Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

See No, Hear No, Speak No Good


Our prejudices about religion or other topics can keep us from hearing, seeing, or speaking good. Sometimes what others have - Mormon, Catholics, Evangelicals, whoever - might be remarkably praiseworthy, but it's hard to admit that, hard to see that there is any logical reason to support any of the views that we don't like. It's a problem that affects us as much as anybody, and we need to constantly examine our assumptions and prejudices.

One little pet peeve of mine in this area deals with Book of Mormon evidences. Discussions of the details of the Book of Mormon, the witnesses, internal or external evidences, finding from the Arabian Peninsula and Mesoamerica, etc., are often dismissed as simply irrelevant and a waste of time, because Joseph Smith, so they say, was clearly a fraud because of polygamy or other issues and the Book of Mormon thus can't possibly be true. When you refuse to consider evidence, when your mind is made up, nothing can get through the eyes or ears into the head. That burning spiritual indigestion in the heart closes all channels to the mind.

That doesn't mean anyone has to pay any attention to the Book of Mormon or LDS claims. But those who are seeking to understand the Church, as well as all those step up to have conversations with us, to pose questions and make arguments, would do well, in my opinion, to move past their anti-testimony and open their mind. What if there really were gold plates and honest witnesses who saw and held them? What if Joseph really did translate the plates through the power of God - whether that involved looking into a Urim and Thummim in broad daylight or covering a seerstone in a hat and looking into it? What if there really was no way for Joseph Smith to have fabricated, say, First Nephi, with its accurate descriptions of travel through the Arabian Peninsula? What if, in spite of all the human flaws and failings of our modern prophets and other leaders, they really were part of a divine process of restoration? What if some of the creeds of modern Christianity really were influenced by Greek philosophy in ways that departed from the true understanding of God and Christ as understood by the earliest Christians, and what if there really was a loss of authority and some truth that required a restoration?

For those investigating the Church, I think it would be healthy to start by allowing for the possibility that it might be true, and begin with putting the Book of Mormon to the test.

The critics will naturally challenge us to return the favor and allow for the possibility that Joseph Smith was a fraud and that the Church is not true. Well, that's where I began in seeking my own personal testimony. I was resolve not to stick with the Church if it was a fraud, no matter how wholesome the youth programs were and how seemingly good its teachings, because I didn't want to waste my time (and money) here in mortality. I absolutely allowed for that possibility, and have many times since. A study of the Book of Mormon is what gave me my own personal witness of the reality of the Church, and there has been much that has happened since then that has helped me to see the hand of the Lord in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ (along with a lot of mortal smudge marks, to be sure).

Meanwhile, as we deal with other Christians and those of any other faith, including those who don't believe in God, common assumptions we may make will frequently need updating when we look past our prejudices and see what they really have. We do not have a monopoly on truth, nor do we own the patent on goodness, family love, caring for the poor, or Christian living. There is so much to learn from others, if we'll just give them a chance to share.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

It has been clinically proven that our minds suppress information that does not fit our world view.

About 85% percent of people stick with the same religion their parents gave them.

Do you, Mr. Lindsay, really believe you are so clever as to avoid the trap 85% of us fall into. Assuming the Church of JCLDS is correct, what are the chances you would just happen to have been born into it? About 500 to 1.

Even if you keep your eyes wide open, they still play tricks on you. My parent's religion makes more sense (to me) than any other religion. But I refuse to accept that religion, simply because I do not have faith in my own objectivity.

Russell said...

So what DO you have faith in? Everyone believes in something, even if that something is the meaninglessness of existence. If you truly do not believe in your own abillity to reason, how do you function without descending to some Foucautian life dominated by "the will to power"?

Casual Mormon said...

So logically, the truest religion would have to have the highest percentage of converts from other churches.

Looks like it's either us(mormons), or scientologists. Take your pick!

Anonymous said...

The burden of proof is not on the one asking the questions. You and members of your church have a duty to present facts, and not rely on emotion or testimony that your way is the right way. "I know this is true" is not evidence. Some mormons really get peeved when they think bearing their testimony to a non-mormon will somehow make them see the light. That view is presumptuous and arrogant.

Personally, I think all churches have truth. As the old saying goes: "All roads lead to Rome".

Joel said...

Great post, Jeff. Several years ago when we lived in Redmond, Washington, the Stake mission there had what they called a "Church-to-Church" program. Every other month, we hosted a fireside to which we would invite a minister from another faith to come and share their beliefs with us. They usually would present their beliefs in 30 to 45 minutes, and then have a brief question/answer session, followed by (of course) refreshments. Each fireside began and ended with prayer and a hymn. During the time this program was in place, we had a methodist minister, a Catholic priest, a Jehova's Witness, a pastor from a large, local evangelical congregation (they were SHOCKED to get the invitation from us), a rabbi from a local synagogue, etc. These were very rewarding for us, and if I recall resulted in us being able to be involved in some interdenominational community service together.

More than anything, it fostered understanding and helped those who attended them realize that while we have restored priesthood authority, etc., we don't have a monopoly on truth or good will.

NM said...

I resonate with Russell's sentiments here - that everyone must believe in something religious or secular. Face it, even atheism is a belief.

Personally speaking, sometimes I do wonder what would have happened had I not ventured into the realms of secular philosophies like existentialism, nihilism etc. and other religions like Islam, Buddhism, Judaism Shintoism etc.

In hind-sight, I now have a further and deeper appreciation of my faith in Jesus. It has taken me a few years to really grapple with what the Biblical message really is and shake off some of the religiosity that I tagged (consciously and subconsciously) with Christianity.

Good post Jeff, I really like this one =)

NathanielMacrae

Anonymous said...

Russell: I haven't found any religion worth my belief. I just accept that my life is mostly delusions and try to get on with it.

Casual Mormon: Mormons (like all religious minorities) have a tremendous advantage in attracting converts. Mormons can proseltyze 98% of the American population, whereas mainline Christians have to work with 15%. Percentage-wise, the Mormonism is not growing as fast as it used to, and that rate will only slow as it becomes "mainstream."

Casual Mormon said...

I agree with your numbers. For the record, I was not being serious with my comment.

Still, it strikes me as a shame that you are rejecting what "makes more sense" to you just because it's what your parents believe. If your parents were atheist or agnostic, would you join a church simply to avoid becoming "one of the 85%"?

I agree that our human brains are puny and our objectivity is questionable...but in the end, this is all we have to go on.

Anonymous said...

Casual: Atheism is a religion the way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby.

Mormanity said...

Thanks for the valuable input from multiple sides. Appreciate it!

By the way, the goofy photo includes two of my kids and a marvelous Christian friend of ours of another denomination (I consider all my kids marvelous Christians as well, for the record), taken yesterday while we were out doing some photos in the Appleton area. It was my son Benjamin's idea.

Whoa, look at the time. I've only got a few minutes left tonight for my longtime hobby: not collecting stamps. It's been a favorite hobby of mine since I was about 16 and concluded that stamps have no intrinsic value and cost a lot of money for such small, mass-produced, and often marred objects.

Ryan said...

Atheism is a religion the way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby.

Exactly! Arguing that atheists have no religious beliefs at all is like arguing that those who make a not-hobby of collecting stamps *do* nothing at all.

Here's a question that honestly puzzles me (no offense intended!):

Is there something about atheism that makes its beliefs difficult to describe? So often it comes across as "whatever I feel like believing at this moment," or "I don't really know, but not what you believe," or even, "something too sophisticated for someone who believes what you believe."

I'm not quite a big enough cynic to believe that these unflattering impressions are accurate for most atheists. However, it would be a lot easier to avoid them if there were something more precise to go off of than mere rejection of somebody else's beliefs.

NM said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Atheism takes the presupposition that there is no God. Most people assume that atheism belongs to the scientific realm - when it does not.

The scientific principle only works within both naturalism and materialism. So, the scientific tool cannot say whether there is a God nor can it confirm that there isn't a God. If it did: it would then be not science because subjects like faith, miracles and spirituality come into the equation. Science is merely a tool...

Atheism can use the scientific tool to give evidence for its assumptions in the same way that Intelligent Design can use the scientific tool to give evidence for the assumption that this universe is designed!

To reiterate: Atheism is ALSO a religion - because it takes the presupposition that there is no God - just as Christianity is a religion because it takes the presupposition that God exists.

NM said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Also, most people mistake Atheism for Apathy and Lazy Thinking...

Such is the curse of living a life of luxury within Western Culture. But notice that when individual or a collection of peoples, say a nation, comes to encounter a disaster in their lives, what do they then do? They instinctively look up and ask for help =)

NM said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Just one more thing: if I could interest you with this?

It's a site called Bethinking - a Christian Apologetics website run by UCCF. The website has a collection of many great thinkers including Ravi Zaccharias, Michael Ramsden, Andrew Fellows Francis Schaeffer etc...

Mr. Anonymous, I would love for you to follow the link and listen to some of the lectures. Pick any lecture that might be of interest to you and tell me what you think afterwards?

NathanielMacrae

Anonymous said...

The burden of proof is not on the one asking the questions. You and members of your church have a duty to present facts, and not rely on emotion or testimony that your way is the right way. "I know this is true" is not evidence. Some mormons really get peeved when they think bearing their testimony to a non-mormon will somehow make them see the light. That view is presumptuous and arrogant.

The burden of proof is on the person to discover for themselves by faith in the answers that are given them then seeking out the answers through study and prayer. When you get your answers then you have a testimony to tell others about. Presenting facts or proofs may lead someone to seek out an answer from God but or they may just live by faith after that. I personally have never seen any thing that makes me believe in God and if I went on what I see in the world and the proofs Mormons\Christians show I would be an Athists. Only after I had spiritual experences not of this world was I willing to follow Jesus Christ and His one true church. Yes many others have many truths and I still read as much as I can to help me answer more questions that I have about the Gospel.

NM said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Ah. Is your issue with Mormonism? I might need to point out that I am not a Mormon, just a plain old Biblical Christian...

If you are truly interested at looking at evidences for Christianity, then I am more than willing to explore with you. Mind you, my area of interests really lie within the realms of philosophy - the 'whys' behind the evidence. I am more than happy, if you are really up for it, to discuss... =)

NathanielMacrae

NM said...

Mr Anonymous,

You said: "But I refuse to accept that religion, simply because I do not have faith in my own objectivity"

I take it from this statement that you side with the irrationalist's camp? Does 'objectivity' exist outside of yourself? Or are you someone who sides with self-actualization and subjectivity?

Latter-Day James said...

Biblical Christian? As if Mormons aren't? As if Mormons don't worship the very Jesus Christ that atoned for us in the Bible? As if we don't read that inspired piece of scripture as well as the restored scripture that is The Book of Mormon.

NM said...

