I am a somewhat different stripe of Mormon. I don’t mind talking about the “weird” doctrinal points, and I don’t mind pointing out why believing anything less than what the LDS believe is absurd.
Let me take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and boldly convince you, the reader, why the LDS picture of Christ and salvation is the more correct one, and why the run-of-the-mill picture of Christ and salvation is a pale shadow of what it truly is.
The average non-LDS Christian (save for a few sects, namely the Jehovah’s Witnesses) are woefully uneducated when it comes to the Bible. Those who do know the Bible have bent its meaning so far beyond its original context that appealing to scripture is all but pointless. I won’t do it, although I can defend these doctrines with the Bible as well as you can defend yours, probably much better.
Instead, I will appeal to common sense.
First, let’s talk about who Christ was.
The Christian world generally teaches that Christ is God incarnate, that they and the Holy Ghost are one person which manifests itself in 3 distinct ways. I claim that this is balderdash, an invention only a Greek philosopher could appreciate. Christ, God, and the Holy Ghost are three separate entities, united in purpose, but different in body.
The single instance I will appeal to is Christ’s baptism. At that sacred event, the voice of God was heard from heaven, declaring “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus was in the water, being baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Ghost descended as a dove. All three beings were present at that location, each doing their own thing. The Christian world would have you believe that Jesus spoke to himself that day, and descended at the same time. None of this makes sense, not to a child and not to an adult.
Other instances exist which clarify the simple doctrine that the Godhead is three individuals, including the stoning of Stephen.
What kind of being was Christ? He was the literal child of God and Mary. I know people get disgusted or surprised by this, but if he was the literal child of God, then that means, scientifically speaking, there had to be a union of sperm and egg. I will not speculate on how that happened, but the Bible is clear that Jesus was conceived of God and Mary. If this is a strange doctrine, then the doctrine that Jesus was part deity and part man is a strange doctrine. You cannot have one or the other. You must have both or neither.
What kinds of power does Christ have? Simply put, all power, which he inherited from God. He was not born this way, but had to grow, line upon line, precept upon precept. Baby Jesus did not have the power to command the elements, but that came as he learned more about God and the scriptures. Is this a strange doctrine? I hope not.
What did Jesus do? He did exactly what the Father commanded him to do. In fact, Jesus did exactly what he saw the Father do. This implies that Jesus saw his Father do the things he did, which means that the Father once lived on some planet, as a mortal being (Jesus was mortal, for he died), and he served his fellow beings in like manner. Is this a strange doctrine, that the Father and the Son are identical species, that the Father grew as the Son grew? This implies, of course, that the Father had a Father, who had a Father and so on. But isn’t that what we know to be true in our world? Name one person who doesn’t have a father and a grandfather and so on.
If the Father were not such a being, why did he create the world the way it is, with families? Why did he choose for himself the name of Father, if he were not a Father as we know it?
Jesus is our example. He said, “Come, Follow Me.” That means, we walk in Jesus’ footsteps. He served the poor and the sick, we serve the poor and the sick. He obeyed God’s commandments perfectly, we obey God’s commandments perfectly. He preached the gospel, we preach the gospel. He died for the sins of others, we die to save others. He ascended into heaven to the right hand of God, so to may we, if we follow in his path. He became an heir to God’s kingdom, so we too can become joint-heirs.
Who did Jesus follow? God. So what is in Jesus’s future? Worlds without end. Worlds like ours, but in some distant part of the universe, separated by both time and space. If we are to follow Jesus, who follows God, then that implies we are to become like Jesus who became like God, and so we become like God too.
Is this hard to understand? What do you think it means to return to our Father? What do you think he expects us to do? Ask yourself this question. If your father was an auto mechanic, and that’s what he did all day, and you went to return to him, would you simply sit in his auto shop, or would you join him in his work? Eventually, would you not learn to do everything he does, the same way he does? Would you not be able to open you own auto mechanic shop like he did? Again, why would He choose the name Father if he didn’t intend us to follow him like we would our own fathers?
Now, on to more critical things. Oftentimes, people criticize my faith because we are different and weird. They say, “That is not how you are supposed to build a religion or a church.” They say this because they think they are smarter than us, or rather, smarter than God. God declared that his ways are not our ways, neither are his thoughts our thoughts. The very fact that we do not do what you think should be done is evidence that we are not of this world.
If the LDS church looked like every other church, built by men, then how could we claim to come from God? If the LDS church came from God, wouldn’t we be just as weird to you as Jesus was to the people of his time?
So we have sacred ordinances in the temple, with strange vows and rituals. Guess what? We didn’t make these things up. They were given to us by God. We scratch our own heads, sometimes, saying, “I certainly wouldn’t do things this way.” But you know what? If you do things God’s way, you learn what God knows, and you can know for yourself whether it is of God or the devil. I testify to you, that there is joy and peace and happiness in these ordinances that sound strange to you. They are not from Joseph Smith or anyone else in the world. They certainly don’t come from the masons.
Finally, this is the last thought I want you to ponder on. Let’s suppose that the LDS church is of the devil, that Joseph Smith didn’t see God but he saw the devil. Jesus clearly taught that the devil would not cast out the devil from people, since a kingdom divided cannot stand. So, ask yourself, if the work of the work of the LDS church is of the devil, why do we cast out the devil and the evil of the world? Why do our missionaries and teachers bring joy, happiness, peace, and prosperity wherever they go? Why are our members so full of life and vigor, and why do you see us serving the poor and building communities and expanding learning and knowledge in the world?
Here’s another simple test. We teach men to pray to God, from day one, all day, every day. That is our #1 teaching. It’s the first thing the missionaries will ask you to do if they meet you. Why would the devil teach you to pray to God in the name of Jesus? Why would the devil teach you to pray constantly, often, frequently? The spirit of the devil teaches men not to pray, but the spirit of God teaches men to call upon God constantly. If your preacher says, “Do not pray!”you can know whom he is serving.
If the LDS church is of God, do you think when you pray to God about the church, the Book of Mormon, or Joseph Smith that he will remain silent? If I were God, and there was an imposter who pretended to be a prophet of mine, I would make plenty sure that everyone who asked would know he is a charlatan. If, on the other hand, he is a true prophet of God, I would confirm everything he taught that was true, and confirm his role to everyone who asked. I certainly wouldn’t remain silent and watch as people try, helplessly, to figure out truth from error, especially on such an important topic.
So I ask you, no matter what your background, to entreat God sincerely and with real intent, and pray to him in the name of Christ to know if the LDS church is the true church or something else. If it is true, he will tell you. If it is something else, he will tell you. No church that makes as bold a claim to truth as the LDS will stand long before God, unless it is truly God’s church.
As the anti-mormons come out of the woodwork to show their true selves as Romney wraps up the nomination, keep the thing I said in mind. Every false teaching they preach will be overturned, and you will see them for who they really are: hateful servants of the devil, trying to convince you not to turn to God and to keep you down in your own misery, bound by your sins. When they say, “Don’t pray”, or when they say, “don’t even listen”, you know, for a fact, that they are not of God.