The Top 10 Things Jesus Would Say to Mormons

as told by Dr. Craig Blomberg in a sermon found here (paraphrased)

  • 10. I admire your devotion to your families, to your wards and to giving generously to your church
  • 9. I never intended anyone to believe in me and act in any way they please. You are right to reject that idea.
  • 8. Please don’t judge me based on unkind things done by some who profess to know me.
  • 7. I applaud your restored emphasis on Bible study. Please note when you read the Book of Mormon how often it says I am one God in three persons and how often it says that salvation comes by my grace alone.
  • 6. It is tragic how often my churches have fought with one another, but no one who has ever rejected all of the existing churches and tried to restart my church has ever gotten it correct.
  • 5. I liked what Joseph Smith was doing at the beginning a lot more than what he was doing at the end.
  • 4. I never established any priesthood or ordinances that required you to be part of One True Church to receive them.
  • 3. I LOVE your good deeds, but PLEASE don’t count on them to earn you anything. (Blomberg notes that in his discussions with LDS scholars everyone on both sides of the table agrees on this one).
  • 2. On judgment day all that will really matter is that you have accepted me as Savior and Lord. . . and it has to be both.
  • 1. I love you and really do want you to be part of my forever family.

What do you think? I think he hit all the major items I’d hope to hear from Jesus in regards to Mormonism (as if I could dictate what he would say).

Advertisements

65 thoughts on “The Top 10 Things Jesus Would Say to Mormons

  1. My first impression on reading it? While it is interesting to hear this perspective, I don’t think that Dr. Blomberg ought to be putting words in Jesus’s mouth.

    After all, if the LDS Church is what it claims to be, most of those statements are wrong. 🙂 And since Mormons believe that the LDS Church is what it claims to be, they just will say that those are incorrect statements.

    Hey Tim, do you really think that Jesus cares if we understand the nature of the Trinity? Why does it matter if God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one in body or one in purpose? I’ve just never understood why that’s such an important doctrine or distinguishing feature. (Of course, my understanding of it is that it’s not relevant for me–Jesus is God, and that’s all that matters. I don’t care how his body is made up, personally.)

  2. I don’t think that Dr. Blomberg ought to be putting words in Jesus’s mouth.

    Probably not anymore than Joseph Smith, Gordon Hinckley, the 60,000 missionaries “preaching his Gospel” or any of the rest of us who think we’ve figured out what Jesus’ teachings were all about.

    As far as being condescending, I think if you listen to even 5 seconds of the sermon you would hear that Dr. Blomberg is being as kind and considerate as he can be. I think very few of these are actually critical of Mormonism.

    I’ll answer your question on the importance of the Trinity in an upcoming post.

  3. I don’t know. When I read the four Gospels, I get a very strong emphasis on Christian action.

    I get very little abstract theology. You have to go to Paul for a lot of that.

    I think it’s entirely possible that Christ wasn’t that concerned about theological belief. That was more the province of the Jewish intelligentsia of the time.

  4. Actually, you know what I think Christ would say?

    I think he’d lay into us for the sins of pride and idolatry. That we have set our hearts too much on the riches of this world. He would take us to task for our neglect of the poor. Then He would likely reprimand us for not being diligent in preparing the way for his second coming.

    And when I’m talking idolatry, I’m not talking that silly stuff about worshiping a corporeal God, or whatever else. I’m talking about the following:

    -Pet political causes or ideologies
    -Professional sports fandom
    -Obsession with business success
    -The worship of academic degrees
    -Overly concerned with possessions, such as a new sports car, a new gaming computer, or your new house in the suburbs
    -The cult of American patriotism
    -Pop idols

    With all the concrete, urgent, and obvious objects of idolatry out there, it puzzles me that many evangelicals choose, when talking to me to focus on some loose notion of the trinity, that when pressed, they have to admit no one really understands anyway.

    What a waste of religious fervor.

