Tom Gilson

New in 2010: Answering Mormons

I’m featuring some selected new Christian blogs from 2010, proceeding in random order with precedence given to ones that were submitted earlier.

I’ve never involved myself much in counter-cult apologetics, but I appreciate those who do. Jamie Pellew is one of them. He grew up surrounded by Mormonism, and since last May he has been authoring a blog called Answering Mormons. His December 31 post asks, “Why Respond to Mormon Claims?” He answers,

[W]e see that we as apologists do not defend Christianity, as if Christianity cannot withstand the attacks leveled against it, but that those who are attacking Christianity, choose public forums, to level their attacks against Christianity. So if Christians do not provide a defense against the claims these groups make, they could potentially deceive a large number of people.

Mormonism is indeed deceptive, especially in its presenting itself (as it often does) as a version of Christianity. Its vocabulary is indeed largely Christian, but that is part of its deceit; for it attaches meanings to those words that are wildly different from what true Christianity. Pellew draws from a wide range of sources—former Mormons, Christian experts on cults, and his own knowledge of Mormonism and Scripture—to unmask its teachings and display its errors. He does an excellent job of it, and I heartily recommend his blog to those who may be asking questions, or those who may also be called on to be answering Mormons.

Series Navigation (New in 2010):<<< New In 2010: Noumenal Society of ApologeticsNew in 2010: Attempts at Honesty >>>
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5 thoughts on “New in 2010: Answering Mormons

  1. Nearly 20 years ago, I hit the wall and Christ’s atonement — as I received it through his restored Church — saved my life and then the Holy Ghost healed my soul.
    .
    “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.” — 2 Nephi 33:6
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    Are “Mormons” christian? Here are a few excerpts from The Book of Mormon that give an authoritative answer:
    .
    Alma 7:9 But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth.
    .
    Alma 7:10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem [citing the nearest major city, Bethlehem is 6 miles away] which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
    .
    Alma 7:11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
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    Alma 7:12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
    .
    Alma 7:13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
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    Ether 3:14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
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    3 Nephi 9:15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.
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    Moroni 7: 38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name
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    Alma 38:9 […] there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ.
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    2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
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    Moroni 10:18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.
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    Mosiah 16:
    13 And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?
    15 Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.
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    Helaman 5: 9 […] remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ,
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    Omni 1: 26 […] come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption.
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    Mosiah 3:17 […] there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
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    Mormon 9:
    5 For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.
    8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.

    Alma 34: 8 […] I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
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    Mosiah 5: 8 […] There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ,
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    Moroni 7:33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
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    Jacob 4: 11 […] be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God,
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    Mormon 9:36 And behold, these things which we have desired concerning our brethren, yea, even their restoration to the knowledge of Christ, are according to the prayers of all the saints who have dwelt in the land.
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    Alma 5: 48 […] I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.
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    Jacob 4:12 And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?
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    Helaman 14:17 But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.
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    Moroni 10:6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
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    3 Nephi 20:31 And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.
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    Jacob 1: 7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest,
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    Moroni 4:2 And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ
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    Alma 39: 15 […] concerning the coming of Christ. Behold, I say unto you, that it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world;
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    Mosiah 15: 23 They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death.
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    Alma 15:8 And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.
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    Moroni 6:3 And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.
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    Alma 31:34 O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.
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    Mormon 9:29 See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.
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    2 Nephi 33:10 […] hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
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    2 Nephi 33:11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
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    Moroni 1:3 And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
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    3 Nephi 10:15 Behold, I say unto you, Yea, many have testified of these things at the coming of Christ, and were slain because they testified of these things.
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    Mormon 5:
    16 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strive with their fathers; and they are without Christ and God in the world; and they are driven about as chaff before the wind.
    17 They were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their shepherd; yea, they were led even by God the Father.
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    Alma 34:6 And ye also beheld that my brother has proved unto you, in many instances, that the word is in Christ unto salvation.
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    Mormon 9:37 And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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    3 Nephi 29:5 Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!
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    Alma 21:9 Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood.
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    Helaman 3: 28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
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    Moroni 7:22 For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.
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    Mosiah 16:
    6 And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.
    7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
    8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
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    Moroni 7:19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.
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    Alma 37:33 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
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    Jacob 6:8 Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?
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    Jacob 6:9 Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God?
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    Moroni 6:4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.
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    Alma 11:42 Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.
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    Ether 4:8 And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh.

