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Unfair

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Unfair
I was born and raised Mormon for 18 years of my life, i no longer am but my family is dedicated. I have friends who are returned missionaries. Now im not sure why you people can come on here and just drag down and pummel the mormon church. It seems to me almsot like racism, we being black and you being the KKK (if that makes sense and no offense). Everything about us is wrong well its not. Sure there are some things and thats why i stopped going, but this church is like any other and NO we do not have multiple wives that my friend is a sin, you should maybe check into it, there are infact TWO mormon church's, the LDS and then the fundamental or reorganized mormon church and it is THAT church with the multiple wives etc. Now before you continue bad mouthing my parents religion maybe you should read into and compare both churches. I know im no longer mormon but i have friends and FAMILY who are and reading all of this hurts me. I have gone door to door with the missionaries as a favour and people HAVE confronted us but we replied right back with all the right answers, leaving those people to shut the door in our face becasue that is one debate they couldnt win. Im not attacking you guys like you are my family and friends religion, im just standing up for them, and shining a little light onto the fact there are two types of mormons and you guys are bad mouthing the wrong ones, i personally want to become a pentecostal, freshly saved . But im going through some hard times. But thats besides the point. I went to a pentecostal chruch for a little while and a man there said a prayer about salt lake city when the olympics were there, knwoing i was mormon his prayer included the following "please do not let those people down in Utah be fooled or follow the mormon cult BLAH BLAH BLAH" i said not a word to him, sometimes its jsut best to keep things to yourself, and let people or RELIGIONS have there freedom of speach, how many christian churches are out there???? a whole hell of a lot, all with different rules and beliefs all saying they are the true church, EVERYCHURCH CLAIMS TO BE THE TRUE CHURCH its not just the mormons, so while your having a go at us take a look around you, there are so many churches out there and they are all different including pentecostal, lutherin, catholic, apostolic or whichever, all claiming the truth in there OWN WAY. blah blah blah blahblah........................................................................................................
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Lauren, Thank you for your post. I am sorry if you feel that people on this thread are picking on the LDS church. I don't think that is the intent of anyone on this board. I have studied the Mormon religion extensively and that is why I feel I am qualified to post on this site. Please read my posts and tell me where you think I have misrepresented the Mormon religion?



I would love to have a dialogue with you and explain as clearly as I can why I believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined in the pages of the new Testament is different than that taught by the Mormon church and why I believe that Mormons are in error. If I am wrong on some points maybe you would be willing to point those out also?



The difference as I see it between traditional Christianity and most Psuedo Christian groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's witnesses etc., are that these groups claim to be the "only way to God" or the "true church". As Christians we do not claim that we are the way, we claim that "Jesus is the way". That my friend is a world of difference.



God bless you.

Aquila



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Re: Unfair In reply to
I read your statements on the LDS church and from what i can see you tell the truth, i do not go to the church anymore so i couldnt be certain but what i see you writing appears to be truth, however others ont his forum, like multiple wives and all that junk is false. And your first post of witnessing to mormons is false, we answer back all the time until the door is slammed in our face, i went out with the missionaires once
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Hi Lauren,



I'm sorry you had a bad experience when you went out with the missionaries. Many Christians do not have the knowledge to debate with the Mormon missionaries, so the easy way out is just to slam the door closed.



I have spoken to Mormon missionaries at my doorstep on many occasions, and I can tell you none of them have been able to refute anything I have had to say. Believe me, they were the ones who left in a funk.



Lauren, religion hasn't worked for you because it never works. Religion is simply mans attempt to try and reach God and this is impossible to do. Christianity, on the other hand is about God taking on the form of fallen man to redeem mankind. Jesus came earth, lived a sinless life, perfectly fulfilled God's law, shed his blood on the cross for our redemption, rose from the dead, and is living at the right hand of God. By faith in the shed blood of Christ, we too can become righteous in God's sight. It is not about what we can do for God, but about what God has already done for us and the free gift of Salvation Jesus offers to all who believe on him.