    Incidentally, I think Christ would also extend His love and forgiveness to us, if we will have him. Something similar to His lament “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem… How oft would I have gathered you…”

  5. I posted my comments on Dr. Blomberg’s talk on my site. The talk really has to be listened to in order to be appreciated, there is a lot of things going on, and when one considers it in the history of Mormon and Evangelical dialogue, it is highly significant and much welcomed.

  6. While Joseph Smith and some other prophets have used the first person when putting words in Jesus’s mouth, the missionaries don’t.

    It is entirely possible that, had I heard the sermon rather than read an except, I would have come away with a much different impression of it.

    And Seth, I agree. I think that if Christ were to come down on Mormons, it would definitely include the stuff you said, with a big emphasis on pride (I think it’s really easy to become prideful when you’re a part of the one true church, and you have the truth and are living it while others aren’t), and charity.

    I’m looking forward to your post about the other stuff though!

  7. My first impression of the list (I didn’t listen to the sermon) was like katyjane’s: a bad taste.

    But I gave it some more thought and I appreciate what Blomberg is doing here, given that his audience is Evangelicals and not Mormons. The overall tone seems to be “Fellow Christians, let’s think about how Christ would act toward Mormons and then consider whether we are acting similarly.” (i.e. When dealing with someone from another church, there may be a difference between acting like a Christian and acting like an Evangelical or Mormon.)

    I also found it interesting that Blomberg’s #3 and #9 are essentially rebuttals against the uninformed (i.e. no Evangelical who really thinks about his religion believes that he can do whatever he wants as long as he believes in Jesus; likewise, no Mormon who really thinks about his religion believes that he can earn his way to heaven).

  8. Tim, I agree with you. Dr. Blomberg is very kind in his Top 10 listing. I just finished listening to it and will be listening to it again to get a better picture of Dr. Blomberg’s impressions. I don’t think he is being condescending, though I certainly would disagree with a few of his points.

    Overall, I think it’s great. He even brings up a couple of points that the evangelical community could use.

  9. I’m glad you found the sermon helpful and I’m grateful for the benefit of the doubt those who didn’t listen to it to hear my tone of voice gave to the written distillation of the key points.

    It’s probably worth explaining that I was invited by the church at which I spoke to address this topic. It was the church’s decision to do an extended series of sermons, with several guest speakers along with the senior pastor, on “What Would Jesus Say to ____________?” I did feel a little awkward playing that role, but I understood the rationale: if we can ask “What Would Jesus Do?” in all kinds of situations, why not ask this question as well? So I happily complied.

    The live response was interesting–most people found it a breath of fresh air compared to the better known combative, denunciatory approach, but a few people insisted that’s exactly what Jesus (or the apostles) would have done. Yet I researched and wrote an article published 5 years ago in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society that surveyed all the harsh rhetoric found anywhere in the New Testament and observed that it was uniformly used to address corrupt, overly legalistic or sinful “insiders” to the church, whereas Jesus and the apostles bent over backwards to woo “outsiders” graciously, even while calling them to repentance. It’s sad to see how often we have exactly inverted that approach!

    Thanks again for the blog!

  10. Thanks for the response Mr. Blomberg. I appreciate your efforts at interfaith dialogue. Mormons have been spoiled by having to debate only the lunatic fringe of evangelical thought for too long. This harsh debate has benefited neither religion. It’s nice to see more serious Christian thinkers entering the fray.

  11. Wow, Seth, I would heartily agree with everything you say in comment 5. I would still say that what Joseph Smith and subsequent “prophets” have added to the scriptures is a complete apocryphal sham born of “pride and idolatry”, but what you say here impresses me greatly 😉

  12. Actually, I think Jesus would say something more along the lines of : “I have never, in recent history, seen such a large congregation of people falsifying such a wonderful, loving message nor have I seen widespread religious persecution with such a vastly condescending undertone. Furthermore; I intended my church to be a place of love and worship, not a corporate, money hungry fraternity full of thoughtless, blind sheep.”

