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Behind ENEMY Lines

Outer Brightness /
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2021 9:21 am

Behind ENEMY Lines

Outer Brightness /

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April 28, 2021 9:21 am

From Mormon to Jesus.  Real, authentic conversations among former members of The Church Of Latter-Day Saints.


Got a couple hours and where want to do was spend the first hour answered questions only give a brief introduction for people who have it may be don't know the background will know the background hopefully wanting a more five-minute we get to the questions and answer questions for you in the last hour. Talk to you guys about your journey and why it is that you're here at this particular position in your lives. If this is perfect okay all right well by the way you call me RFM or whatever you want except for my real name and assuming you know it has to refer to you. Paul first day you can call me Paul@Paul okay and man. Matthew never that at least you can call me the nuclear Calvinist. If you really want to the white Calvinist. I don't remember the history behind it been like nuclear, nuclear engineering students are working on your PhD corrective wow that sounds impressive. It sounds impressive, but then when you see my day-to-day. It's not that impressive seems to be the way it is with everything really. You may recall that I did a couple of podcasts back in that state of nine weeks during the coronavirus lockdown when I was putting up a new podcast every week day for nine weeks and one point I came upon an old paper I had written back in 1994 when it was published and it dealt with the subject of salvation for the plan of salvation as it is taught in the book of Mormon weekly the background on that was that. Of course I had been a member of the church since 1978 when I was baptized and there's a very specific plan of salvation that is been taught in the church, at least during the last five centuries or so if you see five centuries and are not quite battled five decades, five decades or so and is very much a works based plan of salvation with little grace thrown in on the side for good measure. Just to make up for those deficiencies that we have, even after we've done everything we can do and nevertheless fall short. There's a little grace there to cover up that bridge, make it good so we can go to heaven or the celestial kingdom, even to be with God and Jesus and our families forever, so this is the culture that I grew up in. In the LDS church. But I'm also setting the book of Mormon which and told to do by the leaders of the church and I read it frequently and I'm trying to read it attentively and really pay attention to what's being taught in there and sometime around the late 1980s it was that I began to realize that the did the plan of salvation as it is taught in the book of Mormon seems to be substantially different than the plan of salvation that was being taught by the leaders of the church.

In fact, the book of Mormon seems to teach a plan of salvation that is much more grace oriented than what I was hearing from leaders of the church.

Now of course as a Mormon in Texas during the 1980s had a lot of occasion to come up into contact with in debates with born-again Christians right and of course were talking frequently about salvation by works versus salvation by grace and there's a lot of argument about that in the circle so it was quite a surprise to me to find out the book of Mormon seem to be teaching a plan of salvation that really was much more in line with what the Gordian Christians were teaching then it was with what I ostensibly believed and certainly with what I was being taught by the leaders of the church so I ended up writing a paper about it. I read through the book of Mormon again with this idea in mind and I picked up on a number of things in a broken down and it actually got published. Much to my chagrin and surprised in the Journal book of Mormon studies in 1994 and so that is the paper that I dug out of mothballs a few weeks ago and I read it I said I didn't read it. I read a synopsis of it sort of a popularized version when the hopefully wasn't so dry and boring as the sort required by scholars to write scholarly papers to be written in scholarly journals.

So I went over a version of it. I touched on a number of points. What I think are some of the main points in that paper and then I had also written a subsequent paper which was called. What was it called was well. It was a subsequent paper dealing with the same issue but going into additional questions that the first paper a raise but not answer thinker six questions that it raised which I attempted to address once again from the text of the book of Mormon whole ideas. What is the book of Mormon saying about this issue from the first page to the last and everything between and I submitted that second paper to the Journal book of Mormon studies anyway and thumbs down. They didn't really give me a reason. As I recall is just kinda cold rejection letter, which I certainly gotten used to getting cold rejection letters that I was a little bit surprised because they had published the first originating give me a lot of explanation but obviously they were not interested in having the second paper published which is their pride. So I went through that second paper also on the air in a second subsequent podcast recently and then went to my wondering eyes should appear but a message from a fellow named Paul and Paul is a person who I think was interested in the paid interest in the paper what I said for certain reasons, others only think of strep accord with him, perhaps with belief that he has developed independently of that paper and where he sat in his life. Paul reached out to me. We suggested that maybe we should do an interview about it. A podcast about it because he had a number of questions he wanted to ask me is also submitted those questions to me and not only Paul is not alone. He's not by himself. There are other people that he associates with who are Mormons or post-Mormons. It will get into that as well but have a Mormon background and have also come to the same conclusion that the book of Mormon talks about born-again Christianity and apparently they've adopted this to some degree or other, in their own lives and in their own spiritual journey. So first off, Paul is with us today.

Paul good morning morning, how are you doing I'm doing well, good morning here in northern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, and also because here and also masked in matters with us and I think that is a friend of Paul's present right Matt friend is a very loose term. Very little or no it were good friends. If it's we've we've gotten on each other the past year so I think we need invited me to join with this podcast so gotten to know each other quite a bit. What can you tell me or Paul. Whoever is really in charge of this podcast is you got your own podcast goings that Paul or Matt or both of you both of us and we also have 1/3 wheel that we let tag along with us. Michael and could be with us today in my fault I got. I apologize for go ahead. Yes, our contest is the other brightness podcast. We launched it at the beginning of April 2020 as to the kind of just when we were in the middle of doing your your whole mind week sandwich I stayed. I was just amazing to put the publisher podcast every day. I don't how you did it but I don't either.

Actually, in retrospect, it was quite exhausting but but thank you and so you actually started her own podcast in April been coincidentally I end up doing my two podcast about my my papers that I publish now over 25 years ago for crying out loud, and then that caught your attention. Correct that I was listening to your podcast actually when I reached out to you through Bill realized I had mentioned that I've been listening to his Mormon discussion podcast since its inception, and as I went back to your episode archived. I realize I've been listening to you for a long time as well. You know, so your voice is been in my ears while I've been mulling longer refinishing my deck for a long time and I think you know what I really am appreciative of what you do some of the episodes you done that have been meaningful to me over the years is are like episode 13 wrong roads. All the episodes you done on the Joseph Bishop MCC sex scandal I think are super important and what you doing therewith that the legal aspects of that and trying to get the documents out I think is really important your own personal story that you did on Mormon stories podcast magic in the book of Mormon recently invented the coarsening of what brought us together for this year. Episodes 175, 176 born-again book of Mormon of the numbers well you handle them out to you Michael or friend who can be with us as she she she came out of the others church about four years ago. I believe it was and his journey really was through the book of Mormon and realizing that it taught a form of imputation. This seems to be at odds with typical Mormon doctrine on salvation, and so she started to see that in the book of Mormon and then realize that that the book of Mormon seem to be much more aligned with the Bible and how it how it approaches the method of salvation than with the document covenants and so that comes put him on a on a faith journey. But let them out, but that's that's kind of why you are episodes stuck out to me is because you were kind of calling us in the same so those same experiences by characters in the book of Mormon and that sort of looked like born-again experiences, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to reach out and connect on it. I'm so glad that you did by the way, when we were doing our preshow discussion. I was talking about a certain order that we were going to do this episode in that I may reverse that a little bit and I may mix it up and I apologize, but it seems that what you're talking about logically flows right into your podcast lease that is called outer brightness right outer brightness podcast, play on the whole concept within Mormon teachings of outer darkness for the Sons of perdition, or those who you know is you covered recently on your on your show about the open, and the priest of those who receive the milk because the twisted and then and then leave or don't live up to the requirements of the Motel 6 marketplace that are said to inherit outer darkness with withstanding and his minions and siblings were kind of playing on that bring in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, where Jesus said to be like the lights on men, and so we are outside of Mormonism and outer brightness is just as much is much more light here than we were told there would be so this great can you just tell the audience a little bit about what it is you do in your podcast. What is the theme when you cover how many episodes do you have what if you done what you hope to do.

You can throw in at any time if you like the other was an adult sized part of the idea and then thrown over the massive spark of the idea for it, came up in the conversation between Michael and I I know Michael over Facebook several years ago she was still LDS at that time and she had a couple of face the groups that we ran in together. There were dialogue groups between evangelical Christians in Latter Day Saints and I was outside my family and I left and 2010 and Michael. She started a new group where his his goal was to get evangelicals to read the book of Mormon is called Mormon grace projects and she invited me to join that group tonight. I joined and was reading along in the book of Mormon with them. He wanted to prove to evangelicals of the book of Mormon taught grace and so I was reading along and in being kind of a curmudgeon on archaeological issues and things to come up with the book of Mormon, but he and I got to be pretty good friends as he went through his phase transition. And so, a few years after the transition. Now we were talking about the fact that you know a lot of people who transition out of the LDS church but want to maintain faith in Jesus, they struggle with with practical matters because of some of the teachings they receive within the LDS church, and so the goal of our podcast really is to be a resource for those people who come out but once maintain faith in Jesus, talk about some of the practical issues that come up worship know how worship can be different in it in a Christian church versus Latter Day Saints tradition and in various topics like that begin working through a series on the LDS articles of faith to stop bus doctrinal doctrinal different differences and that's kind of the list for the podcast. What sounds fascinating how many episodes you have a I know you started in April. The average guy.

I think it's I think we just put up our sixth and we've recorded 11 so you got 26 or something like that planned so we just got gutter plans in place for this recording every couple weeks in public in a move to a weekly release schedule here in a month or so.

All right, that's great.

I encourage all my listeners to go over give outer brightness a listen. Hey, can I tell you a personal story back in the early without waiting for you to say yes or no, I'll go ahead the early 19 when I was involved in this research and the publication of this paper.

I was very excited about it and I was aware that what I was doing is somewhat contradicting the leaders of the church now in the published paper. Of course there's no saying. Oh, this is what the leader say versus what this is this what the book of Mormon says right. I try to avoid that completely.

That would not have sold in the Journal book Mormon studies. Instead, I just try to do a positive analysis of what the book of Mormon teaches on the subject without you talking about what church leaders say about the subject.

You see that there is absolutely no church leaders quoted side agreement footnoted in that paper closest against his will quote from CS Lewis which I know you want to get into here presently. But I was actually in the early 1990s I gave a fireside on this subject over at a friend's house in the friend's house. The friend was named Rex and a good friend of very open, very interested in this and are actually quite a number of members of the church became to this fireside at his house and I began talking about this subject and how the book of Mormon apparently teaches salvation by grace. It teaches a lot of things are different from with her church teaches that I wasn't going there okay I was saying. The first part without the second part because once again trying to be careful of my audience and just talk about the book of Mormon says, and I remember at one point about halfway through this fireside I'm standing in front of the eyes are sitting in the big living and this lady's sister was there with her husband stops me and says why are you teaching this. This is contrary to what the church teaches, you shouldn't be teaching and she was quite emotional about it. She seemed upset about it and honestly it brought me up short. I'm standing there looking like a deer caught in the headlights and thankfully my friend Rex jumped into the breach right and he jumps in and he starts addressing this lady very nicely. But he says why are you so defensive about this and immediately put it back on her right. It was a brilliant move on his part. I thought because they why not been defenses it in his youth as well as their sister.

Sounds like you're being defensive about it and finally got around about her attitude toward what I was saying, rather than what it was I was saying is able to pick up soldier on and get through the end of the presentation, but it was very interesting this some reaction that I had, at least from this one sister have either of you ever experienced. Any reactions like that when you talk about the subject with other members of the church met first yes so well. I have several examples, the one that comes to mind is well.

So when I was stops questioning the history of the LDS church and its doctrines.

I was trying to get a hold on what it is that I believed in what is the church believe versus what the Scriptures believe because it seems like their all in Congress. It seems like everything is against each other's we've kind of been talking about and I was actually engaged to be married at the time when I when I moved out here to New York to start my doctoral studies and so we had we been kind of progressing to. Looking forward towards marriage and then but as I started to deep dive deep more deeply into the LDS church and its history.

I was hoping that it would just be a faith that can faith crisis where I would come out of it stronger if my testimony, but it seems like the more I read and the more I learned that the deeper my crisis went and so I tried to share some of these things with my fianc at the time. You know I settle anything, but this is the book of Mormon.

