Was Huckabee really attacking LDS?? I say not; Another bizarre doctrine of Joseph Smith was that Jesus and Lucifer (yes, Satan) were actually brothers.

Message to Mormons:

Tell the truth! If you believe it, be proud of it—don’t try to hide it.

Hey… now that I think of it, did any LDS spokesperson deny that what Huckabee said was untrue???? Did anyone ask the LDS is it WAS true??

Very insightful read by Bob Burney of Townhall.com & Radio host

Text highlights are my own.

Mormons: A Plea for Candid Truth Telling

By Bob Burney

What has happened to the simple principle of telling the truth? That question should be posed to the Mormon community. I’m not an expert on anything—but I do know a little bit about Mormonism—or, as they prefer to be called, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). My father was a Mormon for several years and many of his family were Mormons. I have also spent a considerable amount of time reading LDS literature. Again, that doesn’t make me an expert, but at least educated.

I have observed a notable change in the way the LDS Church presents itself to the general public, an effort that began sometime around the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Prior to that, there was not a readily-apparent effort by Mormons to identify themselves as a form of Christianity. Joseph Smith believed that the Angel Moroni appeared to him because all of American Christianity had become apostate. He was the one true prophet and the religion he would establish would be the only true church. That’s boiler plate LDS 101. I remember a time when it was common for Mormons to be offended if you called them Christian. That was then.

Sometime around 2002 a very noticeable shift occurred. Suddenly they wanted to be accepted as a part of mainstream Christianity—you know, there are Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Mormons. During this time of “repackaging” a document was released titled, “The Living Christ, The Testimony of The Apostles” [available here]. It was a slick document stating what Mormons believed about Jesus. Why slick? To read it, you would think you were reading the doctrinal statement of an Evangelical Church. Now, even a peripheral study of Mormonism will reveal that the Jesus of Mormonism isn’t even in the same universe (literally) as the Jesus of orthodox Christianity. The Jesus of Mormonism is the “spirit child” of his “heavenly parents.” He is in no way part of a triune Godhead.

The wording of “The Living Christ” represents some of the best marketing I have ever seen. It takes Mormon doctrine and makes it sound like standard Christian doctrine. At the same time, the official LDS Web site was totally overhauled and some of the more bizarre doctrines held by the Church were carefully hidden deep within the site—doctrines such as “the Fall” actually being a good thing, not bad; the pre-existence of all humans in heaven with Jesus simply being our “elder brother;” the ability to actually become a God and have your own planet to rule over.

Another bizarre doctrine of Joseph Smith was that Jesus and Lucifer (yes, Satan) were actually brothers. The LDS Web site prior to the Utah Olympics said this:

We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, ‘Whom shall I send?’ Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, ‘Here am I, send me’ (Abraham 3:27).

Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, ‘Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it.’ (Moses 4:1).

Now, here is where my plea for Mormons to simply tell the truth comes in. This is America. You can believe anything you want. If you want to believe that God was once a human being, that Jesus was his physical son, that you can become a God yourself, that Jesus and Satan were brothers, you can certainly do so. But tell the truth! If you believe it, be proud of it—don’t try to hide it.

An interesting illustration of this has been playing itself out in current political news. In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was questioned about his views of the Mormonism of fellow candidate Mitt Romney. Huckabee said he knew little about Mormonism and wondered out loud to the veteran religion reporter Zev Chafets: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Well, that’s exactly what they believe! Several news outlets immediately accused Huckabee of attacking Romney’s religion. Blogs went berserk!

How did candidate Romney respond to someone revealing what his church actually believes? He said, “But I think attacking someone’s religion is really going too far. It’s just not the American way, and I think people will reject that,” Romney told NBC’s “Today” show.

How did the LDS Church respond? The Associated Press quoted an official spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Huckabee’s question is usually raised “by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.” She went on to say, “We believe, as other Christians believe and Paul wrote, that God is the father of all … That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.”

She doesn’t deny anything Huckabee said, she is just very deft at using the language of and the association with mainstream Christianity to wrap their unorthodox doctrine in credibility.

Does this have anything to do with Mitt Romney and his qualifications to be president? Everyone will have to decide that in his or her own heart. I just wish the Mormons, including Mitt Romney, would simply be more candid and tell us the straight truth about their religion. Is that too much to ask?

Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of Bob Burney Live, heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio.

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7 Responses to “Was Huckabee really attacking LDS?? I say not; Another bizarre doctrine of Joseph Smith was that Jesus and Lucifer (yes, Satan) were actually brothers.”

  1. Alma Says:

    Bob,

    How can you say such a thing? “That’s boiler plate LDS 101. I remember a time when it was common for Mormons to be offended if you called them Christian. That was then.” That is such a total line of eyewash. If it were true–and it absolutely is not–you’d be able to point to some instance over the past 180 years where Mormons denied being Christians or at least felt the term were offensive.

    It is true that Mormons and Mormon leaders spoke disparagingly of many so-called Christians for driving them from their homes and for having called for the extermination of Mormons; but your comment has the credibility of a peeled zero.

  2. Martin Says:

    You need to look past Huckabee’s words and innocent voice. He had just told this reporter on the record that Mormonism was not a cult, but was instead a bona fide religion!!! This is big news and would certainly upset his core support group:

    http://pastors4huckabeeblog.com/7-questions-christians-must-ask-before-voting-for-a-mormon/

    So he UNPROMPTED offered his innocent sounding question, that when heard by evangelicals would send the message he wanted. What message you ask?

    “I may tell a reporter that Mormonism is a religion, but you can rest assured that Mike Huckabee knows they are a devil worshiping cult.”