  13. I think Jesus would say exactly what He already said in the bible, Love God, Love others, and be kind to EVERYONE.

  14. Pingback: The Best Anti-Mormon Literature I’ve ever Heard « Grace for Grace

  15. I love how people think their opinions are more important than the scriptures, i think the majority of people dissing the mormons are comfortable with the minimal requirements in lifestyle set out or rather left out by the so called christian world that they can still sit back and diss the mormons for trying their best to serve God. They don’t devote websites and silly blogspots to diss the incompetent followers of christ, they don’t look at their weaknesses and publish them!!!! I feel sincerely sorry for those of you who try to destroy our faith our integrity and in fact our very freedom to believe!!! Please give me a break, for your own sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. gvs ~ Welcome to the blog.

    i think the majority of people dissing the mormons are comfortable with the minimal requirements in lifestyle set out

    Actually, we’re just fond of teaching people correct principles and letting them govern themselves rather than micro-managing everything from their earrings to their hemlines to their underwear. It’s a novel concept. Wonder where we got it from.

    so called christian world

    If you don’t diss other Christians, then why are we the “so-called Christian world”? Doesn’t that imply that we aren’t really Christians?

    But hey, the “so-called Christian” put-down was a favorite one of 19th and early 20th century LDS leaders, so at least you’re in good company.

    They don’t devote websites and silly blogspots to diss the incompetent followers of christ, they don’t look at their weaknesses and publish them!!!!

    ORLY?

    Because I take issue with someone doing a blog post to argue that I’m not a “New Testament Christian.”

  17. Jack must be feeling especially snarky to respond to a drive-by-troll. Give him a break Jack. He was looking for the “top 10 LDS talks” and this is what he found.

  18. ‘teaching people correct principles and letting them govern themselves’….Was this not a quote by Joseph Smith?
    Were you a member of the lds church?(Jack)

  19. Concerning government: Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the Legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them tot do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. “How?” responded the gentleman; “to us it is very difficult.” Mr. Smith replied, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

    http://www.libertypages.com/clark/10890.html

    I must say it is a nice quote. I think if all churches applied this, there would be more true christians, I am sure we agree on this and thus have something in common. Sorry if I offended you, I was referring to people who claim to be christian and then live a sinful life(fornicating breaking the sabbath, etc), taking advantage of the suffering of Jesus and claiming that they are saved already…but continue to do things which are not pleasing to God.
    Well have a good day and I hope you all the best!!!! If you live life to the Glory of God and you earnestly seek to do His will through personal prayer and study, You will be fine. Just be careful to throw stones…As I aldso need to be.

  20. Nothing gets by you gvs. . . oh wait, yes it does.

    Go back and read how Jack used that quote again. It seems the LDS church has gotten quite a bit away from Smith’s quote.

    If you’ll notice Blomberg pointed out that you are correct to dismiss anyone who thinks they can do whatever they want because of God’s grace. Evangelicals don’t teach that and it would be kind of you not to accuse us of such.

  21. Tim,
    I’m getting tired of that old Strawman raised by some Mormons too. If it makes you feel better, though, I hear far more often the straw-man that Mormons worship JS than I hear a Mormon claiming Evangelicals believing in ‘greasy grace.’ Keep in mind my sharp tongue lashes both with 30 lashes.

  22. Tim: # 3. I LOVE your good deeds, but PLEASE don’t count on them to earn you anything. (Blomberg notes that in his discussions with LDS scholars everyone on both sides of the table agrees on this one).
    # 2. On judgment day all that will really matter is that you have accepted me as Savior and Lord. . . and it has to be both.

    These are false unless carefully qualified. Salvation or justification or redemption is by grace freely received. However, judgment is by works. We receive according to our works. There is no more universal teaching in scripture than that we receive reward according to what we have done. It is the universal teaching in the OT and the NT — we will be judged according o our works. Indeed, this is an evangelical teaching (accepted by Protestants and Catholics and Orthodox alike). What we have done will matter on judgment day — the reward meted to us on judgment day depends on the works we have done. Further, salvation or justification or redemption can be forfeited by certain kinds of works — at least according to most Arminians and Mormons.