I'm not quite sure that's what we believe or what you think about this historical man like that. I don't really understand this could in Ohio try to share things tiny things with her but the shields would immediately go up and I couldn't really get anywhere and I and I realized it started become more obvious to me that I wasn't at the direction I was going was away from the church and would have to in their relationship which eventually did so is very difficult situation but it's it's just really hard just to share what you learned because you gets. I had such an excitement for learning about the history of the church. On one hand where I was like wow there's all these things I would learn before they don't teach us but on the other hand, I knew that it was going to cause issues socially in my family and with everything else my life so is still very difficult, difficult process.

Leaving the church mentally and emotionally and spiritually, you, Paul.

Oh yes, for sure, and in 2009 timeframe when I was on my way out of the LDS church.

I had kinda come in contact with some some writings by say Robert Miller or Stephen Robinson.

The kind of touch on the Mormon teachings on grace and end started to have a view of the most quite different assists as you can explain the matter is kind of explain as well that is quite different from what the LDS leaders teach and then after I came out of the LDS church and started to really kind of understand grace as the Bible teaches that it was it was freeing for me in so many ways and I wanted to share that with friends and family who were LDS, and when I would talk to them about it. You know they would take a very hard line stance is similar to the woman that you are speaking of in your fireside and I wondered why that was meant I cannot study at the history of and of course dislodged sociologically speaking, if you look at it in a late 1970s that was made in mid 1970s to that was a real push by evangelicals to witness to Mormons and you can see kind of reaction to that by some LDS leaders like Bruce McConkie, who famously spoke about grace and an easy salvation, and that the subtopics and so I think Latter Day Saints lasts 50 years or so have a strong reaction to this idea that that one can be saved by grace apart from works and so it's it's an interesting interesting topic to delve into living tell you something that that raises in my mind.

First off, I understand.

And from what you're saying correctly if I got this wrong that Paul Madden also Michael who can't be with us. By the way, when I said it was my fault, is because of the time that I am available to do this and he was not available to do it and I'm sorry and I apologize that you, I apologize to you Michael, who I guess will be hearing this at some point and I'm sorry that you can't be here, but when you talk about Elder McConkie and other leaders of the church talking about this easy grace. It reminds me of the poster. This sign even the. The needlework that is common in LDS homes and assaulted LDS bookstores, where it has a picture of Jesus and then a phrase, a saying of his quoted below saying I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it. Have you seen any of those types of images you have seen it all the time but I mean I've heard it quoted to you and I can't remember the genesis of that deep to remember that if you're asking me.

I have no idea because the funny thing is is that I was seeing this, even at the time back in the 1990s and I'm going to wait a second, Jesus saying I never said it would be easy only said it would be worth it. Actually Jesus said multiple times that it is easy he never said the opposite. He never said his heart, he always said is easy and so I thought that was funny that in LDS popular culture. They are representing Jesus is saying something that's actually completely contradicted by what he actually says in the Scriptures exactly housing settle think he ever said that never, never once is always easy. It's always the easiness of the way.

Just as in the book of Mormon repeat that same refrain which I quoted in my talk a few times likening belief in Jesus to the Israelites in the book of numbers and the story about the brass serpent on the pole and all they had to do was look to be saved and the book of Mormon wrist on that and says it's just as easy to be safe going to do is look and cast your eyes upon Jesus is easy as always talk about is being easiest never talk about us being difficult, at least not in the Mormon scripture, so that's right. Leave it to you. Go ahead.

Did you have any other comments about that matter. Paul did you want to take something not to get a thought but it's fleeting that's that's my brain works cigarette file.

If you have anything that's white paper in front of me and the pen handy to write things down you know if I think that it's simply interesting to kinda dig into why that would be within within LDS teachings.

I think back to my my having been raised in the left in the LDS church I was I was raised in Utah part of the time near Salt Lake City and then the majority of my adolescents in West Jordan which is a suburb of Salt Lake City and during the 80s and 90s when I was being raised to tell the asked the church was growing leaps and bounds in terms of membership, there was a lot of growth and in South America, Central and South America, especially, and there was kind of this view within the LDS church that that growth was proof that the restoration was true and at the same time within within America there was pressure from evangelicals who were witnessing to Mormons.

I remember when I was getting ready to leave on my mission in 1997, the Southern Baptist convention held their yearly conference in Salt Lake City and they went door-to-door in Salt Lake City doing what Mormon missionaries do when they proselytized those not of the LDS faith in Andrea's review of him doing it.

Didn't they yeah they were. It was it was viewed as kind of kind of violent acts to go door-to-door, which I thought was interesting because I was going door-to-door in Utah. At the same time with the missionaries in kind of a training approach to getting me ready for my mission, and set out. It was interesting that that Latter Day Saints can viewed Baptists coming to their door as is a problem.

She was on the other foot, exactly, exactly, but I think I think you know that that kinda plays up why there is this the this resistance to the idea of of being saved by grace alone is because it is more of a, it's more of a sociological reaction to will and we've got this this the other view, and that can't be right or there's not a purpose for our view but one thing that strikes me and I want to get your thoughts on this idea that comes to me is that there are a number of members of the church who study the book of Mormon read about the book of Mormon. Find out about the book of Mormon find problems on this, but it generally problems anachronism with the book of Mormon and end up leaving the church because they lose their belief in the book of Mormon now strikes me that you two and also Michael R. Kind of funny and I find anything peculiar, not funny ha ha but peculiar in the fact that you end up leaving the church not because you lose, but is usually not because you lose the leak in the book of Mormon, but because you believe the book of Mormon too much. Does that make sense, I think so. I think that Michael is really the one that has spent a lot of time diving into the book of Mormon and talking about imputation and there for me.

I did see that I did see that there are parts of the book of Mormon that did teach about grace the nares born-again experiences for me was there was it was really just seeing how much of the book of Mormon is almost directly copied from the Bible you know all these boarding experiences and talking about you bowing before God. I think it was King Benjamin recount told everybody to get it. Everybody to bow down and in no and pledge their make covenant with God and to repent of all their sins. They had this outpouring of the Spirit and you see all these experiences in the book of Mormon that that just seem like they're just, you know like that's correlated to the day of Pentecost you know where were Peter's teaching anybody to repent and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which you just see all these these correlations from from the Bible and for me it was more like as a Latter Day Saints I typically sought as well. There all Scripture. So it all comes from God. So it's obvious that they would they would seem similar but then to me. Over time, it just seemed like weld of the phraseology is just too exact you know it seems like it's directly copping the King James Bible just seem like a lot of that the phraseology and and the topics were taken directly from the Bible rather than coming from the same source of that mink.

So yeah, Meg ogle has well-known nonpolice placement are the same. I think that for a long time people are seeing the experience of, the younger and the angel is encounter the angel as being very similar, if not directly borrowed from the account of Paul in the New Testament on the road to Damascus right exactly have you compare those experiences there almost exactly like an and you ask Latter Day Saints. Have you know, so why why is the process of salvation that we experience in the Latter Day Saints church. Why is it so different from what we see in the Bible and the book of Mormon. You know it seems like an Latter Day Saints church earlier raised up to go through all the steps you know you become baptized and eight you receive the priesthood a 12 you go to the temple he submission instead of relying mostly on this this morning and experiencing out this distant experience of really pledging yourself to God and their many Latter Day Saints or do you know that you claim to have this experience.

But then it always goes back to works.

It always goes back to covenants and and ordinances and that's what we really need rather than having this direct connection with with Christ. Yeah she's something I know there's three of you that we've talked about two of your online Matt and Paul and there's Michael who's not here is in you. Three. How many are there of you, you know that you're aware of. Obviously, how many Mormons are there who end up going for Mormonism to aid born-again type of Christianity.

Through their study of the book of Mormon to have any idea about directly through the study of the book of Mormon. But there's there's more X Mormon evangelicals than I expected when I was leaving. How many did you expect I expect if you because there's there's generally a position of animosity between the two groups, and so I didn't expect that a lot of a lot of people would want to and it is a pretty common approach that people who leave the LDS church take us to listen. The Mormon stories and Kenneth lurk in that podcast there and that Facebook community and so I know, kinda generally how people think, you know it's it's there's there's a sense that you know they come to the view that I've been I've been deceived and I don't want to be deceived again and so I'm not going to jump right into another religious community. And so I expected that there would be few that did but there are more than I expected and there's there's quite a few that that we know on and on Facebook and other forms that we that we run in so I would say is probably that I'm aware of, probably in the hundreds. Okay, what I would be more than I expected, as well of course it's hard to count because you don't all get together at the same church correct.

What about you now what you think about that more than you expected as well. It's it's interesting because my faith transition came when I was in the state of New York where people barely know what Mormons are to begin with, and some kind of an odd duckling. When Lynette started going to my church and I was a former Mormon but but just based on my bike be some extrinsic pulse that I think I you do see quite a lot.

There is a strong X Mormon Christian community online casino on on Facebook, but I think I think there's a much much larger community of of Mormon so Latter Day Saints to leave the church and then they go to no religion at all, or atheism. I used to go to the to the X Mormon separated a lot but then I just saw that there a lot of there's a lot of negativity there and there wasn't a lot of spirituality going on so I didn't spend a lot more time there, but they have a really large community. You know they've got thousands if not tens of thousands of members on that separate it yeah so so that I think there is there is a community out there of of former Latter Day Saints to become evangelical, but there there there honestly larger. Like Paul said that I would than expected but same time there really not large and the grandson is not a huge you know leaving from the church in the evangelical Christianity unfortunately sets kind of a scan of what we wanted to hopefully address with our podcast is since we've gone through the process of formally resigning from the church leaving the church and finding our way into different aspects of denominational Christianity to startle Christianity to kind of help in and give people confidence or give people in a little bit of insight as to what that process looks like. Okay so the Nancy discretion arrived. First off, before I forget if any of my listeners are interested in the subject want to pursue it further may have similar inclinations, how to get a hold of you and we have a group on Facebook: outer brightness where they can join and discuss the podcast episodes ask questions will often you know post out there that were considering becoming a certain topic in December you have questions they want us to cover so they can definitely engage with us. That way okay great. Now I got so many questions for you. I know that in the last part of this episode. This is scheduled to run about two hours last part.

To be asking me questions that I have so many questions that are coming to my mind, one of which is this you both said he left the church correct. Yes. Okay. By that I mean the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, obviously, but listserv you Paul. What are your beliefs still about the book of Mormon so I'm I'm a little bit different than Michael in that so Michael doesn't believe that the book of Mormon is an accurate representation of an ancient document but she does recognize that it has many of the same and similar doctrines taught within it that the Bible does. He probably has a higher view of it than I do I do when I was at the end of my mission in Budapest, Hungary. I had made a pact with myself that I would read each of the standard works during my two years on my mission and so as I was coming to the end.

I was reading through the New Testament and started to see, as you alluded to earlier RFM.

The similarity between Elma the younger and Paul the apostle and that started to bug me a little bit and I would kinda during my morning study before we go out for the data proselytizing to sit on my bed and kind of think about some of the issues that in questions that I had with regards to know where exactly in the Americas did the book of Mormon take place. Why is there so much similarity between characters within the book of Mormon and chapters. When the people that are spoken of in the Bible and I was daydreaming about becoming an archaeologist, I was. I wanted to go home and go to BYU and and become an archaeologist and go to Central and South America and find the that the hard evidence that would prove that that the book of Mormon was an ancient record because I believed it was. I didn't have any reason not to believe that it's what I would was brought up believing and when I got home I ironically I subscribe to the Journal book of Mormon studies, hoping that that Journal would give me some of the validation for my belief in the book of Mormon is an ancient document that I needed at that time and unfortunately it didn't.

A lot of the articles that I read there were walking back positions that earlier LDS scholars have taken that were probably too optimistic. With regards to what the evidence out of central America showed and so I say the five from the Zapata. Yes, exactly.

That was when you do life stone examine the tree of life stone right after I sent outside my workplace one day on my lunch break reading that article and that everything just like like nemesis. This is awful. Everything is just falling away from me and I was just months off my mission but I stayed in for a long time United of Mary.

My wife Angela. We met online. She went out here in the Cincinnati area, and she had just converted to the LDS faith so you moved out here we got married started raising our children within the LDS faith and I became sort of like more like a liberal Mormon.

