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CASEY - I've been serving Christ consistently since April 6th, 1997 one month prior to turning twenty. I've read through the Bible almost twelve times now. I went to a Southern Baptist Seminary for almost three years, attended well over fifty Churches ranging from all Christian denominations from Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witnesses, every form of Christendom's Protestant Churches from Armenian to Calvinist. I've used all forms of Bible translations...NIV '84, NIV 2011, NASB '77, NASB '95, KJV 1611, KJV 1789, GOD'S WORD, AMPLIFIED, NKJV, GOOD NEWS, NAB ST. JOSEPH EDITION, JERUSALEM, NEW JERUSALEM, ESV, LIVING, NEW LIVING, HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD, NEW WORLD TRANSLATION, NEW CENTURY, CEV, ALL SORTS OF STUDY BIBLES FROM THE NIV STUDY, JOHN MACARTHUR STUDY, PROTESTANT STUDY, LUTHERAN STUDY, GOD'S NAME STUDY - there's not a Bible translation I have not used in my reading and studies. However I can't seem to find the peace, stillness and contentment that Jesus promises to give. Sure, don't let me mislead you, I have done much witnessing with the Gospel and much charity work. But I always find myself wanting and lacking something. For the most part I've been a consistent Calvinist believing strongly in God's Sovereignty in Providence and Election. But I've been to Roman Catholic, Anglican, Episcopalian, Independent Baptist, Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Seventh Day Adventist, American Presbyterian, Lutheran, Bible Churches, Reformed Churches, Orthodox Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Trinitarian Pentecostal, Oneness Pentecostal. You name it, I've tried it! I have had studies with LDS missionaries but their approach for the most part is shallow not giving me enough theological depth. But I always find myself calling the Missionary Elders because I feel that the LDS Church has something I am looking for but never finding. I admire the open Canon theory and with anticipation and giddiness love the four books of Canon Bibles the LDS Church richly has. But I'm scared as well! I've always heard Mormonism is a cult! And I watched a YouTube broadcast from the 700 Club of a Mormon who died and went to hell because she believed a lie ...LDS theology and teaching. Now I personally believe in annihilationism and not eternal hell fire and brimstone so I don't know what to make of her story. But some rhetoric and anti-Mormon sites cause me to doubt. For example I've read that Heavenly Father had sex with Mary, that there is a divine mother (which I find NO TRACE of in Holy Scriptures-or the Protestant 66 book Bible) that God was once a man and we will be like God with our own planet, that God is living on a planet called KOBOL, that God has flesh and bone, Universalism...the problems there are verses such as, "I am Yahweh God and am not a man that I should change my mind", "even the highest heavens cannot contain thee" and most of all there is Yahweh or Jehovah God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit but never a goddess or divine mother. Jesus is reigning in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. Why am I writing to you? Because something inside of me yearns for THE TRUTH! Something inside if me believes the LDS Church has what I've been searching for. I like the belief that Jesus' atonement began in the Garden of Gathsemene and not first on the cross, I like that the LDS Church doesn't use crosses or crucifixions but emphasizes the resurrected Christ, I like the four books of Canon that explain what is lacking in both the Protestant and Catholic Bibles. Can you help me or give me some advice?

JOEL - I will try to address a few of your concerns. In regards to the missionaries, you probably understand that they are not only young in years and expereince but also still young in their understanding and knowledge of the gospel. They have been trained with the assignment to explain the basics of the gospel and help the investigator to have experiences with the spirit to develope a testimony of those basics first (1 Cor. 3: 2, Heb. 5:12). After baptism the member has the rest of his life to learn all there is to know about the deeper subjects of the gospel. After 60 years I am still learning.
People call us a cult out of fear; fear that we might be right and they are wrong or fear that we might take members away from their religion. There are even some who sincerely believe that they are trying to protect people from something they believe is wrong. I would do the same, especially if it were my own child who appeared to be straying away from what I taught them. It is out of this fear and lack of understanding that compels people to label us a cult. Using such a word conjures up thoughts in peoples minds of dangerous organizations such as Jim Jones or Heaven's gate, thus instilling fear in those who might want to seriously investigate our religion. I have addressed the cult issue at the following page:


In regards to a few of the other things you have heard the LDS church teaches, I will refer to pages where I have already addressed the subjects:

God having sex with Mary (No):

Mother in Heaven (probably):

God once being a man (possibly):

God is living on a planet called KOBOL (Actually the word is Kolob and it's not a planet):

God has flesh and bone (Yes):

The interesting thing about the above subjects is that the knowledge of such concepts has absolutely no bearing on our salvation. We don't need to know the truth about any of these things to bring about our salvation. They are simply subjects that might only provide a little more knowledge about the nature of God. What brings about our salvation is the atonement of Jesus Christ(1 John 1:7); living His commandments(John 14:15); loving and serving others(Gal 5:13); performing the saving ordinances by proper authority from God(John 3:5; John 15:16); by enduring to the end(Matt 24:13); and by the grace of God (Eph 2: 8).

You said at the begining of your email that you could not "find the peace, stillness, and contentment that Jesus promises to give". Then later you said: "Something inside of me believes the LDS Church has what I've been searching for." That something inside of you is probably the Holy Ghost trying to tell you that you have found it. When it comes to religion, nothing can be proven by only study. If that were true it would not be a religion; it would be a science. There will always be some degree of doubt and uncertainty as you have experienced, which requires us to use faith to trust that what we have is the truth. The scriptures tell us that by their fruits we will know them (Matt 7:15- 20). Look at the fruits of the LDS church and not at what so many detractors might say out of fear (See http://www.mormonhaven.com/zane5.htm). You are probably familiar with the following scripture from our Book of Mormon:

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10: 4-5)

It sounds like you have done a lot of studying, read a lot of scripture and considered the beliefs of several religions. You will never find one that is perfect in your own mind because your mind is not the mind of God. I have also studied a lot of other religions; none of them are perfect and each one lacks doctrines that can be found in the scriptures. The LDS Church seems to contain more of the truths of the Bible and explains some of the mysteries of the gospel better than others. More important is that the Holy Ghost has confirmed to my mind and soul the truthfulness of the church. I still have questions but I am confident that God will eventually answer them through his latter-day prophets or in the next life. Of course the advice I give you is going to be a little bias towards my church but I will answer any other questions you might have.

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