    3 Nephi 28:23 And it came to pass that thus they did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the gospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ, and thus the people of that generation were blessed, according to the word of Jesus.
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    Moroni 7:25 Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.
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    Mormon 3:22 And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.
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    2 Nephi 33:7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.
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    Moroni 9:25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.
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    Alma 27:28 […] and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.
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    2 Nephi 31:20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
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    Moroni 3:
    2 After they had prayed unto the Father in the name of Christ, they laid their hands upon them, and said:
    3 In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher) to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.
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    Mosiah 4: 2 […] O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.
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    Alma 4:14 […] thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.
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    Mormon 9:
    1 And now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ.
    2 Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?
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    3 Nephi 11:25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
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    Moroni 7:23 And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come.
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    Mormon 8:35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
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    Alma 22:13 […] the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.
    14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins,
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    2 Nephi 11:6 And my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.
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    Mormon 5:14 […] that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose […]
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    Alma 46:39
    And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing.
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    3 Nephi 28:40
    And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ; and at that day they were to receive a greater change, and to be received into the kingdom of the Father to go no more out, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens.
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    Helaman 14:12
    And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name.
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    Moroni 2:3
    Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of his first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.
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    3 Nephi 5:13
    Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
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    Words of Mormon 1:8
    And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people.
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    2 Nephi 26:1
    And after Christ shall have risen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren; and the words which he shall speak unto you shall be the law which ye shall do.
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    Alma 15:10
    And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.
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    Ether 12:22
    And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.
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    3 Nephi 7:16
    Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds—went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
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    Helaman 16:4
    For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come—
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    4 Nephi 1:36
    And it came to pass that in this year there arose a people who were called the Nephites, and they were true believers in Christ
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    2 Nephi 32:6
    Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
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    3 Nephi 28:31
    Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the great and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;
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    Moroni 10:30
    And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.
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    Moroni 10:33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ, by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
    .
    Title Page
    […] Written by way of commandment, and also by way of prophecy and of revelation […]Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever – And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations.
    [capitalization in original]
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    Moroni 10:
    4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
    5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

  2. Manaen,

    If the word “Christ” in all of those quotes means the Second Person of the Trinity, Co-Eternal with the Father and the Spirit, Very God of Very God, fully and uniquely Divine, co-equal in every sense with the Father and the Holy Spirit, uncreated, and uniquely God forever in status never to be approached by any other except for the two other Persons of the eternally existing Godhead; who came as God in the flesh, fully God and fully man, who truly died on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins, whose grace is received purely by faith in His sacrificial atonement for us; who rose from the grave and ascended directly into heaven; of whom no indication is ever made in history or archaeology that he came to preach to persons in North America; who will come to judge the earth and to rule; to whom every knee shall bow; who is in no wise brother to any created person (especially Lucifer!) except as he has adopted us into his family, and even then brother only in terms of love but not of ontological status; and whose canonical (written) authoritative revelation was closed at the end of the book of revelation; if in other words “Christ” as you use it here is in perfect accord with the Athanasian, Nicene, and Apostles’ creeds; then you can claim that all the long verbiage you pasted in above has some relevance to Mormonism being truly Christian.

    If all of this is not true of the the word “Christ” or “Jesus” in the verbiage above, then you are playing deceptive word games and Mormonism is not Christian. The mere existence of your supposed additional revelation is enough to put the lie to your implication that Mormonism is Christian. It is an evil deception to claim that your “Christ” is the Christ of the Bible. Don’t try it again here.

  3. “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].”
    — Harper’s Bible Dictionary , Paul F. Achtemeier, ed. (1985), 1099; emphasis added.

  4. I cannot find the context in which this was presented in Harper’s. It could mean that the formal doctrine as spelled out with the philosophical clarity of the councils is not to be found in the New Testament. This would be true. The doctrine of the Trinity is not a premise provided for us as such in the NT, it is a conclusion drawn logically from multiple passages (one might say premises) of the NT. The bare quote you have provided here is meaningless, considering that we don’t know the rest of what was said.

    Aside from that, it could mean that Harper’s is wrong. That’s possible too.

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