  23. gvs ~ I’m not really sure who you were reacting to in your initial comments here. I assumed the OP, which was quite generous to Mormons.

    The OP itself denounced Christians who confess Christ while disregarding His commandments, so I’m not sure why they’re an issue for you.

    I believe Mormonism today has moved very far away from Joseph Smith’s statement on teaching correct principles and letting people govern themselves. I can’t think of a comparably sized Christian denomination which does more to try to regulate the behavior of its members than the LDS church does. Some fundamentalist Christians who are extremists would (I’m talking the women-must-wear-head-coverings crazies), but such groups typically only exist in small, isolated pockets.

    Tim was right though, I was snarkier to you than I needed to be. I just get a little tired of the old canard that Mormons never put down other Christians.

    Blake ~ Good to see you’re still alive. I hope you’ve been well.

  24. Thanks Jack, it’s good to be alive. I have noted your blog and your progress through graduate studies. Congratulations on surviving the grind thus far.

    What do you mean by “regulate”? If you what you mean is “motivate” to good works, or any of its cognates, what the heck is wrong with that? How on earth does the LDS Church not let people govern themselves? It seems that it would require some kind of coercion to disallow such self-regulation.

    In all due candor, it seems to me that this is uncharitable on your part. Then again, I’m open to the possibility that I’m just being snarkier (is that even a word?).

  25. Snarkier than what?

    Jack, when did you discover the “Redefine God” blog? I’ve had a few minor skirmishes over there lately.

  26. You lurk at my blog, Blake? I’m flattered.

    If you what you mean is “motivate” to good works, or any of its cognates, what the heck is wrong with that?

    Blake, I’m really not one of those evangelicals who sees the Mormon emphasis on “good works” as the crucial dividing line between Mormonism and evangelical Christianity. Not that I don’t think Mormons over-emphasize works sometimes, but I don’t find myself chasing after this grace v. works angle with the passion that I see so many other evangelicals doing. I seem to be broken or something.

    As to what I meant by regulating behavior, I was thinking more of the dress and grooming standards and (to a lesser extent) what music, television, books and movies people should be listening to, reading, and watching. Have you read For the Strength of the Youth lately? (I just sat through a Relief Society lesson on it yesterday.) The church regulates these things through interviews with ecclesiastical leaders, regular dissemination of literature encouraging these standards, policies requiring adherence to the standards at its educational institutions and official events, and strong cultural pressure to conform.

    On top of that there is the related issue of requiring the garment and requiring that people abstain from coffee, tea, alcohol via the Word of Wisdom, but those are stickier issues since they are required for orthopraxy.

    Are you familiar with Elder Bednar’s 2005 talk “Quick to Observe” wherein he related an anecdote about a young man who broke off an engagement because the young woman would not follow the prophet’s counsel to remove an extra set of earrings? Do you not think that’s rather extreme?

    I apologize for being uncharitable in my initial response to gvs on this thread. I really have been trying lately. But my concern in this area is a genuine one. I’d like to see Latter-day Saints less interested in polishing the outside of the cup.

    Bottom line, I don’t mind an emphasis on good works here and there, but I don’t consider being clean-shaven a good work.

    “Snarkier” is in the dictionary as the comparative of “snarky.” Then again, “meh” now has an entry, so I’m not sure we can trust the dictionary anymore.

    BTW, I’ll be in Provo in March. Not sure that I’d have any time to come out to Salt Lake City and meet up with you though. I’m kind of on a leash.

    Seth ~ I’ve had some run-ins with the author of that post on other blogs before. Haven’t done any commenting at “Redefine God” myself.

    I’ve ceased to be amazed when you turn up at some religious discussion blog somewhere. I know you say you work from your home as an attorney, but I don’t think I believe you anymore.

    I bet you’re like Adam Sandler’s character in Big Daddy, living off the settlement you got from a personal injury suit, only instead of going to the park to watch roller bladers fall down, you get on your computer and argue with the entire Internet. Hopefully Rob Schneider isn’t your BFF.