I read a lot of Eugene England and dialogue in Sunstone took took sort of a focus of the book of Mormon isn't just a historical record since it's a 19th-century production, but is still useful) the means by which I felt like it was the means by which I had been converted to Christ. And so I held that position for a long time but it got to the point where I just started feeling that that wasn't enough, if book of Mormon wasn't what it claimed to be, then it couldn't be the foundation for my faith. And then I rub the rug read rough Stone rolling and other things started to crumble and eventually known 2010 left with my family so I'm understanding you say that an answer the original question. Basically you don't believe the book of Mormon is true or historical anymore, although you think a lot of the documents edit our trip. Okay, you Matt what your position on the book of Mormon. Now I think a lot of what I'll explain this resonates with my experience.

Also I tried to separate the historicity of the book of Mormon from the spirituality. The book of Mormon one about two books from Harold house which is the bookstore from committee of Christ in us.

Kind of in my try to figure things out in one book is interesting. It is called millions caught Scripture answer book talking about how they took a very liberal Mormon view of what the book Mormon is, and it's well you know every every religious group on earth has their own book of Scripture. This is our book. Some people take it to be historical.

Some people don't and they they glean spiritual truths from it which all point to note which which all can be compatible with other spiritual truths from other books of Scripture and it took a very very liberal view of what had to have interpret what the book Mormonism and any other book that that they had an account of the name of it but is basically witnesses of early Latter Day Saints I and their views on the book of Mormon and they all spoke of it as being a record from Native Americans is buried in the soil and is actually dug up and translated directly and so it was a very traditional latter-day St. view and so is just interesting that he could buy to completely opposite books on the spectrum of what the book Mormon is from the same bookstore from the community of Christ, and Adam from and understand they have a very wide spectrum of views sounds, that the way I was headed. But as Paul was explaining. I kinda went on the same path where where once I really understood so effete a justification by faith alone, and it really and and godly place in my heart, mind really made me understand it. I really just realized that if if that's true, which it is from Scripture, then everything the Joseph Smith claim to be in on all the products of his supposed prophecy in his his role as Prophet that they could not have come from God because while the book of Mormon does teach a lot of things that are that are compatible with the Bible including you don't salvage my grace and things like that but that the rest of his fruits, like the doctrine covenants received evolution of his doctor, becoming a God in an eternal life in eternal progression. All these documents since those were just so far off from what I was reading in the book or in the Bible I just I just couldn't accept the book of Mormon as Scripture anymore so yeah so I decided I have a first I first rejected the idea that it was a historical document but then now I kind of see it as a document where it was heavily influenced by the Bible and and other things that were going on at Joe's this life and I'm I don't pretend to know who if it was him alone. The that wrote the book. I don't know but dumb but IST does document since that's the takes content from other books including the majority of it from the Bible and and so there's truths in it, but I don't think it is my claims to be as Paul had explained much better night. It okay so Matthew text on this and been asking this question now man then asked the same question to Paul okay which is this you were formerly Mormons. You've now gone to a place where you consider yourself to be born again Christians are evangelical Christians in leasing the correct terms here. In her five okay Matthew tell us about your born-again experience sure so I will try to be brief.

Basically what I was going through my faith transition trying to sort out all these all the stock analyst history and it felt like, but it been taught in church is not the same as what I read in history and always things in my mind at slowly Put me into the dark hole depression and so I just felt like I was slowly coming down into this pit of despair and I didn't really know where to go and the walls are closing in around me and so I got to the point where where a lot of post Mormons or post Latter Day Saints will describe as their shelf breaking you know when you when you read something that doesn't make sense to you that you can't fit into your worldview. You just put on the shelf. Don't worry about it until you still pirate shelf is so loaded with with things you can understand the shelf just complete the collapses so I can remember right when I had that shelf collapse, experience, and you know I shut off my phone for a few days.

I just just went to a deep depression just didn't talk to anybody for at least two days and then so but then I kinda try to pick the pieces up.

After that I try to try to stay well, you know, maybe I can make it justice.

The book, or a spiritual book. Maybe I can make this work and I try to try to pick up the pieces myself and make it work in my life somehow. But then it got to a point where you know I'm still depressed. I didn't know what to do. So I just I just remember when I just been completely despair. I just died so I got no hope in II just member being pulled down to my knees and I just pray to God. I said God, you know, I've read about the Trinity I read about this doctrine that I don't really know exactly what I believe right now but I'm trusting you God and I just want to put all my trust in Christ to save me.

I just cried out to God to please save me and and all that all that's paying all that anger and all that confusion and and sadness.

It just completely was just swept away from what I just put all my trust in Christ to save me and just for three days after I felt like I was just floating on cloud nine. You know, like I just never been happy like that for such a long time and I knew it had to come from God. I knew it wasn't just something myself I just self actualized and change mice state of mind or something I needed to had to come up from God when I put all my trust in Christ to save me and only for my sins, but from this despair. I was in so that was in the summer of 2016 when I had this when I will call born-again experience is a scary thing. I would guess the answer is yes. Is it is a scary thing during the process to let go of the feeling that you need to do it your self and just let God do it.

Oh yeah for sure it's it's like we as humans we want to be in control of something we we want to know we want to make sense of the world and we also want to have our hands on the wheel and so when you're just taking to that point of of like a precipice of a cliff and you just realize okay. I've tried to work, try to do this on myself. I've tried to make sense of it in my head. I've tried to do the best I can to be the best person I can and nothing has worked. And it's almost like for me at least your brought to a point where God says to completely humble you and make you realize look you try this role life when you just give in by you just give it up.

You've tried it.

It doesn't work.

You gotta let me do it and when you get to that point. It's scary. It's like falling backwards off of the cliff, but then once you do it and you realize that the Lord grabs its the most peaceful experiences I've ever had my life. You know you're using that metaphor about the cliff.

He reminds me of how I felt when I actually went through this experience myself back in the early 1990s. So I'm in my early 30s at the time. Obviously I'm in a different place now than I was then but I can still remember it now vividly which is that the idea that the image I had was adherence when it will be all the commandments of the LDS church's merit salvation and ultimately exaltation could not do it could not do it could not do it and I was really trying. I mean this was no halfhearted effort. I'm really really trying, but I kept falling short in the image that came to be is upsetting the book of Mormon thinking about this and maybe I heard about this from somebody else's image, but that I had already fallen off the cliff and I had grabbed onto this sort of bush or tree disdain treatments growing out of the side a little bit down from the top of the cliff.

So that's all there is going out and holding onto this with all my might to keep from falling and I keep trying to scramble back to the top of the cliff, but it's out of reach him like 10 feet down I can get a very keep trying and keep trying to keep falling back and grabbing onto the street. There is no hope for me to get back to the top of the cliff.

I've got to let go of the tree and I fought against letting go of that tree for so long and finally in my mind it's not really physical but is in my mind and in my heart I let go of that tree and I just trusted God to catch, and God caught me and then lifted me back up to the top of the cliff. The place I couldn't get you on my own house at seven yeah that's that's I think the way to scatter yeah just really resonates with my experience to assure I'm guessing Paul you. Would you agree with that. Tell us about your conversion experience. Would you yet for sure. So everything you see. Do you estimate the question whether it's stereo definitely is and we we recently released three episodes on our podcasts were reached go into our journeys. But in-depth and I'm in a share the experiences from my journey that I think were critical for me because I don't I don't think it is hard to pin down exactly one experience and this is when I was born again, but I think it from you happened over time and part of that is because of that fear of letting go so towards in my mission. I talked about how I was reading the New Testament in reading letters of Paul in meeting acts and see the similarities between, the younger and Paul and some of the questions that I raised in my mind I started to have a fear at that time. Maybe I wasn't saved even though I was doing everything that the LDS church prescribed for me to do at that point in my life, including serving a mission began to fear that I wasn't saved inside began to pray while I was on my mission in my last area that I would be saved in interestingly enough, I started to pray to Jesus which is kind of verboten within the LDS framework sermon on he would be so disappointed in you I knowing what I know, but I started to pray to Jesus directly that he would save me and I didn't I didn't experience anything miraculous or are overwhelming at that time, but it was just something that became part of my daily ritual of prayer and but I was still absent.

I was a missionary so still very much dedicated to preaching the LDS gospel and getting out there pounding the streets and doing all of that and then when I came home, you know, and met woman online who had just recently converted seal district I saw the sign while God prepared her for me and know so the next step on next rung on the ladder is his marriage in the temple and end an enduring enduring to the end and so you went through those staffs, but like you RFM I started to feel that I was never really never really living up to everything that was required of me. I was always falling short and makes us jump in there. I don't mean to interrupt but I am this is something every time I go to church every week I go to church every time you listen to people speak in church or give lessons over and over and over again. I'm being told that I'm not good enough, I'm being told that I measure out.

I'm told that no matter what I'm doing or how much I'm doing are still more than I need to be doing to be okay with God, yeah, that's part of the culture so identically get it why it is that Mormons tend to feel that way because they keep being told that over and over the go-ahead I interacted with the problem so probably around the 2004 timeframe. My wife and I had just gone through a miscarriage and we were wrestling through the difficulties that that can raise for a relationship and the pain that comes with that the grace that comes with that and I was in a pretty pretty dark place at that time and I went to when they take a nap in our bedroom midafternoon and close the door because Angela was on the other room with some of our children and they were planning in and being kind and rambunctious so I close the door so that I can wrestling down and fallen asleep yet and heard something that I never heard before in my life, but it was it was a voiceless for my name and it kind of was unsettling because I've never seen anything like that before, and I open my eyes and thinking that maybe Angela had come in and maybe I had dozed off and she was trying to rouse me for some reason the door was still close arms not the only one in the room. I got up out of bed when you open the door and listened that unitless down the hall that they were still out in the front room, close the door down, laid down and again in a FEMA signer for the same voiceless for my name and it was a it was just a very like this is a very unsettling experience. I didn't know what to do with it for a while sometime later I was talking to Angelo would have late night conversations as wrestling through the miscarriage and the pain that we were experiencing and trying to make sure we were communicating and I was mentioning to her because I was writing a short story was kind of autobiographical at the time that night.

I didn't think I'd ever dreamed about Jesus and think about all kinds of things obscene things mundane things that I never ever dreamed about Jesus, and she had been from my perspective. Such a huge part of my life for so long. At that point, why would I never have dreamed about him. Why would he never be a part of my subconscious enough to to rise to the surface of the dream and then shortly thereafter. I did, I did dream about Jesus. I was walking up the hill, which was similar to a hill. Later, I stumbled upon while I was on my mission where I think it was a Catholic Church, probably in Hungary on on the Buddhist side of the Danube River head out in this field where there was the skill they put up statues to the 12 apostles on the top.

There were three crosses and my companion had and I stumbled upon that one day while we were out knocking doors and in my dream I was walking up a similar hill without the statues. When I got to the top saw Jesus on the cross and then heard a voice tell me your mind and that that experience kind of stay with me for a long time.

It was kind of an affirmation for me.

I think that although I didn't feel like I was living out Jesus had me and I was his, but I still struggle for several years with with trying to live up to everything that was required of me trying to fulfill my calling Simpson men's presidencies. I was in a lukewarm presidencies during those years in and around the 2007 timeframe. I was going with the youth to the Louisville Temple, which is an hour and 1/2 drive from from where I live in northern Kentucky and we rode down there and do baptisms for the dead one evening and I was just feeling I had been hoping that the temple would kind of pull me out of, feeling of depression that I was feeling kind of losing my faith in the LDS church and was hoping that the temple would kind of reinvigorate my my faith in my belief and I didn't get any of that from from going through the motions of doing baptisms for the dead with youth and so when we were done I dressed and went outside the temple and steel, walked around the temple grounds and sat on the on a bench outside that night it was it was a cold least spring night and the stars were bright in the sky and I kind of looked up and it was just praying you know why.

Why don't I feel anything anymore and it was initially experienced like that, like the stars swirled in and gave me a hug is how I've explained in other times and I do it just it was. It was interesting experience because it was the type of the type thing that I needed but it happened outside the temple. And so it was his is an experience that pushed me to realize I didn't need all of the LDS trappings to have communion with God that I can have it without that. Would you consider that was your born-again experience.

I don't know. I would mail it down to one experience that those three experiences.