Hehe. Very good LDJames. Notice though that I said that I am a "plain old Biblical Christian": the emphasis being that I take a subversive role... =)

Seriously though, it seems Mr. Anonymous's complaints lie within Mormonism rather than anything else - which is why I wanted to make it clear that I am not a Mormon =)

The message of Biblical Christianity is a hard enough subject to unpack, let alone J Smith's take on it! =P

NathanielMacrae

Anonymous said...

NM: The guy that posted right after you was a different anonymous. The fourth comment wasn't me either. Maybe I should get an account.

I don't have a problem with more Mormonism any more than other religions. I just like this blog because it attracts smart people. But more to the point, if we assume there is a true religion, I don't think God gave adequete tools to find it. Watching you guys spend hours debating over a single verse seems to prove that point.

Russel: There is often a discrepency between what appears to the truth to us, and what we actually believe is true. When I go outside, the world looks flat to me. But I know that's just an illusion. In the same way, I know that the consistency and accuracy of my parents' beliefs are just an illusion. It's about which part of the brain you trust.

Latter-Day James said...

This hasn't been the first time you have used that term. What about the August 4, 2007 post, comment 8-8-07 at 10:26 am among others? There has to be a different term for you to use. What about non-Mormon Christian? Ok, that was a joke but you catch my drift? We believe in and worship the same Biblical Christ just as much as you or other "non-Mormon" Christians do. Give me a break.

cold pizza said...

Disclaimer: I tend towards verbosity. Also, while not a licensed psychologist, I did sleep at a Holiday Inn once.

Anonymous started with: “It has been clinically proven that our minds suppress information that does not fit our world view.” Yes, and psychologists call this activity “denial.” Denial is useful for short term mental health survival as a coping method. However, for most people in denial (due to unusually stressful circumstances), the mind has other excellent methods of incorporating new facts into a set world view. It is only when denial persists long after reconciliation should have taken place that mental harm (psychosis) can occur.

“You… have a duty to present facts.” Agreed. But what happens when the facts are presented (see Nahom) and then ignored or dismissed out-of-hand by those who would claim objectivity but hide behind the fa├žade of postmodern theory (truth is subjective, no one can truly know anything)? For all you know, this is all some virtual reality existence that you’re currently participating in with false, implanted memories and histories. We are in the Matrix and unaware. How can you prove the Matrix does NOT exist?

The burden of proof is on the individual looking for proof. You start out with a theory and then you collect evidence (where possible) and conduct experiments (where applicable). If the theory does not match the evidence or data from the experiment, then you refine the theory and try again.

I am a convert to “Mormonism.” I looked at the Book of Mormon. The BoM exists—the only question then becomes “how did it come to exist?” The more I examined it, the more apparent it became that Joseph Smith could not have written it. Either it came about the way he said it did, or someone else wrote it as fiction and JS was a con artist of the highest caliber—even getting a bunch of people to claim they saw and handled gold plates. For me, the sheer physical-ness of the BoM (structure, content, consistency) convinced me of the reality of JS’s story.

So, I became “intellectually convinced” of the authenticity of the BoM. I still struggled to accept the spiritual realm. I was raised as an engineer—if it could not be expressed on paper then it could not exist. So I tried an experiment—I prayed, asking for confirmation. The words “I received a witness” are inadequate to describe the feelings of warmth, power, love and illumination that filled me from toe to crown. I could feel it pouring into me from a source outside myself. It wasn’t a “warm, fuzzy feeling” but akin to grabbing onto a high voltage power line. The after affects left me filled with joy and wonder. I can testify of what I felt, and for those who have felt the same, heads will nod in agreement. We too, they say, have been there.

I have had similar experiences since—it wasn’t a one-time event. But until YOU do it for yourself, it's only going to sound like religious fanatical ramblings.

We CAN learn. We CAN change our worldviews when we are willing to give up the anchors that keep us in safe harbors. It is our fear of change that keeps us anchored to old beliefs when new vistas come into view. It is inertia that keeps us going in safe, predictable circles. The first, hardest step is letting go of our preconceptions and trying an experiment of faith. This is what it means to be converted. -cp

Latter-Day James said...

Is that pepperoni or just plain cheese? jk Awesome comment cp.

NM said...

Man, there are too many Anonymous comments here... =)

Joseph Antley said...

Hmm.

SteSmo said...

Cold Pizza,

Right on! The problem is not that there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon, it is that critics and anti-Mormons choose to ignore them.

There are simply too many internal (the complete consistancy of the Book of Mormon text) external (Nahom/NHM and Wadi Saqi/Bountiful and the Three Witnesses) and circumstantial (Lachish Letters, Lehi Cave, Bar Kockbar letters, etc.) evidences for me to "logically" deny the Book of Mormon. I have yet to see some critic put their money where their mouth is and produce their own Book of Mormon under the same circumstances that Joseph Smith produced THE Book of Mormon.

I also can relate to your spiritual conversion to the Gospel and the Book of Mormon. I was born and raised a member of the Church in SLC, but it was not until a few years ago that I became a true Latter-day Saint with a real testimony. Until then, I had been something of a cultural Mormon. For I too had a powerful spiritual conversion to Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon when I recieved a spiritual confirmation of the truth. But, like you, this was not some "warm fuzzy" conversion, but as if I had been struck by lightning! From my head to my toes it was as if I was on fire and the Holy Ghost truely manifest the truth unto me! Since then, my purpose in life and the truthfulness of the claims of Joseph Smith have never been clearer. I am at peace now that I know the truth, and I have never been happier all my life!

After my Spiritual conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I then sought to find and intellectual testimony in the Book of Mormon. And sure enough, I found it, after years of strict research and study. All the while, I kept the Holy Ghost as my guide and God as my mentor. I would not shy away from the critical material of the Church, and would go to any source or any book on "Mormonism". When I would come across an issue like the View of the Hebrews controversy or the Isaiah issue in the Book of Mormon, instead of leaving the Church because of these "startling finds" I would put them on the back burner and investigate further, just to find out that they are not as hazardous nor damning to the Book of Mormon as anti-Mormons would like us to think. Actually, many anti-Mormons have pushed me closer to the Church and the claims of Joseph Smith with their inane and poor material, their shoddy "scholarship" and severly un-Christian attitude. Without them, I would not have the strong testimony in the Church and the "Mormon" Jesus Christ that I do now. So kudos to Messers. McKeever, Johnson, Abanes, Tanners, Larson, Brodie, Decker, and others, for helping me bolster my testimony in the "Mormon" Jesus.

Anyways, thanks for the comment Cold Pizza.


Now my testimony is stronger than ever! I have both a Spiritual and Intellectual testimony in the Book of Mormon and the Restored Gospel that is grounded in Jesus Christ and cannot be shaken.

Pops said...

[Slightly off-topic from the original post, but following the comments thread...]

One thing my years of experience have taught me is this: God does not intend religious truths to be objectively provable, and he is quite capable of accomplishing just that. If you wish to find him, he requires you to open your heart and let him in - a voluntary act of faith. Nobody will ever find God except on God's terms. Sorry about that, but what kind of God would he be if he couldn't hide himself from pathetic mortals?

The purpose of evidence in this context is not to prove, but to encourage us to open up and give him a chance to enter our hearts and lives. It isn't to prove anything.

Once you open your heart to him, some pretty amazing things can happen, beginning with experiences like the one related by CP. God has no problem revealing himself to those who approach him on his terms.

Some might say it's a recipe for self-deception. Well, try it and see for yourself. You have nothing to lose, and a great deal to gain.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pops,

You make some rather distorted claims about God and what He can and can't do.

He isn't currently hiding Himself from pathetic mortals as you claim. Us 'pathetic mortals' would perish in an instant if He revealed Himself in all his glory to us! We can not stand in His presence. That is why we have the only advocate in the form of Jesus Christ who came as the solution to our sin problem, and to free us from it's bondage ! That is why we have had Jesus Christ revealed as man in the flesh, and why He has now sent us the Holy Spirit to be with us, to minister unto us and to be our comforter. When we have this great promise - what else do we need ?

As for the evidences into the BOM, why is no-one EVER considering the possibility that the 'golden plates' revealed and translated were in fact delivered by the 'angel of light' - that great deceiver otherwise known as lucifer or satan. Is this act beyond his purpose as a deception against the TRUE GOD and His divine character ?

Sure I agree that no mortal man could conceive the content of the BOM - satan is supernatural, but then again another question - why do we need an 'alternative testament' in addition to the Old and the New Testaments that have been preserved for centuries and millenia ?

Who is deceiving who here ?

Anonymous ^

Anonymous said...

Very very laughable. See 2 Nephi 29:3-10.

Scherer said...

Anon @ 5:08,

So you're claiming that the Book of Mormon was a work of Satan? Satan sent a book that has brought millions to faith on Christ and repentance. I thought he was pretty much against these things?

Bookslinger said...

I disagree with the statement: "Atheism is a religion the way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby."

It would be correct to say: Agnosticism is a religion the way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby.

Agnosticism is the absence of belief, not atheism. Atheism is a belief.

The Atheist says: "I believe there is no God."

The Agnostic says: "I don't know if there is a God or not."

Big difference. It does take a form of faith to say in the definitive that there is no God.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon@6:43,

It's not so clever to use the BOM to prove your point after the statement that I have made about the origin of the BOM and it's sincerity.

The text that you use also doesn't really add up to much either (especially if you meant it in a scoffing way). You miss the point for the redemption of mankind. The Gentiles do not owe the Jews anything. Salvation was intended to be freely available to all after AD34. It was prophecied by Daniel in his 70week prophecy that identifies Jesus Christ.

Good try though!

-------------------------

Dear Scherer,

If the millions that you claim have been 'converted' by this book and it is all a great deception - then satan's plan worked well didn't it ? I guess we'll find out at the end of time ....

I only asked if you had all considered it.

When I look to the Mormanity main blog page, I see your temple with the angel Moroni on the top. He has absolutely no authority in the salvation of anyone being.

As a Bible believing Christian, God's Word specifically warns about worshipping angels, so I for one would not enter such a building nor one associated with it. Sorry !

Colossians 2:18 (King James Version)
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Respectfully,

Anonymous ^

Pops said...

Anonymous@5:08-

You completely missed the point. Let me restate:

There is no absolute proof that God exists. God requires that we seek him in a specific manner that is very subjective and personal. "Pathetic" mortals may think they can find him by reason alone, or by using the scientific method, but they will always be disappointed. And there are the really pathetic mortals who think they can prove he doesn't exist by the same method, not realizing the absurdity of what they're trying to accomplish.

Even when Jesus himself walked the earth in the flesh, there were many who didn't believe - because they lacked faith. It wasn't enough to see him, or the miracles he performed. How did Peter know Jesus was the Christ? Not through proof nor reason, but through the Holy Ghost after the trial of his faith.