God bless you,

Aquila



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Re: Unfair In reply to
Religion has never worked for me becasue every church claims to be the true church. And most people at church think there better int he church than others andblah blah blah its like a popularity contest, WE ARE THE BEST, no WE ARE, etc im tired of it
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Lauren, perhaps you should explore humanism. There are many who live ethical lives without religion, and many who do so without deity belief.



Jeanne
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Re: Unfair In reply to
i am living life without religion but i do want to go back to it
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Lauren, you have hit on an unfortunate truth that occurs within ANY organized body of people, an "us against them" mentality. While we're so busy running around trying to be better than others, we forget that we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we were able to do that, that would eliminate the problem. Unfortunatley, being human we can't whether a secular organization or a religious body. Our assitant pastor talked one Sunday about our differences and I love this about our chruch. We don't focus on our being the "only body of Christ" because it's NOT in a church! WE are the body of Christ and when we act like fools we disgrace the Body. If you truly want to get back into a Body, I would focus on a Spirit filled, bible-teaching church. Our church is very charismatic and our style of worship doesn't appeal to everyone, so it's IMPORTANT that you find a place you feel comfortable.



Be blessed in your search, with love in Christ,

Ellen
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Re: Unfair In reply to
besides the mormon church the only other one i went to was a pentecostal one. My paretns flipped. But i felt so comfortable there until an incident that led me to not wanting to go back due to the overwhelming feeling of guilt. But that church is te only one where i felt comfortable. My friend suggested the church of god, where she goes, said its a great atmosphere great people and great teachings, wants me to spend the weekend with her in her city and go to church so il try that. I need to get out of my pit
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Do you have threads in here about any other churches??? I wonder if the mormon sites have threads about chirstian churches, but i DONT THINK THEY DO.
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Here is a Church locator link Lauren, it also works in Canada.



http://kedesh.christianitytoday.com/churchlocator/index.taf



God bless you!

Aquila
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Lauren,



You don't have to go to a Church to find God, you can pray to him right where you are and he will hear you and save you. Think about this!

Salvation

Why do I need to be saved?

God leaves no doubt about our condition. While we set our standards of right and wrong by society's values, God’s standard is His own holiness. How do we measure up? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It is only fair that God demands holiness; that is how He first created mankind. We have rebelled against Him as a race and as individuals.



Our pathway away from God has brought its consequences. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). The Bible compares sin to a cruel slave master. There is no mercy in suffering, no freedom from bondage, no lasting joy, no hope for the future. Most frightening is the final consequence of sin. The Bible warns that without God’s salvation, death is the doorway to eternal punishment (Hebrews 9:27).



It is from this that we need to be saved. From our own sin. From its bondage. From its consequences. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3).



How does God say I can be saved?

God is holy and God is love. His holiness demands that our sin be punished in full. His love provides a way for us to be saved from this punishment. How is this possible? Someone was willing to suffer what we deserve. Our substitute had to be a sinless man, able to suffer the full wrath of God against our sin. The only one able to take our place was God’s Son.



The greatest display of God’s love unfolded as His Son left heaven to become a man. Born of a virgin 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ lived with His creation. He was unable to sin, yet He showed compassion to sinners all around Him. Men hated Christ because His holiness exposed their sinfulness. They decided to remove Him by crucifying Him. He willingly allowed them to nail Him to a cross of wood outside Jerusalem. They suspended Him so they could sit and watch Him die. The climax of God’s plan of salvation had arrived as God covered the earth with darkness. The Bible tells us that for three hours He laid on His Son the full punishment we deserve to receive for our sin. The darkness was broken when Jesus Christ called out with a loud voice, "It is finished". He had accomplished the mighty work, God’s great plan of salvation.



After three days in death, Christ Jesus rose from the dead. This is evidence to all who saw Him and to all who read God’s word that Christ’s suffering completely satisfied His father. He was victorious over death itself – the ultimate consequence of our sin.



God’s plan of salvation brings us into the good of Christ’s suffering, death, and victory. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).







I'm saved!

There is nothing that brings peace like knowing your soul is right with God!



