Sunday Morning, October 2012 General Conference review by Bazz Deacon.

After the songs of worship Henry B Eyring told us about the time his 3 year old granddaughter questioned where Jesus was in the resurrected body. Making clear reference to his denial over the Trinity.

Pay attention to what he says towards the end “The saviours only motivation was to help people.”

Actually his motivation was his love for us, He didn’t just have one clear motivation, His life, His lessons, His miracles and His sacrifice changed the world. Not just His works but something much much deeper.

Henry B Eyring wraps up his teachings with these words “I promise you that as you do, you will feel the love of the saviour” “if you do this long enough and often enough you will feel a change in your very nature”.

Translation “do works for the church and your heart will change”.

Our attention was then lead to President Boyd K Packer I took great interest when he spoke about the Pearl of Great Price passage “No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of the Lord”.

Sorry but aren’t we all unclean things? We are saved by Gods grace, not our works and hearts. To put it simply we aren’t saved because we are good, we are saved because He is good.

He then spoke of how “A mediator was chosen”

God didn’t look around Heaven and saw Jesus and said “your the man for the job” Jesus was God in the flesh. Read Johns Gospel (John 1.1) “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” later (John 1 verse 14) it states “The Word became flesh”. The Word was Jesus and through him all things were made, you go to any bible scholar and ask them if Jesus was God and they will all say “yes”. A Mormon once said to me that the trinity isn’t true because the word trinity is not mentioned once in the bible. To which I responded “The word Bible isn’t mentioned in the bible but it doesn’t mean we aren’t reading it.

Linda K Burton then took the stage. She shared her testimony and like the others they’re was emotions in her voice and tears in her eyes at one point. Friends, its a trick. It’s a way of getting people to follow the stories. The stories they all tell may have happened but they are clearly using them as a ploy to entice followers to work for the church. She then finished with these words…“I know that President Thomas S Monson is our prophet today, in the name of Jesus Christ amen”.

How can she know that, by feelings?? What makes her feelings different from a Muslim who believes the book of Quran is correct, the absolute word of God and that and that Muhammed was sent by God? Feeling that something is right does not make the thing right, that’s why we have the bible. If you have a feeling to do something then you apply that to the bible to see if it is true and if the bible is against it then you know its not from God so you don’t do it.
Then we come to Walter F Gonzalez

I love this guy, he starts by talking about how we should avoid the internet… He says “You can find good and bad information on the internet” More and more people every year are leaving the Mormon faith since the invention of the internet. Bad information is still information. Also pay attention to the way he looks at the camera, like he is saying it as a command rather than a gentle warning. Listen to how his voice changes when he speaks about how we should avoid the information on the net. Also what was more revealing was what he said shortly after “It is also important to be still and follow the the celestial prompting. When we do this we will feel and see things that cannot be learned by modern technology”. In other words what he is asking them to do is, if they find information on the web that disproves Mormon doctrine close your eyes, pray and feel that the book of Mormon is true. If a detective goes to a murder scene they don’t just question the suspect and believe them. What they do is question other people at the scene, family and friends of the deceased and that of the suspect. They also speak to forensics and then they find the answers they seek.

He then appealed to their hearts He said “Now I ask you… Do you remember the peace you felt while after much tribulation, you cried out unto the father in mighty prayer? Do you remember changing your to do list to follow the prompting in your heart?”. In the bible it never asks us to follow our hearts, why?? Because God knows how hurt we can be on the inside. Jeremiah 17.9 states this...”The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Jeffrey R Holland. Took a similar approach when he appealed to the hearts. You could hear the emotions in the leaders voice… again “sigh”. As he went on he said “I acknowledge my none scriptural elaboration” (In other words he is adding to scripture… Revelations 22.18 forbids this by the way). “I NEED disciples forever” (in other words the LD$ need disciples forever once again they are appealing to the Mormons who are contemplating the missionary calling).