    It was so diliberate and so offensive that he was forced to apologize, a thing for which many of his supporters have objected. But his apology was very hollow, and rang false to everyone that ever attended a Baptist church, knows waht they openly teach concerning Mormonism.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/godometer/2007/12/behind-huckabees-apology.html

  3. Bob Waters Says:

    Martin, that’s pretty tortured logic- even for a Romney supporter and/or LDS apologist!

    Actually, I would like to hear some documentation on the business about Mormons once having been offended by being called Christians, too. The dishonesty of much Mormon apologetics makes me less likely than I might be to take Alma’s denial at face value, and I don’t think he should be allowed to get away with it if he’s blowing smoke.

  4. Ty Says:

    I am supporting Ron Paul for President, and am a Mormon. Most of my friends are not members of my church, and I often have attended meetings or vacation bible schools with them and their families. I have the utmost respect for all of these people – how they lead their lives, and their devotion to Jesus Christ. However, one experience I had a few years ago serves to illustrate why Mormons believe we are Christian, and why we have trouble understanding why some people do not believe we are Christian. While attending vacation bible school with some friends in Raleigh, North Carolina, the pastor divided the adults into two classes – the “advanced” bible class, and the “beginner” bible class. My wife and I both served Mormon missions as young adults, and though a little leery decided to attend the “advanced” Bible class. It turned out that of the 40-50 adults, 6 people, including us, went to the advanced class. The class over the course of the week turned out not to be about the bible, but about the creeds of the Christian churches.

    The first creed discussed was the Apostle’s Creed, which states:

    =-=-=-=

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
    Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.

    The third day He arose again from the dead.
    He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
    whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
    the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

    Amen.

    =-=-==

    The teacher, who was not the pastor, then asked each student around the table what they thought of this creed. One expressed some reservation about Jesus “rising from the dead” and the part about “the resurrection of the body”, in that it implied that Christ arose with a body and that there will be a physical resurrection. Another did not believe the portion of the creed that indicated that Christ descended into hell. Another questioned how he could sit at the right hand of God if he was God.

    My wife and I were the last ones to speak. Both of us answered that we felt the creed reflected the biblical teachings of Christ and the Apostles correctly, and we believed in the creed 100%.

    My point is that many people “cling” to the different beliefs of Mormons from other Christian churches, while ignoring the fact that the core Mormons beliefs match the creeds of the early Christian church closer than the beliefs of their particular sect.

    Even the controversy about Mormon belief/disbelief in the Trinity is enlightening. Mormons believe in the Trinity, although not in same way as most other Christian sects teach the Trinity. Mormons believe that the three members of the Trinity can be referred to as one God, as they are one in purpose, and never vary from one another in thought. Indeed, Mormons believe that if you have seen Christ you have seen the Father, because they look, act, think, and do exactly alike. The only difference between the beliefs, which is entire exagerrated, is that most other Christian sects believe the three members of the Trinity are three manifestations of the same being. But if the three are separate beings but think, act, and do as One, isn’t the net result the same thing?

    There are many beliefs in different sects that outsiders could call “bizarre”, but at the core, Christians, including Mormons, believe the same basic things. Some examples of “bizaare things” that are either shared beliefs that Mormons have with other Christians, or are believed and taught by other sects, are:

    Transubstantiation – (not a Mormon belief)
    Virgin Birth – (a Mormon belief)
    Worship of Saints – (not a Mormon belief)
    Earth created in 6000 years – (most Mormons don’t believe, but no official Church stance)
    Infallibility of the Bible – (not a Mormon belief)
    Faith Healings – (a Mormon belief)
    Prophecy – (a Mormon belief)
    Speaking in Tongues – (a Mormon belief)
    Jesus casting evil spirits into Pigs – (a Mormon belief)

  5. Wendell Hurst Says:

    As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (nicknamed Mormon) I have heard many times the statement, “If I am ever accused of being a Christian, I hope there will be enough evidence to convict me”. Of course that sentiment is in no way limited to Mormons. This world needs as many Christians as it can get, all striving to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ to the best of their ability. There are many people in other religions who live moral lives, helping others, living the golden rule, acting in many ways as Jesus would do, but who do not believe in Jesus Christ, either because they know nothing about Him, or they have seen the way some professed Christians act, and do not like it.

    It is true that members of my church prefer not to be called Protestants, (which might happen simply because we are not Catholic) because we are not, but I don’t think that taking offense at it is likely. I cannot imagine a member of my church, at any time from the organization of the church in 1830 to the present time, ever not wanting to be called a Christian.

    It sounded to me like Huckabee may have been trying to make a joke with his off-hand comment. He does joke around a lot. My response to his question about Jesus and Satan would be, “Do you believe that you and I are brothers?” The Book of Revelation, Chapter 12, beginning with verse 7 talks of this – Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels, and the latter group were cast out of heaven. All the members of both groups were children of God, but are now enemies. I believe that everyone who was ever born or will be born on this earth was in the former group. However, this kind of theological discussion has no place in politics, and Mitt Romney was wise enough to avoid it when it came up.

  6. Martin Says:

    Just refer to Mormons as “Non-traditional Christians” That way everyone is happy.

    The point of my post is that Huckabee’s decision to go on the record to the new york times with his question, was diliberate and unpresidential. he was concerned about offending his base when he lended legitimacy to Mormons by calling them a religion.

  7. Chuck Says:

    The biggest problem with Huckabee is that he lied. And if he lies now, what will he do if he gets in office? (where have I heard that before?)

    He claimed he didn’t know very much about the Mormon church. If that’s true, he’s the only Baptist Minister on the planet who doesn’t.

    Try reading his anti-mormon whopla in Salt Lake City in 1998.


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