Great Debates – Life After Ministries https://lifeafter.org Leading Mormons to the REAL Jesus Mon, 12 Aug 2019 00:02:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.11 Oliver Granger https://lifeafter.org/olivergranger/ https://lifeafter.org/olivergranger/#respond Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:09:29 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/olivergranger/ Array

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Online Survey about Oliver Granger

     

     As many of our supporters know, Kirk and I participated in a live radio debate with two active members of the LDS Church on the radio station, KGNW, for the Live From Seattle show.  The debate was held on October 20, 2006 during the 4-7 p.m. live call in talk show hosted by Thor Tolo!  The following is an e-mail we received from Mr. Burnham (LDS) a few days after the radio debate.  He and fellow LDS member Doug Crandall were the two we debated for the show. 

     In light of this e-mail we are conducting a survey regarding the subject of an unfulfilled prophecy given by Joseph Smith about Oliver Granger.  We’re asking everyone to respond to our online survey by e-mailing your answers!

     The two questions we are asking will be listed at the end of Mr. Burnham’s e-mail and we’ll be posting weekly results so check back often!  Please, only one submission per person, thanks.   Each response will be entered into our drawing for a free DVD so invite your family and friends to help us out!

 “Kirk and Michelle:  

Thank you again for the radio discussion on Friday!  You both presented your ideas well, and although we have significant disagreements, I can tell you are both honest, sincere people who believe in Christ.  Hopefully we can one day sort out our differences and head in the same direction; for now, I suppose we should just agree to disagree.  Nonetheless, I just want you both to know that I certainly hold no animosity and hope that nothing Doug or I said was offensive to you personally.  We certainly did not mean it to be offensive in any way.

 

The one point you made that I was most interested in was the Oliver Granger “unfulfilled prophecy” issue.  I had never heard that criticism before and obviously did not know my history of it.  There were many listening who did know the history of and held reverence in the pioneer Br. Granger, including one descendent who indeed holds his name (as does his vast family) in sacred reverence.  Moreover, I was reminded on a talk given a few years ago by one of the Apostles on the subject of ordinary people serving extraordinarily.  His basis was Br. Granger.  I have attached it below for your reference.

 

Finally, I received a call from another man, a former Mormon (ex-communicated), who noted approval for some of your points.  On this point, however, he said that the “Granger” point was weak.  For what it is worth, his thought was that Oliver Granger ended up in what we have canonized as scripture (most of these blessings Joseph gave while speaking for Christ did not end up as scripture, though they are recounted by their families in books or talks, etc.), where 13 million people and growing now “reverence” his name as we read that section.  For us, he is spoken of like Nicodemus or Lot or the woman at the well – someone ordinary person who ends up “famous” because of his or her name only.

 

Thus, your inquiry taught me something, for which I am grateful to you both.  Perhaps it does not satisfy you that the prophecy was fulfilled, and that is fine (and I know there are others you would argue about, as well).  I just thought you might want a bit of an explanation that I could not provide last week.

 

Perhaps it is an empty invitation, but I am sincere in expressing to you both that if you ever feel the need to return to the faith you once embraced but now fight so hard against, my door and ear are always open.  I am sure the same goes for the Stake President in Woodinville, Sam Baxter. 

May God bless you both personally!  Jeff 

Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in 2004 General Conference:

There is a message for Latter-day Saints in a seldom quoted revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1838. “I remember my servant Oliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:12).

Oliver Granger was a very ordinary man. He was mostly blind having “lost his sight by cold and exposure” (History of the Church, 4:408). The First Presidency described him as “a man of the most strict integrity and moral virtue; and in fine, to be a man of God” (History of the Church, 3:350).

When the Saints were driven from Kirtland,Ohio, in a scene that would be repeated in Independence,Far West, and in Nauvoo, Oliver was left behind to sell their properties for what little he could. There was not much chance that he could succeed. And, really, he did not succeed!

But the Lord said, “Let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:13).

What did Oliver Granger do that his name should be held in sacred remembrance? Nothing much, really. It was not so much what he did as what he was.

When we honor Oliver, much, perhaps even most, of the honor should go to Lydia Dibble Granger, his wife.

Oliver and Lydia finally left Kirtland to join the Saints in Far West,Missouri. They had gone but a few miles from Kirtland when they were turned back by a mob. Only later did they join the Saints at Nauvoo.

