We continue our comments on the manuscript sent to us by a Mormon called Stephen.(*)
We have now reached the second chapter of that manuscript, and it is about Salvation. We have already fully answered in our previous study and in all previous studies all what Stephen says in this chapter, but we will now take each point and make a summarized comment about it.
Practically all of Christendom agrees our Father in Heaven gave us life and provided a way for us to return to His presence after we leave this frail existence through both the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Where we LDSs part company with most ECs is in the need for the Atonement and in the questions: From where did we come? Why are we here? Where do we go—specifically—after we cross the threshold of mortality? As these questions are central to the need for any Atonement, I will synopsize what we have learned from ancient inspired writers of the Book of Mormon and through modern revelation and then back it up with Biblical Scripture. As most anti-Mormon literature deals with our belief on this subject, it is the most extensive of any chapter.
Note how Stephen tries to associate himself with us: he declares his cult as one of the true and accepted groups of Christendom, and he tries to present the views of his cult as optional interpretations of the truth of God… Stephen tells us what all of Christendom agrees about, as if he were a legitimate part of Christendom, and then he tells us how he parts company with the rest of Christendom, as if he were of us… But 1 John 2:19 says he was never of us to begin with… As we have already seen in our article entitled Should we associate with the Mormons?, Mormons try to look like sheep or true prophets of God in order to deceive people like Satan does, for as 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says, “such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” This is why Mormons want us to take the “Let’s agree to disagree” position towards them and to consider them as Christians so that they may deceive us with their false teachings. We have seen how Mormons do not have the doctrine of Christ and how they come to us as deceivers and want to be considered one with us in order to deceive us.
Indeed, look how Stephen uses terms in a loose way:
– “our Father in Heaven”: if all of Christendom will agree on what Stephen is saying, they should at least agree on the definition of “our Father in Heaven”… But Stephen uses this expression in a loose way, although he means a totally different thing than what we Christians and the Bible mean with it. Our Father in Heaven is not our “literal spirit Father” who married a goddess mother to give birth to our spirits (as Mormons believe…)
– “gave us life”: What life is this? Biological life? A spirit life before we are born? The spiritual life which we have in Christ alone? The answer is not clear in the use of this expression…
– “a way for us to return to His presence”: Return from where? What is God’s presence? Is it only after death that we can be in God’s Presence? Or is it now?
– “to return to His presence after we leave this frail existence”: No, Christians do not agree with Mormons about this… We believe that we can be in God’s Presence right now as His justified children in Christ, because Justification is by faith and not by our personal merits or works. As the psalmist says, “One [thing] have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Jehovah, and to inquire [of him] in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4) We are already in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus: “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6) Even under the Old Covenant, we read: “And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” (Exodus 33:14-15) If the people of God could experience the Presence of God even under the Old Covenant, then how much more we experience this, we who have the Presence of God, His Holy Spirit, in us?… But Mormons have not yet returned to the Presence of God, because they refuse the message of reconciliation (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)… And still, they want to be considered one with us, Christians, although they are not baptized with the Holy Spirit and thus are not made one body with us: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)…
– “The need for the Atonement”: This is a loose use of the word “Atonement”, because Mormons have no idea about what Atonement really means, and they are legalists who do not understand the following words of David when he said in his confession: “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.” (Psalm 51:16) Again, they do not understand the words of Jesus: “But go and learn what [that] is — I will have mercy and not sacrifice; for I have not come to call righteous [men] but sinners.”” (Matthew 9:13) All religions of self-righteousness do not understand this biblical truth. And just like all human religions, Mormons also have turned the Atonement to mean an act of self-righteousness, a sacrifice that they present to God by their righteousness, as we see in the document of Stephen. That’s what the Pharisees did also in the days of Jesus.
Finally, note how Stephen builds all his teachings on that human word called “Book of Mormon”, and then he tries to twist God’s Word to make it agree with what that human document teaches. The Pharisees also used to make their own human doctrines and to teach them to people, and then they tried to justify those teachings by their own wrong interpretations of God’s Word. This is what Stephen is doing, as we have seen plenty of evidences till now, and as we will continue to see…
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