By the same token, you can't know if the Book of Mormon is true or false by engaging in intellectual gymnastics. Detractors try to portray it in such a bad light that there's no possibility it could be right. Well, I can only speak for myself, but I've tested it and found it to be true and good.

Anonymous said...

We don't worship the angel Moroni. The statue's inspiration came from KJV 14:6-7. We worship Jesus Christ. In the temples Jesus Christ is the focal point.

We do speak of great prophets who have done there duty to god and try to learn from them and there experiences. The angel on the temple is no different than the picture of Noah's Arc that I have wall of my son's room.

Scherer said...

Anon @5:08,

I cannot speak for millions, but I can speak for myself. I know my conversion is real by the fruits thereof. I know who I was before my conversion and I know who I am now, and I know who I am trying to become like. I can honestly say I'm going in the right direction. The idea that Satan would want me to convert to a religion that made me more Christ-like is ludicrous to me. Read Mark chapter 3 and consider Christ's reaction to the Pharisees when they accused him of deriving his good works through Satan's power.
You said yourself that you believe that the Book came forth supernaturally. Maybe it's time to really consider it's message and pray on it.

Peace,

John Scherer

Bookslinger said...

Nathaniel M: As long as you're sincere, there's no need to hide behind a confusing "Anonymous". If you don't want to use your real name, pick a "handle" (like some of us already do :-), and stick with it, so people can tell who the players are. Too many Anonymouses just confuse things.

I think you're very sincere in your beliefs, and I admire you for wanting to share them, and I admire you for wanting to understand a little about what Mormons believe.

I used to be protestant/evangelical for a while when I was a young teenager. I studied the Bible and went to church on my own, and with friends. I grew up in a non-religious household. And I've engaged people of many faiths in meaningful discussion, so I understand a little bit about different interpretations of the Bible.

Be very careful about putting down the LDS interpretation of the Bible, because I've noticed that _your_ interpretation of Biblical teachings is also pretty far off from "mainstream" Christianity too.

I read some of the links you've given, and at least one of the preachers you seem to follow seems to me to have gone pretty far afield himself. Therefore one could make a point that you yourself are getting into 'cult' territory.

NM said...

Book,

Errm. I don't use anonymous... =/ Good to see you again. =)

NM said...

Woah! Book, I've just finished reading the whole comment you made?! I really, really, really do not use Anonymous comments... =/ Please believe me, I tell you the truth =)

As for the 'cult' preacher? Who are you referring to? I'd really like to know =P

NathanielMacrae

NM said...

Errrm...BookSlinger, just so you know:

I don't tend to hover around dodgy Mormon-type history to make a point about Biblical Christianity. You should know by now that I only ever tend to talk about 'grace'! =D

NathanielMacrae

NM said...

Last thing BookSlinger: I don't know who this Anonymous > person is. I do sometimes wish that such people (and I say this respectfully), would be courteous enough to open their own blogs and get their own user-names - that way we don't get into such messes. =/

cold pizza said...

So, from whence came the Book of Mormon?

Natural or supernatural explanation? Let’s tackle natural explanations first.

It originated with Joseph Smith—this issue is not in dispute. He dictated the contents to scribes. He took the pages to a printer.

1. Joseph Smith made it up out of whole cloth. It’s a complete fabrication written with the intent to deceive.
A. Anyone who has seriously studied either Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon would eventually come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith lacked any of the necessary education required to complete a work of such detail and complexity. While there are symptoms of megalomania later in his life (after all, he believed that God spoke with him and through him), at the time of the initial publication of the Book of Mormon, he was still a poorly educated farmer, taking odd jobs to support his new family. If a deception, what did it win him? Beatings, mobbings, jail, the loss of friends and family? How could it have endured Zion’s Camp, much less everything that came after?

2. Joseph Smith got the manuscript from someone else (i.e. Solomon Spaulding or Sidney Rigden).
B. The questions then becomes “who” and “how did Joseph get it?” To date, there are no candidates for authorship. The alternative manuscript theory does not explain why eleven men would later swear they had seen the gold plates. It does not explain details of geography in Arabia that were unknown (by the West) and dismissed as ridiculous in 1840 but are accepted as correct today. If the Book of Mormon had come from some outer source, why would Joseph (and others) defend it to their deaths?

3. Joseph Smith made it up while in a delusional or schizophrenic state (akin to the Urantia book).
C. Again, there are too many “provable” parts dealing with geography that were simply unknown in 1840. Plus, there were those pesky gold plates that 11 other men saw and bore record of.

Can anyone else come up with a natural explanation?

For some people who are ONLY willing to accept a natural explanation in this “age of reason,” the mere existence of the Book of Mormon is best dealt with by casual dismissiveness. Arrogance and pride become a stumbling block. Obviously we live in a time where there’s no need for superstition, so let’s just ignore anything that intrudes on our preconceptions of reality (see “denial”).

Okay, now on to the supernatural.

4. My favorite quasi-supernatural explanation is that Moroni (and other heavenly beings) were holographic projections from a highly technical race that has been using Earth as a laboratory to conduct social and genetic engineering on the human race. Beam me down, Scottihah. Clarke’s third rule states that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Joseph was the victim of UFO pranksters. Gold plates were fabricated and left for him to find.
D. Can not be disproved through empirical evidence. Who knew space aliens were originalist Christians?

5. Moroni, as an angel of light, is one of Satan’s minions (or possibly even the father of lies in disguise). His Infernal Majesty’s plan is to lead people away from true, Biblical Christianity (as practiced by the thousands of different creeds, often in conflict with each other) by introducing ideas and concepts that mirror what was taught in pre-Nicene Christianity. We all know its Satan’s plan to unify mankind in worshipping God. Who knew Satan was an originalist Christian?
E. By their works shall ye know them. Everything I know about Mormonism teaches me to draw closer to God. If Satan has the power to move the elements around to create gold plates (remember, 11 men said they saw the plates), then why hasn’t he done more to bring forth the treasures of the Earth to further corrupt the hearts of men? While I have no doubt that Satan is loose upon the Earth (in Darfur, Iraq and wherever selfishness has priority in the heart), I find it hard to believe that he would make an effort to bring men closer to God in lieu of letting events on Earth proceed as swimmingly as they had for the previous millenniums.

(The argument that the Mormons are drawing Christians away from “orthodox” or “Biblical” Christianity doesn’t make sense to me, a convert from agnosticism. Either the Baptists have it right, or the Methodists. Both CAN’T be right, otherwise they’d be the same church. I would rather belong in a community of believers that actually believe in God, that He exists and that He cares for us, that He provided a savior so we wouldn’t remain in a fallen state. If we’re going to believe in the fallen angel Satan, than we must necessarily believe in the heaven from which he fell. Is it so much harder to deny God the power to intercede in human events and yet believe that Satan would? If it was Satan’s plan to sow confusion among the believers, well, confusion was already present before Joseph translated the plates.)

6. The gold plates were brought to Earth in a meteorite, the lost record of the planet Krypton. Joseph Smith received extra powers to include x-ray vision, super strength and the ability to cloud men’s minds.
F. Sorry.

7. Demonic possession.
G. Gold plates. Witnesses.

8. Talking salamander.
H. Hoax.

9. But polygamy is evil. Joseph Smith was a lecher.
I. Irrelevant. Cultural mores ebb and flow depending on time and location. Gold plates. Witnesses. Explain it to me where they came from.

10. Rogue angels?
J. Again, to what purpose?

Bottom line, the Book of Mormon came from God, the devil, or man. Man could not. Devil would not (why should he?). The only “rational” explanation left is that it truly comes from God.

Whew. -cp

Tossman said...

For all you anonymous's out there, you DO NOT need to create an account or start a blog in order to leave a name.

Under the "Choose an Identity" header, click "Other." Type in your handle (you don't need to fill in the website field), and voile- a comment we can attribute an actual identity to!

Bookslinger said...

You left out another possibility that has received much attention:

Alternate #1: The Book of Mormon might be "inspired fiction." IE, God really did tell Joseph (through revelation, stones, Urim/Thummim, whatever) what to write, but there weren't any real Nephites, God made it all up, like a parable.

(And the option "truly comes from God", should have been numbered #11, right?)

cold pizza said...

Book,
Hello? Gold plates? Witnesses?
Anybody? Bueller?

Actually, the inspired fiction would fall into the delusional state.

I know some authors suffer for their art, but willing to suffer and die (and watch other people around you suffer and die) for it? Could you imagine Stephen King willing to die for one of his books? Okay, bad example.

Jerusalem has walls? Who knew? -cp

cold pizza said...

Okay, let's tackle inspired fiction.

For what purpose would God reveal what would amount to a lie? If Joseph were channeling from a being in another dimension (Urantia again), for what purpose would that "spirit" (being moral and just) have to lie?

We could make the claim that the sundry visitations of Moroni and the experience in the grove were all virtual reality experiences--happening only in Joseph's mind. Therefore, it would follow that he could be in a delusional state during the course of translating while information was piped directly into his brain.

Isn't that how we assume revelation is usually received?

However, there were witnesses to the plates. There were scribes who recounted that Joseph would resume translating after a break, with no apparent changes in his demeanor. He would spell out words when necessary. He was astonished to find out Jerusalem had walls.

If it is possible to to believe that the book is inspired fiction, why not make the next logical leap and accept it as inspired fact?

If it came from God, why not accept the message that came with it--that God CAN speak to man. And if so, why would God resume conversation with "fiction," no matter how inspired? How much harder would it be to believe that God did as Joseph said?

I have long since realized the importance of the witnesses. Without their testimony, the evidence would be much diminished.

BTW, for those who don't know the story of the 11, several turned against Joseph later in life, considering him a fallen prophet. However, they NEVER recanted their testimonies concerning the plates. -cp

terrano4x4 said...

Dear All,

I am the Anonymous of 5:08. Please allow me the courtesy of adding your comments as I introduce myself now with this 'handle'.

NM - I am soooo apologetic that Bookslinger tried to give you a hard time due to your likeminded Biblical belief.

Bookslinger - There are two of us likeminded Christians out here - I am sorry but you were wrong to jump to conclusions and give NM such a hard time without asking him if he was actually 'hiding'.

Anon 12:18 -
Exodus 20 says :
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

The statue of the angel Moroni looks like a graven image to me - and it is present on YOUR preferred place of worship. The verses above are GOD'S OWN WORDS ! Not interpretation - HIS OWN WORDS ! How much clearer can He be ? If you are a worshipper of the images of Molech, or Dagon, or Baal, or Diana of the Ephesians (all Biblical) - do you obey the commandment above and worship God ? No - to the contrary it is idolatory, however it makes you feel. Ultimately it is satan being worshipped and taking the deceptive credit.