There are ones that I think were important in my journey okay and the reason I ask is because frequently when I talk in the past with evangelical Christians, they will say I will tell you the day and the hour and the minute that I was born again. I think I think if you would try to admit if I were to try to nail it down. It would be the dream were where I was told your mind, because from then on I had a feeling like it's grace you know to mean that I don't, I felt comfortable in. In the idea that I was saved present tense versus I was working to be saved, future tense, but continuing to try to attend the LDS church pressured me to try to hold onto that beautiful I need to try to be safe, future tense, but that that dream really since important okay will were about halfway through this interview.

Thank you both. By the way, for sharing that. I do have one more question to ask both of you. Okay I'm to go to Matt.

This is a tough when you're ready. Matt Charlotte already yes or no question, and then you can explain okay okay are Mormons going to hell.

Old man that is stuff over and expecting a baby now if you if you qualify by saying are all Mormons going to hell as I know I did not so qualified and this is reference.

Are you going to help still say no because my cassette. I personally think that the gospel is what saves it's not it's not allegiance to any kind of organization specifically or or you know signing your name on a particular list what state the person who saves us is Jesus. Jesus saves so I believe that I was saved in 2016 and it wasn't until wasn't until 2017.

That actually resigned from the church so for almost an entire year.

I believe that I was saved that I was redeemed that I was in Christ that that he had redeemed me from a set but I was still a latter-day St. and I and I was still trying to figure things out. My doctor and my mad my understanding of Scripture was not quite figured out yet.

I think it's a case for many morning and I think when your baby Christian you you don't really know you don't really know what to do or what to believe or your still try to figure things out and so I think that anybody no matter what organization there.

There a part of. Whether it's the Roman Catholic Church whether there Buddhist within their Muslim if you if you're trusting Christ. The biblical Christ be trusting in Christ alone to save you.

I believe that your stuff and what is your average warming who believes that tell you trusting in the prophetic mantle of the leaders in the priesthood of God to give you the ordinances of salvation.

If you're at EF you're trusting in that for trusting in them and in your ordinances save you that the LDS gospel set. I think that you are on a path to hell.

It's a different gospel when we when we look at the Bible. Paul he was speaking of the Judaizers.

The Judaizers are trying to introduce basically circumcision their training of circumcision to Gentiles before they're not going to go on Galatians 1 on the area, I mean that I'm essentially right. It's Mrs. Misko you're saying you saying that if you if you add this to the gospel then you're cut off your your cursed anymore, and twice he said if anyone who preaches another gospel. They are accursed anathema, which is been cursed by God. So if you're if you're trusting in a false Christ, or if your believing in a false gospel and you have not repented from that I don't I don't think you can you can you can. I don't think you should have confidence or comfort in trusting such a gospel, because such a gospel cannot say okay will I be putting you on the on the hot seat.

I'll ask all the same question and I'll follow up with Wesson to call about whether you believe in hell. As I understand traditional evangelical Christians believe in it as a really really hot place that really last a long time, who are now going to hell. I would say no.

I would I would qualify that in a similar way to how Matthew did Pres. Nelson solicited Pres. Nelson. Let's make it interesting and at the end date will get to meet her but is present in Elsa going to help. I would say to that.

I don't know because I what I believe, based upon your your theology.

I believe he's teaching a false gospel, currently 80 people like that go to heaven. No, do they go to hell yes no further question.

I believe I we say hi and I as I understand the both of you are probably thinking well you know I don't know because they're still alive right and they could always change. They could have maybe these feelings.

I don't know about or maybe there like I was back when I was in the church, but I was still born again.

I'm struggling with the Pres., Nelson dies today goes to hell. Is that correct Paul, I still can't say because then I don't know his heart, and only download all know his heart. He wears his heart on his sleeve is black and withered. I was still said no no I trust in the goodness of God, and I don't know what's in a person's heart I do is gone. That's good to keep Pres. Nelson from going to hell is anybody that could Paul God keep anybody from going to hell. I thing like that make you everybody from going to hell myself to everyone from going to hell if he so darn good. Yes, that's my question because I think we can be stunning features. I do believe I was born again before I left the LDS church right.

I still I still push to hold onto my tradition to what I was taught to my family to everything like that but I can't say that all LDS people are on the saved and bound for hell because I don't know their hearts.

I don't know whether they have trusted in know what Jesus says at Matthew 1128 through 30. Come unto me all who are labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. C is easy and that's another place right.

My yoke is easy, exactly as I go ahead and I got can't say whether a person is trusted and that in their heart are not okay you see any evidence that Pres. Nelson has. I don't know you don't it's okay God gives you the spirit to judge righteous judgment okay for you. I am in total silence there. I'm not going I was going ask you if I'm going to hell by God, I get the same answer so but God is not good enough to say a stubborn person inhabit that right had purple good enough to say the seven person in heaven.

Paul the apostle was extremely stubborn and what he was doing and God reached out to them and save them right but had to do what had happened in this life is that your understanding yes no salvation beyond the grave. Same with you, Matt, Agatha, I think I think Save stubborn people, but he only does save he gives you a new heart, so he should take out that stubbornness from within you and give your heart of flesh is Ezekiel 36,000 okay so I got asked yet. I'm sorry I'm going back to my that my 1980s. Right when I'm talking with evangelicals. So what about the vast majority of people on this earth, both past, present and future never even hear the name of Jesus because of where their say they live. They die without ever even hearing the name of Jesus are they condemned to help because of no fault of their own.

I would say that they are condemned to hell, but not for no fault of their own when or not sent to hell just for disbelieving or not believing in Jesus percentile for our sin when we see throughout Scripture we see that we we each of us knows through the light of creation and in our hearts we know that there's a God. Romans one.

Paul really talks about this. Ray says that the everybody has knows that there's a God and they know if his power and his divine attribute will not all of them but they know of his divine power and we are our human nature. Our fallen nature is trying to suppress this knowledge and unrighteousness. So each of us in our fallen state is actively trying to push this truth down. Whether we replace it with the nosing on evolutionary other ideas to try to say, well, there is no God, there is no sovereign deity above me and we note to through our consciences that the this is the evidence of the work of the law in our hearts, so are our consciences condemn or excuse us, as Paul says in Romans two, so all will stand before God will all have our mouth shut will all be accountable for what we've done in this life and I'm I mean I'm a Calvinist. So I believe that whatever God whatever happens in time is part of God's plan and whether Calvinist or not you're going back to the ages Christians had this feel where God has a plan for everything. So yes I do believe that if you die, I mean if you do it if you die nowadays in your born in a place that doesn't hear the gospel does know Christ. You don't trust in Christ as your Savior. You're just as accountable long you are accountable for your sins as those who live in a country where Christ is preached open, so yes we go to hell for first sins against a God that we know through nature through a hearts that he exists and that we sin we we we knowingly commit sin against right hear what you're saying but let's get specific here and I apologize for this.

I know you guys didn't sign up for this event, nobody expects the Spanish English let's talk about specifically Socrates.

Okay, let's talk about an individual lease when the most people have heard of Socrates great guy known to be kinda smart, lived around 600 I think were 500 BCE. So he's the guy he never gets a chance to hear about Christianity just because of Winnie's born God's in control of that presumably when he lives does a lot of good.

Apparently Elise according to some people. Other people were not so thrilled with them the minute.

Athens were happy about which millions of dying. Okay and he is in such a situation. He never gets to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he never gets the opportunity to accept Jesus as his personal savior and be save my understanding from both of you is that Socrates is in hell today.

Matt yes Paul, I don't know and an eminent under talk about the way that Paul addresses salvation, and that in the Bible right.

He uses this as example of salvation by faith alone. Abraham who comes prior to the law of his glove, Moses and knows outsider that the trust in God right doesn't have a knowledge of specific knowledge of Jesus Christ's promise that in his seed will all the earth be blessed in the New Testament teaches that testing is Jesus, but trusting God that God will provide what God is promising to him. In that instance and air son and and that's counted to him as righteousness to that trust is counted to him as righteousness.

And Paul uses that as his main example in Romans and and elsewhere for how one is his state that comes outside of the law of Moses becomes outside of works and it comes in a relationship of trust with God.

So I don't I don't know how each individual know whether each individual has come to that place of trust in God and the true God, but I'd like say it's a possibility, but I won't belabor the point. But right now I understand the both of you gave a different answer to that. That's fine.

I think it's great to be like different opinions about different things based upon their own points of view in their own understandings but you do agree that hell is a real place that people really are right now and really suffering. Torment all yes no hello real place where people are sent yes are the torments that are described are the less literal or more metaphorical.

I think it's possible does it hurt to be there. I think it hurts to be there being separate from God and are the people who were there going to be there in the future. Are they going to be there forever. Yes okay and you agree with that, Matt. Yes, I would mean you could make distinctions between headaches and Gehenna and out tonight because we were babies and Gehenna is the hottest year to write you doing the original pronunciation is yeah you hating Sadie's deacons and Hades. The Hebrew which are somewhat different but have some similarities correct yell yell again is more like the eternal state.

A know the the final state of the wicked. Whereas, because in Revelation says that death and Hades will be thrown into the pit of fire Lake and you can make a distinction but yes there and they those who died without believing in Christ, or what or who are not saved are in this place of torment who was good and I'm stretching now for my recollections was Gehenna disorder that this valley this garbage dump outside Jerusalem, that they may burn day and night. It was like a dumpster fire. They had their right at you, so that I was meant to to evoke the damages of hell of each of torment that just never ends.

Because like he said it was just burning without end. Okay all right now. But I've gone over time and I apologize because I have been imposing myself upon you when actually I think you wanted to have this discussion with asked me questions so let me turn it over to you.

I know that Paul had sent me a list of questions you wanted asked related to my paper and I didn't get anything from Matt, but I'm happy to answer the questions that you have for me at this point.

Sure yet what we discussed her that that list of questions I can keep that up and will basically just follow the plan okay so RFM you state in your article that we mentioned earlier. Not only does the book of Mormon teach that fallen man is incapable of doing all good. It also teaches a fallen man is incapable of doing any good. Would you say this is the difference between a state of being carnally minded as as estates of the corpsmen in the Calvinist view that prior to being regenerated a person is totally depraved okay so this question. First off let me tell you I'm not an expert in Calvinism. Okay I know there's this tulip thing that stands for the five basic essential doctrines of Calvinist right and the tea is probably total depravity. Is that right yes that's correct.

The tea and tulip, but there are other things that go along with Calvinism. They are important. Calvinism like predestination that right Yasmin, okay, but were time of the total depravity part. I think that the book of Mormon definitely talks about men being there totally depraved. They are enemies to God.

I don't how you can put it any more strongly than that in the very famous passage that is quoted often in the LDS church about the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been since the time of Adam, and will be forever and ever, unless they yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit. So I think yes I do think the book of Mormon in the book of Mormon in the book of Mormon cars out a an exception to that the children at least for infants right because it talks about baptizing infants and how if you think that instance the baptism. If you die and I thought you're going to go to hell yourself and actually that infants are saved through the merits and the mercy of Jesus Christ. So I think carves out an exception for infants, but other than that, other than that guy looks like it's definitely depravity in the book of Mormon for all mankind. That's the default state that is their carnal nature. Now, I do want to add a couple things here because this is actually in the original paper I did not mention it in my podcast. But the thing is so interesting to me about the book of Mormon. One of the things is that the book of Mormon seems to teach that because of his carnal nature that man is incapable of doing any good whatsoever and I think that that may be one of the questions you get when apologize if I'm jumping ahead.

Did you want to ask me any follow-up questions before I go on I didn't pause as I get a minute and I think is relevant to this question okay because either chapter 3 verse two is explosive to me. It's amazing when I this descriptor jumped off that the paper at me one day because I'm thinking about these kind of things right.

In this event and looking at reading the book of Mormon. With this in mind, and it actually says in either chapter 3 to that because of the fall. This is the quote because of the fall. Our natures have become evil continually. Okay now that's similar to the natural man is an enemy to God, but either chapter 3 verse two says that because of the fall which we all suffer from right. Our natures have become evil continually. Our natures are evil continually.

And then in Moron I chapter 7 verse 10 okay, this is quoting Mormon medicine Moron I write is wherefore a man being evil. Okay which we know that we are continually from either chapter 3 verse two were evil continually.