  27. Jack,

    I have to wonder about your use of the word “regulate” for all the items you listed. Yes, the LDS Church teaches these as standards for living and yes, for most of them, they are requirements for holding a temple recommend, but none of them are requirements for membership in the church, beyond making a commitment to living the Word of Wisdom, the law of chastity, and paying tithing. But even those are things that many members of the Church do not do.

    I know many Mormons who have multiple sets of piercings, tatoos, drink coffee, tea, alcohol, smoke or chew tobacco, watch R-rated movies, have facial hair, etc. Some of them are even very active members, except that they do not go to the Temple. “For the Strength of Youth” definitely sets out standards and guidelines, and promises that those who follow them will have an enriched life, but the standards are not, with few exceptions, requirements for membership in the church.

    The GHI gives specific descriptions of when church discipline should take place, and none of these items, except for serious violations of the law of chastity (adultery and/or fornication), are listed as grounds for such action. Of course, I am sure that someone has a ready example of when someone they know has been subjected to such discipline, but that doesn’t change what the GHI says about the matters.

    So in what ways are these regulations, rather than teaching principles and letting members govern?

  28. Alex, I feel like I answered that question in my response to Blake. To regulate means to control. The church attempts to control these standards through the methods I listed. I never said the church disciplines members for not following the standards I listed (unless you’re attending one of its official schools)—although I would say that being denied a temple recommend is a form of church discipline.

    I’ve also never met a bishop with a beard or a Relief Society president with an extra set of piercings. One time I heard about a woman who was refused a YW presidency calling because she had a tattoo on her ankle. Not extending leadership callings to people who don’t conform to the standards is another method the church has of enforcing this behavior.

    Look at what the other Christian denominations are doing. They teach modesty as well, but they rarely put out pamphlets and tracts specifying which types of clothing are modest and which ones aren’t. They don’t refuse to let people serve in leadership positions because they have tattoos or extra piercings. That’s what it means to teach people correct principles and let them govern themselves.

    Mormonism is a young religion. In my book, it’s allowed to make mistakes as it grows and develops and finds itself. Once upon a time, Christianity was a young religion and the early Christians were teaching all kinds of overly restrictive excesses. Tertullian, for example, taught that celibacy was so superior to sexual activity that even married people should remain abstinent.

    Someday, I hope Mormons look back on the excesses of this era and feel the same way as I do when I read Tertullian, and I hope they say, “Wow, I’m glad we grew out of that.”

  29. Jack, I hope you remember how many rules there were in the old testament under the law of Moses…
    Moses had to spell it out because the people needed to hear it at that time… I guess that the leadership of the church feels they should guide us as we always seek to know what is good and what is leading towards something not so good.
    Everything in the For the strength of youth is to help us get through this very carefree low standard generation we live in.
    Switch chanel to MTV or MM1/2 etc etc, surf the net etc and you will see what I mean. I can hardly watch anything on tv these days and I will hear how they refer to God’s name, or how people live together without being married… or being dressed in such a manner that is immodest, by that I mean that for example a Female can wear such close that would cause temtations and thoughts to a male that could lead to further problems, so what the church does is warn of things that are potentially dangerous and can lead to serious misconduct in the future.
    Kinda saying that we need to stay away from the edge coz when you get too close to the edge you want to peep over it and in the process you can seriously slip and fall.

    I know that the law of Moses has been fulfilled by Jesus, but even the new testament speaks about how we should live our lives.
    EPHESIANS CHAPTER 5
    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
    4 Neither afilthiness, nor bfoolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    That sounds very controlling if you look at it from your argument….
    because to regulate seems to mean controll…

    I am particularly greatful for the guidelines set out, because they keep me away from falling off the edge of the cliff..even though I know that Jesus died for me even if I had to mess up and go against the scriptures(Bible included and very much so!!!!) I do not like the thought of being more of a cause why Jesus had to suffer.
    The more I try to live a clean life, the more I respect the Saviour whom I so dearly love.

  30. Alex, I’m gonna have to agree with Jack on this one. Interviews are an especially effective way the church regulates behavior.