I can now:

Tell Others

Pray for Blessing

Grow Spiritually



Other sites:

Pathways

Truth & Tidings

Words in Season













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Re: Unfair In reply to
 Hi Amormenos, Why do you call yourself a bad person, Lauren? My guess is you're not. My guess is that for whatever reason, someone very important to you,when you were growing up, was always making you feel bad & inadequate & because of someone else's problems, you've grown up with a very poor self image.

As an ex-Pentecostal, I can tell you, you don't need religion & soms deity to tell you you're not good enough,all you need is someone to love you for you & to tell you so every day.
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Re: Unfair In reply to
your from Britain celsus thats great, im originally from S.Wales. Growing up from the age of 12 to the age of 21 ive had 1 best friend die on a rollercoaster, and 3 commit suicide one last june and a whole bunch more people attempt it. When i told my parents i wanted to be pentecostal the said i can go back to wales and be pentecostal cuz im not doing it here. I felt lonly, and unwanted. Now my friends make me feel used, except for one. Ive tried OD myself but it didnt work, i am a bad person, and i know it, the things i do or think or say make me a bad person, after living through the pain of al those deaths and attempting it myself, some days i still contemplate. All i can trust in my life is beer, drugs and smokes, they have never done me wrong except once or twice, im ramblimg now so thanks for the post
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Hi Lauren,

You still don't sound bad to me, just clinically depressed & "smokes" unfortunately can even make it worse.

You need counselling. Find a therapist who practices Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & go along.

Yours sympathetically,

Dennis
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Unfortunalty the only counselling i would accept would be online counselling, im not a face to face person, i dont think i could go into a doctors office and tell them all these thoughts. Online i cant see them and they cant see me and it would be less akward and id be more open. Im a very paranoid shy little big girl
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Unfortunalty the only counselling i would accept would be online counselling, im not a face to face person, i dont think i could go into a doctors office and tell them all these thoughts. Online i cant see them and they cant see me and it would be less akward and id be more open. Im a very paranoid shy little big girl, and thankyou for your thoughts on me being not bad
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Hello there,

First of all, I have never shut the door in the face of a Mormon. You and any of your friends who want to discuss what the Bible says about saving faith are welome to come and seeme any time.

The experience I have had is that when I put forth questions about Mormonism which make missionaries uncomfortable or which are outside of their training in how and what to answer, they usually have to go really quickly, where before they seemed to have all the time in the world.

I know sometimes the Mormon missionaries get upset with me because I will not simply agree with them, but as a Christian I have an obligation to search out the absolute truth concering Christ and to share it with those around me ... including Mormon missionaries who come to my door.

There are many fallacies with the Mormon doctrine, a few of which I will be glad to share with you here. Please understand that I am sahring this out of love, not out of any desire to degrade you, your family or your friends.

First, several former Mormons with whom I have become acquainted in my ministry, tell me that they used to pray to their dead Mormon ancestor whom they believed to have become gods and that they believed that they too would oneday become gods. This is in direct violation of Exodus 20: 2-3 which says, "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Some of these people tell me they were taught to interpret this to mean that we can have other gods, so long as we put the God of Israel first. However, in the Hebrew we find that it literally means we are forbidden to bring other gods in front of Him, in His presence, i.e. to worship them while claiming to serve Him.

Further more, Exodus 23:13 states "And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth." The God of Israel, whose Son died to provide the perfect sin offering and thereby purchase us unto salvation, told us that in all things we are to make no mention of the names of other gods ... which would include deceased relatives.

Below I am including a chapter from my upcoming book "The Three Questions Everyone Must Ask" and a copy of "Here I Am, Send Me" by Utah Partnership For Christ director Russ East which I pray will shed greater light on the matters we are discussing.



Yours in Him,

Philip A. Payne, Pastor





THE THREE QUESTIONS EVERYONE MUST ASK

Chapter II

These Three Are One



"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1: 1-14





The above text will be the primary source for this chapter, but we are actually only going to look at three verses from this text and then compare them to various other references throughout scripture. We will be looking at verses 1, 3 and 14 and taking a hard look at what they really mean.





