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  1. Perhaps you are right about my baptism into the LDS church. As I said, my allegiance is to Christ, not you as an LDs member, or the (or any )church in general. I find it puzzling, and comical, that you chose to cite scripture about being "born again" when so many in the LDS church openly ridicule this concept amond those of us who are from predominant Christian faiths. Either you are, or you are not. Pick a side. There is absolutely nothing that you, or I, can do to attain exaltation of our sins. Christ paid that price for us. To deny this, distort it, or otherwise cast it into another light is heretical in my opinion. John 3:16 is clear. It doesn't say that whosoever believes in him PLUS does XYZ shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Your works are important, in that they determine your reward in heaven. Only the Blood of Christ and your acceptance of that will get you there. Period. As for your crass remark about my "opinion" that I would be doing a favor to the church by joining it, I will not even dignify that infantile remark with a response. I am a social science scholar. I am paid to analyze and question things. I use this method to understand things, and God has opened my eyes to so many things. I generally find that people who can't rationalize or carry on conversations outside of their comfort zones resort to remarks such as those you chose to make. So be it. You are entitled to your opinion. Just please refrain from being rude and keep it to yourself. Thank you for understanding. As for your ideas about holding the keys to the kingdom, I await the day we meet in the afterlife, only to see the look on your face when Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, and LDS stand side by side in God's kingdom. If you meant no offense, no worries. I came here for an enlightenment and a mutual discussion about beliefs.
  2. Interesting. In my opinion, I think something like that is plausible. Let me ask you this though, and this is where my concerns rose primarily. Didn't a major battle allegedly take place on the Hill Cumorah? I have read many things about this. If so, it would seem to me that there would be some type of evidence of this historical event. Or, is the Hill Cumorah symbolic of another place where a great battle took place? If that level of carnage took place, it would seem like something would have been left behind. Like I said, I hold a special place in my heart for the church. There are just a few pieces of the puzzle missing for me at present moment. Take care
  3. Sorry I've been away. I am finishing my dissertation this week, so pleasure surfing on the internet had to take a backseat. Hope everyone is having a good week. I'll be honest. Many of your posts make sense. I think we all...despite our denominations and beliefs....have different interpretations. At the ward I attended, there were a few things I heard the Bishop say that in my view, were almost blasphemous. I've also heard that in the Baptist church. By my best estimation, I think we are all pretty much aying the same thing. I think the biggest thing that has to be overcome by all faiths is misconception. I don't think I've ever been to a church where I've agreed 100% with everything that was said or done. My one and only allegiance is to Jesus Christ. In the end, I know beyond any doubt that John 3:16 and Romans 10:13 are what counts. Thry make life worth living I think. One of you had expressed that I hadn"t "given my heart over to the Lord" yet. I could not help but burst into laughter at that one. I know beyond any doubt that when I leave here..meaning Earth....I'll be with the Father. On that assumption, you're wrong. Be very careful about making judgments and assumptions my friend. Talk soon.
  4. Interesting post. Thanks. As you can see, I am deeply into apolgetics. I also am deeply into the Gnostic aspects of Christianity. I don't want any of you to think that I am bashing or denying that the LDS church is a fraud. I do believe the church is true on its merits. What I have found throughout most of my adult life is that Christians of all denominations have a very hard time thinking outside the box. If I brought up half of the issues here in the Baptist church, I'd probably be burned at the stake as a heretic. My brother is in far worse shape than I. He is a Creative Evolutionist. Yet, he is a Christian. For this reason, I applaud all of you for the dialogue. If I may, let me offer another perspective on a point you made. I am a recovering criminal justice professional. Actually, that's what my PhD is in, so that may not be totally accurate. You mentioned that we as Christians may not be able to prove that Christ arose. I disagree for this reason. I will preface this with the established fact that people and groups are creatures of habit. Having been in circumstances where homicides have occurred, we were tasked with finding out who did it. What most people fail to recognize is the most important piece of evidence in a DEATH investigation is the body. Through much thought and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that the absence of Christ's body is evidence of his resurrection. Jesus was considered a criminal of the state when he was crucified. He was vilified. I am positive, based on the hatred expressed toward him bu groups and individuals, that a historical record would have surfaced if, for example, his body were stolen from the tomb. We've never seen or heard such evidence. Based on the hatred for him, I think there would've been some sort of record of this, accepting responibility for it. It never happened. Now, in the absence of physical evidence, I think the obvious conclusion rests on the testimony of the witnesses present. Hence, he is alove today. I agree with what may come next. The testimony of the 11 witnesses. Did they witness the plates?Perhaps. I wasn't there. I'm still mulling that over. I do think there is some credibility in 11 separate people providing testimony. Like I said, I am not one of those that denies the truthfulness of the LDS faith. I may still be baptized. That's for the future to determine Faith. Have we seen God before? In a physical But I would contend to you through his actions and manifestations in our lives he allows us to see him in a spiritual fashion. So I would argue that faith can be supported by sight, sound, etc....if you are willing to recognize it. Thanks.