  31. Jack,
    I must say I agree that lds must not just focus on polishing the outside, but also the inside.

    I think there are a lot of people that feel pressured in society of lds ie UTAH.. but there are many places where that is not the case. My family were the only ones of our faith in the school, neighbourhood etc. And where we are, half the world away from Salt lake, we live the Gospel despite not having lots of members around or social pressures by our neighbours etc.
    If we feel like doing something “out of line” we can do so without being “caught” but we choose not to.

    You seem well learned in many respects. I am sure you do a lot of good.
    I just hope that you would continue to do so, without finding ways to go against us.

  32. I think I must have a different idea of what regulation means that Jack and Katie.

    With the few exceptions listed, one can be a member of the LDS church and still do all sorts of things that are discouraged by church leaders. You can be a Sunday School teacher and not live the Word of Wisdom. You can be an Elders Quorum President and watch R-rated movies. You can be a Relief Society President and wear a bikini to the beach. You can continue serve in a position of stake and/or ward leadership and have a beard/goatee, even after the Stake President suggests that you should shave. (All examples are based on people I know.)

    So how is that regulation? The standards are highly encouraged, but until the church starts excommunicating, or even disfellowshipping, folks for every infraction, I have difficulty accepting the idea that the church “regulates”the behaviour of individual members. I maintain that the church teaches principles and allows members to decide if they will adhere to them or not.

  33. Alex,

    Sure, you can do some of those fringe activities and get away with it.

    What you can’t do is hold a temple recommend if you..

    –Drink coffee or wine
    –Have problems with sexual morality
    –Pay less than a 10% tithe
    –Disbelieve in the Restoration, Jesus, or don’t support the brethren

    An argument can certainly be made that these are reasonable, fair, and legitimate requirements — and I’m not saying they’re not (necessarily).

    What I am saying is that when you go in every two years for an interview where an authorized representative of the church “checks in” on your compliance in these areas in order to affirm that you’re still eligible to participate fully in the organization (i.e. attend the temple), that’s regulation.

  34. Regulation for participation in Temple ordinances, yes.

    Regulation for membership in the Church, no.

    I’ll be somewhat concerned when “passing” a Temple Recommend interview, for lack of a better word, is required for any participation within the Church as a member.

  35. gvs ~ Do you think the Mosaic covenant was a system where Moses taught the people correct principles and then let them govern themselves? I don’t.

    If you don’t either, then I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up.

    If the LDS church represents a system where people are taught correct principles and then allowed to govern themselves, what isn’t?

    For the record, since you’re new here, a little bit about me: I’m an evangelical Christian who’s married to an active Mormon and I’m a graduate of BYU. I’ve never been Mormon.

    Alex ~ I never limited my claims about regulation to the minimum required to maintain membership in the Church.

    You did.

    I already know that once you’re in, you can technically be engaging in just about any kind of non-illegal behavior and still be a member of the LDS church. It’s virtually impossible to get excommunicated if you aren’t calling attention to yourself.

    You can even be attending church regularly and so long as you don’t mind not having a TR and keep your sexual transgressions on the down low, no one will bat an eye. Trust me, Mormons tell me all kinds of dark secrets. I know all about this. And if you’re willing to lie and keep up appearances, you can even keep the TR.

    But the temple recommend process is, in fact, a form of control (i.e. regulation). There is a huge cultural and institutional stigma associated with not having one. My husband didn’t have one for several years of our marriage, so I know this.

    Calling only people who fit or are willing to conform to a certain type of mold is also a form of control. No matter how much you insist that it’s okay for a bishop to have a beard or a RS president to have extra ear piercings, I won’t believe it until I’ve seen it.

    I also don’t think that a coffee-drinking, smoking, Gothic girl with a face full of piercings would be eligible for baptism into the church without making some changes first. Obtaining church membership and maintaining it are two different things.

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked gvs though: if the LDS church qualifies as a church which teaches correct principles and lets members govern themselves, which churches don’t?

  36. If the LDS church represents a system where people are taught correct principles and then allowed to govern themselves, what isn’t?