As you may have already determined from the title of the chapter, we will be examining the doctrine of the Trinity.





I want to begin b saying that if you are ever discussing what you learn here with someone and they tell you that the word "Trinity" does not appear in the Bible, they are right. However, "Trinity" is a name that we as human beings use to describe one of the many mysteries of the nature of God.





It is very much biblical. In fact, the very word "Trinity" tells us a great deal about who God is.





I pray that before you finish reading this chapter you will understand something about God that you never grasped before. I also pray that before you finish reading this book, you might have given your life completely to Him through a saving relationship with His Son.





Now let’s look at that first verse. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."





Already we have come into something that many people have a hard time understanding. How is it that the Word can both be with God and be God?





A lot of churches try to explain this away. Some will tell you that the verse does not really mean that the Word was God, but that it translates more clearly as "the Word was like God."





If you go back and study this text in the Greek, you will find that the literal translation is in fact "the Word was God." We must ask ourselves then, "what do we mean and what are we referring to when we say ‘the Word?’"





"Word" in Greek is Logos and the only time it is used in Scripture is to refer to Jesus Christ. So when John tells us that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," he is actually saying that Jesus Christ is God.





People argue with me about this all the time saying, "He is not really God, He is the Son of God." What John is telling us here is that He is both.





Now let me explain to you why He has to be both, according to Scripture. First I will address the argument of the churches which say He is only like God.





Let us look at Isaiah 46: 5, in which God says," ‘To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?’ " You may read on there and notice that there is never given an answer.





No one is like God. No one can be compared to God as an equal.





No one can rightfully make that claim. So when John says, "The Word was God," he cannot be saying that Jesus is like God, which means that he must be saying Jesus is God.





Now I want you to look again at John 1: 3, which says " All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." This is important, because if you come back to the argument the Jesus is not God, some people will claim this verse means He only helped God make everything.





Now let us look again at Isaiah 43: 10-12, which says, " ‘You are My witnesses,’ says the Lord, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses,’ Says the Lord, ‘that I am God.’ We see here that there is One God, not two gods or God and someone else, just God alone.





Consider also, that God the Father says here "besides Me there is no Savior." Will those who claim that Jesus is not God now claim that He is also not our savior, or will they claim that the prophet was wrong?





Sadly, but not surprisingly there are an abundance of "Christians" sitting it both of these heretical camps.





Now let us look at Isaiah 44: 24, which tells us, "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: "I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;" Now anyone who is truly saved by the Grace of God will tell you that to be cleansed, forgiven and redeemed is to have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but here God the Father says that He is our redeemer.





Can this be if Jesus is not God? What are we to believe?





Galatians 3: 13-14 helps us to understand this better, saying "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Also, Titus 2:11-14 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."





Notice also that in Isaiah 44 the Father says that He stretches out the Heavens all alone and spreads abroad the Earth by Himself. Again, how can this be true in light of John 1: 3, if Jesus is not God?





So the churches who say that Jesus is not God need to go back and look at these verses in the context of the whole Bible. Did God lie?





Certainly not! Titus 1:2 says, "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began."





As I recently explained to a young man I met on a mission trip, if God says you are saved, you are saved. That cannot be a lie, because whatever God says becomes truth, because He is God, and the same is true wit respect to the deity of Christ.





Finally let us recognize here that when the Father says He spread out the heavens alone, that means there was no one else there helping Him. Therefore, if Jesus was with Him and all things were made through Jesus, then Jesus is God!





Finally we come to John 1: 14 which says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Logos became flesh!





I have had some people try to tell me that this is not talking about Jesus as God. They say this is merely referring to the Son of God becoming flesh and they say that this is a totally separate thing.





For the benefit of those who may be caught up in a church which teaches just such a lie, let us look at I Timothy 3: 16 which reads, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." When the Apostle Paul wrote the words "without controversy" to the young preacher Timothy, he was attempting to reaffirm to him that the faith he had was true and his words leave no doubt that the statement he is about to make cannot be argued against, it is as solid as stone, it is defined.