Scherer - Thanks for the tip. I have prayed much about it, I have used Biblical wisdom and discernment when reading large portions. The answers I have received confidently told me 'caution' and I will listen to these diligently.

The BOM tells me to 'ponder it in your hearts', - the Bible tells me 'love the Lord thy God with all thine heart' So if I follow the Bible request, there should be no room in my heart for anything else. Also in Proverbs 28:26 -
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.


Cold Pizza - I can not believe that you thought up so many possibilities for the origins of the BOM. Respect to you for doing so. Quality ideas and so many to try and provide reasoning to the absurdity that there can be no other explanation other than it is God's will ?

As I stated before - satan is the father of lies and confusion. He already knew in advance that someone (Joseph Smith in this instance) dabbling in the occult, knowledgable about masonic practices, treasure hunting using divination and more than happy to take possession of a firearm and firing with intent to kill would be so pliable for his cause. Did Joseph Smith "take up thy cross and follow Me" peacefully unto death ? Hmmmm, I have reservations, naturally.

Fallen prophet / false prophet to me they are the same. If the witnesses really saw the evidence of the plates (which is clearly possible), why should they withdraw or change their testimony ? - it still doesn't automatically make it truth.

As for the cellestial ingenuity - it is not beyond the possibility of satan. Where did the pagan religions originate in times gone by ? Did they just start themselves because God hid Himself as someone wrote in an earlier thread ? No - satan would have coerced (as he always does) in bidding some willing human agent into his ways. Look at the temptations of Jesus recorded in Matthew chapter 4. They are all over power, dominion and worship. the false way. Jesus overcame these temptations by using what ? A - only the words as they were written in the OT. Not the BOM - the OT !

satan is hell-bent on attacking the very throne of God and seeing that He has lost the very battle with Jesus at Calvary in front of the watching universe, the only possibility left to him now is to use force. For this he needs a greater army than just the fallen angels. What better than the fodder of deceived humans who have ignored the calling of God through His OT and NT messages and even His own Divine Ministry to them, instead accepting ANOTHER TESTAMENT as well, in that it has so many possibilities of authenticity that it MUST BE TRUE.

Jesus Himself warns of last day events in Matthew 24 :

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Joseph Smith recorded that Christ appeared in the Americas. Jesus said in advance "believe it not".

"If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." The Bible is crystal clear about Jesus coming again. He will arrive in the clouds and His feet will not touch the earth. There is a prophecy that satan Himself will masquerade and impersonate Jesus (the one with whom he is so ultimately jealous).

This is what Jesus is warning about in Matthew 24. He knows that it will happen. He knows that satan will not be able to stop himself. Jesus knows that the 'pull of deception' will be extremely strong, especially to those that have not found Him in fullness of their heart.

If Jesus sent us the Comforter (Holy Spirit), to combat satan's temptations (to give in to him / sin) in the same way that He succeeded why is there additional need of the BOM, especially as the Comforter is part of the Godhead ?

In closing this comment I will use Romans 6:14-17
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Which heart - oh yes - the heart which is already full of the presence of God !

Thanks be to God !

Bookslinger said...

terrano4x4:

I'm still not convinced (that you're not the same person as NM). I suppose Jeff could look at the blog's access logs to check the IP numbers, if he has those turned on, or is using a tracking service.

My apologies, to you both, if you're not him.

Mormanity said...

Bookslinger, I don't think the two are the same. NM knows enough about the Church to not say something as irresponsible as the long refuted anti allegation that the witnesses withdrew or changed their testimony. Please!

And NM is wise enough to understand that the application of any verse in the Bible requires some degree of understanding and interpretation.

Terrano, I'm concerned when people think their views on various topics are absolutely God's views without question or risk of human interpretation because someone can find a string of words in the Bible to say something. It leads to severe blindness and religious bigotry, without realizing that any bigotry might be involved. Hey, it's not my bigoted opinion - it's objective truth because I found this verse in the Bible. And those who fall into that trap often fail to recognize that it's impossible to translate a verse from an ancient language without some act of interpretation. What do the words mean?? To divorce questions of meaning from the application of a Biblical sword often results in chopping off a lot of the wrong limbs and heads.

So do you practice animal sacrifice? That's the command of the Bible - and it's supposed to be done for all generations. Or have you applied human interpretation to justify your modern ways? Do you keep Saturday as your Sabbath day? Why not? Do you stone people who blaspheme? Why not? Do you stop women from speaking in church? Let me know how that goes over.

I would encourage you to look into your wallet and see if you have any engraved images on any of the paper or plastic there. Lincoln, Jefferson, whoever, even American Express cards - aren't those graven images? How can you use those and treat them as objects of worth if you are applying God's words on the matter without any interpretation? So if you have anything engraven like that, I hope you'll see that it's abominable and send it to me ASAP so I can properly dispose of it. I would also encourage you to see if there are any images in your home, any logos on your products, any graven designs on your automobile - and immediately get rid of the offending products (I'll handle the car, thank you). No interpretation here - just the plain words of scripture. And remember, give it all to me cheerfully - that's the uninterpreted Biblical command. 2 Cor. 9:6-7.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Jeff,

Do you give permission for me to speak openly, Christian love and in kindness ?

My concern is that your probing will take this thread off-topic as it is not about me or my personal beliefs.

You do ask some very pertinent questions, which are interesting but not as off the wall as maybe you presume and I would like the chance to answer them one at a time if you agree.

In this comment here and now, I will confirm wholeheartedly that NM and I are not the same person. We are Bible believing Christians and share some common values - as I hae read from him so far. We may disagree on some minor doctines - that has yet to be seen.

Regarding taking Biblical verses - I am in total agreement with you. They do need to be discerned with the Holy Spirit as your guide. If this is the case how can the result be bigoted opinion - it is Spirit driven? With my Biblical point in question - it is regarding idolatory as the force in one's life replacing God. As God desires us to long for Him 100%, there is no room for idolatory - not even 0.0001% . How you view a graven image is your lookout and interpretation. A heavenly being (angel) adorned on a place of worship goes directly against God's own words (written by His finger), but yet you mock me ?

I can immediately refute the notion that I know nothing about your Church or it's history. I have spent 1 year in serious communication with some very devout LDS friends and have read much for myself. I do not claim to know everything nor do I want to after finding out what I already have learned (and not from anti sources).

Jeff please DO read my comment from 5:15 August 17. You will notice that I do not offer anti-allegation regarding the witnesses and their testimonies. Only that if they did SEE the plates under celestial inspiration, it is a possibility that it was not of Holy or God's authorised work. In this instance my statement supports their recorded testimony and the fact that they never volunteered any changes.

I will not be anti in this regard at all. I question only the unique origin and true purpose for the BOM, not what and how you want to believe in it afterwards. This is the individual's LDS' concience and personal right to choose in the thought freedom granted by God. Am I not allowed to question and ask you to answer - if you have one ?

No-one in this blog has responded with anything that makes sense yet.....

Respectfully,



** I mis-spelled teranno in my first message

NM said...

Whew! Thanks for that terrano4x4. And thank you too Jeff for backing me up...

I honestly do not know much about the Book of Mormon, its origins and its history. The level that I do know - most might consider 'anti-mormon' material. There are always two sides to every argument - and because I don't know much about either side, for the moment, I'd rather sit, absorb, meditate upon the evidence etc. - then hopefully after a few years make an informed judgment about the Book of Mormon...

I don't know if any of you are aware (I'm sure I have probably mentioned my line of work before), that I work as a mental health professional. I work mostly within the community and sometimes within acute hospital environments. I also work with many, many youngsters within the 'Early Interventions Team' who have early onset psychoses and delusional ideations...

Most of these youngsters come into our services due to drug-induced psychoses, i.e. cannabis, amphetamines etc. but there are also others who have never taken any drugs (this is of course taken at face value). The one thing that I notice most especially when I do initial interviews and assessments is that either they or their family and friends have been involved with the occult. =/ This of course, if also coupled with a specific character disposition - i.e. people who are usually introverted, quiet, shy, 'loners' etc. are the kinds of people who might start to receive visual hallucinations, audible hallucinations and what not from angelic/demonic/people in authority etc.

Why am I saying all this?

Well, please don't jump to the conclusion that makes one think that I automatically label Joseph Smith as psychotic or whatever because if we look at ANY Biblical character, for example: Moses who claimed saw something of the glory of God or Paul who received a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus - we could happily (if they lived in this day and age) be sectioned (detained) or be given anti-psychotics and assigned to a Community Psychiatric Nurse...

I do sometimes find myself in a dilemma regarding spiritual things - as a mental health professional, I have been trained to view such 'spiritual things' with tinted medical/psychoanalytical/existential glasses. Heck, even the 100s of thousands of Israelites delivered from the hands of the Egyptians could all have been suffering from Folie a famile (a rare psychiatric diagnosis made to a group of people who share the same delusions).

Personally, I err more toward the spiritual model (yes, even as a mental health professional) - that people who hear voices (schizophrenia) cannot be explained alone, through the medical model.

C.S Lewis, in his book, 'Screwtape Letters' once said (paraphrased) that Satan is happy to let believe the two extremes about his existence: that he does not exist and people live blissfully unaware or for people to be on high alert - almost superstitiously. So either way, Satan wins. Why is this so? To divert people away from God's sovereign grace - His free gift!

How did I get onto this subject of psychiatric disorders vs. spirituality? My mind has wandered...

As I said before - even as a mental health professional - I err toward spirituality.

I do VERY MUCH believe that J.Smith received visions from the angel Nephi (or Mormoni - whichever version you choose) and also received visions of God the Father and God the Son...this, to me is VERY easy to believe. Just as I believe whole-heartedly when my clients tell me about the visions they had of demons who were attempting to rape them at 2 in the morning the previous night.

The issue, I guess is, whether these beings were telling the 'truth'! Notice, it is not whether the person was telling the truth of their experience - but whether or not the voice(s) were telling the truth.

One of my clients that I am seeing at the moment tells me, that in every room she enters, she sees an old woman who stands in one corner telling her that she is worthless and that she will kill her the following night. As you can imagine - these are pretty horrific things that she experiences on a daily basis. Now, the 'proof of the pudding' is trying to determine whether what this old woman is saying is true!

I guess, my 'bone' that I pick with Mormons (and also to other Evangelical Christians) is whether they live as a result of grace or do they live to attain grace...It just seems that nearly all ex-mormons that I meet (and even existing mormons - I have a friend who I grew up with who now lives in Utah that I speak to every month) says that salvation is grace+works - WHEN THAT IS NOT WHAT THE BIBLE SPEAKS ABOUT!

And please, please, please I stress this over and over again: I also talk to Evangelical/Baptist/Methodist etc. Christians about this same issue - and not just Mormons.