Oliver died at age 47, leaving Lydia to look after their children.

The Lord did not expect Oliver to be perfect, perhaps not even to succeed. “When he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:13).

We cannot always expect to succeed, but we should try the best we can.

“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9).

The Lord said to the Church:

“When I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings. …

“… This I make an example unto you, for your consolation concerning all those who have been commanded to do a work and have been hindered by the hands of their enemies, and by oppression, saith the Lord your God” (D&C 124:49, 53; see also Mosiah 4:27).

The few in Kirtland are now millions of ordinary Latter-day Saints across the world. They speak a multitude of languages but unite in faith and understanding through the language of the Spirit.

These faithful members make and keep their covenants and strive to be worthy to enter the temple. They believe the prophecies and sustain the ward and branch leaders.

Like Oliver, they sustain the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and accept what the Lord said: “If my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of [these men] whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place” (D&C 124:45).

In the revelation given as a preface for the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord explained who would do His work. Listen carefully as I read that revelation, and think of the trust that the Lord has in us:

“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

“And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—

“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh.”

The next verse provides for the priesthood to be conferred upon ordinary, worthy men and boys:

“That every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;

“That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

“Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

“And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;

“And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;

“And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;

“And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time” (D&C 1:17–20, 23–28; emphasis added).

Now another generation of youth comes forward. We see a strength in them beyond what we have seen before. Drinking and drugs and moral mischief are not a part of their lives. They band together in study of the gospel, in socials, and in service.

They are not perfect. Not yet. They are doing the best they can, and they are stronger than the generations that came before.

As the Lord told Oliver Granger, “When [they fall they] shall rise again, for [their] sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than [their] increase” (D&C 117:13).

Some worry endlessly over missions that were missed, or marriages that did not turn out, or babies that did not arrive, or children that seem lost, or dreams unfulfilled, or because age limits what they can do. I do not think it pleases the Lord when we worry because we think we never do enough or that what we do is never good enough.

Some needlessly carry a heavy burden of guilt which could be removed through confession and repentance.

The Lord did not say of Oliver, “[If] he falls,” but “When he falls he shall rise again” (D&C 117:13; emphasis added).

Some years ago in the Philippines we arrived early for a conference. Sitting on the curb were a father and mother and four small children dressed in their Sunday best. They had come several hours on a bus and were having the first meal of the day. Each of them was eating a cob of cold, boiled corn. The cost of the bus to Manila probably came out of their food budget.

As I watched that family, my heart overflowed with emotion. There is the Church. There is the power. There is the future. As with families in many lands, they pay their tithing, sustain their leaders, and do their best to serve.

For more than 40 years, my wife and I have traveled over the earth. We know members of the Church in perhaps a hundred countries. We have felt the power in their simple faith. Their individual testimonies and their sacrifice have had a profound effect on us.

I do not like to receive honors. Compliments always bother me, because the great work of moving the gospel forward has in the past, does now, and will in the future depend upon ordinary members.

My wife and I do not expect reward for ourselves greater than will come to our own children or to our parents. We do not press nor do we really want our children to set great prominence and visibility in the world or even in the Church as their goal in life. That has so very little to do with the worth of the soul. They will fulfill our dreams if they live the gospel and raise their children in faith.

Like John, “[We] have no greater joy than to hear that [our] children walk in truth” (3 Jn. 1:4).

Some years ago, as president of the New England Mission, I left Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was 40 degrees below zero. As the plane taxied away from that small terminal, I saw two young elders standing outside, waving good-bye. I thought, “Foolish boys. Why do they not go inside where it’s warm?”

Suddenly there came over me a powerful prompting, a revelation: There in these two ordinary young missionaries stands the priesthood of Almighty God. I leaned back, content to leave the missionary work for that entire province of Canada in their hands. It was a lesson I have never forgotten.

Eight weeks ago Elder William Walker of the Seventy and I held a zone conference in Naha for 44 missionaries on the island of Okinawa. President Mills of the Japan Fukuoka Mission was prevented from attending by an approaching ferocious typhoon. The young zone leaders conducted that meeting with as much inspiration and dignity as their mission president might have done. We left the next morning in gale-force winds, content to leave the missionaries in their care.

