Ongoing Conversations with Mormon Missionaries Part 10

Our plan for this week was to continue to challenge them on the Godhead.  We hoped they would see how their beliefs contradict the Bible.  The key issue is Mormonism is polytheistic (belief in more than one god) and Christianity has always been monotheistic.  The Bible clearly teaches there is only one God.  In addition LDS church teaches God Father was once a man, who worked his way up to being a god.  This needed to be challenged.

Week 11: Elder Davidson and Baker met with Dylan and me.  We reviewed our homework assignments form the previous week. Our assignment was to continue to defend the doctrine of the Trinity.  Baker and Davidson were to read Isaiah 43-48 and look at all the verses that teach there is only one God.  They said they didn’t do their homework; they were too busy.

Both of them still struggled with the idea Jesus was God and how there could only be one God.  I asked them to imagine one God and three centers of consciousness (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  Elder Davidson brought up that all three were present at the baptism of Jesus.  There was the Father speaking from heaven, the appearance of a dove representing the Holy Spirit, and Jesus in the water.  I explained the Trinity believes in three distinct persons and the baptism shows all three involved.  I said the Father and the Holy Spirit are spirit beings and could be there with Jesus.  I said part of their confusion was they believe God the Father has a physical body.  The Father and the Son with bodies, at the baptism, makes it difficult to grasp the idea of one God.

I asked them, don’t you believe the Father was once a man and then reached the highest level of heaven and became a god.  They said they weren’t sure.  They see God the Father as eternal, without a beginning.  I pointed out the body of the Father is tied to the belief he was once a human and ascended to godhood.  They both said that makes sense.  Interesting was the fact they didn’t know what they believed.  At times I found myself teaching them their theology.  I said through study of the internet and their web site the LDS church teaches god the father was once a man and lived a perfect life and later became god of this earth.  I said you need to look this up because I could be wrong.  They said they would.

Elder Davidson said we believe the Father has a body because we are made in his image and we have a body.  I said you know I’ve been trying hard to clean up my image.  Everybody laughed at that comment.  I made the point that image could have to do with character qualities and not physical appearance.  Romans 8:29 (KJV) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”   I asked according to this verse, are we supposed look like Jesus physically.  They both agreed it was talking about becoming more like Jesus in our moral life.

So what does Genesis 1 mean when it says we were created in God’s image?  I said we know love because of God has put love into our souls.  We know justice and righteous anger, plus we are rational beings because we are made in the image of God.  I asked does that make sense and they said yes.  I also said when the Bible speaks of Jesus at the right hand of God.  Here the writer is speaking of power and authority.  Similar to saying Dylan is my right hand man.  That doesn’t mean Dylan is always at my right hand but that he is a very important person.  This is called anthropomorphic language (describing God in human terms).

I said John 4 teaches God is spirit, which means he cannot have a physical body.  Next week I will make a case for why I don’t believe God the Father had a physical body.  They acknowledged Joseph Smith taught this and looked forward to what counter evidence I had.

When we parted we both had assignments; mine was to prove God the Father doesn’t have a body and theirs was to read the one God passages in Isaiah and to figure out if God the Father was once a man and became a god.

Unfortunately, this was the last time we heard from them.  I tried calling multiple times to see if we were going to meet but they would not answer their phone.  It could be they were advised to stop meeting with us.  The tip off may have been we knew more about their beliefs than they did.  Dylan and I were sad.  However, we felt good about a seed of God’s truth was planted in their hearts and minds.  Hopefully, they won’t forget what they learned from us.

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Gina S. Martelino April 5, 2014, 2:03 am

    You’ve encountered a weak elder. If I am in there to teach and answer you. I can answer you directly. Hopefully we can talk. To teach you. I’m proud to be LDS

  • Gina S. Martelino April 5, 2014, 3:00 am

    i will make u taste a simple answer first although i love to teach in personal,

  • Gina S. Martelino April 5, 2014, 3:32 am

    I will show you just how ridiculous your logic is. would you please turn to 2kings 14:20, so we can follow out your contradiction and prove the bible false? it reads, ” And they brought him on horses; and he was buried at jerusalem with his fathers in the city of david” now if the city of david according to the new testament is bethlehem how could he buried at both Jerusalem and bethlehem? I will answer your question and show you how ridiculous your contradiction really is. If you had read the Book of Mormon, you would have learned that Alma’s descendants were from Jerusalem, and Alma knew that Jerusalem was in the Old world. the Lord had to tell Alma where the Son of God was to be born. of course, Alma had never been to Bethlehem, so the Lord had a small difficult in attempting to tell Alma where the Son of God to be Born, so he told Alma that Christ would be Born ” At Jerusalem ” so Alma could link that up with the land of his forefathers. Now, if you only would look up the word ”at” as a word which expresses exact or approximate position .Therefore , by the wisdom of the Lord, he choose the approximate position where Christ should be born..