The issue, for me is not about the origins of the Book of Mormon - whether they are true or not (at the moment - it seems to stand on dodgy ground) but whether it speaks of 'grace' - just as beautifully as the Bible speaks about grace! =D

NathanielMacrae

NM said...

I do, whole-heartdly (figures, huh?) with teranno4x4 when he said, "Only that if they did SEE the plates under celestial inspiration, it is a possibility that it was not of Holy or God's authorised work."

Just because Joseph Smith received visions or whatever, it does not automatically qualify that the Book of Mormon (just because it also talks about Jesus Christ - face it: even demons talk about Jesus Christ) is true.

Paul's letter to the church in Galatia is basically a warning to existing 'grace' receivers about false teachers who teach the false doctrine of 'grace+works' =/

In every spiritual encounter, the Bible speaks about 'testing the spirits', right? =)

NathanielMacrae

NM said...

And I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before: that one can usually tell if someone preaches a false gospel when they exalt man and in exalting man, the decrease the glory of God - and in effect His gift of grace.

There are some who exalt man so much that they think they will be gods!? =P I jest - I think.

Seriously, the person who has been touched by God and His free gift is someone who at one point has been broken - and continues to be broken. And in their brokenness - they receive grace because there is nothing else that matters =)

So, the Slinging of Books is not smeared with doubt of self or whatever, but is done in THANKFULNESS, i.e. in response to grace. Not as a way to somehow prove to other people or even God of their worthiness in the await of baptism or whatever ;)

Believe me, when you are HIT by 'grace' you will not want anything else but to talk about it endlessly - grace is the sweetest taste. =)

NathanielMacrae

adamite said...

Could anyone give me one good reason why God or Christ would not give mankind new revelations or scriptures in this day and time? Why is it so hard to accept new ideas and thoughts? I believe in a living God that continues to love and talk to mankind irregardless of who you are. Every time something new is introduced into an established faith it is met with hostility and condemnation. Christ introduced new doctrine to the Jews and the people of Israel and he was crucified, Martin Luther was jailed for his views of the Catholic church. Joseph Smith is no different than any other person who has introduced new ideas. He and others were eventually killed for their beliefs in this land of "religious freedom". I have been in other churches and there is no other church as unified and well organized as the LDS church. If this is Satan's Church why is there so much stress on families and service work? As far as I know Satan is a destroyer of families and he would never allow anyone to draw closer to God and Christ. The bottom line is, it is what you chose to believe in and how you live your life that God will judge you by. I chose the LDS church because I wanted to belong to a Church that Christ has established not what many people think he has established. I am not a gullible person who believes in anything anyone tells me. I have had personal experiences that lead me to believe that this is the true Church on this earth and no one on earth will convince me otherwise. Anyone that condemns another for their beliefs will fall under condemnation themselves, as per the Bible. So, what right does anyone have to say that this is Satan's church and that we are under Satan's power?

NM said...

Adamite,

I think your idea of how Satan works with regard to families is erring toward naivety.

You said, "As far as I know Satan is a destroyer of families and he would never allow anyone to draw closer to God and Christ."

You are right, Satan is a destroyer, but he is also a deceiver, right? And yes, Satan's aim is to draw people away from the knowledge and experience of His grace and a spirit-filled life. Satan is more than happy for people to know about God and Jesus as long as this idea of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus DO NOT show the truth of who they really are. Atheists know about God: they have set in their hearts that He does not exist.

With regard to families, Adamite, I would even go as far as to say that Satan might use the love for the family to draw people away from the true knowledge and experience of Jesus' ressurection! If Satan can make you idolise your family instead of loving God first - Satan has done his job. His priority is for people to NOT KNOW about God's grace, and for those who already know His grace, Satan will make sure that they lead ineffective and defeated lives.

But, hey, you know what? We can rest in the fact that God is supremely sovereign! There is nothing that happens in the world that God does not know about. Isn't that just mind-blowing? I have posted, on my blog - if you want to see it, John Piper who talks about the supremacy of Christ... =)

I'm sure you already have, but the Book of Job is a good example of God's infinite sovereignty over evil and EVEN suffering. It seems for the elect, God ordains that people suffer - to perfect their faith =) Why? So that in their suffering, they look up and say "Help!"....and you know what? The second that that happens - God is glorified! John Piper, who is a modern-day example of a reformist states, "God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him"!

We are most satisfied when we realise when we most need Him. =)

I have digressed.

NathanielMacrae

adamite said...

If I am condemned for my beliefs so be it. I will not be accused of calling anyone Satan worshipers simply because I won't accept or can't understand someone's faith. How do you know with absolute certainty that the Bible is the inspired word of God? I know about all the evidences and history surrounding the Bible but how do you know that the King James version or any Bible version was divinely translated by a group of priests over 500 years ago? Did you pray and ponder whether the Bible is the Word of God, inspired by God? If you have done this why is it wrong for anyone to do the same thing with the Book of Mormon? This is the process that every member has gone through before they join the LDS Church. First, they chose to believe that there is a God who listens then they chose to pray whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. If you accept it as true and join the Church, then there are certain things you need to do to grow in your faith. No amount of evidence or intellectual study can prove to you the truthfulness of scriptures, no matter what faith you belong to. It's what you are willing to accept as truth and whether or not you are willing to abide by its precepts in your life. How do you know with absolute certainty that this is Satan's Church or that we are being deceived? Maybe Christianity is a great deception that many believe in. How do you know that it is not? Simply because you chose to believe in Christ and God and try to live by their example and you will be judged by your faith and your service to God and man.

NM said...

Adamite,

Please note: I did not say that the Mormon church IS the work of Satan.

Satan moves within any walk of life - whether they be outright Satanists, Buddhists or whatever. So long as Satan has deceived people away from the truth of WHO JESUS REALLY IS and WHAT HE REALLY CAME TO DO, then he has succeeded. =)

How do I know that the Bible is came from God? Oh boy. If you're really interested, I'll walk with you...but to express how I went through it, it'll take a few sessions of dialogging =) If you're for it, let's do so; but I need to know that this is what you'd really like to do. =)

'Truth' is always a biggy...I don't know what your experiences of life are. Are you familiar with philosophical discourses with regard to issues of 'truth'? Please say so or otherwise, that way we have some sort of philosophical foundation of each other's experiences =)

NathanielMacrae

adamite said...

I don't have the time or energy to go into a philosophical discussion on truth. I simply believe that truth is what one is willing to accept as fact until it is proven otherwise. No one has shown me otherwise why this is not God's only true church on this earth. And saying that we are being deceived on certain points is not good enough or all the other arguments and discrepancies people have found in the Book of Mormon and this Church. My foundation in my views of God and Christ started long before I joined the Church and I wanted to belong to a Church that Christ established in the New Testament. This Church is the only Church that has all the elements of Christ's Church, whether you believe it or not. I believe in a well organized and loving God. Why would He have a thousand Churches with a thousand different views be established on this earth? I was baptized as a Christian when I was a teenager but the churches I went to could not satisfy my questions. Everyone was not unified in their beliefs. And being saved by grace is not enough. After ten years of searching I found this church and they answered my questions and I am still learning and growing. Does anyone have a good enough reason why God won't re-establish Christ's Church in our generation? When the last prophet was killed about 1500 years ago does this mean that God will never have another prophet on this earth or speak to us in new scriptures? So, why not a farm boy from New York? Or would you believe a college professor with a doctorate in religious studies that has started a new church somewhere? God loves a humble heart and I would chose a farm boy who has nothing to gain over a college professor who has everything to lose.

NM said...

Adamite,

"I don't have the time or energy to go into a philosophical discussion on truth."

So be it =)

It's a very difficult thing for a parent to swallow when their child's teacher comments about how badly behaved he is at school, because to the parent's eye: their child is wonderful. People usually believe what they want to believe - even in the face of some disturbing evidence to show that what they believe is not the truth. =)

The case when people's foundations are rocked are usually when people are undergoing depression, through some sort of post-traumatic experience or whatever. Adamite, believe what you want to believe =).

"Why would He have a thousand Churches with a thousand different views be established on this earth? I was baptized as a Christian when I was a teenager but the churches I went to could not satisfy my questions. Everyone was not unified in their beliefs."

Humans make errors and are fallible. This is, however, no reflection upon God.

You also said, "Grace is not enough"? What do you mean by this? Statements such as this one makes me think that you have not grasped it. And again, please note: this is not an issue for Mormonism alone, it is one that most 'mainstream' Christians also struggle with.

It is grace alone that enables you and I to say, "Father, I love you because you first loved me". It is grace alone that enables us to walk, knowing that however we may have messed up in the past, God loves us more than we can imagine. Grace enables us to live, no matter what we do in our daily lives - God will not love us less nor does He loves us more. Adamite, God loves us - not because of our works, but because of the work already done by Jesus Himself! This is grace...

You follow J.Smith because of his humble beginnings? Laudable at first sight; but take Fred West for example, also someone who had VERY humble beginnings - also grew up in a farm. Later, it turns out that Fred West fits the classical trait of a psychopath. He was found guilty of preying upon girls in their early teens, committing acts of rape and murder...

The issue is not necessarily to do with humble beginnings per se, but an issue with truth. I also had humble beginnings: I grew up in a fishing village in the Philippines with very little money; but my beginnings doesn't qualify for anything =)

To get back to the subject of grace. May I recommend a book (for knowledge's sake)? It's called 'What's So Amazing About Grace' by Philip Yancey...I think Philip is an evangelical/baptist? It doesn't actually matter which church he belongs to...his book describes something of what I keep banging on about! =D

NathanielMacrae

P.S. Please, please, please know that this is not an issue for Mormonism alone, but for professing (non-Mormon) Christians too =)

DS said...

I've noticed that a lot of opinions are being expressed on this site. If this is a Christian website, then we should be backing ourselves by using the Bible and the Bbible alone. I do not believe that Joseph Smith was inspired mainly for the following reasons: Isaiah 8: 20 says: To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, then there is not light in them. The Mormon Bible contradicts the Bible for example when it says that we can becaome like God, which was the original lie told by Lucifer and it does not encourage people to keep all of God's 10 commandments. I don't believe in any religion or Christian denomination that believes it's "Prophet or Bible" supersedes God's word.

Pops said...

ds:

Sigh.

1. There is no Mormon Bible. Perhaps you are referring to the Book of Mormon, which does not replace or contradict the Bible, but supplements it -- another witness of Jesus Christ. Is it wrong to have too many witnesses of Christ?

2. I think the original lie told by Lucifer was that he could save all mankind that not one would be lost. Or, if you prefer on this planet, the first lie was, "You shall not surely die." The part about knowing good and evil, even as do the Gods, was not a lie. We do know good and evil as a result of the Fall.