But Brian 710 six wherefore a man being evil cannot do that which is good. So apparently we are incapable of doing any good. And then I started thinking what is that mean I you know if I'm a natural man does that mean I can't get help an old lady across the street that would be a good thing right we could do all of contribute to charity help out at food bank. There's all sorts of things that we think that ask good works right, but apparently according to the book of Mormon and I just rented to stay with the book of Mormon says on the subject is supposed to pronounce eternal truth here. Okay, apparently porting the book of Mormon that really doesn't qualify as a good work because a good work. My understanding of the book of Mormon is that a good work can only be done by a good person and nobody is a good person until they are out of that carnal and evil state and become a good person or become born again solely through the merits in the mercy of Jesus Christ. So the way I put it there in the paper was man is incapable of doing good, or in other words, of being in it an independent source of good and I think this is evident from the scriptural guarantee that the source of all good is God right. That's the other end of that equation in the Lord is quoted in the book of ether as saying for good, of none, save it be me. God is the source of all good in the book of Mormon people cannot be an independent source of good only God is the source of good and he says then right after that. This is either chapter 4 verse 12 I am the same.

This is God speaking.

I am the same that lead men to all good so apart from God. Nobody can do any good in the book of Mormon good story becomes a term of art. This good works thing right. We generally think anybody can do good works. If there is something that helps other people, but I think according to the book of Mormon and I apologize if I'm repeating myself at such an unusual idea for most Mormons to hear the book of Mormon actually teaching this kind but the book of Mormon seems to teach and I think conclusively that good works can be done only by a good person and they cannot be done by a carnal person that cannot be done by an evil person, and later on a course in the book of Mormon is if this is the same passage run a 711 uses the analogy right a bitter fountain cannot bring forth what good water, and I think that's exactly were talking about their son talking about fountains is talking about people. A bitter fountain or evil found cannot bring forth good water, a bitter person or evil person cannot bring forth good works. They can only be done through God through Jesus Christ and it is the works that are done once were in that relationship with God in Jesus Christ that we have been made good through their goodness and their grace that we can be allowed then to do good works only through that and after that, can we do good works at all. Your thoughts at home in time I'm in the colonists and and I think it's going and talking. That is essentially total depravity. This idea that their natural state, we cannot do good, even even those things that are morally good.

You know that are conformance to the law.

There's a passage in Romans 14 where it says whosoever has doubts is condemned if he eats is speaking of Zion on a given that context, but basically that the right business foods. The foods that are condemned under the Mosaic law is examined as a stand to eat a food is condemned under the most of the law of Moses like meat from animals that have been strangled with the blood in them. For example, ranking is prescribed in the book of the book of Moses should meet the law of Moses that I think about what you're saying is that Paul is talking about how if you think that evil to do then is and it is evil to do, but because they hate. I don't think it's evil and therefore is not evil for me to do it. Is that what you're talking about right yeah yeah exactly and and and basically at the end of it.

He says whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. So even even the best of our efforts without without true faith without a regenerate heart without being changed by God and from out sinner, carnal person to to a spiritually born person, even our best efforts are filthy rags is as if so, I think I think based on what you describe. There is pretty much what what cabinets were described as total depravity. It doesn't mean that we are as bad as we could be a just means that our efforts are not truly good and we can't truly come to God in faith of our own volition because we are evil desires. So we could transition to question two relates that many see the book of Mormon as an anti-Calvinist. How would you reconcile with the book of Mormon says what what it seems to say about the carnal state with LDS teachings on the war in heaven over agents and Mormonism's general opposition to Calvin. Yeah, I think that first off, with regard to distinguish the book of Mormon from things that come later. Other books of Scripture and the revelations received by Joseph Smith.

Certainly, from what the church teaches today right because I do agree there's an evolutionary process of building upon theirs and adding to that goes on over time. I do think the book of Mormon itself is pretty can. I think that once again bookworm does teach total depravity, though there is an exception.

There which I don't know but I don't think that Calvin would allow for for babies right I mean everybody's totally depraved and Calvinism right, including little babies right basically from conception because of the falseness were born fallen right right, I'm sorry. Yes of course he's a carve out that exception pretty explicitly for baby so doesn't talk about eight years older. The age of accountability necessarily, while actually it does it does talk about people who die without knowing the law and that there saved in heaven.

You know I'm talking about. I don't have the Scripture right in front of me said anything to carve out an exception for that. There is a requirement of knowledge that you know about the law you know about what it is you're supposed to do, but you nevertheless don't do it anyway, so I don't think so. I'm glad to say yes or no I see carnal nature all over the book of Mormon, but I do see exceptions carved out in the book of Mormon that probably would not be carved out within strict Calvinism on the other hand, this is an axis in total depravity part of Calvinism right this is that the part of Calvinism about predestination and I think that once again not being expert in Calvinism. I think that Calvinism believes that everything is predestined from before the foundation of the world, even from before you note the very beginning, the entire scenario of how everything plays out has already been not just known to God, but planned by God that he's totally in charge of everything I have that right, Matt. Yes, everything is part of his decree. Okay, so everything part of his decree and so in Calvinism we might think that we have the freedom to choose what were going to do, but really that's an illusion at least within some forms of Calvinism correct that's more part of the hard determinist camp of Calvinist and I would say that humankind borders on paper Calvinism.

I think I think most Calvinists that are hyper cabinets they believe and we believe incompatible is him so we believe it free will. Still works into God's plan.

So it's that's why were still response before saying this because we still have the freedom to choose. We said we still have this.

This ability to choose, but at the end of the day all of it is part of God's plan. So it's something that's we can leave it up to mystery at some point where we don't know exactly how everything fits together but because it is not because the doctrine starts to run into contradictions and difficulties as I start seeing the contradictions and the difficulties the first hard-core I'm sorry, what was it called out the hard-core Calvinism.

Would you call it hyper hyper Calvinism is hyper Calvinism.

I think I think it's unattractive for various reasons, but at least it doesn't run into difficulties. You know what I mean. As soon as you start trying to make Calvinism with free will. That's when you start getting the oil in the water for my pointed a start running into difficulties and saying well if God just knows from the beginning everything that's going to happen then we can still have our free will to choose in God's nose from the beginning what it is were going to cheese before we choose it right. I think those two are compatible.

But when you get to the idea that God has decreed everything from the beginning that I don't see how free will can can be anything more than in the art are the some of the difficulties that you're talking about that you reserve for the mystery yes so it's it's kind of get a little bit off topic. Hopefully hopefully we can get back to but basically we see in Scripture to main ideas we we see God's sovereignty.

I came out of the top passages out of my head. But there's a passage in Isaiah where it says that God decrees not only to good but he also destruction of the good and evil good and evil. We also see that whatever God wants in heaven and on earth is what is what occurs, I think that Psalm 10. I'm on my go to numbers Psalm 109 something like that on 93.

I think no report in and we also seen Daniel. Daniel in the book when Nebuchadnezzar when he was created to a sickly feral beast because he tried to boast of his stuff is power in his and his you know sovereignty is king. You know he was basically reduced to an animal, against his will, and afterward he gloried in the God who is sovereign over everything in the heavens and on the earth.

So we have this we have this idea that God is sovereign over everything that happens, including the death of Christ where he next to Paul says that this was according to the forwarding plan of God is to write Peter right and asked you and with but we also see that we are responsible for what we so we are responsible for our own sins. You know, when God's.

When God sees us standing when we go against his law, we are we are held accountable for that. So there are these two ideas that we have to reconcile and people reconcile this in different ways and sometimes people leave it up to complete mystery. Don't try to reconcile it. Calvinism is just one form of of how to reconcile these two concepts you how I would reconcile them. By the way, take your word for it. Sounds like you know you're talking about these different ideas, seemingly perhaps potentially un-reconcilable at least rationally ideas in the text of the Bible in these different but you know how I would reconcile this what you are just different people with different ideas writing them in different books. Interesting guy would say these are different opinions different points of view and I would see no need to reconcile them now. At one point okay. At one point I definitely would have because I felt there was a need to reconcile everything, not only in the Bible right which is the burden that Christians have Old Testament and New Testament. And that's a difficult enough job but also the Bible book of Mormon doctrine and covenants in probate price so you at all that there and now you got it harmonized everything and it just ends up leading to a vote.

Just like a snarl at the end of a fishing pole.

At least when I used to go fishing as a get, you know I get his master snarl at the end. There's no point trying to entangle except cut it off and retire by the yeah this is how I would and that seems to be the easiest way but I understand and I'm not critical words in your mouth right now map. I understand that you come from point of view, where you believe the Bible is well that you have to believe everything is as stated in the Bible. To the best of your ability and harmonized everything that's in the Bible with itself with each other with the different writers in the Bible say correct I asked you so. We believe that all of it is God breathed and what we can't necessarily reconcile all of it. We believe we know it.

Some part of our form Baptist Church. So where part of the Calvinist tradition and then the so they've always had a really high view of Scripture that all that is God breathed and so you can have God contradicting himself Dino and Janice test from what he says in Revelation or anywhere in between. So even if we can't reconcile it because of our limited capacity as humans what God has spoken. Is it it's all compatible. There's nothing contradictory kind yeah I figure that was where you're coming from and I'm sorry I don't mean to get off the beaten path here from where were going, although I think it's very interesting Allison and find out more about will each other what each of us believes you want to go to the next question or did you want to say anything else.

Either you matter. Paul Jimmy thimble number yet so I figured that's a good discussion.

Let's move on to the third question so do you think that the book of Mormon says anything about when a person ceases to be an enemy to God, and we kind of discussed is low, but already is it when they call out to God for redemption or is it only after they have been fully obese know the book of Mormon is clear it's right when they call out to God for redemption immediate leave is in the event, not a process in the book of Mormon which is the opposite of what Mormon church leaders say even as recently as this past Gen. conference even as recently as the gay devotional the devotionals for the young adults by Elder and Sr. gave I didn't play that part of my podcast.

I just did. Analyzing the devotional but yet they talk about it.

It's a process not an event in the book of Mormon is in the event it happens right when you cry to God for mercy and boom you are safe you are born-again you become a son or daughter of God and son or daughter of Jesus which are kind of the same thing in the 1 Sentiment Takes Pl. Can a person revert to the carnal nature yeah absolutely, absolutely.

At least they can read, go to a fallen state in the process gets to the difficulty or I should say the controversy within evangelical circles, which is the once saved always saved question because there are some places I think in the Bible where it would mostly talk about Paul here. I know where it indicates that winter stager always say because if you're saved by Jesus right and that means that you're saved through faith on his name, not for your good works, not for what you do. Therefore, the question becomes if your safety was grace and not for what you do can you do anything after that it would cause you to fall from that state of grace and my understanding is that there are two camps within evangelical line of thought, one of which says no you cannot do anything to fall. You did not get that far and get saved by your works.

You can't get you can't fall grace by your works, and I would be the one saved always saved And then there's the other camp that would say you're saved by grace but yeah that doesn't give you license do whatever you want to do. You can actually fall from grace after that and go to an unredeemed state the book of Mormon is clear that it goes with the second camp. It doesn't go with the one saved always saved, and I quoted a few things passages about that. My paper I will go back to my paper on disputed when it comes to mind, which is that Alma chapter 5 the second longest chapter in the book of Mormon that memory stars were always asking all these questions of the people of their hamlets right after he abdicated from BND on the Chief Judge went to just go to his religious duties. He's going out to be the Reformation throughout the land, asking all the questions in the first main question he asks is have you been born of God right can you have you received this image in your countenance. Can you sing the song of redeeming love and yes I 49 or 50 questions throughout the sermon's sermon is based on question and that's the first main question as I recall the accident to the questions and he finally gets the second part of the sermon and then he says if you have an border God.

If you have received this image in his account. If you have failed to rethink things on a redeeming love. I would ask you, can you feel so now have you continue to do this to so there.

I think is very clear that the book of Mormon teaches that yeah you can do things that will cause you to fall from grace another, not necessarily the things that are taught in the list of commandments or the list of requirements. The modern Mormon church teach that I don't see that in the book of Mormon anywhere, but it does seem clear that it does not promote the one saved always saved for of salvation, but that one can be saved and then fall to an un-regenerated state once again. Thereafter your thoughts. Yeah me that that's I mean the view that you can lose your salvation is basically what I want what I believe lies are a saint, and what I read when I read the book of Mormon so I don't have any leave now.