It was finished nicely (if not predictively) by President Thomas S Monson saying “Never postpone a prompting” translation…. do what feels right, don’t spend time looking for knowledge.
Quick note on faith and feelings.
Faith is feelings backed up by facts and knowledge. Facts that the LDS presidents don’t want the followers to know about… Why?? Because it will expose the LDS church the followers will leave and they don’t want that. They want the money and they want the power. If anything I personally encourage seeking answers through the internet (that’s what made my faith grow). God gives us plenty of signs, He gave us Jerusalem  Damascus, places Jesus visited and many more besides. He has nothing to hide, look into it, search it out.
Bazz Deacon

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9 Responses »

  1. I have tremendous problems accepting the doctrine of the Trinity. It just doesn’t seem scriptural at all. In fact in seems to deny scripture. Why did he tell his mother that he needed to be about his Father’s business when he was yet a boy? Whose voice came down from Heaven at Jesus baptism? Why did he need to pray to God before choosing his apostles? In Gethsemane why did he ask the Father to “let the cup pass from him” if that were possible? If the Father were not a separate being I have never understood what the point of that would be. When Jesus was on the cross he did not understand why the Father had forsaken Him (or why would he ask the question?) so He clearly had been forsaken and situation requires the existence of a separate being. Why did he need to ask the Father to forgive the Roman soldiers if the Son and the Father are the same? To whom did He commend His spirit? Why did Jesus describe the Father as His God as well as the God of his disciples when talking to them just before His ascension to Heaven if Jesus actually was God? I spent some time in the Mormon church, although I have now left, but neither before, during or since have I ever understood the doctrine of the Trinity or accepted it as scriptural although I know there are many who would say I am not a Christian if I don’t believe it. But I do fully accept Jesus as my Saviour. I just don’t believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.

    • You’re not alone Bob, the doctrine(s) of the trinity have caused much contention and confusion throughout the history of Christianity, I see it as yet another way the early patriarchs tried to make the square peg of Jesus fit in the various round holes of the other contemporary religions of the time by mimicking their doctrines and beliefs and trying to say Christianity was a monotheistic religion with more than one God.

    • Hi Bob I did email you about this but just ignore it I will reply here. I can understand and respect you not believing the Trinity however firstly I would say that your understanding of the Trinity is not the correct belief on it. In my experience both ex Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to say the same thing you just did, I think its possible that both movements try to misrepresent the doctrine to make it sound all the more unacceptable.

      What you have stated there which is the view that the Father, Son and Spirit are not only one God but also one person is modalism, which I would very much count as a heresy. Modalism leaves itself wide open to the massive problem that when Christ was baptised the Father Spoke from heaven, the Spirit came like a Dove, also like you said who is Jesus praying to etc, all shows the holes in this view.

      The Doctrine of the Trinity is the view that The Father is fully God and an individual person, the Son is fully God and is an individual person and the Spirit is fully God and is an individual person. Yet we see all over the Bible that there is only one God. So we take it to mean that God is a Trinity of persons yet is one being, one God, these persons are one in substance yet are three persons. I can appreciate you still may not accept this but at least you will be not accepting the Trinity for what it is rather than something it is not.

      Its a common criticism that this was made up at the Council of Nicea but rather thats where it was classified as a Doctrine because of false teaching such as Arianism trying to establish itself, the belief in One God and Jesus being God etc goes much further back.

      Do you have to accept the Trinity to be saved, yes and no. I will explain in reverse order.

      NO: For starters I did not knowingly believe in the Trinity when I became a Christian, the word Trinity is nowhere in the bible (even if ultimately the teaching of it it) and nowhere does it say therefore you must accept it to be a Christian, so therefore I would struggle to say you must believe it to be saved.

      YES: Jesus said in John 8:58 that “Before Abraham was born I AM”, Jesus identifies Himself as God the same way God does in Exodus 3:14, Jesus takes this much further in John 8:24 when He says “Unless you believe I am HE you will die in your sins”. The source of salvation is 100% Jesus Christ and His work in us as a result of our faith in Him, this is only possible because He is God, all of the movements that deny the full deity of Christ also teach a salvation by works, this is the right response as without the full Deity of Christ His sacrifice alone is not sufficient for our salvation. Yet because Jesus is God it is sufficient. Jesus is saying here you must accept me and all that I am for your salvation. He doesnt name the Trinity but He does go straight to the most significant part of it for our salvation.