3. Er, which commandment(s) are the LDS not taught to obey? You see, I've been having struggles with the one about coveting - perhaps there's a loophole for me? Sorry, that was sarcasm. We are most definitely taught to obey all 10 commandments given to Moses on Sinai. Somebody's giving you bad information.

4. We LDS not only believe that we can become like God, but that we are commanded to do so: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) We also recognize that this cannot happen without the grace of God, provided by virtue of the Atonement of Jesus of Nazareth.

5. I don't believe in any prophet whose word supersedes God's word -- that would be a false prophet. I believe in true prophets through whom we receive the word of God. For example, Moses -- a truly great prophet whose writings are the foundation of the Old Testament. Isaiah, whose poetic prophecies of Christ are without parallel is another of my favorites. How can we not love the disciples who walked and talked with Jesus, and recorded their experiences with the Savior for all mankind to read and cherish? And Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration - how indebted we are to him for being the instrument through whom Christ restored the fullness of the Gospel and the priesthood authority in this last dispensation. And Gordon B. Hinckley, a wise and inspired prophet to help us navigate the difficult times in which we live - how we love him! I wish you could know him as we do. What a blessing to have a living prophet, as did ancient Israel.

May the peace and joy of God be with you always!

D360 said...

NM said: You follow J.Smith because of his humble beginnings? Laudable at first sight; but take Fred West for example, also someone who had VERY humble beginnings - also grew up in a farm. Later, it turns out that Fred West fits the classical trait of a psychopath. He was found guilty of preying upon girls in their early teens, committing acts of rape and murder...

Ok I gotta take issue with this one. NM, you and I had a pretty civil discussion in a previous thread, and in that same spirit I offer my two cents...I really think this is over-simplifing and making an apples and oranges comparison. plus, and I realise that this may not have been your intent, but that comment really forces people to equate (who we as LDS revere - though not worship- as a prophet of God) with a rapist and muderer.

even if you reject Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, one can at least look at the fruits... not the least of which is organizing a church that has grown to over 12 million members who seek (as a general body) to bear the burdens of our neighbors - not just other Mormons either-, build up families, extend the hand of fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters through inter-faith service projects and humanitarian efforts. The entire focus of our faith is on the Savior Jesus Christ an modeling our lives, as best as possible as a mortal can do, after Him and His teachings.

And to all you who believe, whether ignorantly or maliciously, that the we LDS worship satan via being deceived... that is rediculousness - this is as basic and as simple as the Savior's instruction that we would be able to recognize his disciples by their fruits - satan is not going to want anyone to do any of the above actions - for any reason - to say otherwise is silly or at least pretty un-charitable.

Further it was Joseph Smith who said (and I paraphrase) that we should be willing to lay down our very lives for preserve the right of our fellow man/woman to worship as they see fit. (kinda goes hand in hand with "No greater love hath a man than this....").

Last regarding faith and works - one does not have to go to far into the Bible to realise the two are interconnected..... also I'm sure most folks are aware of CS Lewis' analogy of faith and works being like a pair of scissors.

well thats my soapbox and NM I hope I did not offend as that was not my intent. If I did, I do apologize.

NM said...

Hi D360,

Thank you for your comment =) and no offence taken at all...

I think what I was responding to was Adamite's comment, "So, why not a farm boy from New York? Or would you believe a college professor with a doctorate in religious studies that has started a new church somewhere? God loves a humble heart and I would chose a farm boy who has nothing to gain over a college professor who has everything to lose."

I was merely pointing out that following someone from humble beginnings is not enough to qualify their status... and that it is about the truth of what they declare, act out etc.

I meant no harm; please do not misunderstand what I was trying to point out. =)

I still don't know enough about J.Smith to make any sort of informed opinion about him...

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Jeff,

I will try and respond now that I have more time - to your message 10:27 PM, August 17, 2007 .

You have had an e-mail from me stating the following facts (in summary) :

Many Christians have read the verse in Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; "

They automatically conclude that the entire Law was done away with at the crucifiction of Jesus. This is a false doctrine and one that should be examined more closely :

God gave with His own finger, the 10 commandments on two separate occasions to Moses. Moses broke one on witnessing the depravity of idolatory in the form of the golden calf below Sinai. The second was preserved INSIDE the Ark of the covenant and kept inside the Most Holy place of the tabernacle / temple, when Israel wasn't 'on the move' . This is where the 'Shekhinah Glory' demonstrating the very presence of God was manifest for all to see round about. The Eternal Law of the 10 commandments can also be referred to as : Royal Law, the decalogue, the Law of Love, or the Law of Liberty.

Moses recorded wih his own hand the Old Covenant Law. This law was distinctly different from the Eternal Law in that it was written by man for the people, more importantly not by God's finger for the people. This is key to understanding. This law was kept also in the Most Holy place, but was placed BESIDE the Ark of the covenant (Deut 31:26) after it and the people of Israel were sprinkled with blood and water (Heb 9:18-20). This old covenant law is also known as the book of Moses, the Law of Moses, the book of the law, the ceremonial law, or the mosaic law.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross and was pierced in his side, blood and water flowed from the wound. Which law was nailed to the cross ? Of course the old covenant law, which is why He gave us the new covenant. But He did not change the 10 commandments.

So when you consider the 'Grace' that NM so often discusses in his comments, please also consider that the 10 commandments were to be permanently encased in the Ark of the covenant (symbolically). They are referred to in the Bible as : Perfect, Holy, Spiritual, Love, Light, True, Righteous, Righteousness, Just, Pure, Good, Faithful, Wisdom, Great, bringing great Peace and finally - unchanging ! These are all attributes and characteristics of our great God ! Therefore the 10 Commandments are a direct transcript of His Divine Character.

What man is allowed to change, twist or manipulate it's contents? Answer - no-one ! So why is it done today?

Jeff you asked me (in good humour I hope) if I sacrifice animals today - well no I do not as this was part of the old covenant law, for which Jesus nailed to the cross and formed His new covenant with man. The separated 10 commandments still stand eternally.

Do I keep Saturday as your Sabbath day? - Yes I do - it is the fourth commandment in the 10 and it contains the very seal of God.

Do I stone people who blaspheme? - No since this was also part of the old coventant law that was deleted at the cross and replaced by the new covenant law.

Do you stop women from speaking in church? - no, but equally they can not take on a full ordination for pastoral care or leadership. If you look at the original Greek from the scripture that I believe you refer to - in the original language, the term used is 'gossip' or 'idle chatter' . So again you are twisting from the original meaning for 'speaking'.

As I have stated before in my comments, you will not find me with a weapon in my hand as I ask God to be leading me in His ways and with His mind, so it is highly likely to be people opposed to scriptural truth that may want to chop off the wrong limbs and heads. Are you so against the above that you want to do so ? If not why did you mention it ?

You also twist the understanding of a graven image. Look at the examples in the Bible. Graven images of Baal, Dagon, Nebuchadnezzar, plus the groves and the high places were repeatedly torn down, smashed and sometimes even by supernatural intervention (see when the Ark was placed next to the image of Dagon by the Philistines).

Man can twist, contort and manipulate and even turn 180 degrees, but God will always remain unchanging, faithful and true!

Thanks be to God for His mercy and grace!

NM said...

terrano,

I really liked your exploration of The Law. I always wondered how the psalmist would often declare something along the lines of "How I love Your law"!?!

I think to most people, the idea of 'law' conjures up a picture of suppression, containment, limitation etc. And it always baffled me how anyone can 'LOVE' the law?!

But I'm guessing from what you said - is that the law is a direct reflection of God's perfection!!!! So, the law was not made for man's sake - to merely follow (although this is also His will) - but to show the vast difference between Man and God! And hopefully to show that God is infinitely pure, holy and perfect. That God REALLY IS THE SOURCE OF ALL THINGS?!

So, when the psalmist declared how much he loved the law, he was basically saying, "God, I love your perfection"!!!

Wonderful! Thanks for that =D

NathanielMacrae

P.S. And Jesus came to fulfill the law?!?! WOAH!!!...

...but that's for another day... =)

teranno4x4 said...

NM - exactly!!

Well put!

But first one must understand that there is the eternal Law and the temporary law. If you go into the subject with a half truth or a misguided understanding, then is that obedience to God?

Are we fulfilling or following His Divine will?

Just as you have quite rightly summarised it is awesome when considered in reverence!

Josh said...

Terrano, coming back to Jeff's original point, it seems to me that the only distinction between the cherubim in the tabernacle/temple and the idolatrous images of Babylon and Canaan is that God condoned the former and condemned the latter. This distinction was communicated from God, via a prophet, who wrote down the instructions for all of us to read. Isn't there at least a remote possibility that the same God who sanctioned images of angels in the holiest place of his ancient temple might allow an angel to be placed on top of a temple today? If not, how do you know?

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Josh,

In order not to digress away from the original blog topic, I will need to refer you to Jeff's latest blog topic on idolatory (Sun 19th Aug 2007).

I will be adding a comment there soon, and will try and incorporate your question into my answers there.

Respectfully,

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear DS - I believe that you are completely right - we need the Bible alone to be our guide as we seek and pray for God to be with us day by day inspiring our every step.

----------------------------------

Dear NM - Thank you for your insights, both in testimony and professionally on psychology and the mind. The analogies that you use are apt as I am sure that demonic forces are more prevolent within your field of work. However if someone is at peace, but declares 'truth' in the name of God and strikes a chord with your faith, would you section them, sedate them and label them psychotic if instructed to do so ? This is where personal experience and discernment plays a strong part. It is not so simple to take others' experiences and forge an opinion that this must be the right way as there are too many plausible reasons why it must not be so. Measure it with the true Word of God as this will answer any question for anyones life.

As for God's Grace, I am fully behind your sentiments. I would only like to add that works don't necessarily lead to grace, but grace can most certainly lead to works as in 'by their fruits ye shall know them' Matt 7:20. This isn't a conscious reaction to do one's best. But an unconscious change in lifestyle, habits, opinions and beliefs as one is lead fully by God by 'having the mind of Christ' 1 Cor 2:16. This includes obedience to the 10 commandments which brings me to -

-----------------------------------

Dear Pops 7:14 Aug 19, 2007 -
1. If the Jesus Christ is being counterfeit, is false or not represented in prophecy by the Bible, then the witness stands for naught. Why do you think that LDS are searching so hard for every bit of archaelogical evidence to prove the BOM to be true ? Elephants, horses, battles, genocides all disputes and contended hotly on this blog site and elsewhere in your faith. Where is your faith in the Bible that proves people and time to be accurate ? This is enough surely - why the need for more - we know from the Bible how the end will occur ? !