  5. I have read both posts with interest. Please know that I do not intend offense. I am simply loooking for explanations. As for the intersection of faith and logic, I couldn't disagree more...respectfully of course. I am of the opinion that Christianity can be scientifically explained. If you are interested, a book entitled "The Physics of Christianity" will do a much better job than I. Regarding my geography question, I think we are speaking past one another. If we...LDS, Baptsist, Methodists, etc...believe in the Bible, then the question of the stories in the Bible being true is irrelevant. Sun rises in the East, the Lord shall return from the East, Protestant gravestones face the East....not a coincedence in my humble opinion. My point regarding the BofM has nothing to do with the moral message behind it. Rather, it stems from the historical, factual basis behind it. We can prove that Jesus walked the Earth. We have historical evidence that Paul travelled to such places as Macedonia. My point is that to date, we have no historical evidence to show that any of the people or place in the BofM existed. That was a major sticking point for me. I will agree wholeheartedly that many Christians....mostly Baptists....use science only when it is convenient. Point taken! To me, faith...any faith....must stand up to scrutiny. I am very wary of any person that cannot rationally....and logically..discuss and defend their faith without retreating into the "just have faith" defense. That goes for any faith. I agree with many who have said that either Joseph Smith was a Prophet or a fraudster of the first order. Not for me to judge the man. I love the LDS church, and I love the people that fill its pews. I just couldn't...and still can't...take that leap with these questions burning in my mind and heart. In the end, for me it boils down to John 3:16. Thanks for your thoughts!
  6. Hello all, I'm new here. Great site! I will preface this by saying that I have been investigating the LDS church for about 6 months now. This week, I made my decision to remain in the Baptist Church. I will say that I do believe the LDS church is an upstanding place, its members are sincere, and it is morally upright. My decision however was based on two sticking points that no matter how hard I tried to look away from, I couldn't. I'd like to get your opinions on them, especially from the LDS folks. I will agree that alot of what has been said about the LDS church Biblically is questionable. I do believe there is some Biblical evidence that supports, and confirms the LDS church. My concerns lie with the Book of Mormon itself. I said that some folks....admittedly mostly Baptists....throw mud at the LDS church because of the Book of Mormon. An often used scripture to refute the BofM is Revelations 22:18-19: "I testify to everyone who hears the propheti words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the Holy City written in this book." In my intepretation, this admonishment applies specifically to the Book of Revelation. My issue with the BofM from a Biblical perspective arose in Galatians 1:8-9. "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: if anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him! Thoughts? As a PhD student, here's a major issue for me. I can get on a plane and fly to Israel tomorrow. I can travel to Jericho. Bethlehem. The Dead Sea. I cannot, however, travel to Zarahemla or Moriantum. Why? Because to date, we have no clue...none, where these places are, or if they even existed. I ask these questions seriously. I do not seek an argument. I am really interested to understand how the LDS folks explain this. Because in all honesty, these nagging issueskept me away from Baptism. All of you be safe.