  2. I must honestly admit when I gave my heart to Christ (2008) I couldn’t get my head around the trinity either regardless how much I looked into it. I found myself asking questions like the ones asked above. But then I came across the word “Immanuel” (mentioned 3 times in the Bible Isaiah 7:14, 8:8 and in Matthew 1:23 Hebrew for “God with us”). then I started with thoughts like “It’s God he can do what he wants” (no really… I did ) As for Jesus “not knowing His fathers will” I think he was limited from being all seeing and all knowing as he lead a mortal life with us. When he said on the cross “father why have you forsaken me”?. That was because God had to distance himself from Jesus as he made himself the sacrifice for our sins, and Jesus felt that distance. That’s my opinion but I like Bobby’s explanation better. It’s more clearer.

  3. There’s a reason why you can’t get your head around the trinity. Tertullian coined the words “Trinity” and “person” and explained that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were “one in essence – not one in Person.” Tertullian wasn’t a prophet. He didn’t receive revelation from God for this new doctrine. And it was new doctrine in his day because his ideas were at first rejected as heresy by the church at large, but later accepted as Christian orthodoxy. Why were they accepted later?…the council of Nicea may or may not have had something to do with it, but regardless, it was a new doctrine and he had no authority to change it.

    John 17:19-21

    19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

    20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

    21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    Christ prays for the apostles and all the saints and prays that they would be one the same way He and the Father are one…one in purpose…not one in substance or essence. Could you imagine if all the apostles and the saints melted together in one big blob to be one in substance like the supposed trinity.

  4. @Bazz re: “God gives us plenty of signs, He gave us Jerusalem Damascus, places Jesus visited and many more besides. He has nothing to hide, look into it, search it out.”

    I’d be interested in hearing what your chronology is of the Bible. As far as I understand, most Christians believe that Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden would have occurred approx. 4000 B.C., yet Jericho is widely known as the oldest inhabited town in the world dating back more than 10,000 year ago and just recently they unearthed settlements near Jerusalem that date back to around the same period. This would be very difficult if the world wasn’t even created yet, not to mention the fact that scientists date modern man going back millions of years and genetically diverging from primates many millions of years ago. The Catholic church now believes that Adam and Eve is just a myth. Is that what you believe?

  5. Hi Chris H. Love the responses, was something to ponder.
    Ok firstly there must have been good reason for the word trinity to be accepted into Christianity as people throughout history and in the world today (that are a heck of a lot more learned than I am) wouldn’t have made a mistake that huge. If the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are 3 seprate beings then when Jesus was conceived from the Holy Spirit (Matt 1.18-22) then why did he call himself the “Son of God” (John 5:25)?? Why wouldn’t he have been called the “Son of the Holy Spirit”?? The being of God is complex but there are scriptural passages that make Jesus equal with God. The other one that comes to mind are when Jesus said in the great commission (Matt 28:18-20) In the name of the father the son and the holy spirit and throughout the Bible where it states there is only one God (Deuteronomy 4:35, Deuteronomy 4:39 and Isaiah 43:10 spring to mind). However am going to look into the Tertullian claim you mentioned as its the first I heard of it and it sounds interesting. Moving on to the chronology of the Bible, my knowledge is limited on this and am not confident on Earth being 6000 years old (would love some insight if anyone can enlighten me on this subject). However I don’t completely trust carbon dating after seeing (via dvd) a scientist explaining that a rock he had was over 1000 years old and in fact it was from a volcano 20 years ago and had cooled which had made a significant change to it (Am an alcohol support worker by the way am not a scientist :) ). Carbon ages at a significant rate which makes things possible to date (that’s how it works on finding dates from buildings to fossils and so on) that’s why I find it hard to believe the 6000 year old planet. As for the Humans evolving from Primates, I don’t believe it (and probably never have). I believe we were taller and stronger but not evolved from primates…. My thoughts on evolution are as follows, scientists once believed the Earth was flat even though the Bible stated it was round (Isaiah 40:22) and suspended on nothing (Job 26:7). Scientists also stated that the Atom was the smallest thing in the world until they found out that it had neutrons and electron inside it. And it was believed many years ago (which may sound ludicrous now) that us humans spontaneously came into being (without reproduction… Google “Spontaneous Generation”). If scientist are wrong about all of those things, can’t they believe that they might be wrong about this???. As for the Adam and Eve “myth” I don’t believe it and haven’t heard of the Catholic Church claiming so. :)