2. Can you please show me Adam or Eve livoing happily somewhere in Nabraska maybe ? Of course "you shall not surely die" was the biggest lie yet. They are dead. Just because it was not immediate does not prevent it from being determined a lie. It was the greatest lie to date ! And we will all suffer as a result. Adam and Eve had the whole world for security but curiosity took Eve to the tree that she was warned about and now we all pay the price for this sin. We are under the temporary dominion of the prince f darkness until we can be rescued in all righteousness by the victor of death, our loving Savious Jesus Christ. Will you accept Him or denounce Him ?

3. I understand that you as LDS worship on the first day of the week - Sunday. Exodus 20:10 tells me personally to worship on the seventh day - so I do. Obedience to God or to Papal authority to change this commandment ?

4. In principal I don't have any obejections here. I too believe the same with only reservation that we do NOT inherit His authority or dominion.

5. By whose authorities have you measured the genuine nature of 'your prophet'. Was He chosen, sanctified and ordained by God - or more suspiciously elected by men ? I apologise for the skepticism, but that is what I have also found in abundance on this site opposing and manipulating God's word.

Thank you for your thoughts - I pray that one great day we will worship together in harmony in Heaven.

Teranno4x4

DS said...

Dear Pops

Sorry I couldn't respond earlier to your comment. I've been busy over the last few days. I don't believe that I've been given the wrong information. I have spoken to LDS and had Bible studies with them and I have also done some research on Joseph Smith and other LDS beliefs. I respectfully disagree with you when you say that the BOM does not contradict the Bible.
1) You've already mentioned that the first lie by Satan was that he could save the world. Please remind me, which verse is that in the Bible? In Gen 3: 4, Lucifer, through the serpent said, "You shall not surely die". Now that was the first lie that he told Eve. Knowing good and evil and being perfect are just some of the attributes of God. They do not make you God. For God knows more than just good and evil. God created the heavens and the earth Gen 1: 1. Can human beings or even Angels create anything? I also thought there was only one God. If we then as human beings can become gods, then who will worship who?

2) The BOM seems to supersede the Bible when it comes to LDS because they would rather listen to it than listen to what the Bible says.

3) About commandment keeping, we all know that Joseph Smith was a polygamist. Which means that he committed adultery. Do you think he set a good example as a "prophet" for his people?
The Bible clearly states, "thou shall not kill". What was Joseph Smiths intention when he was firing that pistol at his enemies? LDS go to church on Sunday, which is the 1st day of the week, yet the 4th commandment says in Exodus 20: 8-10: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
. Jesus said, "not one jot or tittle will pass away" from the law.
For more on the ten commandments, let me refer you to terrano4x4's well researched comment about the law dated 2:15am 20 August 2007.

I am not a legalist before someone accuses me of being one. In John 14: 15 Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments". I believe one of the main issues in the garden of Eden was about obedience and trust. If we really trust God, we should be obedient to him and stop giving excuses.

Lars said...

Teranno and DS: I think the issues you bring up are indeed addressed by various sources, such as Mr. Lindsay's LDS FAQ website. Here are some brief points-- whether you agree with us or not, hopefully it will at least help you gain some understanding of our point of view.

re: teranno4x4 (2:34 PM, August 22, 2007)

1. Why do we need the Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible? See the FAQ article on "Questions about LDS Views on the Bible" and the "Book of Mormon Introduction" Page.

2. Sounds like we're all in agreement about Adam and Eve having died. :) Pops's point was that Satan's lies were mixed with truth; namely, that Adam and Eve could know good and evil just like God, which is indeed what happened. (I know that's not the same thing as becoming fully like God, which is a very complicated question that is addressed in the FAQ article on "Divine Potential of Man.")

3. "Obedience to God or Papal authority"? To God. We believe this was changed after the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the first day of the week. (See, for instance, Acts 20:7.) Room for interpretation? Sure. But please at least understand that we do believe in the 10 Commandments even if we follow them in a different way than you. (PS, out of curiosity: does Sunday worship in countries where Monday is the first day of the week violate the 4th Commandment?)

4. OK. We can respect differences of belief.

5. Pres. Hinckley was chosen, sanctified and ordained by God. When Pres. Hinckley passes away, Pres. Monson will take his place provided Pres. Monson doesn't pass away first. God has the power over everyone's lives, so barring unexpected deaths, this succession was set in motion way back when Pres. Monson was first called of God and ordained to be an apostle.

re: DS (8:05 AM, August 23, 2007)

1. The question of human beings becoming as God (again, see the LDS FAQ) goes beyond what the Book of Mormon says, you have to go into Joseph Smith's own teachings and revelations for that. Feel free to, you know, read the Book of Mormon and see for yourself. :) Which is not to downplay the doctrine, we still believe that this does not contradict the Bible (see, for instance, John 10:34).

2. Not sure what you're saying here. Have you seen something specific that makes you believe this?

3. See Mr. Lindsay's FAQ article on "Questions about Joseph Smith and Modern Prophets".

DS said...

Dear Lars

I believe you have just proved me right once again. You are reffering me to the BOM which is what every LDS does instead of telling me to go to the Bible. Did you know why the Christians in the Dark ages were persecuted? Because they read the Bible and refused, even under threats of death, to be forced to follow the doctrines of men. They had a motto which was "THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ALONE". There is no other book which has faced so much opposition and led to the persecutuion and murder of millions of Christians. Because there is truth in the Bible and Satan does not want this truth to be known.

In reply to this question: does Sunday worship in countries where Monday is the first day of the week violate the 4th Commandment?

The answer to this question is simple. Is this based on the doctrines of men or the Word of God. If it's based on the Word of God, then we ought to follow the Bible which says that Sabbath is the 7th day, which means that Sunday is the 1st day as it has always been.
Acts 20:7 does not prove that the 4th commandment was changed. Please show me where it actually says that it was changed. The fact that bread was broken on the 1st day of the week does not mean the commandment was changed. If I sit in my house and break bread on a Wednesday, it doesn't mean that day becomes the new Sabbath. To use the words "we believe" does not mean that that is what the Bible is saying. When God gave the command for the 7th day to be kept holy, there was no mistake about that command. It is a thread that runs though the OT and NT, so if God wanted to change the command, He would be very clear about that. The 10 commandments were written on stone. This symbolised the fact that they cannot be changed.
About human beings becoming God, that is a New Age Teaching. I do not believe in the New Age.

adamite said...

Apparently no one has read my above comments in this post. No one has yet answered my questions. How do you know with absolute certainty that God will not give us more scriptures, because the Bible says so? Who can give me one good reason why God won't or can't re-establish His Church on this Earth? When the Christians were being persecuted for their beliefs was there a divinely inspired prophet to guide them in their lives? No. When the last prophet was killed the priesthood was taken off the earth. Without a prophet there is no organized church. As for when to worship show me exactly where in the Bible it says that Saturday was ordained by God as the time of worship. I read somewhere that the Sabbath was on Thursdays by our Roman calender. It does not matter when you worship as long as you take a day off for worshiping after 6 days. How do you know with absolute certainty that your interpretation of the Bible is God's word? As far as I am concerned, the Bible has gone through too many translations to be interpreted correctly. That is why God wanted another set of scriptures to re-establish Christ's gospel and to have modern day revelations as to what is right and wrong in interpreting His scriptures. We may not fully understand the meaning behind some scriptures but that does not mean that it is wrong. We will never know exactly how God's mind work or why He does things that to us doesn't make sense. We are to only follow Christ's example in how we live our lives and do the best we can. Everyone will be judged by what you believe and how you conduct your lives.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Lars,

1. Need more time to investigate the link and see if it is worthy since it deals with views not fact.

2. Doesn't matter how much truth was included in satan's sentences of deception. The fact is that they were still deception and ultimately spiced up lies tainted to achieve maximum effect. The immortal humans fell for it hook line and sinker by fighting temptation themselves without any defence propogated - a lesson for us today?

"Fully like God" - is simple - it just will not happen. He is the ultimate in Divine authority. We can inherit His loving character encompassed in all things represented by Jesus here on earth. But that is where it stops. Creative power, Majesty, Might and Divinity is reserved unto everlasting for the God-Head.

3. Believing is different for following. satan believes in God - but does not choose to follow him anymore. Your reference to breaking bread simply means a meal as anyone would eat together. You can find it elsewhere in the NT for other occasions relating to the same. There is no connection here to a service of the Lord's Supper.

4. Do you believe that you will have dominion of heaven or the universe and that authority to govern will be granted to you ? This was the intention of the initial rebellion by the third of the angels - do you representing humanity, claim this for your own too ?

5. Please explain by what process your Pres. are chosen, sanctified and ordained ..... ? Is it a points system ? Is it years of service .... ? Or maybe God could elect me for the role ...... ? (Puzzled)

Thanks for your interest,

Teranno4x4

adamite said...

Terrano and others...
Until you get past the point that we Mormons are being deceived and led by Satan and accept what we believe you will never get the answers you seek from God and us. No amount of Biblical discussion will change what some of us have accepted as the truth. If someone leaves or has a change of heart concerning this Church and its doctrine it is their problem and it will not reflect the beliefs of millions of other Church members. We can have discussions on doctrine without resorting to who is being deceived by Satan. We as members believe in Jesus Christ and His Gospel and strive to live as he did. We fail more often than not but that is what the Atonement is for. To ask for forgiveness and help us strive to do better every day. We seek to love our neighbors, to obey God's commandments as best we can, and to be faithful to God and worship Him as our Father. What more do you want from us? Isn't this being a Christian?

Lars said...

Context, DS, context. Read the Book of Mormon to find out what it says. :) You would read your math textbook for school, wouldn't you? Approach it that way if you have to. By no means should you interpret that as an invitation to stop reading the Bible.

DS said...

Dear Lars and Adamite

Thanks for your responses. Lars, I would not refer to the BOM as a text book for Christianity. Rather I would refer to the Bible and the Bible alone. Thanks.

Adamite, you made this statement: "As for when to worship show me exactly where in the Bible it says that Saturday was ordained by God as the time of worship. I read somewhere that the Sabbath was on Thursdays by our Roman calender. It does not matter when you worship as long as you take a day off for worshiping after 6 days".

Are you really being honest when you ask me to show you where it says which day is Sabbath?? The whole world follows a 7 day week. We all know the 1st day of the week is Sunday, meaning that Saturday is the 7th day Sabbath. We still have Jews today who keep the Sabbath and this line of Sabbath keepers has not been broken. You can be sure that Saturday is the 7th day because God would not allow this cammandment to be totally forgotten. That's why He says, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy". You go to church on Sunday? How do you know which day is Sunday?
Please look up the following texts: Exodus 20: 8-11
Isaiah 66: 22
Matthew 24: 20
Luke 23: 54-56
Acts 17: 2
Acts 13: 42
Mark 2: 27.
There are many other texts, but I think that's enough for now.
You also made this statement. "As far as I am concerned, the Bible has gone through too many translations to be interpreted correctly".
It sounds like you have some major doubts about the Bible. In fact it sounds like you don't believe in the Bible. How can you call yourself a Christian if you don't believe in the Word of God. Yes, it's true some of the translations we have today are a bit corrupt because the enemy is trying to spoils God's word. But if you want to read a good translation, read anything that was translated from the Textus Receptus, also known as the Recieved text. An example is the KJV.