Recently in Osaka, Japan, Elders Russell Ballard and Henry Eyring of the Twelve and I, together with President David Sorensen and others of the Seventy, met with 21 mission presidents and 26 Area Authority Seventies. There were among the Area Authority Seventies Elder Subandriyo from Jakarta, Indonesia; Elder Chu-Jen Chia from Beijing, China; Elder Remus G. Villarete of the Philippines; Elder Won Yong Ko from Korea; and 22 others—only two Americans among them. It was a uniting of nations, tongues, and people. None of them are paid. They all serve freely, grateful to be called to the work.

We reorganized stakes in Okazaki, Sapporo, and Osaka,Japan. All three of the new stake presidents and an incredible number of the leaders had joined the Church as teenagers. Most of them had lost their fathers in the war.

Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the Seventy is one of that generation.

The calamities that the Lord foresaw now come upon an unrepentant world. At once, generation after generation of youth come forward. They are given in marriage. They keep the covenants made in the house of the Lord. They have children and do not let society set limits upon family life.

Today we fulfill the prophecy “that [Oliver Granger’s] name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever” (D&C 117:12). He was not a great man in terms of the world. Nevertheless, the Lord said, “Let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings … be on him forever and ever” (D&C 117:15).

Let no one underestimate the power of faith in the ordinary Latter-day Saints. Remember the Lord said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).

He promised that “the Holy Ghost shall be [their] constant companion, and [their] scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and [their] dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto [them] forever and ever” (D&C 121:46).

Nothing! No power can stop the progress of the Lord’s work.

“How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints” (D&C 121:33).

Of this I bear an apostolic witness, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

This ended the e-mail from Mr. Burnham and again we are at the same place with the same evidence to prove it is a false prophecy.  See below for questions to the survey and don’t forget to e-mail us your answers.

1 – Have you ever heard of Oliver Granger before today and if so, please share your experience!

2 – Are you now or have you ever been a member of the LDS Church?  If you answered yes, please explain!

 

To reply please click here:  info@lifeafter.org 

With Love in Christ;

Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

 

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The Great Debate https://lifeafter.org/the-great-debate/ https://lifeafter.org/the-great-debate/#comments Fri, 28 Jan 2011 21:31:19 +0000 http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/?p=904 THE GREAT DEBATES October 1988 October 2006        Late October 1988, Las Vegas, Nevada.  It was there, that a small group of people stood over a hole in the ground, watching as the tiny white casket which held its precious cargo was lowered into its final resting place.  The casket held a child of […]

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THE GREAT DEBATES

October 1988

October 2006

 

     Late October 1988, Las Vegas, Nevada.  It was there, that a small group of people stood over a hole in the ground, watching as the tiny white casket which held its precious cargo was lowered into its final resting place.  The casket held a child of God that was serving a mission for the Lord and from the results of her funeral; many would come to know the saving power of Christ Jesus, His crucifixion and resurrection.

     Of course the baby’s parents felt as bad as they looked on that cold autumn morning and the baby’s grandparents, a couple of uncles and a cousin stood by to support her grief-stricken  mom and dad.  Nothing anyone could say would make it better as far as her mom was concerned and as the sound of the bishop’s voice droned on, the thoughts of the childless new mother was not at her daughter’s graveside. 

                Within the first five minutes of the eulogy that cold morning Mallory’s mom frantically searched her memory bank of the Jesus she had heard about in her travels over the past six years.  What very little she did know wasn’t even close to what that bishop was proclaiming. 

     At the end of the graveside service the wind picked up as everyone walked back to their vehicles and the heartbroken mom turned to catch one more glimpse of her baby’s casket.  The mom and dad drove home in stunned silence for most of the twenty minute drive back to the apartment.  Little things were spoken between the two; “she sure had a lot of black curly hair” and “her nose looked just like…”  What was there to be said?  There was no baby, no help, no hope, no God to reach to and find comfort.  The only thing she left that graveyard with was the bishop’s voice telling her that she would never see her baby again because they hadn’t been married in the temple.  God would give Mallory to another family who was worthy of her.  That’s when the visual made its appearance and the bishop’s voice began to serve as noise in the background. 

     When he said the words “she’ll be given to another couple who is worthy of her because they have been married in the temple…” her mind instantly pictured a massive white building with little to no windows; the temple.  On the other side of the picture there stood a cross with blood that had been dripping from its owner that made the dust that caught the blood Holy ground. 