    • @Bazz
      My niece went to a Catholic school for many years in Ottawa, Canada even though she wasn’t Catholic. My sister wasn’t happy with the public school system there. When she was around 12 years old (about 9 years ago), she was taught in religion class at the Catholic school that Adam and Eve weren’t real people…they were just mythological characters used to teach a lesson. She asked the teacher…”if Adam and Eve weren’t real people, why are babies baptized/christened for original sin (Adam’s sin)?” The teacher couldn’t answer the question. The teacher went to the head of the department and they couldn’t answer the question, so they went to the head of the school and they couldn’t answer the question. Who knows how far up the chain they had to go, but it took weeks for her to finally get an answer and the answer was…babies are still baptized, but not for original sin anymore. Interesting that babies are no longer baptized for original sin when, for centuries, parents were told their children would burn in hell for eternity if their baby died before being baptized (and they couldn’t be buried in a Catholic cemetary).

      I know you haven’t mentioned it Bazz so I’m not accusing you of anything, but I find it interesting that many people on these threads are quick to embrace carbon dating or DNA technologies if it allegedly disproves claims from the Book of Mormon, yet when those same carbon dating or DNA technologies say we allegeldy evolved from primates millions of years ago or disprove claims from the Bible, everyone takes a denial pill and says science is flat out wrong.

  6. A good review Bazz. You raise some very important points, not least the manipulative use of emotion and story-telling to get/keep people onside. I remember Mormon missionaries teaching me at age 19 and earnestly declaring, “I know this is true. I wouldn’t have come 3,000 miles to sit with you today if it wasn’t.” If I could speak now to my 19-year-old self I would say, “Their not sitting here because they “know” its true but because they have bought the story without checking out the facts.” I bought the story then but have checked out the facts since.

    @Chris H You make good points about science being convenient when criticising Mormonism but inconvenient when criticism is brought to bear on your own group. Can I challenge some generalisations that are somewhat misleading?

    “Most Christians” would not agree that the world was made some 4,000 years BC. Many Christians (myself included) have no problem with an old earth, even the earth you describe. The modern young earth creationist stance is a recent development dating back to the early twentieth century and, while our knowledge and understanding has grown theologically as it has grown scientifically, it is not simply a case of “The Bible says this but science says that.”

    It is also a mistake to take views from disparate Christian groups and represent them as being typical of the whole. I should think most folk on here would have enormous problems with Roman Catholic teachings on all kinds of things (I certainly do) so to present the RC revised view of original sin as typical is, again, to misrepresent the views in the wider Christian Church.

    The debate on the age of the earth and evolution/creation has long ago moved on from the simple issues of carbon dating and the fossil record. Carbon dating was never useful for anything more than about 14,000 years old anyway as I understand it. It is a good scientific method with limited useful application. That said, I agree that too many Christians shout “science” from the rooftops when it suits them but are prepared to sacrifice science on the altar of their prejudices.

    On the subject of the Trinity, I suggest what people forget is when the Early Church Fathers formulated and developed these doctrines they were not playing with new ideas but more firmly establishing, in the face of heretical ideas, what was already understood to be true. The question to ask is not, “Is this the first time we come across this idea in this form?” The question is, “Was this idea developed from previously held beliefs and founded on what we already see in Scripture?”

    A really great book on this subject is “Putting Jesus in His Place” by Bowman and Komoszewski. Two more good works are “Jesus is Both God and Man” by Stuart Olyott and “Thinking Clearly about the Uniqueness of Jesus” by Christ Wright.

    I wrote a post some years ago looking at this against the background of Mormonism for anyone who cares to take a look

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