Notice he says, "great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh." God was manifested in the flesh, not a part of God and not someone who was like God. God Himself!





Then Paul goes on to say that the man he is describing was, "Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." I would challenge anyone reading this to show me someone else in Scripture besides Jesus, who meets all of these qualifications.





Just in case you are still wondering if Jesus is God, take a look at something else Paul wrote. In Colossians 2: 8-10 he said, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power."





So Paul was emphatic about the need to be on guard, that no one should deceive us by means of worldly logic and reasoning. He was concerned then and I believe we must be equally wary of those who would preach a false christ and a false gospel today.





Paul said that if you let other people tell you that the Holy Word of God is not true, you are a fool. That means that we must cling to every word of every verse and never be distracted by Satan's lies, from the Truth that is in Christ.





Then he continues saying of Christ, "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." If you take the word "god-head" and you go back to the Greek what you find is a word which very literally means "the nature of God."





So Paul is saying that all the fullness of the nature of God dwelled within Christ bodily when He walked on the earth and you are complete in Him, if you have received Him as your Lord and Savior. A lot of churches want to tell us that it is a long list of good works too, but Ephesians 2: 8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."





If you are saved, you are saved by the grace of God manifested in the flesh, and through His atoning sacrifice on the cross. Not Him and your church and your works.





Now we come to what is for some people the stickiest part of the Trinity doctrine: The Holy Spirit.





Today, even most churches which will recognize that Jesus is God will say that the Holy Spirit is merely a force or a presence and not really God. We have already established without doubt, I believe, that Jesus Christ is both God and the Son of God, but now we need to look at exactly how Christ was manifested in the flesh.





I want us to look at Luke 1:35, where the angel Gabriel is speaking to Mary, who cannot comprehend how she is going to give birth to a son, since she is a virgin. Gabriel said, "And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’ "





Now we need to consider very carefully that it says that Jesus would be called the Son of God, because the power of the Highest would over shadow her. The Highest can only mean God.





Then we must consider that we are told this will happen because the Holy Spirit will come upon her. This only makes sense if the Holy Spirit is Himself the Highest and as we have already said, the Highest is God.





Then we must also consider that if the Holy Spirit is not God, then the verse could not end with the prophetic statement that Jesus would be called the Son of God. It would have to read "that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of the Holy Spirit."





Also of note is the use of the term "Holy One" in reference to Christ. In the entire Old Testament there is only one use for the term "Holy One" and it is used abundantly to refer to the God of Israel.





Again, Jesus is God!





Now let us look at John 16: 7-13, which reads, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."





Please pay close attention to the following details.





First, the Holy Spirit is referred to by Jesus Christ as a person. The reference is "He," not "it."





Second, we learn that the Holy Spirit has a purpose in the life of the unsaved. In later chapter we will discuss His ministry to the saved, but to the unsaved the Holy Spirit has a single ministry which is tertiary in nature.





His work in your life if you have not received Christ as Savior, is to teach you about righteousness, sin and judgment





A mindless force, an it, a presence cannot have a purpose. A cognitive thinking being has a purpose.





Next, I want you to think about this. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.





If you read that in the Greek, the word that translates to "guide" describes the sort of action that I would use to take you by the hand and pull you into another room, not simply saying "come this way."





If you have ever had the experience of being completely filled with the Spirit of God and being propelled into His service then you will understand this. If not, you need to be asking God for it, because it is one awesome experience.





Now lets look at one last reference which tends to open a lot of eyes on this matter. I John 5:7 says, " For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one."





Most churches do not even want to talk about this verse. The New International Version of the Bible, which I personally call the Non Inspired Version, omits nearly all of it.





We have to remember though that the New King James, being translated directly from the oldest known copies of the biblical texts, retains this verse in its entirety.





If you are wondering how it is possible for the Father, Word and Holy Spirit to be one, I will attempt to explain this in the next chapter. However, for the time being consider that God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.