    Off-hand, and based entirely on anecdotal evidence, which I openly admit is a terrible, terrible evidence, I can think of only two churches:
    1) Amish communities, who shun those who break the rules (and not all Amish communities do this, but living next to Illinois’ Amishland, I know that there are some that have reportedly done so)

    2) The Jehovah’s Witnesses, who refused a friend admission into their fold because he asked too many questions about why they did what they did.

    I suppose I could add the Islamic Sharia Law, but I am not well-versed enough in this to really be able to say so with certainty.

    Honestly, though, I feel that most organisations, religious and secular, rely on the system of teaching principles and allowing self-governance. And as much as Mormons love attributing the statement to Joseph Smith, I really don’t think it was an original idea.

  37. From http://www.mstrum.com/docs/LLC.pdf

    “My first Sunday at church was an interesting one. I decided to wear a nice green shirt I had been given for Christmas. After seeing me in my green shirt, the bishop decided to schedule an appointment immediately. We met and he told me that he expected me to wear a white shirt and look like a missionary from now on.”

    Though I’m sure he wouldn’t have been excommunicated if he refused. 😉

  38. I wear a white shirt to church maybe once a year at the most.

    I can understand what both sides are saying here, and I could argue either side if I chose. I find no trouble finding things to criticize in the LDS church when it pertains to various aspects of its subculture (and for every excess I can find in the LDS church I can also find in evangelicalism, for whatever that’s worth). I am fully aware that some Church authorities, from EQ president on up, have been known to abuse their authority, and I wouldn’t deny such things happen.

    So on this issue, I’ll speak only to my own personal experiences, recognizing that they don’t hold true for all: I feel I have been given guidance and the freedom to govern myself. I don’t feel “controlled” or “regulated” by the Church. I live my life pretty much the way I — hopefully with the guidance of the Holy Spirit — see fit. And I’ve never in more than a decade of church membership had a Church authority intervene in that.

  39. I think living in Utah puts a lot of pressure on any LDS.
    Like I said I don’t, in fact I live on the oposite end of the world. We have little percentage of LDS here,

    anyway..
    Jack…

    I brought up the mosaic law, because the people at the time were to adhere to the prophet(Moses).
    Moses was a prophet and he had the duty of teaching the people what was needed to be taught at that specific time.
    It happened to be very specific and very harsh because the people were not very prone to understanding and governing themselves.
    So today we also have a prophet we adhere to… maybe we have a hard time to govern ourselves and we need a little spoonfeeding by the leaders of the church like in the days of Moses.
    So maybe in Joseph Smith’s time that saying worked better than today.
    We have satelite and internet and all sorts of communication and the church is more stable now than it was in the early days… so the leaders have the oportunity to share more with us….
    Is sad to see when so much pressure gets put on others… Like the mentions of the white shirt and the beard etc..
    That is not what the church is all about, If church had to fall away completely but I could live the Gospel without the church, It would not be very different to what I would do.

    Good to hear you are married to a member. I hope that it doesn’t bring conflict in interrests too much..
    I wish you knew some people I have met that are members. People who walk to church on a sunday that comes from a family where they are the only member…People who have joined the church rather than been in it all their lives and their families having daiting back to the pioneers who pulled handcarts over the plains….

    I just want to say that I have Invited you ALL to try again to read from the Book of Mormon and to pray about the Joining of the church.
    I know it is a wonderful experience to be baptised and see someone else getting baptised.
    Not just anyone, but someone who is prepared and ready to follow the Saviour.

