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Dear Gramps,

We had a family baptized a few weeks ago. They seemed really excited and happy. Now all of a sudden they want their names removed from the church. They were surfing on line and read  where we believe that “As man now is, God once was. As God now is, man may become”, (I can’t find the actual quote right this minute). I want to ask them if they have a father. When they say yes, I want to say, “can you become your father? Or can you become like him?” What would you say to them?

Becky

Dear Becky,

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If they are ready to have their names removed over something they don’t understand indicates they were not truly converted.  I would encourage you to have them go back to the basics.  In Matthew 7 Jesus warns the people of false prophets:  15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

What is the fruit of Joseph Smith?  It is the Book of Mormon.  In order to develop a strong testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, we need to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Moroni tells us how we can gain that testimony as well as a testimony of all things in Moroni 10:   4 “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.  5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

It is difficult to convince anyone of a specific point of doctrine if they don’t have a strong testimony of the Gospel and Joseph Smith to begin with. The quote you refer to is found in the History of the Church Volume 6 302-217.  A better line of reasoning with them would be to indicate that in the Bible Jesus commands us to become perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.  We find that commandment in Matthew 5:  48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Gramps

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