    I know for you the Book of Mormon is false , and your reasons have been, because it contradicts the Bible ”, it might be because one or two words appear to you to be out of the place which you feel should be in there. Lord Bacon once said, ” Read not to contradict and confuse, not to believe and takefor granted.. but to weigh and consider” I wager to say that 90% of you have never read the Bokk of Mormon from cover to cover, and that none of you have read it, Praying to God to find out if it’s true. You have run across the little pamplets that attempt to ”expose” the book , and each time the book withstood the test.

  • rashid somalinog April 5, 2014, 7:13 am

    and Yes we Believe that Heavenly Father has a Body flesh and bones as tingle as man’s as does the Son. I don’t need an evidence for this corrupted and error world, manifestation of Holy Ghost is enough for me (Cor 2:40).
    I can see how Paul felt as he stood among the Greeks and read the inscription ” TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” Gentlemen, ”Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you? John 4:24 points out that Gos is a spirit, but notice it says, reading on, ” and they that worship him must worship in spirirt and in truth” Brother steve, do you leave your body home when you go to Church? it says that YOU MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. The context of the scripture informs us that the people of samaria were not worshipping the Father in truth beacuse in John 4:22, Christ told the women , ” ye worship ye know not what ” 2 kings 17: 28:34 points out that that this people is pagan worshippers, so Christ merely pointed out that God also had a spirit, and was not as pagan God, the scriptures also say. ” GOD IS LOVE” ” GOD IS LIGHT” and ” GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE” , so God can be and do many things, To say he is only Spirit is nonsense. In roman 1:20-25 the people worshiping birds, four footed beasts, and creeping things also along with their statue of corruptible man. Christ was really declaring an eternal truthwhen he told pagan Samaria that God was a spirit. and was not a graven image. Acts 8: 13-20 will prove to you that those good people never really received the ”word of God” until Philip preached to them. Therefore. if they not received the word of God, they were livivng by another word, or gospel, col 1: 18-19 informs us that Christ was the Head of the Church, the first born of every creature, and it so pleased the Father that in ”Christ” was all fullness of the Godhead to dwell in His mortal tabernacle of flesh. John 14:6 tells us that he gave of this fullnes to his followers. This fullness was ” the way, the truth and the life”. interpreting the word ”bodily” as meaning Christ’s physical body is very facetious, for you accept that literally, then you must accept the next verse literally, which reads, ” And ye are complete in Him” He was speaking, of course of the Church.
    But if you still waiting for the passage where it reads Gos has a body of flesh and bone’ their is no passage for that. but it is so plain that anyone who wants to find the truth can see it, Heb 1:3 tells us that Christ was in the ”EXPRESS IMAGE” of His Father, and asStepehenwas being stoned, he looked up into Heaven and Saw God and Christ standing at His Right hand. in Luke 24:36-39 that Christ after His resurrection, said ” BEHOLD MY HANDS AND MY FEET, THAT IT IS MYSELF, HANDLE ME AND SEE, FOR A SPIRIT HATH NO FLESH AND BONES AS YE SEE ME HAVE”. in Acts 1:9-11 as Christ bid farewell to His apostles, we read, ” THIS SAME JESUS WHICH IS TAKEN UP FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN” .. in James 2:26 informs us that” as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works os dead also”. Now do you believe that Christ twice= because His spirit had left his body once, Luke 23:46 and entered back into His Body three days later, marking the first resurrection, and death would have entered his body again if His spirit separated from it. Paul wrote that this was an impossibility in Roman 6:9-10 ” Knowing that Christ being raised up from the dead dies no more, death hath no more dominion over him. these scriptures prove very definitely that Christ has his body with Him in Haven today, and that since Christ is in express image if His Father then His Father also has a body of flesh and bone.
    Heb 5:8-9 informs us that perfection did not come until he had suffered on the cross. Christ was then a perfect after his resurrection and he had abody of flesh and bones which he has today. now, if he was going t6o his Father, who is also perfect? matt 5;8 for father; heb 5;9 for Son, what kind of body would he have? Does stephen say there was a difference? which would be the most perfect, the Son with a body of flesh,bone, and spirit, or Father with only a spirit? Now, let’s get logical. One or the other has to be perfectly Created. One is the express image of the other.

