Monday, June 28, 2004

Manti Madness

I made three trips to Manti for visiting with anti-Mormons during the annual Manti Pageant. I see Allen from is still packing around his signs advocating the deceptive website I reviewed previously. He really gets a funny look on his face when he sees me. It could be because whenever I see him I remind him that people who promote lies and distortions are themselves part of the lie or distortion. Just does not seem very Christian to me. I really don't have any problems with the website in terms of what it says. They are entitled to ignore the majority of the Bible to promote their post-Biblical doctrines or provide limited or irrelevant scriptures to create the proper fitting strawman to try to discredit Mormonism. But they at least do not lie. But since they promote with the signs they personally carry around a website filled with lies, distortions and falsehoods, they have blood on their hands.

Rob Sivulka and Allen Dardenelle have an ethical obligation as supposed Christian ministers to Mormons to be honest, and attack evil in any form. That means even their good Christian buddies who lie or exaggerate their attacks against the Mormons. It is ethically insufficient to embrace the philosophy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". That is really the main problem I have with them. If they will promotes lies and distortions on the signs they personally carry, then their character is totally called into question. They link to this blog from their website. The prior review of the offending website is available to them, and I personally spoke with Allen on several occasions, showing him in front of other witnesses specific distortions and falsification on the web page they promote. He is without excuse, as is Rob. They present themselves as experts on Mormonism, and yet promote falsehood.

The most telling conversation I was involved with Allen concerned his willingness to convert to Mormonism if he knew it was true. First he said there was no way to know Mormonism was 'absolutely true' as opposed to knowing 'personally' it is true, and so even if he was personally convinced the Mormon Church were God's Church on Earth, he would not change or join. There were three other people standing there when he said it, one of whom was not LDS. So ultimately he wants to carry out a crusade against a Church he feels it is impossible to know whether God accepts as His only true Church because he cannot trust any communication God may have directly with Allen. It is easy to see Rob's influence on Allen, since he wrote almost the identical reasoning to me in an email several years ago.

In my opinion it is sad that the God they profess to be all powerful is too inept to communicate in clear, unmistakable ways with His children. Image if Moses had sad "Thus sayeth the Lord, I think..." Not very compelling. Which is why my personal relationship with God, through the Holy Spirit in the name of His son Jesus Christ, is the ultimate arbitrator of truth. I know Paul thought it was possible to know things from God with absolute certainty, even as we continue exercising faith in many things. The Spirit of the Lord helps us to pray, and delivers to us truth, enlightening our minds. By this Spirit the disciples of Jesus' day recognized the truth of the scriptures which Jesus laid out for them.

I feel pity for the lost and uninformed anti-Mormons like Allen and Rob. I don't consider them a waste of time, which is a direct quote of Rob describing me to some of his visiting missionaries. God loves all of His children, wants all of them to choose to accept His gift of salvation, and sent His son to die for all mankind. Which is why I am willing to talk with anyone who will at least be sincere and polite in their presentation or questioning of the LDS faith. Rob Sivulka stopped speaking and corresponding with me because he felt I would eventually run to my testimony as a defense, and twist the scriptures and scholarly sources to defend my faith, even as he acknowledged I had never done that in any of our discussions. Frankly, false ethics and poor scholarship are the main reason most Mormons don't take anti-Mormons seriously.

The anti-Mormons don't really care about truth, don't live the Golden Rule, and don't want to really know what LDS doctrine is. If I had a dime for each time I was told that Mormons work their way to heaven, I would be rich. Yet the anti's still promote this false and pernicious doctrine. Or to have them teach that God had sex with Mary, then insist the Church really does and has taught this, despite there being not a single statement by the Church advocating this doctrine. We believe God was the Father, Sire, Begetter, artificer of the physical body of Christ. But none of those statements requires sex. The only Church leader who ever taught that God had sex with Mary had his work formally censured by the Church, with the recommendation that his speculative theological statements be cut out of the publications they were bound within and destroyed. We believe Mary was a virgin at Christ's birth. But Allen and Rob are quite content, apparently, to associate with and promote web sites and organizations which, if they really were experts on Mormon doctrine and its history, they must know are false, misleading or in error.

Brigham Young once said that whenever anti-Mormons try to kick the Church, they always kick it upstairs. Never downstairs. The Lord has so ordered it. He also said that if you persecute us, we will sit up nights and preach the Gospel. That is why we don't think the anti-Mormons are any real threat. The Lord's Church is protected by the Lord and His angelic hosts. So the truth, no matter how compromised by some, will prevail. So you anti-Mormons out there, keep it up. It gives us Mormons lots of people with questions to answer, and when they see distortions, they will know who to trust.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Todd Leroy said...

I just really really wish that my pre-existent angelic self would have fought or worked or got lucky enough to be born into a Mormon family.