     Back at the apartment the young woman walked in her little home to be greeted by her own mother.  As they changed clothes and began making lunch the debate that had been at the tips of everyone’s tongues broke loose.

     The younger mom said to the older mom; “…didn’t you hear what that guy said?  He told me that I was going to hell!”  The older mom shook her head and made a clicking noise with her tongue as she told her daughter that she had misunderstood the bishop.  The young, defiant woman knew differently; yet sadly enough neither she nor her husband even discussed the funeral until four years later.  However, for now the bishop’s quote of the Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith rang in her ears; “If parents are righteous, they will have their children after the resurrection. Little children who die, whose parents are not worthy of an exaltation, will be adopted into the families of those who are worthy.”

     How was that to be misunderstood?  It seemed rather dry and pretty straightforward to her.  She wanted God, but didn’t know how to go about “getting” Him as she was too intimidated to visit another church.  She also didn’t know that the Holy, Merciful God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would bless the couple with two more daughters within the next four years and the greatest gift of all; their salvation! 

     I never could have imagined that eighteen years later I would be praising a righteous Sovereign God for the gift of Mallory Elizabeth Grim and be involved in yet another debate.  This time it would be in a Seattle Christian radio station with my husband and of course who else, but a couple of Mormons?!

     The debate in that apartment has now lasted 18 years.  I’ve never counted how many times I’ve “debated” with my mother about that day so long ago.  She is just as convinced today that I misunderstood and I’m even more convinced I heard them correctly.  The divide is wide indeed, but Jesus warned us of these days.  He said there would be mothers against daughters and sons against fathers on account of His name. 

     It is almost surreal for me as I look back on that day in Vegas and think of what God has done for my family and for me too.  I never would have imagined that this is what I would be doing; yet now I cannot imagine not doing this work!  The debate at KGNW last week with Thor Tolo has blessed us beyond measure.  We can’t thank everyone enough for their prayers that went up for the event!  I’ve had people pray for me before when I speak or do a radio show, but in all honesty I have never experienced what I did this last week and the week prior to the taping of the show!  It was very obvious to those in the studio and to Kirk and me that God was present among us!

    I noticed the “misunderstandings” and topics between the debate last week and the debate 18 years ago were very similar.  They both contained the following subjects:  absence of the cross, no assurance of salvation and good works.  The most striking similarity was the emptiness in my heart while I wondered why; both then and now.  Why is it they won’t even stop to give it (the truth) the slightest of consideration?  What bad thing could it bring upon you to just consider the possibility that there may be some truth in what we (non-Mormons; Christians) proclaim?

     Mallory wasn’t the only “thing” I buried that day in 1988.  Before I got up from my chair at that gravesite I recall looking down into the grave and picturing myself placing my heritage down there as well.  I knew on that day my ignorant, misinformed perception of “my people” was over and done with. 

     One of the first things Thor asked me at the debate was to explain why I believe the Mormons are not Christians.  I told him the main reason is because of the cross.  In Mormonism there is no cross in the sense of it being the altar of God.  Once again, it’s about the cross, or rather the lack thereof.  The sign of the empty cross doesn’t just imply, but shouts out the good news of our salvation and resurrection!  On the flip side you see the Mormon parents at their child’s funeral.  All that is offered is the hope of going to the temple a year later to work for salvation of the child and the parent; no mention of a cross in that scenario.

     When Thor asked Stake President Burnham if he had assurance of his salvation, he replied; “Well now you’re testing my humility”.  Oh please.   I knew he wouldn’t be able to proclaim any good news of rest for his own soul, assurance that the Shepherd is always with him to lead, console and keep watch over His flock.  There is no hope when you are working all the time for your own life.  How are you rejuvenated, fed, rested and refreshed?  You can’t be if you are the one that is always in control.  It took me years to disencumber myself of the filthy robe of self-sufficiency.  I felt much like what the apostle Paul described in Romans chapter seven; “why do I do the things I don’t want to do but don’t do the things I want to do”?  The only way my life got into order is when I got off the merry-go-round of doing good works for my salvation.  Even to this day, how could I be sure if it (salvation) was based on my own worthiness?  This week and last week I’ve worked pretty hard.  Next week I might get distracted or maybe take it easy.  How do I justify myself in God’s eyes with this type of spiritual battle going on inside my soul?