Consider then, that if God knows everything, has all power and can be everywhere at one time, how hard it is to comprehend that He knows how to use His power to be in three places and in three manifestations from eternity past to eternity to come? I can comprehend it and I am just a dumb old country boy who studies the Word.









Here I Am, Send Me

by Russ East, director UPFC



I grew up in a fourth generation Mormon family. When I turned eight, I was baptized and confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was soon encouraged to save money for my mission when I turned eighteen. I can vividly remember tithing ten percent of my one dollar a week allowance, and how good that made me feel. I remember singing songs like, "Book of Mormon Stories", and “The Golden Plates".



I also remember the fear that swept my heart because my Mom and Dad were not married in the Mormon Temple. If they had been I was taught our family would be sealed together in heaven, and never apart when we died. I remember competition rather than Christ's love. I remember pressure to be perfect rather than the plan of true salvation.



After six years of frustrated devotion to Mormonism, I felt spiritually empty. I questioned God similar to the example of the founder of the LDS church, Joseph Smith. I went out to the woods behind our house and next to a quiet creek and sunlight glistening through the trees, I knelt and prayed for God to show himself. I sincerely believed I would experience the same thing Joseph Smith claimed when he was fourteen and seeking for truth. This method seemed the most logical since it worked for the boy Smith.



God answered my prayer not in the woods that day, but through Pastor Robert Graves. Our family was invited to visit the Santa Rosa Bible Church in Santa Rosa, California and so we went. After hearing an enthusiastic sermon based on the Bible, Pastor Graves gave a most unique invitation. I had never heard such things in a church and basically considered the idea of salvation through grace by faith plus nothing as ridiculous.



This plan was too simple and gave too much joy for what it required. How could simple child like faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross assure me of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven with my Heavenly Father? I was taught there were three levels of heaven and there was no way of even knowing if one would ever even reach the lowest kingdom. I left that church unsaved, I thought the idea of Biblical salvation was too easy. Little did I understand that true salvation is free but not cheap.



Two weeks later our family returned to the Santa Rosa Bible Church. Once again at the end of the sermon I heard the same unique invitation. Now I knew the following; Pastor Graves was not changing the salvation message due to an error in his explanation two weeks ago. This salvation was something the Pastor really believed in and I could see there was no mistake on his understanding of the issue. I never heard the words "Joseph Smith, LDS, the golden plates, or working your way to the Celestial Kingdom of heaven. What I heard was that Jesus was God and that only He can give me the right to enter Heaven. Only by believing that I was a sinner and that He took the punishment for all my sins could I have a relationship with Him.

I sat in the pew that morning facing a decision. Do I raise my hand indicating to the Pastor I wanted to receive Christ for my forgiveness? Well, I could not stand it, I could not pass this offer up any longer. This salvation was so fantastic I had to have it. As my younger brother sitting next to me saw that I was slowly raising my hand, he said, "What are you doing. I replied, "Leave me alone". The next thing I knew, Pastor Graves was handing me a little book entitled, "Now That I Believe". He told me he would like to get together soon and talk about the decision I had made.



When I got home, I went upstairs to my room. I knew accepting Christ was what I needed, but could I still attend the Mormon Church? This was puzzling to me, so I opened the Bible my grandmother had given me. I prayed God would tell me whether or not I should keep going to the Mormon Church. I literally flipped the pages through until I happened to open to Galatians chapter one. My eyes were filled with tears when I read,



“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed."



Well after reading that, I knew I had the truth and that it had nothing to do with Mormonism. The day I accepted Christ, I began the most abundant and fulfilling life offered to mankind. I was born into a family that gave life meaning. Both on earth as well as when my life on earth passes away will my relationship with Christ be that much more meaningful.



Presently, I direct a ministry that helps to bring short-term mission teams to Utah. We also provide workshops on how to reach Mormons for Christ and conduct internships for those interested in being a part of our ministry in a supportive role.



I would love to talk with you more about my testimony and what the Lord has done in my life. I encourage you to go through the first seven chapters of the book of Romans in the Bible, and see for yourself how amazing true salvation really is.