  • Steve Bruecker April 6, 2014, 6:31 am

    Gina,
    Thanks for writing. The city of David in 2 kings 14:20 is said to be Jerusalem. However, in multiple OT verses the city of David is called Zion. Zion sometimes referred to Jerusalem or the Israelites (Zech. 2:7) or the land of Judah (Zion was the land of the exile Jer. 31:12). In the NT the majority of the time Jerusalem is referred to as the city of David. However, since the OT also referred to Zion as the location of the city of David, other cities in Judah can be included. Bethlehem was David’s hometown, located in Judah, and therefore can be referred to as the city of David.

    Your story about Alma and God is nice but it is not an argument. It is told to try to make sense of why Alma got it wrong. Long before “Alma,” God had revealed to the Prophet Micah, Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Why would God tell Micah the truth and then later give Alma a false location?

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker April 6, 2014, 6:42 am

    Gina,
    You seem to want to teach me. I read in the Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 19:13 that Jesus was the God of Israel. Is that true? According to your beliefs, is Jesus called Jehovah in the OT?

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker April 6, 2014, 7:31 am

    Gina,
    Please give me a simple answer to what is written Alma 11:44 “…be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” This sounds like the Trinity: One God subsists in 3 persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal and co-eternal. How can the Book of Mormon teach the traditional Trinity and your church teaches something different?

    Steve

  • rashid somalinog April 6, 2014, 9:50 pm

    so you mean the bible is complicated for using the city of David in different places, how can God point in every prophet of old testament the complicated point of location?, if your answer is to read the bible to understand clearly,then you must read and understand the BOM,, Alma 7:10 reffered to Christ as being born ”at” Jerusalem where the Bible had ”in” Bethlehem.

  • rashid somalinog April 6, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Then how God pirmitted the apostles to be contradict in the time of crucifixion, where all four writers had different ionscriptions about Christ on the cross, in Luke 23:44 refers to the three hours darkness coming between the 6th and the 9th hour while Christ was on the cross, compared with Marks’s account that at the third hour they crucified him. John 19:14 informs us that Pilate was still trying to free Christ at about sixth hour.
    And in Matt 27:9-10 where Matthew quotes Jeremiah with the Prophesy of the tyhirty pieces of silver, and yet the old testament proves that it was not Jeremiah that made the Prophecy but zechariah.
    and theirs so many more to write here in ur website. so how God permitted to happen this.
    but i think this is one of the answer, ”FOR MY WAYS ARE NOT YOUR WAYS” Isa 55:8-9. thats why I believe for the manifestation of Holy Ghost that the explanation of this curropt world.

  • Steve Bruecker April 6, 2014, 10:18 pm

    Dear Rashid,
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. You are having problems with the word “is.” Bill Clinton used it to his advantage and you are trying to do the same. First let me quote you: “…so Christ merely pointed out that God also had a spirit, and was not as pagan God, the scriptures also say. ” GOD IS LOVE” ” GOD IS LIGHT” and ” GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE” , so God can be and do many things, To say he is only Spirit is nonsense.”

    First, you changed the wording of John 4:24. You wrote God has a spirit. That is not what John said. He wrote in John 4:24: “God is a spirit.” Do you believe it is okay to change the words of the Bible to fit your needs? The Bible clearly says God is a spirit.

    The Apostle John did not use the “is” of identity but the “is” of predication. The “is” of predication (x is y): x is a particular or a class, and y is a property or a metaphor (qualities, properties, attributes). Spirit is an ontological (state of being) property of God. God is love, God is light, and God is a consuming fire are all “is” of predication. They are either properties of God or metaphors describing properties or attributes of God. The “is” used in the statement “God is a spirit” is not the “is” of identity.

    God does not have a physical body, He is a spirit. In fact the passage you quote in Luke 24:36 Jesus says a spirit does not have flesh and bone. You helped me make my point that God is a spirit and does not have a body of flesh and bones.

    Much of what you wrote after this I refuted in my series “Unmasking the Deception of Mormonism.” Specifically, that God doesn’t have a physical body in parts 17 & 18 at http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/unmasking-the-deception-of-mormonism-part-17/. Please read this before replying.