We believe now Matt, are you one saved always saved her, you still believe that. So basically as a so when I was studying Christianity.

Reformed theology and the one of the key passages that help me understand that I don't technically use a term once saved always saved, because sometime just have a limited baggage. With that, like with the free grace community where it's I can only use believe there's no change of heart necessary. There's no change in lifestyle. You know you just sign your card you sent your ticket and you get to heaven for free. You know that's kind of like how to start to use that term week. We prefer a perseverance of the Saints, meaning that we know whatever God what work God has done in us when he started he will finish next to P into the business correct perseverance things okay. Glad you correct.

So when the key passages is John six so says no one can come to me. Jesus is speaking speaking here. He's saying to the crowd. No one can come to me unless the father sent me draws him and I will raise him up on the last day so this is speaking to both total depravity, saying that naturally you can't come to God in faith unless God draws you.

So if the father draws you, you will come to Christ.

And Jesus says that he will raise him up on the last day so there's no if's, there's no butts. He just says those who come will be saved will be lifted up, but I cannot income you can come of your own free will.

It's only of God draws you right because were born in a state where we are incapable of coming to God in faith kind. By the way Paul had heard from you in a bit. What you think about this one saved always saved the leap. Are you a Calvinist, you consider yourself a Calvinist.

Soon I am not a Calvinist.

My my approaches. What does the Bible say and say hey hey masculine take offense at that you won't actually because I I come to some very similar conclusions as he does.

But if it's based on the text of the Bible, rather than on the teachings of Calvin. Not that I think Calvin was necessarily wrong, I just think that the Bible is our authority wasn't Calvin going off the Bible. Was he going to some mouse going off the Bible to but okay. I am sorry going to find a light side. I also fall into the camp of one saved always saved that once God has done that work in you. He's going to carry through to completion.

Like like Paul says in Philippians 1. It's it's a good work that God does need to give you a new heart and to redeem you and she will she will finish that work there is that this blessed assurance and salvation. Alright so if I'm correct about the book of Mormon, not teaching math and I would be one of the places where you differ with the book of Mormon and on salvation okay great anything else on this question. If you want to go to the next one.

I think it's because I think all we can price move on and I think so either way, there are just my audience knows there's a questions here that have been submitted and we are to which one number okay yes so question before. Do you agree that the book of Mormon teaches imputed righteousness absolutely.

By the way, go ahead, that it is the that is only the merits mercy and grace of Christ imputed or credited to sinners that makes them righteous. Yes it is funny that you actually sorted gifts he had served to the question after your i.e. yeah that it is only through the mayor's mercy and grace of Christ Chris are quoting from the book of Mormon right that is only through the merits mercy and grace of Christ that we can be saved is what the book of Mormon asked Stacy in the reference with you right now.

By the way I don't is a second Nephi or something. I think I think it is okay but it actually says that in the book of Mormon.

So yes, absolutely. The book of Mormon teaches imputed righteousness and by that I mean that we are not ourselves righteous.

There are good works. It is the righteousness of God in Jesus that is imputed to us through their grace through our crying to them for data mercy that they impute to us. So any righteousness that we have is their right. Once it's been imputed to us any goodness that we have is imputed to us from their goodness. Any good works that we do is imputed to us from their goodness negative ties into what I'm talking about before with the book of Mormon teaching that God is the only source of good in the separate and apart from God. Men are in the carnal state and women to buy away men and women are in a carnal state and they will be evil forever unless I way is not unless they start obeying all these commandments right in King Benjamin servant is the natural man is an enemy. God has been since fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever. It doesn't say unless they start obeying the commands unless they start paying their tithing unless they you know, certainly the home teaching or their ministry now right, it doesn't say that it says they will be an enemy of God forever and ever. Unless they yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit K that's what we have to do we have to get out of the way of what it is that God wants to do with us according to the book of Mormon, at least the way I read one quick fall question. There's there's a way of document differences in and nine evangelical Christianity. The difference between Calvinist on cow ministers of many different views Calvinist believe in irresistible grace that when God saves when he draws it's a can't be resisted. So basically what you're saying is that to yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit means you there is a possibility that you can that you can resist the enticings of the Holy Spirit as I cry yes I think so. I think that the agency part of the book. By the way I'm thinking that simply irresistible is gotta be the closing song here. I don't know okay about the book of Mormon as far as depravity is similar to that part of Calvinism, but when it comes to the ability to choose and to resist grace that you have to yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit you have to get out of the way of that there is that element of choice. There seems to be talked about in the book of Mormon that I think is different in that respect from Calvinist okay I can explain. Paul did anything to follow up on our on the next one to know how to go from here. So our family. You talk a lot about how culturally latter-day Saints can way a lot of times of the view that I'm just not measuring up on not doing enough. I'm not good enough to merit salvation and exultation and how that that view is something that they come to honestly because of the teachings of the modern LDS church evangelicals have connected and not on that end and turned it the impossible gospel of Mormonism.

So one of the passages within the book of Mormon is Mormon that they point to is narrow and I 1032 which says you coming to Christ and be perfected in him and deny yourselves of all ungodliness and if you shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then this is grace sufficient for you, that by his grace, he may be perfect in Christ. And if, by the grace of God your perfect in Christ and can in no wise deny the power of God. Do you think that will what you think of the argument that that that the book of Mormon also teaches that impossible gospel of Mormonism in that it says you know that it's it's it's once you've denied yourself of all ungodliness. That is his grace sufficient for you. Okay, so here's what I think this is actually what I talked about in the opening part of that first paper I wrote and I didn't go over this in the podcast. I'm glad you asked me this the book of Mormon is jampacked with contradictory statements as far as this goes and I can find them ability to tell talked about them in general. First, there are statements in the book of Mormon to talk about. You have to be completely clean in order to inherit the kingdom of God have to follow-up commandments in order to be safe you have to do everything that God wants you be safe.

Okay, so there's that line of thought in the book more but can't. I will see contradictory message juxtaposed juxtaposed with those statements are statements about the hearsay only through the merits and the mercy of Jesus Christ and all the other things that I talked about in that paper. So the first thing I talked about is how is it in when we describe transitional hearing. They just call it the problem of perfection in the book of Mormon and the problem of perfection is never one that man must keep in this is women to sorry folks that we must keep the commandments of God in order to gain eternal life. Okay. And the second part of that is that because of the carnal nature man is incapable of keeping the commandments of God.

So we have is that they are actually contradictory contradictory statements in the same book. First off, setting up the problem which is you have to keep all the commandments in order to be saved and then the other side saying what you can keep all the commandments.

So what are you supposed to do with that. And that's what the paper goes on and it studies and it sets forth what I think the book of Mormon says about, which is that yeah in the carnal state we can keep all the commandments of God, we are required to keep all the commandments of God and I think that these these contradictions okay these contradictory statements are designed to actually bring us to the point where we realize that through our striving lease. This is the way it happened with me.

CS Lewis, talks about a similar thing through her own striving to keep the commandments of God, we finally realize that we can't do it that we are incapable of keeping the commandments of God, because by the way, God is set up the system let me come back to that later.

I don't want to hang on a tangent. I'll try and remember to come back to later remind me if I forget what I said because God is that the system okay to come to this point where we actually despair. Being able to keep all the commandments of God because we can't do it, but we know it's critical that we do it in order to be saved in order God plop plop and is only at that point where we come to that despair that we finally realize that we've got to depend on God because we cannot do it ourselves in a dry assisted to this point of despair will be can actually call upon God and cry to him for mercy and he will respond by saving us in by imputing to us his righteousness. A slightly asked. Follow up on that and on and on. Just note that that what you said there is similar to what Paul the apostle says about the law of Moses right that a meeting is a schoolmaster that he would've known Stan without the law, those types of statements that he makes within this his epistles to follow question on master one. Once a person calls out for redemption, then then they are required to keep all the commandments and how are they able to after that because there nature changes that, is that your viewing with the book of Mormon teaches. Here's the thing okay because there is the book of Mormon teaching in a talks in several places. About once a person is reading or group of people or redeem in their hearts or change that they have no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually right but it doesn't actually talk about them actually doing good continually crazy thoughts about this desire being changed and so the book Lauren talks about that is are being changed, so I want to recognize and acknowledge that in my own personal journey.

I realize that even though I felt different. I felt freed like now talks about.

I felt very happy I felt at liberty now all of a sudden that I was still in a screwup and I was still going make mistakes and I was still going to violate the commandments right, it's just that it wasn't that big a deal anymore. When I slipped out because I have already trusted in God he's impeded his righteousness to meet so I think that the book of Mormon talks about the desires being changed, but I think in reality. Now it doesn't make you perfect, it is me that all of a sudden that you are going to be perfect in the sense of and this is important right in the sense of now I keep all the commandments of God, right know now you become perfect in the sense of your made perfect by God through his grace not really judge according to your actions that you do after that meeting on out trying to you know commit genocide or anything you understand when talking about that's kinda my take on it. So there is the book of Mormon says versus what my own personal experience was. I want to distinguish the two.

And that's my issue. That question what you think. It's good to want to come back to what you were saying about that is yes, thank you so much. Alright now God is in charge right.

God is in control. Okay, he said that the terms of the plan of salvation. He comes up with these commandments I know there's this idea Mormon is in the commandments exists eternally date they exist outside of God. He doesn't have control over them. Their eternal loss.

Basically, let's put that aside for second and let's talk about God being in control.

Okay Don someone sets up the commandment and we know that nobody can keep all the commandments okay, at least according to the Bible you know all the sin and come short of the glory of God.

I think that's Romans 323 you will correct me if I have it wrong. First John 110 that the man CS and standings Alliance truth is not in and right in our common experience.

He says we cannot keep all the commandments of God, no matter how much we try so then the question becomes to meet why did God said it. At this way. Why did God intentionally apparently come up with a list of commandments that are so structured that we cannot keep them that I cannot keep them. Presumably, if God were in charge. He did say okay look there's one commandment it's, you know, don't kill anybody, don't murder anybody right in the vast majority of people who lived on this planet would be able to keep that law.

Okay, that makes sense. All right, but God has apparently intentionally set up the system of laws that we cannot, as human beings avoid breaking that make sense yes so it was, so it seems to me or Lisa seem to me at the time. Within this context of the book of Mormon and within Mormonism. In general, perhaps broader than that, even with a Christianity that we are put here on earth, specifically because we are supposed to break the law okay and that we are supposed to learn something through breaking the law in a probationary state where we do not have to live forever with the consequences of having broken the law and it is possible that what we are supposed to learn to not say this is exhaustive or anything, or even that I'm right. I'm just speculating here.

They seems reasonable to that.

The thing that were supposed to learn by being in a probationary state where we can break the law without living forever. The consequences of having broken the law is that good is better than evil that breaking the law does not bring happiness it brings sorrow and therefore we can learn through our own experience to value the good over the evil I follow that followed I what I would probably tweak it a bit but my view is more like we are seared to learn reliance upon God right to worship him. We we would not exist without him and so everything we have everything we are everything we could possibly be is a result of his goodness towards us in his grace and mercy towards us. So send like thinking Benjamin there. By the way, you know that W now maybe, but I also think it's it's the general Christian view while King Benjamin was definitely a Christian man yeah yeah way before Christ came to be there for sure. I know it's a little anachronistic, but there you have it. What is you think. I think I see what you're trying to say in some some part of me thinks or hopes of maybe someday will be Calvinists because he see this planet data set forth in these he's made it a nice man in such a way that he knew that we would say Merry without causing us to stand without forcing us to send an answer. That's a Calvinist belief watching what I probably will never be Calvinists. I cannot guarantee anything at this point in my life. I probably will never be Calvinists, and even a couple more questions. I got asked this question okay when I was 12 years old.

I was watching the Billy Graham Crusade on TV and at the end of that.

Yes, everybody come forgive their soul to Jesus.

Do the sinners prayer.

Be safe. And even those were watching at home on the TV asked to do it. I was alone in my bedroom watching the TV. I did it. I stood out or are cut down on my knees. Whatever it was, and I prayed the sinners prayer that he led me in personally right through TV and so I understand from Billy Graham.