Russ East, Director UPFC



You can reach me at (801) 737-1708 or at info@upfc.org

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Re: Unfair In reply to
Well I haven't seen any other actual current members of the LDS church on this thread, so let me throw myself onto the train tracks...yes, I am LDS and I'm proud of it. Now, there seems to be a lot of "I talked to a member and they told me..." and "I heard that..." and the like going on here. I don't think I need to say this but just in case, you can't believe everything you hear. Just because my friend who is pentecostal walks up to me and tells me that his church believes in animal sacrifice doesn't mean that it is actualy church doctrine.



That said, I'm sad that people believe the things that some people say about Christ's church. Instead of listening to the words of men, if you really have a sincere desire to learn about what the Church actually believes you need to visit www.lds.org or www.mormon.org. What you find on these sites is authorized by the church as doctrine. Wouldn't it be silly if I visited an anti-Pentecostal website to learn about what the Pentecostals beleive? or the Methodists? or the Presbyterians?



Last of all, the Spirit is the greatest tool that we can have in our lives. It is our direct link to our Heavenly Father, and by listening to the Spirit we can know the truth of all things. If you ask in faith, you will receive an answer. Instead of relying on the words of men to formulate your view of the LDS Church, rely on the promptings of teh Holy Ghost.



One last thing -- if you want to bash the Book of Mormon, please read it first so that you can actually say when you're bashing it that you have read it cover to cover. Some people like to bash it without reading it, and that just ain't right. If you don't read it, how do you know that it is right or wrong?
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Re: Unfair In reply to
     Okay, for the record, the members I have talked to were, for the most part your church's missionaries who, I would think would know what your church teaches. Forgive me if I assumed, but I based this upin the fact that they offered to teach me about your beliefs.

Also for the record, I have spent a good deal of time on the very site that you mentioned and found your official doctrine to be riddled with unbiblical errors. Not to mention the fact that it contradicts itself, as does the Book of Mormon, which by the way I HAVE READ FRONT TO BACK - TWICE.

As I said in the previous post, to which you responded, I am more than willing to sit down and open the BIBLE which is GOD'S perfect, infallible AND COMPLETE Word any time. My email address is holymountaineer@praize.com if you are interested.

Sincerely and in the Love of Christ,

Philip
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Re: Unfair In reply to
How can we hold our church's missionaries to a higher standard than we hold to ourselves? Yes, our missionaries devote 18 months or 2 years generally to full time missionary work but they are human just as we are -- a good missionary will make sure that you realize that you must not only listen to their message, but then pray about it for confirmation by the Holy Spirit. Like I said, we cannot rely solely on word of mouth from person to person, we have to rely on the Spirit to confirm truth in our hearts.



Also good to hear that you have not only read the Book of Mormon once, but that you read it a second time. Which parts of the Book of Mormon do you disagree with? Are there any specific details that you are having trouble with? I would be glad as well to discuss the problems, but you and I both know that nothing I say can make you change your attitude. When you were reading, did you approach reading the Book as if you were reading the words of prophets or the words of a treasure seeking farm boy? Did you pray before and after your reading? Did you pray for confirmation of the things that you were having trouble with?



And finally yes, read your Bible just as diligenty as you always have. If you are familiar with our church you would know that we regard the Bible to be the inspired word of God as well. To expound, we believe that the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of each other and are each a testimony to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible is the record of the trible of Judah and is a record of his ministry in one part of the world, while the Book of Mormon is a record of the children of Joseph, and is a record of his ministry in a different part of the world. We also believe that when we are ready to receive it, God will provide us with the records of peoples all over the world who he visited (Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold...). Each record will be a testimony of his atonement and his divinity. The Book of Mormon was brought forth in the latter-days to convince both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, and that through his atonement we can all return to our Heavenly Father and receive eternal life.
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Re: Unfair In reply to
How can we hold our church's missionaries to a higher standard than we hold to ourselves? Yes, our missionaries devote 18 months or 2 years generally to full time missionary work but they are human just as we are -- a good missionary will make sure that you realize that you must not only listen to their message, but then pray about it for confirmation by the Holy Spirit. Like I said, we cannot rely solely on word of mouth from person to person, we have to rely on the Spirit to confirm truth in our hearts.



