(FROM MYSPACE BLOG)
Ok TJ I'll be first. I was born and raised Catholic and so was Susi. We constantly go back and forth with each other over religion. She is very devoted and I am not. Though I do believe I have a good relationship with God.
Question 1. Do Mormons believe Jesus Christ was the son of God and died on the cross for all of our sins and rose again three days later?
Question 2. Do Mormons believe every sin is forgivable like Catholics? I for one don’t want to believe that. I don’t want to walk through the gates of heaven and see some child molester I arrested or some gang banging piece of shit who killed a seven year old little boy during a drive by shooting. I should say since starting my career seven years ago my faith has been severely tested. Well, we can start there. Have fun. Oh and by the way I love a good heated debate, just ask Jared.
(MY RESPONSE ON MYSPACE BLOG)
Thanks for being brave and being the first!
QUESTION 1: Yes absolutely we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe that He began to pay for the sins of the world during His time in the Garden of Gethsemane and finished the perfect Atonement on the cross at Golgotha. Luke 22:42-44 - "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
I will also add here that you may come to notice that Mormons do not wear the cross or hang a cross in their homes. It does not in anyway mean that we do not believe Christ died on the cross or do not value the importance of His death. We tend to focus more on the fact that He rose three days later. The death was essential because it led to the resurrection. I suppose, if anything, we would wear an empty tomb if it could somehow be done.
Let me try to give an example. Suppose a family member was shot and killed in an armed robbery. Would you ask the hospital surgeon to save the bullet and then hang the bullet or the gun on the wall of your home to remember your deceased family member? Or would you hang a photograph or picture of some kind? That may be a morbidly extreme example of what I am trying to say. I personally don't have a problem with people wearing or displaying the cross. I believe I understand the Catholic significance behind the wearing of the cross is to help the individual remember what Christ went through for each of us and that is a commendable personal decision and would that we all have those personal individual reminders in our lives.
QUESTION 2: This is a great question! According to the Bible there is only one sin unpardonable: Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Matthew 12:31-32 says: "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."
I could go into a long diatribe about this but let me just put it this way. For someone to qualify to be put into that category they would be a person who would look into the sun at noon-day and deny the existence of the sun. They would have to know God intimately and then consequently deny His existence and generally work/fight against Him.
Now getting to the issue of the dregs of our society. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, said these words regarding those who would do harm to our little ones: "...it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6). Some of the harshest words Christ ever spoke yet in our day of instantaneous knowledge and fast-paced lives the eternal punishments of God somehow seem too far away to carry a fear of punishment or a sense of justice. I tend to agree.
Mormons are encouraged by church leaders to be law-abiding citizens in the states and countries in which we reside. I am of the opinion (again...my opinion and not the doctrine of the church) that our laws regarding child molesters and crimes against children are not severe enough. Understanding that we are all children of God, I also believe that each of us it born with an inner sense of right and wrong, regardless of what happened to us during our upbringing. At some point each of us becomes accountable and therefore chooses our actions.
My social sense of responsibility belongs to those who cannot protect themselves and I feel less responsibility about the rehabilitation of those who prey on the defenseless and weak. I am not quite a "Send 'em to God and let Him sort them out" kind of person, but now that I have two kids...I'm leaning that way.
Thanks for the questions! I hope I answered them fully, if not, let me know and I will try to complete them for you! And if you think of more, BRING IT!
Can also be read at: http://www.myspace.com/tj_shelby