At least I know is not a Calvinist service and think he is pleased about that.

I was saved through that experience. So my question is this. Now that I have gone joined the Mormon church basically outgrown the Mormon church. As far as its doctrines and teachings and leadership patriarchy, etc. and now am really don't believe so much in Jesus as my personal savior anymore.

Okay, that this is a long delivered question okay but I think you know I'm going my questions going to be having gone through all that. When I was 12 and everything up to this point. Now when I'm 60 years old bouquet that experience when I was 12 still make it so that I'm going to heaven or am I going to go to hell instead right now this moment heart attack dropdead mad what you think like a question like microtech but before it's a lot of conditionals on F's if it's is true saving faith in you truly, truly trusted in Christ and God justified you through that then yes you will you are saying when you die you will go to heaven. I like Alan I like your answer Matt so but the caveat is that those who are saved, they may have hills and valleys in their faith enough throughout life, but I think if you know they need just God will keep them safe in on a mean so they'll never though never get to a point where they just outright deny everything related to the gospel.

Do not, I mean like if someone claims he was saved at 10 or five or will or whatever age and later on they deny that Christ is is God. They deny that he is Lord.

I was the author of the Bible says that you know you cannot you cannot you cannot confess that Jesus is risen, unless it's because of the spirit of God working in you so if you get the power you reject that it's a sign that in the Bible just John also warned of the suit at Delphi, which is based to just the Greek for false brothers so there were many that that that confess Christ stick that seemed outwardly in every single way to be Christian to be believers, but then through something that they said or believed or taught.

They show that they were not converted, so there is also that possibility and that's also why God warns us in Scripture to constantly test so even believers that feel truly that they are saved by God that that you know he's redeem them that we need a costly test ourselves is our faith.

True, is it saving faith to be truly trusting's are we showing signs of having been redeemed is our heart truly changed. We desire good desire to follow because there are many people that may knowingly be false brothers or unknowingly, there could be people that are completely confident that they're going to heaven and that turns out they won't be so it's a it's a false confidence so so really you don't know until Judgment Day is at right now. Not exactly you can have assurance of your salvation is not getting does that mean the feeling they were assigned certified letter from God or what you sent us this this could be a really long. The request is squishy on the here and I don't know Paul would agree, but the evangelicals I talked when I know your view identifies Calvinist you basically you. This is the day this is the hour. This is the minute when I gave my soul to Jesus and I am into my life as my personal savior boom.

That's when I was saved and that's all there is to it. That's my insurance. That's my I want to go into the golden ticket. But you know that that's my insurance right there and I am sure I know I understand because of that that's likely to change and I don't have to worry later on. Well MIA sort of off tracker what's gonna happen to me when I get in front of Jesus on the final day and I guess I'll have to wait and find out that certain family what Mormons believe you yes understand. I'll jump in here and say that for me.

For me it's a matter of trust. I do trust in Jesus for your salvation.

I was going touch on like Matthew did the what John says about you know those those who have gone out from us, have shown that they were not really honest that that there is a possibility of a false conversion, so to speak, but if you if a person trusts in Jesus like like Paul uses Abraham as the example right trusting God and that's counted to him as righteousness type so impressed was I was 12.

What goes on throughout the rest of a person's life that trust remains then you gotta keep the trust as article you gotta keep the trust. Yes, oh my gosh this is getting exhausting. No, I'm sorry, but it's like on what what I'm seeing is that really this assurance comes with qualifications at least for you to I I'm sure you know whether evangelicals who would differ with you in that regard. Right yesterday.

There's a bunch of different views on assurance pressure right okay okay well anyway I just want to throw that out there right consists ask you while you know. Does this change my situation. Since Billy Graham came into my life when I was 12, but apparently the answer isn't yes but not necessarily.

I would ask you when you when you made that declaration of faith.

What what prompted you to do so was it was nearly Billy Graham's words or was there when you would term a real drawing from God about 20 total drawing from God.

God put me in front of the TV set.

At the time gave me the interest in religion enough to turn on this crusade and listen to it went well. By the way, right, nobody's making me do this. Nobody's in the room and kind of you know, not wanting other people to know I'm doing this totally got that make it better for me. I was sent it in one quick question with that too is did you recognize that you are a sinner in need of saving because it because in their reformed view. When we read scripture we see that faith is not merely just excising faith in Christ. It's also turning away from sin towards him. So there's us. Our faith needs to be repenting faith where were were simultaneously turning away from sin and trusting in Christ alone to save us. So would you say that you also had that aspect of that conversion experience absolutely yes. So now I'm in.

I mean from sounds like you know but but but again that's why we also must continue to test ourselves and in their form confessions a talk about several sources of assurance, ultimately the ground of our assurance is Christ on the cross, and weekly trust in that, but we can also have we can also see the outpouring of God working in our lives changing our hearts conforming us more to be like Christ, so that's that's something that can bolster our confidence but at the same time we trust in Christ alone and what he did and and if are continually trusting in what he's accomplished and that's that. I think that's the greatest source of our assurance of the believers assurance okay okay well I will belabor the point. Now I'll just give you my my perception okay is that it just sounds so much more like Mormonism.

In other words, it seems like there's a distinction that isn't that big a distinction in Mormonism. You have to obey all the commandments right to the best of your ability and you repent master forgiveness sent him along the way, right to make up for those failings, but at the end of the day you stand in front of Jesus and he judges you, and that's kind when you get to find out whether you made the grade or not, whether you were good enough to get to heaven or which have been in Mormonism right so Mormonism you judge based upon the work you do in your life right in and you find out at the end. Whether you're sick and it sounds like what you're saying is similar that you know you go through an experience like I did when I was 12 for the services you describe, but then you still have to go throughout your life with out this necessary surety and other words is not necessarily sure that you get to go to heaven and really it could fluctuate.

It could go down valleys and hills. She talked about and really at the end he still stand before Jesus and find out whether you live your life after you work savior after your conversion experience sufficiently in order to go to heaven to have the right, I would make a distinction there still so instead instead of standing in front of God at the end of your life. If you received Christiansen standing front of God at the end of your life to be judged whether or not you have after the conversion experience done enough as is. You kind of put it. Instead you stand in front of God and he's going to you going to be wrapped in the robes of righteousness of Jesus, and you will be judged based on the merits of Jesus and in his righteousness because his righteousness becomes yours and justification, conversion, and so when I talk about false brethren. It's not it's not people who I wouldn't do that to someone who falls away after having a true condition conversion experience I would do that is someone who never really had a true conversion experience may be because of their fallen nature joined with the group for selfish reasons or other reasons than trusting in Jesus Christ for their salvation. But Paul has exactly what I'm getting. And thank you for putting it that way because it seems to me that whether you're in Jesus's robes or somebody else's robes at the end that really what you're finding out is whether your conversion experience whenever it happened, whether it was 12 years old like me or some other time in your life.

Whether that was a real conversion experience that you're finding out at the end whether the conversion experience you had was a real conversion.

I've heard this before from others, and that's way prior to my wife I'm maybe hammering this point too hard for other people and maybe they're bored with this. By now, this way just seems so similar to Mormonism. It just that Mormonism you're judging at the end of your life whether you live your life sufficiently well, or according to whatever is required and in this other view that you're talking about you, don't judge it at the end of your life.

Instead he judges as at the point of your conversion with her that was a real conversion, but the real conversion is based upon how you live the rest of your life to see when driving at Excel. I think I do see it and I still see a major difference though because at the end. At the end of the Mormons life of faith if they trusted in the gospel that Mormonism preaches at the end of their life there hoping that what they have done is enough right at the end of the Christian's life.

They're not hoping that what they've done is enough what they're hoping is that what Christ it is enough that with her trusting in us that Christ is enough. Okay, I hear what you're saying and I think you know the answer.

This last carpet under bring it up here again, so if you got a Mormon event born again Christian. Okay MSA.

They live in equivalent type of life there in parallel lines. They don't know each other but they go to the Kiwanis. You know they they work at the library they go to PTH. Whatever it is that they do okay in their lives they live in a similar relatively high level essay that state doing beneficial things for other people. Okay what Mormons would call good works with the book of Mormon doesn't necessarily call good works that will Mormons typically call good works okay is out at the end of their lives.

They have done everything basically the same in their lives except for the Mormon is thinking okay I'm good be judged on what I've done and the brain. Christian is going to be saying okay I'm to be judged on what Jesus did right with me so far yes and then it that the judgment day now of these to be loose with the same type of life as far as her content goes over the different belief in their head and perhaps a different conversion experience for the boring Christian versus the Mormon now based upon that the more he goes to hell in the boring Christian goes to heaven right with you. It just doesn't strike me as fair is fair play in this anywhere what what strikes you as unfair that people would live their lives exactly the same way as far as a high level of righteousness trying to do good. Trying to do what they think is right right trying to believe what train do what they believe is correct, leaving God the way they believe in God and at the end. It's like, hey, sorry it does make a difference. What you do, it's what you believe it or how you conceive of me and so based on that now you Paul. You get to go to heaven forever to sing with heavenly choirs and have a really good and you Pres. Nelson just good hell to be tormented forever. Just saying I would argue that maybe they're not living their lives exactly the same. No, in terms of their their will and their purpose for doing the things that they do they think is important to to the equation here and then all gets into your mind doesn't have the intent intent is what it all comes down to, I think so and I was there and I think the New Testament goes there when it talks about repentance being a change of mind by we often think of repentance is as being no authority and you are sorry, but it's a change of mind with regards to your actions and your will and the reasons why you do things that matter you are throwing on this sure hair. Sorry about that. The Aligarh same Adam my car because there's no way to park from 9 to 3 PM at different parts in the streets this week some stuff and move it as it is either to get towed before a toad now. Seth why think we have to start the premises. That first of all, God is sovereign, as we've mentioned previously that he has an extension.

All extensive knowledge of things past and future and that all things according to his plan. We also have to understand that we deserve only punishment for our sins, that none of us deserves heaven so we talk about fairness when were talking about salvation.

If God were entirely fair and just. We would all go to hell because that's all we deserve and so we have to really truly understand this and this is contradictory to competence. God is not just God was as nice as I do still. God is loving and merciful, but he's also just not hear that loving mercy coming through strong and clear on this stuff. We look we look in Scripture we see all throughout Scripture that God has a very high standard had a very very high standard. Like you said we can't live up to when we see Aaron sends Nate Avenue by who they were consecrated as priest and they were obedient to what God had commanded, but the one thing they did wrong was I offered strange fire on the altar and because this got consumed so if we look at from our perspective. I was a sound effect of the flames coming out of the temple and consuming them for strange fire on the altar. Whatever the hell the strange fire me radio so from our perspective, yet it seems pretty mean but this is God demonstrating. He is entirely sorry think this is a passing of his okay I can hear them. Can you give us a call. I don't hear anything okay okay cool, my micas is cardioid so kind of filters out the picture anyway so but from God's perspective he's trying to show us that his law is perfect and we cannot transgress that will know what happened with his next two sons that I believe that the story goes that they were supposed to eat an offering, according to what God had commanded. But they did not do that. And so Aaron already having lost two sons.

He pleaded for mercy, and he spoke to Moses he plea for mercy that his other two sons would be consumed like his previous two sons were. And God showed mercy on them. So this mercy is not something that we deserve is not something that we earn.

It's something that God gives of his own free choice. So when we talk about salvation. The same is with us. We can go through Romans and go through chapter 9 of Romans is the Calvinist air passage but basically Paul is comparing the two sons Jacob and Esau. So we know from Scripture, the Jacob of his own actions he was.

Not a great guy. He stole his brothers birthright 58 and Jacob have I loved Esau have I hated correct and all goes through this and says that it is not of anything that they did themselves but before either of the twins were born, God chose Jacob for his blessing and not eat, and so we see that God has the ultimate and total sovereignty for his covenant blessings and also for salvation so for us it looks like from our perspective that is not fair that God extends his saving grace to some and not everyone we have to remember that none of us deserve salvation.