Also good to hear that you have not only read the Book of Mormon once, but that you read it a second time. Which parts of the Book of Mormon do you disagree with? Are there any specific details that you are having trouble with? I would be glad as well to discuss the problems, but you and I both know that nothing I say can make you change your attitude. When you were reading, did you approach reading the Book as if you were reading the words of prophets or the words of a treasure seeking farm boy? Did you pray before and after your reading? Did you pray for confirmation of the things that you were having trouble with?



And finally yes, read your Bible just as diligenty as you always have. If you are familiar with our church you would know that we regard the Bible to be the inspired word of God as well. To expound, we believe that the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of each other and are each a testimony to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible is the record of the trible of Judah and is a record of his ministry in one part of the world, while the Book of Mormon is a record of the children of Joseph, and is a record of his ministry in a different part of the world. We also believe that when we are ready to receive it, God will provide us with the records of peoples all over the world who he visited (Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold...). Each record will be a testimony of his atonement and his divinity. The Book of Mormon was brought forth in the latter-days to convince both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, and that through his atonement we can all return to our Heavenly Father and receive eternal life.
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Re: Unfair In reply to
Doug,

I believe you have to hold your missionaries, teachers, elders, etc. to a higher standard, because God does. His Word says plainly that teachers of the Word will be held to a higher standard than other beleivers.

As a pastor I can never forget this. If I step out of line and teach something that is untrue, then I not only have sinned I have led others into sin.

As for your other questions, I read the book of Mormon first before I was saved, then again after I was saved. I did the same thing with the Bible, but the difference is that the TRUTH contained in the Bible led me to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, while the things contained in the book of Mormon did not AND in some cases contradicted the Bible.

As for the manner and attitude in which I read it, it was no different than with the Bible. I did not know about all of the inconsistencies in Joseph Smith's story until much later.

I would like very much to talk with you sometime. As for now though, it is 1:13 am here and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.

Sharing Christ's Love,

Philip
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Re: Unfair In reply to
I'm glad that you took the time to prayerfully read the Book of Mormon twice. As for myself, I can say that I have felt the Spirit while reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I would also be glad to talk some time...feel free to email me when you get a chance. I would enjoy taking some time to answer any questions you have.
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Re: Unfair In reply to
This is lovemenot responding .... Re: Unfair



<Hello amormenos,



You said....... Religion has never worked for me becasue every church claims to be the true church. And most people at church think there better int he church than others andblah blah blah its like a popularity contest, WE ARE THE BEST, no WE ARE, etc im tired of it
>



Don't feel bad. Everyone is all going thru this kind of trials. Maybe God wants to put you in higher position like spiritual higher dimention. Remember God doesn't like the religious matter either. According to the book of... Mark 7:8

For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.




We only have one true church. The only way you can find this one out. Base on the word of God. You will be responsible on your actions,deeds. This is for everyone is not only you. We can go church all we want to. But if we did not read the word of God. You just assume what people say and what they think. That is not good. You must confirm the word of the Lord in his word. Not someone else. There will be no Pentecostal, catholics, islam,baptist or any type of religion in heaven. God only see us through if you do his word.



God is commanding us even to this generation to save ourselves.



According to the book of.... Acts 2:40

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.




Of course there are three basics that we must follow. Repent, baptize in his name and Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Of course you don't want to omit some other commandment either. Your actions will be in your body, the way you talk, the way how you represent God.



What is the truth? How can you know it? You must confirm God's Word when someone tells you things about God. Exampe: If God require you to be baptize in his name. Then someone told you that just be baptize in any way. This is wrong. Because God given his name and reveal his name to his people. So you must find out what is the name of the Lord. In order for you to be baptize. Just don't assume someone told you so..... Need to confirm in the word of God. Look it up in the bible before you will say yes.



I hope this will help you. Do not be discourage. Keep up your faith in God. Love ya!



Respond by: Victoria