The main reason I have an issue with Joseph Smith and Bringam Young and believe that they were false prophets is that they were both involved in the occult and were also both 33rd Degree Freemasons. This is a fact that cannot be denied, unless you're LDS. I challenge you to research this issue. If you want to know if a religion or church is bad, you research it's roots and how it started.

adamite said...

If this Church was based on Freemasonry I can guarantee you this Church would not have survived intact this long. With this reasoning maybe we should throw out all of Paul's writings because he was a murderer of Christians and he joined a secret society of Christianity. I believe Freemasonry is a corrupted form of God's Church so they may have similar practices. If you have a change of heart one day and joined this Church you will see that everything we do centers on God and Christ including things in the temple. I don't doubt that the Bible is the Word of God and because of modern revelations I have a better understanding of God's word. As far as the calender goes, the Jews and the world did not have a standard calender when they started worshiping God on the Sabbath. Our calender is based on the Gregorian calender and became standard for business reasons not religious. Ancient religions based their worship on the seasons. Here is something to think about. God created light on the first day. Without light there is no life. Christ is the life and light of the world. What happened after the third day he was crucified? He was resurrected and literally became the life and light of the world. A new resurrected being. And it became accepted that He was resurrected on a Sunday, using the Gregorian calender, and maybe Sunday became the first day of the week to remind us that God created light/ Christ on the first day of creation. Just an idea.

DS said...

Dear Adamite

Thanks for your response.
Firstly about Freemasonry. There's nothing good about Freemasonry believe me, I have researched this issue and read many books about it. Why is everything a secret in Freemasonry? Do you think if what the Freemasons were doing was good, they would be keeping it a secret? Does the God of the Bible keep secrets? Below is a statement from Albert Pike, who was the leader of the Freemasons in his time.
"That which we must say to the world is that we worship a god, but it is the god that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees: The masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the higher degrees, maintained in the Purity of the Luciferian doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him?
"Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods; darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive.
"Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy, and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."
Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

Here is the hierarchy which shows who controls Freemasonry.
JESUIT ORDER
OVER
ILLUMINATI
OVER
MASONRY
If you dodn't know who the Jesuits are, they are the ones that run the Catholic institution. They all work together so anyone who is in the Masons works for Rome.
About the Gregorian Calendar. The Jews and Ante-deluvians did not need a Calander to know when the Sabbath was. Read the Old Testament and New Testament and you will see that they knew which day Sabbath was. By the way the Sabbath actually begins at Friday sunset and ends on Saturday sunset because in the Bible a day begins at sunset not midnight. Anyone who thinks a day begins at midnight is following a Roman teaching. Luke 23: 50-56: And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Luke 24:1-2:Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

The women were at the tomb on preperation day (which is Friday) and the Sabbath was about to begin. They were not there just before midnight, but before susnset. The Romans did not come up with the 7 day week, the basis for a 7 day week is found only in the Bible.

My question to you is, when does YOUR Sabbath begin??




Dear Adamite

Thanks for your response.
Firstly about Freemasonry. There's nothing good about Freemasonry believe me, I have researched this issue and read many books about it. Why is everything a secret in Freemasonry? Do you think if what the Freemasons were doing was good, they would be keeping it a secret? Does the God of the Bible keep secrets? Below is a statement from Albert Pike, who was the leader of the Freemasons in his time.
"That which we must say to the world is that we worship a god, but it is the god that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees: The masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the higher degrees, maintained in the Purity of the Luciferian doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him?
"Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods; darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive.
"Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy, and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."
Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

Here is the hierarchy which shows who controls Freemasonry.
JESUIT ORDER
OVER
ILLUMINATI
OVER
MASONRY
If you dodn't know who the Jesuits are, they are the ones that run the Catholic institution. They all work together so anyone who is in the Masons works for Rome.
About the Gregorian Calendar. The Jews and Ante-deluvians did not need a Calander to know when the Sabbath was. Read the Old Testament and New Testament and you will see that they knew which day Sabbath was. By the way the Sabbath actually begins at Friday sunset and ends on Saturday sunset because in the Bible a day begins at sunset not midnight. Anyone who thinks a day begins at midnight is following a Roman teaching. Luke 23: 50-56: And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Luke 24:1-2:Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

The women were at the tomb on preperation day (which is Friday) and the Sabbath was about to begin. They were not there just before midnight, but before susnset. The Romans did not come up with the 7 day week, the basis for a 7 day week is found only in the Bible.

My question to you is, when does YOUR Sabbath begin??




Dear Adamite

Thanks for your response.
Firstly about Freemasonry. There's nothing good about Freemasonry believe me, I have researched this issue and read many books about it. Why is everything a secret in Freemasonry? Do you think if what the Freemasons were doing was good, they would be keeping it a secret? Does the God of the Bible keep secrets? Below is a statement from Albert Pike, who was the leader of the Freemasons in his time.
"That which we must say to the world is that we worship a god, but it is the god that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees: The masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the higher degrees, maintained in the Purity of the Luciferian doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him?
"Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods; darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive.
"Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy, and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."
Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

Here is the hierarchy which shows who controls Freemasonry.
JESUIT ORDER
OVER
ILLUMINATI
OVER
MASONRY
If you dodn't know who the Jesuits are, they are the ones that run the Catholic institution. They all work together so anyone who is in the Masons works for Rome.
About the Gregorian Calendar. The Jews and Ante-deluvians did not need a Calander to know when the Sabbath was. Read the Old Testament and New Testament and you will see that they knew which day Sabbath was. By the way the Sabbath actually begins at Friday sunset and ends on Saturday sunset because in the Bible a day begins at sunset not midnight. Anyone who thinks a day begins at midnight is following a Roman teaching. Luke 23: 50-56: And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Luke 24:1-2:Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

The women were at the tomb on preperation day (which is Friday) and the Sabbath was about to begin. They were not there just before midnight, but before susnset. The Romans did not come up with the 7 day week, the basis for a 7 day week is found only in the Bible.

My question to you is, when does YOUR Sabbath begin??

Shawn said...

Hi Pops!

Mind if I "sigh" along with you. :) (Thanks for your usually clear and heartfelt posts, btw)



(response to last question posed)

My Sabbath begins on the day I choose to prepare myself to worship the Lord God with others so inclined to do so.



(regarding some of the other posts)

I'm a little tired after reading though all the posts (aka rants... some of which see seem downright callous). Which Bible am I suppose to use as my "only" Bible? There's more than 5000 translations. Do I pick the one with made up verses (relating to the nature of God)? Or the one that is the most politically correct. Or do I need to go "Latin" or "Greek". William Tynsdale is one of my favorite heroes, but what if translating to English meant meaning was lost?

I know, I know… an often repeated and tired response. Just reacting to the contentious nature by some of the posts.

Peace be with you.

-Shawn

I guess I'll stick with my KJV.

NM said...

Terrano4x4,

Thank you for your reply. My family and I returned from our camping holiday yesterday. Boy, there have certainly been many comments made since I last came on here!

I don't know if you are familiar with Mr. Piper, but it seems that my theology (especially on subjects such as grace/justification/redemption/propitiation etc.) seems to agree with his. If I could label some sort of tag to my understanding of the Bible, it would be reformed. I love reading some of the puritan's writings, I also like A.W. Pink, Martin Lloyd Jones - The Doctor and such like.

Anyway, before we went away on our holiday, I managed to download one or two sermons from the Desiring God website and listened to Piper's, "Demonstration of God's Righteousness - Part 2 and Part 3. Listen to them if you can. John Piper managed to describe grace vs. works in a single sermon when it would take me a lifetime!

Have a listen and please tell me if your theology (specifically on the subject of grace) is different from Mr. Piper's. And as I say, my understanding and experience of grace vs. works is very similar to his... =)

In Him alone,
NathanielMacrae

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Shawn,

I am glad that you use the KJV. That is probably the most reliable English translation that we have today.

All 'modern' translations have the possibility for some people to bring out meaning and content of difficult 'olde english' vocabulary contained in the KVJ. However the 'modern' translations are at fault for either deleting verses or making subtle changes to various well understood Christian values, the most important one challenging the very Divinity of Jesus Christ. If Christ is at the head of ones own life, this is a very bitter pill to be forced to swallow. My recommendation would be for you to continue with the KJV which continues to be unaffected.

Please also note the challenging words of DS previously :
" How can you (an individual) call yourself a Christian if you don't believe in the Word of God? Yes, it's true some of the translations we have today are a bit corrupt because the enemy is trying to spoils God's word. But if you want to read a good translation, read anything that was translated from the Textus Receptus, also known as the Recieved text. An example is the KJV.

The main reason I have an issue with Joseph Smith and Bringam Young and believe that they were false prophets is that they were both involved in the occult and were also both 33rd Degree Freemasons. This is a fact that cannot be denied, unless you're LDS. I challenge you to research this issue. "

By stating that you personally will worship on a day chosen by you - isn't that contentious against God ? Are you waiting for the BIG BOOMING voice to thunder from the clouds in reproach "REMEMBER the SABBATH DAY ..... BUT THE SEVENTH DAY" not 'choose yourself the Sabbath Day... " ?

Well the good news for you is that this will not happen, because God sent Jesus for this very purpose - to live the life, walk the walk and talk the talk. As a 'self appointed' Christian don't you owe it to yourself to follow Him as He instructed? Have you ever come across the well-used term 'pride comes before a fall..... ?

The actual question determined was what time does your Sabbath start on your day of rest (as I understood the original comment by DS)?

It would be great to cut the barbed comments that are offered as a defence to most questions and answer them Biblically to the best of our faculties out of Christian love!

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear NM,

I am glad that you enjoyed your holiday away with family.
Do you have your own website or blog?
If not you are welcome to contact me at teranno4x4@yahoo.com .
I would be more than happy to discuss some further theology on 'Grace' to see if our understandings have a match. I ask this, as I don't want to take this thread off topic - it's getting quite interesting to see how it is developing. I will try and listen to the sermons that you recommend and provide feedback (out of this blog would be better).

Thanks,

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Terrano,

Hello there. I live at Live Journal, but I have recently had to lock it because of my profession. I'll email you soon to send you my email address. Thanks again.

Nathaniel