn’t think that they were showing any kind of bigotry or being anything less than faithful Christians. But bigotry was built into what they are doing, especially in the demeaning and unfair slams in the video. But that’s life in the religious fast lane. It’s OK, I guess, albeit ugly.

  11. Mormon’s certainly are not christians in the same manner as those who believe in the Trinity. Face it, LDS believes in Multiple Gods. Other Christians believe in one God.

    We do not do many things that other “mainstream” Christians do. That make us very different. I.E.–LDS aversion to crosses. We do not celebrate religious occasions in church as others do. I.E.-Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy week including Maundy Thursday, good Friday etc.

  12. “Other Christians believe in one God.”

    Most Christians don’t know what they believe and as I explain with the scriptures the concept that there is three in the Godhead they agree. Only after they go to their pastor do they back track.

  13. Teranno4x4, Said:

    Man can not see God and live.

    Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

    Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (right from the same chapter you quoted)

    Again, you must give all scriptures equal weight. If you just pick and choose you might as well cut out the ones you don’t like and keep the ones you agree with.

    O’ how they try to limit their God.

    Who to believe, T4x4 or the scriptures?

  14. Dear Anon,

    This is the second time in as many days that you have appealed publically on who to believe – me or another writing.

    In this instance (seeing as you didn’t pick up on the last hint) please refer back to the Words from God !

    The verses that I quoted expressly conclude that God Himself states that ‘No man shall see Him and live’. I did not say it – God did !

    Both you and also (a very well written and gently suggested, much appreciated) Joel Glanfield wrote a couple of other verses from Moses writings. One referring to the comment from Jacob after he wrestled with the Man; and the other by Moses himself describing his relationship to God.

    This second verse that you offer is found before the verse where God is recorded speaking directly to Moses. It takes place inside the Holy of Holies inside the tabernacle. Notice that the pillar of cloud comes down to outside the tabernacle door. At this time it can also be suggested that there was no physical manifestation of God to Moses, only the audible voice in the direct vicinity in perfect conversation (see also the burning bush scenario). This is the meaning of ‘face to face’ and why later God makes his direct claim that ‘no man shall see his face and live’. At this latter time Moses makes a request for God to show him His glory. God replies and then makes again a very simply understood comment :
    “22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
    23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. “

    Why is this said by God if Jacob has already seen his face in previous times. Why go to this extreme of protecting Moses by shielding him with His hand ? Is this favouritism or could it be that Jacob really did not see God’s face as was his understanding ?

    I really can not see these scriptures from your understanding and by taking every one completely literally without looking into the Hebrew vocabulary, grammar and true meaning of each on their own merit – I would suggest that maybe you do. New conclusions may be revealed to you as I have tried to assist with.

    ——————-

    Joel, whilst I accept that you have your dispensations and differences in beliefs and doctrines, I also would like to point out that Moses enjoyed a ‘very Special’ relationship with God ! Should I ignore that in favour of your ‘new prophets and revelations’ just because they claim that the translations from the manuscripts are not preserved as they were originally penned ?

    I see this as dangerous ground and would suggest that you take yourself off to your nearest synagogue and discuss your ideas and ‘interpretation’ on their own preserved Hebrew theology and see how they respond.

    For the record – I am a Christian and not a Jew. But I would be interested if you follow my suggestion especially on these verses….

    Teranno4x4

  15. Joel,

    One other verse for you from the NT…

    No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John. 1:18.

    Maybe John was also incorrect or mis-interpretted from the Greek too ?

  16. Teranno,

    I appreciate your reply. I feel this is a discussion worth having. However, I think one of my points may have been missed (I realize I tend to ramble on occasion). I said:

    “We rely on revelation and wisdom of modern prophets. Although others disagree, this is what we stand by. One may appeal to the Bible and verbalize an apparent contradiction – but we believe in constant revelation, and that the canon of scripture is not closed.”

    I stand by this statement. Even if I were to walk down to the nearest synagogue and get some teaching there, that will still – for me – come second to the words of modern prophets and apostles. So, when you say:

    “Should I ignore that in favour of your ‘new prophets and revelations’ just because they claim that the translations from the manuscripts are not preserved as they were originally penned?”

    If the antecedent of “that” in your question is Moses’ relationship with God – then possibly your question is asking about something I wasn’t suggesting. We could talk about his relationship in another post. But if by “that” you are being more general – and suggesting that our beliefs should be consistent with the teachings of living oracles, then I would answer a resounding “yes”.

    Again, this is one of our main differences with a lot of “mainstream” Christianity. I acknowledge that with no hesitancy or excuse.

    Here is a quote by a former apostle in our church that I feel communicates what I’m trying to say better than I’m saying it:

    “We have the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; but all these books, without the living oracles and a constant stream of revelation from the Lord, would not lead any people into the Celestial Kingdom of God. This may seem a strange declaration to make, but strange as it may sound, it is nevertheless true.

    “Of course, these records are all of infinite value. They cannot be too highly prized, nor can they be too closely studied. But in and of themselves, with all the light that they give, they are insufficient to guide the children of men and to lead them into the presence of God. To be thus led requires a living Priesthood and constant revelation from God to the people according to the circumstances in which they may be placed.” (George Q. Cannon)

    And another of my personal favorites:

    “If we had before us every revelation which God ever gave to man; if we had the Book of Enoch; if we had the untranslated plates before us in the English language; if we had the records of the Revelator St. John which are sealed up, and all other revelations, and they were piled up here a hundred feet high, the church and kingdom of God could not grow, in this or any other age of the world, without the living oracles of God.” (Wilford Woodruff)

    Again, I acknowledge that these are differences. But I think if people realize how deeply we feel about this, that maybe we could move on. We simply do not believe in the infallibility of the Bible as others do. However, while we do not hold this against others – it is held against us. I do not believe that someone who believes the Bible is infallible is on a road to hell – I just feel that he is missing out on further light and knowledge that would elevate his desires and satisfactions and his soul in general.

    Sorry for the lengthy post!

  17. Terrano,

    “One other verse for you from the NT…

    No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John. 1:18.

    Maybe John was also incorrect or mis-interpretted from the Greek too?”

    Again, we could throw Biblical scripture around all day long – but you misunderstand our fundamental belief here. Please refer to my latest post for clarification, since there’s really nothing else I can add here (except that in terms of study, you do yourself a disservice by selecting scriptures and reading them as being independent. For example, John’s own words here should be taken in context with his own words in John 6:46).

  18. T4x4, said:

    “I really can not see these scriptures from your understanding and by taking every one completely literally without looking into the Hebrew vocabulary, grammar and true meaning of each on their own merit.”

    All of this literal meaning, vocabulary, and grammar depends on which expert you want to listen to. Even now with all the knowledge they can not agree.

  19. Dear Anon,

    The Truth is there and accessible for everyone. Experts are not needed and that is the beauty of the Gospel message.

    It can be found, starting in Genesis and concludes in Revelation.

    Whilst I agree with you that it is always better to find the original penned documents wherever possible, let me explain that with all the modern translations of the Bible, the KJV is the closest, accurately translated English version according to the ultimate and defining message of the originally penned manuscripts. I still maintain that without the Bible the LDS denomination would not have any foothold in demonstrating the life and work of Jesus Christ. Why, because the gospels written about Him can only be found in the NT and nowhere else.

    Expert or no expert – this is fact.

    Teranno4x4