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I apologize, I wasn't clear here. My point at that part was that if Mormons said their testimony of Jesus Christ was their relationship with Him, then they would be invalid, since they testify of Thomas S. Monson and Joseph Smith and yet can't say they have relationships with them.
Following the example of Jesus Christ is great. But also consider the final prayer of Stephen (Acts 7:59): "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" This is a man who saw the heavens open and Jesus seated at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). In other words, he had a vision comparable to Joseph Smith's (if Smith's vision was a valid one, which I don't believe it is). Would you say that a man so full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:55) would say an "improper" prayer immediately afterwards? I don't think so.
I see no confusion in to whom I address my prayers. I address my prayers to the Trinitarian God. Which person I directly address makes no difference to me, or to God, I would think. Sometimes I address Heavenly Father. Other times, I address Jesus. Other times, I address the Holy Spirit.
I hope you realize that Christians do not believe Jesus is Heavenly Father or the Holy Spirit is Jesus or something like that. Christians believe in the Biblical truth that there is one God, that Heavenly Father is God, Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but these Persons are not each other. "Neither dividing the divine Essence nor confounding the Persons" I think is the expression. Just to clear that up.
P.S. I was not referring to "propaganda", for the record. I was referring to a speech given by McConkie concerning the LDS relationship with Jesus Christ. I was also told by a Mormon that Mormons don't worship Jesus, they worship Heavenly Father through Jesus (and yes, I know it isn't official doctrine when an average Mormon speaks of such things, but it wasn't propaganda). Don't believe the ideas I've heard some Mormons say; EV's are not out to obfuscate the matter. EV's are not testimony killing, lying demons.
To me, that sounds like saying, "I will pay for your new car, but you must pay me to get your new car." If I'm not mistaken, saying, "we must obey God to be saved" is the same as saying "We are saved because of (or by means of, or by reason of) our works." But you say this is not so. Unintentional equivocation? Or do you not think works and obedience are the same thing?
You are absolutely right; we are commanded to keep the commandments (Deuteronomy 6:17). However, have you ever kept the commandments? I don't think I have. None of us have (Romans 3:23). So, if "we must obey God to be saved", as you said, and none of us have obeyed God, then none of us will be saved. Unless you're saying that a perfectly just God will overlook sin, and I don't think anyone here is saying that.
Don't Mormons teach that we cannot be saved in our sins? (Alma 11:37) Well, are you out of your sins? I'm not. Why would Jesus need to save us if we were already out of our sins? To use that famous lifeguard/salvation analogy, that would be like a lifeguard throwing an inner tube to someone who was already on the shore. In conclusion: If we must obey God to be saved, and none of us obey God, then none of us can be saved. And if Jesus Christ cannot save us in our sins, then He cannot save any of us. So let me ask you: Is this really too complicated?
I thank God that He is not afraid of getting His hands dirty, that He is with us in the sewers of our lives (Matthew 9:11), and takes us worthless, rabid, filthy rats home with Him and washes us clean (1 Corinthians 6:11) and makes us into entirely new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a far better plan of salvation than a God who passes out soap to us rats and exhorts us to wash ourselves clean before He'll pick us up and take us home, because He can't wash us if we're too dirty.
A thought I had today- What does an evangelical have that a LDS doesn't? Nothing. What does a LDS have that an evangelical doesn't? Where do I start. Don't mean to say we are better or anything like that.
What LDS do not have, as Christians believe, is a proper concept of God as eternally trinitarian in nature (didn't Joseph Smith say that a proper view of the nature of God was the first principle of the gospel? King Follett, maybe? If someone could corroborate me, I'd be grateful. God's nature then is not a peripheral doctrine, as a Mormon recently tried to convince me). LDS do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, other than a distant Mormon Jesus that is a distant exemplar and elder brother who makes up the difference for a Mormon's imperfections. For goodness sake, the way I've heard Mormons talk (and obviously this would not qualify as official Mormon doctrine), "Brother Joseph" is a more personal entity to Mormons than Jesus. Isn't he described in "Praise to the Man" as serving the Mormons in some "mediator" form in heaven? LDS do not have total forgiveness of sins, their high priests and prophets are apparently also simply men with opinions, depending on the circumstance (My living Prophet and high Priest is Jesus Christ: Hebrews 1:1-2, 4:15 and everything He says is official doctrine), and LDS do not have the joy of glorifying God (1 Peter 1:8), as they are too busy magnifying their callings... the list goes on. Forget temples, eternal marriage, imperfect prophets and priests, or even the MoTab choir (by far the greatest blessing of the LDS, in my opinion). I'm experiencing eternal life NOW (John 3:36), and the blessings thereof, spiritually united with ALL believers, not just my family, and most of all, to Jesus Christ.
And you probably disagree that EV's have these blessings. Which is just the point. The reason why we believe we have so much more blessings than the other is because we believe that each other's blessings don't exist.
Perhaps Mormons have a ready answer. If so, let us hear it. I would be grateful to be corrected. It does me no good to misrepresent y'all's religion. As it is now, with a couple of comments only from Ralph and DOF, the silence is deafening.
The LDS Church has not had this benefit of time and massive "heresy" from their doctrine to specifically formulate what they do and do not believe. I don't think the GA's will formulate theology (beyond the Gospel Principles manual, I mean) just because some "insert that label we all know" are demanding it. They need time and a distinct threat to their church.
However, let's look at it another way. Hinduism, for example, has existed longer than Christianity, and has had centuries upon centuries to formulate theology. However, when one looks at their theology, they find (as many philosophers, even Hindu ones, say) that Hindu theology is logically impossible. So maybe it will be better if/when the LDS Church develops their doctrine clearly; then evangelicals won't have to deal with all this confusion about Mormon doctrine. Certainly McConkie's book was a step in the right direction, but from what I've heard, it isn't entirely accurate, either.