If we got was fair to us. We would all be sent to hell and we have to really understand believe that in order to understand what grace is. I think truly distinguished to follow question Matt and I apologize. Here okay God is in charge of everything he sovereign right lighting. The descendents of the default position was everybody goes to heaven every town. It sounds like he's being controlled by this system that the default position is everybody goes to help. We could just as easily done it the other way right. I mean, he could've done it the other way could meet if if he had chosen to. He could've saved everyone but I think in the reform. Commentators speak of.

When we look at the garden we see Adam speaking with God. Walking with God in the garden see God as Creator because the fall which is also part of God's plan because of the fall, we now get to know God is the Redeemer. So if God just saved everybody we wouldn't truly know the justice and the holiness of God because God save some and and she is the Passover others we know God is both Redeemer, Savior, and merciful God, but also as the just and holy judge, and he does all this for his good it's it's not something that that we can demand of God is something that he gives free okay but I think you did a great job expressing your views and I'm not going to sit here and debate with you any further. I'm sorry I'm not trying to be antagonistic maybe hire finest part of my natural man, the antagonistic radio free Mormon, but that's great. Okay, so whether it with. I know were a short time now and this largely my fault.

Were there any other questions. He wanted follow up on it.

Maybe we can just you would mention this should mention this Moron I chapter 10 verse 32 you can read that you know it's funny because if you read that as your typical LDS person when it talks about denying yourself of all ungodliness naturally read that is keeping all the commandments of the LDS church writing just like in the what is it Mosiah 319 about them. Natural man is an enemy God will be forever and ever and with seals and enticings of the Holy Spirit and put us off the natural man.

And when Mormons read that they hear put if off the natural man means following all the commands of the LDS church right to become something that's required of them to do. And yet when you read the same passage from Rene 1032 from the other perspective right looking at the grace of Christ the power of God in salvation and what we do, then other elements of that same passage leap out.

It says EA coming to crisis in Roy 1032. For those of you following along at home. EA coming to Christ and be perfected in him right so the question is, what it what it would we have to do to be perfected and what is that mean right and deny yourselves of all ungodliness that we talked about how the natural knee-jerk for the Mormon is to say, that means follow the commands of God. But it is to say that okay it doesn't say that's what it means but it goes on and if he shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness.

Whatever that means right now. Okay, and love God with all your might, mind and strength then is his grace sufficient for you, and this is important I think.

I thought about this overnight before the sun. This interview that by his grace, he may be perfected in Christ and wait a second and just use the same expression that you know that the first part is she coming to Christ and be perfected in him and then he goes on and it says that by his grace, she may be perfect in Christ. See that's how it is that were perfect in Christ is by his grace, and then he goes on and finishes and it says and if, by the grace of God, you're perfect in Christ. He can in no wise deny the power of God. See if the power of God the grace of Christ that saves us nowhere in there does it talk about what we do or that we have to follow commandments in order to be saved. Indeed, to the extent that we are following commandments to be saved according to the book of Mormon, and that's detracting from the grace of God and the power of God, and I would agree that alternate reading is there. I would ask you, do you think that the default reading for Latter Day Saints on the come of that passage, and they see where says you know you must deny yourself the cells of all ungodliness and made freight that passage with keep all of the obvious commandments, do you think that that that comes from trying to integrate in the teachings of save the document covenants Huizinga Bentley has to do with integrating the current teachings of the church and the doctrine and covenants does go on. There is an evolution that goes on and basically was going on here is in the book of Mormon. Let me back up her second there's two main paradigms, one of which is more on grace okay and more on the person's relationship. The individual's relationship with God and the grace of God and being state now that cuts out the church as an institution okay when you have that kind of paradigm the power of the church as an institution that can administer or withhold saving ordinances through the power of the priesthood is diminished, so this idea of the salvation by grace on the book of Mormon is sort of toward one end of the spectrum. At the other end of the spectrum, though, is the church which ends up being organized after the book Mormon comes forward and then all these revelations received in all of these priesthood offices and different presets themselves are instituted within the LDS church so over time. The LDS church now becomes an institution that is a formal institution that claims to be able to give saving ordinances to its members write to the extent that it does that it is now evolving away from whether it's up or down. That's personal opinion but is definitely different and evolving away from what we have in the book of Mormon. Salvation is not administered through a church or through priesthood or through priesthood offices and ordinances. Instead, it is directly between the individual and God.

But allowing salvation to be between an individual and God removes the authority of an institution like a church over the members and it removes their power to get the members to do what it is they want the members to do it.

Thank you for that. I had one. Thank you Arvin for taking the time to to talk with us and I think I hear you saying that you definitely see an evolution from the book of Mormon to the doctrine and covenants 90 maybe we can just touch on my last question.

If you've got a few minutes to go through better. So the last question is to think to think the differences between the book of Mormon and the doctrine and covenants in this regard have any implications for the question of book of Mormon authorship. Well, you know, if you're talking about book of Mormon authorship in terms of it being what it historically presents itself as being i.e. written by Jews a long time ago that made their way from Jerusalem over to America. Is that what you mean now I'm in.

Whether whether there's the distinctions between what's taught in the book of Mormon and what is taught in the document covenants which which we know most of the document covenants came from from the mind of Joseph Smith exclaimed that the book of Mormon came from God via translation via the power of God from the place right is supposed to be the ancient writings of of profits on the Americas. But when you see those differences in and if they do seem to need to be stark differences in doctrine. Stark differences in Gospels we touched on today. It makes you wonder when you're thinking about how case the book of Mormon is an ancient, how did it come about due to differences in doctrines that you see in the sections of the document covenants. Coming straight from Joseph Smith does indicate that perhaps there's another answer for authorship of the book of Mormon.

Other than than maybe you know if you just looking at it solely from a humanistic perspective, the minute it was just a Joseph Smith the sole author versus others contributing so that the question I'm asking is to think that the differences in doctrine between the document covenants in the book of Mormon demonstrate that there may be others who contributed to the book of Mormon.

You know, I don't see it really is bearing on the issue because I see this looking at it from a naturalistic perspective like you encourage me to do. I see the book of Mormon. First off, it's very early on. It's one of the very first things of course that Joseph Smith produces or that comes through him. And so the book of Mormon ends up reflecting largely the Methodism in the camp revival meetings of Joseph Smith's day and of course he was associated with the Methodist Church in his youth. So this is something that has been commented on before when we read the sermons in the book of Mormon.

They selling Methodist sermons when we see people being slain in the spirit in the book of Mormon. His eyesight was happy to camp revival meetings and indeed all the arguments that are had between the good guys and the bad guys about doctrinal issues in the book of Mormon end up reflecting the actual religious arguments are happening between the different churches in Joseph Smith's day and in his neighborhood so like Alexander Campbell says the book of Mormon resolves all the Christian disputes of the day. Ironically enough, even in the book is supposed to be thousands of years old. Okay, so having said that much comes very early on he comes before churches organized it may come before you know it may come before even Joseph Smith thought of organizing a church that much is not clear, but he does organize church and now that he's got a church now he's got to start finding ways to exert influence over his members and I don't mean that in necessarily a sinister way okay but if you got a church you have to have some structure organization. You can just have everybody believing what they want otherwise is not really a church at all. You have to have some kind of power structure some kind of organized system within the church in Joseph Smith continues to do that over the rest of his life, both in the structure and also to the revelations that he received so what I see is the book of Mormon which talks about churches within a right there not churches like the LDS church becomes they are very very loose associations and basically their their brotherhoods and sisters of people who have been born again okay and other than that is really not a whole lot of doctrinal or theological or priesthood, or structures that that have to be recognized and obeyed. There are not church leaders in the book of Mormon who have to be obeyed okay and you have to do what they tell you to do. It's much more individual now. I've been talking about this for quite a while, so let me just put it this way. I think that the whole system is consistent with Joseph Smith starting out with this idea of not a structured religion because he's talking about the book of Mormon. He's dictating a system in the book of Mormon which is like the Methodism of his day and he creates a church and then over time. Now he has to start finding ways to structure that church and organize that church and so as far as the authorship goes, it seems consistent to me that it is consistent with one author i.e. Joseph Smith evolving over time, pre-church and post-organization of the church.

In fact, I know that there is one passage I think it's in doctrine and covenants section 10.

Is that true it's one word talks about that all those who repent and come to me are my church you know what I'm talking about it all.

I've heard a quote may be assigned to and they did but it's an early passage in the doctrine and covenants I can't find it right now, but here quoted by some people in favor of the fact that you know all you have to do is repent and come into Christ to be members of his church, you don't have to be baptized formally right into the LDS church, and I understand what they're saying. But the fact is that as I see it.

That passage from the doctrine and covenants was received. Also, before the church was organized. It did not contemplate the organization in the formal structure of the LDS church when it is received and therefore that idea falls more in line with the doctor. I see in the book of Mormon as opposed to the doctrine of the church after it was sort interesting so okay so what I'm hearing you say is that you definitely see an evolution, but that did you see it is consistent with the sole author, which is the sole author and evolving in his views and evolving as a necessity as he builds a church gather so much that is in the LDS church and the revelations afterward. That does not appear in the book of Mormon. In fact, a lot that actually contradicts within the book of Mormon interesting so I asked the question can I when I left the LDS church. The church and I started attending. I did note at the time but had its roots in the American restoration movement, which is the Alexander Campbell restoration movement, the kind of place into early Mormonism as well. The conversions from that movement of Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt and others.

In addition, some things in the book of Mormon that are very consistent and that any and all others noted this as well. Very consistent with Campbellite teachings, which leads me to be somewhat lean somewhere in the in the direction of maybe the does the Spalding Rigdon approach to how the book of Mormon came to be because so much of Reagan's cannibalism finds itself in the book of Mormon and one of the other things that I that I note is that you have like Jacob is an academic chapter of chapter isn't Jacobs a talks about polygamy but yeah you're right it's you, so you know, the book of Mormon decries polygamy and Jacob check chapter 2, and yet that's something that Joseph Smith went on to be very heavily involved in has you covered on on on podcasts with with Jonathan Streeter and then you have. Like the original section 101 from the 1835 document covenants that was removed, which is a statement on marriage that no man should have one wife in the church and Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It's turned there in the.that section was was presented to a church conference while Joseph Smith was away preaching in Michigan by Oliver Cowdrey and W. W. Felts and still is kind of interesting that you see and not that it is possible also to see maybe a small group of kind of collaborators on the book of Mormon and and also later on. You see some of that same group trying to influence control on where Joseph was trying to take take the church and what he's doing with mucus polygamy so to something interesting. I know that very interesting. Yes, I agree with you there.

So much is so interesting about Mormonism and I'm so glad I've had this opportunity to talk with you and find out that even that their worlds within worlds and worlds beyond worlds and that there is a world of people who used to be members of the church. Maybe some still are, who also now are born-again Christians and that they feel they were led to that through the book of Mormon itself. That's what I find really really fascinating about that that Michael can be here because he's he's like that of the defective member of our group is early gone and the depth on the Michael I'm sorry that you could I accept full responsibility and I hope that you enjoy listening to it just the same. Thank you both of you Matt and Paul for joining me today for this interesting discussion. I wish you both the very best in your respective paths and by the way. Once again the name of the podcast is outer brightness. Give it a listen. I got it and definitely thank you for for allowing us to come on in and having this conversation with us.

We appreciate the fact that you know you put us in tough questions.

I think turnabout is fair play.

In that regard, I'm sorry they did, they were just I would have not plan that honestly, noisily coming to me as we were talking it really is fine. You know that the three of us to be done, podcasts and and and talking to each other we find we don't agree on everything and NMS okay you know we we we rest in in the fact that were Christian brothers and we we offer each other. Grayson and you know we appreciate the fact that it's just it can be difficult at times to you in this part of the impetus for our podcast is that a lot of times enough if if somebody's LDS they want to maintain faith in Christ. They they don't necessarily trust evangelical Christians because of the back-and-forth that has existed historically between the groups and so you we wanted be a safe place for people to come and listen and hear people who don't agree on everything. Talk with one another in a in a graceful and and respectful way.

And so we appreciate that we had that opportunity with you today. Hate you're welcome and thank you so much for nothing very much on a separation and I wasn't afraid of those are punching questions and I hope I don't answer them sufficiently and I wasn't trying to waffle it all in on something nuanced. I know that these are issues that you already have encountered in that you result in some way or other and I was basically just try to find out how you thought about. Let's greatly appreciate the question to feminist guys. Thank you so much

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