    Steve

  • rashid somalinog April 6, 2014, 10:27 pm

    we LDS believe in TRINITY in the testimony of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon ” And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, Which is one God ”. they were one, but one in purpose and unity. they three GOD, but One GOD, Neithert confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance. They are uncreate. they are INCOMPREHENSIBLE,ETERNAL,ALMIGHTY,LORD.
    i testified in that because the Holy Ghost manifest it to me the Holy Ghost is My evidence because the Holy Ghost is the Knowledge that incomprehensible,. the dictionary defines the word incomprehensible as , that whioch not understood” and then you will find the opposite of incomprehensible is KNOWLEDGE. the Knowledge brought by God to the Apostles that we can read in 2peter 1:3-9.
    and iknow that Jesus Chist is the God of Israel Jesus Christ is the Jehovah in old Testament, Heavenly Father and Jehovah is the God of abraham,isaac and Jacob, because they are one, so you ask me how can i explain, I cannot utter, because they are incomprehensible, but I have a KNOWLEDGE in my soul in my Heart. Im not a wise man like you. but i testified that its True they are God, and we have a living Prophet, and through Jopseph Smith the Church Restored, Amen

  • Steve Bruecker April 9, 2014, 6:32 am

    Rashid,
    There is no actual city called “The City of David.” Why is it so hard to understand it is more of a general geographical location, including the region of Judah?

    However, both Jerusalem and Bethlehem are cities. In the Bible, we know God told Micah to write the birthplace for the Messiah was to be Bethlehem. This was written hundreds of years before (supposedly) Alma penned the wrong city. How did the Mormon God get it wrong? All you have do is admit Joseph Smith made a simple mistake and the problem is solved.

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker April 9, 2014, 7:02 am

    Rashid,
    You seem interested in the resurrection accounts. They definitely show the marks of eyewitnesses, in that some minor details seem to be different. If they were exactly the same, then the charge of collusion would be leveled against them. Historians expect to find minor details seemingly conflicting. However, once you gather the complete story, they all fit together.

    Many authors have shown how these details work together. If interested I suggest reading the book, Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison. He took the 4 accounts and showed how they can be reconciled as accurate eyewitness accounts. Also a more recent book called, Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace will help you understand how the Biblical eyewitnesses were accurate.

    Rashid, have you read the entire Bible?

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker April 9, 2014, 7:26 am

    Rashid,
    You don’t believe in the historic Trinity. Where in the Book of Mormon does it say the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in purpose?

    As I said before Alma 11:44 teaches the Trinity. “…be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is (is of identity) the one Eternal God. We know it is the “is” of identity because according to this statement Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the one eternal God. And you can reverse it and say the one Eternal God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That makes it the “is” of identity because it can be reversed and still be true. This is an ontological statement. It has nothing to do with one in purpose. It is clearly stating one in being…one eternal God. The Book of Mormon supports the historic doctrine of the Trinity.

    If Jesus is Jehovah and God the Father is elohim (Hebrew for God) then you have incredible problems. There are many problematic scriptures but I will only start with two. Deuteronomy 4:35 (KJV) “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.” The key words are, “LORD he is God.” If we substitute the Hebrew words we end up with “Jehovah he is elohim.” In other words you believe, “Jesus he is the Father.” Is that what Mormonism teaches? Is Jesus the Father according you your beliefs?

    Here is a second example: Deuteronomy 4:39 “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” Again the key words are “the LORD he is God.” Using the Hebrew it says “the Jehovah he is elohim.” According to Mormonism we read, “the Jesus he is the Father.”

    Is this what you believe? I could provide many more verses that say this.

    Steve

  • Tim April 12, 2014, 1:20 pm

    I do not think that I will join a debate here, for I’ve seen (what I think is) a lot of fruitlessness having long conversations with Mormon Elders, but I really appreciated your comment on the potential accusation of collusion if the disciples had identical accounts. That’s a cool and practical thought. Seems like the sort of way God would enjoy using imperfect people.
    I always love the verse (which I’m sure everyone here knows) John 8:58 where Jesus claims: “…before Abraham was, I am.” Just the outrageous claim that He could somehow be outside of the current moment in time is such a beautiful, but bizarre picture of the “eternalness” of the God-Man!
    Let us remember that what we are concerned about is maintaining a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). For one day we will bow and confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    And may God remove ALL selfish ambition and our own interests when we explore and discuss what Truth is. “For who is adequate for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16). We are just mere men and yet He cares for us! By His great mercy may He take our lives and be glorified through them.

    With all that said, Steve I’m encouraged by you in your defense of the faith. I pray that God would purify your ambition (as He most CERTAINLY is doing) and that you would cling to God as the waistband clings to the waist of a man so that you “might be for Me, a people, a name, a praise and a glory.” Jer. 13:11

    Grace be with you brother!

    Tim

  • Steve Bruecker April 13, 2014, 6:42 am

    Tim,
    I appreciate your words of encouragement. I love my Mormon friends who disagree with me. I am trying to give an answer to everyone who asks but do so with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). May God be glorified in all that I do.

    Steve

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