  40. to katie l.I dont feel particularily regulated.I actually think there would be a bit of a problem if we let anyone into our temples,no matter their belief,especially a belief in God,and Jesus Christ,as our temples are dedicated to them.this is how I see our lds temples.if you hold something dear to your heart,say a necklace from a dead father(Im borrowing this example from a friend),do you let just anyone touch it?
    I think not,because its special,and as others might not understand the significance of it,you leave it on but keep it safe.that is kind of our temples.they are sacred to us,and we feel they should be kept sacred and treated with the respect they deserve.we will tell people of their significance,but unless you truly understand their significance, I dont understand why you would want a temple reccomend.converts ar told the basics before they are baptized,and expected to follow certain standards.the question still remains,why on earth would you want to be baptized if you didnt believe?why?please tell me,this always confuses me a bit.if someone does not like what we believe,go and find something you do believe.I have friends who draw thrir own conclusions from the bible and dont really belong to any specific branch of cristianitty(although they are christian)

    I suppose that from the outside it might seem restrictive but maybe I dont feel oppressed as I dont see drinking wine,smoking,and having sex before Im married neccessary things,and I am quite happy without them.I make my own choices in the end,based on what I see,what I hear,I pray and read the scriptures,and decide.(I personally think the modern prophets have the right idea about alcohol-getting wasted on the weekend doesnt strike me as particularily entertaining,and even when I was always the only mormon in my classes,the thought of wearing lowcut shirts never really appealed to me.

    heres a question,have you asked very many mormons if they feel opressed/overly regulated?*thoughtful expression*I suppose that could be proof they over regulate……anything is possible.

    I actually like hearing others oppinions about the church,as well as about other churches.its very interesting,

    and I just have to ask the question one last time.why would you WANT a temple reccomend if you didnt believe in the restoration,Jesus Christ,or dont support the bretheren(presumably the prophet?he/the past prophets IS/are the one/s who dedicate/d )the our temples to the lord.

  41. What would Jesus “do”? Certainly nothing, for fear someone would say he was earning his way to Heaven.

    “If you have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, you have done it unto me.” But don’t think for a minute anyone in Heaven will notice.

    It amazes me how scholars can read and read and read and only see their own doctrine and not the truth.

    We are going to be judged by our works, people. God will not judge us by anything we have no control over. Works don’t just come from being saved and you are not saved if you sit and do nothing to help your fellow man. If you help your fellow man because you have nothing else better to do then you have made no sacrifice. Unless you give of yourself, your precious time, your personal resources… then you LOSE!

    Have a clue, (yeeesh).

  42. If we are just saved by grace, then why did God give us the 10 commandments? Didn’t he say “If you love me keep my commandments?” How do you keep the sabbath day holy when you are sitting at the Golden Corral chowing down after church? Mormons are a lot more committed to their beliefs than evangelical christains will ever be.

  43. Dear Tom:

    How is the Sabbath a “day of rest” when you’re attending meetings before church, wrestling your noisy children through Sacrament meeting, juggling callings for the next few hours, attending more meetings after church, then doing your home teaching or visiting teaching in the evening? How can Sacrament meeting be considered “reverent” amidst the caterwauls of bored children trying to ferret fruit loops out of their moms’ diaper bags?

    We can both find ways of saying, “no, ur doin it wrong.” It’s really not productive.

  44. Sorry about that. In actuality, I think Jack’s comeback was good. Tom’s zinger was cheap and pretty thin, a lame attempt at best.

  45. Links to the original sermon seem to be broken, and I can’t find it on Google. Is there a place to get at the original sermon? I’d like to read it in its entirety.

  46. after reading this interesting blog i have found it so…uhm …weird, like you all talking about pride that mormons have, look in the mirror for those that arent mormon, wouldnt you say also that you believe that your church is true?? idont think doc. whoever oops sorry imean blomberg really meant this in a nice way rather very degrading but disguised in a way that you wouldnt tell the difference from something mean, what would jesus say to the Mormons? really did you have a convo, with jesus? did he really tell you that hey you shoudnt do this? it unbelievable how the mormons have so many churches against it, thought growing at a very fast rate, Jesus was quite hated at his time too..you all should just put your feet in the mormon shoes and see that we all are the same, striving for the truths and if you dont agree with any doctrines given by the mormons dont hate and dont believe it and spread your own opinion of it cause it a waste of your time because your opinion really does not matter to most…anti-mormons this is what you are..i consider this antimormon…you guys that dont stop with the suckup and lying,,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s