     As mentioned earlier, we have been so blessed by seeing God at work in people’s lives.  It’s been nothing short of an honor to watch His grace flow to those around us!  We’re sending out this praise and prayer report so you can be blessed as well!  Continue to pray won’t you that those who are struggling with their decision to either join or leave the Church would be made through the will of the true God of the Bible?  And pray for us as we help the people in their decisions so that we would only be focused on Him and our reasons for doing this!

     Mr. Burnham e-mailed Kirk and me a couple of days after the debate to let us know that he had researched our claim about the false prophecy of Oliver Granger.  We’ll be posting that on the site this week.  He wanted us to be sure to let everyone know that indeed the prophecy did come true.  He (Burnham) found some letters that were written by Granger’s descendants describing their grandfather and what he had done for the Church.  As we stated on the show, it didn’t come to pass.  This brings us to a little project.  We’re asking everyone to let us know; have you ever heard of Oliver Granger?  We’ll be posting our findings on the site at the end of the month!

              You can download and listen to the debate by clicking on the links below. Each file is approximately 9 MB.  These take you to the website of KGNW and the Live From Seattle Show.

Hour 1:

http://boss.streamos.com/download/swn/miscellaneous/kgnw/lfs_special_hour_1.mp3

Hour 2: http://boss.streamos.com/download/swn/miscellaneous/kgnw/lfs_special_hour_2.mp3

Hour 3: http://boss.streamos.com/download/swn/miscellaneous/kgnw/lfs_special_hour_3.mp3

Praise!  We cannot give too many details for privacy reasons, however, someone here in the Puget Sound Community, ex-Mormon, accepted the true Lord Jesus into “their” heart as Lord and Savior because of the debate!  All we can say is “Praise God!” 

We’ve been in touch several times with a very nice lady who listened to KGNW the Monday after the show (Thor actually had me do the program w/ him impromptu).  I was able to pray for a woman whose daughter is thinking of joining the Church.  Daughter’s name is Lauren, 18, freshman at University of Washington.  Lauren needs to be introduced to good Christian kids on campus. 

I (Michelle) received several e-mails from members of the Church who believe that I am totally wrong about my claims in regards to the lack of the cross and want for me to issue a public apology for my statements on KGNW.  My answer…no. 

Praise!  An ex-Mormon Christian listening to the debate wrote in to volunteer to help us at the ministry!

Praise!   We have a volunteer for translating our tracts from English into Spanish!  Because the Lord provided so quickly and abundantly on this I’m going to be confident in asking my next request!  If you speak a language other than English or Spanish and would like to see tracts printed in that language and would be willing to translate them for us, let us know!  

Praise!  We received many requests for mentoring packets.  The new outlines are going to print this week, if you’re interested in an expanded, updated version (80 pgs.), don’t forget to send an e-mail to michelle@lifeafter.org to let me know!  We’re requesting $3.00 for s+h for postage. 

Prayer and Praise!  A 40+ year old mentally disabled man contacted Life After about a week before the debate.  He was a convert in the LDS Church and was active for approximately seven years.  He felt the Lord tell him two months ago to leave the Church because they weren’t Christian.  Ironically enough, Michael, ended up attending my church.  He then was listening to the radio, heard the debate and called our ministry line.  To make things even more confusing for him, Mr. Burnham (from the debate) is Michael’s Stake President.  Various members of his ward are harassing him at the stores, etc., in the town they live.  I am confident you’ll know how to pray!  J   This isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with the Church and mentally impaired members who want out. 

Jeff Burnham – Stake President at debate.

Doug Crandall – Jeff’s neighbor and fellow Mormon at debate. 

We thank each and every one of you for praying for us and the ministry.  We couldn’t do this without you!  May God bless you and our warmest greetings go out to you as you celebrate this upcoming Thanksgiving! 

With Love in Christ;

Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

www.lifeafter.org

Quote of the month from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 156; “O ye Twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important Key—that in all your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and death, see to it, that you do not betray heaven; that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to come. Yea, in all your kicking and flounderings, see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be found upon your skirts, and you go down to hell. All other sins are not to be compared to sinning against the Holy Ghost, and proving a traitor to the brethren.

   

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